Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 11, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Large bear roams in backyards of LA suburbs

Atlanta Journal Constitution
April 11, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

LA CRESCENTA, Calif. — A 400-pound bear roaming around a Los Angeles suburb Tuesday was subdued with a tranquilizer dart and removed by wildlife authorities… A KTTV news helicopter showed the bear lounging on a lawn before roaming from backyard to backyard. La Crescenta sheriff’s station volunteer Bill Latuf described the bear as “pretty mellow,” just walking around.

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Business & Politics

Lumber Production Declined 30 Percent Due to Housing Slump

Hardwood Floors Magazine
April 10, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The combined Canadian and U.S. lumber industries shrunk by about 30 percent as a result of the subprime mortgage crisis that, in 2008, sparked the U.S.’s worst recession since the Great Depression, according to a summary in the 2012 Hardwood Directory released by Charlotte, N.C.-based Hardwood Publishing… “Hundreds of companies did not survive, and those that remain are still trying to recover. The hardwood industry is much smaller today than it was 5 years ago.” 

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Now trending – Canadian lumber

Financial Post
April 10, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Canadian lumber industry has managed to avoid disaster by shifting its exports from the U.S. to Asian markets, particularly China. Its share of the Chinese market grew to 13% in 2011 from a mere 1% in 2006. This, coupled with a recovery in the fundamentals for U.S. housing, bodes well for Canadian lumber stocks, notes Martin Roberge, portfolio strategist at Canaccord Genuity.

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Premier lauds program, addition of 40000 jobs

Victoria Times Colonist
April 10, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The addition of nearly 40,000 jobs across the province in the last year shows the government’s Jobs Plan is improving the economy, Premier Christy Clark said Tuesday. Using workers at North Vancouver’s Seaspan Marine Corp. as a backdrop for her six-month update, Clark said she’s “proud of the progress made, our continued economic growth and the number of new jobs added to our economy.”

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Lumber stocks downgraded as spring seasonal trade ends

Financial Post
April 10, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Investors playing the fall-spring seasonal lumber trade can count a third straight year of profit, with commodity prices and most building materials stocks gaining from fall lows… “While less exciting than the previous two seasons, we regard this price level as more sustainable with less incentive for production increases heading into the slower summer months,” Daryl Swetlishoff, analyst with Raymond James, said in a note. While this means there will likely not be the same sharp decline in lumber prices after the spring construction season that there has been in the past two years, that also means there is less upside for pricing as well.

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Dryden Domtar mill to become green fuel test bed

Northern Ontario Business
April 10, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wood products giant Domtar is teaming up with the world’s largest research and development institute to convert waste wood into a green fuel additive. In an April 10 release, Domtar and Battelle announced they are teaming up to develop a “unique, cost-effective system that if successful, will increase operational efficiencies and create a fossil fuel alternative for transportation fuels.” The announcement was made at Domtar’s mill in Dryden, which will be the test bed for this cutting edge $14-million research project.

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World’s First Prototype for Walking Forest Machine at John Deere Pavilion

4-traders
April 10, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

MOLINE, Illinois – Now on display at the John Deere Pavilion in Moline, Ill., is the Walking Harvester – the world’s first prototype for a walking forest machine. Only one of two in existence, the walking harvester was designed by John Deere’s research and development unit in Finland in the 1990s but was ahead of its time and never reached the production phase.

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Itochu Indulges Its Appetite for Pulp

Wall Street Journal
April 11, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In the latest foreign investment by Japan’s voracious trading companies, Itochu Corp. said on Wednesday it paid 472 million euros ($617.5 million) for a 24.9% stake in a Finnish pulp company. The move will boost by nearly 50% Itochu’s shipments of pulp, which is used in making paper products, and solidifies the company’s position as the world’s biggest pulp trader. The deal will make the Japanese trading house the second-largest shareholder in Finnish pulp maker Metsa Fibre, the world’s fifth-largest pulp producer. 

