Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 2, 2014

Froggy Foibles

Stunning Photo: Frost Formations on Trees in Czech Forest

Neatorama.com
December 1, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles

Fitting for the first day of December is this amazing photograph of windswept frost formations in a wooded expanse in the Beskydy Mountains bordering between Slovakia and the Czech Republic… These fanciful shapes, created by the combination of low temperatures, slight precipitation and high winds, look like silvery gray hair flowing out from both sides of a part on someone’s head. 

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Business & Politics

Downtown building gets new life

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

The crane got the final beams in place just before the snow started falling. These were the final exterior touches to a renovation that was really more like a complete rebuild at 1320 3rd Ave. “This is going to be a great fit for us,” he said this week as the giant fir posts were set in place in the background, the crowning phase of a six-figure investment in the structure. “It’s great to be accessible like we’ve never been before. Our students can come here, all our partners can come here easily, it’s a big step forward for our operation.”

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Houston benefits from labour market study

Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation
BC Government
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

HOUSTON – In the aftermath of the West Fraser mill closure, the District of Houston has plenty of opportunities for economic growth and a healthy workforce according to a new study funded by the provincial government, which is being released today. The District of Houston received more than $51,000 in Labour Market Partnership funding to do the nine-month study to help industry, businesses and workers plan for the future. The report states that the community has weathered the mill closure quite well and that there are opportunities to recruit more skilled workers to the region and increase the local workforce’s readiness for future jobs.

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Account established for Meadow Creek workers

Nelson Star
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

An account has been established at Kootenay Savings Credit Union in Kaslo for the 18 employees laid off from Meadow Creek Forest Products as a result of last month’s fire that destroyed the main mill building. Outgoing regional district director Andy Shadrack says the millworkers support fund is to help those workers who aren’t eligible for employment insurance. “Some of the families are in tough,” he said. “There’s a need to support them.” The account number is 1511872. Shadrack says his understanding is that the insurer won’t report back to the company until January.

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Western Canadian forestry companies see profits decline as east posts losses

Business in Vancouver
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

It’s a tale of two Canadas for the forestry sector in the third quarter. While profits dipped among Western Canadian companies from the second to third quarters, a PwC report shows forest and paper businesses in the region still managed to outdo their counterparts out east by $300 million. The December 1 earnings summary revealed Western Canadian companies brought in $169.8 million in profit during the third quarter, a 5.5% drop from the previous quarter when those companies brought in $180.4 million. That’s a 50.4% increase from the third quarter of 2013, when Western Canadian companies’ profits totalled $113 million.

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Barbara Yaffe: B.C. turning the corner on economic growth, job creation

British Columbia, like so many others in Canada, has been disadvantaged by several years of public sector fiscal restraint
Vancouver Sun
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — Every autumn, the Conference Board of Canada figuratively dons the pointy black hat of a fortune teller and proceeds to read provincial palms for clues about future fiscal prospects. …Labelling the past 11 months “a difficult year for most provinces,” the Conference Board believes B.C. will continue to be a middling performer, with three jurisdictions set to record stronger growth: Newfoundland and Labrador, Alberta and Manitoba. B.C. will be held back in part by its forestry industry, expected to record annual growth under one per cent for the next two years due to supply constraints resulting from the pine beetle infestation.

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Human resources singled out as problem

Nugget.ca
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TEMISCAMING, QUE. — The inside of the Tembec mill is “hell. We’re not respected and we’re scared,” said one employee who has more than 20 years of seniority. It’s one of the many stories shared on the picket line Monday when The Nugget went to Temiscaming to talk with members of Unifor Local 233. About 650 Local 233 members raised their picket signs Wednesday evening after the union and company failed reach an agreement at a meeting in Gatineau. The four-year collective agreement expired Sept. 30. Since then, the Unifor members have been picketing around the clock at one of three sites surrounding the Tembec plant.

