Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Froggy Foibles

Biodegradable Urns That Will Turn You Into A Tree After You Die

Prevent Disease.com
April 30, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles

Trees are the lungs of our planet. The more trees we plant, the cleaner our air for generations to come. We are very proud to now offer our audience the Bios Urn, a funerary urn made from biodegradable materials that will turn you into a tree after you die. Inside the urn there is a pine seed, which can be replaced by any other seed or plant, and will grow to remember your loved one. Bios Urn transforms death into life through nature… We also offer Ginko, Maple, Oak, Ash or Beech at no extra cost.

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Business & Politics

Canfor Corp. reports drop in Q1 earnings; blames harsh winter and port strike

Canadian Press
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canfor Corp. is reporting adjusted net income of attributable to shareholders of $45.5 million, or 33 cents per share in the first quarter. That compares to $61.9 million, or 43 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. The Vancouver-based company blames the drop on a harsh winter that reduced home construction across much of North America and a recent truckers`strike at the Vancouver port. The company says lumber shipments were down 16 per cent and pulp shipments were down 22 per cent from the previous quarter due to transportation challenges, while lumber production was up three per cent.

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Timber access overhaul raises industry concerns

By Gordon Hamilton: Tree farm plan aimed at fibre supply squeeze in wake of pine beetle infestation
Business in Vancouver
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A plan by the province to give logging companies more secure access to timber is running into opposition from within the forest industry as well as from advocate groups upset over what they see as an erosion of public rights. The government is proposing changes that would enable forest companies in the Interior to convert their volume-based forest licences to area-based tree farm licences. It’s a move that the province says is limited in scope to help address the issue of declining timber supplies in the wake of the mountain pine beetle infestation. But at least one industry leader believes the move is ill advised.

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Logs should be processed at home

Letter by Bob Baillie
Victoria Times Colonist
April 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

I am happy that the loggers and truckers have jobs. As I sit at the highway in Lake Cowichan, I realize that 200 logging trucks a day are passing through, loaded with spectacular logs. But then I realize that 95 per cent of them will be exported as raw logs. It is bad enough that we rape the earth, but we could at least attempt to keep some of the processing (50 to 75 per cent) to provide employment for our people. I have tried to find a provincial figure for these conditions, but it seems that is hard to come by and the rape of the province’s primary reources is being sold out to absentee shareholders.

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Vancouver’s West Fraser remains world’s top softwood lumber firm as production exceeds five billion board feet

Runner-up Canfor narrowed the gap as most of the top producers increased output to supply the recovering U.S. housing market and meet strong demand from China
Canadian Press
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MONTREAL — West Fraser remained the world’s largest softwood lumber producer for a sixth consecutive year in 2013, but runner-up Canfor narrowed the gap as most of the top producers in the “Billion Board Foot Club” increased output to supply the recovering U.S. housing market and meet strong demand from China, according to an industry report. Vancouver-based West Fraser’s production from 26 mills in B.C., Alberta and the U.S. south exceeded five billion board feet for the first time, reaching 5.15 billion net board feet or 8.3 million cubic metres. 

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TimberWest victory could cost taxpayers

Campbell River Mirror
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

If TimberWest wins its tax challenge against the city, Campbell River homeowners could see another tax increase. Council approved a 2.92 per cent residential tax increase in January, which equates to an extra $41 for the average assessed home at $256,600, but that could change. It all depends on whether TimberWest is successful in its B.C. Supreme Court challenge against the city raising taxes on managed forest lands. Dennis Brodie, the city’s finance operations supervisor, said if TimberWest wins, those extra taxes will have to be made up by residents.

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Future of sawmill industry jobs jeopardized by overharvesting

Companies take green timber along with forests killed by pine beetle
Vancouver Sun
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — The amount of timber salvaged from mountain-pine-beetle-killed forests in B.C.’s central Interior appeared stark and provided a flash point in the debate over how well the province is managing the unprecedented infestation. Companies operating around the sawmill town of Houston overshot the volume of green non-pine timber they were expected to log by the equivalent of almost 29,000 logging-truck loads between 2009 and 2013, after limits were set in 2008. 

