Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 26, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Back to the bush, kids

Will Hunger Games finally get our children outdoors?
Toronto Sun
March 24, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

If a tree falls in the forest, chances are your child is not going to be near enough to hear the sound. This weekend, the nation’s children will mute gadgets and bravely venture into crowded theatres to watch The Hunger Games. But come on… Liability issues even dictate the design of the playgrounds replacing what trees once supplied. More Canadian children have likely watched backcountry television’s Man Vs. Wild and Mantracker than have spent time in an actual forest.

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Business & Politics

TIMELINE-Takeover battle of Canada’s Fibrek

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

Specialty pulp maker Fibrek Inc has become the target of a takeover battle between AbitibiBowater Inc and Mercer International, signaling that the outlook for Canada’s forest products industry is brightening. AbitibiBowater’s C$130 million ($130.91 million) bid has the backing of Fibrek’s largest shareholders, including Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings, even though Mercer’s C$170 million cash-and-stock offer is 30 percent higher.

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Forest industry applauds move toward free trade with Japan

Press release
Forest Products Association of Canada
March 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper today said that Canada will undertake to deepen its trade and investment relations with Japan by entering negotiations for a comprehensive trade deal… “This agreement will help reinforce our existing relationship and lead to lucrative, new opportunities for Canadian forest products exporters.” said Avrim Lazar, the President and CEO of FPAC. “The agreement will make our exports to Japan more competitive by lowering a number of tariff and non-tariff barriers and that’s good for Canadian forest sector jobs.” Lazar added.

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Forest industry transformation made it stronger

Avrim Lazar is retiring after 10 years leading the Forest Products Association of Canada.
Vancouver Sun
March 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

.. Dramatic cyclical swings are not new for natural resource industries but the forest products industry had to face fundamental shifts that shook the foundations of its world: the rise of the Canadian dollar from 62 cents in 2002 to around parity today, an incredible 60-per-cent increase; the explosion of the information age depressing the demand for paper; the collapse of the United States housing market; the faltering recovery of European and North American markets; and the shift of the engine of economic growth from these traditional customers to Asia… How does an industry reverse itself from an accelerating downward spiral to a profitable path? Through my 10 years of living in economic turbulence, three factors stood out: courageous leadership, rethinking the business model and smarter government.

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Fibrek battle signals recovery in pulp industry

March 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Surging Chinese demand for tissues has triggered a takeover battle for Fibrek Inc., a specialty pulp maker that counts Prem Watsa, the investment guru known as “Warren Buffett of the North,” as its largest shareholder. Fibrek, in which Watsa’s Fairfax Financial owns 26 per cent, is the target of a two-way battle for control that has driven its shares more than 85 per cent higher since the end of November. That’s when AbitibiBowater, a Canadian pulp and paper maker that emerged from bankruptcy protection last year, first made its $130-million hostile offer for Montreal-based Fibrek.

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RDNO board rallies behind North Enderby Timber mill’s plans

Vernon Morning Star
March 23, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Economic considerations have led politicians to fast track a proposed land use in rural Enderby. Regional District of North Okanagan directors voted Wednesday to consider sending an application from North Enderby Timber to the provincial Agricultural Land Commission without having staff put together an analysis of possible implications. “This situation is time sensitive and North Enderby Timber is a significant economic driver in our area and a good corporate citizen,” said director Howie Cyr.

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Mill workers will get back to work

Province pledges $1 million for highway improvement jobs for employees displaced after fire
Vancouver Sun
March 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The workers will be used to complete a $14-million provincial highway infrastructure development project, half of which will be focused in the Burns Lake area, said Pat Bell, minister of jobs, tourism and innovation on Friday .

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Pole peeling plant agrees to sound modifications

Campbell River Mirror
March 23, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The owner of the controversial Duncan Bay Road pole-peeling plant will implement a consultant’s soundreduction measures after all, the city announced Tuesday, but some of the plant’s neighbors wonder if it will do any good. “Council has received written confirmation from Northern Pressure Treated Wood Ltd., it will modify its operations to reduce the noise of its log peeler,” Mayor Walter Jakeway read from a prepared statement at the start of Tuesday’s council meeting. “The owner of the property has agreed to undertake all the modifications outlined in the report by BKL Consultants.”

