Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 23, 2014

Business & Politics

Growth in North American lumber output stalled

EUWID
June 23, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The long and hard North American winter had an impact not only on the region’s consumption of lumber and panels, but also on production as mills struggled with frozen logs and processing equipment. Total North American softwood lumber production in the first quarter of 2014 at 32.3 million cubic meters while 3% above the fourth quarter of 2013, was essentially unchanged from the year-earlier production pace of 32.2 million m³. Lumber output in each of Canada and the US were similarly affected

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Tolko re-opens Athabasca mill in Slave Lake, Alberta

Lesprom
June 23, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries re-opens state-of-the-art Athabasca facility, located near Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The mill, which opened for a short time in 2008 before curtailing operations due to poor market conditions in 2009, has the longest continuous press in North America and is capable of producing a wide variety of products in varying lengths and thicknesses. Reopening the mill has provided approximately 150 direct and indirect jobs in the community, including salaried and hourly positions at the mill, contractors and suppliers, and related community employment opportunities.

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Diversify exports with more Asian trade, Chinese diplomat says

Globe and Mail
June 22, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

China’s top diplomat in Vancouver says Canada needs to diversify its exports away from the United States and toward Asian markets, and that British Columbians need to make up their minds about whether they truly want to be the country’s Asia-Pacific gateway. “If you just rely on one market, you’ll be quite vulnerable,” says Consul General Liu Fei in an interview with The Globe and Mail at China’s Vancouver consulate. “Canada still has one big trade partner, and has not yet balanced that trade with other countries.”

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As Far From the Woods as You Can Get, Lower Mainland Company Keeps BC’s Forestry Industry Humming

By: Gordon Hamilton
Resource Works
June 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

From his open-concept office in the third floor of New Westminster’s Uptown Centre, log broker Bill Markvoort is about as far from the woods as you can get, but he is at the hub of a business that keeps the coastal forest industry humming. Vice-president of Probyn Log Ltd., one of the companies under the umbrella of the Probyn Group, Markvoort does far more than buy and sell logs and it would be a mistake to dismiss Probyn Log as simply the middle men in an enterprise that exists only for the benefit of loggers in small resource towns.

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Protestors want faster cleanup from pulp mill

The New Glasgow News
June 22, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

NEW GLASGOW – Protestors from the Clean Up the Pictou County Pulp Mill group demonstrated and rallied for signatures on a petition outside Minister Peter MacKay’s office on Saturday. As they stood on the sidewalk on East River Road with signs, they said they wanted a cleaner pulp mill immediately. “We want it cleaned up. We want the process started right away,” Dave Cullen said, referring not only to the Boat Harbour Treatment Facility, but also air emissions.

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Resolute and Mercer International Launch a Research and Development Biomaterial Joint Venture

Canada Newswire press release
June 23, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL,- Resolute Forest Products Inc. today announced the launch of a new research and development joint venture, Performance BioFilaments Inc. Jointly owned with Mercer International Inc., Performance BioFilaments will work to develop commercial applications for cellulose filaments, a new source of sustainable biomaterial made from wood fiber that can improve the strength and durability of many commercial and consumer products found on the market today. “Today’s launch highlights our ongoing effort to drive innovation in the forest products industry,” said Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer.

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US Lumber Prices To Rise As Increased US House Building Offsets Effect Of Decreased Chinese Construction

International Business Times
June 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

An increase in U.S. housing construction is expected to raise significantly the price of lumber by the end of the year, offsetting the depressing effect China’s recent downturn in property investment has had on lumber demand. Capital Economics, a London-based financial research consultancy group, expects prices to increase almost 30 percent, from $313 per 1,000 board feet to $400, by the end of 2014. The group attributes the expected rise to increased demand in the U.S. housing market. 

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Plum Creek Begins Fiberboard Plant Repairs Following Explosion

Flathead Beacon
June 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

COLUMBIA FALLS – Plum Creek Timber Co. has wasted little time getting its medium density fiberboard plant up and running again following an explosion and fire on June 10. This week, workers and contractors were repairing belt lines and ducts destroyed in the fire and drying out machinery soaked in the effort to douse the blaze. Tom Ray, vice president of northwest resources and manufacturing for Plum Creek, said the company is on track to restart the facility within a month. Until then, Plum Creek is selling and shipping fiberboard from its 10 million feet of inventory that is stored in the plant and was not damaged in the blaze.

