Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 10, 2015

Froggy Foibles

Reviving The Lost Art Of Logrolling

Oregon Public Broadcasting
February 3, 2015
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States


Considered by many to be the sole purview of lumberjacks, the competitive sport of log rolling — in which participants pad about on a log in water and try to outlast one another – is hoping for new growth. A recent film, Queens of the Roleo by David Bryant Jones, won Best Documentary at the 2014 Central Oregon Film festival and will be featured at the Spokane International Film Festival this weekend. Log rolling is a main event – for women and men – at the Lumberjack World Championships in Hayward, Wisc., every summer. Timber twirling tournaments, according to the United States Log Rolling Association, are scheduled in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Montana and Washington in the coming months.

Read More

Business & Politics

Hayden King: First Nations crisis is about land. We need a new settlement

Globe and Mail
February 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee haven’t always been the best of friends. Still, in hundreds of years of conflict, peace and diplomacy, we figured out how to live and work together on the land. One of the most potent symbols of that relationship is the agreement known as the Dish with One Spoon. This pragmatic arrangement recognized that even as distinct nations, we can share the same territory. But we need to acknowledge our mutual obligations to ensure the dish is always full, “as long as the world stands,” as my relative Misko Ki (Red Earth) once said. Importantly, there are no forks or knives at the table with which we can stab each other, just a spoon that we share.

Read More

Sawlog prices fell throughout North America due to reduced lumber production and slowing log exports to Asia

IHB The Timber Network
February 9, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Sawlog prices were generally lower in the 3Q/14 than in the same quarter in 2013 in most of the major log-consuming regions of the US and Canada. A noticeable decrease in log exports from Western US and lower production in the sawmilling sector resulted in declining prices for domestically consumed Douglas-fir and hemlock sawlogs for the second straight quarter in the 3Q/14. Despite the price declines during the latter half of 2014, the average log prices for the year were among the highest over the past decade. In late 2014, log costs for the region’s sawmills were almost double those that sawmills had to pay in 2009 just after the crash of the housing market in the US.

Read More

Domtar’s diaper business ready for a change

Canadian Press
February 9, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

MONTREAL—Domtar says its diaper business is about to reach a turning point where cost savings from new production lines will begin to drive higher earnings. Chief executive John Williams said he’s disappointed that it has taken longer than expected to ramp-up five new production lines at three locations. But he anticipates costs will fall and margins will begin to improve in the second quarter as it shifts from outsourcing production to making more of its own adult incontinent products. “We’ve built the base, we’re getting more stability, our product offering is resonating with the customer so, going forward, I ‘m feeling pretty good about it actually,” he said February 6 during a conference call to discuss Domtar’s 2014 results.

Read More

Canfor announces shift reduction at Canal Flats saw mill

Kimberly Daily Bulletin
February 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Canal Flats saw mill will begin operating on one shift as of May 4, 2015, Canfor has confirmed. Corinne Stavness from the corporate head office in Toronto says that due to a lack of economically available fibre in the region, the saw mill will go from two shifts to one. “This reduction will affect 81 Canal Flats-based employees, all of whom will be offered positions elsewhere in the company,” Stavness said. “The Canfor executive and management teams recognize that this decision will involve great personal cost to employees at our Canal Flats mill. Unfortunately, the available fibre supply in the region is not sufficient to support the processing capacity and we must make this reduction.

Read More

Resolute Celebrates Ground-Breaking MOA with Six First Nations – Memorandum of Agreement Has Resulted in $100M in New Aboriginal Business

Canada Newswire press release
February 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTRÉAL  – Resolute Forest Products Inc. and six First Nations Chiefs today held an official signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that sets out a framework for negotiating business agreements related to the company’s sawmill investments in Northwestern Ontario. In attendance at the signing, hosted by Resolute, were Chief Mainville of Couchiching First Nation, Chief Klyne of Seine River First Nation, Chief Windego of Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation, Chief Henderson of Mitaanjigamiing First Nation, Chief Jordan of Lac La Croix First Nation and Chief White Cloud of Lac des Milles Lacs First Nation, as well as the Honourable Bill Mauro, MPP for Thunder Bay-Atikokan and Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Read More

Bitterroot log home industry seeing rebound

NBC Montana
February 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

VICTOR, Mont. –  There’s evidence the Bitterroot’s custom log home industry continues to pull out of the recession. Montana Idaho Log and Timber, south of Victor, forecasts 2015 will be the best year since 2007.  At its peak, Montana Idaho employed 22 people. It’s now back up to 14 workers. The company stayed afloat during the recession, often by doing remodel jobs. It’s owner, Jim Cain, said he sees a turn around, especially with wealthier clients who disappeared when the financial bubble burst. “We’re booked out six, eight weeks, which is unusual,” said Cain. “We were always booked out two, three weeks, four weeks. But now we’re getting extended further out there. The quality of the projects, and the size of the projects is increasing.”

