Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 25, 2012

Froggy Foibles

The best-kept secret tree house in Whistler

National Post
April 25, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada, Canada West

Joel Allen is a 31-year-old carpenter from Salmon Arm, B.C. …It was the best move of his life, he says, and it led him — on his own time — to the middle of the woods in Whistler, B.C., where he has built a tree house for the ages: a spectacular egg-shaped orb whose precise location, on Crown land, is top secret unless you are among the lucky few to find it.

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Why The Lorax Loves Forestry

Snohomish Times
April 24, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

…Forty years after the book was published, however, a different story has been written in forests across the globe. Rather than being at odds, the Once-ler and the Lorax have found a common interest in making sure forests grow and expand – and many of the world’s forests have benefitted. In the industrialized world, instead of the scarcity Seuss predicted, forests are plentiful. Last year was the International Year of the Forest, and the United Nations offered some good news. For the last two decades, total land area covered by forest in the Northern Hemisphere – where forestry is particularly active – has increased.

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Smokey Bear becomes next space crew’s mascot

Atlanta Journal Constitution
April 25, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

STAR CITY, Russia — An American set to travel to the International Space Station says he has chosen Smokey the Bear as his crew’s mascot. NASA astronaut Joseph Acaba said Wednesday that he hopes Smokey, the mascot of the United States Forest Service, would help raise public awareness about the dangers posed by forest fires. Acaba and his Russian crewmates Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin are set to blast off to the station on May 15 from the Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The retirement of the U.S. shuttle fleet has left Russia’s Soyuz spacecraft as the only means to deliver crews to the space outpost.

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Business & Politics

Fibrek not surrendering as Resolute controls 48.8 per cent of shares

By: Ross Marowits
Associated Press
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – Fibrek says it isn’t ready to wave the white flag to a hostile takeover bid by Resolute Forest Products, which still hasn’t secured a majority of the pulp producer’s shares. Montreal-based Resolute, said Tuesday that it holds about 48.8 per cent of Fibrek shares after adding 2.66 million as of Monday. Fibrek (criticized its rival’s lack of success in convincing those other than large shareholders to tender their shares. “After extending its bid for the eighth time now, Abitibi has once again made little to no progress convincing Fibrek minority shareholders…to tender to their inferior bid,” Fibrek said in a statement.

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Second worker dies in Lakeland Mill fire

WorksafeBC orders inspection of all B.C. sawmills after Monday night’s blast
The Province
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A second person has perished in the explosion and fire that rocked Lakeland Mills sawmill in Prince George. The blast claimed the life of shift supervisor Alan Little, 43, and a second mill worker, who succumbed to his injuries in an Edmonton hospital Tuesday evening. The second person, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of kin, was one of 24 workers working in the mill when it exploded. WorkSafeBC is investigating the similarities between the Lakeland Mills explosion and a similar blast in January at the Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake, about 230 kms northwest of Prince George. Two workers died and 19 were injured in that explosion.

Also in the Globe and Mail

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Wood dust suspected in BC sawmill blasts

Unusually dry timber from pine beetle infestation could create explosive dust
CBC News
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The second lumber mill explosion and fire in B.C. in four months is raising questions about the kind of wood that mills in the province are cutting and the amount of explosive dust that could be in the air inside the buildings. …Both of the destroyed mills were cutting wood from trees killed by pine beetles, which is much dryer than timber from live trees and its dust particles can be more easily ignited. The probability of dust explosions in B.C. sawmills wasn’t much of an issue as recently as 10 years ago, but since then, the harvest of pine beetle timber has increased significantly.

