Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: August 2013

Froggy Foibles

Forest Products Laboratory played key role in solving Lindbergh kidnapping

The Sixteenth Rail: The Evidence, the Scientist and the Lindbergh Kidnapping, by Schrager
Agriview.com
August 29, 2013
Category: Froggy Foibles

…The kidnap victim was the 20-month-old son of Charles A. Lindbergh, who was famous for making the first solo flight across the Atlantic. The baby had been taken from his second story nursery and murdered….The book details many coincidences. For instance, years earlier Lindbergh and wood expert Arthur Koehler had earned UW-Madison degrees on the same date on the same stage. Lindbergh, who had flunked out of the university, received an honorary degree after his history-making flight. Koehler was there to receive his master’s degree in forestry.

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Business & Politics

Tolko opening dependent on housing market

South Peace News
August 28, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In February of 2013, Tolko officially announced the reopening of the Athabasca mill, in Slave Lake. This announcement left the residents of High Prairie wondering when the same would be announced for the OSB plant west of town. On Aug. 21, four Tolko executives met with members of the public and town council at a special meeting at the town office. Tolko vice president of environment and forestry Bob Fleet was in the hot seat meeting most of the evening. …Fleet, along with his four colleagues, answered questions from the public and council to the best of their ability, but maintained that they cannot predict the future housing markets and the demand for OSB.

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Bell keeping busy in civilian life

HGPrinceGeorge
August 28, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nearly four months after officially leaving public life, Pat Bell is still making the adjustment back to that of a civilian. The former long-time Prince George-Mackenzie MLA has spent the last several months with family and exploring new business ventures including joining the board of Conifex Timber. “The forest industry is an industry I’ve had a strong interest and passion for for a long time so being able to be involved in Northern British Columbia in communities that I’m familiar with… is very rewarding”.

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New hope for band sawmill

Chronicle Journal
August 30, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A long-awaited plan for a sawmill at Sand Point First Nation will be re-worked following a vote of confidence for the project by a majority of band members.  “We’re going back to the drawing board to put together a new business plan before we go back to our investors, given the changing state of the forestry economy,” Sand Point lands and resources director Jordan Hatton said in an interview.  Band members voted last week 57-21 to proceed with a sawmill on the vacant Highway 11 reserve just south of Beardmore, about a year after there appeared to be strong opposition to the project.

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American politician claims government money to Port Hawkesbury paper violated trade laws

989XFM
August 29, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

An American politician claims government money for the Port Hawkesbury Paper Mill violated free trade laws. Mike Michaud, a Maine Congressman who recently resigned his seat to run for Governor, complains the 124 million dollars spent by the province gave the mill an unfair advantage. There’s a number of paper mills in Maine, including one owned by NewPage, the former owners of the Point Tupper mill. 

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Sawmill bankruptcy leaves Emmett hanging

Potential jobs at the Idaho sawmill have evaporated as the owner tries to fend off the bank.
Idaho Statesman
August 29, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Dick Vinson said his dream of reviving his sawmill in Emmett isn’t yet dead. But that dream — or at least Vinson’s part in it — might be gasping its dying breath. Emerald Forest Products is bankrupt and owes more than $1.9 million to Northwest Bank. The Boise bank, formerly Western Capital Bank, is foreclosing on the mill. A trustee sale scheduled for Aug. 14 that would have transfered ownership to the bank or to a third-party bidder was delayed for 30 days, theoretically giving Vinson more time to pay the bank and avoid losing the mill.

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Environmental group to help the Premier sell Tasmanian wood products in Asia

ABC News, Australia
August 30, 2013
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

An Environment group will join the Premier on her Asian trade mission to promote Tasmanian forest products. It will join Lara Giddings, and representatives from timber millers Ta Ann Tasmania and Neville Smith Forest Products, to promote the industry to 80 Japanese pulp and paper buyers. Environment Tasmania’s Phil Pullinger says it is possible because the state Parliament supported 390,000 hectares of timber reserves. “There’s a lot stronger, clearer message we’re going to be able to communicate to the market place,” he said.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

UNBC bioenergy plant sets new benchmark

Prince George Citizen
August 29, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

UNBC has made the dean’s list in environmental design. The school’s bioenergy plant has become the first northern B.C. facility constructed by a northern B.C. contractor and the first university building in the province to achieve platinum certification in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system from the Canada Green Building Council. …UNBC’s plant, constructed by IDL Projects, Inc., is also Canada’s fourth university building to reach platinum status as well as the country’s second industrial/manufacturing project with the certification.

