Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 27, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Tree pollen mistaken for apocalypse

Windsor Star
April 27, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles

Russia’s weather and emergency officials soothed fears of Moscow residents Thursday with statements that green-tinged clouds over the capital were not an alien invasion, but tree pollen. The clouds crept up on the Russian capital from the south in the morning. Komsomolskaya Pravda tabloid headlined its story “Could it be that the apocalypse is upon us?”… “But this dust is pollen from alder and birch trees, which began flowering recently after a slow spring.” 

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Business & Politics

Avrim Lazar on the forest industry’s new markets

Globe and Mail
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Avrim Lazar was a senior Ottawa mandarin in the Ministry of the Environment in 2002 when he made the leap to become CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada. The industry was booming in those days, aided by a 65-cent Canadian dollar that made its products cheap in the United States. But a rising loonie and a collapse in U.S. housing construction then sent the sector into crisis. In recent years, Lazar, 64, has worked with companies and the federal government to improve the industry’s environmental performance and to expand export markets in Asia.

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This is devastating

Prince George Citizen
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sinclar Group president Greg Stewart fought back tears as his thoughts turned to two men who lost their lives in Monday’s sawmill explosion at Lakeland Mills. Glenn Roche, 46, died early Wednesday morning at University Hospital in Edmonton, where he had been transported by air ambulance on Tuesday. Alan Little, 43, died at University Hospital of Northern B.C. a few hours after the fire began. “I want to acknowledge and honour the two employees that have lost their lives in this tragic incident,” said Stewart. “This is by far the most serious incident that we’ve had within our group of companies and to have two lives lost as a result of this is devastating for all of us. There really aren’t words to describe how I feel. I’m devastated. It’s the hardest thing that anyone in our company’s had to deal with.”

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Provincial sawdust regulation coming: Union

Alberni Valley Times
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The union representing sawmill workers in B.C. is in talks with the Ministry of Labour to create regulations that will require employers to deal with sawdust accumulation in their mills. United Steelworkers Local 1-85 President Dave Steinhauer said the regulations should come into effect by May 22 and are in response to the devastating sawmill explosion in Prince George on Monday that has so far claimed two lives and injured 22 others.

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‘We are a community in mourning’

Calls for ‘accountability’ as city loses employment as well as loved ones
The Province
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As workers head to their jobs today, they should be given big hugs, says a Prince George man in mourning over that city’s tragic sawmill fire. “When a family member heads to work today, whether they’re a truck driver or in the service industry, give them a hug,” Coun. Brian Skakun said Wednesday. “Be grateful to have them in your family, whether they’re a child or a parent,” he said. Skakun, who works at a pulp mill, is among the city’s 87,000 residents saddened by two deaths and 22 injuries at an explosion and fire Monday that destroyed the Lakeland saw-mill.

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BC mills move to clean-up sawdust after explosion

CBC News
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is expected to order sawmills to remove accumulated sawdust, following the deadly explosion in Prince George, but several sawmills have already begun voluntary clean ups. Minister of Jobs Pat Bell said at least one mill shut down completely on Wednesday for a voluntary cleanup. “As I understand it, the Conifex mill in Mackenzie yesterday took some voluntary downtime to do some housekeeping,” said Bell. Bob Fleet, the vice president in charge of eight Tolko mills around B.C., said they’re voluntarily doing what they expect safety inspectors at WorkSafeBC will soon order.

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Did ComDust Fuel Deadly BC Sawmill Blasts?

Woodworking Network
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia authorities are scrambling to find answers to what caused Monday’s fatal explosion at the Lakeland Mills sawmill in Prince George. What’s more, they are looking for any common denominators to the eerily similar and equally catastrophic Jan. 20 blast at Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake, BC. Workers at each of the scenes described witnessing massive explosions that produced huge fireballs. Each of the accidents destroyed a sawmill, killed two workers and injured more than 20 additional employees.

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Mill explosions ‘new territory’ for B.C.’s beetle-ravaged forest industry

By GORDON HAMILTON
Vancouver Sun
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sawmill explosions in the B.C. Interior have thrown the province’s forest industry into turmoil, raising concerns that the mountain pine beetle’s damage to the sector may be entering a new and more deadly phase. The potential for dry beetle-killed wood to pose a safety hazard comes at a time when the industry is struggling to cope with pine beetle impact. … “We are in new territory,” said John Allan, president of the B.C. Council of Forest Industries. “These two mills blew up. They just didn’t catch fire. “The beetle has infected every aspect of the business,” Allan said Thursday.

