Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 19, 2015

Business & Politics

The Canada-U.S. cross-border relations chill might get frostier

Globe and Mail
March 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Keystone XL pipeline proposal has been the issue that famously sent a chill through Canada-U.S. relations. But several others now threaten to deepen the frost. …That classic cross-border trade irritant, softwood lumber, could even return. And politics, on both sides of the border, might make it all harder to avoid. …The Canada-U.S. deal that has since 2006 given Canadian producers assured, but limited, access to the U.S. market runs out in October. It’s not clear the United States will renew it.

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Interfor jobs move to Castlegar

Arrow Lakes News
March 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Over the next few months, five of the eight salaried Interfor employees in Nakusp are being relocated to Castlegar. Larry Price, General Manager of Woodlands, spoke to the affected Nakusp employees in early March. “Many of the employees received a promotion with a broader scope,” said the Interfor Regional General Manager for the Interior, Andrew Horahan. The decision was made to blend Woodlands employees in Grand Forks, Castlegar, and Nakusp by centralizing them into a single Kootenay division. Woodlands has committed to a $50 million expansion of the Castlegar manufacturing facilities.

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Federal Court of Appeal Continues its Stand Against Forest Ethics

Forest Ethics Advocacy Association v. National Energy Board, 2014 FCA 245 (CanLII)
Canlii Connects.org
March 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

On January 23, 2015, Justice Nadon of the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed an application by a group for leave to appeal the National Energy Board’s Ruling No. 34 concerning the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The group was led by Forest Ethics Advocacy, an environmental organization that claimed that the National Energy Board was infringing on people’s Charter rights by restricting public participation in the Trans Mountain Expansion Project pipeline hearing. The Federal Court of Appeal did not provide reasons for its decision to dismiss the application, which is its usual practice. However, in October 2014 the Federal Court of Appeal released a decision in a different case in which the Court dismissed Forest Ethics Advocacy’s application for judicial review and held that Forest Ethics was a classic busybody and it was not “directly affected” by the National Energy Board’s decision relating to Enbridge’s Line 9 project.

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WorkSafe Safety Officer Puts Comments into Context

250 News
March 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- Darren Beattie admits he said the Lakeland mill was the dirtiest he had ever seen, when he visited the site on February 6th 2012, but the comments have to be placed in the right context.Beattie was an Occupational Safety Officer with WorkSafeBC, and had visited the Lakeland Mills on many occasions over a ten year period. He testified at the Coroner’s inquest into the deaths of Glenn Roche and Alan Little that Lakeland “was quite a clean mill in comparison with others in the industry. When I say it was the dirtiest I had seen, the thing I noticed was the light film on handrails and stuff, and that wasn’t normal for them.”

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Lamphier: U.S. housing rebound still on track

Lumber producers eye second-half rally
Edmonton Journal
March 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – No, the U.S. housing rebound — a key driver of U.S. economic growth and a vital source of strength for Western Canada’s forest products sector — isn’t over. It just seems that way, thanks to a variety of temporary factors that have recently hindered demand and prices for lumber and other key building products. But like the downturn in the oilpatch, this too will pass. Investors should use the pullback in the shares of West Fraser Timber, Canfor and other big industry players to get positioned for a second-half rally, analysts say, as housing starts snap back.

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Forestry plan indecision jeopardizing jobs, Tories allege

Gallant government ‘taking way too much time’ to announce any changes to cutting amounts, says MLA Glen Savoie
CBC News
March 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Opposition Progressive Conservatives say mixed messages from the Liberal government are jeopardizing thousands of potential forestry jobs in the province. For the second straight day, the PCs demanded to know whether promised Liberal changes to a provincial forestry plan would affect the amount of wood companies can cut. But Natural Resources Minister Denis Landry didn’t give them much clarity. “It’s possible some things will change in the plan, maybe some things that aren’t major, maybe some things that are major,” Landry said in Question Period on Wednesday.

