Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 30, 2015

Froggy Foibles

Ottawa Redblacks denied ‘wood cookie’ TD celebration as logger team barred from performing during Grey Cup

For the lumberjacks on the Ottawa Redblacks chainsaw crew, it was the unkindest cut of all.
National Post
November 29, 2015
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

Just days after learning they could perform their post-touchdown celebrations during Sunday’s Grey Cup game — and after scrambling to find flights and a place to stay in Winnipeg — they were told Saturday they wouldn’t be allowed on the field, after all. Later, the Canadian Football League revised its ruling to permit the saw squad to appear on the sidelines. But they can’t do their signature cutting of a “cookie” from a log to mark a Redblacks TD against the Edmonton Eskimos. Why the flip-flop?

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Business & Politics

China slowdown poses challenges for BC forest products

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
November 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Reduced demand for lumber and shifting demand for pulp and paper will make China a challenging market for B.C. producers of forest products in 2016, analysts say. The prospects for pulp are perhaps more promising, with producers reporting that exports that have edged off in line with seasonal demands. They still have hopes for the market as a longer-term play. Homebuilding, however, has declined about 17 per cent in China this year due to a growing supply of vacant housing units, said analyst Russ Taylor, which has meant a decline in Canadian lumber exports to the country. B.C.’s lumber shipments to China to the end of September were down by 14 per cent to 4.9 million cubic metres compared with the same period a year ago, Canadian trade statistics show. 

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More than 100 jobs lost as Chetwynd pulp mill extends closure

Prince George Citizen
November 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

What was intended to be a temporary maintenance shutdown has turned into the worst case scenario for 109 workers at a pulp mill outside of Chetwynd. Chetwynd Mechanical Pulp ceased production in September in hopes of weathering low commodity prices, with a plan to restart in January, CEO Pedro Chang said in October. Now the closure has been extended to March 2016. As a result, layoff notices have been issued to 109 employees, the company said Friday. According to District of Chetwynd mayor Merlin Nichols, around 120 employees were working at the plant in early November during the shutdown.

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Green companies leading the way in Ontario – Tembec is one of them

Toronto Star
November 28, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Frank Dottori made the decision in the 1980s that Tembec, the forestry products giant he led at the time, would stop using coal as a source of energy. In the early 1990s, he set a goal of phasing out fossil fuel use by 2001. The company didn’t meet that latter target, but relative to its industry peers, it has consistently shined as an example of how to break free from fossil fuels without breaking the bank. “We were a little ahead of the game,” said Dottori, 76, who retired as chief executive in 2005 and now spends his time as an industry consultant. “It was perceived as being a bit radical at the time — the rest of the industry saw me as a bit of a rebel — but we always did things based on economics. It was a business decision.” [you have to scroll part way down the page to get to the Tembec story]

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Editorial: Weyco-Plum Creek merger will cement arrogance

November 30, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Studying a map of Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek’s timberland ownership is like trying to read tea leaves in an effort to discern the future of forest communities. Across large swaths of rural America, the proposed merger of these huge landowners will have very tangible consequences. Post-merger, the combined company will be the nation’s largest private landowner. Weyco’s Doyle Simons will be president and CEO, while Plum Creek’s Rick Holley, who is nearing retirement, will continue in a leadership position as non-executive chairman, according to Barron’s magazine. …For local communities, the process of “unlocking value” promises to continue Weyerhaeuser’s march away from paying anything more than lip service to corporate citizenship. In northwest Montana, where Plum Creek has large holdings, this sparks concerns about having to pay for recreational land access — a policy much beloved by Weyco.

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Editorial: Weyco-Plum Creek merger will cement arrogance

November 30, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Studying a map of Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek’s timberland ownership is like trying to read tea leaves in an effort to discern the future of forest communities. Across large swaths of rural America, the proposed merger of these huge landowners will have very tangible consequences. Post-merger, the combined company will be the nation’s largest private landowner. Weyco’s Doyle Simons will be president and CEO, while Plum Creek’s Rick Holley, who is nearing retirement, will continue in a leadership position as non-executive chairman, according to Barron’s magazine. …For local communities, the process of “unlocking value” promises to continue Weyerhaeuser’s march away from paying anything more than lip service to corporate citizenship. In northwest Montana, where Plum Creek has large holdings, this sparks concerns about having to pay for recreational land access — a policy much beloved by Weyco.

