Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 2, 2012

Business & Politics

Mercer International Inc. Announces Mailing of Offer and Take-Over

by Mercer International
Globe Newswire press release
February 29, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

NEW YORK — Mercer International Inc. announced that it has mailed to the shareholders of Fibrek Inc. (“Fibrek”) its offer and take-over bid circular (the “Offer Documents”) in connection with its previously announced friendly offer (the “Offer”) for all of the outstanding common shares of Fibrek (the “Fibrek Shares”).

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Fibrek Files Directors’ Circular Recommending Acceptance of the Mercer Offer

by Fibrek
Canada News Wire press release
February 29, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – Fibrek Inc. announced today that it has filed its Directors’ Circular reaffirming its previous recommendation that Fibrek shareholders TENDER to the offer to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of Fibrek (the “Mercer Offer”) made by Mercer International Inc. (“Mercer”). Mercer also filed the take-over bid circular in connection with the Mercer Offer to Fibrek shareholders today.

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Gas Hike: Driving Lumber Prices Up?

woodworkingnetwork.com
March 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Truckers are now paying as much as $200 more to fill up their fuel tanks than a year ago. Not surprisingly, higher fuel and freight costs have become a frequent topic of conversation in the hardwood industry…In Canada, where currency exchange rates have been causing headaches for hardwood companies, one seller commented, “I suspect that freight costs will soon overshadow the exchange rate issue.” An export wholesaler said, “The first thought when I consider where to [source] lumber is ‘how much is it going to cost to get it to the port.’” A contact in the Upper Midwest said that higher freight costs are “tempering the prices we can command,” and several sellers noted difficulty finding containers at reasonable prices for shipments to the West Coast.

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Asset impairments drive 2011 loss, negative outlook leads to CCAA filing

Canada News Wire press release
March 29, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

RICHMOND, BC – Catalyst Paper posted a net loss of $974.0 million ($2.55 per common share) in 2011 due in large part to asset impairments on Canadian and Arizona-based operations. Other factors contributing to the loss were capital restructuring costs, a foreign exchange loss on the translation of U.S. dollar denominated debt and fire-related outages at the Snowflake and Powell River mills. The company’s net loss in 2010 was $396.9 million ($1.04 per common share).

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Exports rise as China buys more lumber

The Province
March 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Lumber futures that surged more than any other commodity in February may extend a rally to a 10-month high as China boosts imports and the U.S. housing recovers, researcher Wood Resources International LLC said. Prices have gained 11 per cent since the end of January, the most among 35 raw materials tracked by the Rogers International Commodity Index. Lumber may reach $300 US per 1,000 board feet by July on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, up nine per cent from Thursday’s close of $275.20 and the highest since April 6, Wood Resources said.

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FPInnovations Information Note: ISPM 15 Dunnage for Lumber Shipments

Business Innovation Partnership
March 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The bilateral agreement between the US and Canada which allows for non-compliant ISPM-15 wood packaging to flow back and forth between the two countries is expected to end in April 2012. This will result in full enforcement at the US border in early 2013 for ISPM-15 compliant wood packaging, including dunnage and lath on lumber shipments. As a member of the International Plant Protection Convention (IPPC), Canada has adopted International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures ISPM 15 regulations. 

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Domtar completes Attends Europe acquisition

by Domtar
MarketWatch (press release)
March 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

Domtar Corporation today announced the completion of the acquisition of privately-held Attends Healthcare Limited, manufacturer and supplier of adult incontinence care products in Europe, from Rutland Partners for EUR180 million, pursuant to a definitive agreement entered into on January 26, 2012.

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Conifex Announces Issuance of Common Shares

Stockhouse
March 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Conifex Timber today announced that it has issued 4,288 common shares of the Company at a deemed price of $9.50 per Common Share pursuant to severance arrangements with a former employee. The Common Shares are subject to a four-month hold period from the date of issue. The TSX Venture Exchange has previously accepted the issuance of such Common Shares.

