Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 2, 2015

Business & Politics

Good Time for Forestry (radio)

CBC Radio
January 29, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

It’s been a while since anyone has expressed optimism about the forest industry in Ontario.

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Lumber sector counts its rings

Spruce Grove Examiner
January 30, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

While the decline in oil prices have some holding their breath, other industries — like forestry — are exhaling just fine. Thanks to a high demand for forestry exports, a weakened Canadian dollar and the climbing price of lumber, Canada’s forestry industry can count its rings as it’s expected to continue growing this year. Despite plummeting crude oil prices, which may pose a serious challenge to the oil industry, Canada’s forestry sector’s confidence has boomed, said David Lindsay, president and CEO of Forest Products Association of Canada. “The forestry sector saw 10 per cent growth in export sales last year … and employs about 200,000 employees across Canada,” Lindsay said, which is a trend he is optimistic will continue.

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Nova Scotia pulp mill will challenge new pollution limits

Canadian Press
January 30, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada


A pulp mill in Nova Scotia that has come under fire for exceeding pollution limits plans to challenge a new industrial permit that calls for tighter restrictions on emissions and water consumption. Bruce Chapman, general manager at the Northern Pulp mill near Pictou, says the new five-year provincial permit is unacceptable because it threatens the long-term viability of the mill. “It really goes beyond where the standard is for much of the industry,” he said in an interview on Friday. The regulations “don’t put us on a level playing field with other mills,” said Chapman, who declined to be more specific.

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The upsides of a down dollar

Chronicle Journal
February 2, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Would a 70-cent Canadian dollar be a god-send for Northwestern Ontario, or simply set the stage for another monumental economic collapse? The short-term benefits in the wake of a crippling recession have been plain to see, having been in effect for many months during the loonie’s tumble against a surging American greenback. Resurrected lumber mills selling into the U.S. can’t churn out two-by-fours and other dimensions fast enough. As the dollar slipped under 80 cents US last week, lumber companies got paid a lot more than when e dollar was at par about a year ago. White River, which saw its lumber mill shut down for six years, is facing a different kind of dilemma: it can’t attract enough people to fill all the jobs

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Plum Creek to close Meridian mill, eliminating 61 jobs

Idaho Statesman
January 30, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Plum Creek Timber Company announced it will close its Meridian lumber remanufacturing mill, putting 61 employees out of work. The mill produces softwood boards and edge glued panels. The property, which Plum Creek has owned and operated the mill since 1998, will be put up for sale midyear, the company said in a release. Plum Creek will offer severance packages to employees, the release said. Employees were given a 60-day advance warning about the closure, the company said. Based in Seattle, Plum Creek owns more than 6 million acres of timberlands in 19 states and operates wood product mills in the Northwest

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Verso official says Bucksport mill sale finalized

WCSH6.com
January 30, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BUCKSPORT, Maine — Officials with Verso Paper announced Friday the sale of the Bucksport Mill and adjoining power plant to a Canadian metal recycling company has been finalized. Late last year, Verso Paper announced it would be closing the mill and selling it to a subsidiary of American Iron and Metal. The sale to AIM development had been legally challenged by a union at the mill, citing antitrust laws. The International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers hoped to block the sale and find a buyer who would be interested in restarting it.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Responsible Reclaimed Teak: Pioneer Millworks Donates Portion of Sales to Help Indigenous People of Borneo

Press Release Rocket
January 31, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

At Pioneer Millworks 1% of all reclaimed Teak sales are donated to conservation causes in Indonesia and Malaysia. The 2015 recipient was the Borneo Project who for 30 years has been working with indigenous people on the island of Borneo to fight ill-advised dam projects and other causes of the loss of their habitat. “When we made the decision to carry reclaimed Teak products we first confirmed the working and manufacturing conditions in the production facility met our high standards for ethical treatment of people and planet,” explains Jonathan Orpin, owner and founder of Pioneer Millworks. 

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Opinion: A preventable blaze?

North Jersey
February 1, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Under non-fire conditions, cost-effective, engineered floor and roof trusses generally have proved to be a reliable structural building element. However, under fire conditions, the opposite is true. IN THE AFTERMATH of the incredibly destructive fire at the Avalon at Edgewater apartment complex, many people are asking the question: How could a plumber’s torch lead to such utter devastation? Ask most firefighters and they will cite three potential factors: lightweight wood frame construction, a partial fire sprinkler system and lack of effective fire barriers. It is hoped that an investigation will establish the specific role of each of these possibilities.