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Offner Group buys CLT producer KLH

Timber Trades Journal
April 11, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The acquisition of leading cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction firm KLH Massivholz by Austrian sawmilling and garden tools business the Johann Offner Group will enable future expansion of the KLH brand… “For us a shareholding in KLH is an investment in a huge growth market, with KLH’s plans for overseas expansion already at an advanced stage,” he said. “KLH is the leader of the cross-laminated wood processing industry and internationally; the world connects cross-laminated timber with the name KLH.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The 2012 Wood Design Awards

Video story
Journal of Commerce
April 11, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States, Canada West

Vancouver – The 2012 Wood Design Awards were recently held at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The awards recognize excellence in wood construction, design and engineering in British Columbia across 12 different categories. Mary Tracey, the executive director of Wood WORKS! BC talked to the Journal of Commerce about the importance of the awards and highlighted the Wood Innovation award and the B.C. Premier’s Wood Champion Award for special attention.

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Sappi To Convert Minnesota Pulp Mill For Chemical Cellulose Production

Textile World Magazine
April 10, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

South Africa-based Sappi Ltd. — a wood pulp and paper producer with operations in South Africa, the United States and Europe; a joint venture in China; and sales offices worldwide — is investing $170 million to convert its Sappi Fine Paper North America kraft pulp mill in Cloquet, Minn., for production of chemical cellulose that will be processed into rayon for textile applications such as fabrics and disposable nonwoven products. 

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Mesquite furniture business makes the most out of pesky West Texas tree

Reporter News Abilene
April 11, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Most West Texans hate mesquite. The knotty, pesky trees hog moisture and can live through almost anything, despite some ranchers best efforts to rid their pastures of them. …Lankford spent most of his life in the limestone business, he said, but started building mesquite furniture as a hobby. Ten years ago, he turned that hobby into a full-time business, where he churns out countless lamps, tables, chairs and mantles, all made of one of the hardest woods nature makes available. …He said he fell in love with the wood because it has character. He never really knows what the lumber will look like until he cuts into the tree.

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Construction Concerns for Firefighters: Flitch Plate Girders

By Gregory Havel
Fire Engineering
April 10, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Earlier articles on flitch plate girders discussed the original design that used a steel plate bolted between two planks, usually 2×10 or 2×12 inches. They also discussed newer designs using plywood between the planks instead of steel and using laminated veneer lumber (LVL) or parallel strand lumber (PSL) instead of sawn lumber…  The heavy loads usually carried by flitch plate girders, the possibility of the steel plate being weakened by heat and failing in a structure fire, and the probability that fire will burrow between the wood joists and the steel plate should concern firefighters. 

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Forestry

The Globe’s mandate to protect the boreal forest

Globe and Mail
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the boreal forest is a vital part of Canada’s landscape, economy and cultural heritage. The ecosystem is unique in its capacity for carbon storage, is the world’s biggest freshwater reservoir, and contains the world’s largest remaining tract of intact forest. More than half of all Canadian logging occurs in the boreal forest, making it a major sourcing area for newsprint. The Globe and Mail is committed, through its Mandate for Sustainable Paper Choices, to work with suppliers to protect high conservation-value forests and maintain natural ecosystems across forest regions, including the boreal forest.

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Panic in the government should not descend into head-over-heels panic

Forest Industries
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

Dear Minister Bell, There are many reasons why what the Globe and Mail terms “panic in the government” should not descend into head-over-heels panic. Logging long-protected forest areas will certainly appear as panic and a government that has lost its way. I believe you know or have been told many of the reasons – each protected area has a clear rationale. A closer look at the rationales will indicate the economic returns as well. I know that the Professional foresters (ABCPF) have provided a paper rejecting the concept. 

