Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 22, 2012

Business & Politics

Lumber market recovery taking hold

By Peter Butzelaar
Logging & Sawmilling Journal
May 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

West Fraser and Canfor continue to hold the number one and two spots in the listing of Canada’s top lumber producers, and the annual survey shows that the lumber market recovery is taking hold. The 2011 annual survey of the top Canadian lumber producers by International WOOD MARKETS Group Inc. provides further evidence that the fledgling market recovery that started in 2010 continued to build on itself in 2011… Total Canadian softwood lumber output rose from 21.9 billion board feet in 2010 to 22.5 billion board feet in 2011 (+2.5 per cent), while U.S. production grew from 24.9 billion board feet to 26.9 billion board feet (+8.0 per cent).

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Fire damages Abbotsford lumber mill

CBC News
May 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The owners of an Abbotsford, B.C., lumber mill are trying to determine what they can salvage after a fire tore through the building Saturday morning. Crews were called to the Absolute Lumber Products mill, on McCallum Road near Highway 11, at about 4 a.m. PT. The building was engulfed in flames by the time firefighters arrived, and it took about 45 minutes to bring the blaze under control. Assistant fire chief Jeff Adams says the building was not completely destroyed.

Also carried by
Another mill in B.C. razed by fire in the Toronto Sun
Massive blaze destroys Abbotsford mil in the Abbotsford News
Another BC lumber mill engulfed in flames in the CTV News
Fire damages Abbotsford lumber mill video from Global BC News

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Abbotsford mill fire likely not linked to wood dust: Firefighters

Vancouver Sun
May 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A large fire that burned part of an Abbotsford lumber mill to the ground early Saturday morning does not appear to be linked to the wood dust suspected in two fatal mill explosions earlier this year, according to local fire officials. The blaze, which destroyed Absolute Lumber Products’ main building, was visible from kilometres away early Saturday morning. 

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Marshall, Kennedy wonder about mill’s future

Western Star
May 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Finance Minister Tom Marshall says it is now more crucial than ever management and unions at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper get together and produce a plan for the long-term viability of the mill. The Tory legislature member for Humber East, the district where the mill is located, said the rejection by the mill unions of the pension funding relief measures the company was proposing has cast more uncertainty over the mill’s future.  With about 54 per cent of the unionized employees rejecting the proposal, the company said it must now reassess the viability of its operations in Corner Brook.

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Rejection not about needing more time to fund mill pensions: unions

The Western Star
May 19, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The head of one of the unions at Corner Brook Pulp and Paper says Kruger can still get the relief measures it wants for funding the mill’s pension plan without depending on current or retired workers. Ross Edison, president of Local 1567 of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, said there is a way — through provincial legislation governing the funding of pension plans — for Kruger, the mill’s parent company, to get the five-year extension it was seeking.

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Mill union looking for second chance with Kruger

CBC News
May 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The union representing workers at a troubled newsprint mill in western Newfoundland says it is hoping to arrange a second vote on pension reform that might keep Corner Brook Pulp and Paper running. Montreal-based Kruger Inc. said Friday it was assessing the viability of the Corner Brook mill after unionized workers narrowly turned down a pension restructuring proposal that the company says is needed to keep the mill competitive.

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Regional lumber market continues gradual comeback

Longview Daily News
May 21, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Regional lumber sales are slowly rebounding, but industry experts expect full recovery from the nationwide housing collapse will take years. At Weyerhaeuser Co.’s four Pacific Northwest sawmills, including one in Longview, lumber sales rose 14 percent in the first three months of the year compared to the same period in 2011, company spokesman Anthony Chavez said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Protect Montana’s families from toxic chemicals

The Missoulian
May 21, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

.. Toxic chemicals like mercury, formaldehyde and Bisphenol A threaten our kids’ health and safety in the most protected location – our homes. For example, formaldehyde is known to cause upper airway cancer, leukemia, respiratory illness and asthma. Yet manufacturers use it in composite wood products (like particle board) to make furniture including cribs and changing tables, and it even appears at dangerous levels in our carpets… Researchers found toxic levels of formaldehyde in the homes from the plywood used in construction.

