Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 30, 2015

Business & Politics

Aboriginal title in B.C.: sovereignty, but with limits

Globe and Mail
March 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s been all of nine months since the Supreme Court of Canada for the first time recognized a native community as having “aboriginal title” – to be specific, the Tsilhqot’in Nation, with a population of about 3,000 and an area of about 1,700 square kilometres, in southern British Columbia. On March 19, Tsilhqot’in enacted its first law, which is called the Affirmation of the Nemiah Declaration. Courts will likely grant the same or similar status to other communities in B.C., and perhaps elsewhere in Canada. So the Nemiah Declaration may be imitated by others. It’s an important precedent. What is “aboriginal title”? It doesn’t mean an independent country or statelet, based on how things were before contact with Europeans.

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BC Forest Safety Council Looks To Move Inside Sawmill ‘Gates’

250 News
March 30, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, BC – The BC Forest Safety Council hopes to do for sawmills what it’s done for the logging industry – improve safety. Plans are in the works to have the council’s reach extend beyond ‘stump-to-dump’ companies and into sawmills and planer mills. Last April, the Manufacturers’ Advisory Group (MAG) – the group voluntarily established by primary wood manufacturers in response to the deadly blasts at the Babine Forest Products and Lakeland sawmills – approached the Council for assistance in administering its combusible dust mitigation and control program.

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Port Hawkesbury mill’s subsidies targeted in U.S. complaint

Chronicle Herald
March 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

How much subsidy is too much? Two American pulp and paper mill owners are alleging that Nova Scotia has unfairly subsidized Port Hawkesbury Paper Corp. In documents filed with the United States International Trade Commission, they state that the subsidies have allowed the mill to dump supercalendered paper on the American market at prices far below what they can compete with. “It is believed that Canadian producers export over 75 per cent of their production to the U.S. market,” read documents filed on behalf of the Coalition for Fair Paper Imports. “The domestic industry is vulnerable to increased imports, and U.S. market demand remains depressed and is decreasing. The threat of material injury to the domestic industry is real and imminent.”

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Hefler Lumber sawmill collapse repairs to take 6 weeks

Middle Sackville mill says flash freeze three weeks ago led to wall and roof failure
CBC News
March 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Halifax-area lumber producer hopes to have its sawmill running again within six weeks after a recent flash freeze led to the collapse of one of its main buildings. Hefler Lumber co-owner Floyd Gaetz says the failure happened about three weeks ago, and initially threw 14 people employed in the Middle Sackville mill and sorting line out of work. “Not a great deal of snow and ice, but strong enough to blow out one wall that created a domino effect and took out 138 feet of new roof, along with all the walls and equipment below it,” Gaetz tells CBC News.

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SOAR study finds forest industries most profitable for area

Daily Indpendent
March 29, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Kentucky – Researchers are convinced one of the first industries in eastern and southern Kentucky has the potential to provide thousands of new jobs to help reduce the impact of the loss of hundreds of good-paying coal mining jobs in the region. Expanding the forestry sector could provide $1.49 billion in new revenue and nearly 7,500 additional jobs in a 54-county region that includes areas hit hard by a sharp decrease in coal jobs, researchers in the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky say. That growth would drive more jobs in other sectors as well, the study said. 

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Family keeps small-time sawmill buzzing in New Hampshire

Associated Press
March 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

GILMANTON, N.H. — On Bob Potter’s farm, the whine of a saw is heard over the grumbling of a diesel-powered engine as he and his boys carry on a family practice begun nearly half a century ago. Moving back and forth through the blade on a motorized carriage, long poplar logs that the guys harvested off their Gilmanton farm are cut into planks that they’ll use this spring to build a new 30-foot-by-40-foot barn for some of their 85 head of beef cattle. New Hampshire has deep connections to timber that go back to the 1600s when the state sent white pine trunks to England to make ships’ masts. Forests cover almost 85 percent of the state and the timber/forest industry pumps millions of dollars into the economy.