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Buyer of St. Marys Paper would fire workers, not restart paper machine

Pulp & Paper Canada
March 23, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The receiver for the shuttered St. Marys Paper mill in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. has been granted court approval to proceed with a sale of assets to 2319839 Ontario Inc. The purchaser is described by the receiver as a consortium of companies, including an auctioneer, a real estate developer, a forest products company and a metals recycler. All employees of St. Marys Paper are to be terminated prior to the sale. The purchaser has stated it may try to operate a biomass and co-gen facility.

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Quebec paper mill workers to vote on final offer from White Birch

Global News
March 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUEBEC – Quebec workers at White Birch Paper Co. will vote today on what the company is calling its final offer. About 600 workers were laid off last December after the U.S.-based company closed its plant in Stadacona, Que. If the union members accept the proposal the company says the mill could resume operations within a month. The union rejected an earlier offer which it says would have slashed wages and pension benefits.

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White Birch employees accept concessions to save jobs

No guarantee plant will reopen
CBC News
March 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Employees at the White Birch paper plant in Quebec have voted to accept their insolvent employer’s final offer.  Seventy-nine per cent of the workers at the Stadacona mill supported the proposal which includes significant concessions, but may mean they’ll keep their jobs. The offer will cut pay by 10 per cent and reduce annuities for retirees by 30 per cent and by 55 per cent for current workers.

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Papermakers shut units as demand drops

Reuters
March 23, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Struggling pulp and paper producers have either cut production or shut plants during the last two years to manage excess inventory as U.S. demand declines. While the reduced capacity is expected to support prices, the industry is gearing up for a slower growth in Europe. Following is a list of recent mill closures and production cuts in the sector.

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Gunns bid to raise $400m

By Nick Clark
The Mercury
March 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

TIMBER company Gunns Limited has told the ASX this morning that it wants to raise a monster $400 million so that it can finance the Bell Bay pulp mill. In a last roll of the dice Gunns is to remain suspended until April 2 while it seeks to find new investors. The new capital raising would be about three times the current market value of the company.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Contractors turning away from LEED

By Jean Sorensen
Journal of Commerce
March 26, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The construction industry in B.C. and the U.S. is starting to reject the LEED certification process citing it as too costly and taking too long with too many uncertainties. “You can wait up to two years to get certified, the backlog is extraordinary,” said Helen Goodland, principal of Brantwood Consulting, a green building consultant… “The industry is quite reasonably rejecting LEED,” she said. Goodland cited figures for Vancouver, where only 13 per cent of the structures built to a LEED standard are currently certified. The LEED backlog, cost, and uncertainly have created their own problems, such as structures claiming to be built to a LEED standard or LEED shadowed, but not registering or seeking certification.

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Salt Spring architect earns award for Nanaimo cruise ship terminal design

Gulf Islands Driftwood
March 23, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Checkwitch Poiron Architects, a newly formed architecture firm with an office on Salt Spring, has been awarded the 2012 Commercial Wood Design Award from Wood Works B.C, an initiative of the Canadian Wood Council. Architects Ben Checkwitch and David Poiron have proved they are an exciting creative force to watch with their very first project as a firm, the new cruise ship terminal at the Nanaimo Assembly Wharf. The sweeping modern form with elements of steel, glass and wood is completely contemporary yet speaks to the port’s past as a shipping centre for the logging industry

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Pulp and paper mill waste could be used in cheaper batteries

Scientists have created a rechargeable battery using the lignin from pulp and paper mills
Gizmag
March 23, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Scientists have discovered that lignin, a plentiful byproduct of the pulp and paper industry, can be used to store an electrical charge. They’ve used the material to create a prototype lignin-based rechargeable battery, and suggest that it could one day be used as a less expensive, safer alternative to the precious metals currently utilized in battery cathodes. Although the battery does lose its charge when sitting idle, Milczarek and Inganäs found that different types of lignin derivatives offered different levels of performance.

