Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 17, 2012

Business & Politics

Softwood Lumber exports to China Hit the Billion Dollar Mark

Opinion 250 News
February 16, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- 2011 was a record setter when it comes to softwood lumber sales to China. For the first time, the value exceeded the $1 Billion dollar mark. China now accounts for 32 per cent of B.C.’s total volume of exports of softwood lumber. Since 2003, at the start of the joint provincial-federal-industry market development program in China, exports to that country have risen from $69 million to almost $1.1 billion in 2011. In spite of the global economic slowdown, it is expected that B.C. exports of softwood lumber to China will continue to grow in 2012 as the Chinese government pursues its aggressive housing strategy.

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Welcome to Williams Lake

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Loss posted on lower lumber, pulp prices

Vancouver Sun
February 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver-based West Fraser Timber — North America’s largest softwood lumber producer — posted a fourth-quarter loss of 10.6 million, or 25 cents a share from operations hurt by weak lumber and pulp prices in October-December. It earned 27.8 million, or 65 cents a share, a year earlier.

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West Fraser Records Loss in Lumber Operations

Opinion 250 News
February 16, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – West Fraser Timber has reported it lost 10.6 million dollars from its continuing lumber operations in the fourth quarter.  The company says sales were down by 10% coming in at 650 million dollars, down from 719.1 million dollars in the same quarter in 2010. In a news release issued earlier today, CEO Hank Ketcham says the company ended “a challenging year with a difficult quarter as markets for our products continue to be unsettled.”

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West Fraser reports fourth-quarter loss from continuing operations, sales down

Canadian Press
February 16, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. (TSX:WFT) reported a $10.6-million loss from operations in its latest quarter reversing a profit a year ago as the lumber producer’s sales dropped nearly 10 per cent. …”We ended a challenging year with a difficult quarter as markets for our products continue to be unsettled,” West Fraser chairman and chief executive Hank Ketcham said in a statement after markets closed. “We are very encouraged with the results of our capital investment program as well as the continued commitment of our employees to West Fraser’s long-term success.”

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Can a Papermaker Help to Save Civilization?

New York Times
February 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Barrett, who is 61, has dedicated his life to unlocking the mysteries of paper, which he regards as both the elemental stuff of civilization and an endangered species in digital culture. For his range of paper-related activities, he received a $500,000 fellowship from the MacArthur Foundation in 2009. “Sometimes I worry about what a weird thing it is to be preoccupied with paper when there’s so much trouble in the world,” Barrett told me, “but then I think of how our whole culture is knitted together by paper, and it makes a kind of sense.” 

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Timber industry makes the grade for Forest Footprint Disclosure

Timber Trades Journal
February 16, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Forest products giant Stora Enso and hardwood trader DLH were among the top performers in the third annual review of the international Forest Footprint Disclosure (FFD), which ranks businesses on their efforts to minimise deforestation.  And speaking at the review launch in London, FFD director James Hulse said timber companies generally were in pole position to sign up to the initiative, which could boost their environmental image and strengthen relations with investors.

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Greens consider a rival trade mission

ABC News Australia
February 17, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Tasmania’s Greens leader is considering a rival trip to Asia to counter the state government’s pro-forestry trade mission. The Premier has confirmed her deputy Bryan Green will set off on a trade mission to Japan and China on Monday. The Opposition leader, Will Hodgman, will join Mr Green in Singapore and Japan to meet pulp and paper businesses, and build support for the beleaguered forest industry. The Greens Leader and Cabinet Minister, Nick McKim, wanted forestry off the trip’s agenda.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Cherry, Maple, Alder Wood Cabinetry Declines

Closets Daily
February 17, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

HACKETTSTOWN, NJ – Cherry wood cabinetry orders are in decline, reports the National Kitchen & Bath Association, but maple – its closest wood species rival for cabinets – has not gained as a result. Cherry wood was consistently the first or second most popular wood for cabinetry, jockeying for the top spot with maple each year. Now designers are shifting from it, with just 69 percent specifying it this year, says NKBA. That’s down from 80 percent in 2010, and follows a drop to 72 percent last year. 

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Plastic from plants? Scientists may have found a way

Vancouver Sun
February 17, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES – Plastic is anathema to many among the eco-conscious – but what if manufacturers could stop making so much of it from oil and start making more of it from plants? In a study in the journal Science, researchers in the Netherlands say they have developed a class of iron catalysts that help turn plant material – such as fast-growing trees and certain grasses – into the chemical building blocks used to make plastic products, drugs and even cosmetics.

