Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 9, 2015

Business & Politics

Canada-U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement likely to expire next month, says Forestry Minister

Business in Vancouver
September 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Canada-United States Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA) will likely expire next month and enter a one-year standstill period, said British Columbia’s Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations. Steve Thomson made the comments while visiting staff at the ministry’s office in Dawson Creek. “Our current position is consistent with the industry position, which is we would like to see the agreement extended [in its current form],” Thomson said. “Our process will be to continue to engage with the industry and the U.S. industry.” Thomson was in the Peace Region touring mills in Mackenzie and Chetwynd at the invitation of Peace River South MLA and Education Minister Mike Bernier.

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Northern First Nations Leaders Demand New Approach to Resource Development

Market Wired
September 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Current system is broken – tears apart aboriginal communities, denies economic benefit to all British Columbians. The B.C. and federal government’s narrow and shortsighted approach to resource development on First Nations lands is tearing apart aboriginal communities and draining their limited financial and human resources – and must be changed, says a group of First Nations leaders. The demand for reform comes ahead of critical talks taking place this week in Vancouver, known as the B.C. Cabinet and First Nations Leaders’ Gathering. First Nations leaders from across the province will be there seeking significant improvements to the current development process, which continues to deny their peoples’ rights affirmed by the courts as well as the principles under the internationally recognized principle of “free, prior and informed consent.”

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West Fraser to Throw Anniversary Party in Williams Lake

250 News
September 9, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Williams Lake, B.C. – There’s a special party planned for Williams Lake this Saturday and the entire community is invited. West Fraser is celebrating its 60th anniversary with activities penciled in for between noon and 4pm at the Cariboo Memorial Complex. “We’ve got a complimentary barbecue and some entertainment,” says Dave Walgren, general manager of West Fraser’s plywood plant. “We’ve also got free swimming and skating and some displays that shows people what we do here in town.” He says the company started in Quesnel back in 1955 before expanding to Williams Lake two years later.

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Excellence in Workforce Development Award – 2015 Chamber Award Nominees

Congratulations!
BC Local News in the Campbell River Mirrow
September 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Recognizes a business that has demonstrated excellence and best practices in the skill development of their employees.

Highlights include:
  • Holbrook Dyson Logging Ltd.employs approximately 35+ people and contractors to conduct falling, yarding, loading, hauling, road maintenance, roadside brushing and road construction operations. The company is also capable of dry land sorting and log booming. In addition to its contract with Western Forest Products, HDL also harvests timber and constructs roads for other licensees and through successful bids directly with BC Timber Sales.

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Clearwater Paper to construct pulp digester at Lewiston mill

Lewiston Tribune
September 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Clearwater Paper announced today it will begin construction next month of its continuous pulp digester project at the Lewiston mill. Construction of the $160 million project is expected to be completed in September 2017. Benefits from the project include significant reduction in air emissions, improved pulp quality and production, and more efficient utilization of wood chips (i.e. more pulp from the wood fiber, according to a news release from the company. As part of the agreement by the company to begin work on the project in Lewiston was the authorization by the Nez Perce County commissioners of a partial tax exemption.

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KapStone workers to return Monday

The Longview Daily News
September 4, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

KapStone has accepted an offer from its pulp and paper workers union to return to work, the union announced late Friday night. Medical benefits will be restored Saturday, the first union workers should be back on the job Monday, and all union workers should be working again by Thursday, said Greg Pallesen, vice president of the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers. The action ends a strike that began Aug. 27, but returning to work does not mean the union is ratifying the contract that KapStone imposed after declaring an impasse in negotiations last month. In addition to outstanding contract issues, a host of unfair labor practice complaints have yet to be resolved.

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Georgia-Pacific enters in laminated finger-jointed lumber distribution agreement

IHB The Timber Network
September 9, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-Pacific announced a sales and distribution agreement with Lamco Forest Products, the maker of innovative laminated finger-jointed lumber (LFL) products. Lamco will manufacture several LFL products and sell them under the Georgia-Pacific brand. “We’re looking forward to adding Lamco LFL product to our portfolio,” said Paul Watterson, general manager for Georgia-Pacific’s engineered lumber business. “It complements our line of I-joist, LVL, rim board and glulam products, as well as adds a product that helps meet fire-related codes being adopted in some of the geographies in which we sell.” 