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Shell to conserve 1800 acres of forest in northern Alberta

MarketWatch (press release)
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CALGARY– Shell Canada today announced it purchased a 1,820 acre (740 ha) tract of land in northern Alberta to conserve boreal forest habitat near its oil sands operations. The conserved area, now called the Shell True North Forest, was privately owned land previously used for cattle grazing and hay production. Its purchase on behalf of Shell’s oil sands business will conserve an area almost twice the size of Stanley Park in British Columbia.

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BC coastal loggers violating softwood lumber deal, US claims

By Gordon Hamilton
Vancouver Sun
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The American lumber lobby says the B.C. government has been under-charging coastal forest companies for timber harvested on Crown lands to the tune of $70 million a year. And that throws into question the accuracy of B.C.’s market-pricing system, according to the U.S. Lumber Coalition, the American industry lobby group that opposes open access for Canadian lumber producers to the U.S. market. The charge against coastal producers comes on top of a $300-million claim against Interior producers levied by the U.S. government that is now in the final stages of a lengthy hearing process before the London Court of International Arbitration. …Rick Jeffrey …said the quarterly changes in stumpage rates have fluctuated up and down. What is more significant, he said, is that the price of the products produced on the Coast have been “flat as a pancake.” …John Allan said the coastal stumpage system is complex; it involves different species, different growing conditions and, for the last few years, has been skewed by high volumes of log exports to Asia, an additional wrinkle that makes valuing the price of logs for lumber destined to the U.S. more difficult.

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Forestry sector gets boost

The Chronicle Journal
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A research and development project into wood biomass fuel is underway at Domtar’s pulp mill in Dryden. Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle announced Tuesday that the province’s Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) is chipping in up to $6 million to a $14-million project to prove a new approach to converting underused wood to fuel. The project, says the Domtar-Battelle partnership, has the potential to develop a unique, cost-effective system to create a fossil fuel alternative for vehicle fuels.

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Pisgah National Forest gets $1 million for land acquisition

US money would help acquire 1 of 4 tracts by Pisgah National Forest
Asheville Citizen-Times
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

ASHEVILLE — One of four ecologically significant tracts of privately held land adjacent to Pisgah National Forest might soon become part of the national forest. In a recent announcement, the U.S. Forest Service said it was dedicating $40.6 million from the Land and Water Conservation Fund for 27 “exceptional land acquisition projects” in 15 states that will help safeguard clean water, provide recreational access, preserve wildlife habitat, enhance scenic vistas and protect historic and wilderness areas.

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Study: We’re Screwed Without Wolves and Bears

Mother Jones
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

.. Deer are also radically changing places like the forests of the Adirondacks by devouring young tree shoots from the storied maples and leaving nothing but beech. But a new study finds that it’s not just deer populations that are wreaking havoc on North American ecosystems. It’s all of the large mammals that graze on plants.Moose, elk, and deer populations are at historic highs, according to an extensive review by scientists at Oregon State University. And they’re taking their toll on young trees, reducing biodiversity of forests and contributing to climate change as a result. The leading cause of the disrupted ecosystems is the disappearance of the predators, namely wolves and bears. 

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Space-Based Tool Offers Early Forest Warning

Changing climate conditions are stressing forest areas, NASA and U.S. Forest Service team up to tackle the problem.
Farm Futures
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

.. Recently the U.S. Forest Service unveiled a product that helps natural resource managers rapidly detect, identify and respond to unexpected changes in the nation’s forest using web-based tools. The satellite-based monitoring and assessment tool – called ForWarn – recognizes and tracks potential forest disturbances caused by insects, diseases, wildfires, extreme weather and other natural or human-caused events. Whether its climate change or other factors, this system helps the Forest Service track problems.

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US Still Importing Illegal Timber

By Charundi Panagoda
Inter Press Service
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – Since 2008, over 20 U.S. companies have imported illegally logged timber worth millions from the Peruvian Amazon, charged a multi-year investigative report released Tuesday by the Environmental Investigation Agency… The investigation discovered at least 112 shipments of protected cedar and mahogany were illegally laundered with fabricated papers and imported by U.S. companies between 2008 and 2010. Tracing timber routes from the Amazon to the U.S. warehouses isn’t easy, according to the report, as “links in this chain are willfully obscured to perpetuate confusion about the origins of almost all timber traded in Peru.” 