Read More

Madison Paper employees returning to work

Concerns remain about the long-term future of the mill as workers come back after a two-week layoff.
Central Maine
February 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MADISON — Employees at Madison Paper Industries will be returning to work at the mill early next week following a temporary shut-down that left about 110 people out of work for two weeks. Workers will be called back to the mill beginning Monday. It will take a few days before production is back to normal, according to UPM President Russ Drechsel. The mill, owned by UPM Paper Europe & North America, has not been producing paper since Jan. 24. …Andrea Maker, spokeswoman for the Maine Pulp and Paper Association, said she could not comment specifically on the situation at Madison Paper but she conceded that the paper industry is generally struggling.

Read More

Asia Plantation Capital: The Way Ahead for Investments in Today’s Market

PR Newswire
February 9, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SINGAPORE — Asia Plantation Capital has been changing the face of alternative investments for both institutional and retail investors, by providing managed forestry, agricultural, and plantation services for more than a decade. After the financial crisis of 2008 and the current fall in oil prices, investors are looking increasingly into alternative funds that are stable, and yet provide high returns. Forestry investments have recently seen an uptick in interest from pension funds, private equity investments, insurance companies and retail investors, due to the long term horizons which actually help weather economic crises better than short term investments.

Read More

Rainforest Alliance audit confirms Jakarta deforestation unchecked

Phys.org
February 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Two years after Asia Pulp & Paper (APP) announced a new “forest conservation” policy, APP’s pledge to halt forest clearing has held, but its forests are still disappearing. A Rainforest Alliance audit released today confirmed the findings by WWF and local NGOs that APP is failing to stop deforestation and illegal activities in its concessions by other parties, even in areas already identified by the company as containing high conservation values and carbon stocks. “APP has halted its own forest clearing and embarked on a wide array of assessments in its concessions,” said Aditya Bayunanda, Forest Commodity Leader WWF-Indonesia.

Forestry giant’s zero deforestation committment put to test from Mongabay
APP’s Deforestation Efforts Make “Moderate Progress:’ Environmentalists from The Wall Street Journal

Read More

Rainforest Alliance claims paper industry helps conservation.

Earth Times
February 10, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International


When 2 opposing forces can be presented alongside each other, sometimes all becomes a lot clearer. In the case of The Rainforest Alliance and the Asia Pulp and Paper company (APP), perhaps you will agree. The Alliance audited all of the pledges made by this beleaguered deforester and came up with quite a result. 2013 saw the APP presenting a Forest Conservation Policy in response to conservationists who really would rather it just gave up. Those tropical rainforests are almost lost and constitute perhaps the most precious resource on earth. We just can?t price it! Pulping paper from wood or growing monocultures of oil palms just seems sensible if you look at the profits.

Read More

Wood, Paper & Green Building

How fire-resistant are our new buildings?

A devastating fire at AvalonBay Communities development in Edgewater, N.J. raised questions about the fire safety measures built into local, new construction.
lohud.com
February 8, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A fire at AvalonBay Communities’ development in Edgewater, New Jersey, that destroyed more than half of a 408-unit complex raised questions about the fire safety measures built into new construction. …The Avalon in Edgewater had sprinklers in its hallways and inside the apartments, but not in the uninhabited roof and attic areas where the fire spread. No one was killed in the Jan. 21 fire, which was started by workers using a torch and reportedly spread for several minutes before the workers called 911. New York has a variety of rules for what types of construction materials can be used. Some blame for the Edgewater fire was put on lightweight building materials like prefabricated wood, which New York’s building code allows.

Read More

Forestry

Petition launched to halt Mt. Macpherson logging

Revelstoke Times Review
February 9, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A petition has been launched calling for a halt to logging on Mt. Macpherson “until a publicly acceptable solution is found that considers and legally protects all values and interests (recreational, quality of life, economic) in the area.” The petition was posted to Change.org on Monday. It asks the City of Revelstoke, Columbia Shuswap Regional District and provincial government engage with local stakeholders regarding the future management of the Macpherson area. The Times Review reported in September that sections of Mt. Macpherson are slated to be logged by BC Timber Sales in 2016. The harvesting would impact several mountain biking and cross-country ski trails.

