Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 16, 2014

Business & Politics

Harper Gov’t ‘Conceded to China’ under Pressure: Treaty Expert

FIPA ‘is the price China demanded to open its purse strings for investing in the resource sector in Canada.’
The Tyee
September 13, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

…Gus Van Harten is an associate professor at the Osgoode Hall Law School and an expert in investment treaties. Van Harten said FIPA is practically a one-way deal in favour of China, and Ottawa needs to acknowledge the non-reciprocal aspects of the deal and explain why they would ratify it two years after it was first signed. “It seems to me the federal government has conceded to China under pressure to give them this treaty,” said Van Harten. “My guess is this is the price China has demanded to open its purse strings for investing in the resource sector in Canada.”

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Bioenergy plant could boost lagging B.C. small cap

The Globe and Mail
September 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new bioenergy plant and a more promising U.S. housing market should help resurrect the share price of small-cap lumber company Conifex Timber Inc., analysts say. Shares of Vancouver-based Conifex, which operates two sawmills in northeastern British Columbia, have been lagging their larger industry peers since the company went public in 2010. Conifex has been working to improve the productivity of its mills, which were bought out of bankruptcy from two separate companies between 2008 and 2010, when the forestry sector was devastated by the U.S. housing crisis.

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Canada Approves China Investment Treaty While First Nations Consent Issue Still in Court

Indian Country Today Media
September 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Officials from a Vancouver Island First Nation say that they are shocked and disappointed that Canada ratified its foreign investment deal with China even though a Canadian court has yet to rule whether or the tribe should have been consulted first. … Sayers said the tribe would be affected if it didn’t want resources extracted from a sacred site, or if nearby extraction would have an impact on the site. If China were to have, say, an interest in a logging company that wanted to log an area the tribe considered sacred, the tribe would oppose it. But under the agreement, China could then sue Canada for loss of revenue, Sayers said.

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Western Forest Products Earns Sector Outperform Rating from Scotiabank

Sleek Money.com
September 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Scotiabank reaffirmed their sector outperform rating on shares of Western Forest Products in a report issued on Friday… Separately, analysts at Raymond James cut their price target on shares of Western Forest Products from C$3.15 to C$3.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 23rd. They now have a strong-buy rating on the stock. Two analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, three have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Western Forest Products currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of C$2.90.

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Firewood shortage in Nova Scotia sparks rise in prices

The Chronicle Herald
September 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Think you’re going to save money by switching to a wood stove? Think again. A firewood shortage across Nova Scotia is sending prices up, and there’s no end in sight. “We’ve been hearing about a firewood shortage from around the province,” Will Martin, president of the Nova Scotia Woodlot Owners and Operators Association, said Monday.

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Editorial: Toward a new relationship with the Atikamekw

Montreal Gazette
September 12, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The effects of the landmark decision, acknowledging that First Nations that have not signed treaties still hold title over ancestral lands, are beginning to be felt in Quebec. This week, the Atikamekw people issued a “unilateral declaration of sovereignty” over 80,000 square kilometres of boreal forest in the Haute-Mauricie. …Clustered on three isolated reserves — Manawan, Opitciwan and Wemotaci — the Atikamekw have been trying for decades not only to protect their territory from what they see as over-logging by pulp and paper giant Kruger, but to increase their own share of timber rights in order to create jobs.

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UPM sells over 1,000 hectares of forestry land to Nordic Forest Fund

Lesprom Network
September 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Nordic Forest Fund, managed by UB Nordic Forest Management Oy, has signed a contract to purchase over 1,000 hectares of forestry land from UPM in Finland. The objects of purchase are located in Lieksa, North Karelia and Paltamo, Kainuu, as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. In addition to the real estate deal, the parties have signed a long term wood purchase and forest management agreement which ensures a steady sale of wood as well as sustainable management of the forests.

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High levels of Czech log exports to Austria and Germany

IHB The Timber Network
September 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Following a 25% increase in 2013, Czech softwood log exports have picked up in the first five months of 2014. According to Eurostat data, in terms of value, the surge is of 13% (up to € 152,8 million) as compared to the € 135,7 million from January-May 2013. After rising by 15% in the first quarter, deliveries to Austria have slowed down in April and May, and for the first five months are only 1% higher than last year. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Habitat for Humanity Canada and SFI® Official Partners for Sustainable Housing, Communities and Families

Canada News Wire
September 16, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI) and Habitat for Humanity Canada are going from being like-minded allies to official partners with the signing of a memorandum of mutual support at the SFI Annual conference in Montreal… “Habitat for Humanity and SFI have worked together for years to help put homeownership within reach of Canadian families. Today’s agreement will enhance these efforts in tangible ways, particularly through the introduction of our new Wood 4 Good program,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

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Japanese look to British Columbia for wood, wisdom

Business in Vancouver
September 15, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tall wood buildings were a key focus for international buyers that industry association BC Wood hosted the first week of September. B.C. building code changes allowed wood buildings of up to six storeys in B.C. starting in 2010, and more than 20 structures have been completed in the past three years. These include the new fitness centre at UBC Okanagan, Wesbrook Community Centre on the UBC campus in Vancouver, and the 30-metre tall, six-storey Wood Innovation Design Centre in Prince George.

