Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 29, 2015

Business & Politics

Alberni forestry needs raw logs

Local industry lacks sawmill investments
Alberni Valley Times
June 29, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Private investment in sawmills has focused on the east side of Vancouver Island, leaving Port Alberni’s once-mighty forestry industry reliant on the shipment of raw logs to keep the local economy afloat. …The Port Alberni Port Authority’s records show that over the first half of this year 29 vessels docked at the city’s berths to collect unmanufactured logs for foreign markets, mostly to China, while just five ships were loaded with lumber cut at sawmills. In 2014 Port Alberni’s raw log shipments totalled 80 vessels; 13 ships headed across the Pacific Ocean with manufactured lumber. In the same year the volume of raw logs sent from Port Alberni’s shore totalled 783,381 – a number that has dramatically increased over the last decade – while the amount of lumber measured less than 77,000 tonnes.

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Tacoma’s Murray Pacific Corp. selling Lewis County timber lands to California forest giant

The News Tribune
June 26, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A family-owned Tacoma company that has owned and managed thousands of acres of timberland in Washington for more than a century is selling its Lewis County lands to an aggressive California wood products company. The acquisition of Murray Pacific Corp.’s 54,000 acres of forested land is Sierra Pacific Industries’ latest foray into the timber business in Washington. The sale is expected to be consummated by the end of July. “The sale marks the end of Murray Pacific’s 104-year history in the timber business, and ensures that the timberland it has carefully managed for many decades goes to new owners with similar values,” the Tacoma-based company said Friday in a news release.

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Tasmanian Government looks for private investors for southern woodchip export, processing

ABC News, Australia
June 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The State Government is calling for expressions of interest from private operators interested in processing or exporting woodchips in Tasmania’s south. Wood residue has had to be transported to the state’s north for export since the closure of the Triabunna woodchip mill four years ago. Advertisements have been placed in newspapers and the Government said it hoped to select a successful tender by the end of the year. Since the closure of the Triabunna woodchip mill, taxpayers have been funding road subsidies to truck residues to Bell Bay in the north.

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Chuck Chiang: Greening one of the world’s largest paper companies

Vancouver Sun
June 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

JAKARTA — In recent months, Asia Pulp & Paper, one of the largest multinationals in its sector, has been aggressively trying to increase its profile in North America, including in B.C. The reason goes beyond the company’s sourcing of long-fibre pulpwood from B.C. mills owned by corporate partners, officials say. It has been about two years since the Indonesia-based corporation announced its new Sustainability Roadmap and Forest Conservation Policy. The plan not only ended all natural forest clearing in its Indonesia supply chain in 2013, but also called for what officials described as a comprehensive reforestation, community engagement (including local indigenous peoples), wildlife conservation and emissions strategy.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

End of an era with bat maker’s retirement

IndyStar
June 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Danny Luckett’s retirement leaves Louisville Slugger on the short end of the stick. Luckett was the company’s last link to pre-automation bat-making, to the art of shaping wood into baseball weaponry as a delicate, painstaking and labor-intensive process. There’s no one left at the Main Street factory with the skill set and experience to make a bat to big-league specifications without the aid of a computer. …In all, Luckett is credited with making about 2 ½ million bats, roughly 2,500 tons of finished product. Many thousands of those bats were fashioned one at a time, four per hour, over a rotating lathe, with wood chips flying and sawdust accumulating.

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Wildlife Forensics Lab Uses Tech To Sniff, Identify Illegal Wood

WUNC.org
June 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Before you prosecute thieves, you have to know what they stole. It’s the same for crimes against nature. The world’s only wildlife forensic lab is in southern Oregon. The lab usually specializes in endangered animal cases, but armed with a high-tech device, it’s now helping track shipments of contraband wood. There’s a small woodshop at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Forensics Lab. But there’s no sawdust, or power tools. The shop is more like an archive, containing samples of some of the rarest woods on the planet — African mahogany, Brazilian ebony and more… They’re used to help identify illegal shipments of rare woods.

