Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 2, 2012

Froggy Foibles

This Device Lets You Charge Your iPhone While You Go Off-Grid

InformationWeek
May 2, 2012
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

When you go on camping, is your biggest concern how will you be able to charge your gadgets while you’re out in the middle of nowhere? The BioLite biomass burning CampStove may ease that concern, as it doubles as a stove to cook your dinner as well as an electronic charger for your phone and other gadgets. It works like this. Stick in some wood or pine cones found around the campsite into the biomass stove. The device then uses its thermo-electric generator to turn 5000 watts of thermal energy into electrical energy.

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Business & Politics

Stella-Jones Signs Letter of Intent to Acquire Certain Assets of Brisco Wood Preservers Ltd.

Marketwire press release
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTRÉAL, QUÉBEC– Stella-Jones Inc. today announced that it has signed a non-binding letter of intent to acquire certain pole treating assets of Brisco Wood Preservers Ltd., a provider of treated wood poles located in British Columbia. The transaction, if finalized, is expected to close in July 2012 and is subject to customary closing conditions, including entry into a definitive purchase agreement and satisfactory due diligence. Stella-Jones plans to finance the transaction through existing credit facilities.

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Resolute Forest Products revenue down 11 per cent for March

Montreal Gazette
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – Resolute Forest Products Inc., formerly AbitibiBowater, took a hit from lower first-quarter world prices for pulp and commercial printing papers, but newsprint is stable with strong export demand and lumber is responding to stronger U.S. housing markets, CEO Richard Garneau said Thursday. …Garneau said Resolute will carefully examine the market for recycled pulp while doing due diligence on the two U.S. pulp mills that will come with the $100 million takeover of Montreal-based Fibrek Inc. Then it will make its decision whether to keep them.

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Resolute CEO says regional Quebec concern about bid for Fibrek ‘overblown’

By: Ross Marowits
Canadian Press
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – The head of Resolute Forest Products says he can’t understand the nervousness in Quebec’s Lac St. Jean region to its hostile takeover bid for Fibrek, which appears to be nearing success. “It’s overblown in terms of concerns and issues because nothing will change on wood supply, nothing will change on sawmills and we need independents to supply the mill,” CEO Richard Garneau said Tuesday after Resolute reported weaker first-quarter results. The Quebec-based company, formerly called AbitibiBowater, said its profits dropped 23 per cent on challenges to its pulp and coated paper operating segments.

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Mill officials say they were not warned of danger before deadly explosion

Globe and Mail
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The agency responsible for workplace safety stepped up sawmill inspections and issued warnings about potentially dangerous levels of sawdust following a devastating explosion at the Burns Lake mill in January, but the Prince George mill that suffered a similar deadly blast last month says it was not included in the heightened scrutiny. Margaret MacDiarmid, B.C. Labour Minister, said WorkSafe BC conducted 70 mill inspections and sent specific alerts to all sawmills across the Kootenays and the Okanagan about wood dust, after the Babine Forest Products Mill explosion that killed two and injured 19 workers in northern B.C.

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B.C. sawmill blast went unreported

Five explosions preceded deadly incidents in Burns Lake, Prince George
Vancouver Sun
May 2, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A wood dust explosion 16 months ago that blew apart a small control room and started a fire at a Williams Lake sawmill went unreported to WorkSafeBC, the chief workplace safety agency in the province. The incident was among five explosions news reports linked to wood dust in north and central B.C. between 2009 and 2011 that took place before two fatal sawmill explosions this year at Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake and Lakeland Mills in Prince George. WorkSafeBC also said it has no record of an explosion in 2011 at a Pinnacle Pellet plant in Armstrong.

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Mercer International seeks NAFTA ruling on Hydro’s electricity pricing policies

by Gordon Hamilton
Vancouver Sun
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Pulp company Mercer International has filed a $250 million claim against Canada under the North American Free Trade Agreement claiming it is being placed at a competitive disadvantage by BC Hydro. Mercer, which owns the Celgar pulp mill at Castlegar, claims that as a result of intervention by Hydro, it is not able to reap the same benefits for producing green energy as its competitors in the B.C. pulp sector. Under NAFTA, Mercer’s Canadian investments are required to be accorded the same treatment as are Canadian investors. Although Mercer’s head office is in Vancouver, the company is listed in the United States, making it eligible to seek damages under NAFTA.