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Workers fled as flames roared around them

By Gordon Hoekstra And Tara Carman, Vancouver Sun; With File From Mike Hager
Vancouver Sun
April 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Two dozen workers were on shift in the sawmill section of Prince George’s Lakeland Mills Monday night when a loud “boom” shook the building and fire erupted around them. The workers fought their way through the smoke and flames, desperate to get out of the building before the power failed or there was another explosion. All but one – 43-year-old Alan Little – made it through the ordeal alive. “It was quite gruesome,” Brian Croy, first vice-president of the United Steelworkers Local 1-424, told The Canadian Press. “When you walk out, there was guys with their skin hanging off their arms and stuff from being burned.”

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Premier’s Statement on Prince George Mill Explosion and Fire

Office of BC Premier
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER- Premier Christy Clark made the following statement on the Lakeland Mill explosion and fire: “Like all British Columbians, I was shocked and saddened to learn of the explosion and fire at Lakeland Mills in Prince George. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the families impacted, particularly with the family of the worker who did not survive this terrible incident.

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Milling mountain pine beetle wood may pose fire risk

The Tyee
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

There may be something about logs that come from mountain pine beetle killed trees that’s caused explosions and fires at two British Columbia sawmills, Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson said today. “There is growing anecdotal evidence that MPB killed logs may be producing combustible materials that interior sawmills were not designed to address,” said a prepared statement from Simpson, who sits as an independent. He made the comments after an April 23 fire at the Lakeland Mill in Prince George, which killed one worker and injured 24. In January an explosion and fire destroyed the Babine Forest Products mill in Burns Lake and killed two workers.

Also in the Tyee Sawdust may be factor in two mill explosions, says minister

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WorkSafeBC initiates investigation into Lakeland Sawmill explosion and orders province-wide sawmill safety reviews

WorkSafeBC
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond, B.C. — WorkSafeBC has initiated an investigation into the April 23 explosion at the Lakeland Mills in Prince George. WorkSafeBC sends condolences to the family of the deceased, the workers injured in the explosion and the community of Prince George… WorkSafeBC will commence its site investigation as soon as it is released by both agencies and it is safe for officers to access. In addition, WorkSafeBC will immediately be issuing orders to all sawmill employers in B.C., directing them to conduct a full hazard identification, risk assessment, and safety review, with particular focus on combustible dust; dust accumulation; and potential ignition sources.

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Pensioners fear huge losses if Catalyst resold

Campbell River Mirror
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

At the corporate poker table where big-money players from New York are gambling for the future of Catalyst, the “little” guys at the table, the pensioners, feel like they’re being set up to lose. …Catalyst, with more than $800 million in debt, is currently under bankruptcy protection and the company’s future is being played out in court. The biggest problem for the pensioners is they’re listed as unsecured creditors.  If the secured creditors – i.e. the big money lenders – don’t agree on a restructuring plan, then Catalyst could very well be sold under an agreement known as a “stalking horse bid.”

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BC sawmills face uncertain futures after explosions

CTV News
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A B.C. forestry expert is optimistic that the Prince George sawmill that exploded Monday night will be rebuilt, despite the discouraging fates of mills involved in similar tragedies. One man was killed and 10 others were sent to hospital when the Lakeland Sawmill went up in flames during the evening shift. The massive blaze levelled the facility, but University of B.C. forestry professor Harry Nelson says there’s hope it may rise from the ashes. “I think there’s a good chance this mill would get rebuilt. Lakelands is a well-run operation. They’ve got a good timber supply and it’s a good location, so those all work in its favour,” he told CTV News.

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B.C. attitude to mill safety needs work

The Province
April 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The decision by WorkSafe B.C. to inspect all sawmills in the province after the second deadly explosion this year is a no-brainer that feels a lot like the proverbial closing of the barn door after the horse has run off. Many people will be asking why WorkSafe’s routine inspections didn’t pick up on whatever dangerous conditions have been causing the sawdust fires and explosions. …What do you think? Email a brief comment, including your name and town to: provletters@theprovince.com

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Mill loss latest blow to industry

The Province
April 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The fire that destroyed a Prince George sawmill comes at a time when B.C. Interior mills are already facing closures, an industry analyst says. Russ Taylor, a longtime forest consultant in Vancouver, said Tuesday that some mills were expected to close in the coming years as wood killed by pine beetles becomes too brittle to saw. “Over the next six to 10 years, there will be a number of closures,” said Taylor, who works with the International Wood Markets Group.

