Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 12, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Tree logging app to help keep our cities green

New Scientist (blog)
April 12, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States, US West

In his epic Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Douglas Adams wrote of a planet peopled by lazy middlemen who attempt to prosper by selling each other leaves from trees. Although the error of their ways was quickly pointed out as unsustainable, a computer game that uses leaves as a kind of currency has been developed here on Earth – and if the idea is picked up its developers reckon it could make our urban green spaces more sustainable. Called Forest, the game … has been designed by Jason Linder and Wendy Ju of the California College of the Arts in San Francisco. Their overarching aim was to find out if a digital game can have a useful effect in the physical world.

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Lumber Zap

Miss O & Friends
April 11, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Online game. Plant trees and then protect them from the lumber jacks.


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Business & Politics

Mercer raises offer to stay ahead in race for Fibrek

Globe and Mail
April 11, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s Mercer International raised its offer for specialty pulp maker Fibrek by 8 per cent to further strengthen its position against rival bidder AbitibiBowater Inc. Fibrek, which counts investment guru Prem Watsa’s Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd. as its largest shareholder, is the target of a two-way battle for control as pulp producers look to cash in on surging Chinese demand for tissues.

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Powerful US lumber lobby threatens to thwart Canada in trade deal

Winnipeg Free Press
April 11, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

VANCOUVER – The powerful softwood lumber lobby in the United States is suggesting it could thwart Canada’s efforts to join a Pacific free trade zone if its neighbour refuses to address long-standing irritants. Zoltan van Heyningen, executive director of the U.S. Lumber Coalition, said the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement negotiations could provide a chance to “make some progress on this file.” The agreement talks offer a new chance to address complaints that the lobby group hasn’t had solved to its satisfaction under the U.S.-Canada softwood lumber agreement or NAFTA, he said. “It provides an opportunity,” van Heyningen said in an interview during a visit to Vancouver.

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Catalyst vote looms

Cowichan News Leader Pictorial
April 11, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cowichan mill workers, pensioners and local leaders are sweating bullets about an April 23 vote that could decide the future of Catalyst Crofton’s pulp-and-paper mill. That’s the day Catalyst’s note holders and creditors vote on a proposed restructuring and support plan that could see the pulp giant — employing some 700 union workers, plus salaried staffers, in Crofton — continuing to operate. Stakeholders will also cast ballots on a proposed sales and investor solicitation process order, if restructuring plans for the financially troubled firm fail to pass.

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EACOM Timber Corporation Announces Closing of $40 million Secured Debenture …

Stockhouse
April 11, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTRÉAL- EACOM Timber Corporation today announced that it has successfully closed its previously announced $40 million secured debenture financing. The net proceeds of the $40 million 10% senior secured debentures due April, 2017 will be used for general corporate purposes. An aggregate of 200 million common share purchase warrants were also issued as part of the Transaction at an exercise price of $0.20 per common share.

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Brookfield trying to sell interest in Madawaska paper mill

Bangor Daily News
April 11, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MADAWASKA, Maine — The majority owner of the Twin Rivers Paper Co. is seeking to sell its stake in the company. Brookfield Asset Management confirmed Wednesday that it is looking for a buyer for its 51 percent share in Twin Rivers, which employs approximately 1,200 at its paper operations in Madawaska and Edmundston, New Brunswick, and at a sawmill in Plaster Rock, New Brunswick. Twin Rivers Paper previously was known as Fraser Paper. That company filed for bankruptcy, emerging in April 2010 as Twin Rivers. 

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MLCs wooed over forest peace

ABC News Australia
April 12, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Federal Government is increasing the pressure on Tasmania’s Upper House MPs who have threatened to block the $276 million peace deal. The Regional Development Minister, Simon Crean, is in Tasmania to deliver more of the peace deal funding to change the economy. Mr Crean says he will meet MLCs in the north to sell the deal which will end most native forest logging.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Hasbro to Improve Product-to-Package Ratio by 15%

Environmental Leader
April 11, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Toy manufacturer Hasbro Inc. has announced plans to reduce materials used in product packaging for many of its popular global brands …Hasbro replaced all wire ties in its packages with ties made from paper rattan or bamboo mix, and increased the proportion of its board packaging and paper sourced from recycled or sustainable forestry practices to 75 percent. By 2015, Hasbro plans to increase that ratio to 90 percent.

