Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 7, 2012

Business & Politics

Special Meeting at CNC Friday

Opinion 250 News
March 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- Several post secondary institutions have been called to a special meeting at the College of New Caledonia this Friday to talk about a plan for a new Trades Training Centre. The idea comes from Canfor and the BID group of companies, which calls for the former Rustad Sawmill to be turned into a trades training centre. The hope is to train northern students for the pending boom that will call for a variety of trades people.

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Trades school proposal taken to city council

Prince George Citizen
March 7, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The rush is on to convert Canfor’s now-closed Rustad sawmill into a trades training school. With the need for skilled labour growing at an unprecedented pace, the proposal’s private sector proponents hope to see the first students take courses at the facility in slightly less than a year, city council members were told Monday night. Council responded by agreeing to provide a letter of support in the quest to convince the provincial government to provide $10 million – a matching contribution equal to the value of the land and buildings at the site.

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MLA seeks aid for Catalyst Paper Company

Scott Fraser says province should step in before it’s too late to save Alberni jobs
Alberni Valley Times
March 7, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberni-Pacific Rim MLA Scott Fraser is insisting the provincial government take action to help secure the future of Catalyst Paper, and the more than 300 jobs the company holds in Port Alberni. In January, Catalyst Paper Corporation officials announced the company had filed for creditor protection. The terms and conditions of the restructuring plan have not yet been determined. Lyn Brown, spokesperson for Catalyst, did not return calls for an update on the company’s situation Tuesday.

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Employees battle blaze at Decker Lake Forest Products

Burns Lake Lakes District News
March 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

At approximately 7:22 a.m. this morning the Burns Lake Fire and Rescue department and the Burns Lake RCMP were called to a structure fire at the Decker Lake Forest Products sawmill. The B.C. Ambulance Service, BC Hydro and Pacific Northern Gas also attended the scene. The blaze reportedly started in a portion of the planer mill.

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Snuneymuxw will launch court action against city, Harmac

First Nation chief unhappy with ‘broken promise’ concerning water-sharing agreement
Nanaimo Daily News
March 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Snuneymuxw First Nation is taking court action against the City of Nanaimo and the Harmac pulp mill, after city officials announced the band would have no veto power over a new water-sharing agreement. Snuneymuxw Chief Doug White claimed in early February that Harmac (Nanaimo Forest Products) has been infringing on the First Nations’ water rights for years, and that he was concerned a new water-sharing agreement would be struck without the involvement or consent of the band.

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Retired mill workers address pension concerns

Western Star
March 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

CORNER?BROOK — A group of retired unionized workers from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is trying to get some answers about possible changes to their pension plan. Gerald Parsons is the spokesperson for the group of 12, which formed about two weeks ago, and represents all unions at the mill. “Ninety-five per cent of them are past presidents,” said Parsons of the group’s members. “So you’ve got people there that know what the pension plan is all about.”

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News advisory – Maritime Paper workers poised to strike

Canada News Wire press release
March 7, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX – CEP members at Local 1520 in Dartmouth, N.S., are poised to become the latest victims of labour unrest in the Halifax area. The 100 workers at Maritime Paper will go on strike this Friday, March 9th, unless the employer backs down on its concession demands. The members, who have been in a legal strike position since Feb. 18th, voted yesterday in favor of strike action by an overwhelming majority of 90%. 

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Credit union sues wood product companies

The Chronicle Herald
March 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Credit Union Atlantic Ltd. is suing two Nova Scotia wood product companies and some of their principals for $405,055. In documents filed in Nova Scotia Supreme Court on Monday, the credit union alleged that Future Pallets Inc. of Stewiacke, company director and secretary Errol Sheldon MacDonald of Stewiacke and company director and vice-president Ernest Paul Snow of Stewiacke owe it a total of $219,372. The credit union alleged that Future Pallets owes it $95,026 in line of credit and instalment loan debt, dating from 2010 to 2011.

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NW Timber Exports After Japan Quake Slower Than Expected

KUOW NPR
March 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA, Wash. – When a massive earthquake destroyed San Francisco in 1906, timber mills in the Northwest went into high gear. They supplied the wood needed to rebuild. Last year, many in the timber industry predicted the Tohoku quake in Japan would cause a jump in northwest lumber exports. But those predictions haven’t come true. The recovery after the 3/11 quake is slower than expected. The Tohoku region in Japan has faced many setbacks in the recovery. As if the magnitude 9.0 earthquake and 100-foot tsunami waves weren’t enough, the Fukushima nuclear disaster still hasn’t been resolved. The construction industry has had its own challenges. Chugoku Lumber Company is one of the biggest importers of Northwest wood in Japan. Manager, Katsuaki Yuyama, says his company is still recovering from the tsunami.