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Elyria church sanctuary lost in blaze early Saturday

Cleveland.com
June 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

ELYRIA, Ohio — A large blaze burned down the sanctuary of College Heights Baptist Church in Elyria early Saturday. Fire officials believe the blaze started in the church’s sanctuary. Joseph Pronesti, a captain with the Elyria Fire Department, said the sanctuary was unable to be saved by firefighters, yet the foundation of the remainder of the church still stands. The church is estimated to have sustained a total of $1 million in damage. …”The biggest problem was that due to the wood truss construction of the church, the ceiling collapsed. We are very lucky there were no injuries,” Pronesti said. Because of the collapsed ceiling, firefighters were forced to take a defensive approach and fight the blaze from outside the building.

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Forestry

Companies & Province Work To Help Vancouver Island Marmot

Nanaimo Business News
June 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Province is providing $135,000 to support the recovery of the Vancouver Island marmot over the next two years, with Island Timberlands and TimberWest contributing an additional $35,000 each for 2015. The money will go to the Marmot Recovery Foundation, a charity established to spearhead efforts to restore marmots to stable self-sustaining populations in three areas of their historic range. The funding will assist with the captive breeding program, translocation of marmots from more stable population to areas of need, research and analysis.

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Fires in northern Saskatchewan lead to evacuations, fire ban

A local state of emergency has been declared for the community of Sucker River
CBC News
June 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Northern Saskatchewan is on edge as forest fires have led to evacuations of some communities as well as an overall ban on camp fires. Officials are also recommending people to avoid travel north of La Ronge, Sask. On Friday afternoon, Highway 102 — a major route into Saskatchewan’s north — was closed for several hours due to the proximity of a fire. It was opened again, late in the day, but officials said the status could change with very little notice. And access road, from Highway 102 to Nemeiban Lake, was still closed.

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As forest fire season drags on, Yukon seeks drivers

Drivers needed to move crews, vehicles and equipment around the territory
CBC News
June 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Yukon Wildland Fire Management is looking for truck drivers to help move crews, vehicles and equipment around the territory. The agency is compiling a list of drivers with Class 3 or Class 4 licenses who can work one or two weeks at a time during what’s turned into a busy forest fire season. Local fire districts can contact drivers on short notice if they need ground transportation. “It’s a variety of jobs,” Wildland Fire Management spokesperson Sarah Murray wrote in an email. 

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Forsite is hiring again

Forsite
June 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forsite, a company that specializes in forest land management, is looking for a Planning Forester to support their clients in B.C. and across western Canada. The position, based in Salmon Arm, involves working with senior staff to deliver tactical and strategic planning projects.   Incorporated in 1987, Forsite has been delivering effective forest land management and development services to government and industry clients for over 25 years.

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N.W.T. closes highways as forest fires intensify

Highways 3 and 6 closed to traffic Saturday afternoon
CBC News
June 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The N.W.T. Department of Transportation closed two highways Saturday as a combination of lightning, hot, dry weather and high winds continued to spark new fires and help existing ones to spread. Highway 6, the road to Fort Resolution, closed early Saturday afternoon. A fire burning in the area jumped the highway and campers were being told to evacuate the area. A short time later, the department closed Highway 3 between Behchoko and Fort Providence. It was not immediately clear when the highways would reopen.

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Spruce trees are surprisingly delicious

Greg Osowski of the Atlantic Wildlife Institute says he’s made soda and shortbread cookies out of spruce trees
CBC News
June 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Most people don’t walk through the woods for a bite to eat, but as Greg Osowski says they’re tastier than many people may think. It’s important to first identify that you’re looking at a spruce and not a fir tree. Greg Osowski, the outdoor educator at the Atlantic Wildlife Institute, explained to Vanessa Vander Valk of Shift there are three key elements that differ from a fir tree.

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Local forest owners face challenges, but also find satisfaction

TheDay.com
June 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

For Jennifer Burdy, the thrill of seeing bobcats, fisher cats, mink and other animals on the 40-acre woodland she and her husband, Christopher, own makes all the effort and expense of keeping the property worthwhile. “It’s very important to me, because there’s not a lot of wildlife habitat left,” said Burdy, who also runs a small goat farm on the Old Norwich Road property in Waterford. “Hopefully one of my children would want to carry on this type of stewardship.” The Burdys are one of the more than 140,000 Connecticut families who own about half of the 1.8 million acres of forest in the state. In a first-of-its-kind report by the Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the attitudes, values and challenges of those who own forestland in the state are examined.

