Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 15, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Bioengineer humans to tackle climate change, say philosophers

Authors defend controversial academic paper saying their online critics have misunderstood nature of philosophical inquiry
The Guardian (blog)
March 14, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

…Liao explained how his paper – entitled, “Human Engineering and Climate Change” – explored the so-far-ignored subject of how “biomedical modifications of humans” could be used to “mitigate and/or adapt to climate change”. The modifications discussed included: giving people drugs to make them have an adverse reaction to eating meat; making humans smaller via gene imprinting and “preimplantation genetic diagnosis”; lowering birth-rates through “cognitive enhancement”; genetically engineering eyesight to work better in the dark to help reduce the need for lighting; and the “pharmacological enhancement of altruism and empathy” to engender a better “correlation” with environmental problems.

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The Closet

This You Tube video of a French commercial was sent in by Tree Frog subscriber Don Pigott of Yellow Point Propagation, Ladysmith, BC. Thanks for your contribution to Froggy Foibles Don!
Canal +
March 15, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Never underestimate the power of a great story…

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Business & Politics

Asian log buyers outbidding B.C. mills

By Tom Fletcher
Surrey Leader
March 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Forests Minister Steve Thomson plans to visit a Surrey-based forest company next week to discuss a shift in log export policy that producers say is diverting more B.C. logs to Asian buyers willing to pay up to twice as much as B.C. mills are offering. Thomson was peppered with questions in the legislature for a second day Wednesday about his ministry overruling its Timber Export Advisory Committee (TEAC) and allowing log exports despite an offer from Teal Jones Group to buy the logs for its B.C. mills. Teal Jones chief financial officer Hanif Karmally said Wednesday the company is ramping down production and shifts due to a lack of log supply. It could put another 100 to 115 people to work if it had more logs, particularly to feed its small log mill.

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Dix Presses for More Skills Training

Opinion 250 News (blog)
March 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – For Provincial New Democrat leader Adrian Dix, the government of Christy Clark has it all wrong. Speaking to students and members of the media today at the College of New Caledonia’s new Technology Centre, Dix called the BC Jobs Action plan a public relations exercise… Dix says people in the mining and forestry sectors are telling him there is a shortage of skilled labour now, and the situation is only going to get worse. Dix pointed to the proposal being developed by Canfor and the BID Group , which would turn the idled Rustad sawmill into a skills training centre.   

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Port Hawkesbury area prepares for new future

The Chronicle Herald
March 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PORT HAWKESBURY — This pulp and paper town is learning to accept a future less dependant on its mill. Pacific West Commercial Corp. is expected to only operate the newer of the two machines at the Point Tupper plant that went into receivership last fall. The new operator, which will replace NewPage Port Hawkesbury Corp., is currently locked into negotiations with the union representing the majority of the plant’s 600 workers. “We’ll be fortunate if we see 50 per cent of the workforce back at the plant, but it could be a bit lower,” Mayor Billy Joe MacLean said Tuesday.

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New Website Launched!

Source: Softwood Lumber Board
Press Release
March 13, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The Softwood Lumber Board (SLB) is please to announce the launch of its new and improved website at www.softwoodlumberboard.org. The new site offers improved functionality, content and a much stronger vehicle to communicate the activities of the SLB to its industry funders. 

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Louisiana-Pacific Appoints Curt Stevens As CEO – Quick Facts

NASDAQ
March 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Louisiana-Pacific Corp. (LPX) announced that its board has appointed Curt Stevens to succeed Rick Frost as its Chief Executive officer, effective May 4, 2012. Frost, who has served as CEO since 2004, will retire from the company on May 31, 2012. During the period from May 4 through May 31, Frost will remain with the company to aid in the transition. Stevens, 59, joined Louisiana-Pacific in 1997 and has held senior management positions throughout his career at the company. 

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Credit crunch an unusual ally in US lumber rally

Globe and Mail
March 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

U.S. lumber futures prices have soared about 30 per cent in the past five months, with bets rising 18 per cent since January with help from an odd ally – a credit crunch in the industry. Lumber distributors — who channel supplies from mills to end users — finding it difficult to raise loans to buy lumber in the cash markets are resorting to buying futures as a hedge and to possibly take delivery when a contract expires.

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Disgruntled former worker in standoff at Jay mill

Bangor Daily News
March 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

JAY, Maine — Police are involved in what appears to be an early morning standoff and hostage situation inside Verso Paper. At 9:50 a.m. officers from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and Jay police could be seen outside the mill. A dispatcher at the sheriff’s office was unable to comment. McCausland told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesay afternoon that state police tactical teams and negotiators were on the scene, but he did not disclose any other information.

