Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 6, 2014

Business & Politics

Environmental Group Accuses Lumber Liquidators of Selling Illegally Sourced Lumber Products

Building Online
October 6, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Wood flooring retailer Lumber Liquidators is under scrutiny by a Canadian television news show and U.S. based environmental group EIA that accuses the company of selling illegally sourced wood from the Russian Far East. EIA claims in very strong terms that Lumber Liquidators “has purchased wood from exporters that have bought wood from saw mills that have processed laundered timber.” In response to an inquiry by Canadian TV channel Global News that asked Lumber Liquidators if it had ever sold or continues to sell wood sourced illegally in the Russian Far East, the company issued an official written statement with the clear answer of “No.”

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Forestry industry set to gain from update to building codes

Globe and Mail
October 5, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The forest industry’s vision of pushing wood-structure buildings higher into the sky looks set to get a major boost. The federal body that establishes the standards for building codes is preparing to raise the cap on wood-structure heights to six storeys from four storeys, according to industry officials. The decision, expected later this year or in early 2015, opens up a world of opportunities for a once-moribund forest industry seeking to revitalize itself by extending its reach into innovative products and conquering new export markets.

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Six years on, Harmac remains a success story

Hundreds gather Thursday at Nanaimo mill to celebrate sixth anniversary of facility’s re-opening 
Nanaimo Daily News
October 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bryan Reid never had any second thoughts about his decision to become a partner in the new ownership of the Harmac Pacific pulp mill six years ago. Reid is the owner of the Williams Lake-based Pioneer Log Homes, one of the private investors who contributed to keep the mill open in 2008 after its previous owner, Pope Talbot, went bankrupt and closed all its mills, including Harmac. He was among the hundreds of mill workers and invited dignitaries who gathered at the mill in Duke Point Thursday to celebrate the sixth anniversary of the mill’s re-opening and the formation of Nanaimo Forest Products.

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Victoria conference to examine Pacific Northwest trade with Asia

Times Colonist
October 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Delegates from business, diplomacy, government and academe, as well as members of the public, will trade ideas on international trade between the Pacific Northwest and Asia at a conference in Victoria later this month. …Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson is leading a forestry delegation to China, Japan and Korea Oct. 7-18, with executives from forest companies and associations. China is B.C.’s second-largest market for softwood lumber, after the U.S. Last year, China received 26 per cent of B.C.’s softwood lumber exports totalling $1.4 billion. Japan bought 15 per cent, worth $825 million.

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Northwest sawmill restarts after five-year hiatus

Northern Ontario Business
October 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Five years after it was mothballed, EACOM’s sawmill in Ear Falls in northwestern Ontario fired up for production in early August. “Now is the time to start producing some wood,” said general manager Harrison Wicks. The Montreal-based forestry giant has invested more than $5 million to retrofit the plant with upgrades to the electrical system, planer mill, optimizer scanner, and other machinery in the four to five months leading up to the Aug. 5 production startup.

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Randy Boswell: Chaudiere’s significance has many layers

Ottawa Citizen
October 5, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The rezoning plan tentatively approved Thursday for Windmill’s redevelopment of the Chaudière islands was billed, in part, as a project that will “celebrate the industrial, aboriginal and natural heritage” of this historic site in the heart of Ottawa-Gatineau. That’s as it should be. These islands really were critically important components of what would become the National Capital Region… But we tend to forget the fact that the J.R. Booth sawmill operation on Chaudière Island and the other lumber factories on the river were also the villains in Canada’s first major industrial pollution controversy.

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Ochoco Lumber completes 32,000-acre sale

The Capital Press
October 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The Ochoco Lumber Co. has sold 32,000 acres in Central Oregon for $18.5 million, some of which will pay for upgrades to its sawmill in John Day, Ore. The company recently completed a complex, two-part sale that was initiated last year with Stafford Ranches of Fields, Ore.. “Strategically, it didn’t make sense to hold onto property so far away from our existing facility,” said Bruce Daucsavage, Ochoco Lumber’s president. The 32,000-acre continguous “Foley Butte Block” was amassed by Ochoco Lumber over a period of 35 years and once provided logs for its sawmill in Prineville, Ore., which shut down more than a decade ago.

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Barriers only grow for Maine’s paper mills

October 6, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

With the impending shutdown of the Verso Paper Co. mill in Bucksport, the Maine pulp and paper industry will have lost three of its mills in a single year. And the industry’s problems are far from over. Analysts expect a continued decline in the demand for paper – especially the kind made in Maine, used in publishing – over the next 10 to 20 years before it levels off. To make matters worse, the energy-intensive industry’s shift to natural gas will continue to plague paper producers in Maine, where gas is less plentiful and more expensive than elsewhere.

