Challengers try to shake incumbent in Secretary of State race

Five of the six candidates for Louisiana Secretary of State found common ground in a forum Monday evening as they each tried to shake interim Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin’s perceived confidence in his incumbency. There was little hostility between panelists since they were not allowed to address each other directly. But, a few managed to sneak in some indirect jabs with just over a week to go until the Nov. 6 election. Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, said he was displeased with Ardoin’s leadership as it relates to local election officials, like the registrars of voters and the clerks of court. “I’ve met with many of them across the state, and I was surprised to ask them some very s

What's the latest in market trends for timber?

William Sonnenfeld released his third quarter report recently. Here's what he said: "Of particular note over the past quarter, housing starts notched lower, as did building product prices. Log prices showed more resiliency, however, reducing 'gross margins' in the West and South. However, the impacts were not evenly felt; the gap between western and southern mills expanded to $159/MBF in the South's favor." Click the lick below for the or contact William Sonnenfeld, WillSonn Advisory LLC at wes@willsonnadv.com. Market Trends Report

University of Kentucky seeking research assistant

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources at the University of Kentucky is looking to hire a research assistant for a project on the economic impacts of timber supply in that state. The job will be filled at the master's of science level. According to the university, the research focus is: "Oaks (Quercus spp.) are keystone species in many forest ecosystems, and are ecologically and economically valuable. However, in spite of their broad distribution and abundance, oaks are impacted by a variety of threats. In Kentucky, white oak (Quercus alba) plays significant role in the economy, particularly in the bourbon and wine industry for supply of stave logs that are used in bourbon barrel

Burning forest was controversial at first

The history of fire in Southern forests is a long and vexing one. Setting fire to the woods has been a common practice in the South. Some have described it as natural as the honking of migrating geese or the appearance of crimson foliage on sweet gums. American Indians had long used fire to maintain open forests to facilitate hunting and also used fire to drive deer through openings so that they were more easily harvested. Settlers used fire to clear land and to “green up” the grass in the spring to provide new growth for their grazing animals. However, early foresters found the need to control fires if reforestation efforts were to be successful. One of the first specific forest pract

When fire is essential

Fire good. Not only is that a line from Frankenstein’s monster, portrayed by Boris Karloff in the 1931 movie, but it’s also the opinion of many who perform the centuries-old practice of prescribed burning as a way to keep forests healthy. The practice as performed on federal forestland by U.S. Forest Service fire crews, that burn thousands of acres, uses aerial and ground attack. “The objectives on this is to duff layer down to a quarter percent and then to try to get rid of a lot of this hardwood,” Branden Sultemeier, fire management officer trainee with the U.S. Forest Service, said in April during a prescribed burn of 3,800 acres of federal forestland near Camp Claiborne in southern

Following his own form, function

Form follows function in the engineering world, which doesn’t mean what they create is attractive, Johnny Green says, but during his first decade of retired life, he is finding what is considered attractive is rather subjective, especially with the works he creates out of wood. Green came up in the sand and gravel business. His family designed and built huge pieces of machinery meant to move earth and rock on land or collect in waterways. At 74, he spends much of his time in a spacious workshop turning wood into art. It’s a far cry from his days of working with massive pieces of welded and bolted metal machinery. “Doing anything artistic is totally foreign to me,” Green said. “Form fol

Can bats be repopulated?

Bats are an important species in forests; they consume enormous amounts of insects each night. In Louisiana there are 12 different types of bats, 10 of which have been caught and cataloged by Texas Tech University graduate student Carlos Garcia. However, neither the elusive Yellow bat nor Mexican Free-tailed bat that flies above the forest canopy are what excites him most. Garcia’s study of bats in Louisiana focuses on the Northern Long-eared bat, the myotis septentrionalis. It is a threatened species in northern areas of the United States because of pseudogymnoascus destructans, a fungus that causes white-nose syndrome. When the fungus infects the nose of the bat during hibernation, t

LDAF to hold Forest Productivity Program workshops

Anyone wanting to find out more about the Forest Productivity Program through the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry have opportunities to attend any of two workshops in Alexandria and Amite. The Forest Productivity Program is a cost-sharing program that helps private forest landowners with tree crops. It helps with costs of forestry practices that improve tree stands, prepare or replant. The training is open to anyone that would like to learn more about the Forest Productivity Program. Specifically, the application process, the deadlines, practices and proposed changes. One FPP workshop will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Oct. 23 at the Dean Lee Research Station at L

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