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Help stop the poisoning of Oregon’s paradise

By Amy Pincus Merwin, Guest Editorial
The Register-Guard
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

.. I live with all the health issues of a Vietnam vet. Agent Orange was used in Oregon’s national forests because Oregon State University professor Mike Newton, the godfather of forestry pesticides, changed the forestry model from clear-cut and slash-burn to clear-cut and spray, spray, spray. Oregon’s forests are no longer slash-burned, yet clear-cuts and intensive, repeated use of poison pesticides is standard practice.

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Forester offers pine beetle outlook

KRTV Great Falls News
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In recent years, the pine beetle population in Montana and across the west have exploded due to ideal weather conditions and overcrowding of pine trees. Experts with the U.S. Forest Service say we will be dealing with the beetles again this summer, but they are not as concerned as they have been in past years. Many of the previously infected pine trees have been removed and because of that, the food source for the pine beetle is running out. A gradual decline in pine beetles has been noted over the past couple years.

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Authorities defend Colo. fire warning attempts

Atlanta Journal Constitution
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DENVER — Firefighters are defending their attempts to warn residents about a fast-moving Colorado wildfire in response to questions raised by the family of one of three people killed by the blaze. About an hour before the first wave of automated evacuated warning calls on March 26, a volunteer firefighter rushed from house to house telling residents to leave. He was unable to reach Ann Appel because of a chain across her driveway, and her family is questioning why he didn’t leave his vehicle and walk past the chain to warn her. Inter-Canyon Fire/Rescue chief Dave MacBean told KMGH-TV that it wasn’t safe because there were trees on both sides of the narrow driveway, which can help a fire spread. 

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Trees ‘eat’ carbon

Worcester Telegram
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

.. Mr. Foster, director of Harvard Forest, said research by scientists at Harvard Forest detailed in a paper published last year shows that forests in Massachusetts are able to contain the tons of carbon created by human activity. But that could change if we keep developing the land the way we are, he said. A tower set up in Harvard Forest has measured the amount of carbon being taken in by the trees during the last 20 years, and also how much is escaping into the atmosphere. The findings show the trees store more carbon than the forest emits into the atmosphere through decay and other sources. 

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Flotilla Assembly to demand an end to Amazon destruction

Greenpeace International (blog)
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior served as center stage on wednesday for a flotilla assembly deep in the Amazon. Boats travelled, some for more than a day, to join the assembly and give testimonials of the destruction threatening their survival in the forest. The riverboats tied lines between them to create a floating platform around the Rainbow Warrior and passed a microphone between the families as they demanded implementation on the laws governing their already protected land.

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Gunns continues hunt for $400m

Video Story
ABC Online
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmanian timber company Gunns has had to once again put off an announcement on the future of the Tamar Valley pulp mill as it continues negotiations on a $400 million capital raising plan.


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Peru exports endangered wood despite US trade pact -NGO

Reuters
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Peru needs to do more to halt exports of endangered cedar and mahogany from the Amazon rain forest as it opens its economy to free trade, a conservation group and exporters said on Tuesday. The U.S.-Peru free trade agreement passed by Congress in 2007 includes provisions meant to prevent the export of endangered wood species to the United States, but those efforts have been tainted by corruption in rural areas, they said.

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New Report on Illegal Logging: Exposing forest ‘untouchables’ is as important as ever

Global Justice Ecology Project
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The idea that the World Bank is releasing a report on combatting illegal logging is like the CIA releasing a report on combatting torture. Through its Structural Adjustment Programs and other tactics used to force developing countries to exploit and export their resources, the World Bank has eroded efforts to protect forests, paved the way for replacement of forests with tree plantations, disenfranchised forest dependent communities and Indigenous Peoples that have historically taken care of forests, and most recently are pushing forest offset schemes under the umbrella of climate mitigation that will exacerbate all of the above.