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Co-ops a way for students to ‘try on’ paper industry

Daily Herald Media
October 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

College students can obtain training for a career in the pulp and paper industry through a cooperative education program like the one at Domtar mill in Rothschild. Students from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, UW-Stevens Point and Michigan Technological University in Houghton participate in the program, said Susan Hadaway, human resources manager. “They’ll be primarily chemical engineering students who will come and spend eight months, or if it’s our co-op from Houghton, they’re actually here for a 15-month period,” she said.

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Barriers only grow for Maine’s paper mills

October 6, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

With the impending shutdown of the Verso Paper Co. mill in Bucksport, the Maine pulp and paper industry will have lost three of its mills in a single year. And the industry’s problems are far from over. Analysts expect a continued decline in the demand for paper – especially the kind made in Maine, used in publishing – over the next 10 to 20 years before it levels off. To make matters worse, the energy-intensive industry’s shift to natural gas will continue to plague paper producers in Maine, where gas is less plentiful and more expensive than elsewhere.

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Södra Cell’s pulp expansion in a digital age

PPI Magazine
October 3, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The president of Södra Cell explains why the company will invest heavily in softwood pulp expansion at its Värö mill. In an increasingly digital world, why would anyone think of investing in paper pulp? There have been proclamations of the paperless office since the 1990s. It took a long to happen, but it did happen to some extent. Still, one of the problems in the digital age is that digital information is very easy to copy. People pay a lot of money to see a DJ such as Sweden’s Avicii play other people’s music (he made $15 million last year), but they don’t want to pay for music itself. 

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New Zealand log trade continues to rise

Timber Trade Journal
October 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand’s shift toward log trade and away from softwood sawn timber has continued and even accelerated during some months this year. Exports of sawn timber fell during the first six months of 2014 by 14% from a year ago to 843,289m3, according to newsletter Random Lengths International. The deficit was only 1% in the first quarter but accelerated to 24% during April-June. While sawn timber exports have fluctuated from 1.78 million m3 to 2.11 million m3 between 2007 and 2012, log exports have more than trebled in the same period. Sales have risen in eight consecutive years from 5.19 million m3 to 16.6 million m3 in 2013.

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Japan’s wood products export increased by 51.1% in the 1H 2014

Lesprom Network
October 4, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Export of wood products from Japan has been increasing consistently and the amount of the export for the first half of this year was yen 8.164 billion, 51.1% more than the same period of last year. This is much faster pace compared to the increase by 30% of last year, ITTO reported. By item, log export was yen 3.165 billion, 173.8% more than the same period of last year, exceeded total amount of last year in six months. Weaker yen made the Japanese logs much competitive so the log export to China, Korea and Taiwan has been climbing rapidly.

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Japan: Government plans to double forest products exports by 2020

IHB
October 6, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Export of wood products from Japan has been increasing consistently and the amount of the export for the first half of this year was yen 8.164 billion, 51.1% more than the same period of last year. This is much faster pace compared to the increase by 30% of last year. By item, log export was yen 3.165 billion, 173.8% more than the same period of last year, exceeded total amount of last year in six months. Weaker yen made the Japanese logs much competitive so the log export to China, Korea and Taiwan has been climbing rapidly. Meantime, export of other products like lumber and plywood has also been increasing by 13.9% and 23.4% respectively.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Inside Canada’s rising furniture and housewares industry

Globe and Mail
October 3, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Canadian furniture and housewares design isn’t often called “iconic.” …The Dresslers – twin brothers Jason and Lars – benefit from their emphasis on local manufacturing and responsible sourcing, two elements that often matter as much as slick design to contemporary collectors. …“Some of the wood is salvaged out of the water, some of it is salvaged out of old buildings and some is from a supplier who got it from Ontario forestry which is a very well-managed forest system.” Their On Edge chair, fashioned from a single piece of plywood, is the best-known expression of their philosophy.

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National Award Program Celebrates Innovative Wood Buildings

Woodworking Network
October 5, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – WoodWorks accepted nominations for the 2015 U.S. Wood Design Awards until midnight on September 30, 2014.The educational initiative providing free project assistance and resources related to the design and construction of non-residential and multi-family wood buildings offers the awards in excellence in wood design, engineering and construction, as well as innovative buildings that showcase attributes of wood such as strength, beauty, versatility, cost effectiveness and sustainability.