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Plans for high-tech panel plant moving forward

Flathead Publishing Group
April 12, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Economic development money that has been leveraged to more than $1 million through a revolving-loan program since it came to Columbia Falls nine years ago may soon be put to good use purchasing equipment for a new high-tech wood panel manufacturing plant here.
Western Building Center is in the process of applying for $400,000 in Community Development Block Grant funding from the city of Columbia Falls to buy equipment for its new Smartlam operation. The company is also applying for $400,000 in CDBG money from Flathead County. The money will help pay for a large hydraulic press and other specialized manufacturing equipment from Europe used to manufacture
cross-laminated wood panels

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EMA-Created Domtar Ad Voted Top Retro Ad in Newsweek’s Mad Men Issue

Eric Mower and Associated
April 11, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

CHARLOTTE, NC — The vintage-style print ad Eric Mower + Associates created for Domtar was voted favorite retro print ad in the special issue of Newsweek marking the return of the “Mad Men” television series. The Daily Beast, Newsweek’s online site, surveyed readers from March 19-March 31 on their favorite retro ad and the Domtar ad topped the poll, beating out a number of household names. Domtar’s winning ad is part of the company’s PAPERbecause campaign 

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Fire damages Mullins City Hall, 3 businesses

Carolina Live
April 12, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

[while this story Carolina Live claims heavy timbers slowed the fire] Mullins firefighters got a call of smoke coming from Mullins City Hall on East Front Street around midnight Wednesday. …Stetson says the fire burned slowly because of the heavy timber construction of the buildings. He says that helped crews in battling the fire. 

[Another publication WMBF NEWS blames wood for the fast spread of flames] The three businesses affected by the flames are in 80-year-old buildings, according to Stetson, and because they are made of heavy timber construction, the walls are easily burnable and fire quickly spreads.

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A members-only woodworking shop opens in Manayunk

Philadelphia Inquirer
April 11, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

When Michael Vogel was studying architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, he would spend a lot of his free time building things in the school’s furniture-grade wood shop. Ten years as an investment banker, first in New York and then in Philadelphia, did not dull the Elkins Park native’s interest in woodworking. …until he hit on the idea of a members-only wood shop where men and women might pay for the use of workspace and tools. The result is Philadelphia Woodworks, 8,000 square feet at 4901 Umbria St. in Manayunk with 17-foot ceilings and three walls of huge windows letting in natural light.

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Forestry

There’s Alternatives to the Gold in Them Thar Whales

New York Times
April 12, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A study by scientists at the University of British Columbia, published this month in The Journal of Biological Chemistry, found that synthetic alternatives to ambergris may be much more cheaply and reliably produced. The team of scientists, led by Joerg Bohlmann, professor of Botany and Forest Services, has successfully identified the gene encoding for cis-abrienol, the key chemical compound in balsam fir and can now introduce the gene into a yeast strain familiar to winemakers to reproduce the compound more efficiently and more reliably than ever before.

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Budworm trumps pine beetle in terms of regional forest threat

Castlegar News
April 12, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

According to an entomologist with the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands and natural Resource Operations, we in this part of the province have relatively little to worry about in terms of the beetle which has been the scourge of forests in other parts of B.C.Art Stock says it’s largely our topography which has worked against the mountain pine beetle really making itself at home in these parts. They’re here alright, just not in sufficient numbers to be able to do a number on the woods the way they have in the Cariboo, for instance.”We have pine beetles and we do get periodic outbreaks,” Stock related in an April 10 conversation with the Castlegar News.

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Responding to community forest concerns

Peter Ackhurst, Chair, Cheakamus Community Forest
Whistler Question
April 12, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dear Editor, Re: “Must rethink old-growth logging,” Question letters, April 5. The CCF board clearly understands the tourism benefits of the forest, and is working to reduce impacts and develop partnerships with local stakeholders like WORCA and commercial operators. Logging is not new in the Whistler area and had not stopped in the last decade. The RMOW in particular got involved in the CCF so that it would have control over where logging takes place around Whistler, instead of simply hoping that Ministry of Forests logging plans wouldn’t negatively affect our community, environment, views and tourism. Control is the key.

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Open Letter to USGBC Board

SFI
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – Today SFI sent the following letter to the U.S. Green Building Council Board of Directors: The U.S. Green Building Council’s (USGBC) third draft of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) 2012 green building rating tool was released March 1st, and public comments closed on March 27, 2012. While USGBC made some forward movement in LEED 2012 by instituting credits for Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental Product Declarations, it continues to let down forest owners and managers, state foresters, conservation groups, researchers, auditors, producers, Governors, Congressmen and over 6,000 petitioners because it refuses to explicitly recognize the value of all forest certification programs.