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Australia is importing record volume of softwood

IHB
March 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In light of the news that, despite record housing starts, much of the softwood for framing is being sourced from imports, Australian Forest Products Association (AFPA) Chairman Mr Greg McCormack is urging the Australian Government to support the forest industry and move quickly to reveal a National Forestry and Fibre Plan. Mr McCormack said, “2014 saw a record number of more than 200,000 building approvals across the nation. However, the recently released ABARES data reveals that much of that growth is being delivered by imported product. In the last reporting period a record 786,000 cubic metres of softwood for framing and other uses entered Australia.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

House Beautiful: Surrounded by woods and water

TimesColonist
March 29, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

With waterfront vistas all the way from Mount Baker and Darcy Island to 10-Mile Point and Mount Douglas, this home offers extraordinary panoramas. And the inner view is just as astonishing, with a giant cedar trunk from which rafter beams branch out, a glass-walled staircase and a massive disappearing glass wall… Apart from the isolation constraints, the biggest challenge was figuring out how the beams would fit into the roof system, look good and comply with the building code. “The timberwork was pretty amazing, especially the central cedar tree trunk, which is a metre in diameter at the base, and supports roof rafters that radiate out.”

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North Vancouver school gives new life to felled trees

North Shore News
March 26, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A North Vancouver school is bringing the outdoors inside. Lynnmour elementary recently received a special delivery from the District of North Vancouver that included about 40 short logs, 40 cross-section rounds and a few larger slabs cut from trees that were cleared to make way for construction of the new Keith Road Bridge over Lynn Creek. The school plans to repurpose the pieces of wood as stools, trays and tables for use inside classrooms and to create an outdoor working space. Principal Kelly La Roue says the rustic furniture project was initiated by kindergarten teacher Tessa Harrington in an attempt to calm the learning environment and generate curiosity about nature.

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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CITY OF HAMILTON FOR ONTARIO’S FIRST 6-STOREY WOOD BUILDING PERMIT

Canadian Business Journal
March 29, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – The City of Hamilton recently announced that its building division issued Ontario’s first six-storey wood-frame building permit. For organizations like the Canadian Wood Council, Ontario Wood WORKS! and the Residential Construction Council of Ontario, this announcement comes after five years of hard work on the front lines of advocating our provincial government to change the Ontario Building Code (OBC) to allow six-storey wood-frame buildings, raising the limit from four. The OBC change occurred on January 1, 2015. For the residential construction industry, this move was hugely important — a game-changer. And that’s why our organizations want to congratulate the City of Hamilton for its forward thinking.

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State ban on environmentally friendly construction wins final passage

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-owned buildings would be effectively banned from using environmentally friendly construction standards known as LEED certification, under a measure given final passage Friday by the Senate. House Bill 255 now heads to Gov. Nathan Deal for his signature. The bill essentially writes into law an executive order Deal signed in 2012 to do the same thing. The “wood wars” battle over the national certification system comes as the state’s timber industry claims it discriminates against the use of local wood products that aren’t registered through the Forest Stewardship Council. According to the Georgia Forestry Association, only about 32,000 acres of the timber industry’s 20 million acres in Georgia currently meet that standard — since much of the industry here uses competing guidelines.

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Forestry

Canada Leads the World … On Forest Degradation

Sustainable Business News
March 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

…Harper has shifted Canadian priorities toward extraction so completely that Canada now leads the world on forest degradation – responsible for 21.4% of damaged or destroyed virgin forests, says Forest Watch. “Most logging done in Canada is still in virgin forests,” Peter Lee of Forest Watch Canada told Canada.com. While logging and tar sands expansion is largely to blame for forest loss in many parts of Canada – fragmenting and degrading ecosystems – wildfires from climate change are a newer problem, transforming many northern boreal forests into shrub lands, says Lee. Russia comes in second at 20.4%, followed by Brazil at 14.1%.