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Bug infested forests raise fire danger in Washington

KING5.com
June 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

NEAR BLEWETT PASS, Wash. – From the crest of the Cascade Mountains running east to the sagebrush and desert country along the Columbia River, a map shows years of damage from the Western Spruce Budworm, which is killing trees by the thousands. The state’s worst patch of budworm damage is an area bordered by I-90 to the south, as Highway 97 runs right through it. Moths living in one tree will lay eggs on the tree next to it. And when the caterpillars come out, the damage begins. “It’s a little bit of a zombie tree. It’s dead, and it doesn’t know it yet,” said Aaron Everett, state forester with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. 

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Rain helps crews gain on Lake fire in San Bernardino National Forest

LA Times
June 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters trying to rein in an 11-day-old wildfire in the San Bernardino Mountains got a little help Sunday as light rain fell over the area. By early afternoon, “a pretty good cell of showers” was moving through the Inland Empire, including where the Lake fire continued to burn about 30,700 acres, said Uriah Hernandez, a spokesman for the U.S. Forest Service. “If anything, it does help slow the fire’s progression,” he said. The fire was 50% contained by Sunday, but officials said they expected that figure to rise throughout the day as fire crews continued to gain ground north and east of Onyx Peak.

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Judge rejects environmentalists’ open-meetings lawsuit

Associated Press
June 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Mont. — A Helena judge has rejected three environmental groups’ claims that Gov. Steve Bullock violated the state’s open-meeting laws by holding discussions before nominating 5.1 million acres of forest land for priority federal management. Last year, Bullock nominated land in the Lolo, Bitterroot, Flathead, Helena-Lewis and Clark, Kootenai, Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Custer-Gallatin national forests for more intensive management through logging and measures to improve forest health. The process was authorized by Congress to treat insect infestations and disease.

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BLM proposes to use 3 new herbicides

Public can comment on plan to control noxious weeds
Idaho Mountain Express
June 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The BLM is seeking public comment on a proposal to add three more herbicides to its list of approved treatments for noxious weeds. One, a Dow Agrosciences product called Milestone, is used to kill spotted knapweed, which is widespread in the Wood River Valley. Some controversy has arisen over the product, also known as aminopyralid, because it has destroyed gardens that had been treated with contaminated compost.  Citing a Washington State University Extension study from 2011, the
BLM’s environmental impact study on its proposal states that
aminopyralid is persistent in plant materials and the manure of animals
that have eaten plant materials treated with the herbicide.

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Mike Paradis and Gordon Cruickshank: Forest collaborators frustrated by lawsuits

Idaho Statesman
June 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

There’s growing consensus that something must be done on federal lands to improve the health of our forests and rural communities. To that end, collaboration is commonly touted as the model for resolving controversial issues in federal forest management. The Lost Creek-Boulder Creek Landscape Restoration Project (LCBC) on the Payette National Forest is an example of what can go right — and wrong — when successful collaboration collides with broken federal forest policies. As a Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Act project, the LCBC should be a model of how the “restoration economy” can create more rural jobs.

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Western wildfires: Southern California fire roars to life

Associated Press
June 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires are chewing through parched parts of the West, including a resurgent blaze in California that forced residents of some desert communities to flee their homes. A look at the latest hotspots and what crews are doing to control them: A 10-day-old wildfire chewed through more timber and brush in the San Bernardino Mountains, threatening thousands of homes and other structures as it stretched northeast into the desert. The blaze about 90 miles east of Los Angeles has scorched more than 46 square miles by Friday — much of that after roaring back to life midweek. Residents of the tiny Mojave communities of Burns Canyon and Rimrock were ordered to leave their homes Thursday.

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Olympic National Forest calls for infrastructure project proposals

Peninsula Daily News
June 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIC NATIONAL FOREST — The national forest is seeking proposals for projects that improve forest health, water quality or existing infrastructure. It is seeking the Title II project proposals for work to be completed in 2016. Applications are due July 31. Funding will be provided through Secure Rural Schools, which was reauthorized for another two years. The program provides payments to counties as compensation for the loss of tax income associated with federal land within their boundaries. Past projects have included watershed restoration, stream stabilization, invasive plant treatments and road maintenance.