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What all those “green” terms mean when buying wood furniture

OregonLive.com
May 19, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

From bookcases to serving bowls, toy trains to end tables, wood is a natural choice for durability and good looks, and manufacturers are riding the wave of environmental consciousness by promoting these products as “green.” But how do you sort out the claims and make sure your new dining table didn’t come from an endangered rain forest?  We offer some tips on what all those words — like reclaimed, upcycled or SFC-certified — mean, plus places to shop for easy-on-the-Earth furniture and home accessory options. 

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Rochester businessman adding plastics to green movement

Post-Bulletin
May 18, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

After extensive research, Schmitt has created an artificial wood from recycled plastics. It mixes fly ash, which is mineral waste from coal-burning power plants, with pellets of recycled plastic milk jugs. Testing different formulations, he found that his artificial wood could be cut, drilled, painted and nailed. He says it’s stronger than wood, impervious to to salt water, more durable and can be reprocessed up to 12 times.

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A Wind Turbine Made With Wood

Energy Matters
May 22, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Looking somewhat like a Hills Hoist that has come off second best in a tussle with a tornado, the Hercules wind turbine combines cutting edge technology and old world material – wood. The Hercules Wind Generator, manufactured by Italian firm ENESSERE, boasts an output capacity of 5 kW. The vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT) is constructed from titanium, wood (cedar), carbon fiber and stainless steel. The shape of the rotor and sails is the result of extensive aerodynamic studies.

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European demand for African lumber still well below last year’s level in April and early May

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
May 22, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The majority of European importers report that demand for African lumber in April and the early days of May remained below the levels recorded for the same time last year. After a good start in January, demand weakened noticeable throughout the course of February.

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Japanese importers accuse their government of favoring domestic lumber over foreign wood

The Oregonian
May 19, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

SHIOGAMA, Japan — Last year’s tsunami tore apart the Miyoshi lumber company here, launching logs into neighboring buildings and sweeping an employee onto a rooftop where he froze to death. Grieving workers spent weeks cleaning up the family-owned import business, which suffered a $2.5 million loss. But Yukiya Koizumi, Miyoshi Zaimoku Co. president, said Japan’s government won’t compensate his company or other lumber importers, even as it subsidizes the domestic lumber industry.

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Forestry

Manitoba has biggest fire risk in Canada

Wildfire evacuees in village of Badger return home
CBC News
May 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario have the most extreme risk of forest fires in the country. Natural Resources Canada’s updated fire danger map has coloured those areas in red, while the majority of the country is listed as low or moderate, which means fires are unlikely or “gentle” and easily contained. Southern Manitoba and northwestern Ontario are listed as extreme, which means fires are fast-spreading and intense.

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Mulgrew: Judge finds lawsuit sparked by ‘untouchable’ forest ministry inspector should proceed

By Ian Mulgrew,
Vancouver Sun
May 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. Ministry of Forest officials illegally obtained search warrants and conducted an illicit criminal investigation into a log broker, putting taxpayers at risk of paying substantial civil damages. For the last two years, Victoria’s lawyers have battled on several fronts to forestall Timberwolf Log Trading Ltd.’s litigation over the misconduct. But B.C. Supreme Court Justice Catherine Wedge has ruled the lawsuit, alleging misfeasance or abuse of public office and defamation, should proceed. The small Vancouver Island log broker claims overzealous forest ministry officials — described as acting like Eliot Ness and the Untouchables — wrongly targeted the firm and far overstepped the limits of their authority.

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Here is how the B.C. coastal wood system works

By IAN MULGREW
Vancouver Sun
May 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. Government grants timber sale licences, which provide the right to harvest timber on specific areas of Crown land, based on public bids or tenders. When the ministry opens land up for bidding, it releases information based on a cruise (or survey) of the forest in the area. The timber cruise data are an estimate of the grade, species and volume of timber and provides the basis for estimating stumpage payable to the Crown.