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Explosions trigger safety review of B.C.’s sawmills

By Jonathan Fowlie, Vancouver Sun; With Files From Gordon Hamilton And Gordon Hoekstra
Vancouver Sun
April 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC has ordered sawmills across the province to immediately investigate sawdust levels and other possible workplace hazards in their facilities, saying the review is urgently needed given explosions at two northern mills in just under three months. “We are issuing orders immediately to all sawmill employers in British Columbia and directing that they conduct a full hazard identification risk assessment and safety review, and we’re asking them to focus on combustible dust and dust accumulation and potential ignition sources,” WorkSafeBC vice-president Roberta Ellis said Tuesday. The order came after a massive explosion and fire at the Lakeland sawmill in Prince George Monday night.

Also in the Canadian Press
Also in the Globe and Mail

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Tentative Agreement Reached with Tembec

Moose FM
April 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

An extension of discussions in the Tembec and unions was set to expire tomorrow. The union executive of CEP local 256 and 89 say they have reached a tentative agreement with the company with a recommendation to their members to accept. Members are strongly urged to attend a special meeting today April 25th at 4:00 pm at the Knights of Columbus Hall for information on the agreement and to vote on the agreement..
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Tembec Strike Extension

Moose FM Kapuskasing
April 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A 48-hour extension has been given to Tembec’s unions as they continue to negotiate for a new contract deal. According to the coalition leader the extension has been granted to the unions until April 26th at 6:00pm. Keith Ste. Croix of Local 89 has asked that his members not show up on the picket lines tonight as previously scheduled. Negotiations are continuing with managment and union representatives.

END OF STORY

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Rayonier 1Q net income dips but beats expectations

CBS News
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Investment trust Rayonier Inc. said Tuesday that its first-quarter net income and revenue fell, but the company beat analysts’ expectations with a rise in prices for its forest products. The company, which is structured as a real estate investment trust, manages timber land, sells timber and makes forest products such as such as cellulose fibers. The vast majority of its revenue — more than 70 percent — comes from selling fiber products.

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Wood Products Council Appoints WoodWorks President/CEO

Position reflects transition from pilot to sustained market growth initiative 
WoodWorks
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Washington, DC – The Wood Products Council (WPC) announced today that Adrian Blocker  has been appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. WoodWorks initiative—a program  aimed at encouraging architects, engineers and others to use more wood in non-residential and multi-family  buildings and making it easier for them to do so. “The creation of a full-time President and CEO position reflects the transition of WoodWorks from a pilot to  mature national program,” said Christopher McIver, Chair of the WPC board and VP West Fraser. “The pilot demonstrated that success is achievable; now  it’s time to take the program to the next level. Adrian has a long history as a leader in the forest products industry and we’re excited that his experience and vision will be brought to bear on WoodWorks during its next critical phase.”

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Kelly McCloskey Steps Down as Leader of U.S. WoodWorks Program

Will continue to support transition to U.S.-Based Initiative 
WoodWorks
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Vancouver, BC – The creation of a full-time President and CEO position for U.S. WoodWorks reflects a transition from a pilot initiative to a sustained national program [and] a transition to U.S.-based management. Until now, the program’s day-to-day leadership was undertaken by Vancouver-based Kelly McCloskey & Associates (KMA), specifically Kelly and KMA Vicepresident Dwight Yochim. [Previously] as President of the Canadian Wood Council, Kelly led the creation of the Canadian Wood WORKS! initiative… In addition to supporting WoodWorks, KMA will continue to consult to the forest sector in the areas of coalition building, market intelligence and strategy development and implementation. It will also merge officially with Tree Frog Creative Communications, producer of the Tree Frog Forestry News.