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Paper mill invested millions into capital improvements

Atlantic Farm Focus
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The vice-president and general manager of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper says the (Newfoundland & Labrador) mill has gotten off to a great start with the long-term sustainability plan facilitated by a $110-million loan from the provincial government. Kruger, the paper mill’s Montreal-based parent company, and the provincial government signed the financial agreement to help the mill back in February. Ric Tull said the money has been used to restructure the mill’s debt and three capital works projects have been started or finished so far this year with a fourth is about to commence.

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Parts of mill to be heated

Fort Frances Times
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products has committed to heating portions of its Fort Frances pulp mill through the winter, but the town wants to know exactly what this will entail and whether it will be enough. “We are heating critical areas to allow the mill to restart if a successor owner is found,” confirmed Seth Kursman, vice-president of Corporate Communications, Sustainability & Government Affairs for Resolute. Mayor Roy Avis said he is seeking clarification on Resolute’s plans, but his current understanding is that Resolute will put the mill into “asset protection mode.”

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Draft approval for Northern Pulp mill calls for reduced water usage, waste water

Canadian Press
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX — A draft of an industrial approval for Northern Pulp would require the Nova Scotia paper mill to reduce air emissions, water consumption and waste water effluent. The province’s Environment Department has released the draft industrial approval, which the government says would bring the Pictou County operation in line with other mills in North America. It would require the company to bring down water usage and waste water by 40 per cent by 2020. Comments on the draft industrial approval, which is posted on the department’s website, will be accepted until Jan. 5.

NS seeks input on draft Northern Pulp mill approval from The Chronicle Herald
Department releases draft approval for Northern Pulp from The NG News

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Legislative Trends – 2015 Wood Industry Almanac

Woodworking Network
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

COMDUST REGULATIONS Recent fires, and deaths, attributed to combustible dust underscores the need for a national combustible dust standard… PROPOSED HARDWOOD CHECKOFF PROGRAM The Hardwood Checkoff Blue Ribbon Committee submitted revisions to the proposed program that would limit the scope of eligible products… LACEY ACT The Lacey Act makes it illegal to import, export, sell, acquire or purchase plants and plant products, including wood, harvested or traded in violation of the laws of a foreign country. BIOBASED MARKETS PROGRAM The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a final rule eliminating the restrictions on including mature market wood products and other materials in the BioPreferred program. 

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After roof collapse, Woodgrain Millwork will cut more than 200 mill jobs in Prineville

The Oregonian
December 2, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Less than two weeks after a Prineville mill’s roof collapsed, executives at Woodgrain Millwork told Oregon officials that they have no plans to restart operations and will cut more than 200 jobs. The decision delivers a significant blow to the wood products industry, which remains an economic engine in Crook County. Already, the Central Oregon county faced an unemployment rate of 10.1 percent, tied for the third-highest in the state. The jobless level may rise higher now, since the Woodgrain operation accounted for one-third of the county’s wood-products manufacturing jobs. …”Wood products is still a big deal,” he said. “The hope is, this is really just one biz that had to make a decision based on an incident with their building,” and not a larger trend.

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NZ set to gain market share in Chinese softwood log market

New Zealand Scoop
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand, the largest supplier of softwood logs to China, is likely to continue to gain market share over the next five years, according to an industry report. In 2013, New Zealand accounted for 32.3 percent of China’s record softwood log imports for the year, according to the DNS Forest Products AgriHQ China Forestry Report 2015. While China will be able to meet more of its own demand for timber in the future, supplying 59 percent of its domestic needs by 2020 from 52 percent in 2013, it still won’t keep up with forecast demand, AgriHQ forestry analyst Ivan Luketina said in the report.

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Pulp and paper giant violating its sustainability policy

Mongabay.com
December 1, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRRIL) is violating its own sustainability policy by continuing to source fiber produced via the destruction peatlands on the island of Pulau Padang in Riau, Sumatra, argues a new report published by a coalition of Indonesian environmental groups. Investigative work conducted by Eyes on the Forest (EoF) shows that APRIL affiliate Riau Andalan Pulp & Paper (RAPP) is operating in breach of APRIL’s pledge not to clear potential high conservation value (HCV) areas.