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Resolute results ‘short of the mark’

Chronicle Herald
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products Inc. share prices dropped Tuesday after the Montreal-based forestry giant posted a 23 per cent decline in its quarterly profit due to faltering pulp and paper demand. …“It was definitely short of the mark,” said Kevin Mason, the managing director at ERA Forest Products Research in Vancouver, in a telephone interview Tuesday.  Excluding $16 million of special items, the company-reported net income for the quarter was $7 million or seven cents per share, compared with $10 million or 10 cents per share in 2011.

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Acadian Timber Corp. Reports First Quarter Results

MarketWatch press release
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada, Canada West

…Acadian Timber Corp today reported financial and operating results(1) for the three months ended March 31, 2012 (the “first quarter”). Acadian generated net sales of $18.6 million on sales volume of 352 thousand m3, which represents a $3.1 million, or 14%, decrease in net sales compared to the same period in 2011. Results for the first quarter were impacted by Acadian’s
implementation of a short-term vendor managed inventory program
(“VMI”) with one of its larger customers.

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Gaston fire says Stimson Lumber employees extinguished small fire in mill’s powerhouse

The Oregonian
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Stimson Lumber Company employees extinguished a small fire in the mill’s powerhouse this afternoon, according to the Gaston Rural Fire District. The blaze started when a spark ignited sawdust, which powers the plant’s boilers, said Ken Bilderback, a Gaston fire spokesman. Shortly after 1:15 p.m., Gaston and Forest Grove Fire & Rescue crews responded to the mill, located at 49800 S.W. Scoggins Valley Road near Henry Hagg Lake. When they arrived, they learned that Stimson employees broke open parts of the wall and put out the blaze, Bilderback said.

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Stimson Lumber continues to invest in conservative campaign PAC in Oregon

The Oregonian
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Portland-based Stimson Lumber Company has kicked in another $50,000 to the Oregon Transformation Project PAC, the conservative group that is a big player in the Clackamas County Commission races as well as in GOP legislative efforts. Since November, the timber company has put $200,000 into the transformation PAC, which is headed by Rob Kremer, treasurer of the Oregon Republican Party. Stimson has become the group’s major contributor and appears to be turning into the most politically active timber firm in Oregon.

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OSHA cites Jaffrey pellet plant for violations in 2011 fire

Another fire: Firefighters battled a fire Friday at the New England Wood Pellet plant.
Fire Engineering
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

JAFFREY – Just hours after firefighters battled a stubborn blaze that started early Friday morning at New England Wood Pellet LLC, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration cited the wood pellet manufacturing plant for alleged repeat and serious violations of workplace safety standards. OSHA has proposed $147,000 in fines for the violations. The citation stems from an investigation of a major blaze at 141 Old Sharon Road last October when sawdust caught fire and spread to the cooler. More than 100 firefighters from 14 departments fought the blaze, which took about 14 hours to extinguish.

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Gunns trading halt

ABC News, Australia
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Tasmanian Greens have raised concerns the extended suspension of Gunns shares is creating doubt over whether the company will ever resume trading. Gunns shares have been in a trading halt for more than seven weeks as it works to negotiate a $400 million capital raising. It is still trying to secure finance for its $2.3 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill. The company intended to provide the stock exchange with a timeline on its capital raising yesterday but its statement said the plan was in its final stages. The Greens’ Forestry spokesman Kim Booth says Gunns should provide more details or resume trading.

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BBC News – Kirkmabreck timber port plans still on table after study

Plans to reopen a disused Galloway harbour are still on the table after the completion of a feasibility study.
BBC News
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Several firms have expressed interest in using the quay at Kirkmabreck near Carsluith as a timber-shipping port… It is estimated that between 9,000 and 18,000 tonnes of timber could be shipped from the quayside annually – reducing the number of lorry loads on roads in the area by about 250. Among those to have expressed an interest in the scheme are two sawmill businesses and a paperboard manufacturer.

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Russian sawmill fire offers revealing insights

by Gordon Hamilton
Vancouver Sun
May 1, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

British Columbia isn’t the only place where sawmills have been catching fire. There’s an interesting report out of Russia passed on by Ian Ogilvie, of Pacific Russia News. It’s about a fire at a mill April 20 in the Russian Far East. The mill didn’t explode, as has been the case at two mill fires recently in British Columbia. In this case it was a massive pile of sawdust that appears to have caught fire through spontaneous combustion. It destroyed a good part of the adjacent village, leaving 125 households homeless. Three people lost their lives. The report, from the minutes of an April 26 government presidium meeting chaired by President Vladimir Putin, is revealing for a number of reasons.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