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Optimism for Oregon timber

Natural Resource Report
March 7, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

All indicators are moving in a positive direction this month, including the seemingly negative unsold inventory. The four-year trends of lumber, logs, housing, and mortgage statistics are shown below. …Unsold inventory in Portland now waits an additional 1.7 months to liquidate, still an improvement over the last 5 years. According to RMLS, closed sales are up and new listings are down, combining to make the smallest December to January gain in unsold inventory in 5 years.

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CEO: No ‘veto’ power for Appleton union

United Steelworkers cannot prohibit deal that will cut 330 jobs.
Dayton Daily News
March 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, Canada, United States

The United Steelworkers can’t “veto” a paper-supply agreement between Appleton and Domtar, a pact that will allow Appleton to cut 330 jobs from its West Carrollton mill, Appleton executives told industry analysts in a conference call Tuesday. “They do not have union veto power,” Mark Richards, Appleton chairman, president and chief executive, said in the call. The agreement announced late last month would have Montreal-based Domtar supply Appleton with base paper for 15 years, allowing Appleton to shut down paper-making operations at its 1030 W. Alex Bell Road plant.

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Cloquet mill turns page on paper, shifts to textiles

Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal
March 6, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Sappi Fine Paper is spending $170 million to convert its paper-pulp mill in Cloquet, Minn., to serve the overseas textile industry. For decades, the mill has delivered paper pulp to paper mills, but there’s lower demand for paper as the market for chemical cellulose is booming, the Duluth News Tribune reported. That material is used in products like rayon and baby wipes.
END

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Occupy USGBC? Maybe It’s Time

Woodworking Network
March 6, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

I know I am a little late on covering this topic, but after reading many articles bashing the Maine Governor’s decision to ban LEED projects in state buildings I had to interject. Governor Paul Lepage issued an Executive Order on December 8th, 2011 to ban the use of LEED green building standards in State buildings. …The Governor banned LEED, which is a rating system dreamed up by the U.S Green Building Council (USGBC). The USGBC states that in order to receive LEED points on a project, wood products must be FSC certified. So what the Governor did has finally brought national attention to the scheme that the USGBC and FSC have been running.  The FSC has done some excellent marketing and gotten their labels on projects all over the world at a cool cost of around $5,000 per certified FSC manufacturer.

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Church design wins award

The Augusta Chronicle
March 6, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The innovative design of an Evans church, built primarily out of wood, has garnered an award for a local architectural firm. The Sanctuary, a nondenominational church in Evans, was built with wood rafters, siding and finishes. But it was what was behind the walls that WoodWorks, an initiative of the Wood Products Council, recognized when it presented Hughes, Beattie, O’Neal, Law Architects/Planners with the Wood Behind the Walls award last week in Atlanta.

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Western Red Cedar Stars in Independence Hall Makeover

Building-Products.com
March 6, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

As workmen put the finishing touches on a 14-week restoration of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, western red cedar is leaving its mark at the site of the signing of the Declaration of Independence….For the cedar roofing, however, Bradco and Capital had to call on British Columbia to find older-growth trees with sufficient density. “Western red cedar was chosen for its durability and beauty,” explained Curtis Walker, of B.C.-based Waldun Group. “The existing roof was cedar, and we had to match it with high quality cedar roofing. The old roof was still in great shape after 30 years, but because the extensive scaffolding was up, it made sense to re-roof.”

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Glulam design “too expensive” for Queen’s Jubilee concert stage set

Timber Trades Journal
March 5, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The glulam beam design for the Queen’s Jubilee concert stage looks set to be ditched in favour of steel because of the massive additional cost of producing extra-wide sections to accommodate lighting and other equipment. Architect Mark Fisher, who has designed the stage set, told TTJ he liked the aesthetics of glulam but the extra cost of bespoke beams meant wood-clad steel ladder trusses were now in the frame. However, he said the project was still in the design stage and glulam could still be used – but only if suppliers could work within the budget constraints.

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Now that’s how to enjoy the high life: The luxury tree houses that sell for £250,000.