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Forestry

Province Still Looking for Timber So Babine Forest Products Mill can Rebuild

HQPrinceGeorge.com
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Lakes District does not hold enough timber for Hampton to rebuild Babine Forest Products Mill. Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell says they are now looking in other places… So we do think there is sufficient fibre but that will require some difficult decisions in terms of looking into constraints that were established in previous years that would have be to reconsidered in order to make that fibre available.” Bell says it would be unlikely for fibre to travel from Prince George to Burns Lake so they are looking into re-working or moving licensees in the near area. 

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Whistler’s Cheakamus Community Forest open house to showcase UBC study

Forestry students explore future options for forest
Pique Newsmagazine
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry students from the University of British Columbia will take centre stage at the upcoming open house for the Cheakamus Community Forest (CCF) on April 4 at the Spruce Grove Field House in Whistler. CCF chair Peter Ackhurst said the students have been studying the community forest as part of their program. “The UBC students looked at what the harvest level would be under three different scenarios: an industrial logging model, how much could they log; a carbon offsetting program emphasis; and a tourism model, how much would you harvest if the most important thing was tourism, which it is.

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Forestry pioneer John Drenka dies

March 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A man who has been referred to as a “legend” and called “the grandfather of forestry in our community” died this week. John Drenka, co-founder of the still-successful Squamish Mills logging company, forest-industry innovator and one of the people who helped establish the curling club, the golf club and the Squamish Rotary, passed away on Monday (March 19) at Squamish General Hospital. He was 95.

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Logging banned as appeal considered

The Chronicle Journal
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

During the appeal of a major court ruling on provincial jurisdiction over Crown land, the provincial government has agreed not to allow logging without the consent of Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation) in a large part of the band’s traditional territory in the Whiskey Jack Forest north of Kenora.The Ontario Court of Appeal is considering an appeal of Keewatin versus the Ministry of Natural Resources. 

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Good Timber offers history lesson on logging through song

Vernon Morning Star
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Other Guys Theatre Company, in association with the Royal B.C. Museum, is celebrating the golden age of logging in the Pacific Northwest with its original, rollicking musical theatre revue, Good Timber: Songs and Stories of the Western Logger. The play comes to the Vernon Performing Arts Centre Saturday, March 31. The musical follows the hookers, hi-riggers, fallers, whistle punks and locie engineers back to a time when loggers climbed trees. 

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Grassy Narrows applauds Appeal Court logging decision

Winnipeg Free Press
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The chief of an Ontario First Nation is praising a Court of Appeal decision that forbids logging without permission on Grassy Narrows territory north of English River while an appeal continues. A press release by Asubpeeschoseewagong Netum Anishinabek (Grassy Narrows First Nation) said the area impacted is north of the English River in the Whiskey Jack Forest. The First Nation said in exchange an earlier judgment from August 2011 by the Ontario Superior Court will be stayed until the appeal is exhausted.

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MPP calls for talks on changing Far North Act

The Chronicle Journal
March 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Kenora-Rainy River MPP Sarah Campbell is calling for more consultation on changes to the Far North Act, with a goal of replacing it with new legislation that is more acceptable to Northern Ontario residents… Under the legislation, the Ministry of Natural Resources is to work with individual communities to create land use plans outlining traditional use areas, areas for protection, and areas that are open for mining and forestry development… The legislation has been widely criticized from both industry and First Nation groups, citing a lack of local and aboriginal consultation in its initial development. The forestry industry, the mining industry and the provincial Conservative party have criticized the plan, claiming it will shut down development in the far North.

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Improving predictions for how Ontario’s forests will grow and change over time

Ontario Forest Research Institute
March 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

How much wood is available for harvest in Ontario’s forests today? How much wood will be there decades from now? Are the proposed management activities in a given forest area sustainable? Growth and yield models help resource professionals predict how Ontario’s forests will grow and change over time.  Growth and yield models help resource professionals predict how Ontario’s forests will grow and change over time. These are questions that Ontario’s forest management planning teams must answer to meet the requirements of the Crown Forest Sustainability Act.