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Owners of Edgewater complex hit with $5M federal lawsuit over blaze

NJ Advance
January 30, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

NEWARK — Tenants displaced when an Edgewater apartment complex went up in flames this month filed a $5 million federal class action lawsuit yesterday that accuses complex owners of using wood prone to fire during construction. Alessandro DeMarco and his wife, Amanda Bayer, filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court on behalf of themselves and more than 1,000 others displaced by the 7-alarm fire at Avalon at Edgewater on Jan. 21. The lawsuit is believed to be the first filed against AvalonBay Communities in federal court. Two others have been filed against the company in state Superior Court in Bergen County.

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Forestry

Opinion: Provincial protection of Bighorn region a must for both wildlife and humans

Edmonton Journal
February 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Today, residents of Edmonton and surrounding communities have a rare opportunity to ensure that a land-use planning process currently underway by the provincial government provides greater flood protection and secures the source of water for millions of Albertans….An indisputable body of scientific evidence shows tha, for their long-term survival, wide-ranging species such as at-risk grizzly bears and wolverines require a system of interconnected protected areas. These connections must provide sufficient habitat to allow species to move to seek food and mates, while supporting appropriate human use and development.

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VIU Awards Honorary Doctorate to Canadian Forest Entomologist

Vancouver Island University
January 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver Island University (VIU) bestowed its highest academic distinction upon one of Canada’s best known forest entomologists for his accomplishments and contributions in science. Dr. C.S. (Buzz) Holling, who specializes in the scientific study of insects, received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree at VIU’s January convocation ceremony at the Port Theatre in Nanaimo on January 30, 2015. Dr. Holling is a Professor in Ecological Sciences at the University of Florida. With an international reputation for his work in the management of natural resources,

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Comox Valley residents dreading more heavy rain

Two lengthy boil-water orders have residents on edge
Vancouver Sun
February 1, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Comox Valley residents are drinking water straight from the tap for the first time in more than six weeks, but many are watching the weather forecast in dread of the next heavy rain. …Some area residents have been quick to lay blame for poor water quality on local logging operations, especially the area’s biggest landholder TimberWest, which owns 60 per cent of the watershed. Letters to local newspapers — and even rants posted online — blame clearcuts and helicopter logging on steep slopes for the volume of sediment that flowed into Comox Lake, sentiments that were intensified by aerial photographs taken for the City of Courtenay on Dec. 10 that showed cloudy water entering the lake from the Cruikshank River.

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Pierrefonds development a mistake, says David Suzuki Foundation

February 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


Environmental groups and Montreal’s official opposition are speaking out against a proposed land development in northwestern Pierrefonds that would see a forest turned into a residential housing project. Last week, the City of Montreal announced its intention to develop the chunk of land between Cap-Saint-Jacques and the end of Pierrefonds Boulevard on Montreal’s West Island. The proposal was outlined in the city’s 10-year plan. Pierrefonds mayor Dimitrios Jim Beis confirmed the land will be turned into low-density residential housing. He estimates 5,000 to 6,000 new homes will be built.

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Rare lichen discovered on P.E.I.

Lichens important for tracking impact of climate change, says Troy McMullin
CBC News
February 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A recent survey of lichens on Prince Edward Island found a specimen that has been collected in North America just a handful of times. …“We added 66 new species that had not been recorded from the Island previously,” said Troy McMullin, a lichenologist from the University of Guelph. “One of them was a species [Sclerophora amabilis] that’s been collected, it looks to me, about seven times in North America, ever. They came from an area that was along the Percival River, which is probably the most undeveloped region in P.E.I.”

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MAITLAND BRIDGE: Province backs new model of managing crown land

Daily Business Buzz – Nova Scotia
January 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MAITLAND BRIDGE – The province has given the green light to a three-year pilot project to create the first community forest in Eastern Canada. Zach Churchill, Minister of Natural Resources, signed an agreement with Medway Community Forest Co-operative Ltd. on Jan. 30, approving a $274,000 project that will create a community forest in the Medway District formerly owned by Bowater Mersey and bought by the government. “Government wants our forests managed in ways that bring us economic, environmental and social benefits,” said Churchill. “This pilot project is a key part of that mix.”