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Raise the price for burning wood

By Dave Lewis, letter to the editor
Victoria Times Colonist
April 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics, Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Pine-beetle plan short on action,” April 24… There is a simple solution, but there is not the support from the urban population to enact it. By increasing the price that B.C. Hydro pays for power generated from thermal plants that utilize pinebeetle-killed wood, companies would invest in the development of such energy plants and there would be an economic ability to pay for the harvest and reforestation of the land mentioned in the editorial.

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Canfor to spend $40 million on mill upgrades in B.C. Kootenay region

Canadian Press
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canfor Corp. said Thursday it will spend $40 million on capital improvement projects at its sawmills in B.C.’s Kootenay region. The company plans to spend $38.5 million on a new planer, a biomass energy system and modifications to the existing sawmill in Radium Hot Springs, B.C. The balance will be invested at the company’s Canal Flats sawmill to improve drying capacity. “These investments are critical to support the restart of our Radium division, which was indefinitely closed in May 2009,” Canfor president and chief executive Don Kayne said. The work at the Radium mill will start next month with start up at the operation expected in the fourth quarter.

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Close to 250 Lakeland Mills employees to be unemployed

Prince George Free Press
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Lakeland Mills employees will be paid up to the end of the week and then they will be unemployed, need to file for Employment Insurance or find other employment. Frank Everitt, United Steelworkers Local 1-424 president and city councillor said this affects not only the 150 hourly workers but managers, supervisors and support staff. There will be a rippling effect on the sales department, he added, as well as loggers and chip harvesters.

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BC sawmill towns on edge over dust buildup that’s suspect in two explosions

Canadian Press
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Workers heading to shifts at British Columbia sawmills after two recent, catastrophic explosions are worrying that the dust fluttering in the air like a sack of dropped flour means they’re walking into a powder keg. Four deaths and scores of traumatic burns and injuries have resulted from the fiery conflagrations at the north-central mills, which were processing trees so destroyed by the mountain pine beetle they were long dead before harvest. The independent agency that looks after worker safety ordered Thursday that B.C.’s 300 or so mills immediately get a grip on any dust problems.

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Tolko Industries to review lumber mill safety

Kamloops Daily News
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries Ltd. is complying with a WorkSafeBC mill review in wake of the Lakeland Mills explosion as well as conducting independent reviews of its eight Interior mills.? ?Bob Fleet, Tolko’s vice-president of environment and forestry said the company already has a “rigid program of monthly housekeeping and safety inspections” to control dust from beetle-killed timber.? ? Inspectors do not have answers yet for the cause of the explosion that killed two men at the Prince George mill blast, nor another deadly blast in January at a Burns Lake mill explosion.? ?

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Tembec reviewing lumber, high-yield pulp businesses amid weak Q2 results

By Ross Marowits
Canadian Press
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Tembec says a special board committee is considering the future of its lumber and high-yield pulp businesses which continue to struggle in the face of weak market conditions. Chief executive James Lopez said the Montreal-based producer has to decide whether to invest up to $60 million in its lumber facilities or pursue alternatives. “We’re not announcing that we’re spinning off the lumber business or selling or anything like that today, but all those things are up for review,” he said Thursday during a conference call after posting disappointing quarterly results.

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Radium sawmill to reopen

Invermere Valley Echo
April 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, US West, Canada West

Rumours have been flying for months, but on April 26 Canfor confirmed that the Radium sawmill will reopen later this year. A total of $38.5 million is to be invested in the mill beginning in May 2012, and funding will cover construction of a new planer facility, the installation of a biomass energy system and modifications to the existing sawmill. The mill is expected to reopen sometime in the fall or winter. Also included is the news that a further $1.5 million will be spent to improve drying capacity at the Canal Flats mill, acquired by Canfor from Tembec in November 2011.

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Cate Street plans industrial park at Millinocket paper mill site

Bangor Daily News
April 25, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MILLINOCKET, Maine — The New Hampshire-based investor that purchased two Katahdin region paper mills in September announced plans Wednesday to turn the Millinocket site into an industrial park and launch a national marketing campaign to draw industry to the region. Leaders from Cate Street Capital of Portsmouth met in executive session with the Town Council for about an hour on Wednesday and unveiled renderings of the first $35 million torrefied wood manufacturing machine they plan to build at their industrial park, the site of the Katahdin Avenue paper mill.