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USDA publishes final rule to restore the nation’s forests through science and collaboration

Secretary Vilsack announces publication of the final land management planning rule
USDA Forest Service Press Release
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON —Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s final Planning Rule for America’s 193-million acre National Forest System that includes stronger protections for forests, water, and wildlife while supporting the economic vitality of rural communities. This final rule – which follows USDA’s Feb. 3 publication of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement – replaces the 1982 rule procedures currently in use, and provides a new framework to be used for all individual management plans for 155 national forests and grasslands across the country. Over half of Forest Service units are currently operating with plans that are more than 15 years old.

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USDA develops ForWarn to make forest monitoring easier

Geospataial World News
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

The United States Department of Agriculture unveiled ForWarn, a satellite-based natural resource monitoring and assessment tool. It aims to help natural resource managers rapidly detect, identify and respond to unexpected changes in forests. It recognises and tracks potential forest disturbances caused by insects, diseases, wildfires, extreme weather, or other natural or human-caused events. The tool complements and focuses efforts of existing forest monitoring programmes and potentially results in time and cost savings.

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Obama’s Forest Service Weakens Protections for Wildlife on All National Forests

Center for Biological Diversity
press release
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON— The U.S. Forest Service today released its new final rule to govern the nation’s 193-million-acre national forest system. The new rule significantly weakens longstanding protections for fish and wildlife species on national forests. While the Forest Service was previously required to ensure the viability of those populations, the new rule largely defers to local Forest Service officials.

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Pulp NonFiction: Fungal analysis reveals clues for targeted biomass deconstruction

Eureka! Science News
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Without fungi and microbes to break down dead trees and leaf litter in nature, the forest floor might look like a scene from TV’s “Hoarders.” Massive-scale genome sequencing projects supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and being carried out at the DOE Joint Genome Institute highlight the importance of learning how the cellulose, hemicellulose and lignin that serve as a plant’s infrastructure can be broken down by these forest organisms to extract needed nutrients. Among the fungi being studied are species that can selectively break down the cell wall components cellulose and lignin — the number one and two most abundant biopolymers on Earth.

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Some mining and logging jobs added in Siskiyou

Mount Shasta Herald
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Siskiyou County, Calif. — Local unemployment numbers ticked up slightly between January and February, but remained more than a full point less than 2011 rates. …Jobs were lost in the farming, wholesale trade and leisure and hospitality industries, but much of that loss was offset by an increase in mining and logging jobs, according to the EDD.

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DeFazio timber bill slights water quality, recreation, salmon

By Michael Blumm – professor of law at Lewis & Clark Law School. 
The Oregonian
March 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Rep. Peter DeFazio is a visionary concerning the nation’s crumbling infrastructure, especially its transportation system. And he is, for the most part, a dependable environmental steward. But his bill, co-sponsored with Congressmen Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden, that would authorize “selective logging” of western Oregon forests would be catastrophic for water quality, recreation and salmon strongholds. DeFazio told the Portland City Club on March 9 that his bill would prevent a number of Oregon counties from insolvency while protecting old-growth forests. He claimed that the forest wars of the past three decades “started with a fight over old growth and it’s going to end with preservation of old growth.”

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Forest management plans in Idaho, Montana up for public comment

The Missoulian
March 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The draft forest management plans for Montana’s Kootenai National Forest and the neighboring Idaho Panhandle National Forests are open for extended public comment periods. “We understand that these documents are long and complex, so we agreed to extend the comment period after receiving requests from several local communities,” said Idaho Panhandle National Forests supervisor Mary Farnsworth.

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Colliding visions

Logger urges farmers stand for common sense
Fort Dodge Messenger
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Storm Lake- There’s a fine line between environmental sensitivity and environmental insanity, and Americans keep crossing it, said a Montana logger who is urging Iowa farmers to address this collision of visions head on. “Rural areas are the last, best parts of our country, and the public wants to protect them,” said Bruce Vincent, 56, a third-generation Montana logger who shared tips on speaking up for agriculture with more than 100 audience members during a recent Iowa Soybean Association meeting in Storm Lake. “I don’t begrudge their desire, but there’s a fatal flaw in their vision. “There’s no provision for rural people, and policies are protecting us to death.”