From the home front: Hornby Island Caravans, Tiny House Map, colorful small spaces, buying vs. renting land for tiny home

The Oregonian
May 1, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Hornby Island Caravans: This British Columbia builder makes tiny portable homes with great eye appeal and fine wood craftsmanship. I like the sensible bed in the Vardo model at left, which has storage underneath but doesn’t require a ladder for access. Loft sleeping areas are delightful, but they’re not practical long term for older people, or those with disabilities, or those who are ill or recuperating from, say, knee or hip surgery.
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Baikal Paper Mill Asks Putin for Help in Debt Dispute

RIA Novosti
May 2, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The employees at Russia’s troubled Baikal Pulp and Paper Mill, located by the world’s largest freshwater lake Baikal, have written to President-elect Vladimir Putin asking him to protect the plant from creditors, a spokesman for the mill told RIA Novosti on Wednesday. The plant’s workers claim in the letter one of the plant’s core creditors, Basic Element (BasEl) holding company owned by tycoon Oleg Deripaska, made the plant unprofitable a year ago by “hiding” part of its output and acquiring a local electricity power plant, the only moorage in the area and a ski resort.

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Forestry

Let’s not get fooled again

Lettter by Bruce Hill
Terrace Standard
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

About 20 years ago, I was at one of the inaugural public meetings of the Kalum LRMP (Land and Resource Management Plan). One of Terrace’s most respected professional foresters was sitting next to me. After a briefing by a local forest service representative about the “state” of the Kalum districts forest, he turned to me and said “If we shut down one of the major mills now, maybe we can save the other one. There’s not enough wood for two.” A year later I was standing in the offices of Skeena Cellulose looking at a wall-sized satellite photo of the entire region, with remaining forest, and logged off areas clearly delineated.

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Floatplane passengers should wear flotation devices: report

Globe and Mail
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Coroners Service has recommended that Transport Canada require floatplane passengers to wear personal flotation devices, or PFDs, during all stages of a flight following a panel report into four deadly crashes on the B.C. coast. The report, released Tuesday, includes 19 recommendations, including a formal review of stall warning systems in certified aircraft. …The report also recommends that the BC Forest Safety Council should include worker transport on aircraft in its safety auditing system.

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BC floatplane changes recommended

Coroners Service urges B.C. and federal governments to adopt recommendations
CBC News
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Coroners Service is recommending safety changes to seaplane operations on the West Coast, including installing emergency exits on all planes and requiring lifejackets during flights. The proposed changes are part of 19 recommendations made by a special Death Review Panel that looked into four fatal crashes that killed a total of 23 people on the West Coast between 2005 and 2009.

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Grove worth protecting

Victoria Times Colonist
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Cathedral Grove is a treasure worth protecting – and that protection should include a buffer zone of forest. Given that such protection is for the good of all, then all should pay for it. Environmental groups are concerned about the logging by Island Timberlands that has begun in old-growth forest next to MacMillan Provincial Park. …But the timber company holds the licence to log that surrounding forest and is within its rights to harvest the wood. If we want to preserve the surrounding forest – and that’s a worthwhile goal – we should be prepared to pay for it by compensating the legal holder of the logging rights.

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Kwantlen woodlot approved

Maple Ridge News
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Another woodlot has been given the go-ahead to start sustainable logging on Blue Mountain. Kwantlen First Nations recently received approval for its woodlot licence and could start logging this year, said band spokesperson Tumia Knott. It will be the third woodlot on the mountain after Blue Mountain Woodlot and BCIT Woodlot and will operate the same way on 800 hectares, north of the BCIT woodlot. The annual allowable cut will be similar to the Blue Mountain Woodlot only over a larger area.

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Wearing life jackets should be mandatory for float plane passengers, says coroners’ report

Vancouver Sun
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Coroners Service review of four commercial float-plane crashes in B.C. recommends that Transport Canada make it mandatory for passengers to wear life-jackets at all times during flights. Planes should also have easy-to-access emergency exits to prevent drowning after crashing in water, says the report released Tuesday. …“These recommendations should be considered very seriously by the
agencies to which they’re directed,” said chief coroner Lisa Lapointe.
“They are the result of open and frank discussion and review by a
diverse blue-ribbon panel of experts in the field provincewide.”