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Bill calls for stronger workplace probes

Prince George Citizen
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Opposition New Democrats have introduced a bill into the B.C. legislature aimed at strengthening criminal and regulatory investigations into workplace deaths. NDP labour critic Harry Bains said stronger legislation is necessary because there has been a failure to secure a single criminal charge for any company despite many workplace deaths as a result of negligence. “In 2004, 12 years after a mining disaster that took the lives of 26 miners, the federal government enacted the Westray bill which allowed for employers and managers to be criminally charged for workplace deaths,” said Bains.

NDP bill calls for measures to strengthen criminal prosecutions in workplace fatalities from The Vancouver Sun

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Mourn for the dead, fight for the living

Prince George Free Press
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Many of the speakers at the ceremony called for government to do more to criminally prosecute companies with unsafe working conditions, with Lakeland Mills and Babine Forest Products, the sites of two deadly blasts in 2012, coming under scrutiny. Ronda Riche’s husband, Glen, was one of those killed at Lakeland Mills. …Last year in B.C., there were 128 work-related death claims accepted by WorkSafe BC. Of these, 67 were from occupational disease, mainly due to exposure to asbestos. Bob Matters, the president of the United Steelworkers Wood Council, summed up the purpose of the Day of Mourning simply.

Day of Mourning hears harrowing workplace tale from The Prince George Citizen

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Tembec sells almost 50,000 hectares

The Daily Townsman
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tembec will sell 49,500 hectares of land in the East Kootenay to a Nanaimo-based timber harvesting company. In an announcement on Friday, April 25, Tembec said that the property, part of its land base in the region, will be sold to Jemi Fibre Corp. for $35 million. The media release does not say where the land is located and a Tembec spokesperson could not be reached before the Townsman’s deadline. Jemi Fibre harvests timber under contract for owners of Crown timber licences, providing logging equipment, labour and trucking equipment.

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Inquiry would have more power: NDP

Prince George Citizen
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A public inquiry into the explosions at the Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills sawmills two years ago would have the power to find fault, something a coroner’s inquest does not possess, according to a legal opinion provided to the Opposition New Democrats. In the opinion, lawyer David Crossin said a coroner’s inquest is not designed to assign fault to those involved in the incident . “Indeed, ‘the jury must not make, and the coroner must not accept, any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law,'” Crossin said, citing the Coroners Act.

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Labour group marks day for fallen workers with demand for stricter negligence penalties

Globe and Mail
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Through their tears, the families of sawmill workers killed in separate B.C. blasts in 2012 called for accountability Monday, drawing attention to a little used decade-old law that makes it easier to convict employers when someone is killed or injured at work. The pleas came during a moving National Day of Mourning ceremony on the banks of the Fraser River to honour workers killed on the job – two widows and a sister speaking of unbearable pain due to what they said is a lack of accountability in the tragedies.

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Wincrief Forest Products facing prospect of bankruptcy

Kenora Daily MIner and News
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wincrief Forestry Products is facing bankruptcy. The business, which until now looked like a much-needed success story for Kenora’s forestry industry and First Nation business partnerships, filed paper work earlier this month to make a last attempt to avoid seeking bankruptcy protection. Court documents obtained by the Daily Miner and News show the small forestry company, which is owned 51 per cent by the Wabaseemoong (Whitedog) First Nation, owes creditors $4.75 mllion.

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Wally Stiles rejected similar J.D. Irving Ltd. forest plan

Ex-Liberal DNR minister said the Alward government’s Crown land deal could become an election issue
CBC News
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A former Liberal minister of natural resources says he never would have signed the new forestry agreement between the Alward government and J.D. Irving Ltd. Wally Stiles said J.D. Irving Ltd. approached him about a similar deal when he was the natural resources minister in the Shawn Graham government but he rejected the proposal from the province’s largest forest company. “I refused to do that and if I was minister today, I would refuse again,” he said.

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Union optimistic as talks begin

Kenora Online
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Union leaders are still trying to help retirees, as the forest sector recovers. As he sits down for a new round of talks, David Lambert of Unifor — formerly CEP (Communications, Energy and Paperworkers) — offers an update on pensions. “What they did five years ago, we’re trying to recoup some of those. People call them concessions. I really like to call it that we invested in our future, and in helping our retirees to maintain the pensions that they have and still live a respectable life,” he said. Forestry workers had to take a cut in their pensions, as Abitibi went into receivership. 