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Stimson Lumber to build private road on BLM land west of Forest Grove

The Oregonian
June 21, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The federal Bureau of Land Management is seeking the public’s comment on a plan to offer Portland-based Stimson Lumber Company the right-of-way to build a 590-foot private road on public land west of Forest Grove. The road would help the company reach one of its properties and harvest timber. In order to build it, Stimson Lumber would need to remove about 50 trees on BLM property that are more than 60 years old. Stimson Lumber would buy those trees from the BLM, said Joel Churchill, a BLM lead engineer. As part of the same agreement, Stimson Lumber would receive access to an existing 2,510-foot BLM road.

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Spring sparks wood product recovery

Natural Resource Report
June 23, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Spring has finally sparked some recovery in wood products. Not a big spark, and none too soon. Mortgage rates are trending down, homebuilding is trending up, and new uses of wood are in the works. Statistics from recent years for recent lumber manufacturing, home construction, and housing markets are compared. The spring spark in lumber prices has finally happened, with an 11% increase since last month. Better late than never. The harsh winter, we are now finding out, caused the US economy to actually contract in the first quarter. But recovery should continue this quarter. This year’s spike in lumber price is lackluster, compared to 2013’s $445/MBF.

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Texas’ Gillespie Lumber Sawmill Fined $125,000 For Failing To Fix Safety Issues

Timber Processing
June 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Gillespie Lumber Ltd. of Nacogdoches, TX, is in trouble again with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The federal safety agency cited the sawmill for 13 violations including seven for failure-to-abate violations stemming from an August 2013 OSHA inspection. The proposed penalties total $125,282. Last August, OSHA inspectors visited Gillespie Lumber’s sawmill operation as part of a regional emphasis program on occupational noise exposure. The inspectors issued the company numerous safety citations, including for exposing workers to unguarded rotating parts and operation points on machines and excessive occupational noise. 

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Trees contract worth £16 million to Wales

News Wales
June 20, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In the latest boost for the Welsh timber industry, Natural Resources Wales has secured a five year contract to supply one of the UK’s largest timber harvesting companies. The contract with Euroforest Ltd will be worth more than £2.5 million to Natural Resources Wales and an estimated £16 million to the Welsh economy. The contract guarantees the supply of 50,000 tonnes of larch annually from Coed y Cymoedd Forest and will secure almost 60 full time jobs in the harvesting and haulage industries.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Faulty Green Certification Costing GA Timber Growers Much Green

Guest post from Senator Tyler Harper 
Peach Pundit
June 20, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Some in the media and in politics fail to understand that just because a favored policy of a lawmaker or interest group is described as “green” does not mean it will yield positive environmental outcomes. In addition to failing to stimulate conservation, these policies also may curtail economic activity in a way that hurts many businesses and timberland owners. This can certainly be the case in the forest products industry when policy intended to promote “green building” results in the diminished use of Georgia-grown wood thus reducing the incentive to tree farmers to continue planting and managing environmentally beneficial timberland. A good example is approach of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) which has failed to heed the advice of a growing chorus of critics who take issue with its definition of “sustainable” timber.

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Forestry

Consultation on accreditation standards for the audit of controlled wood activities

Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on draft revisions
FSC Forest Stewardship Council
June 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Stakeholders are invited to provide feedback on draft revisions to the text of the two accreditation standards used to audit Controlled Wood (CW) activities. The standards are being revised to align them with changes to CW normative documents that have resulted from the current revision of the CW system. The standards that are the subject of the consultation are: FSC-STD-20-011 FSC Accreditation standard for chain of custody evaluations, and FSC-STD-20-012 Evaluation of FSC controlled wood at management unit level. The consultation will last for 60 days and end on 20 August 2014.

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Budworm spraying planned for Cariboo Region

BC Government
June 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WILLIAMS LAKE – The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations plans to aerially treat approximately 34,000 hectares of forest in the Williams Lake Timber Supply Area and the 100 Mile House Timber Supply Area to reduce western spruce budworm populations. The biological agent Foray 48B will be applied by two fixed-wing aircraft starting about June 23 to July 5, 2014, weather permitting, on sites near White Lake, Fletcher Lake, Big Creek, Gaspard Creek, Alex Lake, Westwick Lakes, and San José and Pipeline roads south of Williams Lake, as well as Big Lake, Clink Lake, Alberta Lake, Big Bar Lake and Jesmond. 