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University fire: Construction firms urged to ‘rethink’ timber frame in rebuild

Nottingham Post
October 3, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

CONSTRUCTION firms re-building the £20 million unit destroyed in a blaze at the University of Nottingham have been urged to “rethink” the materials they use. Flames destroyed the timber building at the university’s Jubilee Campus last month and firefighters expect the results of an investigation into the cause of the fire next week. At a meeting of Nottinghamshire’s Fire and Rescue Authority yesterday, it was agreed the 60 firefighters at the scene coped well with the huge blaze, in which no one injured.

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Forestry

Timber harvests in the US and Canada have gone up for four consecutive years with log exports

Increased North American log exports and higher softwood lumber production in the US and Canada have resulted in a steady rise in timber harvests on the continent from 2009 to 2013, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. However, despite the recent upward trend in log production, harvest levels in North America were still 40% higher ten years ago than they were last year.
Wood Resource Quarterly
October 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Seattle, USA. Timber harvests in North America were up for the fourth consecutive year in 2013, reaching 510 million m3, based on analysis by WRI. However, despite an annual increase of three percent each over the past four years, harvest levels in North America are still substantially lower than what they were before the great recession. Ten years ago, the total timber harvest in North America was about 40% higher than in 2013, and just the harvest in the US itself at that time was more than what was logged in all of North America last year, as reported in the latest issue of the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

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WWF’s Living Planet Report not all doom and gloom

October 6, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Here are six examples (five from the report) of what the WWF calls “better ways to “manage, use and share natural resources within the planet’s capacity.” …Canada Great Bear Rainforest is not in the WWF report, but is comparable to their examples. …Although not completely implemented, Greenpeace’s Brooks calls the agreements a global model of “how a solution can be good for communities, preserve wilderness spaces and wildlife and do so in a way that helps arrest this degradation of these forest resources and biodiversity.”

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Deal “on paper” is what Tseshaht members want from BCTS

Ha-Shilth-Sa
October 5, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Tseshaht grassroots members who are blocking the roads at the junction of Gracie Main and Sterling Main to prevent the removal of timber resources from Tseshaht unceded territory met this afternoon to discuss strategy for the upcoming week of protests. Tseshaht has secured a Monday meeting with British Columbia Timber Sales, who stand accused of allowing the removal of cedar from Nahmint Valley without the consent of Tseshaht and “sloughing off” an agreement to provide an inventory of the remaining cedar in the territory and developing a cedar management plan with the nation.

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Safety conference today

Nanaimo Daily News
October 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WorkSafeBC and the B.C. Forest Safety Council are hosting the ninth annual Vancouver Island Safety Conference today (Saturday) in Nanaimo. …Delegates to the conference draw from every facet of the forestry industry and wood products manufacturing; from fallers to CEOs who are working to further advance safety in their workplaces. …Among the day’s presenters are Dr. Delia Roberts who will discuss the role nutrition and hydration have on worker safety, David Rossi will deal with communication with new and/or young workers, Al Johnson, vice president of prevention services for WorkSafeBC will talk about safety and leadership in the forest industry and Reynold Hert, CEO of the B.C. Forest Safety Council will present peer-nominated safety awards. 

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Gambier logging remains in limbo (radio broadcast)

Mountain FM
October 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

We checked in with Peter Schofield, president of the Gambier Island Conservancy, to get the latest on the dispute over planned logging at the north end of the island.

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North Shore road reopened under new management

Northern Ontario Business
October 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A highway link, vital to the movement of wood supply on Superior’s North Shore, has been repaired and reopened to traffic under new management. The provincial government announced in August that the Caramat Road is now accessible and is being placed under the control of the Nawiinginokiima Forest Management Corporation. Northern Development and Mines Minister Michael Gravelle made the announcement on Aug.7. The 93-kilometre gravel road has historically been an important back road connection between Manitouwadge and Caramat. The road was closed five years ago following a major washout and left unrepaired.

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Forestry in N.S. largely lawless

Chronicle Herald
October 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Do government planning processes hold any meaning? Last winter, the Department of Natural Resources consulted the public about what to do with the former Bowater Mersey lands that the government acquired. Recreation, protected areas, habitat conservation, and a return to responsible forestry were all priorities. Big clearcuts were not. In the resulting Western Crown Lands Plan, released by DNR Minister Zach Churchill in March, the department designated a portion of the newly acquired public lands as “environmentally sensitive areas.” 