Daily Mail
March 6, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Even for those already living the highlife, owning one of these luxury tree houses would be a real tree-t. At £250,000 each, these fairytale treetop palaces are the latest in a global trend for bespoke garden living, claims their English designer. They include a James Bond style safe-house with CCTV and biometric security systems, fairytale castles and forest-getaways for home county executives.

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Forestry

Community forest the solution in Salmo

Letter by Jim Dorey
Nelson Star
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There is a battle going on the Russian Hill on Airport Road in Salmo. Halfway Creek supplies nine families with water through a water box. The descendants of the Doukhobor settlers deserve better. They reclaimed almost all of the farmland in the Salmo Valley. The headwaters of Halfway Creek are scheduled for clearcut logging starting in 2012. The forest is old growth cedar and spruce. This moist forest environment has fed this water supply for decades. With annual variability it may take a decade to dry up.

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You want my support?

Letter by Philip Stone
Campbell River Mirror
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As a socially compassionate individual I want very much to support the current BC Teachers Federation job action. Unfortunately I find it difficult to do so due to the activities of their pension fund. As I understand it, the BC teachers pension fund is a major shareholder of TimberWest. This is a company notorious for breaking the social contract, closing mills, mothballing communities and squeezing contractors to bankruptcy. To say nothing of their logging practices: clearcutting to the very edge of our oldest provincial park and decimating old-growth on their private lands.

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Ministers could learn from Dr. Seuss

Williams Lake Tribune
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Friday night GDs #5,6, and 7 and I went to see The Lorax, a movie based on the Dr. Seuss story written 40 years ago.  The Lorax speaks for the trees, but couldn’t stop the Once’ler from doing a total clearcut. …The Lorax story is timely because more and more groups and individuals are worrying about maintaining our trees. …However, Minister Pat Bell (jobs, tourism, and innovation) is bragging that the value of B.C.’s softwood lumber exports to China surpassed the $1 billion mark, that lumber exports have risen by more than 1,500 per cent since 2006, and exports to China have already surpassed the province’s goals.

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The “North Vancouver Tree Massacre”

Macleans.ca
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

People in B.C.’s Lower Mainland take their trees seriously. When officials prepared to cut down a single hollow stump in Stanley Park a few years ago, residents raised $100,000 to reinforce it with metal. That arboreal obsession also explains the latest outrage to grip the city: someone took a chainsaw to a swath of trees in a wealthy mountainside enclave of North Vancouver because, it seems, the cedars were obstructing their view of the ocean. …That punishment may turn out to be nothing compared to the wrath of Vancouverites. In a region where homeowners are barred from removing trees from their own property, let alone public parks, those who engage in arboricide typically endure harsh public humiliation.

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WILDFIRES: Aerial firefighting fleet insufficient, chief says

Press-Enterprise
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — With another potentially devastating wildfire season on the horizon, U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell told Congress on Tuesday that his agency’s diminished and aging fleet of firefighting air tankers is insufficient to combat the nation’s increasingly severe blazes.  Air tankers are a central component of the Forest Service’s firefighting operations, particularly in Inland Southern California, where communities like Lake Arrowhead, Idyllwild and Big Bear are surrounded by rugged terrain and are accessible by only a few roads. But the number of air tankers at the agency’s disposal has fallen from 43 to11 in the last 12 years as airworthiness issues grounded many of the decades-old aircraft

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Former Helenan to take helm of national Wilderness Society

Billings Gazette
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA — Jamie Williams, a former Helena resident, has been tapped to lead The Wilderness Society as the national organization’s new president. Williams was state director for The Nature Conservancy in Montana from 1998 until 2007, when he and his wife moved to Colorado. Williams then was promoted to that organization’s director of landscape conservation for North America, where he led the effort to protect large landscapes, primarily in the western United States. He’s best known in Montana for his work in the Blackfoot and Swan river valleys, where Williams helped with the Crown of the Continent project. That work involved a $500 million deal with Plum Creek Timber to purchase about 300,000 acres.

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Cleaning up the forest in Kingwood

Houston Chronicle
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Residents of the “Livable Forest” are working to remove thousands of dead trees in the community from last year’s drought. The Kingwood Service Association, a nonprofit group that oversees the civic and social welfare of the Kingwood area, has made tree removal a high priority for 2012. Ethel McCormick, manager of the nonprofit corporation that oversees the civic and social welfare of the Kingwood area, said the goal will not be met soon. “We’re in the mode of removing trees, and we will be for quite some time,” she said.