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Forestry industry worth almost £1bn a year

BBC News
November 29, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The forestry industry is now worth almost £1bn a year to the Scottish economy, according to new figures. Timber production and jobs in the sector have increased by half since the last review in 2008. Industry leaders have said new processing techniques are producing much more valuable wood products. The work of the sector has also enabled other key Scottish industries to grow, such as in the energy, construction and tourism. Foresters are now harvesting the benefits of a tree-planting boom in the 1970s and 1980s, with trees put into the ground then now reaching maturity.

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SaraRasa Bioindo signs wood-pellet off-take agreement with CellMark Energy

Lesprom Network
November 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Dovre Group’s associate SaraRasa Bioindo has signed wood pellet off-take agreement with CellMark Energy. The value of the agreement is minimum $1.5 million, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Cellmark Energy will purchase a majority portion of the wood pellets produced by SaraRasa Bioindo. The end users of the pellets are in South Korea and Japan. “This agreement is an important milestone for SaraRasa Bioindo,” comments Ilari Koskelo, Chairman of SaraRasa Bioindo’s Board of Directors. “With both raw material supply and our long term off-take agreement now secured, we can focus on optimizing the production line and increasing the production capacity.”

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Forestry skills shortage looming says Institute of Foresters of Australia

ABC News Australia
November 30, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Forestry representatives say Australia risks not having enough well-trained foresters to take over the burgeoning industry, which is suffering from a bad public image. Canberra’s Institute of Foresters of Australia said the sector had been grappling with the problem for the past five years and could face a looming skills shortage if more students did not study forestry at a post-graduate and masters level. “We haven’t explained the industry and what the exciting opportunities are for the young people to work in forest management,” the Institute’s Rob De Fegely said. He said that during the 1990s, many specialist forestry and agriculture courses were integrated into general science undergraduate degrees, leading to a decline of adequately-trained foresters.

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Scottish forestry: The nation’s ‘hidden gem’

BQ Live
November 30, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Industry group Forestry Commission Scotland said the total represents a substantial increase compared to the figure of £670m contained in the last report. Experts also recorded a jobs boost in the forest management and processing sector, with more than 19,500 people now working in the industry – a jump of 6,500, or around 50%, compared to the previous report of 2008. Overall, the forestry sector, including tourism and recreation, was found to support more than 25,000 jobs across Scotland. Environment minister Dr Aileen McLeod is officially launching the new Forestry Commission Scotland report today (30 Nov). She described Scottish forestry as “a hidden success story.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Timber-frame house highlights hemlock’s strengths

BC Gov News
November 29, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, International

Heavy timbers made of high-quality British Columbian hemlock feature prominently in a spectacular wood frame home that Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Steve Thomson and 2015 Forestry Asia trade mission delegates visited today in Tsukuba, Japan. The house is reminiscent of a Canadian-style, heavy-timber home, making use of 8”x8” and 12”x12” coastal hemlock fir timber from British Columbia. Its design also incorporates a wide range of other Canadian building products, including windows, doors, flooring and fine cabinetry. Maple Homes K.K., the Japanese company that built this particular home builds up to 175 houses annually in Japan.

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Nelson Architecture wins WoodWorks award for SMB expansion design

Daily Miner and News
November 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Nelson Architecture Inc. has been awarded for its work on the École Ste Marguerite Bourgeoys’ kindergarten addition. The Kenora-based boutique firm was presented with the Northern Ontario Excellence Design Award for its galvanizing use of wood at the 15th annual Ontario WoodWorks event in Toronto. …As part of the Kenora Catholic District School Board’s hope for the project, Nelson’s use of exposed wood was aimed to form a connection with the children inside to the outside world. …Nelson Architecture received a provincial wood advocate award for a portfolio of projects including the new Lake of the Woods Discovery Centre, St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School and the Northern Ontario Sport Fishing Centre in Sioux Narrows.