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War-in-the-woods peace talks hit snags

Globe and Mail
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The deadline for a final agreement on the Great Bear Rainforest – a precedent-setting pact between the B.C. coastal forest industry, First Nations and environmentalists – is expected to be missed because the provincial government has not yet finalized its commitments. The agreement that ended the “war in the woods” in British Columbia would preserve large swaths of old-growth trees and the home of the Kermode bears on B.C.’s mid-coast. … A tentative agreement was announced in 2006, but a series of targets for completion of the deal have slipped. Now, Greenpeace Canada says the provincial government needs to demonstrate the political commitment to complete the deal soon before the goodwill between the parties gives way.

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The hard life of a tree on the streets of downtown Guelph

The Guelph Mercury
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

GUELPH — Planting a tree in an urban environment is like placing it on death row. In the wild, ash and linden trees can live anywhere from 80 years to more than 200, says Martin Neumann, manager of the City of Guelph’s forestry department. But once that same type of tree is planted along a street in a city’s downtown, the average life expectancy of that tree is cut to seven years. Last year, around 25 ash and linden trees were chopped in downtown Guelph because they were dead, or close to it, Neumann said. Their stumps have been left behind, sticking out like tombstones along the sidewalks, the tree rings telling the stories of their short lives.

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Manage forest with local input

The Chronicle Journal
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Right now there is a window of opportunity to change forest management planning north of Kenora. The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is looking at the possibility of establishing an Enhanced Sustainable Forest Licence (ESFL) for the Whiskey Jack Forest.
Gaining local community input into how the forest is managed, one of the benefits of a ESFL, may be key in sustaining forest industry jobs in the area and resolving Grassy Narrows First Nation’s long-standing concerns over clear-cutting of nearby forests. Last week a Grassy Narrows youth group, band members and supporters staged a series of peaceful protests at several locations in Kenora over the province’s plans to permit clear cut logging in the Whiskey Jack Forest.

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Newhouse introduces bill to make federal lands sales easier

Yakima Herald Republic
March 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Freshman U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse introduced his first bill Thursday, a reauthorization of a program that enables federal agencies to sell surplus federal lands. The bill gives the Bureau of Land Management the ability to sell public lands that have been approved for sale to states, local governments or private owners who can put the lands to economic use. Proceeds from the sales are then available to fund the purchase of other lands that provide conservation or recreation benefits near national parks, forests or wildlife areas. The program also provides the funding for the agency to appraise and sell land.

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Wyden co-sponsors bill to block public land sell-off

Democrat senators oppose ‘deficit-reduction tactic’
KTVZ.com
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

WASHINGTON –  Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) introduced an amendment to the Senate’s budget resolution Thursday that would protect America’s parks and public lands, including national forests, wildlife refuges, and conservation lands, from being sold off as what they called “a deficit-reduction tactic.”The amendment is cosponsored by Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.). “Americans depend on clean water and treasure wildlife habitats and the quality of life that public lands offer,” Wyden said. “I’m proud to support this amendment with my colleagues to protect our public lands that in turn, protect wildlife, tourism and outdoor recreation that supports local businesses and local economies.”

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Forest Service eyes development of improved fire shelter

San Francisco Gate
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — The man tapped by the U.S. Forest Service to come up with a better fire shelter once had to get inside one on the side of a burning mountain and listen to flames roar past sounding like a jet airplane taking off. “Everybody trains with it, but nobody ever thinks that you’ll ever need to use it,” said Tony Petrilli, recalling the smoke and embers from that day. At the time, Petrilli was a smokejumper based in Missoula, Montana, working in Colorado. He deployed the fire shelter with eight other smokejumpers on Storm King Mountain in 1994. But 14 firefighters on another part of the mountain died trying to escape the flames.

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Alaska Community Forest Council seeks new members

Alaska Department of Natural Resources News Release
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Anchorage, AK) – The Alaska Community Forest Council is seeking to fill six council seats in 2015. The council is a nonprofit organization and advisory body to the Division of Forestry that works to improve Alaskans’ quality of life by expanding and caring for urban and community forests. The council promotes the management of trees and forests within communities to maximize the many economic, environmental and social benefits that they provide.