Read More

Modern woodsmen competition steeped in century-old techniques

Chronicle Herald
February 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As the young forest technology student shoved and hauled the long saw at the Rick Russell Woodsmen Competition in Bible Hill on Saturday, her tiring arms worked a piece of human ingenuity that replaced a much more miserable tool for felling trees — the axe. …Around her, 200 athletes from seven colleges and universities were rolling logs, throwing double-sided axes, climbing poles, wielding chainsaws, splitting junks of poplar and hauling on bucksaws. …Forestry has changed hugely since the days of bucksaws and axes. The students competing Saturday learn about all aspects of the forest ecosystem, along with how to wield chainsaws.

Read More

Woodland caribou study finds herds face trouble in remote areas

CBC News
February 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

As northern Ontario’s woodland caribou numbers continue to dwindle, an environmental watchdog says the province needs to step up to protect the remaining population. The Wildlands League is applauding the release of a Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry report on the state of the woodland caribou. Spokesperson Anna Baggio said the report provides a lot of information about the northern Ontario herd, but says much of the data within the document is troubling. The report shows woodland caribou — a species designated as threatened — faces trouble in even the most remote areas, including near the Ring of Fire in the James Bay lowlands.

Read More

Forest officials change tactics as beetle epidemic wanes

Associated Press
February 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

CHEYENNE — National forest officials in Colorado and Wyoming said Monday that they plan to reopen more campgrounds and change tactics as a massive outbreak of mountain pine beetles wanes. Workers will now turn their attention more toward removing dead trees to prevent them from exacerbating wildfires, Medicine Bow-Routt National Forest Supervisor Dennis Jaeger said. “How can we get some of the dead lodgepole that still has market value out of the woods?” said Jaeger, whose forest straddles the Wyoming-Colorado line about 120 miles northwest of Denver. Trees killed by beetles have largely been removed from popular recreation spots and near roads.

Read More

National forests one of America’s greatest ideas, don’t dismantle it

Helena Independent Record
February 9, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

America has always been a country of big, revolutionary ideas. Great examples are the Constitution and Bill of Rights, which worked in concert to establish a form of government that serves as a beacon of freedom in the world and a model for other countries to follow. Similarly, the Forest Reserve Act was such a revolutionary idea. Passed in 1891, it allowed presidents to set aside land for the public. Within the first decade, nearly 40 million acres had been put into the Forest Reserve System. This visionary act of conservation came at a time when commercial interests in the East were consuming timber lands on that side of the Mississippi at an alarming rate, destroying watersheds and wildlife habitat that entire communities depended on. 

Read More

Other Views: Overhaul the national firefighting budget

Corvallis Gazette-Times
February 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Congress is back in session and so lawmakers are giving the usual lip service to working together in a bipartisan manner. May we suggest one place to start? Last week, a group of U.S. senators from both parties introduced a common-sense solution to overhaul the way we pay for the largest wildfires on federal lands. It’s a measure that should have passed last session, but became yet another victim of what became the least-effective Congress in memory. The bill, sponsored by Oregon Sen. Ron Wyden (a Democrat) and Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo (a Republican), essentially would treat the biggest wildfires as natural disasters. Federal agencies currently base wildland fire suppression budgets on the average costs of the last 10 years.

Read More

New Farm Bill Program to Help Protect Longleaf’s Legacy for Future Generations

USDA Blog
February 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

…USDA and our many conservation partners are working to restore longleaf forests, and we’ve seen significant progress in the recent years. Now, a new Farm Bill program, the Regional Conservation Partnership Program, or RCPP, is providing additional support to the effort. RCPP puts our partners – landowners, conservation organizations, states and others — in the driver’s seat by allowing them to develop projects that utilize USDA dollars to leverage additional support for conservation. Some of RCPP’s funding is dedicated to priority landscapes, or what we call critical conservation areas. The Longleaf Pine Range is one of those areas.

Read More

Conservation collaborators get clobbered

by George Ochenski
The Missoulian
February 9, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The halcyon days of the Montana Wilderness Association and its fellow collaborator organizations singing Kumbaya with timber companies and Congress came to an end last week when Montana’s newly elected U.S. Sen. Steve Daines cast a series of votes that were diametrically opposed to wilderness and conservation. Given that Daines’ overall voting record with the League of Conservation Voters is 4 percent, one might wonder just what the collaborators expected would happen when Daines hit the Senate.