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US judge cuts sentence of environmental activist who set $1 million Michigan State campus fire

The Republic
April 12, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

DETROIT — A judge has cut more than three years off the prison sentence of a former radical environmentalist who set a major fire at Michigan State University and burned down new homes before becoming a government informant. …Ambrose, 37, was a radical environmentalist who identified himself with the Earth Liberation Front, known as ELF. On New Year’s Eve 1999, he and wife Marie Mason set a fire at Michigan State University’s Agriculture Hall to protest plant research, causing $1 million in damage. He also spiked trees in Indiana and burned homes under construction in Michigan.

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Conservation Groups File Lawsuit To Stop Logging In Bozeman Watershed

NBC Montana
April 12, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOZEMAN, Mont. — Conservation groups continue to fight against proposed logging and road-building in Bozeman’s Watershed and East Boulder Creek. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council filed a lawsuit in Federal District Court, Tuesday, against the two projects. The Forest Service says it wants to clear some of the vegetation along roads and other areas to reduce the risk of a large wildfire.

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Software engineers have the best jobs, lumberjacks the worst

Los Angeles Times
April 12, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Software engineers have the best jobs, writing code for operating systems and apps at companies such as Apple and Facebook, according to a new CareerCast list. Lumberjacks, who deal with high unemployment and constant danger, aren’t as lucky. The job search site ranked 200 jobs by considering factors such as work environment, income, stress levels, market outlook and physical demands… Lumberjacks have the worst job. Here’s how Jake Rosa, owner of Dry Brook Custom Sawmilling in New York explains it: “We’re still using paper and wood products all the time, but nowadays, kids would rather play video games instead of working hard and getting their hands dirty.”

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Building a Smarter Forest

The Atlantic
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Only you can prevent forest fires. Well, you and a dozen friendly robots. That’s the argument made by computer scientists M.P.Sivaram Kumar and S. Rajasekaran in a recent article in the Journal of Computing entitled “Path Planning Algorithm for Extinguishing Forest Fires.” Their thesis is simple: the vast majority of forests are destroyed by wild forest fires, and current methods of sylvan vigilance — mainly those involved individual personnel on foot patrol — are grossly inefficient in identifying emerging threats. 

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Why Trees Matter

By Jim Robbins
New York Times
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

TREES are on the front lines of our changing climate. And when the oldest trees in the world suddenly start dying, it’s time to pay attention. North America’s ancient alpine bristlecone forests are falling victim to a voracious beetle and an Asian fungus. In Texas, a prolonged drought killed more than five million urban shade trees last year and an additional half-billion trees in parks and forests… We have underestimated the importance of trees. They are not merely pleasant sources of shade but a potentially major answer to some of our most pressing environmental problems. 

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Cashew tree polymer helps drug delivery

Plastics & Rubber Weekly
April 11, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Researchers have designed a new kind of tablet that can deliver a valuable anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer drug through the lining of the cheeks and lips inside the mouth (the buccal mucosa), reports Nature India. The tablet is made from the natural mucoadhesive polymer cashew nut tree gum, which increases the bioavailability of the drug curcumin (and other therapeutic molecules), bypassing the degrading fluids which prevent its absorption through the gastrointestinal tract.

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Rainforest Alliance certification sees growth

Farming UK
April 12, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

During 2011, the Rainforest Alliance demonstrated significant growth globally in sustainable forestry, agriculture, tourism, climate change and environmental education. “Consumers and companies alike are increasingly embracing Rainforest Alliance certification,” said Tensie Whelan, president of the Rainforest Alliance. “The combined commitments of companies – large and small – play a key role in transforming our global marketplace into a more sustainable model, improving livelihoods and protecting natural resources for generations to come.” 

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Gunns considers name change

ABC Online
April 12, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A financial analyst believes a possible name change for Tasmanian timber producer Gunns is part of the company’s latest capital-raising plan. Gunns has confirmed it is considering a new name and could move its headquarters interstate. A spokeswoman for the Launceston-based company says Melbourne is one of the cities being considered. She would not reveal the new name, but last month Gunns applied for a trademark for the name Enpax Australia.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

BC, Ontario and Quebec lead Canada’s climate efforts: Suzuki Foundation

Montreal Gazette
April 12, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Canadian provinces and territories are “all over the map” in terms of climate change plans, with Ontario, Quebec and B.C., leading the way while Alberta and Saskatchewan are lagging behind, says a new report card released Wednesday by the David Suzuki Foundation. The analysis coincided with the publication of new data from Environment Canada that confirmed overall emissions were stable across the country in spite of a substantial increase in emissions from the oil and gas sector.