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Potlatch 1Q profit falls on lower saw log volumes

CBS News
April 23, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SPOKANE, Wash. — Potlatch saw profits tumble 34 percent in the first quarter and the timberland investment company on Monday cited decreased log sales and stagnant prices. The company said that during the quarter ended March 31, it earned net income of $5.1 million, or 13 cents per share, compared to $7.7 million, or 19 cents per share, during the same period a year before. Revenue during the quarter was $112.4 million, down from $122.2 million in the prior year period. That was higher than the 8 cents per share in net income on $109.4 million in revenue that analysts expected, according to FactSet.

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Stora Enso Q1 profit halves to $97 million

Associated Press
April 24, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

HELSINKI — Paper maker Stora Enso Oyj’s first-quarter net profit halved to euro74 million ($97 million), mainly because of lower paper prices and smaller demand for renewable packaging materials. The Finnish-Swedish company said Tuesday that revenue fell slightly in the period, to euro2.67 billion from euro2.62 billion a year earlier. Net profit in the quarter last year was euro156 million. Stora said it expects slightly higher sales in the second quarter but warned of temporary interruptions at some plants.

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Stora Enso sales “stable”, but cost reductions continue

Timber Trades Journal
April 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Sales in Stora Enso’s Building and Living division (including wood products) remained stable in the first quarter but further cost reductions will be implemented in the second quarter. The division, which also includes solid biofuels, recorded sales of €381m compared to €382m in the preceding quarter. The sales were down 7% year-on-year. Profits before tax and interest were up 63.3% to €9.8m compared to the preceding quarter but were down 16.9% on a year ago.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Redwood lumber marketing project launching soon; supervisors approve using Headwaters Fund grant

Times-Standard
April 25, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Humboldt County residents can expect to start seeing advertisements promoting the use of redwood over other building materials thanks to a marketing program that will utilize a Headwaters Fund grant. The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to approve spending $750,000 in Headwaters Fund money during the next three years to develop and implement a redwood lumber advertising campaign. Headwaters Fund coordinator Dawn Elsbree said the goal of the campaign is to convince California residents to choose redwood over wood-plastic composite lumber when building decks. She said the hope is an increased demand will help retain, if not increase, local jobs.

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State’s Green Building Council to meet, review new building standards, Plan Maryland

Washington Post
April 25, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — The Maryland Green Building Council is scheduled to receive presentations on Plan Maryland and new green building construction codes enacted by the legislature earlier this year. The council is expected to meet Wednesday morning to consider the measures. The new construction codes passed by the General Assembly mirror that of the International Green Construction Code. Plan Maryland is the governor’s state-wide growth plan that has received blowback from county and municipal leaders.

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Foxboro revamp at Aracruz Celulose pulp mill

SA Instrumentation and Control
April 25, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Aracruz Celulose is unusual in that the mill uses eucalyptus trees for making pulp, which is shipped around the world to paper producers who make tissue, fine printing, writing and specialty paper products. The advantage of eucalyptus trees is that they grow so quickly, reaching mature heights of about 35 metres within just seven years of growth. This means that they can be harvested much more frequently than the slow growing pine forests of North America. In 1995, Aracruz management overhauled the production lines to modernise and eliminate bottlenecks, while expanding overall production capacity to 1,2 million tons per annum. 

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Forestry

Timber supply review certainly does raise issues

Letter by Gunter Hoehne
Burns Lake Lakes District News
April 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Editor:  Again I feel compelled to respond to comments attributed to MLA John Rustad in the Lakes District News edition of April 18 in the story, “Timber supply review raises issues.” …I find this choice overly simplistic and uninformed.  To better understand the nature and value of the other values, I have included a quote from the mid-term timber supply project report for the Minister of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

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Protesters Demand Say in Logging Project

KEZI TV
April 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. — A group of environmental activists and property owners protested in front of the U.S. Forest Service Office in Springfield Tuesday morning. They are demanding a say in logging operations near McKenzie Bridge called the Goose Project. The forest service describes the project as thinnning out the trees on about 2,400 acres of land north of Highway 126 near McKenzie Bridge. A couple dozen people gathered in front of the forest service office to demand their voices be heard in this project. Many say there was little effort to reach out for public comment on the issue.