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Camillo Fire Benefits Forest

Payson Roundup
June 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The US Forest Service on Saturday issued the following update on the Camillo fire, still burning near Flagstaff: The managed Camillo fire continues to meet fire managers’ objectives by re-introducing fire into the ecosystem with low to moderate fire effects. Crews have worked successfully to keep historical sites and highway infrastructure from being damaged. Burning along the high voltage kV power lines is complete with no adverse effects or interruptions in service. Private property within the fire management area is being protected from fire impacts and residents are still allowed to access their property safely. Safety is always a top priority; there have been no injuries to firefighters or the public to date.

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Groups dedicate newest section of Helena National Forest

Helena Independent Record
June 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Nineteen former mining claims south east of York were dedicated Friday afternoon as the newest segment of the Helena National Forest. The coalition of groups that worked to make the 386 acres in York Gulch public land for wildlife habitat and recreation joined on the property to celebrate the culmination of their efforts. The project included an inholding owned by the Montana Outdoor Legacy Foundation, and the acquisition of neighboring property from former owner Betty Tiddy of Helena.

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Public Input To End On Timber Sale Near Oregon Gulch Fire

Oregon Public Broadcasting
June 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The public comment period for the New Hayden Fox vegetation treatment project in southern Oregon ends Friday. The Bureau of Land Management field office in Klamath Falls is proposing commercial timber thinning, brush mowing and reducing overall fire hazards. The 1,450-acre area is located in the southwestern portion of the Klamath Falls Resource Area, just north of the California border. The project was previously considered and analyzed in April 2014, but the Oregon Gulch Fire burned through much of the land and a final decision was never made. The area currently proposed for treatment was not burned in the fire.

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Why are the environmentalists silent on beetle-killed forests?

Letter to the editor
The Daily Ranger
June 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I find it amazing how silent the environmental groups are about the millions of acres of pine beetle-killed trees in the watersheds of the western mountains. Don’t you? Why would they be silent? Could it be they have forest permits, and they fear retribution from the USFS for any criticism of that inept government agency. So afraid, in fact, that they wouldn’t say “disaster” if they had a forest-full, a state-full, or an ecosystem-full. I can remember how silent they “weren’t” when they shoved the wolf down our throats. Can you?

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Fire-prone conditions arrive early, state Forestry Department says

The Oregonian
June 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Exceptionally dry landscape, drought conditions, hot weather and forecasted lightning have escalated the risk of extreme fire activity through the weekend and into this coming week, the Oregon Department of Forestry emphasized Sunday. The agency, along with forestland owners and agency partners, say they are managing conditions usually experienced in late July or early August. The Sugarloaf Fire near the headquarters of the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument mushroomed to 5,500 acres in just hours Saturday, burning in a sparsely populated area. Residences were evacuated and one outbuilding was destroyed.

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Discontent with 4FRI contractor

Trucking companies note concerns, complaints
White Mountain Independent
June 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WHITE MOUNTAINS — Trucking companies have expressed disappointment with the Four Forest Restoration Initiative contractor, noting failed promises and money owed to them not being paid. There has long been a need to restore the forests to help prevent massive wildfires. After the Rodeo-Chediski Fire in 2002, the White Mountain Stewardship Contract was awarded a 10-year thinning project two years later that was mostly successful. Several years later the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI, came into being, a massive undertaking involving multiple agencies, governments, environmental groups and local officials.

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Chainsawing instructor injured in first lesson

WorkSafe NZ
3News.co.nz
June 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A tutor’s first lesson for students on using a chainsaw ended with him being so badly injured he cannot work. The Waiariki Institute of Technology tutor suffered fractures to his right shoulder, lower back, leg and five ribs, collapsed lungs, bruised vertebrae and severe abdominal pain and swelling. He has needed ongoing physiotherapy and further surgery is likely, WorkSafe New Zealand said today after the tertiary education provider was ordered to pay $40,000 reparation in Rotorua District Court. The institute, which cannot be fined as a crown organisation, was charged and sentenced under the Health and Safety in Employment Act.

