Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 15, 2012

Business & Politics

Canadian Housing Starts Jump 14% in April

Woodworking Network
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA, ON – A surge in housing starts in April put the Canadian industry on on pace to build 244,900 units for the year, according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Canada’s April housing figures bested the March seasonally adjusted average of 214,800 units 14.0%, the CMHC said. Quebec led all provinces in posting a 56.5% gain, followed by Ontario, up 12.2%.

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Resolution buys more Fibrek shares

Owns 71% of takeover target
Canadian Press
May 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL — Resolute Forest Products, formerly known as AbitibiBowater Inc., says it has purchased more shares in takeover target Fibrek Inc., bringing its total stake in the company to 70.9 per cent. The Quebec-based company said late Monday it has paid $5.4 million for 9.9 million additional shares. That pushes it beyond the 66.6 per cent it needs to take over the company. Resolute can take over Fibrek after acquiring two-thirds of its shares or winning a proxy vote on amalgamation supported by two-thirds of shareholders casting ballots.

Press Release from Resolute Forest Products.

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Fortress Paper Announces First Quarter 2012 Results

Marketwire press release
May 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Fortress Paper Ltd. reported 2012 first quarter EBITDA loss of $1.8 million. For the fourth quarter of 2011, EBITDA loss was $1.5 million and for the first quarter of 2011, EBITDA was $1.0 million. Fortress reported an adjusted net loss of $9.1 million, or diluted adjusted loss per share of $0.64 for the first quarter of 2012 on sales of $61.4 million. In the fourth quarter of 2011, the Company reported an adjusted net loss of $6.3 million or diluted adjusted loss per share of $0.44 on sales of $49.5 million and for the first quarter of 2011 adjusted net loss of $5.6 million or diluted loss per share of $0.42 on sales of $85.5 million.

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Forest Industry Unveils Vision2020: Charting an Exciting Roadmap for the Future

by The Forest Products Association of Canada
Canada News Wire press release
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA – The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) will unveil a new industry-led vision that will challenge companies, governments and other partners to find innovative ways to help the revitalized sector further transform itself by 2020. The Vision will lay out specific and ambitious goals in the area of products, performance and people.

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Canada, B.C. Helping Japan Rebuild

BC Office of the Premier
Press Release
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NATORI, Miyagi Prefecture – Contributions from the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia to the Tohoku Reconstruction Project will support rebuilding of the Yuriage City Public Market, a significant first step in helping the local farming and fishing industry. …The Yuriage City Public Market, a popular destination for residents of Natori and Sendai, was completely destroyed by the 2011 tsunami. The new market will be built using 2×4 construction and incorporate a wide range of B.C. forest products including western red cedar, coastal hem-fir, and others. This will be the first project undertaken by the $4.5-million Tohoku Reconstruction Project, which includes $2 million each from both the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia and a $500,000 donation from Canada’s forest industry.

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Crofton mill owner moves restructuring meeting to May 23

Cowichan News Leader Pictorial
May 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crofton pulp-and-paper mill’s owners announced Friday that meetings of its secured and unsecured creditors, to consider the plan of arrangement under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act, have again been rescheduled to May 23. Catalyst Paper’s restructuring huddles were previously set for May 18. “Our discussions are continuing toward the possibility of amending the current plan of arrangement which would better enable Catalyst to emerge from creditor protection on a stronger financial footing,” said Catalyst’s CEO, Kevin J. Clarke.

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Roundtable welcomes Arcand, appoints Negris as vice chair

BC Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation
Press Release
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – B.C.’s Small Business Roundtable welcomes MaryAnne Arcand to its board and announces Cybele Negris as the new vice chair. Arcand brings a wealth of diverse business experience and is currently executive director of the Central Interior Logging Association. …B.C.’s Small Business Roundtable is co-chaired by Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation Pat Bell and Kamloops-South Thompson MLA Kevin Krueger. The roundtable seeks advice from the small business community on issues, strategies and potential actions to inform its annual report to government.

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Mill unions find alarming detail in company’s pension proposal

The Western Star
May 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

CORNER BROOK Kruger’s request for an extension to replenish the unfunded portion of its employee pension fund may be in trouble now that unions at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper have found a wrinkle in the plan that does not sit well with their members. In a rare — if not unprecedented — development, all of the newsprint mill’s unionized workers are being asked to attend two meetings today to discuss the situation. For the past several weeks, both current employees and retired union workers have been mulling over whether to grant the paper company an extra five years to make up for the deficit in the pension plan.