Read More

Sierra is burning hotter; Congress must cool it off

Merced Sun-Star
February 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Alarm bells might still be ringing in Sacramento due to the “state of emergency” declared last August by Gov. Jerry Brown as more than a dozen wildfires were blazing through California forests. Two months later, the King fire in the El Dorado National Forest became the fiery finale of one of California’s most challenging wildfire seasons. An eye-popping 47 percent of the 98,000-acre King fire burned at “high severity.” Incredibly, 50,000 acres burned in a single day. “High severity” is the worst category in fire-rating system, meaning that “complete fuel consumption” has occurred and 70 percent of “top-soil” vegetation has been destroyed. In the 1980s, California wildfires reached “high severity” only across 20 percent of their areas. By 2010, that was up to 30 percent.

Read More

Evacuations remain after wildfire chars California towns

Associated Press
February 9, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SWALL MEADOWS, Calif.  — Four firefighters were injured battling a wind-driven wildfire that ravaged communities along the eastern slope of the Sierra Nevada and destroyed 40 homes in an area that could see more wildfires as the state enters its fourth year of drought. As the fire headed into a fourth day Monday, more than 200 people were still under orders to stay away from their homes in Swall Meadows and nearby Paradise, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Capt. Liz Brown said. People whose homes were not destroyed could be allowed back in as early as Monday afternoon, Brown said. The firefighters’ injuries were minor, she said.

Read More

Spruce Beetle Hits More Colorado Forests; Pine Beetle Slows

Associated Press
February 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

DENVER — One type of tree-killing beetle is attacking Colorado forests at a faster pace, but another is slowing down, mostly because it’s running out of live trees to infest, officials said Friday. The twin epidemics of mountain pine beetles and spruce beetles have struck a total of 7,500 square miles of forests in Colorado since 1996, leaving large swaths a dull, rusty brown. Young, healthy trees are appearing in some areas, forest managers said. An annual aerial survey of 44,000 square miles by the U.S. Forest Service and Colorado State Forest Service found the spruce beetle outbreak grew quickly last year. It was active on nearly 760 square miles, compared with fewer than 625 square miles in 2013.

Aerial survey shows pine beetles waning, but spruce beetles continue to spread across Colorado forests from Summit County Voice

Read More

Public lands: Transfer unconstitutional, wasteful

Letter by Max Mclaughlin
The Missoulian
February 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

State Sen. Jennifer Fielder, R-Thompson Falls, seems to think that Montana can just magically take over 27 million acres of federal land in the state. But her repeated assertions that this is the only solution “big enough” to solve federal land management problems is shortsighted, unrealistic and most of all, illegal. ..Not only has Fielder done no analysis of the costs of managing these lands, she’s also failed to look into the fact that this issue has been tested in court several times, and found to be unconstitutional. Tell Fielder and any other state legislator considering this crazy scheme to stop playing games and get serious about real solutions to federal land issues.

Read More

EDITORIAL: Counties deserve fair compensation for federal lands

The Missoulian
February 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It may not seem like much to Congress, but $389,000 is a lot of money in Missoula County. So is $725,000 in Ravalli County, and $2.4 million in Lincoln County. …Today’s Congress seems to have lost sight of the original purpose of these funds. When the national forest system was created, the Forest Service started paying counties that contained these federal lands 25 percent of its logging revenues. This was done in recognition of the fact that counties could never collect taxes on national forest lands, but still had to pay for necessities such as roads and schools. However, after logging on federal forests fell precipitously, Congress began offering counties the option of receiving a three-year average of payments instead of the 25 percent collected from timber sales.

Read More

Thompson Falls lawmaker presents bill transferring federal land management to state

The Missoulian
February 9, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA – The contentious issue of transferring management of federal lands to the state got its first airing at the 2015 Legislature Monday, as a Republican senator presented her bill to prevent the state from selling any transferred land. Sen. Jennifer Fielder of Thompson Falls, a leading proponent of the transfer, said her Senate Bill 215 counters the argument from opponents that the transfer would lead to a sell-off of federal public lands. “There is no question in my mind that the public lands would remain public,” she told the Senate Natural Resources Committee. “This would put into law a prohibition to sell (these lands).”