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M-real Considers Selling Profitable Assets to Pay Maturing Bond

BusinessWeek
March 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

M-real Oyj (MRLAV), which has lost money in six of the past seven years, may sell profitable assets to pay off the debt that made it Finland’s worst-performing paper company last year, its chief executive officer said. … The company, which faces a one-year deadline to pay back a maturing 500 million-euro bond, could consider selling its paper and pulp mill in Husum, Sweden, the CEO said.

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Launceston Cup vs Gunns investment

ABC News Australia
March 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Political academics are claiming the actions of Tasmanian Opposition leader Will Hodgman may have been one of the reasons why an international investor pulled out of a multi-million dollar deal with timber company Gunns. The Tasmanian Opposition leader’s credibility is under attack after he admitted attending the Launceston Cup instead of meeting a high-level delegation from a foreign investment firm.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Understanding energy-focussed building codes

The Chronicle Herald
March 14, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

How energy efficient are new Canadian houses? That’s not as easy a question to answer as you might think, and something called Energuide for New Houses is both part of the solution and part of the problem. …Building code changes based on E80 performance ratings are only the beginning of rising standards government is imposing on the building industry. No one knows for sure when the next round of tighter requirements will kick in, but when they do they may drive the venerated wood frame stud wall construction methods to complete extinction. Even now, conventional 2 x 6 construction can’t meet code in some parts of Canada.

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PinkWood Ltd.: Mike Holmes Makes it Pink

SOURCE: PinkWood Ltd.
MarketWatch (press release)
March 14, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY, ALBERTA – PinkWood Ltd. is proud to announce The Holmes Group’s support of PinkWood’s family of products. Mike Holmes is lending his public appeal to endorse PinkWood’s fire, mould and moisture resistant PKI I-joists, lumber and sheathing, fire rated PK Fireboard, and Pinkshield 5000 intumescent paint. “PinkWood helps protect a home’s structure against moisture and mould,” stated Mike Holmes. “It also helps reduce the spread of flames in case of fire. That’s smart. As a builder, it makes sense to use PinkWood.”

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Students watch as wood researchers test strength of 3-ton beam

Wisconsin State Journal
March 14, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

…The 36 middle school students … came to the Forest Products Laboratory in Madison … to see the largest beam tested since 1990 and the second largest ever tested worldwide. The event … exposed students to real-world science that’s impossible to replicate even with the best smartphone app. Rammer and his team of researchers used hydraulic rams to gather strength data on a 72-foot-long, 6,000-pound beam. …“By being able to utilize wood more, we can actually enhance the restoration of our forests because we can use the wood from the forests to develop structures that we normally wouldn’t be able to,” said Jim Reaves, deputy chief of research and development for the USDA Forest Service.

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High-tech panel manufacturing coming to Columbia Falls

Hungry Horse News
March 14, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Columbia Falls could soon be home to a high-tech timber-product manufacturing plant, according to Western Building Center general manager Doug Shanks. The company hopes to have the new plant up and running by July, producing prefabricated, cross-laminated wood panels up to 11 feet wide and 40 feet long. The panels will be pre-cut to match architectural drawings so they can be quickly assembled at a job site for residential or commercial buildings. An example of this advanced wood-processing industry is the two-story Sawbuck Do Jang martial arts studio completed in Whitefish last year. Panels for that project arrived in shipping containers from Europe and were pre-cut and pre-assembled at the industrial park north of Columbia Falls.

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Campaign to save Thai’s teak houses

Yahoo!7 News
March 15, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A century ago Phrae was known as Thailand’s teak capital, having drawn half a dozen European timber companies to log the North’s then abundant teak reserves to ship abroad for use in steamers, train compartments and as a floor veneer. Not much is left of Thailand’s natural teak forests today – in 1991 there were only an estimated 25,000 square kilometres of the tropical hardwood remaining – but in Phrae city, efforts are underway to at least preserve the country’s best collection of teak houses… “According to our latest survey there are about 100 old teak wood houses remaining in the city.

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Wooden furniture has great export potential: Irfan

Business Recorder
March 15, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

LAHORE: The Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry Thursday urged the government to promote research and development for creative designing as Pakistani wooden furniture has a great export potential. LCCI President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh while speaking here at the inaugural ceremony of Khashab Furniture and Interiors said that despite the massive influx of inexpensive Chinese furniture in the markets, Pakistani furniture was popular with masses for its customary designs, durability and quality.