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All Atlantic Canadian resource industries are in some turmoil

Cape Breton Post
October 6, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

‘The push for economic development from natural resources extraction and processing will increase’. … In Atlantic Canada, and in Nova Scotia in particular, forestry, fishing, mining, and oil and gas development are viewed as the most likely targets for economic growth and expansion. Yet each of those sectors appears to be in some turmoil. Each lacks focus and a vision for balancing the economy, the environment and the value-added principle. Nova Scotia is not alone in this respect, but choices on how we proceed are getting tighter.

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Digital wood maps will be boon to industry

Northern Ontario Business
October 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mat Leitch is applying some mining industry-like analytics to determine the real value of the wood resource base in northwestern Ontario. The Lakehead University associate professor and his woods sciences research team have been using an acoustics machine to bounce sound waves off trees to record their mechanical and physical properties in a digital mapping exercise that will add a new layer of intelligence to forestry planning and harvesting. “We have no idea of the quality and the value of the wood that we have,” said Leitch. “This sort of thing will give us that very intensive knowledge that we’ve needed for a long time.”

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J.D. Irving Ltd. trust Liberals won’t change forestry plan

PC plan reduces the amount of forest set aside for conservation
CBC News
October 5, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick’s largest forestry employer says it’s confident the new Liberal government won’t make changes to a controversial forestry plan put in place by departing Progressive Conservative Premier David Alward. J.D. Irving Ltd. says once the Liberals take office on Tuesday, they’ll have access to some of the scientific data that they complained were kept secret by the Tories. And that in turn will persuade premier-to-be Brian Gallant that the increase in wood allocation is scientifically and environmentally sound, according to JDI director of land development Anthony Hourihan.

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Monarch butterfly population rebounding after record low

U.S. data show ‘light recovery’ amid threats to milkweed and forest habitats
The Associated Press
October 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Deforestation is down in the Mexican forest that is the winter home of Monarch butterflies, and scientists also hope to see a rebound in the annual migration after it fell to historic lows last year, an expert said Thursday. Omar Vidal of the World Wildlife Fund said two to three times more Monarchs may arrive this year, compared to last year. “The data from the United States indicates a light recovery,” Vidal said. “They are calculating that we can expect at least double the number and perhaps triple.” 

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Employing science to work with wildfires

Idaho Statesman
October 5, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Fire modeling tools rely on information from the National Weather Service, detailed maps of fuel layers in forests and other factors. They estimate how fast the fire will burn and how it will spread in relation to vegetation, trees, homes and other properties. For Hudson and Bonney, the WFDSS program calculated the fire’s potential spread within a 26,000-acre planning area where firefighter actions could slow or stop the fire. The modeled fire behavior informed them on the potential effects on threatened values: homes along the Selway and in nearby Lowell, a rustic lookout, the historic Tahoe Trail, habitat for fish, and timber and replanted forests. “Once the fire has escaped initial direct attack, the goal is to protect the values at risk and contain the fire,” said Hudson.

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Sierra Nevada forest health in rapid decline, drought adds fuel to the fire

Plumas County News
October 5, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new report released recently by the Sierra Nevada Conservancy shows that many Sierra Nevada forests are in critical condition and that natural benefits that these forests provide, such as clean air and water, are at risk from large, intense fire. Sierra watersheds are the origin of over 60 percent of the state’s developed water supply, and store significant amounts of carbon. According to the report, the current drought and a changing climate are rapidly intensifying the situation in the Sierra. The State of Sierra Nevada Forests Report compiles current science and research that tells the story of a region of great value to the state in extreme danger. 

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Who’s to blame for 2014 wildfires?

By Jeremy Wuerfel, professional forester and president of the Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association.
Oregon Mail Tribune
October 5, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The numerous, large-scale fires that have plagued our region this summer have been nothing short of catastrophic. While it’s true that we are currently experiencing anemic winters causing extremely dry conditions, the real cause of this year’s devastating fires has been largely preventable. Specifically, long-term fire suppression combined with profuse ingrowth and the lack of management, has caused recent lightning ignited fires to be explosive. …Some have argued that forest fires in general are “rejuvenating,” or “cleansing” to the environment. This is truly a romanticized view of what is actually occurring. The reality is that our forests are overgrown and are burning so severely that the soils become sterile and hydrophobic, and essential organic layers are lost. 