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Local timber industry anticipates stable pricing, demand this year

The Meadville Tribune
March 17, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Local sawmill owners claim the timber and lumber industry is facing an overall stable outlook for 2015, possibly for the first time in about seven years since the start of the Great Recession and collapse of the housing market. “What we’re seeing and telling our landowners is that the stability now is going to be the new norm,” said Mark Brown, president of Clear Lake Lumber in Spartansburg. “We seem to have found an equilibrium that works for both landowners and manufacturers.”

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South leads U.S. timber industry

The Oconee Enterprise
March 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The Great Northwest has the reputation, the history and the swagger, when it comes to timber. But the Southeast if the place to be. That was the message last week from Brooks Mendell, president of Forisk Consulting, which tracks the forestry industry. Mendell was one of the speakers last week at a dinner at Thomas Cotton Gin, hosted jointly by AgSouth Credit and Southeastern Land Sales. After Mendell updated those in attendance on the prospect for the forestry industry, John McKissick held forth on cattle. Mendell says that the South is blessed with multiple complimentary assets that put it in a favorable position regarding timber.

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Procter & Gamble biomass plant a team effort

P&G biomass plant will generate over 50 permanent jobs
Albany Herald
March 18, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ALBANY — Community and business leaders gathered Wednesday to celebrate the development of a new biomass plant at Albany’s Procter and Gamble that will provide much needed renewal energy for the plant as it strives to make its operations more environmentally friendly. The addition of the $200 million energy co-generation plant will allow Procter and Gamble to move toward it’s goal of becoming more energy efficient and reduce it’s environmental footprint… Constellation Senior Vice President of Distributed Energy Gary Fromer said the plant will operate by taking waste products, such as timber remnants and peanut shells that would otherwise be left on the forest floor or taken to a land fill, and turning those into energy and heat.

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Tasmanian Government referred to anti-corruption watchdog over sawmill payouts

ABC News, Australia
March 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government’s reversal of its predecessor’s sawmiller exit payout scheme has been referred to the state’s anti-corruption watchdog. State Greens Leader Kim Booth said Resources Minister Paul Harriss had serious questions to answer over the decision, and requested the Integrity Commission investigate. Yesterday, Mr Harriss told Parliament at least seven sawmillers had taken up his offer to keep half an exit package they received under the last government in exchange for being allowed to stay in the timber sector.

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Softwood lumber prices fell towards the end of 2014 in the US, Japan and the Nordic countries

Wood Resources International LLC
Business Wire
March 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

SEATTLE—Global trade of softwood lumber has continued to trend upward ever since the global financial crises in 2008. In 2014, export volumes were up 5-8 percent for a majority of the largest lumber-exporting countries in the world, including Canada, Russia, Finland, Sweden and Germany, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ). Of the top fifteen exporting countries, only Austria, the US, New Zealand and the Czech Republic reduced their export volumes in 2014 as compared to the previous year.

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Global paper and paperboard market forecast to grow 1.1 per cent

Pulp and Paper News
March 19, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

World demand for paper and paperboard is forecast to grow to 482 million tons in 2030. This equals an increase of 1.1 per cent per year. This is the result of the new global paper market study “World Paper Markets up to 2030” by Pöyry Management Consulting. The study forecasts the demand for over 80 countries and country groups, and ten product areas, including graphic, tissue and packaging papers. The demand for paper varies depending on type and region.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Op-Ed: Quebec’s Résidence du Havre was built to code. But does ‘building to code’ mean cutting corners and caving to lobbyists?

by Paul Hargest, President, Canadian Concrete Masonry Producers Association
Canada Newswire press release
March 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The recent release of the Quebec coroner’s report on the retirement home fire in L’Isle-Verte has once again got people thinking about building safety. … killed 32 people. Among the causes cited in the report: a lack of sprinklers, inadequately trained staff, and the delayed assistance and questionable training of local firefighters. …Factor in today’s more flammable lightweight wood-and-drywall building assemblies, and you have a recipe for disaster. Experience shows us, time and again, that only genuinely fire-proof materials like concrete block stop fire. …lobbying efforts are now underway by the lumber industry to mandate wood as a building material of choice.