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Thumbs up for Kingspan in timber frame

Press Release
4-traders
February 16, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

There are many benefits to timber frame construction, but in recent months concerns about vulnerability to arson and the potential fire spread to neighbouring properties during construction have prompted the UK Timber Frame Association (UKTFA) to develop pioneering new test methods that identify suitable construction products which can help to reduce the risks.

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Forestry

Tone down demonization of environmentalists, May says

Ottawa Citizen
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — The Tories have to tone down their ‘Kafka-esque’ demonization of environmentalists, Green Party leader Elizabeth May says. “I think that under the terms (Prime Minister Stephen) Harper and his cabinet members have been using in the House of Commons, I am now condemned as against Canada, as a radical, as an enemy and I suppose as a suspected future terrorist,” May told reporters Thursday. “Once you start describing political opponents as enemies, we’re in real trouble,” she continued. “It’s very Kafka-esque. May’s call to tone down the rhetoric comes after the revelation that the Canadian Security Intelligence Agency considers the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and Greenpeace a threat.

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BC’s Avatar Grove to be protected from logging by province

by Judith Lavoie
The Province
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A grove of giant, old-growth trees near Port Renfrew, which has brought thousands of visitors to the area over the last two years, will be protected by the province. Avatar Grove, a unique stand of centuries-old Douglas firs and red cedars, will be included in an expanded, 59-hectare old-growth management area, Forests Minister Steve Thomson said Thursday. That means no logging or mining, but is one step short of the legislated protection of park designation. Surrey-based Teal-Jones Group, which holds logging rights for the area around Avatar Grove, is being compensated with 57 hectares removed from other old-growth management areas.

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Auditor General report on forestry – A trust betrayed

Opinion 250 News
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Auditor General of British Columbia has released a report that is sharply critical of the BC Government and Ministry of Forests’ management of BC forests. Indeed, it would be hard to find a government report that is more withering in its criticism. In putting together the report, the Auditor General conducted an audit in 2011 to determine whether the Ministry of Forests is “achieving its forest objectives for timber.” In its investigation, the Auditor General asked three questions. These questions had to do with whether the Ministry had “clearly defined” its objectives for timber, whether it was following appropriate “management practices” to achieve these objectives, and whether it was appropriately monitoring and reporting its “timber results

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Avatar Grove to be protected by province

by Judith Lavoie
Victoria Times Colonist
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A grove of giant, old-growth trees near Port Renfrew, which has brought thousands of visitors to the area over the last two years, will be protected by the province. Avatar Grove, a unique stand of centuries-old Douglas firs and red cedars, will be included in an expanded, 59-hectare old-growth management area, Forests Minister Steve Thomson said Thursday. …Surrey-based Teal-Jones Group, which holds logging rights for the area around Avatar Grove, is being compensated with 57 hectares removed from other old-growth management areas.

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Sooke News Mirror

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Auditor General report confirms mismanagement of BC forests

by BCGEU
Canada News Wire press release
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – An Auditor General’s report on forest management confirms what Forest Ministry workers and B.C. communities have been saying for years – that B.C.’s public forests have been badly mismanaged by the B.C. Liberal government over the past decade, and that massive budget cuts have left the ministry unable to fulfill its mandate, the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union said today. “The Auditor General talks about the need to improve stewardship, silviculture, research and oversight,” says BCGEU president Darryl Walker. “It’s not surprising that these services need immediate attention. These areas have been the hardest hit by budget cuts over the past decade. Over 1,000 staff positions have been cut from the Forest Service since 2001.