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Mill workers protest use of contractors

The Western Star
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Frustrated that their members are home and out of work, unionized employees at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper held a protest at the mill’s gates early Tuesday morning. More than 50 unionized Corner Brook Pulp and Paper employees took part in a quiet demonstration at the mill gates during the morning shift change Tuesday. The protest was meant to draw attention to the number of contractors the paper company is employing after laying off several dozen unionized workers recently.

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Louisiana-Pacific Upgraded To ‘Outperform’ By RBC Capital, PT Lifted To $12

iStocky Analyst
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Quinn upgraded his rating on shares of Louisiana-Pacific Corp. to “Outperform” from “Sector Perform” and increased his price target to $12 from $10. With the stock trading well below replacement value (65% discount versus Norbord at 51% and Ainsworth at 30%), Quinn believes the shares are discounting an overly conservative oriented strand board (OSB) price outlook and housing recovery. In contrast, he is getting more bullish.

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OSHA Fines Plant Rocked By Dust Collection System Fire And Explosion

May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Jaffrey, NH — OSHA fined the New England Wood Pellet, LLC a total of $147,000 over safety violations after a combustible dust fire and explosion rocked the company’s plant in Jaffrey, NH last week. The fines, which are some of the biggest yet this year, and the accompanying report on the incident that criticizes the company for failing to “effectively minimize and address clearly recognized hazards that could kill or disable workers in a catastrophic incident.” The company for its part has fired back, saying OSHA’s findings are “one-sided and unfairly dismissive of the company’s past and ongoing efforts to improve worker safety at its Jaffrey facility.” 

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Workers’ jobs ‘safe’ after Gunns sale

The Age
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

ABOUT 200 workers at a Victorian native forest timber mill have been told their jobs are secure after embattled timber company Gunns sold the plant to a Melbourne-based consortium. Gunns said the $28 million sale of the Heyfield mill, about 200 kilometres east of Melbourne, would finalise the company’s exit from native forestry. The hardwood mill was sold to the Hermal Group, a consortium that owns a timber wholesale business in suburban Moorabbin.

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Gov’t moving to revise log export policy

NCN Guyana
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Minister of Natural Resources and the Environment Robert Persaud is calling for commercial banks to come forward and lend financial assistance to local operators in the logging industry. The Minister said while there are challenges in the industry, there is growth and government is moving to revise the policy on log exports. The Minister’s comments came as local timber stakeholders met representatives of the commercial banks to tackle financial issues a major problem affecting the industry “

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Toxic gas kills 4 at China paper mill

Xinhua
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

WUHAN — Four workers were suffocated to death Monday while cleaning a waste pulp sink at a paper mill in central China’s Hubei Province, local authorities said. A preliminary investigation indicated they were poisoned by toxic gas, the city government of Xiantao said in a press release Tuesday. It said the accident happened at 9 a.m. at Shengda Paper Industrial Co. Ltd. in Zhanggou Township. Qiao Bencai, a temporary employee, was sent down the 2.8-meter deep sink at 8:30 a.m., but passed out while cleaning the waste pulp, the document said.

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Austrian sawmilling industry continues to curtail production

EUWID Wood Products & Panels
May 14, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Although business activity on the sales markets relevant to the Austrian sawmilling industry had improved slightly by the beginning of May, lumber producers believe the minor increase in demand is not yet sufficient to match the level for the same time last year. The main reason for the hitherto somewhat slower pace of business activity is the sluggish start to the year on the Italian softwood lumber market, the characteristic features of which were noticeable restraint in purchasing by Italian buyers and stagnating, sometimes slightly decaying prices in the first four months. 

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Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) Announces New Policies on High Conservation Value Forest

Financial Post
May 15, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Asia Pulp & Paper Group (APP) has announced its new High Conservation Value Forest policies to evolve APP’s business, including the immediate suspension of natural forest clearance on its own pulpwood plantations in Indonesia. Over the past decade, APP has built and implemented a broad-ranging sustainability strategy to preserve critical aspects of Indonesia’s precious natural resources, high conservation areas and biodiversity.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

2012 Standard Grading Rules for Northeastern Lumber Available ONLINE

Northeastern Lumber Manufacturers Association
May 14, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

NELMA is pleased to announce that the 2012 edition of the Association’s Standard Grading Rules for Northeastern Lumber has been approved by the ALSC Board of Review and is now available online under the Reference tab of the NELMA website. These revised rules become effective June 1, 2012 and replace the 2006 version.