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US Forest Service scheduled prescribed burn

WRAL.com
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

PISGAH FOREST, N.C. — The U.S. Forest Service plans to implement a 1,200-acre prescribed burn in the Pisgah National Forest to reduce the amount of woody debris. A statement from the forest service says the prescribed burn is scheduled for either Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on weather conditions. The burn is set to take place in the Bearpen Mountain area of the Pisgah Ranger District,

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In forests, past disturbances obscure warming impacts

(author unknown)
March 5, 2012
Category: Forestry, Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Past disturbances, such as logging, can obscure the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. So reports a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper, exploring nitrogen dynamics, found that untangling climate impacts from other factors can be difficult, even when scientists have access to decades of data on a forest’s environmental conditions. Co-author Dr. Gene E. Likens of the Cary Institute comments, “Understanding how climate change is shaping forests is critical. Our paper underscores the complexity of forest ecosystems, the legacy left by disturbance, and the difficulty in isolating climate impacts from the legacies of past disturbances.”

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Bill to overhaul Maine land use oversight advances

Bangor Daily News
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA, Maine — A proposal to overhaul the agency that regulates development in the nearly 10 million-acre region of Maine known as the Unorganized Territory is heading for votes by the full Legislature. A vote Thursday by the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee to send the bill to the House and Senate comes after nearly a year of deliberation, study and negotiation that was prompted by a bill to abolish the Land Use Regulation Commission.

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New forest law may doom South American jewel

New Scientist
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BRAZIL’S farmers are a force to be reckoned with. Rightly so. For good or ill, they are the first people in the world to master prairie-style agriculture in the tropics. They have made their country a leading exporter of soya, beef, chicken, sugar, tobacco, bio-ethanol and orange juice. So when they come up against environmentalists we can expect fireworks. That is why the debate in Brazil over a proposed reform of its prime conservation legislation, the Forest Code, has proved so fraught. And why a deal on the code, likely to be signed off by the Brazilian House of Representatives this week and sent to President Dilma Rousseff for final approval, is so important.

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Kenya needs six billion trees

The Star
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

After we have destroyed a forest, how do we replant it? More than 100 scientists and citizen foresters dug into this and other concerns — like how much forest cover does Kenya really have — at a conference sponsored by Total at the end of February. The meeting at Brackenhurst in Limuru also highlighted success stories such as Unliver’s environmental rescue of its Kericho estate. “By 2000 we had an emergency of invasive weeds and droughts, frosts and floods of unprecedented severity and frequency,” said Gabriel Tuei, Unilever Kenya’s head of tea research and development. “Our rivers, which generate 90 per cent of our electricity, were getting diminished.” “Tea estates are green deserts – just tea and eucalyptus,” said Tuei. “We had to grow our water and restore biodiversity to be sustainable.”

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Australian PM rejects logging bill threatens Indonesia relations

Radio Australia News
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Australian Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, has brushed off suggestions the government’s bill to stop illegal logging could permanently damage Australia’s relationship with Indonesia. Draft legislation aims to fine and or imprison importers who source illegally-logged timber. Indonesia has raised concerns that the legislation could destabilise its forestry industry.

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Tasmania grapples with forest destruction and job losses

Asian Correspondent
March 7, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania is grappling with the paradox of saving its environment in the face of massive job losses. While Green activists are fighting for the protection of old growth forests, thousands of forestry-related jobs have to go. The ABC reported the state is projected to lose about $1.4 billion dollar from its wood industry while thousands of people have been thrown out of job. For a small state such as Tasmania, livelihood depends on forestry, agriculture and mining. Tasmania is the sixth and smallest state in Australia, an archipelago of more than 300 islands, 240 kilometres (150 miles) south-east of the mainland.

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Cone prank a risk to trees’ health

Malbrorough Express
March 7, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

When arborist David James read a Marlborough Express article about the spate of coning around Kaikoura, in particular on the Norfolk pines along the Esplanade, he decided to offer his assistance. Based in Blenheim, Mr James is one of the main tree contractors for the Marlborough District Council. “It’s sad to see this happening,” he said. “I am keen to see trees how they are meant to look, not with cones on the top.” But the look of the cones is not the only thing that upsets Mr James. The damage being done to each tree as a result of the coning is a concern and could dramatically alter the look of the row of trees along the Esplanade, a feature of the town for the past century.