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Glass facade reveals timber structure of Frame Work building in Portland

Dezeen
November 29, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

This small commercial building in Portland, Oregon, designed by Works Partnership Architecture has an engineered timber frame that is visible behind a glass curtain wall. The structure, called Frame Work, includes a concrete base with the upper four floors framed in glue-laminated beams, and diagonally laid tongue-and-groove floors and ceilings. …Wood is taking over from steel and concrete as the architectural wonder material of the 21st century, with architects praising its sustainability, quality and speed of construction. Examples of other projects built from engineered timber include a Chicago pavilion with an expansive self-supporting roof and a high-rise apartment building that won this year’s prestigious Finlandia Prize for Architecture.

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University of Alabama research aims to make buildings safer in earthquake-prone cities

By Bryan Davis
Alabama NewsCenter
November 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The combination of two proven construction methods could lead to safer wood-frame buildings in earthquake-prone cities. Two University of Alabama professors, along with a Colorado State University professor, are engaged in research that could combine the light wood frame system (LiFS) and cross-laminated timber (CLT) to form a self-centering structure that could better withstand the force of an earthquake. Thang Dao (assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering), Sriram Aaleti and John van de Lindt (Colorado State University) are working on National Science Foundation-sponsored research they are hoping will result in a construction method they are calling CLT-LiFS.

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International Code Council

UrbanCincy
November 27, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Changes adopted in the 2015 International Building Code (IBC), combined with advances in wood technology, may soon allow for taller midrise buildings at lower costs than what has previously been possible. The importance of the changes to the IBC should not be overlooked, since it serves as a model building code throughout most of the United States. This means that states and local jurisdictions who lack the expertise to develop their own building code typically adopt a code written by an independent standards organization such as the International Code Council. In fact, all 50 states and the federal government now use variations of the IBC, with the exception of Chicago which remains as the only major city in the United States with its own proprietary building code.

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Forestry

Inside a fragile landscape

By Justine Hunter
The Globe and Mail
November 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A network of magnificent canyons of marble and limestone known as karst dot B.C.’s coastline — and advocates worry logging is putting them in danger. …British Columbia’s coastline boasts the most significant karst terrain on the continent …These are places where rare species thrive, and secret rivers feed forests and fish-bearing waterways. …On Nov. 24, the logging company won a court injunction to end a blockade aimed at its logging operation in an adjacent cutblock. Teal Jones officials declined interview requests, but said in a statement: “We are aware of the limestone and karst geology resources in the vicinity of Block 4403 and as a result, we are planning to conduct a formal karst field assessment for this area prior to finalizing any road construction and harvesting plans.”

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Rift forming between Resolute FP and Forest Stewardship Council

Northern Ontario Business
November 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Resolute Forest Products said it will not attain new Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certifications for its Canadian forests based on coming changes in the designation process that could impact its wood supply. The Montreal forest products giant announced the reinstatement of its FSC certificate for the Black Spruce/Dog River-Matawin forest in northwestern Ontario. The certificate was suspended in January 2014 following an audit by the Rainforest Alliance. Two audits by FSC now confirm that the company is in compliance with the standard, Resolute said in a Nov. 25 release.

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After FSC Reinstates a Forest in Ontario, CEO Says It’s His Last Time for FSC

Woodworking Network
November 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

FSC reinstated Resolute Forest Products’ Black Spruce/Dog River-Matawin forest, providing its Forest Stewardship Council certificate. The Northwestern Ontario timberland was suspended in January 2014 following an audit by Rainforest Alliance. …Our forestry management practices were already in compliance with the legal and regulatory frameworks of Ontario, which are among the most stringent in the world. We now have the confirmation that they also meet the requirements of the FSC standard,” said Richard Garneau, Resolute CEO. “As we look forward as a company, however, we are concerned with the number of challenging issues currently facing FSC and its membership.”