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Georgia-Pacific, Dairyman’s Supply Company to Continue Engineered Wood Products Relationship

SOURCE: Georgia-Pacific
MarketWatch (press release)
March 14, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

ATLANTA — Georgia-Pacific Wood Products and Dairyman’s Supply Company have announced they will continue their manufacturer-distributor relationship for engineered wood products. Under the agreement, Dairyman’s will continue to supply dealers with a complete line of Georgia-Pacific engineered wood products, including Wood I Beam(TM) joists, GP Lam® laminated veneer lumber (LVL), Fiberstrong® rim board and laminated beams. Previously, Dairyman’s had distributed Georgia-Pacific’s line of Broadspan® engineered wood products, a line that was discontinued on February 13.

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Forestry

The History of Forestry in North America

About.com
March 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States
The beginning of the 20th Century gave rise to a new environmental awareness of woodlands in the United States, especially fueled by concerns of forest and timber depletion. The profession of forestry in North America was born in an attempt to address the problem in the late 1800s and eventually students were taught and granted degrees in forestry by most major universities. Before 1900, wildfire consumed 20 million acres annually, the volume of timber cut vastly exceeded that of forest growth, there were no reforestation programs, only the best part of the tree was used and large volumes of wood were left in the woods and massive clearing of timberland continued to gain land for agriculture. A campaign to protect and manage the remaining forests of North America ensued and trained foresters were hired by private and government forest owners to manage their vast tracts of timber.

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Northern BC to lead province in economic growth: report

Montreal Gazette
March 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Looking for a future? Or at least a decent job? Buy a parka and a thick pair of mittens and head north.  That’s the word from Central 1 Credit Union, which said Wednesday that northern B.C. will enjoy the province’s strongest economic growth both this year and next.  “We’re in the beginning of a transition phase in northern B.C. and central B.C.,” Central 1 chief economist Helmut Pastrick said of the company’s report, entitled Economic Analysis of B.C. …Pastrick said lumber prices should rise with a recovering U.S. housing industry and there will be a growing demand for natural gas, although prices could face downward pressure due to the growing supply in the U.S.

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News briefs: Local builders bid on controversial cutblock

Sale to Continental Pole not yet finalized
Whistler Question
March 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A local log-home builder has won a bid for a controversial B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) cutblock located on the Sunshine Coast, though it’s unclear if the company submitted a deposit in time to secure it… The cutblock has caused a stir in the Sunshine Coast region as some area residents have expressed concern over the proximity of the 40-hectare patch to another area four times the size that was clear-cut for property development a few years ago. The Sunshine Coast Regional District board requested a halt on the sale of the cutblock last year. Another local group called Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) has called for Elphinstone Provincial Park to be expanded to include the area where the cutblock is located. BCTS opted to go ahead with the sale despite those requests.

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B.C. raw log exports double as local mills go without

NDP says government ignoring advice of its own advisory committee
Canadian Press
March 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — B.C.’s Opposition New Democrats say the governing Liberals are shipping raw logs out of the province even while local mills are scrambling for timber. NDP Leader Adrian Dix says Forestry Minister Steve Thomson allowed raw log exports to increase, even though a government advisory committee decreed they should be sold locally. Thomson says the logs were approved for export due to cost issues associated with the potential local buyer.

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Exports to China a necessary – and lucrative – part of B.C.’s logging equation

Globe and Mail
March 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

“The log export policy is a policy that provides for jobs in British Columbia … it’s very clear that these log exports are a necessary part of the overall equation,” Forests Minister Steve Thomson said this week in the legislature. British Columbia sent softwood lumber worth nearly $1.1-billion to China last year, reflecting an increase of 60 per cent over 2010 and a hike of more than 1,500 per cent over the past decade. Around one-third of the province’s exports of softwood lumber went to China.

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Save the American West [Blowback]

Opinion L.A.
Los Angeles Times
March 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recent opinion article decrying public lands, “Free the American West,” by Robert H. Nelson, is out of touch with the current Western economy. Much has changed since Nelson’s days at the Department of Interior in the 1970s… Safeguarding and highlighting the quality of life offered by these special pieces of America’s natural heritage draw new residents, tourists and businesses. Together the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service see an average of 591 million visitors every year — visitors who stimulate local economies and support jobs. Visitors aren’t coming to see mines, oil and gas wells, and clear-cut forests, the activities for which Nelson says these lands should be “freed up.”