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Tembec trims net loss to $28 million on lower revenues in second quarter

Canadian Press
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Tembec missed expectations even though the forest products company trimmed its fiscal second-quarter net loss to $28 million despite lower revenues. The Montreal-based producer of paper, pulp and lumber reported after markets closed Monday that it lost 28 cents per share for the period ended March 29, compared with a net loss of $31 million or 31 cents per diluted share a year ago. Revenues decreased 11 per cent to $362 million from $407 million a year ago. T

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Plum Creek reports first quarter results

IHB
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. today announced first quarter earnings of $30 million on revenues of $317 million. Earnings for the first quarter of 2013 were $56 million on revenues of $340 million. Adjusted EBITDA for the first quarter of 2014 was $93 million and was $128 million for the same period of 2013. Plum Creek’s Northern Resources segment reported operating profit of $16 million during the first quarter, a $5 million improvement over the first quarter of 2013. Sawlog prices increased $9 per ton, more than 11 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2013 driven by strong demand from both export markets and domestic lumber mills.

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Tacoma-based forest products company reportedly being offered for sale

The News Tribune
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Tacoma’s Northwest Hardwoods, the nation’s leading manufacturer of hardwoods, is once again being offered for sale, the Wall Street Journal reports. Once part of Weyerhaeuser Co., the hardwoods manufacturer and distributor sold in 2011 to American Industrial Partners as Weyerhaeuser trimmed and focused its portfolio of businesses. The company, once based in Federal Way, moved its base of operations to Tacoma. The Journal reported sources told the paper that Goldman Sachs has been retained to shop the firm.

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Scarborough wood fiber cloth producer wants $900,000 facility in Dover-Foxcroft

Bangor Daily News
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A Scarborough firm wants to locate a facility that produces wood fiber-based cleaning cloth at a Route 7 industrial park, but it needs a $450,000 state grant to make it happen, officials said Tuesday. If the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development awards the community development block grant to GLOBEco Maine LLC and all else goes well, the $900,000 manufacturing plant eventually would employ as many as 100 people, said Ken Woodbury, community development director for the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council.

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Seven injured after explosion at Texas plywood plant

Houston Chronicle
April 27, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Seven employees and one volunteer firefighter were injured in an explosion at a Georgia-Pacific lumber plant in Corrigan, about 20 miles north of Livingston in Polk County. Corrigan police say the call came in just after 6 p.m. Saturday that there had been a blast at the plant that produces plywood about 100 miles northeast of Houston. …About 400 people work at the plant, according to Corrigan police spokesperson Dawn Aguilera-Quiroz. It’s unknown how many were actually on duty at the time. Aguilera-Quiroz said it is still unclear what caused the blast, but noted that some had thought it had started in the “dryers area” of the plant.

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APP pledges ambitious forest conservation target, NGOs cautious

Eco-Business
April 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) has taken another step closer to strengthening its forest conservation commitment, promising to conserve and restore one million hectares of forest landscapes across Indonesia in partnership with various environmental groups. …Other conservation NGOs, however, such as WWF and Greenpeace, welcomed the news with caution. These groups have been critical of APP’s forest commitments before, and while they lauded the latest initiative, WWF said a comprehensive consultation with various stakeholders is needed to effectively implement the firm’s target.

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New owner of Gunns’ timber assets commits to woodchip exports

Prime 7
April 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Woodchip exports out of Tasmania are set to ramp up, with the sale of Gunns’ timber plantations to a Sydney-based investment company. New Forests has bought 176,000 hectares of freehold land, including 100,000 hectares of timber plantations owned by the collapsed Tasmanian timber company. …Speaking from San Francisco, CEO David Brand told the ABC the aim is to ramp up woodchip exports and then possibly look at processing the wood domestically. “We’ll harvest trees, woodchip them and send them to Japan, China and potentially India,” he said.

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Forestry

Protection of Drinking Water in Community Watersheds Examined

BC Forest Practices Board
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An investigation of how well the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA)protects drinking water in community watersheds has identified a number of improvements necessary to help ensure government objectives for drinking water quality and quantity are achieved. “The status and management of community watersheds needs to be reviewed by government to ensure this resource is being properly managed in those places where it needs to be managed, in consideration of all types of development activity,” said board chair Tim Ryan.