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‘Who Bombed Judi Bari?’ documentary seeks an answer

Los Angeles Times
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Judi Bari’s name may not be as familiar as Erin Brockovich’s or Karen Silkwood’s, but her life of activism — fighting the logging of old-growth trees in Northern California — was no less cinematic. Now, 15 years after her death, a new documentary, “Who Bombed Judi Bari?” brings the carpenter, fiddler, union organizer and Earth First firebrand to the big screen. Bari spearheaded efforts in the 1980s and ’90s to slow logging on the state’s northern coast. In 1990, while organizing logging protests, an explosion tore through her car in Oakland and nearly killed the 40-year-old single mother of two… Cherney hopes the movie will help finally solve that mystery — and inspire a new generation of activism by highlighting the victories Bari and her cohorts won.

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Cuts may hinder wildfire fight

By Dennis Sherer
Times Daily
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Alabama’s state forester said she fears massive wildfires are going to become more common as budget cuts continue to take a toll on firefighters who are counted on to protect the state’s wild land. State Forester Linda Casey said a wildfire that burned more than 700 acres near Waterloo last week is an example of what happens when the agency assigned to protect Alabama’s forests from fires has too few employees. During the past 10 years, the Forestry Commission’s staff has been reduced by more than 300 employees because of attrition, retirements and layoffs — all related to budget cuts.

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Rules to protect forestry workers

Adelaide Now
March 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

TREASURER Jack Snelling has unveiled conditions attached to the sale of South-East forest harvesting rights. The move is a bid to safeguard jobs and overcome a political backlash in the region. Buyers of the rights – which are estimated to be worth more than $600 million – must deliver a plan for maintaining the current level of domestic timber sales so that secondary industries are protected. Family First MP Rob Brokenshire yesterday said the measures were a “small step” towards easing community concerns that the sale would lead to job losses and industry closures.

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Forestry Tasmania hits back at over-cutting claims

ABC News Australia
March 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forestry Tasmania has hit back at accusations by the Greens that Tasmania’s state forests have been over-cut and over-allocated, leaving the industry in crisis. Tasmanian Greens Leader Nick McKim made the comments at the party’s 40th anniversary celebrations last night. Forestry Tasmania’s Ken Jeffreys said the fact that reservation targets and supply targets did not line up was not because of any over-cutting on the company’s part.

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Supply Chain Software Firm Tackles Deforestation by Digitizing Trees, Timber

Triple Pundit
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

From its office near Oxford, UK supply chain management software specialist Helveta is taking on a big sustainability challenge: that posed by illegal logging and deforestation… “You can win on the demand side, by getting consumers and companies to demand sustainable wood, but how do you ensure that the wood from forests across equatorial Africa and south-east Asia is harvested sustainably? Helveta’s business model is simple: technology that maps timber supply chains from forest to furniture outlet, giving traceability, chain of custody control, and guarantees of legal compliance.” 

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Premier urges parties to negotiate forest peace deal (broadcast)

ABC News, Australia
March 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

With a key deadline looming, the Premier Lara Giddings has urged parties to the forest peace talks to negotiate a final agreement.

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World’s Natural Teak Area Shrinks, Planted Area Gains, FAO Says

Bloomberg
March 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The world’s natural teak forests shrunk 1.3 percent between 1992 and 2010, while planted forests with the hardwood increased in area, the United Nations’ Food & Agriculture Organization reported. The natural-teak forest area declined by 385,000 hectares (951,335 acres) to an estimated 29 million hectares over the period, led by a drop in India, the Rome-based UN agency wrote in a report on its website today. India, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar are the only countries with natural teak forests, the FAO wrote. Myanmar has almost half of the natural teak forest and is the only country to produce quality teak from natural forest, as India, Laos and Thailand have bans on logging or log exports in place, it said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Industry experts discuss perfect storm of wood pellet growth

Biomass Power and Thermal Magazine
March 23, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

That perfect storm Richardson referred to, was evident in her data that showed the fuel price disparity in February, when the price per million Btu of wood pellets in the state was roughly $15 and the price for the same volume of heating oil was nearly $30. The success of the rebate program has already helped Richardson see firsthand the growth of the wood pellet industry in her state. 

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