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AAAS-SFU research: Controlling forest fires

Science Codex
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Simon Fraser University statistician Rick Routledge will share his knowledge of what layers of charcoal in lake-bottom sediment can tell us about an area’s forest fire history, at the world’s largest science fair in Vancouver. Routledge is speaking at Forest Fires in Canada: Impacts of Climate Change and Fire Smoke, a three-hour seminar at the 2012 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) conference. The international event runs Feb. 16 to 20 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

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Auditor blasts B.C. forest management

by Tom Fletcher
BC Local News
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The B.C. government doesn’t have enough information about its forest management to deal with the long-term results of widespread beetle kill and fires, B.C. Auditor General John Doyle concludes in a report released Thursday. Doyle’s report also criticizes the province’s shift of responsibility for replanting logged Crown land from the ministry to logging companies. Since 2004, logging companies have been responsible for replacement trees until they reach “free growing” height, which takes seven to 20 years depending on species. The audit found the policy tends to reduce species diversity. “Reforestation is a cost to forest companies, not an investment,” Doyle writes. “In managing their business, forest companies tend to take the least-cost, least-risk approach to meet reforestation regulations, which means planting lower-cost, faster-growing species.”

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BC Government Killing Forest Industry: Auditor General

The Tyee
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s Auditor General John Doyle released a report finding that the government has failed to plant enough trees to ensure a healthy forest industry in the future.  Worse, the government lacks reliable information on the state of the forest and has no plan for what to do about it, he said.  Various observers said Doyle’s report confirmed what critics have said for years, but the minister responsible insisted the province has a plan and is doing the necessary inventory work.

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B.C. earns kudos for protecting Avatar Grove; slammed by auditor general on forestry

Canadian Press
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – A Vancouver Island environmental organization praised the B.C. government Thursday for protecting a unique old-growth forest known as Avatar Grove, but the auditor general is slamming the province for losing track of the forest resource. Government management of B.C.’s timber supply is insufficient and has reached the point at the Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Ministry where the province isn’t properly monitoring its programs, said John Doyle’s ministry audit.

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Ministry is meeting its timber management goals

By BC Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
press release
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations responds to the auditor general’s report on the ministry’s timber management objectives: Auditor general recommendation: Develop a plan for directing forest stewardship that establishes clearly defined timber objectives and stewardship principles to guide decision-making, actions, timeframes and assessment of results. Ministry response: – This already happens, with the ministry’s timber objectives clearly set out in the Forest and Range Practices Act, forest planning and practices regulation.

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Group concerned AG’s forest report will lead to more spraying

TheTyee.ca
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The spokesperson of a citizens’ group called Stop the Spray says more intensive silviculture is the wrong approach for B.C. forests. James Steidle issued a press release in response to the Auditor General’s scathing report that found the B.C. government has failed to sufficiently replant the forests it manages and needs to develop a plan. Auditor General John Doyle’s six recommendations include developing a plan for forest stewardship and investing enough in silviculture to achieve long-term timber goals.

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Province fails to protect, restore pine beetle-ravaged area: report

By Gordon Hamilton
Vancouver Sun
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. is ill-prepared to manage B.C’s beetle-ravaged forests as they slide into a long-term decline in both value and diversity, Auditor-General John Doyle said in a report released Thursday. “We are already facing the fact that the value of the forest is going to be diminished as we go forward, and future generations are not going to have what we had,” Doyle said in an interview. Reforestation is not keeping up with the growing inventory of land in need of restocking, he said. The report, which focuses on Interior forests, notes the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is responsible for 22 million hectares of forestland with an estimated value of a quarter trillion dollars but it has no clear objectives on how to manage it.

Go here to read the BC Auditor General Report

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BC’s resources need support

Vancouver Sun
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We pride ourselves on being Super, Natural British Columbia, province of pristine lakes, spectacular wilderness, friendly resource communities and vibrant, sophisticated cities. …Yet the engine that all this marketing promotes is in danger of throwing a rod. …That’s the alarming picture that emerges from research by four retired professionals. They analyze the government’s own data to quantify trends in the management of renewable resources that are mainstays of the provincial economy. …Perhaps the most telling graph in the study shows the overall increase in provincial budgets from 1975 to 2011 while budgets for provincial resource ministries are virtually a straight line.

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A tale of two forests

Prince George Free Press
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s a tale of two realities. We’re just not quite sure if the provincial government’s version of reality is the same one the rest of us reside in. John Doyle, the auditor general of British Columbia, yesterday released his latest report, An Audit of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations’ Management of Timber. Hot on the heels, literally minutes later, the province released its response. The provincial press release boldly stated: “Ministry is meeting its management goals.” If its goals are to mismanagement the province’s forested land, then the statement is probably correct.