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Pine beetle surveys west of Calgary cut down

CBC News
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

There aren’t as many mountain pine beetles in the forests west of Calgary this year, prompting officials to scale back on the effort to measure how many trees are affected. The last major infestation in the area was a decade ago. For the first time since 2002, the province is cutting back on survey work, said Duncan MacDonnell, who speaks for Alberta Sustainable Development. “To be scientifically valid, overwinter mortality survey work needs clumps of about 40 trees and we don’t have beetle infested clumps of that number,” he said.

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Quebec’s Front-Line Forests

New York Times
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

In April, the government of Premier Jean Charest introduced a bill in the Quebec National Assembly that seeks to protect nearly 150 million acres — half of northern Quebec, an area the size of France — from industrial development, including logging, mining and petroleum exploration. The bill matters, not just to Canada but to the world: The boreal forests and tundra of northern Canada remain a relatively intact ecosystem, absorbing more carbon than the world’s tropical forests and providing a vital buffer against global warming. Industrial development would weaken that buffer, and, as things stand now, there is almost nothing to prevent it.

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Public meetings held on City’s tree bylaw

Mississauga.com
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Mississauga is looking for public input as it considers a change to its bylaw that protects trees. In March, councillors heard about plans to change the bylaw pertaining to trees. Specifically, it was seeking to offer greater protection to mature trees and to ensure trees that are cut down are replaced.  The information gathered at the upcoming public sessions will be used to help shape the final set of recommendations that are expected to come before Council in the fall.

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Robert Barnhart, Lamar Advertising Ex-Employee, Says Former Company Illegally Poisoned Trees

Huffington Post Canada
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A former employee of one of the country’s largest outdoor advertising companies has blown the whistle on his ex-bosses, saying the company routinely and illegally poisoned and chopped down trees that obscured views of their billboards. Robert J. Barnhart, a former crew chief for Lamar Advertising Co. in Tallahassee, Fla., says he used to sneak onto private property early in the morning armed with a machete and a bottle of herbicide. He would chop at the roots or trunks of trees, pour on the herbicide — and run. MSNBC reports that Barnhart’s boss called such an operation “a hit and run.” Barnhart, who is not speaking directly to the press, says he was fired in August 2011 after refusing to continue the tree poisonings.

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Oregon loggers endure, enjoy ‘worst job in America’ (with video)

kgw.com
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

VERNONIA, Ore. — Since the days before Oregon was a state, loggers have trudged into the hills to cut trees. “Timber!” shouted a logger as he worked recently in the hills near Vernonia. In the 1950’s, 90,000 Oregonians worked in the logging industry. The industry is still around but it’s a shadow of its old self. Now, the Oregon Department of Forestry reports that 47,000 people make their living in logging and associated jobs.   Forest products generated $12.6 billion in revenue in Oregon during
2,000, which was the last year the number was totaled. Average pay is
nearly $44,000 a year.

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Wood Industry Can Prevent Catastrophic Fires

Fronteras: The Changing America Desk
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FLAGSTAFF — Forest managers, policy makers and entrepreneurs are meeting this week in Flagstaff to discuss what to do with small trees before they become fuel for catastrophic wildfires or food for beetles. The concept isn’t new. Cut small diameter trees; turn them into building materials; and sell them for a profit. That helps overly dense forests, people who need jobs and the communities vulnerable to fires. What’s new is people are coming up with better ideas.

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County sheriffs back logging plan

The Register-Guard
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Their expertise is in law enforcement, not logging. But that hasn’t stopped Oregon sheriffs from endorsing Democratic U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio’s plan to sharply increase timber harvests on some federal forests in Western Oregon.  The Oregon State Sheriffs’ Association recently endorsed the DeFazio plan, called the O&C Trust, Conservation and Jobs Act.  So far this year, 15 Oregon county boards of commissioners have also passed resolutions of support, DeFazio said in a joint news release with GOP Rep. Greg Walden and Democratic Rep. Kurt Schrader, who are co-authors of the plan.

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Supreme Court won’t hear Norbeck Preserve case

Billings Gazette
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PIERRE, S.D. — South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says the U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a case dealing with timber-cutting on 28,000 preserve acres in the Black Hills National Forest. The Norbeck Wildlife Preserve project is aimed at improving the habitat on forest land within the preserve, fighting the mountain pine beetle and reducing the risk of wildfires. A federal judge last year dismissed a lawsuit against the U.S. Forest Service claiming that the project violates environmental protection acts.

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Contractors Applaud NZ SuperFund Bid to Buy Kaingaroa Forest

Forest Industry Contractors Association
Scoop Independent News
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

News that the New Zealand Superannuation Fund is looking to purchase the remaining 60% of Kaingaroa Forest that is owned by Harvard is great news for the forest contracting industry,” says Forest Industry Contractors Association CEO, John Stulen. “Having a New Zealand-owned asset for the jewel in NZ forestry’s crown is a step in the right direction for promoting the clean, green brand of NZWood,” added Mr Stulen.