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Reforestation Begins in Burned Area Around Boise National Forest

The state and federal agencies plan to ignite fires on up to 30,977 acres of public land across the state. 18,500 acres are slated to burn in the spring and 12,500 acres will burn in the fall.
Boise Weekly
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In the summer of 2013, the Pony Complex 150,000-acre wildfire ripped through the Boise National Forest, 12 miles northeast of Mountain Home. Now, the Mountain Home Ranger District is looking for volunteers to help plant bitterbrush seedlings in the burned area. The seeding efforts will focus on important winter range for deer and elk near the Anderson Ranch Dam. The planting takes place on April 4 and 11, regardless of the weather. “This kind of help does a long way towards recovery of this very intense fire area and really contributes to helping wildlife species recover,” said the district’s wildlife biologist Scott Bodle in a news release.

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Logging resumes near Mountainaire

AZ Daily Sun
March 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Thinning work is resuming on 570 acres of national forest south of Flagstaff and east of Mountainaire. Logging machinery now is cutting trees in an area along the north side of Priest Draw. Beginning mid-April, trucks will begin hauling material away from the project area, called the Howard Timber Sale, following Forest Road 132 to Lake Mary Road. Residents are urged to be cautious while driving along those roads. Many trees in the area will have orange marks, which indicates those trees are not to be cut. Unusable slash and debris will be piled in the forest until they have properly dried out. At that point they will be burned when conditions are appropriate, usually when snow is on the ground.

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Our View: Subsidies are appreciated; jobs would mean more

Timber county residents need jobs, not subsidy policies
The World
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Good news this week with word that subsidies to Oregon timber counties appear secured for at least the next two years. …DeFazio also hinted that a more permanent fix may be on the way. He told The World Tuesday that the Bureau of Land Management will soon unveil a management plan that he said is rumored to yield higher timber harvests that would provide adequate sustainable revenues to the county and without changes in current environmental laws. If true, that’s the kind of long-term solution that depressed timber counties really need.

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Tester spreads timber industry propaganda

Letter to the Editor
Billings Gazette
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

How disappointing that Sen. Jon Tester has adopted the timber industry’s longtime strategy of loudly denouncing environmentalists and repeating those same lies again and again. When I worked for Plum Creek Timber, the company publicly blamed environmentalists for layoffs that were actually due to the company’s own mechanization, when new machines replaced dozens of workers. Tester repeats the timber industry’s false claims of a timber supply shortage due to litigation, when the truth is that the industry’s own accelerated logging of past decades has left far less timber to harvest today. Any perceived timber shortage is a direct consequence of timber companies’ own extreme logging practices.

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Conservation groups take Big Thorne fight to higher court

District court judge dismissed case, now headed to 9th Circuit
Juneau Empire
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Juneau-based conservation group Southeast Alaska Conservation Council and other environmental organizations have taken their lawsuits against the U.S. Forest Service to a higher court. In August 2014, a coalition of conservation organizations brought several suits against USFS to stop the Big Thorne timber sale, which encompasses both old-growth and young-growth stands on Prince of Wales Island.  One case challenged the sale and related road construction. Another challenged parts of the Tongass Land Management Plan that guide the Forest Service’s old-growth sale planning.

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Grassley, Lee Call on DOJ to Investigate Claims of Prosecutorial Misconduct In Moonlight Fire Case

Senator Chuck Grassley
March 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON – Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and Mike Lee of Utah today called on the Justice Department to investigate allegations of misconduct by federal prosecutors in cases related to the 2007 Moonlight Fire in California. The officials in question allegedly failed to provide relevant information in the cases, retaliated against a colleague who disclosed documents that were originally withheld and targeted prosecutions for the sole purpose of raising revenue.

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Conservation groups to appeal timber project decision

Associated Press
March 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

KETCHIKAN, Alaska – Conservation groups plan to appeal a federal court ruling that allowed a logging project to proceed in the nation’s largest forest. The Ketchikan Daily News (http://is.gd/x6NRDr) reports environmental groups fighting the Big Thorne sale in southeast Alaska’s Tongass National Forest plan to appeal to the 9th Circuit Court. U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline on March 20 ruled in favor of the U.S. Forest Service. The agency last year approved selling 6,000 acres of old-growth trees for logging as part of the timber project on Prince of Wales Island west of Ketchikan.