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UK imports of softwood lumber on the rise

IHB The Timber Network
September 8, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

British imports of sawn and planed lumber have increased in value by 35% or almost EUR 145 million in the first five months of 2015, according to the latest figures provided by Eurostat. Imports from the European Union countries, which represent more than 90% of all UK softwood lumber purchases, also grew by 35% (up to EUR 509,1 million) as compared to the first five months of 2014. Notably those from Sweden (+29%), Latvia (+47%) and Finland (+43%), the first three main UK suppliers. Also imports from North America grew by 18%, although at insignificant levels compared to those from the European countries.

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Forestry training facility to open in northern Tasmania to provided hands-on experience

ABC News, Australia
September 9, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

A new forestry training facility in northern Tasmania is aimed at upskilling workers as the industry aims to increase production in coming years. The facility, under construction at Invermay, is set to open in Launceston in November and has been designed by the industry to attract new workers and align training programs with job opportunities. Project manager Colin McCulloch said a particular focus will be on offering hands-on machinery training using simulator machines for new and existing workers. He said this type of training is currently only delivered once workers arrive on site.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Council chambers ‘sorely lacking’ – Samson

Campbell River Mirror
September 8, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

City council will consider upgrading the council chambers at City Hall to make the room more accessible to those with disabilities. …Looking around the council chambers at the Aug. 24 council meeting, Samson said he’d also like to see the city’s wood-first policy incorporated into any renovations within the council chambers. “I look at the concrete beams up here and I think ‘why can’t we have a wood-first policy’?” said Samson who added he’d like to see his suggestions taken into consideration during council’s budget planning meetings for next year.

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UBC Student Nest: 28 things to do at the new Student Union Building

Vancity Buzz
September 8, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The $107-million Student Nest, 250,000-square-foot building… is the largest building to be built on campus since the 2008 completion of the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre…The building’s spaces revolve around a large, airy multi-storey atrium, with a bird’s nest-shaped space and lounge suspended high over the shopping mall-like lower floor concourse. Extensive wood is used throughout the building, coupled with green designs and technology that have allowed it to achieve a LEED Platinum standard – the highest green building rating in North America.

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Industry pushes back on code sidestepping friendly to taller wood buildings

Concrete Products News
September 8, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cement and concrete interests are questioning the Quebec government’s decision to bypass the usual building code development process by allowing construction of taller (> five stories) wood buildings on the basis of a guide developed by the Régie du bâtiment du Québec and FPInnovations, a private research center dedicated to supporting the Canadian forest industry. Launched this summer by Quebec premier Philippe Couillard, the guide is not recognized by the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) nor is FPInnovations a Standards Council of Canada-accredited standards development organization. CAC contends that a) construction of cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings and taller wood buildings are not recognized by the NBCC; b) FPInnovations voluntarily withdrew a proposal to include CLT building systems in the 2015 Code; and, c) use of CLT building systems is no more—and perhaps much less—environmentally friendly than the use of other NBCC-recognized building systems when one considers full life cycle.

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Think Like A Tree: A New Kind of Eco-friendly Concrete Inspired by Coral

Wired
September 8, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

CONCRETE IS THE most popular building material in the world. Construction teams use twice as much of it as all other building materials combined—wood, steel, plastic, aluminum—and for good reason. It’s strong, durable, weather and fire resistant, and pretty cheap. The catch: The process of making cement—one of the main ingredients for concrete—is responsible for about six percent of all man-made carbon dioxide emissions. So, yeah, it’d be pretty sweet if you could create a cement substitute that uses carbon dioxide as a raw building material. And that’s what a company called Calera is trying to do—inspired by corals. …Using the same process as corals, Calera captures carbon dioxide gas and dissolves it in water with other compounds to make calcium carbonate.

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Forestry

Vancouver city project aims to put a value on trees

Vancouver Sun
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver has always had a love affair with trees, to the point that more than two decades ago arborists created a spreadsheet to record the location, type, height and diameter of every one of the city’s 140,000 street trees. Want to know what that monster is on the southwest corner of Yew Street and 33rd Avenue? In VanTree, an open database the park board created in the 1990s and continually updates, you will find it is one of the city’s biggest horse chestnut trees planted more than 80 years ago. Now the city is stepping up its tree game with a plan to geo-code every street tree in the database and create a special mapping program that will allow residents to geo-locate their own trees on the same map.

