Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 1, 2012

Froggy Foibles

Beetle-killed trees turned into whimsical art

Kamloops Daily News
April 30, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles

Her name is Lady Klahaine and she keeps a watchful eye over the property. She stands more than three metres tall, huge by human standards, but a mere fraction of the size she once was — when she was a thriving and vibrant Ponderosa pine… Like many of their neighbours, the couple lost several trees when the mountain pine beetle tore its way through Kamloops a few years ago.

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Business & Politics

Mercer International Inc. Files Arbitration Request Under NAFTA Seeking $250 Million in Damages From the Government of Canada

MarketWatch (press release)
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

NEW YORK — Mercer International Inc.  today announced it has served a Request for Arbitration on the Government of Canada for breaches by it of its obligations under the North American Free Trade Agreement. Mercer’s NAFTA claim arises from the treatment of its Celgar Pulp Mill’s energy generation assets and operations by the Province of British Columbia, both directly and through the actions of British Columbia Hydro and Power Authority, a Provincially-owned and controlled enterprise, and the British Columbia Utilities Commission, a Provincial Government regulatory agency. Mercer’s Claim is against Canada, rather than the Province of British Columbia as, under NAFTA, Canada is responsible for the actions of its Provinces.

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Mercer exits race to buy Fibrek

Reuters
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada’s Mercer International Inc. withdrew from its battle with AbitibiBowater Inc. to buy Fibrek Inc. after nearly three months of legal setbacks. The exit clears the way for Abitibi’s $1 a share offer, supported by Fibrek’s top shareholders such as Prem Watsa headed Fairfax Financial. Abitibi operates under the name Resolute Forest Products. Mercer will return the Fibrek shares that were tendered under its offer, it said in a statement.

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Which Pulp Producer Is Out of the Woods?

Minyanville.com
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Many people don’t realize that commodity pricing effects everything down to our toilet paper. Pulp producers have been on a roller coaster along with the global economy, but this company is on the comeback trail. Mercer International is the leading global producer of northern bleached softwood kraft pulp. Kraft pulp, which is derived from wood fibers such as wood chips and pulp logs, is used to make paper, tissues, and other paper-based products.

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West Fraser Timber reports first-quarter loss, sales down from year ago

Winnipeg Free Press
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. said Monday it lost $16.7 million in its latest quarter as the company saw continued weakness in offshore prices for low-grade lumber… In its outlook, the company noted that low-grade lumber prices strengthened late in the quarter and productivity and cost improvements are expected to be realized over the next few quarters. However, Hank Ketcham, West Fraser’s chairman, president and chief executive, remained cautious.

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Canfor Reports Q1 Loss

HQPrinceGeorge.com
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor is reporting a $16.2 million net loss for the first quarter of 2012. CEO Don Kayne says mixed market results can be blamed even with improved results in the United States. “These gains were unfortunately offset by continued weakness in offshore low-grade prices with inventories in China reutrning to more normal levels, we expect to see marked improvement in low-grade prices over quarter one,” said Kayne.

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CILA Cautions Against Assumptions In Mill Fires

Opinion 250 News
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. – The head of the body representing north-central BC logging contractors and independent log haulers is cautioning against a rush to judgement in the search for the causes of the Lakeland Mills and Babine Forest Products disasters. Central Interior Logging Association Executive Director MaryAnne Arcand says we have to let the process work and not rush ahead. “They’re making assumptions that the Lakeland explosion and the Burns Lake explosion were caused by the same thing. They have no idea, and for people to speculate it’s about beetle wood…..we’ve been milling beetle wood for ten years, why now all of a sudden? Now we’re actually mixing green wood again so that makes no sense.” 

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Workers ‘on edge’ about returning to job sites

WorkSafeBC has ordered investigations into dust levels and other hazards after recent explosions, deaths
Vancouver Sun
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As B.C. sawmill operators start to clean up the dust in their mills, some workers are apprehensive about going to work, fearing explosions like the ones in Burns Lake and Prince George could happen to them.  “Everyone’s a little on edge, a little scared,” said Dean Colville, of the United Steelworkers’ local 1-425 in Williams Like, who transferred from the Tolko-Soda Creek mill to the union office a few months ago.  “They don’t understand the full reason for the explosions and they’re worried their mills will be next,” said Colville, adding he’d be worried if he was still at the mill. Part of the problem, he noted, is that the sawdust hasn’t been definitively identified as the source of the latest explosions.