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Inconvenient truths about pine beetle

Alberni Valley News
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Last week’s column on Earth Day myths attracted a fair amount of criticism. One tireless member of the “Alberta tar sands killing the planet” crowd scolded me for daring to mention that 60 per cent of the oil pollution in the oceans around North America comes from natural seeps. That’s eight times more than all pipeline and tanker spills combined, and it’s been going on 24 hours a day for the last 10,000 years or so. 

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Road building puts water quality at risk in some B.C. communities

Globe and Mail
April 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logging road and bridge construction is putting drinking water quality at risk in some community watersheds, according to a special investigation by British Columbia’s Forest Practices Board.  But logging itself – the cutting of trees – is being done in a way that doesn’t have significant impact on drinking water quality, said the report released Tuesday. “When it comes to logging, we’re doing a good job – but we’ve got to pay more attention to our roads and bridges,” Tim Ryan, chair of the Forest Practices Board, said in an interview.

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Marsh’s ash trees under attack by invasive pest

Mississauga News
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MISSISSAUGA — Clarkson’s Diane Damario has enjoyed visiting Rattray Marsh for a number of years and always wanted to give back in some fashion. Now that the marsh’s 2,200 ash trees are under serious threat from the invasive emerald ash borer, Damario thinks she might have found how she can help. “My family and I visit Rattray Marsh frequently and I think it’s quite amazing that when you go into the marsh you can’t see any signs of the city around it,” said Damario. “I don’t think I had quite realized the extent of the problem. It will be kind of sad to see such a large canopy disappear (if nothing is done).”

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Opinion: Montreal is wrong on emerald ash borer

Montreal Gazette
April 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL — The city of Montreal has announced plans to spend millions of dollars to limit the destruction of Montreal Island’s 200,000 ash trees by the emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle. Much of this money will be wasted. Here’s why: The EAB first arrived in Michigan in June 2002 and is now in at least 12 states, plus Quebec and Ontario. Some 200 million trees have already been killed by the EAB. The most effective treatment is TreeAzin. It works by sterilizing the female EAB adult (but not killing any EABs) and thus reducing the increase in EAB numbers within the treated tree. 

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Bozeman man sues governor over proposed logging

The Missoulian
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA – A Bozeman man on Tuesday sued Gov. Steve Bullock and some top administration officials, accusing them of violating the state Constitution by nominating 5.1 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land for restoration without giving the public a chance to participate. The proposed Montana forest restoration program could include some logging, but by no means is all logging, the Bullock administration said. Steve Kelly, a Bozeman artist and former congressional candidate, filed the complaint in Gallatin County District Court. 

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Land management: Bullock did great given timeline

Letter by Loren Rose, chief operating officer, Pyramid Mountain Lumber
The Missoulian
April 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recently passed Farm Bill provided an opportunity for states to assist the U.S. Forest Service in getting much needed work done on federal land. States had 60 days to designate appropriate lands to the agency. Gov. Steve Bullock did a wonderful job reallocating resources meeting this timeline. Lands nominated were based on hard data collected annually by the Forest Service and matched their analysis of current conditions.

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As fire season approaches, let’s create ‘charter forests’

Billings Gazette
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With the number and severity of wildfires increasing dramatically, it’s time to rethink management policies for our national forest system. …Rather than trying to comprehensively fix all of the problems plaguing the Forest Service, whose 35,000 employees manage approximately 10 percent of all land in the United States, what’s needed is a new management model — the type public education reformers have been experimenting with. Like charter schools, we need “charter forests.”

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Fuel reduction: Grant program helps landowners pay for thinning projects

Ravalli Republic
April 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

VICTOR – Logger Bob Selzler’s long-bladed chainsaw is sending wood chips flying into the chilled mountain air on the hillside far above Victor. With a quickness that comes with years of practice, Selzler makes fast work of de-limbing the mountain pine beetle-infested ponderosa. All across the hillside, just a short distance from the landowner’s home tucked in the trees, a crew is busily working to remove other diseased trees and burn the slash left behind. When they are done, the private property will join thousands of other acres of forested lands that are less likely to go up in smoke this summer.

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Loggers steal valuable walnut trees in Wisconsin

Associated Press
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MADISON, Wis. — A sheriff says people have been illegally cutting down walnut trees in southern Wisconsin to sell the valuable wood. Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden says landowners have confronted loggers who cut down as many as 20 trees on private property without asking permission. Brian Knudson tells Wisconsin State Journal that loggers cut down 12 to 20 trees on land owned by him and a neighbor. He says the loggers offered him $1,000 per tree to keep quiet and not report the activity to law enforcement.