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Libs attack Greens ‘propaganda’ in schools

ABC News Australia
March 7, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Education Department is investigating claims material criticising the timber company Ta Ann have been distributed in some Hobart high schools and colleges. The Opposition’s Education spokesman Michael Ferguson told parliament yesterday the postcards carrying the Greens’ logo had been found at the Polytechnic, Hobart and Elizabeth Colleges and Ogilvie High School.

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Scientists’ open letter to Oakeshott: Burning forests for energy will make climate change worse

March 7, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Dear Mr Oakeshott, – Your decision to support incentives for native forest-burning power stations has alarming ramifications for communities and natural ecosystems across Australia. These include:
• The likelihood that carbon emissions will increase. In many circumstances, forest biomass emits more greenhouse gases than fossil fuels per unit of energy produced. Australia’s current accounting rules also mean most logging emissions are not accounted for, hiding real emissions.

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Logging bill ‘won’t hurt’ Indo relations

BigPond News
March 6, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Plans to stamp out the importation of illegally-logged timber will not damage Australia’s relationship with Indonesia, the federal government says. Draft legislation aims to slap fines and or imprisonment on importers who source illegally-logged timber. Indonesia’s Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan reportedly has blasted the government over its lack of consultation and is frustrated by Canberra’s “dysfunction”. Jakarta is worried the plan would threaten Indonesia’s $5 billion export forestry industry, The Australian Financial Review said on Tuesday.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Nanotrees harvest the sun’s energy to turn water into hydrogen fuel

Nanowerk LLC
March 7, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

University of California, San Diego electrical engineers are building a forest of tiny nanowire trees in order to cleanly capture solar energy without using fossil fuels and harvest it for hydrogen fuel generation. Reporting in the journal Nanoscale (“3D branched nanowire heterojunction photoelectrodes for high-efficiency solar water splitting and H2 generation”), the team said nanowires, which are made from abundant natural materials like silicon and zinc oxide, also offer a cheap way to deliver hydrogen fuel on a mass scale. “This is a clean way to generate clean fuel,” said Deli Wang, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering.

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Lyonsdale now heating town garage with scrap wood

WatertownDailyTimes.com
March 6, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

PORT LEYDEN — Lyonsdale town officials are expected significant cost savings by heating their highway garage with scrap wood instead of heating oil. “We’re literally heating the garage with garbage,” said Matthew J. Farr, the town’s highway superintendent.

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Wood chips take acid bath en route to biochemicals

Virdia raises funds to test making sugar from wood chips
CNET (blog)
March 6, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Startup Virdia is joining hundreds of biotech companies trying to make low-cost sugar to replace oil and food crops. …Founded in 2007, Virdia uses acid hydrolysis to separate the sugar from the cellulose in wood chips. Once it has done so, the company intends to sell the resulting sugar into the existing “commodity carbohydrate markets” for nutrients, chemicals, plastics, and biofuel, said CEO Philippe Lavielle.

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Virdia Moves Into Mississippi To Turn Wood Chips Into Sugars

Forbes
March 6, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Sugar can be a sweet investment. We are not talking the stuff that coats donuts but compounds that get fermented into car fuels, nutritional additives or even plastic. The rise of the biofuel industry has boosted research in sugar production and in particular the processes of converting plants into fermentable sugars. A California startup called Virdia said Tuesday it’s getting ready to jump into the market after raising a new round of venture capital and lining up an incentive package from Mississippi.

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Montville pushes for biomass generation projects

TheDay.com
March 6, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Montville – Mayor Ronald K. McDaniel Jr. has asked the state authority that regulates energy to require Northeast Utilities and NSTAR to seek new biomass generation projects as a condition of a proposed merger of the two utility companies. McDaniel, in comments that he made to the state’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, said that a plan to convert one of Montville Power LLC’s generation units into a biomass system is vital for the town.

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In forests, past disturbances obscure warming impacts

(author unknown)
March 5, 2012
Category: Forestry, Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Past disturbances, such as logging, can obscure the effects of climate change on forest ecosystems. So reports a study just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper, exploring nitrogen dynamics, found that untangling climate impacts from other factors can be difficult, even when scientists have access to decades of data on a forest’s environmental conditions. Co-author Dr. Gene E. Likens of the Cary Institute comments, “Understanding how climate change is shaping forests is critical. Our paper underscores the complexity of forest ecosystems, the legacy left by disturbance, and the difficulty in isolating climate impacts from the legacies of past disturbances.”

Read More