Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 22, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Mild winter weather will get bugs buzzing sooner

CBC News
March 21, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

‘If you cue on temperature and we get a couple of freakishly warm days, you come out, start your life, and then get hammered when it gets cold again.”

Stephen Heard, professor of environmental ecology
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Google brings Brazil’s Amazon forest to Street View

Imagine hiking through the Amazon looking for monkeys and tropical birds from thousands of miles away. Now users can do this using Google Maps’ Street View feature.
CNET
March 21, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles

Most people don’t ever get the chance to float down the Amazon River or walk through the surrounding forest and visit local communities. And for those who do, many parts of the area can’t be visited because they are under the Brazilian government’s protection with restricted public access. Now, Google is making it possible for armchair explorers to experience the Amazon through its Google Maps’ Street View feature. The Web giant announced today, on World Forest Day, that all of the images it has collected over the past several months of the Amazon’s Rio Negro Reserve are now available.

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Business & Politics

Harper off to Asia to talk trade

Hopes to turn Thailand into springboard for expanded relations with ASEAN group.
Montreal Gazette
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

A month after engaging in some high-profile panda diplomacy in China, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is heading back to Asia, this time to talk trade with Thailand, Japan and, to a lesser degree, South Korea.  The visit will seek to highlight Canada’s desire to engage not just China and India, which have figured prominently on the Conservative government’s agenda, but the entirety of this dynamic and fast-emerging region. …In return, says John Casella, head of the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce, Thailand is looking to build on a recent $2.3-billion investment by the country’s state-run oil firm into Alberta’s oilsands and facilitate the movement of other resources like lumber from Canada to feed its growing economic engine.

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Fibrek reiterates importance of taking no action until Québec Court of Appeal renders decision

Canada News Wire press release
March 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – The Board of Directors of Fibrek Inc. urges shareholders not to take any action with respect to their Fibrek shares until the Québec Court of Appeal has rendered its decision in order to benefit from the superior $1.30 Mercer International Inc. (“Mercer”) offer. Fibrek also wishes to clarify certain matters regarding the announcement by AbitibiBowater Inc. (doing business as Resolute Forest Products) (“Abitibi”) on March 20, 2012 stating that it has extended its insider bid to April 2, 2012.

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Economic confidence makes a comeback

Globe and Mail
March 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s economic outlook is brightening, and confidence with it.  Several economists, including those at Royal Bank of Canada, Toronto-Dominion Bank, UBS Securities Canada and the University of Toronto, have recently nudged up their economic growth forecasts for this year. …High commodity prices and strong corporate balance sheets will boost business investment this year, while a stronger U.S. economy will spur demand for Canadian exports such as autos, lumber and machinery, he added. He sees export levels returning to prerecession levels by next year.

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Downie Timber appeals for property tax consideration

Revelstoke Times Review
March 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s been a deeper valley than anyone could have foreseen, but after four hard years it looks as if Revelstoke’s local mill is just beginning the climb back up the other side – but they still need all the help they can get. Representatives from Downie Timber asked city council to keep them in mind when setting taxation rates this year. The appeal comes weeks before council sets final tax rates, and is a continuation of a six-year lobby effort by the mill to have their property taxes reduced.

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Alberta’s forestry industry realities – Sell, sell, sell

March 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

For years, Craig Corser has watched Alberta’s forestry industry struggle. Lumber prices in the U.S. have remained low since 2005, and suppliers are struggling to find buyers in a shrinking market. Profit margins are thinner than ever. For many companies, the days of major growth are nothing more than a memory… But since the collapse of the U.S. housing market, Corser has faced the unprecedented need to expand his product base and seek out new clients. “We still rip, strip, saw and plane,” he says, but the industry has witnessed an enormous departure from the way business used to be done. “There’s very little left of the [original] Alberta industry.”

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Babine Forest Products EI payments still being processed

Burns Lake District News
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

HRSDC said to Lakes District News that approximately 155 Babine Forest Products employees are currently receiving Employment Insurance payments. Almost three months after the Jan. 20, 2012 explosion and fire, some claims are yet to be finalized. As for the claims being fast tracked, HRSDC said, “All Employment Insurance time frames and regulations applied to these claims.” This is contrary to MLA John Rustad’s earlier statement… that Babine Forest Products workers Employment Insurance payments were being fast tracked.