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Grizzly bear sighting near Whistler gives hope for recovery of species in southwest B.C.

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The sighting of a grizzly bear with at least one cub near Whistler is cause for optimism for the species’ future in southwest B.C. but is also a warning to hikers to exercise caution in the backcountry. Squamish resident Richard MacKellar was hiking with a group recently in high-country meadows about 15 kilometres from Whistler when they first observed a black bear near the trail and then a grizzly with one and potentially two cubs. He managed to get some photos of the “spectacular” animals before his group moved away. Johnny Mikes, field coordinator for the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative, said the survival of every female grizzly and cub is vital to the recovery of the species in the area. 

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Board to audit five range agreements in the Cascades district

Forest Practices Board
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will audit the planning and practices on five range agreements for grazing in the Cascades natural resource district, during the week of Sept. 14, 2015. Auditors will examine range activities for compliance with the Forest and Range Practices Act. The grazing areas that will be audited range in size from 5 to 5,500 hectares and are located in the Nicola Valley area, close to Highway 5A, between Merritt and Princeton.  Once the audit work is completed, a report will be prepared, and any party that may be adversely affected by the audit findings will have a chance to respond. 

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Inventors have high hopes for robotic tree planter (& video)

By Derrick Penner – UVic engineering students put reforestation technology to the test
Vancouver Sun
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

MAPLE RIDGE — Nick Birch and Tyler Rhodes hope they are unleashing a bit of forestry’s future in a recently cleared patch of forest in the hills above Maple Ridge: the Tree Rover, a robot capable of planting trees. The concept is pure R&D at this point — think of it as pre-startup, in the terminology of tech business. The third-year electrical engineering students are pursuing it as part of an entrepreneurial co-op term at the University of Victoria. The exercise is to take an idea and, in four months, create a project that results in a tangible prototype that can be built upon.

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Wildfire season illustrates the good and bad side of drones

Financial Post
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As a wildfire raged near Testalinden Creek in southern British Columbia last month, threatening award-winning Okanagan vineyards, the B.C. Wildfire Service put some muscle into the fight, launching eight helicopters and five aircraft to support fire crews on the ground. Everything was going as well as could be expected in the midst of an out-of-control forest fire when suddenly a drone appeared. No one knew where it had come from or who was piloting it, but there was only one solution — ground all firefighting aircraft until it was gone. … But while unknown drone operators were endangering helicopter crews and hampering firefighting efforts in B.C., a subsidiary of Boeing Co. was proving that drones can also be a force for good in the fight against wildfires.

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September brings changes to WorkSafeBC enforcement

Journal of Commerce
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

New tools designed to help WorkSafeBC crack down on regulation and Workers Compensation Act violators are coming into effect Sept. 18. Instead of issuing an order, WorkSafeBC will be able to enter into a compliance agreement with an employer. September brings changes to WorkSafeBC enforcement. Under that agreement, the employer will voluntarily agree to correct occupational health and safety violations, and report back to WorkSafeBC by a specific date. However, these agreements can be used for only non-high-risk violations. WorkSafeBC – through regulation – will be able to issue administrative penalties up to $1,000 to employers for non-high risk violations quickly and efficiently.

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Stevens Co. homeowners turn burned pines into profit

KREM.com
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. — Homeowners returning to Marble Valley said acres of burned pine trees offer the chance for profits. “We weren’t planning on logging it. The only reason we are doing it now is because the trees are no good. They are dead and they will just go to waste,” said local resident David Zink. Zink said he only has a short time to get the trees to a local lumber mill. He said he it will take him until the end of the month to transform the 26 acres of burned timber. “We are out here hand-limbing and hand-falling. They don’t do it like that anymore,” said Zink. The Marble Valley Ridge Fire burned roughly 11,000 acres and forced an evacuation for the valley area.

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Fire training coming to Klamath Community College

Herald and News
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It may soon be easier to obtain structure and wildland firefighter training in the Klamath Basin. Klamath Community College and Oregon State University officials signed off on a partnership Wednesday formalizing an agreement between the institutions as well as a partnership between area agencies to offer structure and wildland fire training at the newly established Klamath Basin Public Safety Fire Training Center. KCC President Roberto Gutierrez said the center is planned to be housed on existing campus property. 