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Nanaimo mills should pass safety inspection

By Darrell Bellaart
Nanaimo Daily News
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Provincewide sawmill safety inspections are not expected to find fault with Nanaimo mills.
The United Steelworkers Union met with the Ministry of Labour to decide how to deal with sawdust accumulation in B.C. mills, following the Lakelands mill explosion that killed two and injured 22 workers in Prince George. The disaster came three months after a similar event at the Babine mill in Burns Lake. By May 22, full safety reviews are expected to start at all B.C. mills, including Western Forest Products in Nanaimo.

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Worker safety is everyone’s responsibility

Nanaimo Daily News
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

All workers in B.C. and across the country who struggle to put in a good day’s work should know that their employers are doing everything possible to make their workplaces safer… Saturday across the province, workers and WorkSafe B.C. remembered the 147 people who went to work in B.C. last year and never returned home. In Nanaimo on Saturday, Ellen Oxman, president of the Nanaimo-Duncan District Labour Council, told the Daily News that “there is legislation in place in which employers are not allowed to put their workers in danger, but it’s not being used enough and we’re pushing for both the provincial and federal governments to enforce it more.”

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Mercer International withdraws bid for Fibrek shares

Montreal Gazette
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MONTREAL – The three-month battle for Montreal-based pulp producer Fibrek Inc. appeared to be over Monday. Vancouver’s Mercer International Inc., a large North American and European specialty pulp maker, withdrew its offer for all Fibrek’s shares, worth about $170 million. This clears the way for Resolute Forest Products Inc.’s initial $1-a-share bid to go through.

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Brookfield Investments Corporation Announces 2011 Financial Results

Daily Commercial News
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

TORONTO, ONTARIO – Brookfield Investments Corporation reported net income of $70 million or $1.52 per common share for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared with $4 million or $0.09 per common share in 2010. The increase in net income compared to the prior year is primarily the result of a higher amount of investment income earned from the company’s investment portfolio… The company acquired a 49% economic interest in Western Forest Products Inc. in the fourth quarter of 2011. 

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Timber still cuts a big footprint in state economy

By Jon Talton
The Seattle Times
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

We built this city on … no, not rock ‘n’ roll, but logs. Long before “Bill Luck” (Boeing and Gates), the Seattle and the Northwest economies were heavily dependent on timber and wood products. A new survey based on 2010 data from the Washington State Department of Natural Resources shows the sector still has some heft. “Though housing and global economic crises have deeply affected the industry, Washington’s wood products in 2010 were worth nearly $5 billion. Overall 5 percent more wood was consumed by the industry in 2010 than in 2008. Due to a vigorous demand by China, Washington’s export log sector grew 39 percent between 2008 and 2010.”

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Pope Resources Reports First Quarter Income of $1.2 Million

SunHerald.com
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

POULSBO, Wash. — Pope Resources reported net income attributable to unitholders of $1.2 million, or $0.27 per diluted ownership unit, on revenue of $8.8 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2012. This compares to net income attributable to unitholders of $3.7 million, or $0.82 per diluted ownership unit, on revenue of $17.7 million for the comparable period in 2011. Cash provided by operations for the quarter ended March 31, 2012, was $2.0 million, compared to $7.6 million for the first quarter of 2011.

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Newcomer Bill Driscoll enters race for Norm Dicks’s seat

The News Tribune
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The announcement could reshape the race for the open 6th Congressional District seat. Driscoll joins several other Republicans vying to take on state Sen. Derek Kilmer, the lone Democrat, but the newcomer immediately showed off a potential advantage: He can spend plenty of his own money… Driscoll comes out of the timber industry. He said he is the great-great grandson of Frederick Weyerhaeuser, who founded the Weyerhaeuser company in 1901. 
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Sawmill Expands Services During Recession

Pallet Enterprise
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Carthage, New York— During a time when sawmills around the country were struggling, downsizing, and even closing, Johnson Lumber saw the chance to install new machinery and expand its services. The family-owned white pine sawmill is located in Carthage, N.Y., a small town in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains, not far from the Canadian border. The company was started by brothers Ronald and Robert Johnson in 1977 with the purchase of an old sawmill. Thirty-five years later, the company is still run by the Johnson brothers, but has grown and expanded far beyond its modest beginnings.

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OSHA cites New England Wood Pellet

Wood Working Network
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

CONCORD, N.H. – The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration has cited New England Wood Pellet LLC for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards at its wood pellet manufacturing plant on Old Sharon Road in Jaffrey… The fire, which started in the pellet mill, was transported through several conveying systems to a pellet cooler and then to a dust collector, and caused several other flash fires. Shortly thereafter, explosions occurred in the dust collector and an exhaust muffler. The explosions sent fireballs outside of the building and likely ignited materials in two silos.