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UNBC Bioenergy Plant achieves LEED Platinum certification

HQ Prince George
August 28, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada West

UNBC has acheived another environmental milestone. The university’s Bioenergy Plant has received Platinum certification in the “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design” Green Building Rating System. It is the highest level of environmental certification from the Canada Green Building Council, and UNBC’s Bioenergy Plant is the first LEED platinum-certified university building in BC, and just the fourth in Canada.

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The Fence Has Run Out of Room

August 29, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Sorry folks, but there is no neutral ground left where the uncommitted can wait for the rest of the world to determine which direction we are going to steer the future of the built environment. The time has come to take a stand and decide which side of the issue you are going to be on. At stake is more than how houses and other buildings are going to perform, how much energy they will consume, how well they manage an increasingly precious water resource, how successfully they withstand unpredictable temperatures, precipitation and intensifying weather events. At stake is more than the comfort, physical safety and financial security of people who depend on the building industry to provide shelter in all its forms, even as important as all those things are

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Why Are Some States Trying to Ban LEED Green Building Standards?

The Atlantic Cities
August 28, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The amendments and executive orders never actually mention LEED by name. They ban new construction built with public money from seeking (or requiring) any green building certification that’s not recognized by something called the American National Standards Institute, or that doesn’t treat all certifications for wood products equally. But that’s really just a mouthful meant to ensure no more LEED-certified courthouses or state offices or libraries. Behind the bans are a group of industries – primarily conventional timber, plastics and chemicals – unhappy that much of their product goes unrecognized by the LEED standard created by the U.S. Green Building Council. 

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Letters: LEED ratings and forestry certification

Letters responding to “LEED vs. Oregon wood industry” (Aug. 25) 
The Oregonian
August 29, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West


I disagree with the idea we should not build high-performance buildings because of product manufacturer dissatisfaction over one LEED point.

The Aug. 25 editorial “LEED vs. Oregon wood industry” correctly highlights the problems being created by blindly obeying the requirements for LEED certification.

Too often, discussions about which program is “better” prevent acknowledging that increasing certification as a whole on public and private land — whether from SFI, FSC or the American Tree Farm System — should be the goal of public policies aimed at preserving forests.

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Fire chief to propose wood-shake ban

August 30, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Following the Beaver Creek Fire’s scorching run through Greenhorn Gulch, where one home was destroyed and firefighters saved 30 others, Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle said he will be “fighting tooth and nail” to get wood-shake roofs banned on new construction in Blaine County. Elle said flammable roofs put firefighters in danger and slow their response time to other homes. “The wood shingles have got to go,” he said.

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Fire chief to propose wood-shake ban

August 30, 2013
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Following the Beaver Creek Fire’s scorching run through Greenhorn Gulch, where one home was destroyed and firefighters saved 30 others, Ketchum Fire Chief Mike Elle said he will be “fighting tooth and nail” to get wood-shake roofs banned on new construction in Blaine County. Elle said flammable roofs put firefighters in danger and slow their response time to other homes. “The wood shingles have got to go,” he said.

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Forestry

Mickel backs Six Mile residents

Nelson Star
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nearly 100 residents of Six Mile concerned with logging activity underway in their watershed were joined by Regional District of Central Kootenay Area F director Ron Mickel. “Everyone is concerned about what’s happening at Duhamel,” said Mickel of the meeting held last week. …Garth Wiggill, regional district manager with the Ministry of Forests, says Kalesnikoff Lumber publicly advertised their Forest Stewardship Plan as they are legally required, which included the Duhamel Creek Forest Development Unit prior to their FSP being originally approved.

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Taan Forestry tour a success

QC Observer
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Twenty people attended a day-long tour of Taan’s forestry operations on Haida Gwaii Aug. 16, says Taan advisor Bill Dumont. …The purpose of the tour is outreach, said Mr. Dumont, as the tour gives information to the public about the ecology of the area, the process of harvesting with regards to the land use plan and how cultural features are protected.  Taan is one of the largest coastal companies with FSC certification, he explained, which requires the company to pass tough audits and annual reviews.