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Eastern red cedars: moneymakers

North Platte Bulletin
May 14, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Contrary to what many believe, eastern red cedar trees can have substantial value for wood products. From chips for fuel, to poles, posts and lumber, the often discarded trees can be an income-producing asset for landowners. Although eastern red cedar are expanding in the rangeland in ever increasing numbers, southwest district forester Rachel Allison with the Nebraska Forest Service points out that there are areas where the cedar has been growing for many years and actually has survived some of the early century fires

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Black Locusts Ready for Pussy’s Pond

Patch.com
May 14, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Preparation for the new pier at Pussy’s Pond is progressing nicely. Ray Hartjen, a special project coordinator for the East Hampton Trails Preservation Society, said everything is happening so fast that construction may begin by late June. …The posts and walkway will be built using black locust trees from the area and Hartjen has been scouting out stands of black locust all over the East End. “By the way, they are not indigenous to the area and are considered in some way as unwanted,” he said. “Among other things they have a very poor shallow root system and are easily blown over.”

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Forestry

Feds Not Standing on Guard for Canada’s Water: Experts

A report to be released Tuesday catalogs a rundown in Canada’s capacity to defend the safety and security of its water that, the expert authors say, will have “serious repercussions” for economic and human health.
The Tyee
May 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

In a report that mentions water exports only in passing, the independent, non-profit Forum for Leadership on Water, a group of academic, NGO and retired public sector experts in water policy, find that decades of policy and spending neglect have left the federal government “crippled” in the face of mounting threats to Canada’s water. Those mainly arise from climate change and Canadians’ own economic, regulatory and engineering decisions, the authors of the report, which appears as special issue of the Forum’s online Policy Watch Monitor, say.

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3 wildfires burn out of control in Alberta

CBC.ca
May 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As firefighters work around the clock on three forest fires burning out of control in northern Alberta, officials issued a fire ban on Monday for most forested areas in the province. “The wildfire situation in most of Alberta is serious,” said Environment and Sustainable Resource Development Minister Diana McQueen in a news release. “Unfortunately, most of the wildfires we are fighting right now appear to be human-caused and therefore were 100 per cent preventable. It is very important that everyone take precautions to avoid starting fires — it is so dry and windy in many places that fires can start and spread very quickly.”

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Alberta government issues fire ban for forested areas in province

Edmonton Journal
May 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – The provincial government issued a fire ban Monday for all forested provincial lands as three wildfires continued to burn out of control in northern Alberta near the hamlets of Grassland and Lodgepole, as well as northwest of Bonnyville. The ban was issued Monday evening and is in effect for forested areas from Waterton Lakes National Park to north of Manning and the Fort McMurray area. The ban is in effect until further notice. The ban prohibits people from lighting outdoor fires, fireworks or campfires, even if a fire permit was issued. “It is very important that everyone take precautions to avoid starting fires — it is so dry and windy in many places that fires can start and spread very quickly,” Diana McQueen, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Resource Development, said in a news release.

Also carried at CBC News

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Current Forest Fire Situation in Ontario

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
May 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Information on this map is the latest available from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Aviation, Forest Fire and Emergency Services. Approximate location of forest fires can be viewed by selection of Active, New and/or Out at bottom of map.

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Forest fire season off to rough start

The Sudbury Star
May 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

An early end to winter and a drier-than-normal spring is making it difficult for Ministry of Natural Resources firefighters. Ontario has seen a drastic increase in forest fires this year. From the beginning of 2012 to Monday, the ministry reported 201 fires that burned through 660 hectares of land in the province. In 2011, for the same period, there were 85 forest fires that burned through only 95 hectares. “Right now, the ground is really dry. We’ve had a dry spring. The snowmelt occurred a lot quicker this year than normal. It didn’t allow for (melted snow) to infiltrate into the ground,” said Lindsay Marks, the northeast fire information officer for the Ministry of Natural Resources.