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Plan To Save Caribou Wins Award

250 News
June 19, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- The Resources North Association (RNA) has named the Peace Northern Caribou Committee (PNCC) as the 2014 recipient of RNA’s Cooperative Land Management Award. “On behalf of the RNA Board I’m very pleased to congratulate the Peace Northern Caribou Committee for their dedication, hard work and huge ongoing efforts to develop and implement recovery strategies for caribou”said NNA Chair, Stephanie Killam.. The concept of the Peace Northern Caribou Committee (PNCC) was initiated in 2011 through the leadership and vision of the Saulteau and West Moberly First Nations in cooperation and with the support of Teck Resources due to the sense of urgency that First Nations felt was needed to save the Klinse-Za and other adjacent caribou herds in the Peace.

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Forest fire burning near Kuujjuaq, Que.

CBC News
June 23, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Quebec’s forest fire prevention agency, SOPFEU, is expected to dispatch an airplane today to determine the size of the fire burning close to the northern community of Kuujjuaq. Reports say the blaze broke out just a few kilometres from the town yesterday afternoon and is being monitored by local firefighters and rangers. The smell of smoke is said to be quite strong in Kuujjuaq.  SOPFEU says a tanker plane will be sent to the region if necessary. A spokesperson for the agency says it’s too early to tell if evacuations
will be necessary.

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Sudbury forest fire management centre gets upgrade

Construction underway to expand regional centre for fighting forest fires in northeastern Ontario
CBC News
June 22, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Forest firefighters in northeastern Ontario haven’t been very busy so far this year, but there’s plenty of activity at the Ministry of Natural Resources firefighting centre at the Sudbury airport. The centre is getting a major expansion to the offices, warehouse and tarmac area, where water bombers and other firefighting planes park. Infrastructure and facilities co-ordinator Mike Monzon said the upgrades are long overdue. “In years where we have been really busy — 2012 is a good example when we had Timmins 9 and Kirkland Lake 8 were going — it gets pretty tight here,” he said.

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Oregon Agriculture Department investigating insecticide sprayed on trees in Eugene bee die-off

The Associated Press
June 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

EUGENE, Oregon — A restricted chemical used to kill aphids so they and their waste don’t make a sticky mess on vehicles in parking lots is suspected in a bee die-off at a Eugene apartment complex, a state Agriculture Department spokesman says. Investigators found hundreds of dead bumblebees and honeybees after a tree care company sprayed 17 lindens in bloom Tuesday for an aphid infestation. The company used a pesticide of the type that killed thousands of bees last year around a Wilsonville parking lot, spokesman Bruce Pokarney told The Register-Guard.

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Study: Red squirrels may be changing how Rocky Mountain trees respond to fire

Billings Gazette
June 22, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA — A squirrel’s appetite for certain pine seeds may be driving evolutionary changes in lodgepole forests across the West and altering how the trees respond to fire… Researchers at the University of Wyoming … described the ecological changes facing Western forests as fires become more frequent under a warming climate. “The squirrels are really good at finding and eating massive numbers of these serotinous cones,” said UW doctoral graduate Matt Talluto …As seeds from the fire-adapted trees are consumed by squirrels, the theory goes, trees not adapted to fire proliferate. That, Talluto said, could change the face of the landscape as fires become larger and more intense.

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Conservation groups file first lawsuit against logging designated under Farm Bill

Independent Record
June 22, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two conservation groups made the first legal challenge to a logging operation excluded from environmental analysis and public review under the 2014 Farm Bill. On Thursday, the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and Native Ecosystems Council filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Missoula to stop the Rendezvous Trails timber sale near West Yellowstone. The sale calls for logging 250 acres of lodgepole pine on the western boundary of Yellowstone National Park. The alliance and council allege that the Forest Service acted too quickly in categorically excluding the timber sale from analysis and review, including public comment and appeals under the National Environmental Policy Act.

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California wildfire being tamed, but is state near breaking point for fires? (+video)

The Christian Science Monitor
June 19, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…While currently, 6 million to 8 million acres defines a “bad” fire season in the state, an average of 10 million to 12 million acres will burn annually in the near future, predicts Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics and Ecology (FUSEE) in Eugene, Ore. Also, California’s fire season has gone from an average of four months to pretty much year-round. Some are worried that a breaking point is coming.  “We will burn through all our suppression money, and by late August, when it’s really hot in southern California, the firefighters will be utterly exhausted,” says Timothy Ingalsbee, executive director of FUSEE.