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Bitterroot Nat’l Forest proposes timber thinning project near Como (& video)

NBC Montana
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Watch Video on the planned thinning of the Bitterroot National Forest

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Lincoln County forest management key to dodging fiery bullets

Wildfire damage effects water supplies
Ruidoso News
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Who takes responsibility for managing the watersheds and controlling the incidences of wildfire? Dr. Brent Racher with Racher Resource Management tried to answer that question during a recent event at the Ruidoso Convention Center addressing stakeholders in Lincoln County water basins. “The big question is how are we going to do what needs to be done?” Racher said. “We are growing more than we are taking out. We can only dodge bullets for so long until one hits us.” Racher is talking about the forest and fire danger. Small diameter trees and shrubbery under the forest canopy cause forest fires to burn hotter and spread faster than a cleaner forest floor.

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Forest Restoration Efforts Increase

Fire budget threatens to sap maintenance, recreation programs 
Payson Roundup
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service is struggling to increase the pace of forest restoration and thinning efforts, but the soaring cost of fighting wildfires threatens to “cripple” the agency, U.S. Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resource and Environment Robert Bonnie this week told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. “The U.S. Forest Service is accelerating restoration and management of the national forests, despite budgetary challenges, though we agree more must be done,” said Bonnie. “The good news is that the agency is making significant progress.” Bonnie noted that since 1998 the Forest Service staff has shrunk by more than one-third, but last year the Forest Service still met or exceeded all of its targets related to forest management on the national forests.

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Oregon waits — and hopes — for more precipitation

Mail Tribune
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A historically warm winter has Oregon facing its fourth straight year of drought, prompting worry that the extended warm spell fueling California’s statewide water crisis is about to hit Oregon… Short of getting twice the normal rain this spring — which experts don’t expect — Oregonians can expect fewer healthy fish in the river, fewer seeds in the ground, fewer cattle in the fields and more acres on fire. The water problems could also undermine plans to boost Oregon’s flagging rural economy by expanding irrigated agriculture in the Umatilla Basin and increasing logging access to federal forests.

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Bark beetles ravaging drought-stricken forests in California

San Francisco Chronicle
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Armies of tiny bark beetles are ravaging drought-weakened pine trees throughout California in a fast spreading epidemic that biologists fear could soon turn catastrophic. Local, state and federal officials are virtually helpless against the pestilence, which has turned hundreds of thousands of acres of forest brown and left huge fire-prone stands of dead wood. The trees are being devoured by millions of native beetles, each about the size of a grain of rice. The insects, thriving in the warm weather and lack of freezing temperatures, are overwhelming the defenses of water-starved trees, attacking in waves and multiplying at a frenzied pace, depositing eggs under the bark that hatch into ravenous larval grubs.

Sierra Nevada pine tree die -off worsens as beetles thrive in drought from The Fresno Bee

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Timber 2015 expo a showcase for Pennsylvania forest products industry

Penn State News
March 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Pennsylvania’s large forest-products industry will be showcased during the 2015 Forest Products Equipment and Technology Exposition, June 5-6 at Penn State’s Ag Progress Days site at Rock Springs. Known as Timber 2015, the biennial trade exposition is hosted by the Penn State College of Agricultural Sciences and the Pennsylvania Forest Products Association. Parking and admission are free. Organizers expect as many as 90 commercial exhibitors at the event, which is aimed at loggers, sawmill operators, value-added processors and forest landowners.

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Triumph and loss in Victory

Book details the gains and losses of forestry in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom
Sentinel Source.com
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The northern half of New England is the most forested section of the continental United States. Trees cover at least 80 percent of Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Trees are the starting point in the definition of these states and have had a pivotal impact on the lives and times of their residents. Bill Gove’s revealing history of “Logging Along the Moose River: The story of the Victory Branch Railroad” is a saga of lumberjacks and locomotives working in the prized Northeast Kingdom enclave of Vermont more than a century ago.