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Logging bill fails to see forest through the trees

Guest viewpoint – by Steve Holmes
The Register-Guard
March 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Three of our Oregon congressmen are proposing a bill to place the majority of federal Bureau of Land Management public lands in Western Oregon in a trust controlled by timber companies and rural politicians… One myth is that logging on O&C lands once again can sustain the level of revenue to counties that it provided in the last century, when the old growth was logged off. Another myth is that the public’s say in management of public lands should be limited severely. Yet another is that environmental protection has to be compromised so Oregon counties don’t go bankrupt… Timber payments would have decreased dramatically regardless as the very last of the old trees were shipped to the mills.

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‘Naive’ trees suffer as pine beetles thrive in warming climate

Discovery of pine beetles breeding twice in a year helps explain increasing damage, CU researchers say
Summit Daily News
March 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Long thought to produce only one generation of tree-killing offspring annually, some populations of mountain pine beetles now produce two generations per year, dramatically increasing the potential for the bugs to kill lodgepole and ponderosa pine trees, University of Colorado Boulder researchers have found. Because of the extra annual generation of beetles, there could be up to 60 times as many beetles attacking trees in any given year, their study found. And in response to warmer temperatures at high elevations, pine beetles also are better able to survive and attack trees that haven’t previously developed defenses.

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Treasurer seeks to remove Georgetown property from tree tax law

Lewiston Sun Journal
March 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

AUGUSTA — As state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin ramps up his campaign for the U.S. Senate, the state treasurer is attempting to tidy some unfinished business at his waterfront property in Georgetown. Poliquin this week applied with the Georgetown Board of Selectmen to withdraw his land from the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law program, following claims that he’d misused the abatement law as a tax shelter. Poliquin will attempt to transfer about 10 acres of his property into the state’s Open Space program. 

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Possum activists lose logging fight

Australia
The Age
March 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

ENVIRONMENTALISTS have lost a Supreme Court battle to stop logging in part of Victoria’s central highlands, which they argue threatens the habitat of the state’s faunal emblem, the endangered Leadbeater’s possum. But Supreme Court Justice Robert Osborn also said there was strong evidence for an urgent review of protection for Leadbeater’s habitat after the region was ravaged by the Black Saturday fires. In his decision yesterday, Justice Osborn dismissed conservationists’ arguments that three logging coupes near Toolangi breached protection conditions under state environment laws

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Forestry ‘not feeling the love’ from peace deal

ABC Online
March 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forestry Tasmania says it’s had a “gutful” of baseless allegations from the Tasmanian Greens and warned them to prepare for a vigorous public defence. The organisation is rejecting claims made by Greens MP Kim Booth that it had lost a Chinese contract to supply ‘mini peeler’ logs. Mr Booth said it was another example of Forestry Tasmania misleading the community, by announcing a new market for a product which does not exist. The Minister Bryan Green told parliament, Forestry’s contracts are commercial in confidence.

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Businesses seek clarification on Forestry Law

Jakarta Post
March 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The business community has called on the government to issue a clarification on the implications of the Constitutional Court’s recent decision to change an article in the Forestry Law at the request of local governments from several regencies in Kalimantan. The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin)’s deputy chairman for plantations, Rudyan Kopot, said in Jakarta on Wednesday that the change in the law had caused confusion and uncertainty regarding plantation and mining companies’ ownership of forest areas. “The Forestry Ministry should, in this case, make a clarification to ensure certainty of the status of the land currently owned by plantation and mining companies or individuals,” he said, adding that if there was no clarification, the government could unilaterally take the areas and declare them as permanent forests.

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Forest peace deal on hold

ABC News, Australia
March 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government has confirmed the uncertainty surrounding Gunns’ proposed Tamar Valley pulp mill has put the forest peace talks on hold for the time being. The Deputy Premier Bryan Green says some signatories from the timber industry are reconsidering their involvement in the talks after the Richard Chandler Corporation pulled out of a deal to invest $150 million in Gunns. The participants were expected to meet earlier this week to begin talks on a report into the independent assessment of the conservation value of 572,000 hectares of public native forest.

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Forestry firm fined £15k over worker’s death

Place North West
March 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A countryside management firm has been sentenced over the death of a father-of-four in Barrow-in-Furness, who was struck by a piece of metal that flew off a strimmer at high speed.
Tony Robinson, 37, from Ulverston, died after a link from a chain, spinning at around 300 miles-an-hour on a petrol strimmer, became detached and struck him on the back of the neck, causing fatal injuries at Ramsden Dock in Barrow on 8 February 2010.