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Promises, promises

Prince George Free Press
May 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

So it now seems that a decision about the timber supply review won’t be made this month, the next month, or even the month after that. The decision is turning into a more lengthy process than the ‘six to eight weeks’ that Jobs Tourism and Innovation Minster Pat Bell was touting in Burns Lake in January. That was nearly four months ago and there is probably not going to be a decision made for as many months on top of that. All said and done, it may end up being a year-long process, just for the timber supply review.

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Mackenzie Area Timber Licensees Pass Audit

HQ Prince George
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Timber Sales and 24 timber sale licensees in the Mackenzie District north of Prince George have passed an audit. The area was randomly selected for a review of forest planning, silviculture, fire planning, harvesting, and road activities. Forest Practices Board Chair Al Gorley says the only issue was with one bridge and a short section of road.

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Forest fire forces 300 from cottage country

CBC News
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forest fire is threatening homes and cottages near the northeastern Ontario town of Kirkland Lake. Approximately 300 residents have been told to vacate their properties immediately for their own safety. Many are sheltering at the Legion in Kirkland Lake. The OPP said a forest fire was discovered near the town at 11:30 a.m. Sunday. According to police, firefighters from the Kirkland Lake Fire Department along with Ministry of Natural Resources fire crews and water bombers have been on scene fighting the fire since it was discovered.

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Forest industry bracing for budworm outbreak

Spruce budworm larvae has been found in the Madawaska region
CBC News
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick foresters are preparing for another attack from the spruce budworm as the bug is infesting forests in Quebec. Mark Arsenault, the president and chief executive officer of the New Brunswick Forest Products Association, said the industry is preparing for another infestation. “We are seeing a massive outbreak in Quebec right now and it has just crossed the St. Lawrence and is now into the Gaspe area. We’ve seen an increase of the larva count of budworm,” Arsenault said… Arsenault said it is possible to spray forests in order to kill the spruce budworm.

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Forest fire that threatened Halifax neighbourhood declared under control

Canadian Press
May 22, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — A forest fire that forced the evacuation of 60 homes in a Halifax neighbourhood has been declared under control. Dave Meldrum, a spokesman for Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency, says a steady rainfall that began earlier today has helped ground crews douse remaining smouldering spots near Williams Lake in Spryfield. He says as a result an evacuation order that was put in place on Monday has been lifted.

Also carried by
Evacuation lifted for homes Halifax brush fire by CBC News
Forest fire now under control in the Chronicle Herald

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Disease-resistant elms aim of Canadian research

CBC.ca
May 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Scientists at the University of Guelph are cloning elm trees they believe are resistant to Dutch elm disease, a fungus that has devastated the North American elm tree population. Their work features a method that is the first of its kind for replicating elms that have survived the onslaught of the European tree sickness.  “I was surprised myself that American elms are very, very difficult to clone,” said Dr. Praveen Saxena, the head of the university’s research project. 

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Impact of Climate Change on Forest Diseases Assessed in New US Forest Service Report

USDA Blog  
Robert H. Westover, U.S. Forest Service Office of Communication
May 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A report being released by the U.S. Forest Service examines the impact of climate change on eight forest diseases and how these pathogens will ultimately affect Western forests. The report analyzed a range of future conditions from warmer and dryer to warmer and wetter. The first scenario, which is considered more likely for most regions in the West, includes dryer and hotter summers. These conditions will increase the risk of wildfires and warmer winters allowing insect outbreaks, like the bark beetle, which has destroyed millions of pine trees in Colorado, to continue.

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Mega-fires in Southwest due to forest mismanagement

Tucson Citizen
May 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new tree-ring and fire scar study from SMU and the University of Arizona finds that today’s mega-wild fires in the Southwest are unusual. The 1,400-year record encompassed the Little Ice Age (1600 to mid 1800s A.D.) and the Medieval Warm Period (800-1300 A.D.) and found that fire incidence was nearly the same under both cool and warm, wet and dry conditions. Forest policy of fire suppression prevented forests being naturally thinned by relatively small ground fires. The result was a build up of brush which exacerbated fires to produce even larger, more destructive wild fires.