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Cutting down the logging noise

Digby Courier
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jay Stone and his wife Cheryl just want a good night’s sleep. They live at the intersection of Clark and Sissiboo Roads in Bear River. Since the fall, tree harvesters have been working in the woods around them all night and logging trucks have been using their engine brakes in front of their house “I’m not against logging,” Stone, himself an arborist, told Digby district council on Monday, Feb. 13. “These guys have to work, I understand that. But at 2 a.m.?” Stone has lived in the area for 11 years and says he fully accepts that logging and logging trucks and the noises that come with them are part of living in the country. He says however there has been a big spike in activity since the fall.

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Learn how to manage the natural forest

Atlantic Farm Focus
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Woodlot owners and silviculture contractors are invited to participate in an “on-the ground” learning experience focused on identifying vegetation in the Acadian Forest to help them become more familiar with what their forest contains and how selection harvesting can help achieve multiple forest values. From 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm on Saturday, March 10 and Saturday, March 17, Picea Forestry Consulting and North Nova Forest Owners Co-Op Ltd. will host woodlot walks in the Tatamagouche area of Colchester County and in the Pugwash area of Cumberland County, Nova Scotia.

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US Forest Service Chief presents proposed FY2013 agency budget

USDA Forest Service Press Release
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON —In testimony before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies today, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell prioritized the proposed FY 2013 Forest Service budget request in three themes: restoration, communities, and fire. “To make the strategic investments to grow the economy and tackle the deficit, this budget makes difficult cuts to programs — but our priorities are designed to respond to the needs of the American public,” Tidwell said. “The budget request will engage communities and help Americans reconnect to the outdoors, expand on recreation benefits and create a wide range of opportunities for economic expansion to retain and create jobs. It also fosters partnering with communities and cooperating agencies to reduce the threat of wildland fires to people, property and watersheds.”

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Idaho County commission sends letter to Forest Service objecting to land swap deal

The Republic
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho — Idaho County commissioners are telling the Forest Service that they still oppose a land swap that would give timbered land in the upper Lochsa River basin to the federal government. But they are also acknowledging that a deal between the Western Pacific Timber company and the Forest Service is likely to move forward anyway. The plan trades about 18,000 of federal land spread over three national forests in Idaho for 40,000 acres of Western Pacific Timber land in the Idaho County region.

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Thinning project gets under way in Lake Como area

The Missoulian
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LAKE COMO – Bob Walker is on a mission as he walks through a forest marked in blue.
Somewhere out here, his skidder operator is having a conversation with the U.S. Forest Service sales administrator about the trail system his logging company will need over the next couple of months to get all these blue marked trees to a place where they can be picked up and hauled away. The Darby logger was just starting a 210-acre project Wednesday that will thin hundreds of trees in and around the Lake Como Recreation Area.

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$1 million more needed for pine beetle fight

Black Hills Pioneer
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DEADWOOD — The cost of Lawrence County’s war against the mountain pine beetle epidemic has already exceeded 500,000 dollars, and up to an additional 1 million dollars is needed to finish the work in this year’s effort to slow the devastation Lawrence County Invasive Species Management supervisor Dave Heck updated Lawrence County Commissioners on Tuesday on the work completed so far, and additional work needed to complete Phase II of the pine beetle effort that began in November.

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New interim forester takes over in US Forest Service’s Northern Region

The Missoulian
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Nothing is on hold at the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Region headquarters despite the temporary tenure of its latest leader. Interim Regional Forester Vicki Christiansen replaced Leslie Weldon two weeks ago, after Weldon was promoted to deputy chief of the national forest system in Washington, D.C. On Thursday, Christiansen said she looks forward to a busy time in her new post.

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Virginia Records Northumberland County Forestry Easement

CBS News
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

RICHMOND, Va. — The Virginia Department of Forestry says it has recorded its first forestland conservation easement in Northumberland County. The state agency says former U.S. Sen. Paul Trible has developed a conservation easement on more than 500 acres of his family land. His family has owned Gascony Farm for almost 100 years. A conservation easement allows a property owner to continue to use the land while protecting its forested acres.

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Ark. Forestry Commission to start director search

Stuttgart Daily Leader
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Little Rock, Ark. — The Arkansas Forestry Commission is working to start a search for a new director and set up monetary policies that don’t violate financial rules. The panel meets Friday morning to discuss the search process for finding a new state forestor.Forestor John Shannon resigned last week after a legislative audit questioned financial practices at the Arkansas Forestry Commission that led to the layoff of 34 employees.