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NS Silviculture Fund

CBC Radio News
May 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

RADIO STORY – Find out why the province is offering more than a million and a half dollars for silviculture work across Nova Scotia. The NS Landowners and Forest Fibre Producers Association and the Federation of NS Woodland Owners will co-ordinate the funds. Andrew Fedora, the Executive director of the Federation, explains. (runs 5:23)

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More crews arriving to fight Colorado wildfire

Atlanta Journal Constitution
May 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — Crews fighting a wildfire in northern Colorado are worried that dry, windy weather will hamper their attempts to bring the blaze under control. The fire is burning on an estimated 280 acres about 20 miles northwest of Fort Collins. Fire spokeswoman Reghan Cloudman says four, 20-person crews headed to the area to fight the fire Tuesday. A heavy air tanker and helicopter also have been requested.

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Ariz. gov. vetoes bill that demanded federal land

Atlanta Journal Constitution
May 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed legislation Monday that would have had the state join Utah in demanding that the federal government surrender control of millions of acres of public land. Supporters of the Arizona legislation argued that the states would be better managers of resources such as timber and minerals on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

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BLM seeks comment on forest management

Suggestions will be taken through July 5 as the agency formulates management plans for Western Oregon forestlands
Mail Tribune
May 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Residents will have the chance to weigh in during two public meetings this week as the U.S. Bureau of Land Management continues carving out new management plans for its Western Oregon forestlands. The agency is seeking comment on issues it needs to address in new resource management plans being developed for the Medford District as well as for the other five districts and the Klamath Falls Resource Area.

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Forestry peace goes: West

ABC News, Australia
May 15, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The author of a report into Tasmania’s native forest industry believes the Federal-State forest agreement will be unable to achieve peace. Professor Jonathon West fronted an Upper House inquiry to explain his finding that Forestry Tasmania has been harvesting native forests at double the sustainable yield. His report into 572,000 hectares of native forest is being used to determine what new reserves should be established under the peace deal. Prof. West told MLCs that the intergovernmental agreement which is underpinned by his report will fail. He does not believe a compromise on reserves will be reached.

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Romania loses more than 280000 hectares of forest in 10 years

Romania-Insider.com
May 14, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Romania’s forest’s are being chopped down at the alarming rate of three hectares per hour, according to environmental pressure group Greenpeace. The group’s study, published today shows that between 2000 and 2011 over 280,000 hectares of forest in Romania were lost or degraded and Greenpeace Romania is asking the Minister of Environment and Forestry to “take urgent measures to protect forests.” Around 29 percent of Romania is forested, lower than the EU average, but the country has some of Europe’s largest areas of virgin forest – over 218,000 hectares. Worryingly, even though protected by law, Romania’s virgin forest has been damaged, due to the frequency of illegal logging.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate action remains top concern for B.C. Liberals

Letter by Terry Lake B.C. Environment Minister
Vancouver Sun
May 15, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Re: Politicians tune out climate change after paying lip service, Column, May 10
Craig McInnes’ column suggests climate action has “slipped” as a priority for our government. However, our focus on jobs and the economy does not mean we are abandoning our leadership on climate action. The B.C. Jobs Plan is built on the fact that we are, “and will remain, a climate change leader.”

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Nearly one-tenth of hemisphere’s mammals unlikely to outrun climate change

EurekAlert (press release)
May 14, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A safe haven could be out of reach for 9 percent of the Western Hemisphere’s mammals, and as much as 40 percent in certain regions, because the animals just won’t move swiftly enough to outpace climate change. For the past decade scientists have outlined new areas suitable for mammals likely to be displaced as climate change first makes their current habitat inhospitable, then unlivable. For the first time a new study considers whether mammals will actually be able to move to those new areas before they are overrun by climate change.

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Forest-sourced biofuel is bad for the environment, new study warns

Click Green
May 14, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A new study from the University of California, Davis, provides a deeper understanding of the complex global impacts of deforestation on greenhouse gas emissions. The study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, reports that the volume of greenhouse gas released when a forest is cleared depends on how the trees will be used and in which part of the world the trees are grown. When trees are felled to create solid wood products, such as lumber for housing, that wood retains much of its carbon for decades, the researchers found. In contrast, when wood is used for bioenergy or turned into pulp for paper, nearly all of its carbon is released into the atmosphere. Carbon is a major contributor to greenhouse gases.