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Fashion Inspiration From the Redwoods of Northern California

A tree planted for every T-shirt sold; some made with wood fiber
Wall Street Journal
March 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Among the world’s working fashion designers, few have taken a more circuitous path to the runway than Christoph Frehsee, founder of the sustainable clothing brand Amour Vert… ”Mr. Frehsee and his wife spent many afternoons exploring Muir Woods. A lifelong lover of clothing design, Ms. Balti was saddened to read how much pollution happens in the fashion industry. They launched Amour Vert in 2010, using only nontoxic dyes and fabrics engineered from fast-growing eucalyptus and beech trees. Some dresses are made of Indian silk, while signature striped T-shirts are made of wood fiber… it was during a regular trip to Muir Woods that Amour Vert’s founders had the idea to plant one tree for every T-shirt they sold. By the end of 2015, the company will have planted more than 100,000 trees from Lake Tahoe to Florida’s Apalachicola National Forest.

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LEED Platinum Plaque Gets Place of Honor in Gateway

Unveiling helps kick off Green Building Conference
State University of New York
March 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

One of the top priorities for the construction of the ESF Gateway Center was to meet the industry’s highest standards for energy and environmental design. That meant an innovative design to use the least amount of energy possible to heat, cool and light the building. It meant incorporating an innovative combined heat-and-power system using a combination of wood pellets and natural gas, and a unique green roof that is a mix of native plant species. The effort was successful and the Gateway Center was awarded LEED Platinum certification, the highest standard set by the U.S. Green Building Council.

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Actions, not homes, cause fire hazard

Dores
March 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

When hearing of house fires, people automatically associate them with wooden houses. Edgars Bukš?ns, the technical laboratory manager of Research and Development Institute of Forests and Wood Manufacturing (MeKa), explains how safe is wood and that the construction material makes little difference when acting recklessly. The low and predictable rate of charring of wooden constructions provides the required levels of fire-resistance. …Also buildings made of concrete and other non-organic materials does not eliminate potential fire hazard.  …In summary, fire hazard is not defined by the construction or the construction material; fire hazard is caused by our own actions. 

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The eco-friendly family house that can be built in six days and costs £350,000

The Swedish Trivselhus shines at this year’s Ideal Home Show, opening on Friday.
House and Property
March 18, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

A full-size, low-cost, five-star, eco-friendly family home that can be built in six days from a Scandinavian kit and costing £350,000 — without the land — is the focal point of this year’s Ideal Home Show in Olympia, opening on Friday (March 20) and running until April 6… The Trivselhus-designed house comes in at 96, the very top of the A rating for both energy efficiency and environmental impact, or CO2 emissions. The house is timber-framed with four bedrooms, three bathrooms and a sauna — totalling nearly 2,700sq ft, including a large first-floor balcony… The house has a state-of-the-art German kitchen with energy-saving appliances and exterior decking made from recycled timber and plastic bags. “We are building homes for life,” adds Harris.

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Forestry

Canadian forestry has cleaned up its environmental act

By David Lindsay, president and CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada
The Chronicle Herald
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

As we approach the United Nations International Day of Forests on March 21, Canada can feel proud that its forest products industry has become a world leader in environmental credentials. For an industry that was admittedly once an environmental offender, the past few decades have been a remarkable journey. To start, the latest statistics show that with more than 160 million hectares, Canada makes up 43 per cent of the world’s independently certified forests. This is four times more than any other country. Certification means that companies follow progressive social and environmental forest management practices, as assessed by an independent third body. 

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Sludge a success story for Whitecourt-area farmers

Alberta Farm Express
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…employees at Alberta Newsprint Company noticed tomato plants growing in a pile of pulp sludge. The result is a ‘superfertilizer’ that area farmers can’t get enough of. …One project at a site near Mayerthorpe showed a one-time sludge application at 50 tonnes per hec-tare yielded the same quality and quantity of barley as application of 200 kilograms per hectare of 35-10-0 fertilizer applied annually for three years. And given the pulp sludge is free, it’s no wonder farmers stop delivery trucks. …Among the findings was that because the nitrogen is in organic form, the sludge acts as a slow-release fertilizer and delivers nutrient benefits for up to five years. It also improves soil structure and tilth, thereby increasing water-holding capacity.