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Finnish Forest Industries Federation appoints new Labour Market Director

Pulp and Paper News
December 2, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Finnish Forest Industries Federation has announced the appointment of Nina Pärssinen as the new Labour Market Director effective 05 5 January 2015. “The forest industry is in need of fresh thinking and structural reforms to improve its competitiveness. Nina Pärssinen has demonstrated a strong ability to lead labour market activities at the Association of Finnish Independent Education Employers,” said, Timo Jaatinen, Director General, Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Six-storey wood buildings ‘a game-changer’

Globe and Mail
December 1, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Under recent and pending building codes revisions in several Canadian jurisdictions, wood will be permitted in multiresidential and office buildings up to six storeys (compared with four storeys in most jurisdictions) with extra fire safety safeguards. “It is a real game-changer,” Richard Lyall, president of the Residential Construction Council of Ontario, says of the scope for increased use of a material that usually is less expensive than concrete or steel. “It will increase the supply of apartment rentals and condos, which will be good for the market.” He also sees wood’s potential in mid-rise commercial buildings, especially infill, that combine multiresidential, retail and professional offices.

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The Good, the Green and the Giant of Timber Buildings

Engineered wood is fast becoming a popular structural material for tall timber buildings
Sourceable.net
December 1, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

A series of multi-storey wooden projects are rising across the globe, and now the White House has again demonstrated its strong government support through a competition initiative. The United States Department of Architecture (USDA) has formally launched a Tall Building Competition in support of sustainable forestry and to demonstrate the viability of building with wood. The competition follows a funding announcement earlier this year by the White House Rural Council in collaboration with the USDA, committing to a climate-driven intimate that would see architects, builders and engineers trained in the benefits of wood as a structural material.

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reThink Wood Sponsors U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree, Encourages Education About Responsible Forestry And Wood Construction

PR Newswire
December 2, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — reThink Wood, a coalition of interests representing North America’s wood products industry, has proudly announced sponsorship of this year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to encourage education about the important role that sustainable forests play in wood construction and the economy. …As a natural, renewable material with a light carbon footprint, many architects and engineers are embracing wood as a structural material in their designs.

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Behold: the 100% Maintenance Free House

Green Building Elements
December 1, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The glass sheets are then fastened over the plywood exterior walls with a small air gap in between. That gap creates a natural circulation of air drawn in at the bottom and exhausted through a weatherproof opening at the top of the roof. That air flow needs no mechanical assistance and is designed to protect the plywood walls from decay caused by condensation. Raising the entire structure 1.5 feet above the ground promotes this free flow of air around the exterior of the home. …The interior decor is exactly what one would expect in a Danish home, with lots of wood on the walls, ceilings and floors.

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Forestry

Aboriginal harvesting rights to go on trial in N.W.T.

CBC News
December 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

The N.W.T.’s new Wildlife Act came into effect Friday, explicitly stating people with aboriginal or treaty harvesting rights don’t require a licence or permit to exercise that right. It’s unclear how this may affect the cases of two former Yellowknives Dene chiefs who, over a period of three months, were slapped separately with fines, one for hunting caribou, the other for harvesting firewood. Earlier this year, Former Chief Ted Tsetta was charged under the territory’s old Wildlife Act for hunting caribou without tags. …The act now makes it clear that an aboriginal person has a right to harvest wildlife in the N.W.T. in their traditional area. Had the new Wildlife Act had been in place a year ago, would things be different for Tsetta?

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Protection for at-risk species falters over Ottawa delays, scientists say

Globe and Mail
December 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Scientists monitoring Canada’s process for identifying and protecting endangered wildlife say the system is floundering because the federal government is taking too long to list species that are deemed at risk while not doing enough to improve the status of those that are already listed. So serious is the problem that none of the 67 species that have been recommended for listing under the Species at Risk Act for the first time since January, 2011 has been taken forward to the point where a decision to list it or not can be made, as federal legislation requires.

