Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: September 2014

Business & Politics

Canada: Strong lumber sales in the second quarter

IHB
September 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Forest products companies from Canada reported mixed earnings in the second quarter of this year, with integrated producers, especially those with a building products focus, reporting the strongest results, woodbusiness.ca outlines in a press release. Companies from Western Canada posted earnings of CA$180.4 million in Q2/2014, up from the CA$161.7 million in Q1/2014, but lower than CA $383.8 million in Q2/2013.

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B.C. lumber companies still battling sluggish growth in U.S. housing market as profits plummet

Business in Vancouver
September 26, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Second-quarter profits among Western Canadian lumber producers surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) have dropped by more than half compared to last year, according to a new report from the accounting firm. The 10 companies surveyed, which include West Fraser, Canfor and Fortress Paper, reported total net earnings of $180 million. That’s a 53% drop compared to Q2 2013 when profits for those 10 companies were $383.8. PwC cited the sluggish U.S. housing market — one of the biggest customers for Canadian lumber — for declines at B.C. companies.

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Pictou West MLA’s bill calls for stricter emissions rules

Chronicle Herald
September 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Tory MLA whose riding includes the Northern Pulp mill is proposing stricter rules for air quality monitoring and stiffer penalties for people and companies in violation of environmental rules. Pictou West MLA Karla MacFarlane introduced the Nova Scotia Clean Air Act on Monday night at Province House in Halifax. MacFarlane said people expect the government to protect their basic rights to clean air and water. “I want the world to know that Nova Scotia is open for business, but we also mean business when protecting the basic rights of the taxpayers.”

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Emera opens office in Stephenville

Deer Lake company seeing growth from Maritime Link contract
The Telegram
September 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The owner of Major’s Logging in Deer Lake said the company had to grow in order to land, then work on a contract for Emera Newfoundland and Labrador to cut a transmission line for the Maritime Link. Major was one of a number of people who attended the official opening of Emera Newfoundland and Labrador’s office in the Stephenville airport on Monday. The office has been in operation since April. Major said his company had to meet safety, environment and diversity requirements to become an Emera contractor.

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Reality Check: US Lumber Prices Soften in Seasonal Slowdown

Mninews.com
September 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

PHILADELPHIA – U.S. lumber prices softened in mid-September on a seasonal lull in construction industry orders during another year in which hopes for strong gains in housing starts were disappointed, industry experts said. The framing lumber composite price, an industry benchmark published by Random Lengths, a provider of lumber industry data, edged down to $388 per thousand board feet in the week to Sept. 23 from $399 a week earlier.

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Wet summer, gas prices affect firewood supply

Associated Press
September 24, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BEMIDJI — Wet weather this year and soaring propane prices last winter have tightened supplies of seasoned firewood in northern Minnesota. Not only are homeowners struggling to find sources of dry wood, but paper and saw mill inventories are lower than usual. Minnesota Timber Producers Association Vice President Wayne Brandt said the wet summer prevented logging on many sites. Loggers who might have supplied homeowners are instead taking their wood to mills, which pay a higher price.

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Fatal Accident at Boise Cascade Plywood Plant

Woodworking Network
September 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MONCURE, NC – A 29-year-old worker died Friday in an industrial accident at Boise Cascade’s plywood plant in Moncure, NC. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is investigating the accident. Local news sources report William Belk was killed when a piece of log yard equipment struck him. John Sahlberg, senior vice president of Human Resources at Boise Cascade, told The Sanford Herald “The equipment had a C-clamp, and somehow or another, the C-clamp was up and came down on him. We don’t have details as to what he was doing or why the C-clamp was up.”

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Queensland sawmill feeds Asia’s renewable energy needs with wood pellets

ABC News, Australia
September 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A Queensland sawmill is helping supply rising demand for renewable energy in Asian power stations. Late last year, Brisbane-based Altus Renewables commissioned a $25 million plant at the Hyne mill, near Maryborough, to compress sawdust and shavings into small wood pellets used to co-fire stations in Korea and Japan. The first 25,000-tonne shipment left the Bundaberg Port for South Korea last Friday in what could signal a new opportunity for the troubled local timber sector.

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Timber processor fined for crush injury

By WorkSafe NZ
Scoop Independent News
September 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Forestry and timber processing company, Juken New Zealand Limited, was fined $57,000 and ordered to pay reparations of $12,000 today after an employee was seriously harmed when his finger was caught in a timber veneer dryer. The incident on 1 November 2013 resulted in a partial amputation and crush injury to the index finger of the victim’s right hand. WorkSafe New Zealand’s investigation found that Juken New Zealand Limited failed to guard the dryer to prevent employees from accessing the dangerous nip points of the chains and sprockets on the machine.