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Company selected to clear Arizona forest overgrowth

AZ Central.com
May 19, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service awarded a contract Friday for the first phase of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, a 20-year project to thin Arizona’s overgrown forests and reduce the risk of fire with the help of private industry. Pioneer Forest Products was selected to start thinning the first 300,000 acres of a planned 2.4 million acres across four national forests in Arizona. The company, which includes multiple subsidiaries and markets in the U.S. and Canada, intends to build a processing plant in Winslow to produce a range of wood products, creating about 500 jobs.

Another article on this topic in the AZ Daily Sun

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Congressional panel debates Northwest Forest Plan’s future at Longview event

Longview Daily News
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Former President Bill Clinton’s two-decade old federal forest management plan has killed thousands of jobs and failed to adequately protect the threatened northern spotted owl, forest industry supporters told a congressional committee Monday in Longview. Efforts by the federal government to double the amount of protected habitat for the spotted owl and old-growth forest ecosystems will only make things worse, panel members said.

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SRP, NAU study forest restoration effects

Ahwatukee Foothills News
May 18, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Scientists say Arizona’s overcrowded forests are affecting the natural processes of a healthy ecosystem. Past studies have shown that much of Arizona’s ponderosa pine forests have hundreds of trees more per acre than existed prior to 1900. This overstocking has had dramatic impacts on the hydrologic cycle, as well as related impacts to range conditions and wildlife habitat. In addition, where fire was once a welcome visitor to the forest in helping to thin trees and recycle nutrients, fire now is prone to explode into a catastrophic stand-replacing wildfire.

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Scientific research in a forest

Boing Boing
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

I spent Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in the Harvard Forest—the most-studied forest in the world. It’s an interesting place, with a complicated history. Originally forest, it was clear-cut in the decades following European settlement. By 1830, less than 90% of this part of Massachusetts had any forest left. But that trend had already begun to reverse itself by 1850, spurred by urbanization and cheaper, more-efficient farming in the “West” (i.e., Ohio)... Today, these 3,500 acres are home to dozens of individual studies and long-term, interdisciplinary projects led by scientists from more than 15 universities and institutions.

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Forestry industry honours finest

Gisborne Herald
May 20, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

New Zealand – THE positive benefits of the forestry industry, which adds an estimated $335 million a year to the regional economy, were highlighted last night at the third annual Eastland Wood Council’s Forestry Awards for 2012. Before the 320-strong audience, council chairman Andrew Gaddum paid tribute to more than 1000 men and women who are employed every day to keep the industry going. By 2020 he estimated forestry would directly employ well over 2000 people and the contribution to the regional economy would grow to half a billion dollars.

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WWF forest programme welcomes review; initiates key changes

WWF Press Release
WWF International
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WWF is welcoming an in-depth evaluation of its Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN) and has announced plans to initiate several changes aimed at making the programme stronger and more effective… The evaluation recommended specific measures that GFTN will use to guide its future strategy and contribute to WWF’s wider goals of conservation and zero net degradation and deforestation. The independent evaluation was part of GFTN’s strategy and was scheduled for 2012, but it was brought forward after concerns were raised in a July 2011 report by Global Witness, Pandering to the Loggers. 

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Green activists call on Indonesian president to strengthen deforestation moratorium

Shanghai Daily
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JAKARTA — Coalition of Indonesia’s civil society organizations for forest protection today called on President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to strengthen the deforestation moratorium so as to make it a real instrument to reduce, and ultimately halt, deforestation in the country, a statement released by the coalition said here on Monday… The two-year moratorium, which entered into force on 20 May 2011, was part of a larger commitment made in 2009, when the president pledged commitments to reduce 26 percent greenhouse gas emissions by own efforts and 41 percent by international support, by 2020.

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Forestry Ministry Says Greenpeace Claims vs APP Not True

Jakarta Globe
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Jakarta – The Forestry Ministry has denied allegations by Greenpeace that a high-profile pulp and paper company is logging valuable ramin trees in Riau… “These trees are indeed being logged, not by APP but by suppliers for APP,” he said, adding that the move on the part of the suppliers was “a mistake” because ramin, typically used for furniture, was unsuitable for pulping. “And besides, cutting down ramin trees isn’t a crime,” Darori said. 