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4FRI group questions timeline on 2nd EIS

White Mountain Independent
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WHITE MOUNTAINS — The Four Forests Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI, stakeholders expressed a lot of concern on the timeline for the second environmental impact statement, now named the Rim Country EIS Project area. The group met on Aug. 26. The Rim Country EIS is over a million acres and must go through a lengthy process to determine the desired conditions on the area, which includes all vegetation, wildlife, water and soils and habitat studies. The main concern is the time frame for completion of the process was expected to be a lot faster after the Phase I EIS process in the western part of the 4FRI area was recently finished. 

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APS Will Cut Trees In Payson Around Poles

Payson Roundup
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In an ongoing effort to protect both the community and its infrastructure, APS is planning to clear all vegetation within 10 feet of power poles. Wade Ward, fire mitigation specialist with APS and a former Hotshot, said under certain circumstances a spark from a pole, either from a fuse or a blown transformer, could start a fire. On average, APS poles start four to five fires a year. Luckily, none of those have grown out of control because firefighters have stopped the flames before they could spread and additional recourses were needed, known as a second alarm fire. “We want to keep it that way,” Ward said.

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Flooding concerns rise in fire-ravaged area near John Day

Associated Press in Herald and News
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PENDLETON — With rain and even a little snow falling on a destructive wildfire near John Day, local officials were able to breathe a sigh of relief that flames are largely controlled, but another concern is emerging: the potential for catastrophic flooding. Grant County has asked an engineering firm to investigate what can be done to ensure fire damage doesn’t cause flooding for cities and homes located beneath the charred mountains. A significant amount of the Canyon Creek drainage has been damaged by fire, much of its steep slopes are now filled with half-burned debris, downed trees and ashy ground. Without vegetation to keep debris anchored to the hillside, the potential for catastrophic flooding and erosion increases, the East Oregonian reported

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Problem vs. opportunity

The Pueblo Chieftain
September 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Trinchera Ranch in Costilla County hopes to construct a sawmill near Blanca to begin harvesting timber from its 175,000-acre property. It’s a win-win scenario for the ranch owner and the local economy. When the story about the sawmill hit The Pueblo Chieftain last week, we were impressed with the details of the ranch’s plans. In 2006, 13,780 acres on the ranch were scorched by the Malo Vega Fire. Today, the threat of another wildfire is very real. Much of the 89,000 forested acres on the ranch have been damaged by pest infestations, leaving dead or dying trees that are ripe for burning. Drought conditions over the past decade also have left the ranch forests vulnerable to wildfire.

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Forest management: Writer guilty of same hyperbole

The Missoulian
September 7, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Mike Garrity is guilty of the same hyperbole that he accused U.S. Congressman Ryan Zinke of in the Aug. 25 Missoulian column. Garrity quotes Zinke as saying that “logging somehow prevents forest fires” and Garrity categorically takes the opposite position that logging does not reduce wildfires. Garrity refers to scientists who “have clearly found logging doesn’t reduce wildfires.”Garrity’s sweeping generalization is not founded in fact. For instance, in the massive Rodeo-Chediski Fire in Arizona in 2002, years of silvicultural prescriptions, timber harvest, and prescribed burning on the Apache Reservation produced ponderosa pine stands so resilient that the Rodeo-Chediski Fire burned at such low intensities that it looked like just another prescribed fire.

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Elk foundation supports clearcutting elk habitat

by Mike Garrity
The Missoulian
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

David Allen, president of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, wrote an accusation-filled but factually incorrect opinion in the Aug. 27 Missoulian and readers deserve the truth of the matter. First, Allen claimed that I misquoted U.S. Congressman Ryan Zinke accusing the Alliance of suing the U.S. Forest Service to save spotted owls. Zinke did write this and the reality is that spotted owls don’t live in Montana, they live on the coasts in Washington, Oregon and northern California and, as our name clearly states, we are the Alliance for the Wild Rockies; there are no spotted owls in the Rockies, and we have never sued anyone over spotted owls.

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Shenhua mine could affect groundwater and trees several kilometres away, study finds

ABC News Australia
September 9, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Open-cut mines can affect groundwater and trees up to several kilometres away, new research has found. The findings could have implications for the proposed Shenhua coal mine on the New South Wales Liverpool Plains, which has already received conditional approval from the Federal Government. However, University of Western Sydney researcher Dr Sebastian Pfautsch said Shenhua should go back to the drawing board on the project’s environmental impact statement.