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Local environmental group asking government to prevent clear-cutting on Pictou County Crown land

The New Glasgow News
February 1, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

SCOTSBURN – While members of the Friends of Redtail Society are happy that a tract of land near their lands has been designated as a protected area, they wish the provincial government would do more to safeguard other adjacent lands. “It is good news that critical bear, moose and fisher habitat is safe at least for a while,” says FRS chairperson Tom Miller. “But it is ironic, even mindboggling, that habitat next to and intimately connected with the new reserve, despite having been already heavily impacted by past industrial activities, is now slated to be once again subjected to status quo forestry under the Crown license, with the blessing of Minister (Zach) Churchill and DNR.”

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Pierrefonds development a mistake, says David Suzuki Foundation

February 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada


Environmental groups and Montreal’s official opposition are speaking out against a proposed land development in northwestern Pierrefonds that would see a forest turned into a residential housing project. Last week, the City of Montreal announced its intention to develop the chunk of land between Cap-Saint-Jacques and the end of Pierrefonds Boulevard on Montreal’s West Island. The proposal was outlined in the city’s 10-year plan. Pierrefonds mayor Dimitrios Jim Beis confirmed the land will be turned into low-density residential housing. He estimates 5,000 to 6,000 new homes will be built.

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Forests At Risk from Secret Trade Deal

New Zealand Scoop
February 1, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, International

Outrage in the US at the secret approval of genetically engineered (GE) trees could see New Zealand companies implicated in an industry-wide effort to keep the public in the dark. The New Zealand Forest Research Institute, now operating as Scion, has been engineering trees for 12 years. …ArborGen is a private company, 31.67% owned by Rubicon New Zealand and has engineered numerous GE saplings in containment for export. …”The US EPA has given permission for ArborGen to plant these trees ‘under the radar’,” said Jon Carapiet, national spokesman for GE-Free NZ.

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Beetle kill prompts tree removal on MacDonald Pass

Helena Independent Record
January 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

NorthWestern Energy will begin work next week to clear beetle-killed trees near a two-mile stretch of power lines on MacDonald Pass. Falling trees have increasingly knocked out residential power and forced emergency services to use backup generators to run communications towers on the pass. “We’ve had a fair amount of problems on that line,” said NorthWestern spokesman Butch Larcombe. “As more of that beetle kill falls over we’ve seen a lot of outages. It’s getting worse.” Outages have affected residential customers in the Elliston area and power to radio, TV and emergency dispatch towers on the pass.

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Oregon Truffle Hunters Persist Despite New Regulations

Oregon Public Broadcasting
January 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

February is a good month for truffle hunting in Oregon’s forests. Black truffles are just coming into season, and ripe white truffles are still plentiful. The fungus can sell for $300 a pound or more, but this year truffle hunters say they’ve been shut out of some of their favorite spots.  Professional forager Eric Lyon leads a big black labrador into a stand of Douglas fir trees near the town of Banks. …This year, however, he’s struggling to find places to forage. Some of the best truffle territory is on privately owned tree farms in the coast range, and last year the Oregon Board of Forestry passed rules requiring truffle hunters to get permits. 

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Regulators: Oregon logging rules don’t protect fish, water

Associated Press
January 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — Federal regulators ruled Friday that Oregon logging rules do not sufficiently protect fish and water from pollution caused by clear-cutting too close to streams, runoff from old logging roads, landslides and sites sprayed with pesticides. NOAA Fisheries Service and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency filed their decision in a long-running negotiation with Oregon over meeting the standards of the Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Program, a provision of the National Coastal Zone Management Program. The ruling was triggered by a lawsuit filed by environmentalists. Oregon is the first state cited for failing to meet the pollution standards since the program started in 1990. The state could lose access to some federal grants until the problems are fixed.

Feds Rule Oregon’s Not Protecting Coastal Waters from logging from Oregon Public Broadcasting
Feds reject Oregon’s coastal pollution plan, could impose financial sanctions from The Oregonian

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Where to sled? U.S. Forest Service adopts new snowmobile management rules

The Missoulian
January 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new U.S. Forest Service policy requires the agency to get specific about where snowmobiles can and can’t go on public lands. The rule, published in the Federal Register late last week, should spur better map-making for winter use areas on national forests. It comes in the wake of a 2013 Idaho District Court ruling that found the Forest Service gave too much discretion to local officials on whether to actively manage winter motorized activity.