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No update on Gunns pulp mill financial details

The Examiner
April 30, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

GUNNS has not given new financial details on the proposed Bell Bay pulp mill project in an update to the Australian Stock Exchange today. Last week, Gunns Limited managing director Greg L’Estrange told the ASX that investors should disregard previous financial information about the proposed mill in favour of a pending update. Gunns released a statement after 5pm confirming that its preparation for an equity offer was continuing.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Why green-certified products may not always be the best choice

Washington Post
April 30, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

If you want to build a really green house, how much time should you spend looking for products that carry a green certification? Not a lot, advised builders and architects known for their “greenness.” Though green attributes such as recycled content were very important and might lead them to consider a particular product, the presence or absence of a green certification rarely influenced their selections. For these professionals, durability, a good track record in the marketplace and familiarity with the product trumped other considerations….Tom Shiner, an architect said using wood with a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) stamp to make his furniture adds a significant cost. FSC is important if you don’t know where the wood is from but in his case he uses locally harvested poplar and oak, and he knows the person who cut the trees.

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Fiji Pure Mahogany Brand Launches To World Markets

Representatives from U.S. Government, Gibson Guitars and Hardwood Manufacturers Association Attend Launch Event
DigitalJournal.com (press release)
April 30, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SUVA, Fiji — Fijian Prime Minister Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama led the launch of the branding and mandatory compliance protocol process for Fiji Pure Mahogany, which ensures sustainability, legality, and the socially responsible use of this new hardwood brand. Fiji Pure Mahogany will also fill the global need for an exceptional quality of legally and sustainably harvested mahogany.

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Forestry

Residents left in the cold over clear-cutting

The Sudbury Star
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The Ministry of Natural Resources , in its heavy-handed way, has decided what’s best for the 300 camp-owners and residents of Westree, with its usual: “our minds are made up, but we will have a public meeting to make it look like we care what people actually think.” The MNR has approved clear-cutting areas along Highway 560A close to the Westree townsite and Deschenes Lake. But after residents realized what was happening, the MNR held a public meeting on Friday morning, April 20, at a time guaranteed to produce the lowest number of camp owners, who usually go to their camps on the weekend, not Friday mornings.

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National forestry organization urges caution on BC land use changes

The Tyee
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The national organization representing foresters and other professionals is urging the British Columbia government to be cautious about making any changes to how public forests are managed. “We support reasonable options to protect forest sector jobs, understanding that sustainability of all forest resources is essential to conserve biodiversity, wildlife, watersheds, scenic values, recreational potential, and other non-timber values,” wrote the president of the Canadian Institute for Forestry, Mark Kube, and the organization’s executive director, John Pineau, in an April 26, 2012 letter to Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson.

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College of the Rockies in partnership with the BC Forest Safety Council is pleased to announce a Ministry funded New Faller Training program

The program will begin in Spring 2012
BC Forest Safety Council
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

This exciting initiative is funded by the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation and is limited to 12 seats to those who qualify. Due to the limited time frame, applications are due by May 4. This is the first funded opportunity for this training. At this time, there are no other funded training courses available.  The Ministry will cover tuition for this 30 day training program, some personal protective equipment, some travel expenses and an assessment. Accommodation, meals and some equipment costs will be the responsibility of the trainee. For more information on the training, please refer to our website. Or click here to see a PDF 

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Logging Contractors Hope to Get Protection

CJFW Radio
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logging contractors in Northwest B-C are banding together to address, what they call, a lack of government support for smaller forest industry operators. They say they’ve been experiencing a growing list of problems, including not getting paid by log brokers… According to some of the contractors, a key solution is passing Bill 21, which promises to protect logging contractors from problems like payment issues. “The issue with the contractors not getting paid, either not at all, or not within a reasonable period of time,” says local Logging Contractor, Judy Ellis.

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Terrace Logging Contractors Furious Over Late Payments
Loggers call for government help
Some northwest logging contractors met in Terrace over the weekend, to request government help in their battle to get paid on a more timely schedule. Spokesperson Judy Ellis says the small operators are not getting paid by logging brokers within a reasonable period of time — or not at all — and they’re not getting any answers as to why. “Brokers are slamming the door in our face, they’re not answering our calls, they’re not communicating with us. It appears that they’re having a hard time getting the money from China,” complained Ellis. She says things might improve if the government passes Bill 21, which promises to protect logging contractors from problems like payment issues.