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Stewardship Contract Nears End Of Its Run

Arizona Journal
June 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest Supervisor Jim Zornes gave a presentation on the beneficial effects of the White Mountain Stewardship Contract at the June 12 meeting of the Real AZ Corridor group. …“It has been a success,” Zornes told the group. He said the stewardship contract is responsible for sustaining 15 local industries and from 300 to 325 full-time equivalent jobs per year. “The contract had 60 task orders,” said Zornes, which called for thinning from 400 to more than 2,000 acres.

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Teams trap Greater Yellowstone grizzlies as feds consider delisting

The Missoulian
June 21, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — Sixteen grizzlies have been captured so far this year by teams gathering information that will be used this fall to decide whether to propose lifting federal protections of the bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. The Interagency Grizzly Bear Study Team captured the grizzlies in Montana and Wyoming, while efforts in eastern Idaho have just started. The team usually captures about 60 bears a year. …Grizzly bears were first listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1975. Surveys found about 260 grizzlies in the region in 1981, Servheen said, noting that the animals have tripled their population and doubled the area they occupy since that time.

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Oregon to use radio-controlled helicopter on fires

Reno Gazette-Journal
June 22, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – When a fire filled the Cascade Range’s rugged canyons in southwestern Oregon with smoke in 2011, firefighters started thinking an unmanned aircraft might help them get a look beneath the cover that a conventional scout plane could not. The state’s Department of Forestry will get the chance this summer to use a small remote-controlled helicopter equipped with video, infrared cameras and a GPS locator to get a better look in tight smoky places before incident commanders send in fire crews. …With privacy concerns dampening the enthusiasm over drones, Oregon is ahead of the curve in actually buying its own aircraft.

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Science should guide changes to state forest practices law: Guest opinion

The Oregonian
June 22, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On June 23, the Oregon Board of Forestry will hold a workshop on what should be done in response to a study showing that Oregon’s forest practices sometimes, and in some places, slightly increase stream temperatures. At issue is a potential revision to the Oregon Forest Practices Act to increase required stream buffers that already protect water quality and temperature. This is an issue that has potential to affect Oregon’s 62,000 family forest landowners, and it’s worth reviewing what Oregon already does to protect watersheds.

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Increasing fire danger prompts restrictions

Statesman Journal
June 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In response to rapidly increasing wildfire danger, the Oregon Department of Forestry is tightening public fire prevention restrictions in its Central Oregon District. “The persistent drought conditions are resulting in very dry fuels. The moisture content of both living and dead vegetation is much lower now than it usually is for this time of year,” District Forester George Ponte said. “New fires are showing rapid growth and increased resistance to control effort. We’re seeing burning conditions that we would expect to see in mid- to late July – not the middle of June.”

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Bryant fire grows to 800 acres near Klamath Falls

The Oregonian
June 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bryant fire 20 miles east of Klamath Falls has grown to 800 acres in the steep terrain of an active logging operation, the Oregon Department of Forestry reported Friday. Crews expect gusty winds in the afternoon and evening to increase the size of the fire, burning in pine and slash on private land. Firefighters haven’t contained any of the fire yet.

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Forest crime: Thieves steal plants, moss, fungi, damage environment

Albany Democrat Herald
June 22, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Benton County Deputy Brent Iverson drove through a forest near Flat Mountain, pickup bouncing along, eyes searching the green, lush landscape along the logging road for tell-tale signs of crime. He scanned for clues like the white of freshly cut tree branches or trash such as rubber bands, which are used to bundle vegetation. The woods west of Philomath, like many areas in Linn and Benton counties, are idyllic. And they’re also a gold mine for crooks who illegally harvest plants, moss and mushrooms — sometimes even whole fir trees — and damage the environment while doing so. Forest products theft is a multibillion dollar industry every year in the United States, Iverson said.

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Tasmanian forest world heritage decision ‘will be accepted’

Ministers say Coalition will abide by Unesco ruling on removal of 74,000ha of forest from world heritage protection
The Guardian
June 23, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A United Nations decision on whether to allow the stripping of world heritage protection from swathes of Tasmanian forest will be adhered to, the Australian government has indicated. Unesco’s World Heritage Committee has gathered in Doha, Qatar to determine its position on, among many other matters, whether to allow the removal of 74,000ha of forest from Tasmania’s world heritage area. It’s expected that the committee will hand down its decision late on Monday night, Australian time.