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Gardeners asked to test own plants for Sudden Oak Death

Telegraph.co.uk
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The foot and mouth of tree diseases arrived in Britain from America, where it decimated the oak population, just under a decade ago via imported plants. In Britain the disease, officially known as phytophthora ramorum, spared oaks and jumped to rhododendrons and Japanese larch trees. It has swept the country wiping out whole larch plantations, including more than 120 Forestry Commission sites, 20 National Trust properties and two Woodland Trust reserves. Already 4 million trees have been felled or marked for destruction.

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Inexpensive Aerial Drone Cuts Down on Illegal Logging

Wall Street Daily
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A new aerial surveillance system to protect forests and endangered species in remote parts of the world is being pioneered by a pair of ecologists in Switzerland. The researchers have designed and built their own flying drone that can capture evidence of illegal activity on film.
The drone, which is able to ascend 800 feet and survey an area of nearly 250 acres, uses its attached video camera to look for illegal logging activity in dangerous and normally inaccessible regions. So far, says co-inventor, Lian Pin Koh, the technology has been deployed successfully in Indonesia:

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Forest Management Plan proves controversial

Donnybrook Mail
May 21, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

THE state government’s newly released Forest Management Plan (FMP) has proved controversial among conservation and green groups. Conservation Council WA (CCWA) president Piers Verstegen said the government’s next forest management plan will be a death sentence to endangered animals. However, the Forest Products Commission (FPC) said the concerns were premature. A scoping document for the FMP argues 10,000 hectares of native timber should be available for logging each year from 2014.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Critical views of California’s carbon offsets from the USA and Mexico

Redd Monitor
May 22, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Two views of California’s new cap and trade programme, both looking at problematic forestry offsets. The first looks into carbon offsets from forestry operations in California. The second looks at the impact of REDD-type projects in Chiapas, Mexico. Last week, NBC Bay Area broadcast a short investigation into the risks of using California’s forest operations to generate carbon offsets by “improving forestry management”. Bruce Castle, an activist with Ebbetts Pass Forest Watch tells NBC Bay Area, “This is a bonus to them to be collecting millions of dollars for the carbon offsets that they were going to do anyway.”

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Large scale carbon forestry planting underway

Land
May 20, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

PLANTING of more than 10,000 hectares of mallee eucalypt trees is now underway as part of one fo the largest carbon forestry projects in Australia. A leading developer of carbon forestry projects, Carbon Conscious Limited, says thanks to timely rain, carbon forestry planting is now underway across the Australian wheatbelt. Carbon Conscious says it has received a substantial increase in new client enquiries from organisations now facing major carbon liabilities under the Clean Energy Act 2011, as well as from New Zealand companies with liabilities under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

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From Nuclear to Biomass Energy in Japan: A Metamorphosis

CleanTech Authority
May 20, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Noted as the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, an interesting and possibly foreshadowing event is taking place in Japan since the tsunami devastated the land. Wood from the decommissioned nuclear power plants will be used to fuel their Biomass Energy Program. In this case, the old will be replaced by the new. This will also include any wood that might contain radiation as well. Japan’s Prime Minister Naoto Kan stated before his resignation that his country will be moving in the direction of renewable energy.

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“Cash is king”: Forested countries must see REDD+ financial rewards

Center for International Forestry Research
May 21, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

BONN, Germany – Developing countries will not be incentivised to change business -as- usual practices and invest in REDD+ schemes until there’s certainty that the financial rewards that have been used to promote the forest carbon mechanism will materialise in the future, said experts at the sidelines of the climate change talks in Bonn… “The prospect of REDD+ financing is already a game changer, but if we want the change to be transformational and not just on the surface, there needs to be certainty on what forested nations will receive under REDD+.”

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Grants available in bid to source far more wood

shropshirestar.com
May 18, 2012
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

There are about 170,000 hectares (420,000 acres) of unmanaged woodland in the UK. Many are on farms and are not realising their full potential in terms of timber production and environmental benefits due to a lack of economic incentive and management in the past. Markets are now available for wood products, which, until fairly recently, were considered non-commercial. Revenues from poorer grade timber now more than covers felling costs, particularly with good road access.

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