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‘Deadhead’ logging bill clears Senate

Atlanta Journal Constitution
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Sunken logs could be raised from Georgia’s rivers and sold to the highest bidder under a bill the Senate passed Friday. Environmentalists oppose “deadhead” logging, saying it chokes waterways with sediment and contaminants and eliminates habitats for fish and aquatic species. Senate President Pro Tem Tommie Williams, R-Lyons, however, has pushed for years to sanction it. He said Senate Bill 362 would create jobs for loggers and raise money for the state. Cut down by ax or saw during the 19th and early 20th centuries, the logs sank as they were floated downstream to coastal markets.

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Tall story as tree breaks record

This is Bath
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The people looking after it always knew it was a whopper. Now a tree in Bath has been declared the tallest of its species in the country. The Norway Maple at the National Trust’s Prior Park Landscape Gardens has been named the national champion tree after being measured at 117ft – the tallest in the country by nearly 20ft. The previous champion tree at Glamis Castle in Scotland is a mere 98ft tall.

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All treed up, ready to grow – the man who wants to green Holroyd

Sydney Morning Herald
February 17, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LIKE a modern-day Johnny Appleseed, Terry Tisdale wants to use his fortune to plant 100,000 trees across his beloved Holroyd city. ”That’s one for every person,” he says eagerly. The altruistic engineer has already bought 2000 saplings to green the suburb where he grew up. However, there is a slight problem. Holroyd Council is yet to be convinced of the merits of his $500,000 plan to line its median strips and parkland with native trees.  Mr Tisdale, 56, believes the trees will counter the effects of the
concrete and bitumen urban environment absorbing the sun’s rays and
raising temperatures at night.

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Enforcement lacking on environmental crimes in Asia – activist

Reuters AlertNet
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BANGKOK – Crimes against the environment are increasingly prevalent across Asia Pacific, fuelling conflict, intensifying climate change and exacerbating the threat of natural disasters, yet enforcement is lacking due to a perception that there are no victims to such crimes, an environmental activist said Wednesday. Illegal logging and fishing, dumping of hazardous waste, wildlife trafficking and smuggling of chemicals that deplete the ozone layer are rampant in the region, said Julian Newman, campaigns director of London-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA), at a panel discussion in Bangkok. “Environmental crime is a growing threat to the planet, particularly in Asia. It produces revenues of billions of dollars to criminal groups, yet to date the enforcement against these crimes has been lacking,” Newman said.

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Oakeshott sparks a forestry firestorm

Climate Spectator
February 16, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

We are poised at a pivotal moment for native forests, the wood products industry and climate change. Australia is moving away from a damaging native forestry industry – and a damaging conflict over its future – to a plantation industry with broad-based support. Rob Oakeshott’s push this week to promote burning native-forest wood for electricity production could kick off more logging, and more conflict. Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, together with all other members of the Multi-Party Climate Change Committee, agreed in July 2011 to exclude native forest wood from being subsidised as a renewable energy resource. This decision put in place a crucial backstop to see the end of Australia’s forest wars. But now Oakeshott has changed his position.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Sustainable Forestry, Bioenergy, and the Carbon Cycle – Misunderstood and Misrepresented

By Penn State Extension
Go Wood Blog
February 17, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Earlier this week I received an email from a colleague directing me to the following video, a product of the Natural Resources Defense Council. On a web page entitled “Our Forests Aren’t Fuel” the video and its accompanying text decry the use of forest harvesting for biomass energy, although they admit that “Biomass can be harvested and utilized in ways that reduce pollution and protect forest habitats, but only with sustainability safeguards and proper accounting for carbon emissions — including carbon released due to deforestation.” …These videos are misleading and illustrate clearly the lack of understanding of forest ecosystems and the carbon cycle in general.

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Mini-cellulose molecule could revolutionise Biofuel production

BioEnergy Insight News
February 17, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Chemical engineers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst have discovered a ‘mini-cellulose’ molecule that behaves in the same way as cellulose when heated to a high temperature. Complex chemical reactions that take place during high-temperature biofuel processes such as pyrolysis or gasification, have remained unknown, as wood molecules are too large, and the reactions are too complicated for computer models to track. However, with the discovery of this molecule (?-cyclodextrin), the possibilities of using computer simulations to study biomass have significantly increased.

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