Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: August 7, 2015

Froggy Foibles

This Crazy Tree Grows 40 Kinds of Fruit!

Biotechin.Asia
August 7, 2015
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

Sam Van Aken, an artist and professor at Syracuse University, uses “chip grafting” to create trees that each bear 40 different varieties of stone fruits, or fruits with pits. The grafting process involves slicing a bit of a branch with a bud from a tree of one of the varieties and inserting it into a slit in a branch on the “working tree,” then wrapping the wound with tape until it heals and the bud starts to grow into a new branch. Over several years he adds slices of branches from other varieties to the working tree.

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Business & Politics

Canadian exports rebound in June with biggest gain since 2006

Financial Post
August 5, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — After months of mounting trade deficits with the rest of the world, Canadian exports bounced back in June — and in a big way — recording the largest surplus in shipments in nearly a decade. That’s welcome news for an economy that is now in a shrinking pattern and flirting with another recession. …“As for resources, it’s encouraging to see that forestry products saw a significant 9.2-per-cent increase in June,” he said. “We’ve made the case that a key sector that should benefit from the improvements in the U.S. labour market should be housing, an important catalyst for one of Canada’s commodity exports at a time when the overall complex is severely depressed.”

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Green party leader in Gibsons

Coast Reporter
August 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Green party leader Elizabeth May visited Gibsons on Aug. 1 to discuss the Green platform and stir up votes for local candidate Ken Melamed. …“We should not be allowing any export of raw logs. We need to be getting wood to mills for value-added forest products,” she continued. “We need to be sure that we expand our tourism sector, do more with film and TV production, protect our fisheries from open pen fish farms.”

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Western Forest Products net income falls 35%

Business in Vancouver
August 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Western Forest Products had net income of $19.1 million in 2015’s second quarter – down 35% compared with $29.2 million in the same period last year. Revenue for the period ending June 30 was $289.2 million, compared with $296.2 million for the second quarter last year. Western credited an increase in specialty product sales for the profit in the second quarter. The company also said it increased shipments of western red cedar and reduced its exposure to a significant downturn in both commodity lumber and Japanese markets. Western showed a profit of $27.6 million profit in the first quarter of 2015.

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Conifex Holds Off on Mackenzie Sawmill Rebuild Decision

250 News
August 7, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C.- Just when Conifex will rebuild its idled Mackenzie Site 1 mill is not known.Conifex has just announced it has purchased a mill in Arkansas. “It’s important to Conifex to secure this ideal site and high quality infrastructure in one of the most advantaged softwood supply regions in North America” says Conifex CEO Ken Shields. “The uncertainties flowing from the expiry and renegotiation of the Softwood Lumber Agreement could potentially impact the timing of the modernization and upgrade of our Canadian sawmills, while we expect the SLA will have less impact on capital expenditure decisions for mills located in the US.”

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Canadian company buying shuttered G-P mill in El Dorado

Magnolia Reporter
August 7, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conifex Timber Inc. of Vancouver, Canada, said Thursday that it is buying the former George-Pacific sawmill south of El Dorado. The statement said Conifex has completed the purchase of the outstanding shares and shareholder loans of a private Delaware company. The consideration consisted of 100,000 common shares of the company at a deemed price of $6.75 Canadian dollars, as well as the reimbursement of certain costs previously incurred by the vendor. The Delaware company had the exclusive rights to acquire the sawmill and related facilities and equipment, including approximately 186 acres of land.

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Plywood mill gets ACOA funding

Owner plans to be in production this fall
Atlantic Farm Focus
August 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Riverstone Plywood Mill in Miramichi, New Brunswick should be back in production this fall. According to the Miramichi Leader, the mill received $2 million from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) on July 31. Owner Jean-Yves Cardinal of Quebec told the newspaper that although the mill had been idle for over six years the equipment had been tested in January and was in good shape. He said it would need minor retooling. “The mill will likely harness a 63,000 cubic-metre Crown allocation while relying heavily on outside shipments in order to meet its raw fibre needs,” Cardinal told the Miramichi Leader.