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Greens’ concerns over timber job

ABC News Australia
March 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Greens have questioned whether there is a conflict of interest in appointing a former boss of Forestry Tasmania to the hierarchy of Ta Ann Tasmania. The timber company has announced it has hired Evan Rolley as its executive director, who will assist the company with product development and marketing. The Greens Deputy leader Tim Morris is not convinced it is a healthy appointment.

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Pine forests threatened by the invasion of giant moths

Scotman
March 13, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SCOTLAND’s woodlands are at risk from a giant Russian moth whose caterpillars can cause large-scale damage to pine forests over thousands of acres, Forestry Commission officials have warned. Forestry Commission Scotland is attempting to halt the spread of a localised population of the insect, the pine-tree lappet moth. The caterpillars of the moth – Latin name Dendrolimus Pini – grow to more than three inches long, and can leave large areas of pine woodland stripped of foliage as they feed voraciously on the needles.

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Andrew Steer to head World Resources Institute

Environmental Finance
March 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has named Andrew Steer, currently the World Bank’s special climate change envoy, as its new president. “Andrew is a dynamic and gifted leader, with a deep knowledge of sustainability issues and on-the-ground experience in the world’s most rapidly developing economies. As these issues become more urgent, Andrew is ideally suited to lead WRI in achieving its mission,” said James Harmon, chairman of the Washington, DC-based environmental think-tank’s board of directors.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

State study sees more wood fuel in WA forests

The Seattle Times
March 14, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A state Department of Natural Resources study has concluded that 3 million tons of logging waste a year – double the amount that’s currently extracted – can be removed from Washington forests for biomass fuel production without harming forest health.  Port Angeles logger Bill Hermann joined DNR Commissioner Peter Goldmark in a video conference Tuesday announcing the release of the 183-page report. He told the Peninsula Daily News that landowners can make better use of leftover tree tops and branches without an increase in logging.

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How a biomass plant works and details of the Gypsum plan

Eagle Valley Enterprise
March 14, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

On Tuesday, Gypsum Town Council approved annexation, zoning and other agreements that prepare the way for a biomass power plant to be built next to the American Gypsum plant north of U.S. Highway 6. Eagle Valley Clean Energy LLC is the entity behind the plan. EVCE includes some Eagle County residents and Dean Rostrom, who has been the primary spokesperson for the group, which is based in Provo, Utah… Biomass plants are most prevalent along the Pacific coast and, assuming it is built, Gypsum’s will be the first commercial grade biomass power plant of its kind in Colorado. In terms of its carbon footprint, Rostrom said a biomass plant is considered carbon neutral because its fuel regrows as opposed to being mined like coal.

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World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund launch a report on AR CDM experience

The World Bank
March 8, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The World Bank yesterday launched a new report by the BioCarbon Fund entitled “The BioCarbon Fund Experience: Insights from Afforestation / Reforestation Clean Development Mechanism Projects”. The objective of the report is to inform project developers and policy-makers of the main lessons learned by the BioCarbon Fund as it has supported over 20 A/R CDM forest projects in 16 countries since its inception in 2004. It sheds light on opportunities the CDM offers to the forestry sector but also challenges encountered by project developers when complying with the regulatory requirements.

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Biofuels and climate: a simple but troubling view

Energy Collective
March 15, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

If biofuels benefit the climate, it’s not when they’re burned; those CO2 emissions are the same as from the fossil fuels they replace. Any potential benefit is due to the CO2 uptake when plants are grown. Society should maximize that uptake and, once carbon is absorbed, do everything possible to keep it from getting back into the air. This almost certainly means not burning biofuels.  

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General

Proposal to release roadless, wilderness study areas gains backers, opponents

Billings Gazette
March 15, 2012
Category: Uncategorised
Region: United States, US West

A proposed bill to release federal roadless and wilderness study areas to local management and development is gathering lengthy lists of supporters and opponents, even though it’s stalled in Congress. “The federal government has locked up 43 million acres of federal land in so-called Wilderness Study Areas and Inventoried Roadless Areas, which the government decided weren’t suitable for wilderness,” Rehberg said of the bill …. “This land is still treated like wilderness, which not only restricts public access but limits our ability to manage the land to keep forests healthy for wildlife. Loosening restrictions on some of this land not only opens the land for public use and enjoyment, but improves the habitat for deer, elk and fish.”

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