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Selkirk College offers forestry training

Nelson Star
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ross Spur resident Tina Paterson was looking for a new direction in life when an email from her child’s elementary school introduced her to the safety in resource industry forestry training program offered at Selkirk College. A single mother of two, Paterson jumped at the chance to gain job ready skills and build a resume aimed a higher paid employment. Paterson is one of 50 residents from around the region who has taken advantage of the tuition-free program that aims to get unemployed and under-employed people the training they require to transition into an industry that needs more entry level workers.

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Parks seen as key to climate-change fight

March 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Climate change is a major reason the Canadian government should establish a long-sought national park in the South Okanagan region, according to Peter Wood. “All the species in the massive grasslands to the south, as they feel the need to move northward to achieve a cooler climate, they have to pass through a narrow bottleneck near Osoyoos,” the terrestrial campaigns director for the B.C. chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society told the Georgia Straight by phone from downtown Vancouver. “If that’s just chock full of development, they’ll reach a dead end, and those species will die out.”.. According to Wood, large parks are needed to provide a “safe haven” for species dealing with the effects of global warming. He asserted that they also play an important role in climate-change mitigation as carbon sinks.

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Competition, not climate change, slowing growth of forests, study finds

Edmonton Journal
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – Across western boreal forests, more trees are dying off and those remaining are growing more slowly. Those are two signs of major change in the past 50 years, says a new study by the University of Alberta and Alberta Environment. Also, fewer young trees are taking root and hardest hit are “more sensitive” deciduous trees, such as apsen and poplar, says Shongming Huang, scientist with Alberta Environment, a partner on the study with U of A researcher Jian Zhang. Unlike many previous studies, this study shows climate change is not the major factor causing widely acknowledged change in the boreal forest, Huang said. A bigger factor is the internal competition in the forest for water, sunlight and nutrients to feed trees, he said.

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Island Timberlands threatens to close Alberni Valley trails

Alberni Valley Times
March 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

PORT ALBERNI — The Alberni Valley’s largest landowner is watching its property more closely amid concerns that public use could be threatening assets. Island Timberlands owns 254,000 hectares of property throughout Vancouver Island and Haida Gwaii, including private forest land in the Alberni Valley. Some of this land is regularly used by the public for recreation, but a letter sent to the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District’s board of directors said opening its trails to the public has created problems. “This opportunity comes at a significant cost to our company in the form of various types of illegal activity, including theft (e.g. wood, equipment fuel, tools), vandalism (e.g. arson, equipment damage) and copious volumes of garbage dumping from a small amount of users,” wrote Morgan Kennah, the forestry company’s manager of community affairs.

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Is the Kalum actually full of steelhead?

Terrace Standard
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gene Llewellyn, who was logging here when they occurred, was adamant that the log drives on the Kitsumkalum River had a devastating effect on the river’s Chinook. John Hipp, the DFO fisheries officer in Terrace for many years, thought so too. …If they knew what a riparian zone was (which is doubtful), the logging companies of yore didn’t have a clue when it came to the vitally important role that vegetation has for fish. …If other kinds of fish have suffered as a result of poor logging practices, it follows the same must hold true for steelhead. 

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FSC wants Resolute to back off

Chronicle Journal
March 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Forest Stewardship Council wants Resolute Forest Products to stop attacking the credibility of its audit process.  In a letter to Resolute president Richard Garneau, FSC has requested that the company stop its “activities against FSC.”  The letter follows many months of repeated public attacks by Resolute on FSC’s management and policies, after the suspension of Resolute’s FSC certificates, the council says. In the letter, FSC director general Kim Carstensen cites a number of Resolute press releases and comments by company officials that attack the governance of FSC and the audit process’s fairness and impartiality, and portray the FSC as non-credible, risky and biased towards certain interest groups.

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Forest Service chief seeks firefighting funds that will last all wildfire season (& videos)

Cronkite News
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – The head of the U.S. Forest Service told a Senate committee Wednesday that a fix is far overdue for the practice of “fire borrowing” that his agency has been forced to resort to for sufficient wildfire fighting funds. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell said fire borrowing has happened in eight of the last 10 years. It occurs when the service exhausts its firefighting budget before the year is over, forcing it to transfer funds from other programs to cover wildfire costs for the rest of the year. “It is past time for us to find a fix and to stop the transfer, to stop having to shut down our operations in August, to be able to move on with all the programs across the country, to be able to pay the cost of fire suppression,” Tidwell told a Senate Appropriations subcommittee.