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Forestry

Wildfires rage in California drought, hundreds forced to flee

Reuters
September 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Crews were battling about a dozen major wildfires across California on Tuesday that have forced thousands of people to flee, damaged or destroyed more than 100 buildings, and charred thousands of acres of drought-stricken forest. Three years of drought in the most populous U.S. state has forced farmers to let fields lie fallow and left communities reliant on well water, with bone-dry brush fueling wildfires in temperatures of more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (38 Celsius). This year’s wildfire season, which typically runs from May to October, was on track to be the most destructive on record, according the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.

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The Tongass Tightrope: Balancing Diverse Interests By Committee

Alaska Public Media
September 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

For three days last week, a few dozen people holed up in a Travelodge conference room in Juneau. There was coffee and donuts, PowerPoint presentations and an easel with big sheets of scratch paper. It was the second in a series of meeting that the Tongass Advisory Committee has leading up to its May deadline to produce its recommendations. Representatives of the U.S. Forest Service, the timber industry, state government, local communities, tribal entities and conservationists on the committee are trying to work out policies that will let them all sustainably coexist. 

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Resources rushed to 2 new Oregon wildfires

Associated Press
September 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GRANTS PASS, Ore.— Two wildfires that started over the weekend were threatening scattered rural homes in western Oregon, where forests are critically dry and the weather has been hot. A fire on the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest about 15 miles west of Grants Pass grew to nearly 2,000 acres Monday. Bulldozer crews started building fire line on the northeastern flank to protect some scattered homes along the Rogue River in the Picket Creek area, where Josephine County has warned residents to be ready to leave, fire spokesman Scott Blower said. The fire had about five miles to go before reaching the first of the homes.

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Forest Service offers land for sale

Rapid City Journal
September 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Got a computer, an Internet connection and several thousand dollars lying around? Well, then you can buy your very own slice of the Black Hills National Forest in a rare online auction of prime real estate. The U.S. Forest Service no longer needs its Reder Administrative Site on Highway 16/385, east of Hill City. The nearly 70-acre site has been divided into seven parcels, all of which are for sale to the highest bidder on the federal government’s General Services Administration auction website, gsaauctions.gov. “The goal is to acquire funds to build a new office,” said Cindy Hockelberg, a Forest Service lands forester in Custer.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Largest biomass plant in North America opens

E&T Magazine
September 15, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The largest 100 per cent biomass power plant in North America has opened in the Canadian province of Ontario. The originally coal-fired Atikokan Generating Station, operated by Ontario Power Generation, underwent a $170m (£105m) reconstruction after the Canadian government introduced tougher emission measures. The station has been re-connected to the grid at the end of last week after a two year closure. “A new era has dawned in Ontario; one where the air will be cleaner and the multiple costs of coal-fired generation have become a distant memory,” said Canada’s Minister of Energy Bob Chiarelli. 

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Positive Horizons for US Pellets Around the Globe

Biomass Magazine
September 15, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Look across the horizon for the industrial-grade wood pellet market, and you will see many positive developments for the industry. Not only is the industry achieving policy certainty and government support for biomass across the European Union, but also new markets are beginning to emerge in Asia. There are also opportunities opening up here at home in the U.S., and within the robust residential heat market in Europe. The southeastern U.S. has spent the past decade developing the necessary infrastructure and supply chain to bring wood pellets to the world. Over the past several years, the U.S. has become the No. 1 exporter of wood pellets to Europe, exporting over 2.7 million tons of wood pellets in 2013 alone.

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Artificial Photosynthesis on Tree Trunks Derived Alkaline Tantalates with Hierarchical Anatomy

Towards CO2 Photo-fixation into CO and CH4
Royal Society of Chemistry
September 16, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Artificial photosynthesis, that is photochemical fixation and recycling CO2 back to hydrocarbon fuels from sunlight and water, is both a great challenge and an opportunity that, if realized, could have a revolutionary impact on our energy system. Herein, we demonstrate one of the first examples using biomass derived hierarchical porous photocatalysts for CO2 photo-fixation into sustainable hydrocarbon fuels.

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Wood as Fuel: Sustainability, Resources, and Policy Conflicts

The Bridge
September 11, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

When we contemplate large wood-burning systems, the question of fuel-wood supply arises. Paul Frederick, utilization forester at Vermont’s Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (DFPR), has suggested that district heat represents only a small part of Vermont’s wood demand, while nearly half our annual wood use is for residential heating. The next-largest user is electrical generation, such as Burlington’s McNeil plant. Vermont tracks large-system wood consumption via air quality reports. Cutting trees specifically to supply heating systems is the primary, but not necessarily the only, means to that end.

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