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Rim Fire points to poor forest-management practices

San Francisco Examiner
August 30, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The immensely destructive Rim Fire threatened San Francisco’s water and municipal power system, tore through important wildlife habitat and lapped at valued treasures in Yosemite National Park, including giant sequoias. The real calamity is that humans are likely to blame for the destruction. Steps should now be taken to create a plan to avoid the fire-management mistakes that helped bring about the raging inferno. …The Rim Fire is teaching us a lesson that need not be repeated. Although there certainly will be calls to increase funding for firefighting, the real money should be directed toward management and planning — upfront costs that could pay dividends throughout the generations.

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Crews complete defensive line around Lolo Creek Complex fire

The Missoulian
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters completed a defensive line around the Lolo Creek Complex on Wednesday and spent Thursday testing its strength. “If we can get through a possible wind event on Friday, we’ll be feeling pretty good,” fire spokesman David Schmitt said. Some still-active areas in the Woodman Creek drainage north of Woodman School mean the fire can only be called 75 percent contained. Nevertheless, what was briefly the top-priority fire in the nation is now heading toward the mop-up phase.

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Letter: Oregon needs more wildfire prevention

The Oregonian
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


This month, 80 years ago, the Tillamook Burn exploded and burned more than 350,000 acres. Today, Oregon spends more than $100 million a year suppressing wildfires across the state. According to the newsletter, this fire season blows past the 2002 historic $30 million net claims and $19.9 million insurance payout. Plus, this estimate is more than a week old … and counting. …Oregonians must again step up and help fund fire prevention and initial attack forces.

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California wildfire threatens forest fire research site

The Globe and Mail
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A massive California wildfire that has scorched an area of the Sierra Nevada mountains larger than Chicago could threaten a wooded research site scientists hope will yield clues on how best to manage forest fires. Though the Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest is located several kilometres from the northern flank of the so-called Rim Fire, the blaze’s unpredictability means the open-air science laboratory could be at risk, fire incident spokeswoman Rena Escobedo said.

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Ad Campaign Targets O&C Timber Proposal

Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Conservation groups have launched an ad campaign taking aim at a proposal in Congress to increase logging on federally-owned former railroad lands in Western Oregon. One billboard for the campaign looks something like a dystopian postcard. Above a treeless forest hillside, a banner cheerfully reads “Welcome to Oregon, home of the clearcut.” …The ads target a bipartisan bill sponsored by Oregon Representatives Peter DeFazio, Kurt Schrader and Greg Walden. It would increase timber production on what are known as the O&C Lands. 

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Yosemite fire 32% contained; some evacuations lifted

USA Today
August 30, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Fire crews are making progress against the raging fire that swept into Yosemite National Park, containing one-third of the blaze and lifting an evacuation advisory for residents of Tuolumne City, the picturesque mountain community in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Evacuation advisories were also issued for the nearby communities of Soulsbyville, and Willow Springs, all west of the main blaze, according to the Incident Information System.

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The Yosemite Inferno in the Context of Forest Policy, Ecology and Climate Change

New York Times
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For western [wild]fire (it’s hard to see how the wild part of that word applies any more, given how many human factors are involved), the suspects are a century of accumulated “fire debt” from fire suppression efforts, development and road construction, natural fluctuations in drought and heat on many time scales, spreading invasive tinder-like grasses and the building influence of greenhouse-driven global warming (see Andrew Freedman’s detailed exploration of the latter point). The verdict, of course is all of the above, but — as you’ll hear below — many experts see a prime culprit.

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The Ecological Importance of California’s Rim Fire

Chad Hanson, Director of the John Muir Project of Earth Island Institute 
A New Century of Forest Planning
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Since the Rim fire began in the central Sierra Nevada on August 17, there has been a steady stream of fearful, hyperbolic, and misinformed reporting in much of the media. The fire, which is currently 188,000 acres in size and covers portions of the Stanislaus National Forest and the northwestern corner of Yosemite National Park, has been consistently described as “catastrophic”, “destructive”, and “devastating.”… However, if we can, for a moment, set aside the fear, the panic, and the decades of misunderstanding about wildland fires in our forests, it turns out that the facts differ dramatically from the popular misconceptions. The Rim fire is a good thing for the health of the forest ecosystem. It is not devastation, or loss. It is ecological restoration.