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Russia: Logging industry in Karelia suffers losses

IHB
September 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Unedged timber production in the Republic of Karelia in the first half of 2014 was 3.422 million m3 which is a 9.5% increase against the same period in 2013, the Russian Forestry Review reports data compiled from the Karelian Federal State Statistics Service. The most optimistic growth (40%) was shown by fuel wood production; in physical terms, however, the output remained small: 423.7 thousand m3.

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Triabunna woodchip mill: Government refuses to deny rumours of compulsory acquisition

ABC News, Australia
September 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government has again refused to rule out compulsorily acquiring the Triabunna woodchip mill on the state’s east coast. The mill is currently the subject of a parliamentary inquiry which was commissioned to investigate the sale of the woodchip facility in 2011. Owners Jan Cameron and Graeme Wood initially said they hoped to reopen the mill but later unveiled plans for a tourism development. “The Government’s not going to be thinking aloud on this subject,” government front bencher Michael Ferguson said.

Concerns about compulsory purchase of the Triabunna mill (video) from ABC News, Australia

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Smithers Wins Wood Use Award

250 News
September 28, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Smithers, B.C. – Bovill Square has netted the Town of Smithers a 2014 Community Recognition Award. The Wood Works! BC prizes are presented annually to communities that have been exemplary advocates for wood use in public structures. Smithers was one of five winners announced Friday at the Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention in Whistler. “We congratulate these local governments for their vision and leadership by choosing wood for design and construction of their civic projects,” stated Lynn Embury-Williams, Executive Director of Wood Works! BC.

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Green light for taller wood construction a game changer

Home buyers, builders benefit as wood-frame limit raised to 6 storeys
The Toronto Star
September 26, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada


….There are three reasons that this will be a game changer for the province’s building and land development industry. First, this building code amendment gives new-home buyers more options in choosing a home. Adding to the housing mix will also add vibrancy and character to our new neighbourhoods, which is great news for consumers. Some buyers will like this option because wood is aesthetically pleasing, while others will appreciate that their carbon footprint is being reduced. Still others may prefer it because the construction of their new home will be fast, efficient and can occur year-round.

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Guitars, mandolins, ukuleles: Tongass tonewood grows business

KTVA.com
September 26, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

There’s a beautiful view of Port St. Nicholas from Brent Cole’s workshop. Located in the town of Craig on Prince of Wales Island, Cole, his wife Annette and two sons run Alaska Specialty Woods. Cole works six days a week making soundboards and tonewood that he sells to some of the most renowned manufactures and craftsmen of musical instruments in 60 countries. Cole cut his first Sitka spruce tree on Prince of Wales Island to make soundboards in 1994. Sitka spruce ranges from Northern California to the Kenai Peninsula. “This region right here is the central part of it, and it’s the premier area for Sitka spruce,” Cole said.

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Forestry

Minister Rickford Announces the State of Canada’s Forests Report 2014

September 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today tabled the State of Canada’s Forests Report 2014 in the House of Commons. This year’s report highlights the exciting opportunities and growing sense of optimism in Canada’s forest sector. The report confirms the results of the Government of Canada’s targeted investments in the forest sector, increasing the value of Canada’s forest resources, opening new markets, supporting jobs for Canadians and enhancing Canada’s prosperity. While the industry is showing strong signs of growth in some segments — lumber in particular — it is challenged by market trends in other areas.

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From forests to fashion: Savvy consumers will discount Canopy’s propaganda

by David Lindsay, FPAC – Fabrics made from wood fibre have a lower environmental footprint than competing synthetic materials
Financial Post
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The environmental group Canopy is again targeting the forest products industry in its “Fashion Loved By Forest” campaign, aimed at clothing sourced from so-called “endangered forests” such as the Canadian Boreal. Canopy has asked fashion designers and manufacturers to sign a pledge to not use such fabrics and has contacted newspapers throughout the world urging the public to stop buying clothing made from rayon or viscose made from dissolving pulp. The most recent article was featured in the Financial Post on Monday under the title of “Under the Canopy.”