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Forest Service Releases Final Land Management Planning Framework

Sit News
February 1, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U.S. Forest Service announced availability of final planning directives, a key set of agency guidance documents that directs land managers’ implementation of the 2012 planning rule. A product of significant public input, this new framework guides development of land management plans that ensure sustainable ecosystems and promote vibrant communities. Public input into both the proposed planning directives and 2012 planning rule played a critical role in helping the agency design an approach to planning that is adaptive and effective. The agency sought public comment on proposed planning directives in February, 2013. Over 16,000 comments representing diverse communities and interests from across the country shaped the final planning directives.

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Forests for the Future

Huffington Post
January 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Will a high level meeting taking place in London today add momentum to efforts to save the world’s remaining tropical forests? While for years we’ve become accustomed to believing that the clearance of the world’s tropical forests is a necessary price we must pay for progress and to generate the revenues needed to fight poverty, a meeting hosted by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales in London today will hear a quite different message: namely, that if we don’t keep the forests then it’s not only wildlife that will suffer, but human societies too, and not just those living in and around the forests, but right around the world.

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Safety still key for forestry sector

Radio New Zealand
February 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Ten workers died in forestry accidents that year as logging activity peaked, triggering last year’s Independent Forest Safety Review which made wide ranging recommendations for improving safety standards. Forest Industry Contractors chief executive John Stulen said the review brought with it a huge improvement in the accident and injury rate. “The industry really changed its behaviour and became a lot more aware of safety, each and every day, which resulted in only one death, in January 2014,” he said.

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Labour promises to protect public forests

Maria Eagle accuses David Cameron of overseeing decline in the natural environment and pledges to make green space more accessible
The Guardian
February 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Labour will pitch itself as the party that will protect nature and the British countryside this week, with a promise to prevent publicly owned forests from being sold. In a speech at an RSPB nature reserve on Tuesday, shadow environment secretary Maria Eagle is expected to attack the coalition for overseeing a decline in the UK’s natural environment and to pledge to give more people access to green space. Former Tory environment secretary, Caroline Spelman, was forced into a u-turn over plans to sell-off England’s public forest estate in 2011 following a campaign by green groups and a petition signed by more than half a million people.

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When is a forest a forest? How definitions affect monitoring

Mongabay.com
January 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

“We live in a world of constant beta,” explains James Anderson, communications officer for the World Resources Institute’s (WRI) Forests program. Nearly every week features are tweaked on the Global Forest Watch (GFW) platform, an innovative mapping system that allows users to track changes in global forest extent, among other features. Constant innovation in technological capability as well as broad social engagement, allowing for more on the ground verification, keep GFW on the cutting edge of forest monitoring. However, one fundamental thing remains elusive: what exactly is a forest?

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Three beloved British trees in running for European title

Voting opens this weekend in the European Tree of the Year poll, with three UK entries vying for the title with entries from 11 other countries.
Horticulture Week
January 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International


Run by the Czech-based Environmental Partnership Association, the competition is now in its fifth year. England is represented by the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest Country Park, Nottinghamshire, which won the Woodland Trust’s England Tree of the Year competition last year. Famous for its associations with Robin Hood, it is thought to be between 800 and 1,000 years old. Scotland’s nomination is Lady’s Tree, a 100-year-old Scots pine at the Loch of the Lowes reserve in Perthshire, which has been home to a famous osprey known as Lady for the last 24 years.

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Guyana Forestry Commission defends 21 percent increase in log exports

Kaieteur News
January 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Commission made the statement yesterday over recent media reports which suggested that a “national tragedy” is taking place after revelations that there is a 21 percent increase in total production. With increased scrutiny over logging in Guyana’s forests especially with a US$250M agreement with Norway which mandates this country to control its deforestation rates, GFC has been under pressure to defend its monitoring as the government’s regulator.