Press release from WorkSafe NZ

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National Arboretum Canberra trees shape up for a mysterious future

Canberra Times
June 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Senior horticulturalist and arborist Owen Bolitho doesn’t rely on textbooks to shape trees in the National Arboretum Canberra.  But he does rely on his $3000 secateurs, powered by a battery pack on his back. They are powerful, sensitive and fairly safe when used in conjunction with a glove on his left hand. A circuit runs through the glove and will short circuit if the blades come too close, saving him from losing a finger. After pruning two forests, the secateurs’ automatic register counted 10,000 cuts.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

B.C. is looking at a new approach to tackling climate change – adaptation

Globe and Mail
June 28, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Christy Clark just handed out her cabinet ministers’ assignments for the coming year, laying out their responsibilities and pet projects. …“Working with the Ministry of Environment, undertake an analysis of the impact of lower snowpacks and retreating glaciers on the forests of British Columbia,” Ms. Clark has instructed her forests and lands minister, Steve Thomson. “Make recommendations to cabinet on strategies to protect our forests from any impacts of climate change.” Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick has a similar assignment related to his portfolio. Forestry and farming together deliver more than $8-billion worth of economic activity each year in British Columbia.

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BRIGHTON: Biomass merits need second look

The Chronicle Herald
June 26, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ratepayers received a small windfall in April from a surge in the use of natural gas to generate electrical power in Nova Scotia. Using more natural gas, at relatively low prices, helped hold the line on fuel costs despite higher loads on the system, according to a monthly report from Nova Scotia Power Inc. The utility reports monthly on the fuel adjustment mechanism, which is the regulatory process for managing customer payments to the power utility. …It’s time to think about energy efficiency on a broader scale, starting with the merits of large-scale biomass.

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The surprisingly important climate policy moment that’s coming this week

Washington Post
June 28, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

White House officials confirmed Thursday that in President Obama’s meetings this coming week with the president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, they’re going to be talking about climate change. It’s unclear whether the result will be any kind of climate-related pact between the U.S. and Brazil on emissions, as we saw between the U.S. and China last year. But there’s certainly plenty of speculation about one… Which brings us to the Amazon, the biggest rainforest in the world. Cattle interests and other key players have been devastating Brazil’s forests. And this has vast consequences — for not only is it likely helping to fuel the devastating drought afflicting the Brazilian megacity of Sao Paulo, but it means less pulling of carbon out of the atmosphere.

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Researchers: Woody biomass could save money, environment

NorthCoast News
June 24, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

BIG LAGOON, Calif. – Researchers at Humboldt State University put woody biomass in the spotlight as a viable alternative energy source at a demonstration today for the public, which is part of the Waste to Wisdom program. Researchers said that the by-products of trees, such as fallen branches, twigs and limbs could potentially help residents in the North Coast save money, as well as help the environment and potentially profit. In the past, woody biomass was not seen as an efficient energy source since it was not easily transportable. However, researchers said they have developed a method where the wood can be chopped up into chips and formed into different shapes, such as bricks to make them more transportation friendly.

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Federal, HSU project seeks to improve biomass energy capabilities

Times-Standard
June 28, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States, US West

In the isolated timberlands east of Big Lagoon, a multimillion-dollar project led by Humboldt State University and the U.S. Department of Energy is working to harness the bountiful biofuel within the forests for use as renewable energy here and abroad. Entering its second year, the Waste to Wisdom project is seeking the best methods to process and transport leftover wood material from timber cuts to be used in renewable energy plants and land restoration. One of the project’s principal investigators, professor Han-Sup Han of HSU’s Department of Forestry and Wildland Resources, said the goal of the project is to make biomass fuel production more cost-effective and collaborative. “Right now, timber operations and biomass are completely separated,” Han said. “We’re trying to push them together.”

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General

West Virginia lumber industry rebounding

Charleston Gazette
June 28, 2015
Category: Uncategorised

The trees that cover the Mountain State and attract visitors with their colorful visuals in the fall are becoming a sought after commodity again. Spurred on by the recovering housing market in the United States and new export opportunities in foreign countries, West Virginia’s lumber and wood-products industries are starting to recover from a six-year slump. In the past three years, employment and output from sawmills and other wood-product manufacturers in the state have started to come back from the doldrums that followed the financial crisis of 2007, when a national housing bubble burst largely because of sub-prime mortgage loans. 

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