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Minister Rickford Announces the State of Canada’s Forests Report 2014

September 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today tabled the State of Canada’s Forests Report 2014 in the House of Commons. This year’s report highlights the exciting opportunities and growing sense of optimism in Canada’s forest sector. The report confirms the results of the Government of Canada’s targeted investments in the forest sector, increasing the value of Canada’s forest resources, opening new markets, supporting jobs for Canadians and enhancing Canada’s prosperity. While the industry is showing strong signs of growth in some segments — lumber in particular — it is challenged by market trends in other areas.

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Tree killers, yes, fire starters, no: Mountain pine beetles get a bad rap, study says

phys.org
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Mountain pine beetles get a bad rap, and understandably so. The grain-of-rice-sized insects are responsible for killing pine trees over tens of millions of acres in the Western U.S. and Canada over the last decade. But contrary to popular belief, these pests may not be to blame for more severe wildfires like those that have recently swept through the region. Instead, weather and topography play a greater role in the ecological severity of fires than these bark-boring beetles.

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Forest and Range Practices near 100 Mile House Audited

BC Forest Practices Board
September 25, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will audit four Range Act agreements and a First Nations woodland licence in the 100 Mile House resource district during the weeks of Sept. 29 and Oct. 6, 2014. Auditors will look at three grazing licences and one hay-cutting licence for compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA). In addition, Kenkeknem Forest Tenures Ltd.’s woodland licence will be audited for operational planning, harvesting, roads, silviculture and protection practices under FRPA and the Wildfire Act. Kenkeknem’s licence is one of only two First Nations woodland licences in the province, and is the first such licence audited by the board.

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Near-record timber losses as officials start adding up B.C. fire season

Canadian Press
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An overheated forest fire season in British Columbia resulted in a near-record loss of timber — the third highest total since 1950 when the government started keeping track. Chief provincial fire information officer Kevin Skrepnek said Monday 1,424 fires consumed more than 3,590 square kilometres of forest this season. Skrepnek said an intense provincewide hot weather spell in July, where temperatures soared to 40 C in some areas, dried out forests and contributed to extreme fire conditions that lasted much of the summer.

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Old-growth cedar catches fire at squatter’s camp in Stanley Park

The Province
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An old-growth cedar tree that caught fire in Stanley Park Sunday may have to be cut down. Vancouver firefighters were called to the park around 9:45 a.m. and found the hollow cedar tree ablaze. Crews fought the fire for hours and managed to control it, but it would be impossible to fully extinguish it, said Vancouver Fire assistant chief of operations Jeff Wilkinson. “There’s a lot of void spots within the tree, and fire can spread up through many areas,” said Wilkinson Sunday evening. “Once the fire gets going inside, it’s going to travel up.”

Stanley Park tree fire at homeless camp near Teahouse from CBC News

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Old photos taken by tree planters provide snapshot of B.C.’s history

September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — It took Nahanni Arntzen many years to appreciate her early childhood in the B.C. wilderness as the daughter of two young hippie tree planters. She was born 39 years ago in a teepee on a sandbar nine miles up the Kingcome River on the west coast of B.C. Her father, Daniel James, caught her in his dirty hands. Her mother, Jenny Arntzen, was back planting within a few days. He was 20; she was 19. Nahanni Arntzen has warm memories from those early years in makeshift camps of dogs, riding in the back of trucks, sleeping in tree boxes, stealing mouthfuls of icing while the cooks weren’t looking, late night fires and early morning rain.

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Agency stands by Cherry Ridge plan

Vernon Morning Star
September 26, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A government agency insists it won’t abandon logging plans despite protests in Cherryville. Road construction contractors backed off initiating work Thursday after they were met by about 55 people opposed to the project on Cherry Ridge. “Flat-out no,” said Colin Johnston, B.C. Timber Sales woodlands supervisor, when asked if the agency may completely scrap logging because of the protesters who claim logging could cause landslides. “It’s not in the interest of BCTS to do that.” However, the prospect of further public demonstrations has BCTS reviewing its next steps.

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We must lobby for watershed

Letter by Bill Randles
Alberni Valley News
September 25, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Like many in our community, I am concerned about protecting our water supply. …The Watershed Forest Alliance has been lobbying for a number of years now to protect McLaughlin Ridge in the watershed. The sticking point here is that the watershed is presently in privately held lands. …The other better option is the one put forward by the late Glenn Wong and that is to lobby the provincial government to make a swap of Crown lands for the watershed and put the watershed under the direct control and protection of local government.