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Ainsworth Announces 2011 Fourth Quarter and Year End Results

MarketWatch (press release)
March 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Ainsworth Lumber Co. Ltd. CA:ANS 0.00% today announced its audited financial results for the fourth quarter and full year ended December 31, 2011. Ainsworth President and Chief Operating Officer Jim Lake said, “2011 was clearly another challenging year for our industry. However, I am pleased that Ainsworth posted positive adjusted EBITDA and net income results for the year ending December 31, 2011. Although we are not satisfied with these results, we take some measure of pride in achieving positive results in a year that hit an all-time low of 420,000 single-family housing starts in the United States and a strong Canadian dollar.”

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Domtar ‘actively looking’ for buyer for Ottawa-Gatineau properties

Ottawa Citizen
March 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA — Domtar, the Montreal-based paper manufacturing giant, says it is willing to sell its 38-acre island and waterfront property in Ottawa-Gatineau, but it can’t do so without a willing buyer. “With regard to our ongoing efforts to sell our legacy properties in Ottawa/Gatineau, we have said all along that we recognize the site’s importance at the heart of the National Capital Region and we continue to actively look for a willing buyer or buyers with this firmly in mind,” Domtar corporate communications manager Stuart Lister said in an email. “But it’s worth remembering that we need a willing dance partner here — we can’t force anybody to step up to the plate and buy our lands and buildings.”

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Catalyst Paper records near $1-billion loss after writedown of mill values

By Gordon Hamilton
Vancouver Sun
March 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst Paper has written down the value of its four pulp and paper mills from over $1.2 billion in 2010 to $386 million, an $824 million drop that pushed its 2011 loss to almost $1 billion, the Richmond-based papermaker stated in its 2011 financial report. The $824 million writedown is the main factor in Catalysts 2011 loss of $974 million. Catalyst has been under court-ordered creditor protection since Jan. 31 and in its financial report, released earlier this week, company president Kevin Clarke laid out a grim list of troubles Catalyst was facing going into 2012 that led to the writedown and ultimately to the decision to seek protection under the federal Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.

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Global sawlog prices fell in late 2011, especially in lumber export-oriented countries such as Western Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia and New Zealand

Weakening lumber markets in Asia and Europe reduced demand for sawlogs in many countries late last year. As a result, log prices in a number of the major lumber-producing countries in the world fell during the second half of 2011, according to the market report the Wood Resource Quarterly. 
CisionWire (press release)
March 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Seattle, USA. Sawlog prices in the 4Q/11 were down both in US dollar terms and in local currencies in most of the 20 regions covered by the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) as compared to the previous quarter. The biggest declines occurred in Western Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia and New Zealand, all countries that have an export-oriented sawmilling sector. Despite the recent price declines, many markets still have close to record high price levels, and are higher than they were in the 4Q/10

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Gunns desperate for pulp mill to go ahead after 3631% surge in losses

ProPrint
March 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Gunns is pinning its future on its troubled Bell Bay pulp mill as it looks to pay off its large debt and turn around a 3631% surge in losses. The timber giant’s half-yearly results showed a 40% drop in revenue to $217 million and a 14% fall in debt to $587 million. The results also showed an increase in losses from $4.6 million to $173 million, although most of that was due to one-off costs of $166 million.

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Wood Resources International LLC Company: Global Sawlog Prices Fell in Late 2011

Especially in Lumber Export-Oriented Countries Such as Western Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia and New Zealand
MarketWatch (press release)
March 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SEATTLE — Weakening lumber markets in Asia and Europe reduced demand for sawlogs in many countries late last year. As a result, log prices in a number of the major lumber-producing countries in the world fell during the second half of 2011, according to the market report the Wood Resource Quarterly. Sawlog prices in the 4Q/11 were down both in US dollar terms and in local currencies in most of the 20 regions covered by the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ) as compared to the previous quarter. The biggest declines occurred in Western Canada, Finland, Sweden, Russia and New Zealand, all countries that have an export-oriented sawmilling sector. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

iPad surfboard tests your gaming skills

SurferToday
March 2, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Apstik is the gadget that will drive your feet to the ultimate gaming experience. The “Surf Your App” iPad game accessory lets you control surfing, skateboarding and snowboarding video games by applying your body balance to a special board. This laminated wood platform mounted on a dense foam pad enables you to operate iPad accelerometer game apps with your body. Initially, it was designed to the “Wildcard Pro Surfing” and “Shaun White Snowboarding” apps, but it may be used in electronic games to be released in the near future.