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Fatal Attraction: Emerald Ash Borer Meets its Match

Woodworking Network
October 3, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

UNIVERSITY PARK, PA – A female beetle decoy may soon rid the United States of the destructive emerald ash borer. An international team of researchers has developed a decoy female ash borer that attracts, then electrocutes the male beetles as they land on it to mate. The results of the study appeared in the Sept. 15 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Our new decoy and electrocution process may be useful in managing what the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service claims to be the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America,” Michael Domingue, a postdoctoral fellow in entomology at Penn State, said in an article by Sara Lajeunesse and posted on the university’s website.

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WWF International accused of ‘selling its soul’ to corporations

The Guardian
October 4, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

WWF International, the world’s largest conservation group, has been accused of “selling its soul” by forging alliances with powerful businesses which destroy nature and use the WWF brand to “greenwash” their operations. The allegations are made in an explosive book previously barred from Britain. The Silence of the Pandas became a German bestseller in 2012 but, following a series of injunctions and court cases, it has not been published until now in English. Revised and renamed Pandaleaks, it will be out next week.

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Despite Deforestation, Indonesia is Making Progress

The Epoch Times
October 6, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Despite having a deforestation rate that now outpaces that of the Brazilian Amazon, Indonesia is beginning to undertake critical reforms necessary to curb destruction of its carbon-dense rainforests and peatlands, says a top Norwegian official.  Speaking with mongabay.com in Jakarta on Monday, Stig Traavik, Norway’s ambassador to Indonesia, drew parallels between recent developments in Indonesia and initiatives launched in Brazil a decade ago, when deforestation was nearly five times higher than it is today. 

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Hay fever hope: Melbourne tree injections trial aims to reduce allergens

ABC News, Australia
October 6, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Hay fever sufferers in Melbourne may be breathing a little easier this spring as some of the city’s trees are injected with hormones in a bid to make them less irritating. A Melbourne City Council trial will target the hair-producing London Plane trees in the busy cafe precinct of Lygon Street. It is hoped the injections will stop the tree from producing seed pods, which are often blamed for causing nasal, throat and eye irritations. The council’s urban landscape manager, Ian Shears, told 774 ABC Melbourne concerns had been raised by cafe owners about the discomfort caused to customers.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Cool Planet gets $91M loan guarantee

Idaho Statesman
October 4, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

ALEXANDRIA, LA. — The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Friday it has guaranteed a loan to help build a biofuel refinery in Alexandria. The $91 million loan guarantee to Silicon Valley Bank will help Colorado-based Cool Planet build its plant, which would convert wood chips into fuel and an agricultural-enhancement product known as biochar. Cool Planet says that soil product will help farmers retain water and nutrients in soil to increase crop yields, and to maintain crop yields with less water and fertilizer during droughts. It’s meant to cut the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, reducing global warming.

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Waste wood could power CWU campus, study shows

Yakima Herald
October 5, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

ELLENSBURG — A high-tech boiler that turns waste wood into electricity and heat could be a cost-effective investment for Central Washington University, according to a study released last week. It’s a concept that’s been under discussion for years, but until now, a design and cost analysis had not been done. The results are very encouraging, said Jim Armstrong, CEO of the Kittitas Chamber of Commerce, which sponsored the research.

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Bioenergy projects awarded state grants in Washington

Biomass Magazine
October 3, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

As part of his statewide climate tour, Gov. Jay Inslee recently visited the Pacific Northwest Center of Excellence for Clean Energy at Centralia Community College where he announced a $20,000 grant to support Onalaska Wood Energy’s efforts to transform woody biomass into fuel-grade heating oil and charcoal. “We have committed Washington state to lead the way in addressing the challenges of climate change and seizing opportunities to secure our clean energy economy,” Inslee said.

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Cleaner forests and air: ReEnergy biomass facility to help maintain wooded areas

Watertown Daily Times
October 4, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

An agreement announced last week between the U.S. Army and ReEnergy Holdings LLC will result in a reliable source of power for Fort Drum using renewable sources. ReEnergy took over a former coal-fired power plant more than two years ago and converted it into a biomass facility. It burns wood chips to produce electricity. The plant will supply the 28 megawatts of power needed to operate Fort Drum and can produce 60 megawatts, providing it with the option of selling any excess power to the grid.

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Industry urged to broadcast Wood for Good Build with Carbon videos

Timber Trades Journal
October 6, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Wood for Good marketing campaign is urging companies across the timber industry to embed its new videos, highlighting the carbon benefits of using and building with wood, into their own websites. The animations, headlined with the campaign slogans Follow the Tree and Build it with Carbon, are based on research findings and information collated by life cycle analysis (LCA) consultants PE International for the Wood for Good Lifecycle Database, which launched earlier this year.

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