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Forestry and urban forestry careers portal seeks to fill recruitment gaps

Horticulture Week
September 8, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A new online careers portal has been developed, aimed at prospective students and their parents, career-changers looking to enter forestry for the first time or those looking to move on within the sector. Developed with the Forestry Learning and Development Group and hosted by the Royal Forestry Society (RFS), the portal will be officially launched at the Confor Woodland Show at the Longleat Estate, Wiltshire on 11 September, but can already be visited. RFS education manager Phil Tanner said: “The forestry sector is growing and we need to inspire many more people to consider forestry and woodland management as worthwhile careers.

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Forest Fires

California wildfire jumps containment line, threatens forest homes

Reuters
September 8, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire raging in California’s Kings Canyon National Park forced the evacuation of about 20 homes and a heat wave prompted concern that the blaze will continue to spread, authorities said on Tuesday. At 98,000 acres (40,000 hectares), the so-called Rough Fire is the largest wildfire currently burning in California, the U.S. Forest Service said, as the state wilts under a heat wave expected to bring temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 Celsius). The Rough Fire cast smoke over numerous popular hiking and camping area in the southern part of the Sierra Nevada mountains near Fresno, prompting cancellation of tours and other activities.

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Stouts fire handed back to locals as mop-up work winds down

Mail Tribune
September 8, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Officials say one of Southern Oregon’s largest wildfires of the season is finally winding down as command of firefighting resources is handed back to local authorities. As of Tuesday, fire officials say the Stouts fire, burning about 16 miles east of Canyonville in Douglas County, is 98 percent contained after burning more than 26,000 acres of state and federal lands. According to a news release, firefighters from the Douglas Forest Protective Association and the U.S. Forest Service are currently finishing rehabilitation work and mop-up operations after the fire, which had been under the command of a Type 3 incident-management team from Florida, was turned over to DFPA and Forest Service management on Saturday.

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NJ Pine Barrens forest fire 65 percent containe Pine Barrens forest fire now 100 percent containedd

Associated Press in NorthJersey.com
September 8, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

WOODLAND TOWNSHIP, N.J. — Authorities say a forest fire that has burned roughly 1,000 acres in New Jersey’s Pine Barrens is now 100 percent contained. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Larry Hajna said Tuesday no property has been damaged and no homes are in the fire’s path. The fire broke out on Monday in Woodland Township, Burlington County, and later spread into Ocean County. Containment lines are expected to hold the fire at 1,000 acres. Hajna says the containment effort included about a dozen wildfire trucks and four bulldozers. Local fire crews also assisted.

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These trees can survive a forest fire

Scientists are investigating how this cypress can help manage wildfires around the world.
Mother Nature Network
September 8, 2015
Category: Forest Fires
Region: International

When a wildfire ravaged nearly 50,000 acres of forest in Andilla, Spain, in 2012, experts were devastated by the loss. The area had been used for decades to study the effects of a pathogenic fungus on more than 50 types of Mediterranean cypress. However, when researchers arrived, they found that not all of the trees had been consumed. About 946 cypresses, surrounded by the burned remains of thousands of other trees, remained bright and green. “On our way to what we knew would be a Dante-esque scene during that tragic summer, we felt deep sadness at the thought of losing a plot of such value to the conservation of biodiversity,” botanist Bernabé Moya told BBC Mundo. “But we had hope that perhaps some of the cypresses had survived.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Green groups speak out against energy subsidies for biofuels and wood burning

International coalition of green groups speaks out against renewable energy subsidies being spent on biofuels and burning wood, warning of their disastrous impacts on biodiversity, communities and climate
The Economic Voice
September 8, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

…A coalition of European and international organisations is calling on the EU to exclude bioenergy from its next Renewable Energy Directive, and thereby to stop direct and indirect subsidies for renewable energy from going to biofuels and wood-burning. Campaigners have published a new briefing on the impacts of the EU’s bioenergy policies, and say that they are targeting policy makers….However, the EU emission reduction target is built on false premises, such as that large-scale bioenergy is inherently carbon neutral or at least low carbon and that carbon markets can address emissions effectively. A growing body of evidence shows that, when bioenergy is produced and used on a large scale, it tends to increase rather than decrease carbon emissions when compared to fossil fuels.

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