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Improved softwood-lumber demand in Switzerland

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
April 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Since the beginning of April, Swiss softwood sawmills have shown a revival in demand from building companies and to a lesser extent from the pallet and packaging industry. However, in view of the positive figures for the Swiss building industry, such as the year-on-year rise of 12.5% in residential building approvals in the fourth quarter of 2011, a stronger revival in lumber demand had been expected in the first quarter, but the cold snap in February and the high level of building activity at the end of 2011 resulted in a slight decline in Swiss building business in the first quarter of 2012.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Helping Northern Ontario’s forestry sector

North Bay Nipissing
April 27, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The plight of the forestry sector in Northern Ontario over the past few years has been well documented. That’s why it was very pleasing that my very first Private Members’ Bill — Bill 52 — the Ontario Forestry Industry Revitalization Act, passed Second Reading in the Legislature on April 19 with rare unanimous consent in a voice vote. It aims to amend the Ontario Building Code to allow for wood frame construction to be used in mid-rise buildings up to six stories, instead of the current four stories. It would boost the amount of wood harvested in Northern Ontario to be used in residential construction and provide a real boost to the forestry industry, which has been left staggered over the past decade.

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Net Zero Certified: Two Buildings That Make More Energy Than They Use

Thomas Net Industrial News
April 26, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

We green building enthusiasts get excited about the vision of the net zero energy building — a structure that is energy-self-sufficient, using design and technology to harvest what it needs without any assistance from fossil fuels or the electrical grid. I’ve heard of projects that claim to be net zero energy, but without having access to their data and design details, how can you judge such claims?..  That’s the problem that led to the development of a third-party standard, Net Zero Energy Building Certification, released in late 2011 by the International Living Future Institute.

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Forestry

Public Input Sought On Deeming Resource Roads A ‘Workplace’

Opinion 250 News
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – Time is running out to comment on a proposed WorkSafeBC policy that would make resource roads a “workplace”. WorkSafeBC notes there has been a high rate of serious injuries and fatalities resulting from incidents on resource roads. Between 1999 and 2009, there were 36 fatalities on resource roads in the forestry, and oil and gas industries. WorkSafe BC says while public highways are regulated by legislation such as the Motor Vehicle Act; have traffic control devices, and are maintained at public expense. Police enforce compliance on these roads.

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Habitat issues for local wolves

Tofino-Ucluelet Westerly News
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Imagine walking into a grocery store and all the shelves and aisles are barren and bleak. Where has the food gone? Would you return to that store or would you look for your groceries elsewhere? This is what it is like for the terrestrial wildlife of our coast when they are in some forests that were harvested between the 1950s and 1980s, using historical methods like clearcutting. Many of these areas, like parts of the Kennedy Flats, were later replanted as second-growth forests with Douglas-fir. Unfortunately, Douglasfir is better suited to well drained soils and is considered offsite and ecologically inappropriate for most of the Kennedy Flats.

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Crews battle fire in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Forest

CBC.ca
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A fire that started in Winnipeg’s Assiniboine Forest this afternoon has been brought under control, according to fire officials. Firefighters were called to the forest at around 12:30 p.m. CT Thursday, but they had difficulty getting water hoses to the blaze, which is in the middle of the trees off Shaftesbury Boulevard. As of 5 p.m., crews are in the process of cleaning up hot spots, assistant fire chief Bill Clark said in an email.

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Two years, 8000 trees, one big feat

London Free Press
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An area farmer has been recognized as a green leader for planting thousands of trees on his property. Phil Holst has planted 8,000 trees on his Woodstock property since 2010, earning him the award from Trees Ontario and the provincial government. The green leader program recognizes landowners who participate in an Ontario government program aiming to plant 50 million trees in southern Ontario.

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Getting out of the woods

April 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

…All owned by Hodgson’s Chipping Ltd. and all going up for auction on May 1 at the Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers auction house in Debert, along with the company’s 30 transport trucks. The four Hodgson brothers who ran one of the largest harvesters and chippers of wood fibre in the province, producing 300,000 tonnes annually, are getting out. Before hopping on a plane to Edmonton on Tuesday, bound for a job as a mechanic, one of them offered a warning to the province’s pulp and paper industry. “In my opinion, we can’t supply three pulp mills in this province,” said Vaughn Hodgson. “With my background, my opinion should count for something. We’ve overcut.”