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FSC and Beyond: LEED 2012 Buries the “Wood Wars” Hatchet

After months of controversy, the third public comment draft of LEED 2012 strengthens commitments to both FSC and local wood–while not budging on the importance of life-cycle assessment.
BuildingGreen.com
March 1, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

For years, certified wood has ignited tempers and dominated discussions of building materials in the LEED rating systems. The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is clearly ready to expand the scope of that discussion. In the LEED 2012 drafts, this readiness has been reflected in a gut renovation of the Materials & Resources section, which offers a variety of credits having to do with product transparency by rewarding life-cycle assessment and disclosure of chemicals of concern.

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Forestry

‘Lorax’ pits tree-huggers vs. clear-cutters

Kansas.com
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

From the day it was published, Dr. Seuss’ environmental parable “The Lorax” has courted controversy. A screed about consumerism, greed and its cost to the environment, this anti-clear-cutting tale prompted protests in lumber-country school districts and just last week inspired an attention-starved Fox Business News anchor to attack its “indoctrination.” That’s what you get when you write a character who says, “I speak for the trees” — Lou Dobbs speaking up for the clear-cutters.

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Local Métis question use of Crown forest

Meadow Lake Progress
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The use and division of the provincial forest was a hot topic at the local métis 32 meeting on Thursday evening. Local métis people met with a representative from the government of Saskatchewan to discuss grazing licences, forestry practices, and hunting guidelines at the Friendship Centre on Feb. 23. “It’s quite important that we get responses from groups otherwise we don’t know where these things are,” said David Stevenson, RPF renewal and strategic planning co-ordinator for the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment.

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Environmentalists lose legal fight over logging road

CBC.ca
March 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An environmental group has lost a court fight to stop forestry company Tolko from building a logging road through a northern Manitoba provincial park. The Wilderness Committee had asked a judge to clarify the rights granted to Tolko to build the Dickstone Road through Grass River Provincial Park near Flin Flon, Man. The Manitoba government banned logging in parks in 2009, but Tolko was later granted a licence to build the logging road. Construction began last year.

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Provincial help request re. contentious logging plans on Cortes Island

By Ancient Forest Allaince
Pacific Free Press
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Across the coast, activists concerned about Island Timberland’s potential logging on Cortes Island (led by Wildstands) and at McLaughlin Ridge (led by the Friends of McLaughlin Ridge), the Cathedral Grove Canyon and Cameron Valley Firebreak (led by the Wilderness Committee mid-Island chapter) near Port Alberni will also be standing in solidarity calling for Island Timberlands to hold off and for the BC government to fund the protection of these contentious private forest lands.  

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Climate change could wreak havoc on maple syrup industry

Kawartha Media Group
March 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

It has been an unseasonably warm winter this year, which is giving some cause for concern for local maple syrup producers who wonder what the warmer weather will mean for their already unpredictable industry. …There is currently a debate as to whether forestry experts should be stepping in and taking action in the form of something like an assisted migration, moving trees to a more northern climate to protect them in a careful and controlled way, but like many other aspects of the industry, there is a lot of uncertainty.

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The Lorax Comes to Theatres, and Your Classroom!

Focus on Forests
March 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the Lorax enters theatres across the world, we want you to bring the Lorax into your classroom. This famous story about sustainable forest management is an important lesson for all students to learn! Download this FREE resource to use in your classrooms!

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National forest fees work

The U.S. Forest Service should work to change the law regarding fees in national forests to reflect the realities of modern recreational use.
Los Angeles Times
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Does a hiker go to the bathroom in the woods? It might matter, under a recent federal court ruling. The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled correctly last month that parking fees were being wrongly levied in many areas of America’s national forests. A 2004 law is quite specific that it is impermissible to charge fees for parking or for “general use” of the forests. But while the court’s ruling was perfectly in line with the law, the real problem is with the law itself. Under its provisions, if you use the bathroom while hiking in the forest, you can be charged, but not if you use nature itself as the bathroom.