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Forest Festival not in favor of biomass industry

WECT.com
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WILMINGTON, NC – On Sunday the Dogwood Alliance held a Forest Festival in Hugh MacRae Park. This festival is giving the community a chance to come together to celebrate North Carolina’s forests as well as learn about the growing impact of the biomass industry.  Biomass industries use organic materials such as lumber scraps, forest debris and manure to make fuel used for electricity and other forms of renewable energy. However, with Southern forests being cleared, the Dogwood Alliance is worried about the direct impacts this will have on the Port City. 

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USFWS Approaches Decision on Northern Long-Eared Bat

WXPR Public Radio
March 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A decision over whether to list the northern long-eared bat as endangered is no more than a week away. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed the listing because bat populations face devastation from the deadly white-nose syndrome. But some farmers and loggers have argued the bat is still too numerous to warrant an endangered listing. Great Lakes Timber Professionals Director Henry Schienebeck says it would bring too many restrictions.

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Hope for NC forest hemlocks comes in shape of tiny predator

The Charlotte Observer
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

BANNER ELK – The granddaddy trees of North Carolina’s mountains are skeletons on many slopes. Hemlocks that might have lived for 800 years can die in as few as five, victims of tiny, sap-sucking bugs. Gray hemlock stands pock the Great Smoky Mountains, the most-visited national park, where 80 percent of the oldest trees are dead. More than half of North Carolina’s forest hemlocks have died in the past 15 years. But there’s hope amid the devastation. The beetle Laricobius nigrinus, a native of the Pacific Northwest known as Lari, feasts on the aphid-like insects called hemlock woolly adelgids.

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Extinct Tree Resurrected from Ancient Seeds is now a Dad

Ancient-Origins.net
March 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Ten years since the Judean Date Palm was miraculously brought back to life following the chance discovery of seeds in the 2,000-year-old ruins of Masada, the male date palm tree named Methuselah, the only one of his kind, has become a father. For thousands of years, the date palm was a staple crop in the Kingdom of Judea, as it was a source of food, shelter and shade. Thick forests of the palms towering up to 80 feet and spreading for 7 miles covered the Jordan River valley from the Sea of Galilee in the north to the shores of the Dead Sea in the south.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wildfire critical in calculating carbon-payback time for biomass energy projects

Phys.org
March 30, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Accounting for wildfire is essential in achieving an accurate and realistic calculation of the carbon payback period associated with converting forest biomass into energy, according to a new study. Researchers said their analysis of carbon-accounting methods is expected to inform the scientific debate about the sustainability of such conversion projects. Some contend that biomass is inherently carbon neutral because the trees sequestered the carbon from the atmosphere, while others argue that when a forest is harvested to produce energy, it represents a substantial carbon debt because it will take many years for new trees growing in that location to sequester the carbon emitted when the energy was produced.

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Wood pellet operations underway at Port of Baton Rouge

The Advocate
March 29, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

For more than a year, many westbound drivers crossing the Mississippi River on the Interstate 10 bridge connecting Baton Rouge and Port Allen may have wondered why two giant, white domes were under construction on the west bank. Last month, large trucks began filling one of the domes with tons of wood pellets. Those two huge eggs are part of Drax Group’s drive to convert its coal-fired power plants in the United Kingdom to use wood pellets as renewable fuel. Both Drax — which reported about $4.18 billion in total revenue for 2014 — and Louisiana’s taxpayers have bet big money on this venture’s success.

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University of St Andrews graduates to biomass power in carbon neutral push

BusinessGreen
March 29, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Plans for a £25m biomass plant and heat network at the University of St Andrews have received a major boost after the scheme secured the final £11m financing required to start construction. The Scottish Government confirmed Friday that money would be invested through the Scottish Partnership for Regeneration in Urban Centres (SPRUCE) fund, which is a joint Scottish Government and European Regional Development initiative, managed by Amber Infrastructure… The plant is expected to take 15,000 to 17,000 tonnes of wood annually with an output of 6.5 MW. The boiler and heat network is expected to avoid up to 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per year and create more than 225 jobs during the construction phase.

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