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SD43 eyes cash back for carbon offsets

The Tri-City News
April 12, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thousands of dollars School District 43 pays in carbon offsets for its energy and paper use could be coming back for energy conservation projects. But it’s not known yet how much money will be reimbursed and what the funds would be used for. …SD43 has been paying money to the trust based on its paper, fuel and electricity use at the equivalent of about $25 a tonne for estimated greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). It may still be expected to do so, but at least some of the money will be returned.

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Waste wood to bio-fuel – CRIBE Steps up with $6 Million in Dryden

Net Newsledger
April 11, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dryden – The Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) are providing up to $6 Million in funding to leverage a total project value of up to $14 Million for a partnership between Domtar and Battelle to develop a new approach to converting underutilized wood to fuel.

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49 former NASA scientists go ballistic over agency’s bias over climate change

Financial Post
April 12, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Some prominent voices at NASA are fed up with the agency’s activist stance toward climate change. 49 former NASA scientists and astronauts sent the following letter asking the agency to move away from climate models and to limit its stance to what can be empirically proven. The letter criticizes the Goddard Institute For Space Studies especially, where director Jim Hansen and climatologist Gavin Schmidt have been outspoken advocates for action.

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US boosts biomass R&D with £50 million in funding

Energy Efficiency News
April 11, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The US administration has announced a $35 million boost to research and development of biofuels, bioenergy and bio-based products with a further $15 million for biomass-based oil supplements that can be blended with petroleum. The three-year biofuel R&D funding programme will look to support the development of economically and environmentally sustainable sources of renewable biomass. The initiative will also aim to increase the availability of renewable fuels and bio-based products replacing gasoline and diesel.

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Global warming: Forest Service researchers examine the role of pathogens in a world that’s heating up

Summit County Citizens Voice
April 12, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

SUMMIT COUNTY — Forest Service scientists say warmer and drier conditions could lead to more Armillaria root disease in some conifers and hardwoods, as well as more Cytospora canker on aspens and dwarf mistletoe, which poses a high risk under drought conditions.
Under a warmer and wet climate change scenario, sudden oak death and other Phytophthora tree diseases could become more common, as the pathogens reproduce and spread quickly under favorable moist and warm conditions. The report from the agency’s Pacific Southwest Research Station surveyed existing scientific literature to try and rate potential risks to forests under different climate change scenarios, looking specifically at eight diseases that affect forests in the Western United States and Canada.

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Conscientious forestry to optimize timber and climate change benefits – TOMORROW at Town Hall

College of Environment
University of Washington
April 12, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Our iconic Pacific Northwest forests offer sources of beauty, shelter, purity—and profit. As a part of the Engage Science program, Paul Fischer, a SEFS grad student, will be giving a public lecture on forestry practices and carbon sequestration as part of the Seattle Science Now lecture series at Seattle Town Hall tomorrow (Thursday) at 7:30 PM . Tickets for students (regularly $5) are free! 

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Mixed Greens: Aussie firm in global carbon offset powerhouse

RenewEconomy
April 12, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Leading Australian carbon offset provider, Climate Friendly, says it has joined forces with one of the world’s leading carbon project developers, South Pole Carbon, today announcing that the Switzerland-based company, with offices in 10 countries, has become a major shareholder in Climate Friendly. “This is the first investment by an international company into an Australian carbon business, sparked by the new carbon legislation,” said Climate Friendly CEO Freddy Sharpe. “There are many opportunities for us to pursue together and one of the most exciting is the development of new Australian carbon projects.”

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World’s first hydrogen fuel demonstration using catalytic carbon

Virtual-Strategy Magazine
April 12, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The world’s first prototype equipment using catalytic carbon for producing hydrogen-for-fuel will be shown publicly in London. On April 23, guests and VIP’s, including political, business, academia and energy sector specialists and professionals are invited to challenge, discuss, analyse the world’s first scalable Hydrogen-On-Demand system requiring minimum power input. An important characteristic of this new breakthrough is that it requires no external power input after the hydrogen-producing reaction is started, making possible, for the first time, the scale-up to high rates of hydrogen on demand (HOD) using catalytic carbon.

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