Read More

East Millinocket gears up to tackle North Woods national park question

Bangor Daily News
February 9, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

EAST MILLINOCKET, Maine — Selectmen will respond in two weeks to independent U.S. Sen. Angus King’s request for a list of town requirements for possible federal legislation creating a North Woods national park, the board’s chairman said Monday. …East Millinocket residents voted overwhelmingly against a proposed national park feasibility study in 2011, joining several recreational and forest products industry groups, Gov. Paul LePage, state government, the Penobscot County board of commissioners and several municipalities. Opponents fear a park would bring unwelcome federal authority into Maine, cramp the state’s forest products industries, limit sportsmen’s access, create only low-paying jobs and grow far beyond 150,000 acres.

Read More

Big Ivy draws big crowd in talk over logging

Asheville Citizen-Times
February 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BARNARDSVILLE – If a U.S. Forest Service meeting in the Big Ivy community is any indication, the collaboration the agency hopes to foster looks a lot like an abandoned mountain road — uphill, winding and pitted, but passable. Probably. More than 200 people packed into the Big Ivy Community Center on Thursday to ask questions of Forest Service officials about the future of their corner of the Pisgah National Forest. Officials later estimated that 75 people showed up who could not fit inside the crowded venue. Mostly, the standing-room only crowd wanted to talk logging.

Read More

Oak wilt fight among top goals for Michigan forest managers

Associated Press
February 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

LANSING, Mich. – Officials say controlling a tree disease called oak wilt was among top priorities for managers of Michigan’s forests last year. The Department of Natural Resources describes its battle against the threat to red oaks in a new report on the health of the state’s 20 million forest acres. Workers installed tens of thousands of feet of root graft barriers on state land. The barriers prevent oak wilt from moving to healthy trees through infected root systems. The report also discusses other illnesses and insects that have threatened forests over the past year and what the department is doing about them.

Read More

Kenya lifts ban on timber harvesting

Xinhua News Agency
February 10, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

NAIROBI — Kenya on Monday said it would lift the ban on timber harvest which was imposed in order to curb the unsustainable exploitation of forest resources. The lift would be effective from Tuesday, said Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Water and Natural Resources Judi Wakhungu, adding that the decision has followed an audit conducted by stakeholders of the forestry industry. The official said that in order to develop and grow the timber industry, allocation of forest plantation material would be restricted to those who have demonstrated capacity for investments.

Read More

Marlborough firefighters may scale back

The Rural Fire Authority says it could take another two days to contain a blaze which has destroyed almost 600 hectares of farmland and forest in Marlborough.
Radio New Zealand News
February 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Fire crews, helicopters, bulldozers and excavators have been battling the fire since it started four days ago. The incident controller John Foley said steep terrain and hot spots had hampered efforts but they hoped to have containment lines in place by tomorrow morning. He said the fire had a perimeter of about 16 kilometres and it would probably take another 48 hours for ground crews to fully contain. All helicopters have been stood down and the authority will assess whether it can scale back its crew on site after an aerial survey tomorrow morning.

Read More

Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

North American pellet exports reached a new record high in Q3

Biomass Magazine
February 9, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

Pellet exports from North America rose in the third quarter of 2014 after a stable first half of the year that could be characterized as a temporary plateau. While pellet exports to Europe were up just marginally, the increase to Asia was more noticeable. Up until 2014, more than 95 percent of wood pellets leaving US and Canadian ports were destined for Europe. However, during 2014 there was a shift in Canadian exports from Europe to Asia, with pellet plants in British Columbia shipping record volumes to South Korea during the third quarter of 2014, as reported in the North American Wood Fiber Review. (

Read More

Why Wood Waste to Energy Is a No-Brainer

Huffington Post
February 9, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

When I picture a sawmill I picture Astar jumping through the live wires, spinning gears and whirring saw blades of Planet Danger. But the modern sawmill is a marvel of modern technology, mostly devoid of humans and full of machinery that debarks logs, sizes them up and runs them through a Rube Goldberg like contraption that cuts the logs down to usable lumber. At least that’s what we saw in a sawmill facility that we toured in Whitecourt run by Millar Western. The company has a sawmill and a pulp mill in Whitecourt, a town of about 10,000 that is about two hours northwest of Edmonton. Only about 50 per cent of the log biomass is turned into lumber. Most of the other half is chipped and fed to the pulp mill.