Thieves targeting walnut trees in rural areas from The Wisconsin State Journal

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Iowa DNR: Conifer trees showing stress from winter

Associated Press
April 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa officials say conifer trees around the state are showing signs of stress as a result of the winter. The state Department of Natural Resources says signs of winter desiccation, or winter burn, include browning or bleaching needles, needle loss and tree death. Forest health program leader Tivon Feeley says the trees run out of water because they use water reserves in the needles but are unable to absorb new water from the frozen soil.

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Congo rainforest ‘browning’ as temperatures rise

The Ecologist
April 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Scientists have found that the world’s second greatest rainforest, the Congo, is losing its green, writes Tim Radford. As temperatures rise and rainfall reduces, the forest canopy is taking on a browner hue, and this could be an early signal of worse damage to come. The Congo rainforest is getting steadily less green. The slow change in colour during this century, recorded by a series of US satellites, has been matched by a rise in temperature and lower precipitation.

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Forest safety review ‘needs to find answers’

Voxy.co.nz
April 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Combined Trade Unions is to be praised for making health and safety the focus of this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day, say forest owners and contractors. …”This is the role of the Independent Safety Review and the Coroners Court hearings now underway. They need to go beneath the emotion and the loss and take a hard look at the evidence to find out where the industry and individuals are going wrong … to find out how we can all do things better.” He says the CTU is strongly advocating solutions to the accident toll, including stricter regulation of work practices.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood pellet exports from North America to Europe have doubled in two years

Bio-based News
April 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

With no slowdown in sight, North American wood pellet exporting companies keep building new facilities to manufacture pellets for the European market. Export volumes hit a new record high in the 4Q/13 and the total shipments for 2013 were up almost 50% from the previous year and more than double that in 2011. The total value of wood pellet exports reached over 650 million dollars last year. A rapid expansion of pellet production capacity in the US South during 2012 and 2013 has resulted in a tripling of pellet production in the region in just two years. 

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B.C. contributes to cellulose filaments research

Pulp and Paper Canada
April 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Government of British Columbia’s has contributed $2.25 million to cellulose filaments (CF) research. The investment will be used as part of an existing R&D program focused on non-traditional applications of cellulose filament (CF) that are of interest to, and most beneficial to B.C. – specifically for the province’s northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp producers. FPInnovations’ cellulose filament research and innovation project is the subject of investments to date totaling $43.1 million, including funding from Natural Resources Canada, through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, as well as a grant from the Québec Ministry of Natural Resources, a loan from Investissement Québec, a contribution from Kruger Inc. and funds from FPInnovations’ pulp, paper and bioproducts industry members.

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Coldstream gives green light to pellet plant

Vernon Morning Star
April 30, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coldstream has officially signed off on the proposed $39 million pellet plant in Lavington. Tolko Industries and Pinnacle Renewable Energies have plans to construct the plant on land next to the existing planer mill off School Road. Coldstream gave its approval Monday by amending the official community plan to re-designate the property from agricultural to general industrial land. “We’re showing our commitment to it,” said Mayor Jim Garlick, of the plant which could generate upwards of 50 jobs.

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EIA: Energy generation from biomass resources increases

Biomass Magazine
April 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently reported that approximately 6.2 percent of U.S. electricity supplies in 2013 were generated from nonhydro renewable energy sources. Maine led all states by generating 32 percent of its electricity from nonhydro renewables, primarily biomass generation by the wood products industry. In fact, the EIA estimated that approximately 25 percent of Maine’s net electric generation came from biomass. The April issue of EIA’s Electric Power Monthly includes updated bioenergy data through February. 

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Forest Service offering Wood-to-Energy grants

Laker Lutz News
April 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking proposals that expand wood energy use and support responsible forest management. Part of the federal agency’s Hazardous Fuels Wood-to-Energy Grant program, the Forest Service will provide about $2.8 million to help complete the engineering design work needed to apply or public or private loans for construction and long-term financing of wood energy facilities. On top of that, the agency announced $1.7 million in funding availability under the Statewide Wood Energy Team cooperative agreement inviting public-private teams to seek funding to advance wood energy. 

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