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Log protected areas, government advisers say

The Sydney Morning Herald
June 24, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Protected forest areas would be logged and native trees burnt for electricity or sold as firewood and sawlog under recommendations from the Baird government’s natural resource advisers. The draft report, which conservationists have rejected as “outrageous”, says laws guarding the state conservation areas should also be changed to head off potential legal challenges. The Natural Resources Commission says dense stands of white cypress pine in four state conservation areas in north-west NSW are damaging other forest life and thousands of hectares should be “ecologically thinned”, or logged.

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M?ori Party welcomes legislation to recover native timber

Press Release: The Maori Party
June 20, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The M?ori Party is thrilled that urgent legislation is to be passed by Parliament to allow for the recovery of native timber that has fallen onto West Coast public conservation land as a result of Cyclone Ita. Co-Leader Te Ururoa Flavell joined Dr Nick Smith on the West Coast today to make the special announcement. “We see this as a great opportunity for the West Coast at a time where the community has had to bear the brunt of the storm. This legislation will open up long-term employment and commercial opportunities for the community and I am proud to be part of today’s announcement,” says Te Ururoa Flavell.

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1 Million Hectare Reforestation Project Planned for Panama

Triple Pundit
June 23, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A groundbreaking initiative launched in Panama highlights the role agroforestry can play in promoting sustainable socioeconomic growth, combating climate change and enhancing the value of ecosystems. Establishing a precedent-setting alliance, ANCON (Panama’s Association for the Conservation of Nature), the Panama Association for Reforestation (ANARAP), and the Panama Chamber of Commerce, Industry & Agriculture (CCIAP) on June 17 announced a sweeping project that envisions forestation or reforestation of 1 million hectares (2.47 million acres) of land.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Pellet plant one step closer

Recorder and Times
June 20, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

PRESCOTT – There are no guarantees yet, but plans for a wood pellet manufacturing plant in Prescott have turned another corner. “It’s not a done deal yet, but it is a big step along the road,” Mayor Brett Todd said of an agreement reached by the town with Protocol Biomass officials for the sale of 55 acres of land in the north-end industrial park. “We’re closer than we’ve ever been,” said Todd, who hopes the deal will lead to a ground-breaking on the property this fall. “Hopefully, we will meet all the deadlines,” added the mayor.

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Scientists to EPA: Boost biomass regulations

Poughkeepsie Journal
June 20, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

In a letter submitted Thursday to the Environmental Protection Agency, 91 of the country’s leading scientists urged the EPA to draft new scientifically sound rules to curb carbon emissions from biomass-fueled power plants. The letter came as the EPA concluded a three-year evaluation period to more accurately determine the carbon emissions effects of using biomass fuels, such as burning whole trees and other plant materials in large-scale electricity generation.

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Renewable energy and forest management can help address climate change in the West

Jim Walls testifies on the effects of climate change on dry Ponderosa Pine forests
Sustainable Northwest Blog
June 20, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Oregon…In my testimony, I suggest that national forests can deal with climate change by scaling up treatments to thin out overstocked trees and return the forest to a more natural pre-European condition that will help fires stay on the ground and not go into the crowns where it often kills the trees. This work would not only benefit the forest ecology but would also be a boon for the local economy. Creating and using thermal energy and/or biofuels from small material removed from the nearby forest can produce 75-100 new green jobs in each community that adopts the renewable biomass energy technology. 

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Sustainable Forests, Sustainable Biomass

We must all do our part to ensure that forests are managed in a sustainable manner and that policies are in place that do not cause this renewable resource to diminish or to be wasted.
Biomass Magazine
June 21, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Renewable resources provide us the ability to create a sustainable world. Wind, sun and the heat of the earth are provided to us anew each day: the wind blows, the sun shines and the earth’s core is warm without any effort on our part. Biomass, too, is truly renewable, if it is managed well. Today a great majority of our biomass comes from trees, from our forests—private forests, public forests, large tracts and what’s left of the smaller family forests. The wise use of this renewable resource can provide us not just products and energy, but a great variety of benefits for the long term.

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Anger at green bank’s dirty investment

The UK Government’s new?Green Investment Bank in Edinburgh is facing its first protests for backing the burning of millions of tonnes of wood from abroad in power stations.
Herald Scotland
June 22, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

MSPs from three political parties, environmental groups and community representatives have written to the bank this weekend saying they are “deeply concerned” that it is supporting big biomass plants. Demonstrations are also planned at its annual meetings in Edinburgh and London this week. The bank has loaned £50 million to help the UK’s largest power station, Drax in North Yorkshire, switch from burning coal to burning wood. But critics say this will mean having to import up to 15 million tonnes of trees a year from North America and is a “false solution” to climate pollution.

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