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Pole peeler neighbours plot next course of action

Campbell River Mirror
March 20, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Duncan Bay Road residents, who say a pole peeler plant is destroying their livelihood, held a neighbourhood meeting Sunday night to plot their next move. Tracey Deller, owner of Blue Spruce Home Park, hosted nearly 50 neighbours to discuss the pole plant at 5301 Duncan Bay Road. Homeowners living near the plant say the pole peeler emits a high-pitch screech as the debarker peels the logs.

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Tour highlights innovation at LP

Golden Star
March 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The facility has been a part of the history of Golden for many decades according to Bryce Piggot who explained it started out as a sawmill before moving onto selling veneer. In the early 1970s the facility added a plywood plant which became a much greater commodity in the late 1980s and 1990s. “They decided to look at the engineered wood side of things. As trees which were available to harvest in North America got smaller you could get fewer 2x10s and 2x12s out of them. The industry said ‘how do you make them again?’ They decided to look at engineered wood,” Piggot said.

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Downie Timber appeals for property tax consideration

Revelstoke Times Review
March 22, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s been a deeper valley than anyone could have foreseen, but after four hard years it looks as if Revelstoke’s local mill is just beginning the climb back up the other side – but they still need all the help they can get. Representatives from Downie Timber asked city council to keep them in mind when setting taxation rates this year. The appeal comes weeks before council sets final tax rates, and is a continuation of a six-year lobby effort by the mill to have their property taxes reduced.

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Quebec bets on resource boom

The Province
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada
QUEBEC — The Quebec government is wielding a heavier hand in the province’s economy, forcing every business with more than five people to institute employee retirement savings programs and grabbing higher equity stakes in mining and hydrocarbon projects… Quebec has some 25 active mines producing iron, gold and other minerals. Energy, mining and forestry together represented 9.4% of Quebec’s GDP and 156,000 jobs as of 2010. That figure is expected to balloon in coming years and with it, the province will experience a cultural shift that comes with being a natural resources producer.

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Big project to keep company town thriving

North Bay Nipissing
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TEMISCAMING – It seemed the whole town of Temiscaming was buzzing on Friday, not just because Premier Jean Charest was in to visit, but because a big investment was securing the local economy for the foreseeable future. The announcement tightens the bond between the town on the Ottawa River and forestry company Tembec, with a proposed $310 million to be invested over the next three to four years. “We are betting the farm on Temiscaming,” said Tembec President and CEO Jim Lopez…

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Kadin: Indonesian Timber Ready for New EU Rules

Jakarta Globe
March 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the country’s certification system on timber would comply with a new regulation to be imposed by the European Union next year. The certification system would enable the country’s timber companies to gain global recognition, Suryo Bambang Sulistyo, chairman of the group known as Kadin, said on Wednesday. “It will give a competitive edge,” the chairman said at a forestry seminar.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Engineered timber products seen as key to export growth

Radio New Zealand
March 22, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Forest Wood Industry is aiming to triple its roughly $4.5 billion export market over the next decade, led by the development of stronger timber products that are more resistant to earthquake damage. About 70% of forest production is exported and nearly half that goes overseas as raw logs, while the wood processing sector has been hard hit by closures and job losses in recent times. Forest Owners Association president Bill McCallum says the plan’s targeting export earnings of $12 billion by 2022.

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Environmental impact of web and print papers practically identical

Finnish Forest Association
March 22, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The largest environmental impacts of web publishing are created by the consumer, while for printed papers, the main impact is due to industrial processes.  According to a study commissioned by the Finnish publishing company Alma Media, a total of 57 percent of the carbon footprint of a printed paper is created at the papermaking stage. Environmental impacts are also caused during distribution and in the generation of energy for the printing, for example.

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American Hardwood Export Council eyes prospects within growing interior design and construction sector in Bahrain

AMEinfo
March 22, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the international trade association for the American hardwood industry, has announced its participation at the upcoming ‘gulfBID’ exhibition in Bahrain, which will run April, 2012 at the Bahrain International Exhibition Centre (BIEC). The announcement follows 70% growth in exports of American hardwood lumber to Bahrain with over $340,000 worth of lumber being shipped into the Kingdom in 2011.