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USDA invests $20 Million to hire 11,000 youth and veterans on forest lands

USDA Forest Service
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said today that in fiscal year 2014, the U.S. Forest Service invested a total of $20 million in partnerships that supported work and training opportunities for 11,000 youth and veterans on national forests and grasslands. Service members worked on projects that addressed restoration, hazardous fuels, watershed protection, wilderness stewardship, recreation access, facilities management, trail maintenance, and other natural and cultural resource priorities. “The partnerships associated with developing the next generation of conservationists offer an opportunity to connect veterans and our young people to the great outdoors,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

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Court Decision Stops Four Tongass National Forest Logging Projects

Sit News
September 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ketchikan, Alaska – The U.S. District Court in Anchorage issued a decision Friday on what is commonly known as the Islands Wolf lawsuit. Friday’s decision has now, for the second time, stopped four Tongass National Forest logging projects. Greenpeace and Cascadia Wildlands have been litigating these projects since 2008. Friday’s order from the District Court says, “this Court finds … the Forest Service still has not adequately explained its decision to approve the four logging projects”. The projects halted are the Traitors Cove project near Ketchikan, Soda Nick near Hydaburg, and the Scott Peak and Overlook projects near Petersburg.

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Bill will restore active forest management

by U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont
The Missoulian
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When I was growing up in Montana, we had a vibrant logging industry with 30 active sawmills. A career in forestry was a promising one. It’s a different picture today. Timber harvests in Montana’s national forests are down 80 percent over the last three decades, largely due to excessive federal regulations and endless obstructionist tactics from fringe groups. Nineteen of our 30 sawmills have closed. Just this month, two of those remaining mills announced layoffs or cutbacks. Demand for timber isn’t the problem today – it continues to grow as the housing market recovers.

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Roger Phillips: Sorry Mr. Tidwell, I am calling BS

Idaho Statesman
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Permit for filming in wilderness is a bigger problem than it’s supposedly solving.  The continuing saga about the Forest Service requiring a permit to film in wilderness is probably getting old by now, but I kind of choked on this comment from Tom Tidwell, chief of the Forest Service: …My critique revolves around two points. First is what’s “commercial photography and filming only?” You can still throw too wide of a net around that one. …Second is what constitutes “gathering news”?

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Hemlock, Spruce, Cedar Logging Auction at Tongass Forest

Woodworking Network
September 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

KETCHIKAN, AK — U.S. Forest Service will auction rights to almost 10 square miles of logging rights at Tongass National Forest. Hemlock, spruce and cedar woodlands will be sold in an effort to support logging and sawmill firms until second growth forest lands mature. The U.S. Forest Service began a public process last fall to modify the Tongass National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan, to identify “the timber base suitable to support a transition to young-growth management, in a way that supports the continued viability of the forest industry in Southeast Alaska, per the direction of Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack,” the agency said in a release last fall.

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Peter DeFazio: ‘Strong concerns’ remain for Forest Service’s wilderness photo rules

The Oregonian
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Rep. Peter DeFazio and three other congressional leaders said Monday they still have deep concerns about the constitutionality of a U.S. Forest Service proposal restricting wilderness photography. The Forest Service faced nationwide outrage last week over plans to require a permit for photography and filming in vast swaths of the country’s federally designated wilderness areas. Its chief, Tom Tidwell, backed off late Thursday, saying his agency respected the First Amendment and wouldn’t restrict media or amateur photographers’ access. But the onslaught of criticism has continued.

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Judge rules for environmentalists in Swan Valley

Associated Press
September 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA, Mont. — A judge has ruled the U.S. government must better analyze how protected species would be affected before any more logging is done on about 111,000 acres The Nature Conservancy handed over to The U.S. Forest Service. The land in the Swan Valley acquired in 2009 came with an agreement between the conservancy and the former owner, Plum Creek Timber Co., that allowed timber harvests through 2018. Four environmental groups sued the Forest Service, saying the agency did not properly study the effects on protected animals, fish and plants in the area.

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100 Missoula icons: UM’s School of Forestry houses traditions that endure

The Missoulian
September 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The College of Forestry and Conservation serves not only as an enduring icon of the University of Montana, but of all Missoula. The college has its roots at UM in 1908 as a school to train rangers for the newly christened U.S. Forest Service. The School of Forestry didn’t open until 1914; the ranger courses ended in 1927. The current three-story building on campus opened in 1922 and was named after Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the Forest Service. Originally, the school was housed in a two-story building behind Main Hall that was referred to as “The Shack.”