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Holidays Slowed July Hardwood Exports to Europe, Middle East

Woodworking Network
August 6, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

U.S. hardwood lumber exports totaled 129 million board feet in May, down 2% from the prior month and 15% from May 2014. It marked the first April-to-May decline since 2003. Total year-to-date exports were down 9% through May, as sizeable declines to Canada (-7%), Asia (-10%) and Europe (-18%) easily offset an increase to Latin America (+3%). Shipments of Red Oak, White Oak, Poplar and Ash—the four most commonly exported species—were off 7%, 4%, 23% and 12% on the year, respectively. A March-May surge in Alder exports pushed year-to-date volume 3% ahead of the 2015 pace, making it the lone Top 5 species to show an increase.

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Ta Ann’s $16m plywood mill at Smithton opens, company says operation will create 120 jobs

ABC News, Australia
August 7, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A new plywood mill in Tasmania’s north-west is expected to generate $26 million in its first year of operation. Ta Ann started building a $16 million plywood plant at its Smithton facility in June last year and it has now been officially opened, several months behind schedule. Just under half the funding was committed by the former Federal Labor government as part of Tasmania’s forest peace deal and the grant was honoured by the Coalition.

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Lumber exports from Russia increased by 7.4% in the first six months of 2015

Lesprom
August 7, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

For the first six months of 2015 total volume of lumber exports from Russia increased by 7.4%, to 6.958 million tons year-over-year, as Federal Customs Service of Russia said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The volume of Russian exports of roundwood for the reporting period amounted to 9.21 million cubic metres, (8.2% less than in the same period last year), worth $682.8 million (-24.5%). 8.946 million cubic metres of roundwood (-8.3%) worth $670.6 million (-24.2%) were shipped to other countries in January-June 2015; to CIS countries -259.7 thousand cubic metres (-5.4%) worth $12.2 million (-36.8%).

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Timber on the rise

Global Timber Forum
August 6, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood construction and especially tall wooden buildings are still facing restrictions in several German federal states. However, with Rhineland-Palatinate one more state has now introduced a new building regulation that facilities construction of tall wooden buildings: as of 1 August, special permits are no longer required for wooden buildings of up to five storeys.  “Rhineland-Palatinate has cleared an important hurdle that stood in the way of multi-story timber buildings”, says Dirk-Uwe Klaas, general manager of BDF, the German prefabricated construction association. “It will now be able to make full use of its forest resources and their potential for building in wood”. 

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Forestry

Charter Forests Could Bring Innovation to Land Management

Heartland.org
August 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A new report by the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC) offers an alternative approach to national forest management: the concept of “chartered forests.” Building on the charter schools experiment, the key principle is freedom and flexibility tied to accountability. The report’s author, Robert Nelson of the University of Maryland, told Environment & Climate News how chartered forests would work. “A charter forest would function outside the administration of the Forest Service, although the land would remain federal,” Nelson said.

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Healthy Soils Provide Foundation for a Healthy Life on National Forests and Grasslands

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

Soils sustain life. Without soils there would be no life as we know it. Consider what healthy soils mean for the 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in 44 states and Puerto Rico. Soils provide the fertility needed to grow the plants, forests and grasslands that support and shelter humans and animals; they store water and carbon; they recycle and purify water, air and nutrients; and healthy soils can reduce nutrient loading, sediment production and runoff. Healthy productive soils are critical to the Forest Service mission to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nations’ forests and grasslands to meet the needs of future and present generations.

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Once upon a time, we managed our National Forests

Eureka Times-Standard
August 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Remember when the U.S. Forest Service was responsible for MANAGING the forest? Yes, they made some mistakes — I mean clear cutting, who thought that would be OK? Back then, the Bureau of Land Management was responsible for public use of public land, policing things like grazing or mining, not National Forests. Lyndon Johnson resurrected the Civilian Conservation Corps as Job Corps, providing jobs for his “War on Poverty.” Even Nixon continued with some environmental efforts — he had to after 20 million people came out for Earth Day! We had Youth Conservation Corps crews, Young Adult Conservation Corps crews, Brush and Disposal crews, and fire crews, all of whom worked in the forest, establishing and maintaining such things as trails and, you know, DEFENSIVE FIRE LINES!

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Ribble, Bishop lead legislators in urging EPA to acknowledge sustainable managed forests

The Ripon Advance
August 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Reps. Reid Ribble (R-WI) and Sanford Bishop (D-GA) sent letters on Tuesday urging the federal government to acknowledge sustainably managed forests as carbon neutral, in terms of proposed regulations by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “Sustainable forest management has been documented many times over as a net positive for our environment, and as the No. 1 paper-producing state in the nation, it is a cornerstone of both our economy and our landscape,” Ribble said. “It is crucial that that the EPA and other federal agencies recognize this positive effect and not penalize states whose economies rely heavily on sustainable forest management in any future rulemakings.”