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A black day predicted for the forest peace deal

ABC News Australia
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government’s deadline for an agreement to end most native forest logging is only two days away and there is no sign of progress. The Deputy Premier, Bryan Green, has given industry and environmental groups until the end of this week to decide which forests to reserve, and where to allow logging.

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Green Experiment Kicks Off

St.Petersburg Times
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Russia – A journalist and two volunteers will start living a Greenpeace-approved ecological way of life in St. Petersburg this week… The participants will abstain from using disposable plastic bags, opt to buy products with less packaging, separate and recycle their garbage and do more to help protect the environment… “Using toilet paper made primarily of cellulose sends more than 10,000 hectares of Russian forests to the sewers every year,” Greenpeace said.

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Controversial Wood Strategy Shows Promise

Scoop Independent News
April 10, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Wood Council of New Zealand (Woodco) released its Strategic Action Plan for Forestry at the FORESTWOOD 2012 national conference for the forest and wood products sector in Wellington last month. At the ForestWood Conference a new action plan emerged from within that strategy – one which strongly recommends a steep change and leap forward for the industry. Richard Phillips, of North Carolina State University, made a compelling presentation for a new “mega-mill” in the form of a one million tonne per annum integrated pulp mill built to also house integrated biomass and biofuel production cells.

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Forestry and Wood: – the low carbon industry

UK Forestry Video
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

This short film from ConFor shows how forestry and the wood-using industry is making a positive contribution to the UK’s carbon commitments, helping the rural economy and bring environmental and social benefits to the countryside. The sector is doing this through the sustainable production of wood to help contribute climate change through a viable business model that supports continued investment in the UK’s forests.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

New report assesses impact of climate change on forest diseases

Eureka! Science News
April 10, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Climate change is projected to have far-reaching environmental impacts both domestically and abroad. A recently published report by the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station (PSW) examines the impact of climate change on forest diseases and how these pathogens will ultimately affect forest ecosystems in the Western United States and Canada. 

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Large Majority of Americans Want Action on Climate Change

SustainableBusiness.com
April 10, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

“Belief” in climate change is rising again, after reaching a low point over the past couple of years.  Could it be the 15,000 record-breaking tempuratures this March? Or the “never before seen” tornadoes? Or devastating droughts in Texas and the Southwest? We’ve even got forest fires on Long Island this week – there’s been no rain for months and there was no snow this winter.

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Climate change won’t boost plant performance

TG Daily
April 10, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Plants may thrive in the initial stages of global warming – but not for long. A study from Northern Arizona University shows that any improvements in growth caused by climate change disappear within ten years. “We were really surprised by the pattern, where the initial boost in growth just went away,” says doctoral student Zhuoting Wu. “As the ecosystems adjust, the responses changed.”

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EPA to Regulate Carbon Emissions from New Power Plants

RegBlog (blog)
April 10, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last week proposed the first Clean Air Act standard governing carbon emissions for new power plants. The rule would cap the emissions of any new fossil-fuel-based power plants at 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per megawatt-hour of energy.

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Wood Biomass Boost to New Zealand Economy

The Bioenergy Site
April 11, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

NEW ZEALAND – The additional value that can be gained from wood through bioenergy can be a NZ$6 billion economic growth stimulus for the country according to the New Zealand Bioenergy Association. Nopw the association has called on he government to include it within the Government’s Economic Growth Agenda.

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UK activists to picket EU biomass conf in London

Press TV
April 11, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Environmental activists are set to picket the upcoming European Biomass to Power industry conference with a banner protest, due to be held in London on April 11 and 12. The two-day conference will bring together senior industry representatives as well as consultancies and investors in biofuel supply chains, including those based in Africa. The Biofuel Watch campaigners say the conference leads the likes of Steven’s Croft Power Station, which is the largest wood-burning power plant in Britain, to continue to feed on tapering forests across the world. 

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