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Idaho wildfire season is tame in 2014, especially when compared with western neighbors

Associated Press
September 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — Idaho’s typically active wildfire season is closing with a slow fizzle after short bursts of rain and cooler temperatures dampened the state’s tinderbox of fuel. About 271 square miles in Idaho have burned after 1,090 fires ignited between May and September, according to officials with the Boise-based National Interagency Fire Center. The numbers are the lowest since 2009. “This year in Idaho was a weird year,” said Jennifer Myslivy, wildfire mitigation specialist with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. “We had fires early on, but then the rain would come. It kept the fire season from going crazy.”

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Outfitters-guides group supports Healthy Forests act

Billings Gazette
September 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Montana Outfitters and Guides Association supports House Resolution 1526, Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, a bill introduced by Rep. Steve Daines, R-Mont. Consider these trends: Since 2000, mountain pine beetle has killed trees on more than 5 million acres in Montana and has infested 500,000 acres of National Forest in Montana. Last year acres of timber lost to wildfire exceeded timber harvested by a ratio of 44-to-1, causing the Forest Service to now spend $2 for every $1 it produces. A massive number of Forest Service projects in Montana are appealed or litigated, leading Forest Service leaders to admit “litigation has virtually shut things down on the National Forest.”

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UN experts say world’s mangrove forests at risk

Associated Press
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

ATHENS, Greece — U.N. experts are warning that the world’s mangrove forests are being destroyed at a more rapid rate than other forest ecosystems because of land conversion, development and pollution. A U.N. Environment Program report presented Monday said mangroves are disappearing three to five times faster than other forests. It said by 2050, southeast Asia could potentially lose 35 percent of the mangroves it had in 2000. Described in the report as one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems, mangrove forests mitigate global warming by trapping vast quantities of carbon that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere.

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Tree hunter celebrates birthday with television appearance

Border Counties Advertizer
September 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AN ELLESMERE man celebrated a whirlwind of a birthday by appearing on the BBC Breakfast show. Rob McBride, more commonly known as the tree hunter, was featured on the popular breakfast show last week to talk about ‘citizen science’. Rob specialises in ancient trees and with the knowledge and expertise he has gained over the years, it has emerged that his valuable knowledge is of benefit to scientists. The Woodland Trust have started an Observeatree project that encourages volunteers and scientists to come together to monitor what is happening to our natural environment in the hope that it will help beat tree disease.

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New book details threats to the world’s forests, offers solutions for conservation

phys.org
September 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As forestlands around the globe continue to diminish in the wake of human population growth and climate change, two leading scientists have written a new book in which they issue a call to action for forest conservation. Among threats to the vital services provided by forest ecosystems, they say, are residential development, climate change and illegal logging operations in the tropics. “In the 1950s, we assumed that the forests were not going to change,” said Richard Waring, retired professor of forestry at Oregon State University and co-author of the book. “We assumed that if you disturbed them in a certain way, they would come back. 

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‘It takes five minutes to chop down a forest but a lifetime to save one’

Voice of Russia
September 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Several large British companies, including Boots the chemists and Marks and Spencer, have signed up to an environmental deal aiming to bring an end to deforestation on a global scale. VoR’s Tim Ecott speaks to Scott Poynton, founder of the Forest Trust. Current loopholes in EU legislation mean that only about 50 percent of the timber products exported into Europe is proven to come from legal sources. The companies have pledged that by 2020 all wood and paper products will be sustainably sourced, after a campaign led by the environmental group WWF.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Fledgling wood pellet maker preps for European exports

Northern Ontario Business
September 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Budding wood pellet producer Rentech Inc. is counting on a new Quebec City marine terminal to be an important logistical cornerstone of its Wawa operation. By way of a 15-year contract with Quebec Stevedoring, the Los Angeles-based company intends to move pellets through a dedicated storage and vessel loading facility situated at the port. The terminal boasts 80,000 tonnes of capacity for wood pellets. Speaking at the CanBio Conference in Thunder Bay in early September, Steve Robert, Rentech’s managing director in Canada, emphasized shipping is a vital component of the emerging biomass industry.

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Colorado’s Iconic Aspens Face Steep Decline From Climate Change

KUNC.org
September 30, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

In late September and early October, Coloradans swarm to the mountains, clutching cameras and phones, hoping to experience the magical transformation of aspens from green to gold. A few decades from now, though, those glorious aspen stands are likely to be fewer, as global climate change shifts the places where aspen grow and thrive. …. From 2000 to 2010, 1.3 million acres in the region saw significant aspen decline. Researchers named the phenomenon sudden aspen decline, or SAD, and started tracking these stands to learn more about why they were dying.

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