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Daines says Congress is ‘out of touch’ (& video)

Great Falls Tribune
March 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON – Members of Congress are more concerned with their own success than with their constituents’ well-being and need to be held accountable, Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana said Tuesday in his first major floor speech. Daines, who served one term in the House of Representatives before being elected to the Senate last fall, said Washington is “out of touch with the day-to-day struggles” of farmers and ranchers, union workers and tribal members. During the 11-minute speech, the former business executive who grew up in Bozeman chided Washington for overreaching and putting up barriers that have hindered job growth.

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State’s largest wildfire disaster captures lawmakers’ attention | 2015 Session

North Kitsap Herald
March 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA — It’s been almost eight months since the largest wildfire in Washington’s history scorched the Methow Valley, and criticism over the official firefighting response by the state’s Department of Natural Resources continues to rage. What began with four individual fires quickly expanded into the 268,764-acre Carlton Complex fire. Over the course of a month, the fire engulfed more than 300 homes and caused more than $65 million in damages, according to DNR. Many victims have filed lawsuits against the state for damages, charging that the department was negligent in its handling of the disaster.

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Murkowski: No Confidence in USFS Plan in Tongass

Alaska Public Media
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski says she doesn’t see any good news for the families in Southeast Alaska that still depend on the harvest of Tongass timber. She says nothing Congress does seems to increase the national timber harvest, and Murkowski she’s not confident the transition to second-growth in the Tongass will work. “I don’t disagree that you’ve got a hard job here managing things,” she told Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell at a budget hearing today, “but I don’t know what to tell the folks in the Tongass anymore.” Putting some of the blame on environmental lawsuits, Murkowski says communities that used to rely on timber now have to rely on subsidies, like the Secure Rural Schools program.

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Expert: Timber Industry Needs Forest Service Land To Survive (& video)

KULR8
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA – Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester urge the US Forest Service to substantially increase Montana’s timber harvest. Some say it’s essential for the survival of the timber industry. Peter Kolb, the Montana State University Extension Forestry Specialist, says Montana’s lumber mills are mostly dependent on wood from private land. Simply put, this won’t last much longer and without using National Forest Service trees, it could put hundreds of jobs in jeopardy.

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Wyden: New way to pay for wildfires

Baker City Herald
March 16, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

… He explained that he is doing everything he can to address the problem of climate change both nationally and worldwide. Wyden mentioned that the 2015 fire season could be a bad one in Oregon due to drought. “One of my top priorities in the next few weeks — not the next month or year — is to fix the broken system of fighting fires,” he said. “Understand the focus has got to be on prevention — thinning and going in there and clearing out the underbrush and small trees.” Wyden explained that when big fires happen because there has not been enough preventive work done, bureaucracy takes money from the prevention fund to fight the fire. This takes dollars away from essential fire prevention work such as thinning overcrowded forests.

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Oregon logging operations get exemption from mandatory 30-minute break

Land Line
March 17, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Another exemption from the mandatory 30-minute rest break has been granted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This time Oregon timber hauling operations get the free pass. The Oregon Trucking Association petitioned FMCSA in December 2013 on behalf of commercial vehicle drivers who transport timber from Oregon forests. The trucking association petitioned for the exemption stating that the lumber mills depend on regular volume. Environmental restrictions limit the amount of timber harvested, and when fire risk increases the Oregon Department of Forestry limits logging operations.

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Two bills plot starkly different courses for Elliott State Forest

The Oregonian
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Two competing bills in the Oregon Legislature aim to set very different courses for the Elliott State Forest: log more, or leave it alone. The 92,000-acre Elliott is among 780,000 acres of Oregon trust lands, designated in the state Constitution as moneymakers for K-12 schools. Historically, the Department of State Lands has sold timber leases in the Elliott to make money, but a series of legal challenges over the threatened marbled murrelet seabird steeply curbed timber cutting there. Instead of making money off the forest, the state began spending money to manage unloggable land.