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New construction system for wood apartment buildings in Finland

Market share of wood apartment buildings in Finland is expected to increase rapidly.
Invest in EU
March 20, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A new type of laminated wood beam called Timperipalkki will be used in the construction of two wood apartment buildings in Lieto, south-western Finland. The Finnish company Ojarannan Rakennus Oy will start work on the four-storey buildings this Spring using a construction system based on the Timperipalkki beam that has been developed at the Turku University of Applied Sciences in cooperation with Yläpuu Oy and Markku Karosen Saha.

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North America’s tallest wood building to be built in BC

10-storey building would be tallest such structure on continent, minister says
Vancouver Sun
March 21, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

B.C. is moving ahead with plans to build what is expected to be the tallest wood building in North America and possibly the world, Jobs Minister Pat Bell said Wednesday. The proposed 10-storey Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George will become a test case for creating a value-added forest products industry around tall wood building construction methods that would differ radically from the way traditional mid-rise and even highrise buildings are constructed… In an interview, Green said he expects that within five years, buildings between 10 and 20 storeys will be built in B.C. using any one of a number of laminated engineered wood products. But for that to happen, the province needs to change its building code. Read more

And yet another take on the tall wood – “Let’s hope it doesn’t get termites”
There are many reasons why people switched from wooden houses to cemented ones: they’re more sturdy, a whole lot safer, and can withstand the elements better. But Canadian architect Michael Green is taking a step backwards and will be building a 30-story skyscraper from wood in Vancouver.

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Forestry

Islands Trust article contains misinformation

Letter to the Editor by Harry Lipetz, director, Residents and Owners Association of Galiano
Victoria Times Colonist
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Islands Trust must adapt if it is to survive,” March 10.
This is in answer to misinformation contained in the article about Galiano and the Islands Trust. The most often-repeated untruth for the past 15 years has been that owners of forest lands on Galiano must surrender 75 per cent of their lands to reside upon them. That has never been the case. The writer is merely repeating what some of the buyers of forest-zoned lands want the public to hear. The fact is, all buyers signed a disclosure statement that the lands may not have any residential capacity.

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Agroforestry workshop to look at forestry and farming

Prince George Citizen
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An initial step towards establishing a “community of practice” that combines forestry and farming into a single discipline will be held March 29 when a day-long workshop on agroforestry is held at the Railway and Forestry Museum. Long a practice in the southern hemisphere, but still uncommon North America, agroforestry is the “planned integration of trees and short-rotation crops,” said Melanie Karjala, general manger of Resources North, which is hosting the event. “Alley cropping,” “silvopasture,” and “forest farming” will be among the topics discussed as experts give presentations in the morning and discussion groups are held in the afternoon.

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Tasha Kheiriddin: Quebec’s new budget is business as usual

National Post
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Plus ça change, plus c’est la meme chose. Once again, the Quebec government is championing government intervention as the cure for the province’s economic malaise.  …But mining isn’t the only sector getting attention — and cash — in this provincial budget: So are forestry, tourism and agribusiness, indeed, any industry located in parts of Quebec where the Liberals are currently trailing in the polls. For example, the government is creating a “Fonds Valorisation Bois,” or a “Fund to value wood,” which will spend $95-million of taxpayers’ money to encourage forestry companies to invest in projects with “high added value.” And in this one, the public partner is a union: The solidarity fund of the Federation des Travailleurs du Quebec will kick in $75-million for the project.

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Emerald Ash Borer beetle wreaks havoc on Scarborough ash trees

The Toronto Observer
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Scarborough Garden and Horticultural Society received a visit from a very “green” guest last Tuesday. Fortunately for them it was guest speaker Erin Silverstein, and not an Emerald Ash Borer beetle. Silverstein is a University of Toronto graduate and has degree in forestry and geography, with deep environmental focus. She is a part of the organization Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF). The organization has been dedicated to protecting and improving urban forests since 1996 and has helped plant over 7,000 native trees in the GTA.