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Study Shows Trees Absorb Less Carbon than Earlier Thought; Leaf Activity Drops During Summer

Colorado State University News
Press Release
May 14, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

…Correctly accounting for the impact of photoperiod on tree leaf activity adjusts global estimates of carbon sequestration downward by more than 3 percent, according to the study, titled “Photoperiodic regulation of the seasonal pattern of photosynthetic capacity and the implications for carbon cycling.” The result: Net primary production – the amount of carbon dioxide the Earth’s vegetation absorbs during photosynthesis, minus that released in plant respiration – drops from 58.7 petagrams of carbon per year to 56.7 petagrams of carbon per year, according to the study in PNAS. That’s a downward correction of 3.4 percent (1 petagram equals 1 billion metric tons).

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Vega Biofuels Waste Wood to Bio-Coal Facility Under Construction

Waste Management World
May 14, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Vega Biofuels is to develop a 90,000 square foot (8360 square metre) bio-coal manufacturing facility in Cordele, Georgia that will also be the company’s new headquarters. The company said that its bio-coal fuel is made from a process called torrefaction, which is a partial carbonisation process that takes place at temperatures between 475 – 575 degrees F (200 – 400 degrees C) which makes the physical and energetic properties of the biomass much more comparable to traditional coal.  The biomass is then compressed into briquettes to be sold to the end user. 

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Potential for further ‘sink’ forests

Stuff.co.nz
May 15, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Marlborough is likely to have more forests become carbon sinks because of the depth of forestry industry skills and experience, NZ Carbon Farming managing director Matt Walsh says. Climate Change Minister Tim Groser and his associate, Simon Bridges, joined NZ Carbon Farming representatives and other partners to officially open the company’s newest carbon sink, a forest at Kiernan Creek in the Wairau Valley, at the forest on Friday. The forest, a former plantation pine forest-turned carbon sink, is NZ Carbon Farming’s first investment in Marlborough.

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Emissions from deforestation vary depending on fate of cleared trees

Mongabay.com
May 14, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Carbon emissions from deforestation vary greatly depending on whether timber stocks are turned into finished wood products, converted into bioenergy feedstocks, or burned outright, reports a new study published in Nature Climate Change. The research looked at forest use in 169 countries. It found that foresters in temperate countries typically convert forests into timber products that store carbon for generations, whereas developers in the tropics are more likely to clear forests for energy or paper production, short-lived products which release carbon more immediately. Further a significant proportion of tropical forests are burned for agricultural use.

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Good wood: temperate countries sequester carbon in their lumber

In the tropics, carbon from cleared forests goes straight to the atmosphere.
Ars Technica
May 14, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Although the burning of fossil fuels has been responsible for the majority of humanity’s carbon emissions, land use changes are thought to have been responsible for nearly 20 percent of the CO2 that we’ve put in the atmosphere. Most of this has involved the clearing of forests and grasslands for agriculture, and many efforts to sequester carbon involve blocking or reversing these processes through the preservation of forests or planting of new trees. But the fate of the material cleared during deforestation isn’t a simple one. …A new study has looked at the fate of cleared woodlands on a country-by-country basis and found that the rates of sequestration can range from 62 percent down to essentially nothing.

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General

OSHA Fines Plant Rocked By Dust Collection System Fire And Explosion

May 15, 2012
Category: Uncategorized

Jaffrey, NH — OSHA fined the New England Wood Pellet, LLC a total of $147,000 over safety violations after a combustible dust fire and explosion rocked the company’s plant in Jaffrey, NH last week. The fines, which are some of the biggest yet this year, and the accompanying report on the incident that criticizes the company for failing to “effectively minimize and address clearly recognized hazards that could kill or disable workers in a catastrophic incident.” The company for its part has fired back, saying OSHA’s findings are “one-sided and unfairly dismissive of the company’s past and ongoing efforts to improve worker safety at its Jaffrey facility.” 

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Arizona wildfires keeping crews busy

Charlotte Observer
May 14, 2012
Category: Uncategorized

CROWN KING, Ariz. Firefighters continued to battle a wildfire Monday in northern Arizona that has forced residents from their homes in the historic mining town of Crown King just weeks ahead of the busy tourist season. The fire began on private land Sunday and has burned about 2 square miles as of Monday afternoon, with zero containment. The 1,300-acre, human-caused blaze already has destroyed two buildings and one trailer, Prescott National Forest spokeswoman Debbie Maneely said.

Updated coverage from USA Today that includes a video
Raging wildfires scorch Arizona, force Evacuations

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