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Logger deaths highlight safety concerns; contractors exempt from state guidelines

Times-Standard
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recent deaths of two loggers highlight the difference between state safety regulations for independent contractors and company employees. While companies often maintain strict safety oversight for non-employees, state laws don’t have jurisdiction over independent contractors, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations. …The California Occupational Safety and Health Program — or Cal/OSHA — a division of the California Department of Industrial Relations, sent a representative from its Redding office to the accident site but abandoned its investigation because Ruiz’s independent contractor status did not fall under the state’s jurisdiction.

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Battle forms over logging

Capital Press
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber says he supports a jobs package circulating in the Legislature that includes bills to better utilize the state’s natural resources. But at a Feb. 23 press conference Kitzhaber, a Democrat, said he did not support a Republican-backed proposal to increase logging on state forests. House Bill 4098 would increase logging on state lands from the current level of 50 to 60 percent of annual growth to 85 percent. Backers say it will add 2,000 jobs to the state, increase private sector revenue by $441 million and add $33 million to state tax revenue.

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Additional Federal Spotted Owl Critical Habitat Designation on Private Working Forests Works Against Owls and People

by Washington Forest Protection Association
PR Newswire press release
February 29, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Today, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its proposed critical habitat designation for the Northern Spotted Owl, doubling the amount of land from 6.9 million acres to nearly 14 million acres across three states (Oregon, Washington and California), and for the first time includes nearly 2 million acres of state and private working forests. …There is no need for an additional federal overlay on lands that already have conservation designations such as parks, wilderness areas, Habitat Conservation Plans, Safe Harbor Agreements, and State Forest Practices Rules. We strongly encourage the Service to finalize critical habitat by excluding all private lands, all state lands, and all Congressionally reserved natural areas, which is one of the options on their proposal.

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When Environmentalists Collaborate

CounterPunch
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Spring is in the air in Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Crocus and daffodil add a splash of late winter color. Trees are budding. Days grow longer, the sun makes a cameo appearance…and, like swallows to Capistrano, the usual suspects cadre of eco-wonks/lawyers return to Eugene and the University of Oregon for the 30th Annual Public Interest Environmental Law Conference. …The buzz this year among the professionals is “Collaboration” with the Agencies and industries in the business of cutting trees for profit under the rubric of “forest health.”

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B.C. Forest Service celebrates 100 years of excellence

You Tube Video video taken in the Rotunda of the BC Legislature featuring Steve Thomson and Larry Pedersen.
You Tube
March 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, US West, Canada West

British Columbia celebrates a truly significant milestone: the centennial birthday of the BC Forest Service. One hundred years ago today, the Province created the first government agency to preserve B.C.’s forests through forest fire prevention, use of timber management areas, tree planting and the diversification of tree-growing.

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Rival birds could be killed under spotted owl rescue plan

Reuters
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Obama administration is going forward with a plan to protect the endangered northern spotted owl that includes removing or killing rival barred owls. In its latest attempt to save the imperiled owl, the Department of the Interior plan would designate habitat considered critical in Washington, Oregon and California. It would allow logging in the areas to reduce the risk of forest fires and to create jobs.

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2nd wildfire burns in western NC national forest

Associated Press
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ROBBINSVILLE, N.C. A second wildfire in under a week has broken out in a western North Carolina national forest, but firefighters say both blazes are under control. The U.S. Forest Service says a 50-acre wildfire was discovered Wednesday in the Nantahala National Forest, four days after a much larger blaze began elsewhere in the region. The earlier fire has burned more than 725 acres.

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Gary Knight: Tree Growth Program to get updates

Lewiston Sun Journal
March 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Since the inception of the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law program 40 years ago, it has been a lightning rod of controversy, championed by some while scorned by others. Tree Growth was established to help maintain and preserve Maine’s forested lands and to provide fiber to the forest products industry. In the current session, the Legislature is considering two bills, LD 1138 and LD 1470, which have drawn much attention. Both were proposed last year and carried over.

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Man dies in logging accident in Hamilton County

The Adirondack Daily Enterprise
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AKE PLEASANT – An Edinburg man was killed Tuesday morning when he was run over by his logging truck. Jay L. Edwards, 72, was working on a site on South Shore Road around 7:40 a.m. Tuesday when his 1999 Peterbilt truck began to roll, according to Hamilton County Sheriff Karl Abrams. Edwards, who had been walking toward the back of the truck’s trailer, tried to get back into the cab but slipped.