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City’s Urban Forestry manager garners national recognition

The Sacramento Press
April 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

City of Sacramento Urban Forestry Manager Joe Benassini is the recipient of a 2012 Arbor Day Award in honor of his outstanding contribution to tree planting, conservation and stewardship, the Arbor Day Foundation announced today. Benassini is one of 16 individuals and organizations being recognized by the Foundation at the annual Arbor Day Awards. 

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Congressman blasts forest thinning delay

Ambitious forest thinning project already falling behind schedule
Payson Roundup
April 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Congressman Paul Gosar has written an insistent demand that the U.S. Forest Service move quickly to award the first set of contracts to thin fire-plagued woodlands as part of the 4-Forests Restoration Initiative (4-FRI). The Forest Service had originally planned in December to award 10-year contracts to thin 300,000 acres in central Arizona. However, although the Forest Service’s regional office in Albuquerque, N.M. has received several bids, it has yet to award contracts for a project advocates say represents the last, best chance to save communities in places like Rim Country from the devastation of firestorms like last summer’s Wallow Fire in the White Mountains.

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Forest Service planning big post-beetle reforestation push at local campgrounds this summer

Summit County Citizens Voice
April 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

SUMMIT COUNTY — After clearing thousands of beetle-killed trees from Summit County campgrounds and trails the past few years, the U.S. Forest Service is going into restoration mode. While there’s still more hazard tree removal to be done, rangers say they are ready to plant about 3,000 trees, including lodgepole, ponderosa and even some spruce trees.
The trees were just delivered on a couple of flatbed trucks, according to Sarah Pearson, a silviculturalist with the White River River National Forest. 

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Tree Growth vital to many

Lewiston Sun Journal
April 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The article on Maine’s Tree Growth Tax Law (April 15) presented a very one-sided view of the 40-year-old law, a program that is vital to thousands of small woodland owners. The article was largely about the views of a few disgruntled assessors in the coastal towns outside the Sun Journal’s circulation area. …As for the thousands of small woodland owners who are enrolled in the Maine Tree Growth program, the law may be all that keeps them from over-cutting their timber. Once the merchantable timber is harvested, there isn’t much incentive to pay taxes for many years with no income, so the land is offered for sale for house lots or other development. It takes 40 to 50 years to grow pulpwood, and 50 to 75 years to grow sawlogs, so the cost of taxes can be more than the value of timber, if taxes were high.

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Bioplastics offer more sustainable solution for tree planting

Dutch company introduces innovative tree support system that replaces the need for wasteful wooden support stakes.
EcoSeed
April 23, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

It is widely recognised that reforestation is a crucial aspect of tackling climate change and addressing CO2 balance, but less is understood about the hidden carbon footprint and environmental impact of planting new trees. Tree planting conventionally requires the use of a wooden stake as a growth support. Not only are mature trees felled to produce these stakes, but they are often shipped long-distances for use in planting. Netherlands-based Natural Plastics has developed a new tree support system that is set to eradicate the wasteful practice of felling existing trees in order to plant new ones and demonstrates the intelligent benefits offered by the rapidly developing range of plant-based plastics.