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Longhorn beetle battle continues for forest industry

‘The pest doesn’t pay attention to paperwork or county lines’
CBC News
December 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nova Scotia’s forestry industry is fighting a federal government plan to impose new restrictions on the movement of wood in the province. Ottawa says the expanded measures are needed to slow the spread of an invasive species — in this case, the brown spruce longhorn beetle. The current requirements demand movement certificates for roundwood harvested and transported within areas known to be infested with the brown spruce longhorn beetle. Primarily that is the Halifax County area. Only certified mills can handle the wood. The federal government is proposing to increase the area where there are restrictions and industry is fighting back.

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New bill to stop the spread of invasive species

The Haliburton Echo
December 2, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A proposal from the Ontario government could help protect native species in the Haliburton Highlands. On Nov. 5 the province re-introduced legislation for invasive species, which if passed would be the first act of its kind in Canada. The re-introduction came after a similar proposal was made this spring, but died due to the call of an election. Invading species awareness program co-ordinator for the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters, Matt Smith said the OFAH works in partnership with the Ontario government. Through the partnership, the not-for-profit organization regularly reviews Ministry of Natural Resource policy and legislation, said Smith.

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Oregon biologists track Northwest salmon, dead or alive, for critical yearly data

The Oregon Live
December 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Scott Kirby, a Cannon Beach resident and 12-year ODFW employee, has worked as ODFW’s North Coast monitoring crew leader since 2010 gathering information for the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds. He organizes ODFW field biologists to conduct spawning surveys for coho as well as supplemental and standard surveys for chinook and chum salmon on waterways west of the Coast Range stretching from the Necanicum River near Seaside to the southern end of Tillamook County at Neskowin Creek. …And the estimates are indicating that coho numbers are improving since the 1990s when the fish was on its way to being listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.

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Concerns raised over proposed Ten Mile project

Helena Independent Record
December 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A proposed Forest Service timber and prescribed fire project in the Ten Mile drainage could have negative impacts on wildlife, water and the wilderness character of the area, panelists stated at a citizens’ forum Monday evening. The forum, sponsored by a group called People Who Care About South of Helena, or PWC, encouraged the 35 attendees to comment to the Forest Service on the proposed Tenmile-South Helena Project before the Dec. 12 deadline. The project aims to protect stream health, including water quantity and quality for the city of Helena’s water supply and to improve public and firefighter safety, according to Forest Service planning documents.

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Tester doesn’t represent environmental interests

Letter from Bill Baum
The Missoulian
December 2, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Not ever hearing back from our U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., in answer to my latest e-mail to him, I am writing this opinion in order to have his local staff person send it to him. He tells me he does receive and read them. …What I need from you now is the names of other U.S. senators and House members who share my interests and might be willing to represent those interests – since you do not. Namely: Defense of wildlife in their national forest habitat from hunting and trapping and logging; support and enforcement of the Endangered Species Act; understanding science and saving the planet we all must live on through the reduction of global warming from CO2 and CH4 greenhouse gases; abandoning the Keystone XL pipeline and mining “dirty” Montana coal and fracking; et al.

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Oregon officials: Keep helicopter fire base

Associated Press
December 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ENTERPRISE, Ore. — State and local officials are objecting to U.S. Forest Service plans to move a base used by firefighters who descend on ropes from helicopters into the woods of northeastern Oregon. The Forest Service wants to consolidate the base with a similar one that moved two years ago to La Grande, on the west side of the Wallowa Mountains. The Sled Springs Rappel Base is now at Enterprise, on the northeast side of the mountains. State and local officials say it’ll take longer for crews from the Grande Ronde Valley on the west side to the rugged country in Oregon’s northeast corner, the La Grande Observer reported. Firefighters who rappel from helicopters can be inserted into rugged country with greater precision than those who use parachutes.

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Tongass Advisory Committee Discusses Transition Strategy with USDA Leadership

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

Sitka, Alaska – The Tongass Advisory Committee (TAC) held its fourth meeting at the Sheet’ka Kwaán Naa Kahídi Community House in Sitka to continue discussions regarding a transition from primarily old growth to predominantly young growth timber harvest on the Tongass National Forest. During the three-day meeting, from November 19-21, the Committee reported they made significant progress discussing key issues that may inform the Tongass Land Management Plan Amendment. Working groups of the Committee presented work products and initial findings developed since the last TAC meeting.