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Nova Scotia Silviculture Contractors’ Association resurrected

Truro Daily News
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

TRURO – An organization giving a strong voice to silviculture contractors is coming out of hibernation. After nearly five years of silence, the Nova Scotia Silviculture Contractors’ Association, founded about 25 years ago, was officially resurrected this week during a meeting held in Truro. “As a result of all the body blows the forestry industry has taken in the last few years, the silviculture contractors and all of their employees have sort of been the group within the industry that hasn’t been talked about,” said newly elected president David McMillan. “But of course they have paid an economic price along with everyone else in terms of work and so on.”

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Fox News Now Denying Deforestation

Media Matters for America
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

In a rant described by one scientist as “either incredibly ignorant” or “intentionally misleading,” Fox News host Greg Gutfeld denied deforestation and distorted climate science. Gutfeld Falsely Claims We Plant More Trees Than We Cut Down. During the April 23 edition of The Five, Gutfeld said “we also have to be aware that for every tree that we cut down, we plant seven more. And in the northern hemisphere, the — the actual forest growth has more than surpassed what’s happening in Brazil.” He later added, “We now have more trees than we did before.”

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Vilsack: Federal government prepared for wildfire season

CattleNetwork.com
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Interior Secretary Ken Salazar today outlined the federal government’s readiness for the wildland fire season to ensure protection for communities and restoration of forests and public lands across the country. The Secretaries were joined by FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell and National Predictive Services Program Manager of the National Interagency Fire Center Ed Delgado. The Secretaries described federal capability to respond to wildfires that are becoming more complex, particularly in areas where urban populations are situated near forested and rangeland areas.

Additional article from the Associated Press

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Forest officials propose harvesting timber from beetle-killed trees west of Creede

The Republic
April 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CREEDE, Colo. — Rio Grande National Forest officials are proposing harvesting timber from beetle-killed trees about 15 miles west of Creede. District Ranger Tom Malecek says the goal is to salvage dead trees for commercial use while jumpstarting new tree growth. Forest officials have written a draft environmental analysis of the proposed project. 

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Costa Rican forest helps Jewett City pair be more green

Norwich Bulletin
April 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Griswold, Conn. — A Jewett City couple’s Costa Rican forest is helping them save the planet.
Six years ago, shortly before their wedding, Marc and Dorla Barres donated $3,500 to have a forest planted in their name in Costa Rica. The 1-hectare (or 2.5-acre) forest soaks up 25 tons of carbon dioxide per year…  The trees planted in each forest are native mahogany and New Guinea klinki trees, known for their dense, fast growth.

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Medical University of South Carolina to become arboretum

Charleston Post Courier
April 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Trees, like medicine, can help people feel better, says Medical University of South Carolina arborist Nate Dubosh… The university chose today, which is Arbor Day, to kick off its plans to become an arboretum. By Arbor Day 2013, it hopes to become the fifth South Carolina campus to be designated a Tree Campus USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation. 

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Wildfire burns at least 1500 acres in Michigan

Associated Press
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Authorities say a Michigan wildfire that’s burned at least 1,500 acres and forced the evacuation of about 50 homes has been fully contained.  WWTV/WWUP reports ( http://bit.ly/ITkL6p) the fire is burning near Mack Lake in Oscoda County’s Mentor Township, in the area of the Huron National Forest. The U.S. Forest Service says the fire was 100 percent contained by midmorning Thursday.

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Inferno rips through Mexican forest

Sydney Morning Herald
April 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

MEXICO CITY: Mexico’s largest city forest park has been devastated by a fire officials say was set by squatters seeking to take over land and made worse by armed gangs trying to scare off firefighters. The fire at the Bosque de la Primavera, Forest of Springtime, on the edge of Guadalajara, has consumed 7500 hectares, or about one-quarter of the preserve, officials said. It began at the weekend and has sent plumes of smoke and ash into Mexico’s second-largest city, forcing dozens of schools to close.

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Mexico sets benchmark on tackling deforestation

Bangkok Post
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Below the global radar, a major victory was secured in Mexico on Tuesday in the world-wide battle to prevent deforestation and forest degradation, which are collectively the world’s second-largest sources of greenhouse emissions. A set of legal amendments was approved by the Mexican parliament that set a powerful global precedent for empowering local communities to address deforestation. In so doing, the vote also positions Mexico as the first country in the world to legislate in support of efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation _ the so-called REDD+ agenda.