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Gunmen Threaten Teams Fighting Forest Fire in Mexico

Latin American Herald Tribune
April 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Threats from gunmen prevented the deployment of some of the teams sent to fight the fire in the La Primavera forest in Guadalajara, the capital of the western Mexican state of Jalisco, officials said. The armed men, who belonged to an unidentified criminal organization, tried to prevent the more than 300 firefighters, emergency management office personnel and residents deployed in the forest from working at various times over the weekend, Jalisco Rural Development Secretary Alvaro Garcia Chavez said. …The gunmen may have been in the forest because of the area’s vast natural wealth, which is exploited by businesses and criminal organizations, the state official said. The fire, which started on Saturday morning, has consumed nearly 1,400 hectares (3,456 acres) of forest, with officials labeling the blaze the worst to hit Jalisco in the past six years.

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Brazil congress set to vote on divisive forest law

Associated Press
April 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

SAO PAULO Activists are warning that a proposed revamping of Brazil’s tough environmental law could roll back recent historic gains in the fight against Amazon deforestation by opening parts of the rainforest to farming and increasing impunity for violators. …”If this passes it will be a disaster for the environment, it will clearly lead to more deforestation and create an amnesty for those who have broken the law,” said Paulo Adario, coordinator of Greenpeace’s Amazon campaign who in February won a United Nations’ “Forest Hero” award. “I see only more destruction in the future if this becomes law.”

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Issues Facing the Cultivated Forest of Southern Europe

Forest Industry Network
April 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The 24th Forexpo will take place on June 6 – 8, 2012, in the heart of the Landes de Gascogne forest, in Landes. In Mimizan, the European silviculture and forestry development show will celebrate its 50th anniversary… The main issues facing the cultivated forest of Southern Europe will therefore be “in action” in Mimizan: reforestation, the certification of sustainable management, the protection of forests against fire, the forest industry, silvicultural strategies, forest mechanisation, energy wood, new uses of wood…

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Trees felled as killer beetles strike

Kent Online
April 24, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A public meeting is being held tonight amid fears over an invasion of killer beetles. As many as 22 trees have so far had to be felled after being infested with the larva of the Asian longhorn beetle. The discovery of the beetle lurking inside a poplar tree in Paddock Wood last month was the first outbreak of the non-native species in the UK. It prompted Fera (Food and Environment Research Agency) and the Forestry Commission to warn the outbreak could have serious consequences for Kent’s trees.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Innovation unveiled at local greenhouse

Delta-Optimist
April 25, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Ladner greenhouse was the site of the official launch last Friday of what’s being described as a revolutionary new clean heating and emissions reuse system. Jobs and Innovation Minister Pat Bell, Delta South MLA Vicki Huntington and others were on hand for a ceremony at SunSelect Produce for the unveiling of the ProSelect GC6 carbon capture system. The first of its kind in the world to be used in a commercial operation, the stateof-the-art GC6 captures carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from wood waste, currently used to heat the greenhouse, then converts it to an essential CO2 to fertilize the vegetables grown at the operation.

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Study: developing renewables through 2035 will create more Va. jobs, revenue than fossil fuels

Washington Post
April 25, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

RICHMOND, Va. — A study concludes developing a portfolio of renewable power sources to satisfy Virginia’s energy appetite through 2035 would create tens of thousands more jobs than relying on either coal or natural gas. The George Mason University study released Wednesday was prepared for Virginia Conservation Network, a coalition of environmental groups and proponents of renewable energy sources over fossil fuels.

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NewPage Corp. abandons plans for biorefinery in Wisconsin Rapids

Wisconsin Rapids Tribune
April 24, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

MIAMISBURG, Ohio — NewPage Corp. is discontinuing its involvement in a project to build a biorefinery at its Wisconsin Rapids mill, the papermaker announced today. In January 2008, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded NewPage a $30 million grant to build the facility, according to a company news release. The plant would have produced 370 barrels of renewable diesel fuel a day — about 5.5 million gallons a year — from mill residue and wood chips, according to the Energy Department. Since that time, a NewPage team has worked with the Energy Department, and more recently with third-party investors, to determine the feasibility of the plan, known as Project Independence, according to the news release.

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