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Aborigines want custody of Tasmanian forest reserves

The Age
March 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Aborigines are claiming a stake in Tasmania’s forest peace talks, with a proposal they be made custodians of big new native forest reserves. The local Aboriginal leader, Michael Mansell, said yesterday 430,000 hectares would be maintained by Aborigines, instead of the Parks and Wildlife Service, under his proposed handover. Transfer to the indigenous community has been pitched to the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania and the timber agency Forestry Tasmania, which have responded that any agreement would need backing from the Australian and Tasmanian governments.

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Investigation links APP to illegal logging of protected trees

Mongabay.com
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A year-long undercover investigation has found evidence of Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) companies cutting and pulping legally protected ramin trees, a practice that violates both Indonesian and international law. Found largely in Sumatra’s peatswamp forests, the logging of ramin trees (in the genus Gonystylus) has been banned in Indonesia since 2001; the trees are also listed under Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) and thus require special permits to export.

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Land deal will derail forestry peace, says Premier

ABC News, Australia
March 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania’s Premier is dismissing as a distraction the push by the Tasmanian Aborigines for ownership of proposed forest reserves. The Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre wants to manage the forests to be protected from logging under the forest peace deal and the $8 million in funding that comes with it. It has initiated talks with state-owned Forestry Tasmania to help manage the new reserves. The centre’s Michael Mansell has urged the State Government to have an open mind.

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Trees felled in desperate bid to halt disease

This is Cornwall
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A massive tree-felling operation is under way to prevent the spread of a devastating disease which has wiped out swathes of woodland across the Westcountry over the last three years. Thousands of acres of Japanese larch has had to be felled in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset to combat the spread of the fatal disease Phytophthora ramorum. Landowner Clinton Devon Estates is now racing to harvest a further 25 acres of healthy Japanese larch at Otterton Hill, near Bicton – one of East Devon’s iconic hilltop plantations – to halt its progress and save a 50-year-old crop of timber.

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Greenpeace blows whistle on APP to Indonesian authorities

eco-business.com
March 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…Greenpeace launched the report in Jakarta to a roomful of journalists by showing video footage of ramin logs and a film that documents how it collected evidence by gathering wood samples for laboratory testing. It said it has handed its findings to the Indonesian Forestry Ministry and asked them to revoke the company’s operation permit. They are also calling on all companies who source pulp and paper from APP to sever their contracts. The ministry said it plans to use the evidence for further investigation. But Greenpeace worries that if they don’t act quickly enough, APP may try to engineer a cover-up. “We hope they can start today, because it’s very easy for APP to remove the ramin from the mill,” Mr Zulfahmi told Eco-Business. The forest campaigner for Greenpeace said he had met with ministry officials on Thursday to discuss the organisation’s findings.

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Greenpeace accuses paper giant of illegal logging

Jakarta Post
March 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Environmental organization Greenpeace Indonesia has accused Sinar Mas Group-owned industry giant Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) of illegally exploiting protected trees. A year-long investigation carried out by Greenpeace’s activists on APP’s Indah Kiat Perawang mill in Riau province has identified that least 46 of 56 sample logs were allegedly from ramin trees (Gonystylus).  The logs, which were up to one meter in diameter, were found mixed in with other timber from rainforest trees at the mill last year, Greenpeace alleged.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Housing secretary agrees to Senator Collins’ request to update federal regulations regarding wood pellet boilers

Press release
Real Estate Rama
March 1, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Washington, D.C. — Under questioning today by Senator Susan Collins, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shawn Donovan agreed to update federal guidelines to classify wood pellet boilers as an “acceptable” primary heating source for the purpose of Federal Housing Authority (FHA) financing. Until now, HUD has not considered a wood pellet boiler system as a conventional, primary heating source. This has made it difficult for homeowners to receive FHA financing, and it has discouraged homeowners from considering alternatives to heating systems that rely on fossil fuels.

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Voluntary carbon offsetting using forests on the rise despite climate risks

EAEM Magazine
March 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Voluntary carbon offset schemes using forest plantations are being increasingly used by governments and states despite an increase in drought and disease affecting forests that raises concerns about their reliability. A new survey of 15 national and sub-national government agencies around the world that have incorporated voluntary climate change offsetting into their strategies shows that their use is on the increase.

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