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No budging on forestry peace deadline

ABC News, Australia
April 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Federal Environment Minister, Tony Burke, is stepping up pressure on signatories to the forest peace deal to finalise the boundaries of new reserves. The deadline for the forests reserve bill to be tabled in State Parliament is June 30. The environmental and industry groups are trying to decide which of the 572,000 hectares of native forest nominated for protection under the peace deal should go into reserves. The Minister has met the peace deal signatories and the Premier Lara Giddings in Hobart to discuss the progress of the talks.

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Discovery of new species spurs conservation efforts

BusinessWorld Online Edition
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

TACLOBAN CITY — Recent discovery of two new species of frogs and 229 floral species on Mt. Nacolod in Southern Leyte has led to intensified efforts to rehabilitate natural forests and conserve biodiversity in the area. Purificacion M. Daloos, regional information officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in Eastern Visayas, said the discovery of new flora and fauna in the forests of Mt. Nacolod has pushed the government to enhance its environmental protection program in the region.

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More than 220 forest fires spread across Nepal

BBC News
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forest fires have broken out in 225 places across Nepal, officials say, with some communities in remote areas struggling to control the flames. Officials say that the fires – some of which have been burning since March – are caused by a long dry spell, discarded cigarettes and windy weather. One such blaze in the mid-west of the country has destroyed 600 hectares (1,482 acres) of forest, officials say. Forest fires in Nepal peak during the pre-monsoon dry months.

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Cambodian police shoot dead leading anti-logging campaigner

Environmental activist Chut Wutty reportedly shot dead at police checkpoint after refusing to hand over evidence of illegal logging
The Guardian
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A prominent Cambodian anti-logging activist, who helped expose a secretive state sell-off of national parks, has been shot dead by police in a remote south-western province while guiding journalists to the scene of illegal logging. A Cambodian human rights organisation, Licadho, said the confrontation occurred on Wednesday when Chut Wutty, director of the Phnom Penh-based environmental watchdog Natural Resource Protection Group, refused to hand over a memory card with photos taken in the nearby forest by him and two journalists from the Cambodia Daily newspaper.

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Brazil Forestry Bill Will Lead to More Felling, Greenpeace Says

Bloomberg
April 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Brazil, which hosts 13 percent of the world’s forests, passed a bill last night that may lead to a culture of non-compliance with environmental law by providing amnesty for some farmers that illegally cut trees, according to Greenpeace Brasil. The legislation, which was approved in a 274-184 vote, creates a precedent by demonstrating to farmers that they will be forgiven for future misdemeanors, Marcelo Furtado, executive director of Sao Paulo-based environmental organization Greenpeace Brasil, said today in a telephone interview.

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Gram sabhas now hold key to projects in forest lands

Times of India
April 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

NEW DELHI: More than two years after the environment and forests ministry ordered so, the statutory Forest Advisory Committee (FAC), which gives green nod to divert forests for projects, decided that it would not entertain proposals until resolutions from affected gram sabhas favouring the projects are submitted. …The act, UPA-I’s flagship legislation for improving the condition of tribals, requires government to recognize and hand over rights to traditional forest dwellers in forestlands across the country.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Raise the price for burning wood

By Dave Lewis, letter to the editor
Victoria Times Colonist
April 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics, Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: “Pine-beetle plan short on action,” April 24… There is a simple solution, but there is not the support from the urban population to enact it. By increasing the price that B.C. Hydro pays for power generated from thermal plants that utilize pinebeetle-killed wood, companies would invest in the development of such energy plants and there would be an economic ability to pay for the harvest and reforestation of the land mentioned in the editorial.

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Bioenergy could employ 50000 in UK by 2020

Renewable Energy Magazine (press release)
April 26, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A new report by bioeconomy consultants NNFCC (the UK’s National Centre for Biorenewable Energy, Fuels and Materials) for the UK Government, suggests that heat and power from biomass could deliver up to 50,000 jobs over the next eight years. Bioenergy could employ 50,000 in UK by 2020  “Biomass will have a major role in delivering the UK’s 2020 renewable energy targets. However there has been a lack of reliable data on the wider benefits this potentially significant industry could bring to the UK economy,” said author of the report Fiona McDermott today.

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