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International Safety Specialists to focus on Forestry

New Zealand Scoop
December 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Forest Industry Engineering Association (FIEA) has just announced it’s flagship forest safety conference series will be extended to include Australia in March 2015. The event sold out in November 2013 so is being doubled in size. It will run at the Distinction Hotel in Rotorua on 3-4th March and at the Bayview Eden Hotel in Melbourne on 10-11th March. “We are pleased to have secured the services of four internationally recognised forest safety specialists for the 2015 Safety Summit series,” says FIEA spokesman John Stulen. “Each one of our keynote speakers brings a different set of specialist skills vital to making positive safety change for people in forest industries across Australia and New Zealand.”

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Illegal Logging Wreaking Havoc on Impoverished Rural Communities

Inter Press Services
December 1, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Rampant unsustainable logging in the southwest Pacific Island states of Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands, where the majority of land is covered in tropical rainforest, is worsening hardship, human insecurity and conflict in rural communities. Paul Pavol … told IPS that logging in the area had led to “permanent environmental damage of the soil and forests, which our communities depend on for their water, building materials, natural medicines and food.” …“We never gave our free, prior and informed consent to the Special Agricultural Business Leases that now cover our customary land … and we certainly did not give agreement to our land being given away for 99 years to a logging company,” Pavol stated.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

EPA Official Supports Biomass Exemptions from Greenhouse Gas Regulation

Waste360.com
December 1, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

A U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) official has recommended exempting whole classes of biomass fuels from proposed greenhouse gas regulation. The move by Janet McCabe, EPA acting assistant administrator for Air and Radiation, is contrary to the EPA’s revised draft framework for counting greenhouse gas emissions from biomass energy, according to an e-mail statement from Mary Booth, director of the environmental advocacy group Partnership for Policy Integrity. The McCabe memo indicates that waste-derived biomass and certain forest-derived industrial products will likely be exempted from regulation, and possibly “sustainably harvested” forest wood as well.

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Clemson scientists: Kudzu can release soil carbon, accelerate global warming

Pickens Sentinel
December 1, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Clemson University scientists are shedding new light on how invasion by exotic plant species affects the ability of soil to store greenhouse gases. The research could have far-reaching implications for how we manage agricultural land and native ecosystems. In a paper published in the scientific journal New Phytologist, plant ecologist Nishanth Tharayil and graduate student Mioko Tamura show that invasive plants can accelerate the greenhouse effect by releasing carbon stored in soil into the atmosphere. Since soil stores more carbon than both the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation combined, the repercussions for how we manage agricultural land and ecosystems to facilitate the storage of carbon could be dramatic.

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Louisiana Wood Pellet Plants Will Cater to Europe’s Energy Needs

Huffington Post
November 30, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Louisiana, an oil-and-gas state, is half covered by timber, making forest products a big business. Companies including Drax Biomass, Biomass Secure Power and German Pellets GmbH plan to churn out wood pellets from new plants here to meet Europe’s need for electricity and heat provided by renewable fuels. With its trees, waterways and ports, Louisiana can help quench a growing pellet thirst without deforesting the state, industry members said last week. U.S. pellet exports nearly doubled last year to 3.2 million short tons and headed mostly to Europe, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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Canberra’s “Carbon Klaus” combats climate change

Third Watch
December 2, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The Australian Forest Products Association chief executive officer Ross Hampton teamed up with Canberra business The Christmas Tree Truck to deliver real Christmas trees to Canberra charities on Friday. “I will be dressing as ‘Carbon Klaus,’ Hampton said. Hampton says those receiving the trees will enjoy a magnificent traditional Christmas smell and look in their offices this festive season and do a little bit for the environment.  “Each time we swap plastic and tinsel trees for the real thing, the carbon equation heads in the right direction. Even a dozen small trees like these will store about 200 kilograms of greenhouse gases,” he said.

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