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Cheap drones could revolutionize forest monitoring, but turbulence ahead

CIFOR
February 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LIMA, Peru—Sending small unmanned drones to fly over tropical forests has great potential for enhancing community-based forest monitoring—and in measuring carbon for climate change mitigation efforts, experts said at an event on the sidelines of the recent UN climate conference. “They can monitor and measure many things, including carbon; they are fast; they’re cheap; they’re immediate—and they will save an enormous amount of drudgery and labor,” said Michael McCall, a senior researcher at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) and one of the authors of a new paper on the subject. .

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood Pellets Are Big Business (And For Some, a Big Worry)

Forbes
February 1, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

It’s a good time to be in the American wood pellet business. Dozens of manufacturers, increasingly concentrated in the Southeast, are now approaching production of 10 million annual short tons of wood pellets — ostensibly made from the leftovers at lumber mills or from the branches, slash and other woody material found on the forest floor. Another 6 million short tons of capacity is now planned or under construction, according to industry data, making the U.S. the single largest wood pellet producer in the world. To a large extent, these pellets will end up as fuel for massive municipal boilers in Europe, where wood is increasingly replacing coal as a means of producing heat and electricity — a move that many governments there consider comparatively clean and climate-friendly. 

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Obama’s Climate Plan Could Threaten U.S. Forests

Politico Magazine
January 29, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

President Obama’s signature environmental initiative, his Clean Power Plan, is designed to fight climate change and crack down on America’s carbon-emitting power plants. But behind the scenes, a dispute is raging over obscure language that could promote the rapid destruction of America’s carbon-storing forests. This highly technical but consequential fight over the Environmental Protection Agency’s approach to “bioenergy”—energy derived from trees, crops, or other plants—has gotten lost in the larger hubbub over the Obama plan’s impact on coal, and the potential upheaval in an electricity sector that will be forced to rein in its greenhouse-gas emissions for the first time.

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City sees carbon credits as forest revenue source

Capital Press
January 30, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

ASTORIA, Ore. — In an innovative trade-off, Astoria has agreed not to aggressively harvest timber in the Bear Creek watershed over the next decade in return for carbon credits that could help industrial polluters offset carbon-dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change. The city is partnering with The Climate Trust, a Portland nonprofit that would purchase the carbon credits. Utilities with fossil-fuel driven power plants pay the trust to find projects that offset pollution and meet the requirements of Oregon’s landmark emission standards law. By committing to a less aggressive timber harvest at Bear Creek, Astoria could receive about $358,750 in carbon credits after expenses this year and about $130,000 annually for the next nine years.

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Lakeview’s biofuel plant moves ahead

$200 million project would cause economic ripple effect
Herald and News
January 30, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Plans to develop a $200 million biofuel refinery in Lakeview are moving forward. Red Rock Biofuels is working with Lake County, the town of Lakeview and state agencies to receive approvals to build a biomass plant south of Lakeview. The plant would produce fuel for military and private sector transportation under the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Protection Act. If approved, up to 140,000 tons of woody biomass from Fremont-Winema National Forest and private forestlands within a 50-mile radius will be converted annually into 12 million gallons of jet and diesel fuel for the U.S. Air Force and Southwest Airlines. The plant would be located on 90 acres south of the county industrial park. It would employ about 25 people and generate 70 to 109 related jobs.

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Our View: Wood-fired steam plant at SOU makes sense

Mail Tribune
February 1, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Southern Oregon University’s proposal to replace natural gas-fired boilers with a wood-burning unit has ignited a backlash among some residents and others who claim the move would increase air pollution and truck traffic through Ashland. We think the critics are misinformed and their criticism misplaced. SOU relies on inefficient, 50-year-old gas-fired boilers to create steam that is used to heat campus buildings. …Wood fuel is readily available from logging slash and non-merchantable timber removed from nearby lands through forest restoration projects, mill residue and urban wood waste. Much of this material is now burned in open piles, emitting plumes of smoke easily visible above the mountains surrounding Ashland and the Rogue Valley.

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Europe’s biomass boom will increase US forest sizes, study finds

Click Green
January 30, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Europe’s demand for wood pellets to generate renewable bioenergy will lead to an increase in US forestland as timber exports rise, according to US Forest Service scientists. A new study finds that policies in the European Union and elsewhere requiring the use of renewable and low greenhouse gas-emitting energy are driving demand for wood pellets used in the generation of biomass energy. This demand could provide lucrative new markets for US timber exports, increase wood prices, and lead to substantial increases of forested areas.

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