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Board of Forestry needs to protect fish, water

The Register-Guard
August 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Recently, I drove through rush-hour traffic to Salem and sat through a six-hour hearing at the Oregon Board of Forestry in hopes that, at the end of the day, the board would follow the science and protect fish from warming waters in forest streams. Instead, the board punted. Apparently it needs more time to consider the overwhelming scientific evidence that salmon and other fish need significantly wider buffers of standing trees along streams to provide shade and keep water cool.  The forestry board has a duty to ensure that state forest practices meet state water quality standards, and last week, it failed. The board has seen the science.

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Op-ed: Recreation on public lands is an uneven economic generator

The Salt Lake Tribune
August 2, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The sweeping landscapes and unparalleled vistas found on public land in Utah provide outstanding recreational experiences for both Utahns and those who visit our state. According to the Outdoor Industry Association, annual trip-related expenditures in Utah total over $12 billion, supporting an estimated 122,000 jobs and providing $3.6 billion in income. Make no mistake about it, outdoor recreation is big business in Utah. But these numbers hide an important dichotomy: many, if not most, trip-related expenditures do not occur in the places people actually recreate.

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High Country foresters report rising infestation of pine needle scale

Summit Daily
August 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It looks like lice on your trees. Unprecedented infestations of pine needle scale — a native insect that eats the needles of pine, spruce and fir trees — are on the rise on private lands in the High Country, and foresters have linked the increase to heavy pesticides used to combat mountain pine beetle. The insecticides may have killed off other insects like predatory beetles and parasitic wasps that typically keep pine needle scale in check. “It’s really the lack of beneficial insects that’s the driving factor, ”said Ryan McNertney, assistant district forester for the Colorado State Forest Service Granby District, which covers Summit, Eagle and Grand counties. 

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Feds: ‘Music wood’ poachers targeted Washington old growth maples

Quartet accused of stealing $800k in wood from Gifford Pinchot National Forest
SeattlePI.com
August 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Four men accused of poaching old-growth maple from a Washington national forest have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Seattle. Federal prosecutors claim the quartet illegally logged the massive big leaf maples to steal wood used to make pricey musical instruments. The men are alleged to have stolen trees from Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington. In an indictment unsealed Tuesday, prosecutors say Ryan Anthony Justice, James Michael Miller and Kevin James Mullins stole wood from the national forest, located east of Chehalis. Prosecutors are also targeting Harold Clause Kupers and his Winlock-based business, J&L Tonewoods, claiming it was a front for poached maple.

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Is drought killing California’s giant sequoias?

US Berkeley
August 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

California’s giant sequoias are showing signs of stress — some have leaves that are drier and sparser than usual — and UC Berkeley tree biologist Anthony Ambrose thinks the drought is to blame. Ambrose is leading a project, along with Koren Nydick, an ecologist with the National Park Service, to better understand how these massive trees respond to extreme drought. “We have very little understanding of how severe of a drought it takes to kill a giant sequoia tree,” Ambrose says… “The good news is that there are lots of trees that still seem healthy,” says Nydick. But she notes that there are a number of trees that are stressed in ways she hasn’t seen documented before in the parks.

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Protecting an historic Tree from the Emerald Ash Borer

AmeriPublications
August 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

An historic Green Ash Tree located on the Green in Montrose is suffering from an Emerald Ash Borer attack. The tree was planted in 1973 as a replacement for an historic elm tree planted in 1903 by Susquehanna County’s first homesteader Daniel Freeman. County residents planted the elm in celebration of Galusha Grow, who is known as the father of the Homestead Act. That tree eventually died from disease. The Green Ash tree was in danger of the same fate, until local tree care expert Joe Pipitone of Top Notch Tree Care of New Milford PA, and EAP urban forestry expert Trent Dicks of Arborjet, applied treatment to the tree which will protect it from emerald ash borer infestation.

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Bradford logger dies in accident in Carrollton

Olean Times Herald
August 6, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

LIMESTONE — A 62-year-old Bradford, Pa., logger died Wednesday after the log skidder he was using to drag logs from the woods near Parkside Drive in the town of Carrollton went over an embankment and into a ravine. John B. Keltz of Bradford, was pronounced dead by Cattaraugus County Coroner Kevin O’Rourke as darkness fell in the woods near the Pennsylvania border. Cattaraugus County Sheriffs Department investigators said Keltz sent log cutters home shortly before 1 p.m., telling them he would drag the remaining logs out of the woods before quitting.