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Logging competition comes to Oregon State

Corvallis Gazette Times
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon State University is playing host to two major logging sports competitions later this month. The collegiate competition is scheduled from March 28 through 30 at the Peavy Arboretum north of Corvalls. The Association of Western Forestry Club Conclave is the regional qualifier for collegiate logging sports. And for the first time since 2003, the conclave has returned to OSU. Colleges from across the AWFC member zone will gather to compete in a variety of logging sports events and to learn about local forestry and resources management.

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Mild winter raises forest fire threat

Boston.com
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Extraordinarily dry conditions from the lack of snowfall – combined with all the fallen tree limbs from last year’s triple whammy of tornadoes, Tropical Storm Irene, and the Halloween-eve snowstorm – will make the next few months the most dangerous forest fire season in memory in Massachusetts, state officials warn. The 3 million acres of forests are the equivalent of a tinderbox, and there have already been more than 70 brush fires, significantly more than David Celino, the state fire warden, can remember at this time of year.

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Rain needed to reduce wildfires, pollen

Times Daily
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Firefighters around the Shoals are hoping predictions for heavy rain today come to fruition and douse forest fires, some of which have been burning for three days. “We need the rain. We need it bad,” said Coleen Vansant, spokesman for the Alabama Forestry Commission. “If we get some rain, maybe it will give us a break from wildfires for a couple of days.” A wildfire north of Waterloo has scorched more than 700 acres since Monday.

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Secretary of State Praises Timber Industry for Responsible Purchasing Policy

Timber Trade Federation
Press Release
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Timber Trade Federation (TTF), the leading organisation representing the timber and wood products supply chain, has welcomed praise from Andrew Mitchell MP, Secretary of State for International Development, for its commitment to responsible business and industry leadership. …International Development Secretary, Andrew Mitchell, said “Tackling deforestation and illegal logging is a crucial part of the UK Government’s work on climate change. Our support through the International Climate Fund means we are helping protect up to 39 million hectares of forest – an area more than one and a half times the size of the UK – as well as the 1.2 billion people who rely on forests to survive.

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NSW state forests: Best managed in the world

Eden Magnet
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

NSW forests are among the best managed in the world, according to NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Katrina Hodgkinson acknowledging World Forestry Day yesterday (Wednesday). “The people of NSW can rest assured that their State’s forest estate, which includes more than 1000 native hardwood and pine plantation forests, are sustainably managed to meet our timber needs. “This is in addition to their key environmental, cultural and recreational values,” Ms Hodgkinson said.

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Can’t see the trees for the wood

Northern Rivers Echo
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Dailan Pugh has been an active forest conservationist since Terania Creek in 1979, was a full time co-ordinator for the North East Forest Alliance from 1989 to 1999, was awarded an Order of Australia for forest conservation in 2004, and has undertaken a number of forest audits in the last few years. Now that the sawlog industry is collapsing due to intentional over-logging, and the export woodchip market is collapsing due to competition from overseas eucalypt plantations, the push is on to burn your native forests to generate electricity.

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SW China forest fire extinguished

EastDay.com
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

KUNMING, March 21 — A forest fire that has raged since last Sunday in southwest China’s Yunnan province was extinguished Wednesday morning, local firefighters said.  The forest fire was extinguished around 10:30 a.m. with the help of 2,500 fighters and local citizens, the provincial forest fire prevention headquarters said. Firefighters are still on the scene to make sure the fire doesn’t reignite, the headquarters said.

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Treat Illegal Logging Like Organised Crime, Urges World Bank

Inter Press Service
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WASHINGTON – With illegal loggers clearing the equivalent of a football field of the world’s most valuable forests every two seconds, local and international law enforcement systems should target the criminal operations that profit most from the trade, according to a new report released here Tuesday by the World Bank. Criminal justice personnel should deploy the same tools they use to fight drug trafficking and money laundering to investigate, prosecute and punish the kingpins behind large-scale illegal logging, according to the 56-page report.

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Atop a Volcano, the Ages of Red Pines

Scientist at Work
New York Times (blog)
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Kevin Anchukaitis, an assistant research professor at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, is conducting a tree-ring study to analyze drought patterns in Guatemala. Earlier blogs include:

  • Climbing a volcano in search of old trees
  • The tools of tree-ring research
  • Reading between the rings

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Fascinating facts about trees in Ireland

The Kerryman
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

HERE is some interesting information on trees from the Tree Council’s former chairperson John Mcloughlin from Cahersiveen. The pine forests in Ireland would have grown on the mountains over 5,000 years ago. However, they were gone by early Christian times in the second half of the first millennium. This is because around that time the climate got colder and wetter and the bogs began to grow, swamping out these forests. We can still find the remains of those ancient pine forests today buried in the peat of our blanket bogs.