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Greens question logging as department makes a loss

ABC News, Australia
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Figures show logging in south east New South Wales has made a loss for the state forestry department. Greens MP, David Shoebridge, has questioned the Primary Industries Minister, Katrina Hodgkinson, during parliamentary sittings about the operating costs of logging. The Minister revealed an annual shortfall of $764 600. Mr Shoebridge says it is evidence of poor environmental and economic management.

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Final forestry peace talks yet to start

ABC Online
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

It has been revealed negotiations to finalise the boundaries of new native forest reserves under Tasmania’s peace deal have not started yet, despite the June deadline. Forestry and environmental groups met yesterday for the second time since they received a comprehensive review of the forest industry. The West Report outlines the conservation value of 572,000 hectares of forest proposed for protection from logging. The parties say they have only been negotiating measures to ensure any agreement lasts.

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Kirkmabreck timber port plans still on table after study

BBC News
May 1, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Plans to reopen a disused Galloway harbour are still on the table after the completion of a feasibility study. Several firms have expressed interest in using the quay at Kirkmabreck near Carsluith as a timber-shipping port. The site, next to the A75, is owned by Tarmac and was previously used to process and transport stone from the quarry nearby. It has been mothballed since the 1990s but a survey has looked at the prospect of bringing it back into use.

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NZ Super Fund mulls Harvard’s stake in Kaingaroa forest

Scoop.co.nz
May 2, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund, which was set up to pre-fund the pension liabilities of the baby boomer generation, is in talks with Harvard University’s endowment fund manager to take full ownership of the Kaingaroa forest estate. The so-called ‘Cullen’ Fund, named for its architect Michael Cullen, and global investment firm GMO Renewable Resources are in discussion with Harvard Management Company “over the possible purchase of Harvard’s majority stake” in the forestry assets, the pension fund said in a statement.

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New director vows: Stop LNG and coal projects, curb Elliott logging

Coos Bay World
April 29, 2012
Category: Forestry

EUGENE — Cascadia Wildlands, an environmental group previously active in Elliott State Forest management, has a new executive director who plans on staying involved in Coos County environmental issues. …The logging practices on the Elliott, as outlined in the new forest management plan accepted by the State Land Board, are unsustainable, Ferris said. The new plan increases the yearly logging take from 500 acres to 850 acres. “We knew we were cutting unsustainably,” he said. “Looking at (forests) as cash cows seems like a silly concept.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Pratt & Whitney Power Systems to Deliver Biomass Heat Recovery Power Plant for West Fraser Timber Company

DigitalJournal.com (press release)
May 2, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

EAST HARTFORD, Conn.  — Pratt & Whitney Power Systems has been awarded a contract to deliver a 13 MW biomass heat recovery power plant for West Fraser Timber Company in British Columbia, Canada. The state-of-the-art power plant will provide clean, carbon-neutral power to the company’s Chetwynd Forest Industries plant utilizing two Turboden 65 HRS Organic Rankine Cycle  turbogenerators. Turboden is a Pratt & Whitney Power Systems company, and Pratt & Whitney is a United Technologies Corp. company.

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Wood Makes Comeback as a Fuel

New York Times
May 1, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

AUSTIN, TEXAS — A century ago, rural homes in the United States and Europe commonly relied on wood for heating. Now wood is making a comeback, thanks largely to pellet technology. The energy-dense pellets, which resemble dry dog kibble and are mostly made from mill residue like sawdust and wood shavings, can be used to generate heat or electricity — or both at the same time. Demand is strong in Europe, where high prices for heating oil and clean-energy requirements have fostered interest in alternatives, but analysts say that over the long term, markets in Asia and North America could grow rapidly, too.

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Biomass blunder

New state regs set the bar far too high
Worcester Telegram
May 1, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The Patrick administration Friday issued new regulations that are likely to douse the fires of existing biomass power plants and prevent new plants from being built.  After nearly a decade of offering subsidies for biomass projects, the state has now completed an about-face on this issue. Under the new rules, which are largely based on a single, controversial study from June 2010, biomass plants won’t qualify for renewable energy credits unless they can double their efficiency. Existing plants have difficulty using 25 percent of the material they burn to produce electricity. The new rules require 50 percent to qualify for subsidies.

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