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Chinese craze for high-end furniture, flooring is killing the world’s forests

Chinese companies have been plundering forests for over a decade, often illegally, to feed growing hunger for high-end goods among the nouveau riche.
Global Post in The Toronto Star
August 5, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

HENGDU, CHINA—While China clamps down on logging within its borders, illegal Chinese loggers are felling the world’s forests for the sake of teak floors and fancy chairs. In late July, 153 Chinese nationals were sentenced to life in prison for illegal logging in Burma’s northernmost Kachin state, a region known for coveted teak, padauk, beechwood, ebony and rosewood. Last week, Burmese authorities granted their release in a gesture of goodwill toward China, which is Burma’s largest trading partner. But the gesture, while benevolent toward the loggers, will do nothing to stop the ongoing logging in the region by Chinese companies who have been plundering Burma for over a decade, mostly illegally.

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Logging in national parks good for vulnerable species, Timber NSW says

ABC News, Australia
August 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Vulnerable native species would benefit if New South Wales’ national parks were opened up to controlled logging, according to the state’s timber industry. Timber NSW says controlled logging should be allowed in the state’s national parks and Crown lands as well as in state forests. That view is supported by Senator Richard Colbeck, Parliamentary Secretary to Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce.

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Forest Fires

B.C. fires: Harrison Lake wildfire grows to 1,325 hectares

Wildfire is now three times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park
CBC News
August 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

An out-of-control wildfire burning near Harrison Hot Springs, B.C. has doubled in size, officials with the Ministry of Forests said Thursday. The fire 20 kilometres west of Harrison Lake is now estimated at 1,325 hectares — burning an area three times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park. “The majority of the fire’s growth took place on August 2 and 3, but heavy smoke in the area previously limited mapping capabilities,” said B.C. Fire Information Officer Jordan Turner. No homes or structures are at risk from the fire. Officials say the fire was human caused and is currently spreading northward away from the resort community of Harrison Hot Springs.

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MICHAELS: Fires take climate change off the back burner

BC Local News in Penticton Western News
August 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Unless they’re there to hand out paycheques, thank-you gift baskets or actually swing an axe and hold a hose, I could do without ever seeing another politician at a fire. It’s obviously contrived. But there’s something unsettling about watching one roll in to an ongoing crisis wearing their man/woman-of-the-people wardrobe. They speak to the front line workers, brow appropriately furrowed and ask, loudly and awkwardly, questions they’ve likely already read the answers to in 15 previously published press releases. Of course, all those things are true. But I can’t help but wonder what these politicians are doing in their real arena of change that would help those brave men and women not be where they are, i.e. not be in harm’s way.

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Planes douse nearby wildfires

Air tankers on scene after lightning sparks five blazes around Great Central Lake
Alberni Valley Times
August 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

It took days for the Hawaii Mars water bomber to be dispatched while the Dog Mountain fire grew last month, but the province wasted no time calling on the massive aircraft when lightning started several wildfires around Great Central Lake on Tuesday. Lightning struck at approximately 5:30 p.m., igniting five wildfires near the lake. As of Wednesday the B.C. Wildfire Management Branch reported the largest fire to be two hectares north of the east end of Great Central Lake, with another 1.5-hectare blaze south of the middle of the body of water. Two other smaller fires burn by Great Central, with another lighting-caused incident by Wolf Creek north of the lake.

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Firefighters Hope For A Cool, Lightning-Free Weekend

Oregon Public Broadcasting
August 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Northwest forests are extremely dry, but it’s so far it hasn’t been as bad as 2014. Fire officials count 79 large fires at this point a year ago. This season, there have been 65 fires of at least 100 acres. “Even more telling, last year at this date, we’d burned 758,000 acres in Oregon and Washington,” said Tom Knappenberger, spokesperson for the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center. “And this year, we’re at 237,000, even though the conditions are a lot more volatile out there.” Knappenberger said there have been fewer lightning strikes, and recently, milder weather. Officials are optimistic that they could make progress on the region’s big wildfires, thanks to mild weather in the forecast.