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Xerox: we no longer buy from Asia Pulp & Paper

Mongabay.com
March 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Xerox no longer buys paper products from Asia Pulp & Paper (APP), a Singapore-based paper giant under fire for its forest management practices in Indonesia, according to a statement published on the company’s official blog late last week. Xerox made the announcement in response to a Greenpeace investigation that linked APP to illegal harvesting of ramin, a protected tree species. “We do not currently source from AP&P, and there are no Xerox products in the marketplace coming from AP&P,” wrote Karen Arena, vice president of global PR for Xerox, in a blog post.

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State to Repossess ‘Invaded’ Forest

AllAfrica.com
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

THE government will repossess land illegally allocated to investors at Sao Hill forest reserve in Mufindi District, Iringa Region and take to task officials who were involved in the transactions. The Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism, Mr Ezekiel Maige, made the announcement after learning that some officials in the ministry had illegally allocated the reserved land to investors and individuals.Mr Maige told the ‘Daily News’ in a telephone interview that people had invaded part of 90,000 hectares of Sao Hill.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

North Thompson looks at green-energy options

Kamloops Daily News
March 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The federal government is pumping more funding into the North Thompson to offset the impact of mountain pine beetle. A second phase of the project will develop and share information needed by other rural communities for the same purposes. …A total of $180,000 will be funneled through the Southern Interior Pine Beetle Coalition to look at potential development of green-energy projects in the region.

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Groups file suit against Nippon co-generation permit

Sequim Gazette
March 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Seven peninsula environmental organizations have jointly filed suit in Thurston County Superior Court to stop the progress of the wood-burning co-generation plant now being built at the Nippon Paper Industries’ paper mill in Port Angeles. In the suit they say the air permit issued by the Olympic Region Clean Air Agency fails to require Best Available Control Technology (BACT) “for at least three health-damaging components” that will be released by the burner.

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How Much Carbon Do California’s Forests Hold?

NPR.org
March 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The amount of carbon any given place can store depends on the type of ecosystem and how its managed. The U.S. Geological Survey is developing a series of reports on how much carbon and other greenhouse gases the nation’s ecosystems hold. Trees and plants, soils and rivers, farms and wetlands all sequester carbon to greater or lesser extents. But how much? And how might that number change in the future? That’s the crux of the USGS study, which was initiated by the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 [page 223 of the PDF]. (There’s a simultaneous study, also by the USGS, to assess geologic carbon sequestration).

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General

Fibrek buyers up to bat

National Post
March 20, 2012
Category: Uncategorized
Region: Canada East, Canada

Given that spring training is underway, baseball serves as a good metaphor for what’s underway at Fibrek Inc., a Quebec-based company that’s the subject of two takeovers, one at $1 a share from AbitibiBowater that’s hostile and another from Mercer International at $1.30 a share that’s friendly. Among the lines that come to mind are: It ain’t over till it’s over and three strikes and you’re out. So does the Abbott and Costello skit: Who’s on first? The Fibrek situation is potentially abusive to minority shareholders and particularly messy, but that mess may be sorted out Thursday before three justices in the Quebec Court of Appeal… At this juncture, the score line between the two sides is 1-1.

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Alberta’s forestry industry realities – Sell, sell, sell

March 22, 2012
Category: Uncategorized

For years, Craig Corser has watched Alberta’s forestry industry struggle. Lumber prices in the U.S. have remained low since 2005, and suppliers are struggling to find buyers in a shrinking market. Profit margins are thinner than ever. For many companies, the days of major growth are nothing more than a memory… But since the collapse of the U.S. housing market, Corser has faced the unprecedented need to expand his product base and seek out new clients. “We still rip, strip, saw and plane,” he says, but the industry has witnessed an enormous departure from the way business used to be done. “There’s very little left of the [original] Alberta industry.”

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