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Saint John seeks to protect forest, watershed

City will ask UNB to help update forest management plan
CBC News
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Saint John will ask the University of New Brunswick to help it come up with a new forest management plan after a wrongful clearcutting near the city’s water supply recently came to light. In 2010, a misunderstanding involving the city, the Saint John Airport and a contractor led to the clearcutting of a 30-acre parcel of city-owned watershed land, said Coun. Bill Farren, who raised the issue at council last week.

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Hamilton Lumber Company Struck by Fire

WHTC
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON, MI (WHTC) – Fire struck the Post Hardwoods lumber company east of Hamilton late on Friday night. It took crews from 10 departments nearly 12 hours to bring the blaze under control and to water down hot spots, with no injuries reported. Four of the six buildings at the 38th Street site burned down, and although investigators didn’t immediately determine a cause of the blaze, there was an estimated three million dollars in damage.

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With New Interagency Agreement US Forest Service Works on the Loss of Whitebark Pine in Yellowstone Region

US Forest Service
Press release
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Hoping to find ways to reverse a potential environmental disaster, several land managing federal agencies are working together in the Greater Yellowstone Area, which includes the Shoneshone, Gallatin and Teton National Forests, to address the wide spread loss of whitebark pine trees due to the effects of climate change… “We need a landscape-scale approach to large scale issues like this. The Forest Service has a lot to offer with land management, science and landowner services all under one roof. Yet, working with other federal agencies can help us address problems more efficiently and effectively,” said Dave Cleaves, U.S. Forest Service climate change advisor.

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Mountain nursery will help restore dwindling species

Casper Star-Tribune Online
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In the mountains south of Bozeman, Mont., the U.S. Forest Service has fenced off a small plot of land designed to help restore whitebark pine to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.
At the 15-acre nursery site, seedling whitebark pine that has been identified as resistant to blister rust will be grown. In addition, limbs from older pines will be grafted onto the trees to speed up seed production in what is a slow-to-mature tree species. “Hopefully, they will be producing cones in four years,” said Jay Frederick, a wildlife biologist in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest.

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Opinion: Politics Doesn’t Threaten Owl

A US Fish and Wildlife official responds to the assertion that the northern spotted owl is being mismanaged by government.
The Scientist
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Management of the northern spotted owl is once again in the headlines. The issue today is not whether to save the owl’s old-growth forests, but rather how to manage our forested landscapes in the face of scientific uncertainty concerning climate change, forest health, and wildfire. The US Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) recently published the Proposed Revised Critical Habitat Rule for the northern spotted owl, for which we are currently seeking public comment and scientific peer review. 

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Tasmanian hardwood plantations sold for conversion to pasture

ABC News, Australia
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Livestock producers in Tasmania are buying up forest plantation land with a view to converting it to pasture. The swing from hardwood plantations to pasture and livestock is gaining momentum this year. Hundreds of thousands of hectares acquired in eastern Australia by Timbercorp, Great Southern, Forest Enterprises, and Gunns MIS plantations have been liquidated, since the MIS bubble burst. And in Tasmania Landmark Harcourts real estate agent, Michael Warren, says there’s a definite trend to local livestock producers buy that land.

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Forest fires singe Orissa green cover

Times of India
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

BHUBANESWAR: Forests in Odisha are burning in the scorching summer heat, literally. Around 2,700 cases of jungle fires were reported in the state in the past two months. Satellite generated data available with the Forest Survey of India (FSI) said Kandhamal district in the southern part of the state reported the highest 757 incidents of forest blaze between March 1 and April 28. Koraput district reported 500 forest fires while Ganjam reported 286 in the past two months. Other districts with over 100 instances of forest in flames include Sambalpur (171), Dhenkanal (137) and Sundargarh (108).

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Russian mom wins Goldman Prize for fighting to save national forest

Alaska Dispatch
April 30, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

If all politics is local, Yevgenia Chirikova may have begun something that could change the course of Russian history. Just five years ago, the winner of this year’s prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize (one of six awarded on April 16) was a small-business woman and homemaker in the Moscow suburb of Khimki who, by her own account, had never considered engaging in civic action of any sort. But discovery of what she calls an ecological crime led her and a small band of supporters to confront Russian authorities, whom she accused of being corrupt and unaccountable, in what is an ongoing effort to force reconsideration of a highway that would destroy the irreplaceable old-growth Khimki Forest, near her home.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Innovation turning wood waste into bio-fuel for transportation

National Post
April 30, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new public-private partnership is set to drive revenue for the forest products industry in Northern Ontario. Montreal-based pulp and paper company Domtar is partnering with Battelle, an independent research and development specialist in Columbus, Ohio, to test a new technology that rapidly converts wood waste into crude bio-oil and gas. The newly formed provincial Centre for Research and Innovation in the Bio-Economy is playing its part by providing up to $6-million in funding for the project. The chosen test site is Domtar’s mill operations in Dryden, Ontario.