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2nd fire contained in mountains east of Hamilton

The Missoulian
August 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON – Nearly 50 firefighters worked Thursday to mop up a 10-acre blaze in the Sapphire Mountains east of Hamilton. The lightning-caused St. Clair fire was declared contained before noon Thursday. The fire continued to smolder in scattered timber as firefighters worked to put out hot spots and catch rolling debris on the 90-degree slope. The fire was one of two started on private lands by a fast-moving lightning storm Tuesday. The 31-acre Mountain House fire just west of the St. Clair was deemed controlled Thursday.

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Crews stop fire from burning Idaho sage grouse habitat

AP in The Statesman Journal
August 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

BOISE, Idaho — A 3-square-mile wildfire burned through important sage grouse habitat in south-central Idaho, but nine aircraft and a local fire protection association stopped it from reaching the bird’s primary habitat. The fire about 12 miles north of Glenns Ferry will likely be out Thursday evening, U.S. Bureau of Land Management dispatcher Mark Rich said. It started with a lightning strike Tuesday evening. “It burned into important habitat, but we kept it from burning into the better sagebrush (habitat) as you go higher up Bennett Mountain,” Rich said, noting rain on Wednesday also helped. The sage brush habitat that burned is in an area between two wildfires from previous years that destroyed habitat for sage grouse that are being considered for federal protection under the Endangered Species Act.

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Sheep Creek fire now 15 percent contained

Billings Gazette
August 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A fire west of Dayton, Wyo., that has burned just more than 1,000 acres is now 15 percent contained, according to fire officials. Multiple aircraft dropped water and retardant on the fire. Crews worked to strengthen firelines and connect them to natural barriers like rock outcroppings. Crews also attacked another fire that started nearby Thursday morning and were able to completely contain the lightning-sparked blaze The Amsden Creek Wildlife Habitat Management Area is closed except for firefighting or emergency management personnel. County roads 90 and 92, west of Dayton, are closed at the junction of the two.

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Brown’s climate message: ‘California’s burning: What are you going to do about it?’

Sacramento Bee
August 6, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

LOWER LAKE  – After the fire tore through the hills and the evacuation order was lifted, Bill O’Connor returned to his land, lit a Marlboro cigarette and stood before the ashes where his home had been. In the area where the Rocky Fire broke out last week, dirt roads lead to now-vacant lots. Near Morgan Valley Road, little stands. “It’s like everything just melted,” O’Connor said. “You can’t even tell there used to be a house there … Everything is gone. Trailers, trucks, four wheelers, barns, everything. And the ground is still hot.” Firefighters, aided by humid conditions, were working Thursday to build additional control lines around the Rocky fire, with containment at 45 percent.

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Spain wildfires threaten homes amid Europe heatwave warnings

BBC News
August 7, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

Wildfires have forced more than 1,400 people to leave their homes in western Spain as dry, hot conditions spark warnings in other European countries. Towns and campsites have been evacuated as planes and helicopters help to tackle the blaze in Spain’s Sierra de Gata mountain area. Nearly 80% of neighbouring Portugal is experiencing severe or extreme drought conditions, experts say. Meanwhile Germany is facing its hottest temperatures on record. Meteorologists say temperatures in Germany’s south could exceed the country’s all-time high of 40.3C (105F) on Friday. The current record was measured on 5 July in the town of Kitzingen in Bavaria.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

US industry backs politicians’ pro biomass energy stance

Global Timber Forum
August 5, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The US timber sector has enthusiastically welcomed the action of a group of members of the House of Representatives, urging government departments to recognise biomass, and particularly wood-based biomass energy, as carbon neutral.  A total of 154 members of the House of Representatives have signed a letter to the Departments of Energy and Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency. They state that biomass energy is ‘sustainable, responsible, renewable, and economically efficient’. “Federal policies across all departments and agencies must remove any uncertainties and contradictions through a clear, unambiguous message that forest bioenergy is part of the nation’s energy future,” they wrote. 

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Does it get any cleaner

Bill Cook, Michigan State University Extension
Michigan State U
August 7, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Wood energy, an efficient and affordable technology, is one of the most environmentally-friendly energy sources at our disposal. It is renewable and sustainable, but it’s locally-sourced and contributes to the heating and cooling sector. Renewable energy choices are best made when playing to the strengths of different regions. Michigan has an abundance of wood where inventories increase every year. A portion of that annual volume could be diverted to renewable energy production.

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