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Carbon-storing Amazon forest is losing its touch

CBS News
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Amazon has long been seen as a life preserver of sorts in the global warming fight, its lush forest storing billions of tons of carbon. But now a paper published in Nature Wednesday says that the Amazon is losing its capacity to serve as a carbon sink. In a 30-year study of the South American tropical forest, an international team found that the Amazon has gone from storing 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year in the 1990s to half that now. As a result, emissions across Latin America have now overtaken the amount of carbon dioxide stored.

Amazon’s trees removed nearly a third less carbon in last decade – study from The Guardian

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Fragile forestry industry causing concern

Radio New Zealand
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The body representing forestry contractors says about 200 people could lose their jobs as the result of one of the country’s largest logging contractors ceasing operations. The Forest Industry Contractors Association said the logging and harvesting contractor Harvestpro had its equipment possessed by finance companies last week, forcing its work to stop. Harvestpro has not yet spoken publicly but its website said it employs more than 200 people in Gisborne and Northland. Association chief executive John Stulen said it was concerned more contractors could go out of business because of the fragile state of the industry.

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Land clearing in Queensland triples after policy ping pong

Brisbane Times
March 19, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In 2013, a group of 26 senior scientists in Queensland (including ourselves) expressed serious concern that proposed changes to vegetation protection laws would mean a return to large-scale land clearing. The loss of these protections followed a Ministerial announcement in early 2012 that investigations into and prosecutions of illegal clearing would be halted. Our statement of concern pointed out that tens of thousands of hectares of Queensland’s woodland and forests were being lost every year, even before the vegetation protections were wound back.

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Massive reforms to China’s forestry industry put in motion

Wildlife News
March 18, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Chinese authorities have put in motion major reforms to the forestry sector which will include a ban on logging of natural forests in important areas and ordering state forestry plantations to cut back harvesting by 20% each year. In addition the authorities have announced a major reforestation programme that will see 6.6 million hectares planted with trees – a size equivalent to double the area of Belgium. The reforms are set to be completed over the next 5 years. Many of China’s state owned forestry companies are struggling because of over-exploitation over the last 30 years. In an effort to protect jobs the government has announced grants to allow the businesses to look for alternative sources of income.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Stephen Hume: Canada in need of climate change strategy, report says

Vancouver Sun
March 18, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia is one of three provinces demonstrating leadership in strategic climate change planning that should be coming from the federal government, says George Hoberg, a specialist in environmental and natural resource policy from the University of B.C. Hoberg is one of the contributors to a major national report from leading scientists across the country that urges Ottawa to swiftly co-ordinate a national program for pricing carbon. B.C.’s carbon tax, introduced by then-Premier Gordon Campbell, has been an under-appreciated success in curbing greenhouse gas emissions, Hoberg says.

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Harris: Ontario’s uninformed drive to price carbon

The Windsor Star
March 18, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

… Ministry of the Environment spokesperson Karen Clark set the tone at the Ottawa town hall by saying, “Scientists around the world agree that climate change is happening,” a statement as meaningful as “water is wet.”… Clark next warned the audience, that, “Warmer average temperatures mean drier forests and more frequent storms so we have more frequent forest fires.” “That makes no sense,” says Dr. Tim Ball, former climatology professor at the University of Winnipeg. “If you have warmer conditions, the forest, particularly the boreal forest, expands. My own research showed the tree line moved an average of 200 km further north from 1772 to 1952 — that is, from the depths of the Little Ice Age to the modern warm period.”

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Burning Wood for Electricity: New Demands, New Questions

Epoch Times
March 18, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

You may have heard that natural gas has been replacing coal in many power plants, a shift which lowers carbon emissions from electricity generation. But there’s another form of energy that’s increasingly being used to replace coal: wood. Wood pellets are a renewable energy source and there are circumstances where wood energy can reduce net CO2 emissions. Yet turning to biomass to generate electricity alters the economics of forestry and raises a number of sometimes-complex environmental questions. Europe has created a market for large-scale pellet production by requiring every member country to increase their use of renewable energy and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

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