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May The Lights Go Out At The Ninth Circuit Court

Evergreen Magazine
August 28, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

. …Fundamental to these treatments is thinning – reducing the number of trees per acre – and the reintroduction of controlled burns designed to reduce woody debris accumulations that fuel these conflagrations. But the Ninth Circuit Court has – with an able assist from Congress – created such a legal and regulatory morass that the only people who are benefitting are the lawyers that environmentalists hire to block the Forest Service’s every attempt at forest restoration.  Why do they do this? Because they can; because Congress in its infinite
wisdom has, via the Equal Access to Justice Act, forced taxpayers to pay
the fees these lawyers charge – win or lose.

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GAO sees little data for air firefighting efficacy

Idaho Statesman
August 28, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CHEYENNE, WYO. — Studies done over the past two decades have yet to provide data on the effectiveness of various private aircraft contracted by the U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Department of the Interior to fight wildfires in the U.S., a new federal report shows. The report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office also outlined ongoing challenges to modernizing the nation’s aging and dwindling fleet of large air tankers and said the Forest Service sometimes falls short in collaborating with other agencies and private companies on aerial firefighting strategy.

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New Zealand Consults on National Forest Certification Stand

Scoop Independent News
August 30, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Standards New Zealand, New Zealand’s leading developer of Standards and Standards-based solution, has called on national stakeholders to provide input into the draft DZ 4708, the draft National Sustainable Forest Management Standard. This draft standard is a proposed adoption of AS 4708:2013 Sustainable Forest Management, which has recently been revised by Australian Forestry Standard Ltd. AS 4708 provides forest owners and managers with environmental, economic, social, and cultural criteria that support the sustainable management of forests. 

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Native forest sector hiding from the truth

The Age
August 31, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Everyone knows the environment and the economy are in conflict; that any effort we make to protect the environment comes at the expense of profit and jobs. So, for instance, everyone knows that if the community wants to see restrictions on the logging of native forests in Tasmania, it’s only reasonable for the government to compensate the industry and its workers for their loss of livelihood. And this is precisely what the federal government has been doing for years. As long ago as 1989, the Tasmanian forestry sector received $42 million under the Helsham agreement.

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Forest peace deal to face another hurdle in 12 months

ABC News, Australia
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Upper House has been told the future of the forest peace deal now hinges on a durability report due next year. MPs have voted to take the next step and protect more forests, unlocking millions of dollars in financial support for the struggling industry. After more than seven hours of debate, Legislative Councillors backed the creation of 392,000 hectares of native forest reserves, nine votes to five.

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Sweden: increased logging and silviculture costs in large-scale forestry

IHB
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Costs for silviculture in large-scale forestry increased by 7 percent in 2012 compared with previous year, says the Swedish Forest Agency (SFA). There was also costs increase for maintenance and for new investments in forest roads. On average, logging costs for thinning and regeneration felling increased in Southern Norrland region (Norra Norrland) and in Southern Sweden region (Götaland). In other regions of Sweden the costs remained unchanged. END

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Forest peace deal clears another parliamentary hurdle

ABC News, Australia
August 29, 2013
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania’s fragile forest peace deal has passed another milestone in State Parliament. MPs have voted to take the next step and protect more forests, unlocking millions of dollars in financial support for the struggling industry. After more than seven hours of debate, Legislative Councillors passed a motion to create 392,000 hectares of native forest reserves, nine votes to five. The vote means 100,000 hectares will be protected within weeks and ensures the release of $97 million dollars in Commonwealth funding to support the timber industry during the restructure.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wrong to ignore climate change

The Star Phoenix
August 30, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

… we at Raincoast Conservation Foundation were disconcerted that climate change was not considered in the Enbridge Environmental and Socio-Economic Assessment (ESA). The proposed Northern Gateway project would see a 1,170-kilometre twin pipeline constructed from Alberta’s tarsands to the north coast of British Columbia, where very large crude carriers (VLCC) would ship diluted bitumen to offshore markets in China and the United States… Habitat fragmentation caused by large-scale resource extraction, such as industrial forestry, coupled with global climate change, could spell the decline or end of untold numbers of species.