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Abundance: The Global Warming Question

By Steven Kotler
Forbes
April 30, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Ever since the organizers of TED 2012 decided to open this year’s event with back-to-back talks by environmentalist Paul Gilding and my Abundance co-author Peter Diamandis, we’ve been fielding a lot of questions about global warming… Take tropical deforestation. The primary causes of tropical deforestation are agricultural expansion (both cattle and crops), wood extraction (for logging and fuel use) and infrastructure expansion (the direct result of overpopulation). Thus the best way to slow tropical deforestation would be to produce more crops on less land, produce more protein on less land, develop new materials to replace wood, develop new fuels to replace wood, and slow population growth.

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An Underground Fossil Forest Offers Clues on Climate Change

New York Times
April 30, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

In the clammy depths of a southern Illinois coal mine lies the largest fossil forest ever discovered, at least 50 times as extensive as the previous contender. Scientists are exploring dripping passages by the light of headlamps, mapping out an ecosystem from 307 million years ago, just before the world’s first great forests were wiped out by global warming. This vast prehistoric landscape may shed new light on climate change today. Dating from the Pennsylvanian period of the Carboniferous era, the forest lies entombed in a series of eight active mines. 

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University professor receives $554,000 grant for research in “forests of the future”

By Jeanette Kazmierczak
Red and Black
April 30, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Georgia – Temperature changes in forests along the East Coast may affect biological diversity in the coming years, potentially altering whole ecosystems… “The climate this year isn’t going to be the same it was last year,” Mohan said. She and her colleagues, led by James Clark of Duke University, are trying to forecast how this climate change will affect tree diversity directly and indirectly through pathogens. Mohan’s studies focus on Whitehall Forest here at the University, Harvard Forest in Petersham, Mass., and Ordway-Swisher Biological Station at the University of Florida. 

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Study about climate change impacts on forests completed

Dawn.com HighTech
April 30, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

 To offset the effects of climatic change and global warming in the country, the Pakistan Forests Institute (PFI), Peshawar has completed a comprehensive study to determine the climatic change scenarios in Pakistan’s various ecological zones and its impact on forests resources. “It is the first professional attempt to address the emerging issues of climate change and global warming and its overall impact on the environment and weather of the country and region,” official sources in PFI told APP on Sunday. The results of the study will help designing adaptation and mitigation measures in forestry sector to counterbalance the effects of global warming and climatic change.

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General

Who are the best drivers on the road?

By Steve Wallace
Vancouver Sun
April 30, 2012
Category: Uncategorised
My answer often offends the person who asked the question… Logging-truck drivers warrant a special mention. They must drive resource, private and public roads. They deal with shifting loads, variable balance and myriad regulations, both vehicular and administrative. In tense resource-road conditions and situations, they are required to make split-second decisions to stay with the load or bail out. The potential for logs to come through the cab as a result of an emergency stop is a concern of every resource-road logging-truck driver.

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Forestry Contractors Facing Major Challenges

Opinion 250 News
May 1, 2012
Category: Uncategorised

Prince George, B.C. – The Executive Director of the Central Interior Logging Association says the sawmill disasters at Lakeland Mills in Prince George and Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake are having enormous consequences for the northern forest industry. MaryAnne Arcand says there are four Evergreen contractors have been doing the logging for Lakeland “and obviously they won’t be needing to log. All the wood that’s in the Lakeland yard now will go elsewhere, meaning there won’t be logs needed in other locations for a while either because there’s three months worth of logs there.” 

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Climate explains why West Coast trees are much taller than those in the East

By Brian Palmer
Washington Post
April 30, 2012
Category: Uncategorised

Climate explains why West Coast trees are much taller than those in the East. Last year, a team of climbers led by arborist Will Blozan measured the tallest tree in the eastern United States: a 192-foot tulip tree in the Great Smoky Mountains. Although the achievement was significant, it served to emphasize just how puny Eastern trees are compared with the giants along the Northern California coast. The current height champion out West is Hyperion, a 379-foot coast redwood standing somewhere in California’s Redwood National Park. 

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