Read More

Minnesota scientists probe tree rings for clues to climate history

Star Tribune
February 9, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

When a trio of University of Minnesota scientists investigate natural disasters, they consult key witnesses: the trees. The towering red pine that lived for nearly 250 years Up North is no more. But its remains hold valuable clues that reveal the ups and downs not only of the tree’s life, but of its surrounding environment. Most of us know that a tree’s age can be determined by counting its rings. But three scientists at the University of Minnesota say that’s just the beginning. Those rings also bear witness to floods, drought and other milestones, making it possible to track climate, weather and natural disaster trends spanning centuries.

Read More

Electricity from biomass with carbon capture could make western U.S. carbon-negative

UC Berkeley
February 9, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

BERKELEY — Generating electricity from biomass, such as urban waste and sustainably-sourced forest and crop residues, is one strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, because it is carbon-neutral: it produces as much carbon as the plants suck out of the atmosphere. A new UC Berkeley study shows that if biomass electricity production is combined with carbon capture and sequestration in the western United States, power generators could actually store more carbon than they emit and make a critical contribution to an overall zero-carbon future by the second half of the 21st century. By capturing carbon from burning biomass – termed bioenergy with carbon capture and sequestration – power generators could become carbon-negative even while retaining gas- or coal-burning plants with carbon capture technology. 

Read More

USDA study shows European demand for US wood pellets will benefit US forests

Bioenergy-news.com
February 5, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service has released a new report on the effects of the industrial wood pellet industry on southern US forests. Significantly, the Southern Research Station (SRS) study found that European demand for US wood pellets has a positive effect on US forests and forest markets. The report found that increased demand for wood pellets from the US South, driven primarily by the EU Renewable Energy Directive, will result in increased investments in forestland, which leads to greater forest cover over time. In addition, increased demand for wood residues and non-sawtimber feedstock from the wood pellet industry will lead to a greater increase in the number of pine and softwood trees in the US South than would have occurred otherwise.

Read More

Climate Change Damaging Costa Rica’s Biodiverse Forest

Costa Rican Times
February 9, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Costa Rica News – The cloud forests of Monteverde are known around the world for their biodiversity. But locals and scientists are warning the delicate ecosystem is increasingly without the clouds. Increasing temperatures have caused the clouds in the mountain forests around Monteverde to rise, and scientists believe the warming climate is leading to the redistribution of species in the highlands, renowned for the striking biodiversity that draws in hundreds of thousands of tourists each year. That is bad news. Monteverde’s cloudless cloud forests are a symptom of a regional change in climate with ecological and economic implications, since farming patterns change and the tourism industry could be hit.

Read More

General

DNR temporarily halts massive conversion of Minnesota pine forest into farmland

February 10, 2015
Category: Uncategorized
Region: US East, United States

BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday announced it had temporarily ordered a halt to a massive conversion of thousands of acres of Minnesota pine forest into farmland out of concern for the state’s water supply and forest ecosystem. North Dakota-based potato grower R.D. Offutt Co. already has bought or could buy some 27,000 acres of Potlatch Corp. forest land in Becker, Cass, Hubbard and Wadena counties in north-central Minnesota with the intention of clear-cutting it for farming potatoes and other crops, the DNR said…. . “Experts say the current rate of forest loss in this region has not been seen in recent memory.”

Read More

DNR temporarily halts massive conversion of Minnesota pine forest into farmland

February 10, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

BEMIDJI, Minn. — The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources on Thursday announced it had temporarily ordered a halt to a massive conversion of thousands of acres of Minnesota pine forest into farmland out of concern for the state’s water supply and forest ecosystem. North Dakota-based potato grower R.D. Offutt Co. already has bought or could buy some 27,000 acres of Potlatch Corp. forest land in Becker, Cass, Hubbard and Wadena counties in north-central Minnesota with the intention of clear-cutting it for farming potatoes and other crops, the DNR said…. . “Experts say the current rate of forest loss in this region has not been seen in recent memory.”

Read More

A Biofuel Debate: Will Cutting Trees Cut Carbon?

The New York Times
February 10, 2015
Category: Uncategorized

Does combating climate change require burning the world’s forests and crops for fuel? It certainly looks that way, judging from the aggressive mandates governments across the globe have set to incorporate bioenergy into their transportation fuels in the hope of limiting the world’s overwhelming dependence on gasoline and diesel to move people and goods. While biofuels account for only about 2.5 percent today, the European Union expects renewable energy — mostly biofuels — to account for 10 percent of its transportation fuel by 2020. In the United States, the biofuel goal is about 12 percent by early in the next decade. The International Energy Agency envisions using biofuels to supply as much of 27 percent of the world’s transportation needs by midcentury.

Read More