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Photo Gallery: Generating power with wood waste at UBC

National Post
August 29, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility, housed at UBC’s Vancouver campus, produces both clean, renewable electricity and thermal energy.

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Where there’s fire, there may be heat

Researchers look at using wildfire prevention work debris as a clean fuel source
Kamloops Daily News
August 28, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Preventing a wildfire could also create new, clean energy for rural B.C. communities. A provincial collaboration among a couple of non-profit groups and B.C. research universities has come up with a new online tool that could help rural communities figure out whether wildfire prevention work debris can be used as a clean fuel source. The Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions has come up with a Fire Interface Rural Screening Tool for Heating (FIRST Heat) that could help reduce heating costs for residents of small rural communities as well as cutting down greenhouse gas emissions.

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Pining away for climate change

WUWT
August 29, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

From the NIPCC report comes this study that suggests gloom and doom over pine forest growth suppression in the face of climate change is overwrought. The pine trees apparently have the tools within their genes to cope just fine… In light of this finding, Oney et al. concluded that “models derived from within-species data produce different and better projections, and coincide with ecological theory,” leading them to also conclude… that many climate-alarmist horror stories of various species extinctions occurring in response to projected global warming are likely enormously overstated, as in totally false.

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Sea otter populations could be key to carbon sequestration

Undersea kelp forest are hugely important in scrubbing carbon dioxide from our atmosphere. But kelp forests depend on sea otters to survive, according to new research.
Public Radio International PRI
August 29, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Sea otters are cuddly, cute and playful, but research from the University of California at Santa Cruz claims they could also hold one of the keys to mitigating climate disruption. Two scientists from UCSC have demonstrated the crucial role that sea otters play in the health of one of the ocean’s great carbon sinks, kelp forests. If we want to sequester more carbon from the atmosphere, they say, we need more otters.

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Advocates’ Report Critical Of NC Wood Pellet Mill

WUNC 91.5 North Carolina Public Radio
August 29, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Environmental groups say a wood pellet mill in eastern North Carolina is threatening sensitive forests.  A report and series of maps from the Natural Resources Defense Council and Dogwood Alliance says the company Enviva is clear-cutting wetland forests for wood near its facility in Ahoskie.  Enviva breaks down wood material to pellets and sells them to European countries, which burn them to generate electricity. The groups say Enviva is using whole trees in addition to tree tops or limbs.

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Wildlife Works builds business protecting forests, climate

San Francisco Chronicle
August 29, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Rangers patrol a dusty forest in southern Kenya, keeping a watchful eye out for poachers. Although they roam near the borders of two national parks, their salaries don’t come from the Kenyan government. They’re employees of a small Mill Valley company, Wildlife Works. And the rangers don’t just protect the local wildlife. They’re trying to protect the Earth’s climate as well. Wildlife Works sells a kind of “carbon offset,” one of the more controversial weapons in the fight against global warming. Companies concerned about climate change pay Wildlife Works to keep the forest intact, since chopping down and burning trees releases large amounts of carbon dioxide into the air.

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Paper makers seeing profit potential in biomass power industry

Asahi Shimbun
August 27, 2013
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Paper manufacturers in Japan facing a lack of demand for their product are hoping to energize profits by plugging into the biomass power generation industry. Motivated by a government feed-in-tariff system for clean energy, companies are also hoping to promote more effective use of wasted wood chips from forest thinning through their new business. Between last fall and this summer, Japan’s largest paper maker, Oji Holdings Corp., decided to install biomass power generating equipment in its three plants in Shizuoka, Miyazaki and Hokkaido prefectures.

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General

The Fence Has Run Out of Room

August 29, 2013
Category: Uncategorized

Sorry folks, but there is no neutral ground left where the uncommitted can wait for the rest of the world to determine which direction we are going to steer the future of the built environment. The time has come to take a stand and decide which side of the issue you are going to be on. At stake is more than how houses and other buildings are going to perform, how much energy they will consume, how well they manage an increasingly precious water resource, how successfully they withstand unpredictable temperatures, precipitation and intensifying weather events. At stake is more than the comfort, physical safety and financial security of people who depend on the building industry to provide shelter in all its forms, even as important as all those things are

Read More