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What environmentalists miss in forest health debate

CDA Press
November 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recent “My Turn,” authored by Janet Torline and captioned “Forests threatened by federal proposal,” would have been more accurately captioned “Forests threatened by Kootenai Environmental Alliance.” I lost most of my respect for their organization when they began appealing all thinning and burn recovery projects. Many of their members seem to be paranoid. Our forestlands have far too many trees per acre to remain healthy. The climate is warming, bark beetle populations have skyrocketed and root-rot is a major problem in some areas. Ms. Torline’s editorial infers that “fuels reduction,” “restoration” and “forest health” are all imaginary problems fostered by the Forest Industry; hogwash, these are real problems. Idaho National Forests have become overpopulated with various species of fir trees and Lodge-pole Pine.

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Kittitas County commissioner will be state’s first fire communications chief

Yakima Herald Republic
November 27, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Gary Berndt spent his career fighting fires, but now the Kittitas County commissioner is taking on a new role on the wildfire front — improving communication between local, state and federal fire officials. “I just want us to learn how to make those relationships before the emergency starts, because it’s hard to make them when things are on fire,” Berndt said. “This is just really important stuff to Washington.” Last week he was appointed to be the state’s first wildland fire liaison, a position created last spring by state lawmakers. Berndt said he’s excited about the opportunity, but still needs to learn exactly what the role will entail.

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Soda Fire rehab serves as lab for restoration

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

MARSING Even before the smoke cleared last summer, scientists and resource specialists spread out across the blackened range of the Owyhee Mountains to assess the damage of the Soda Fire. These experts from several federal and state agencies used aerial photographs and their own observations to put together a plan not just to stabilize the soils and rehabilitate the plant communities. Their job was to map out five years of projects that would restore the sagebrush steppe ecosystem and turn it into a laboratory for restoration across the West. “We’re working for the survival of the sagebrush landscape,” said Tim Murphy, Idaho State Bureau of Land Management director. “We’ve completed Phase 1 by stabilizing the soil and preparing to reverse the cheatgrass growth.”

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My Turn: Tongass reform anniversary is cause for celebration

Juneau Empire
November 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It has been 25 years since the Tongass Timber Reform Act (TTRA) was signed into law. This legislation became the most significant piece of conservation law signed by President George H. W. Bush. Many Southeast Alaskans are intimately familiar with this remarkable landmark legislation. Why was it so important? Before 1990 the Forest Service was mandated by law to spend at least $40 million a year to supply 450 million board feet of Tongass timber annually for the two behemoth pulp mills in Southeast Alaska. To help put all this in perspective, that’s about 10 times more old growth timber, on a yearly basis, than proposed for logging under the preferred alternative in the draft Tongass Forest Plan released last week.

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Only we can prevent forest fires

By Dr. Tom H. Hastings, Conflict Resolution Department, Portland State University 
Gilmer Mirror
November 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We have a small amount of our original forest left in the US, but we still have a great deal of woodlands. There is a school of forest managers who advocate so-called “controlled burns” to create a healthier forest. Such a poor idea. Has anyone mentioned global warming to those forest experts? Forest fires are exactly wrong when we consider that. Fire adds instantly to high airborne carbon content and thus is a driver of global warming, exactly what no one needs. If we clearcut the forests, we lose the lungs of the Earth, the ecosystem that sequesters so much carbon and gives us so much oxygen. And the same is true every time we burn a portion of the forest. Are there alternatives to pumping those megatons of carbon into our carbon-overloaded atmosphere?

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Real or fake? The arguments for which type of Christmas tree is ‘greener’

Longview Daily News
November 28, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…as artificial trees have gained a larger share of the American market, the question has continued to rage: What is the impact of the Christmas tradition on the environment, and which is more green, a real or fake tree? The answer, like so many things relating to environmental choices, is this: It depends. …But the fresh-cut tree market has been losing ground to artificial trees, most of them made in China, as young adults especially choose the convenience and lower cost of the fake trees. …The business [real trees] creates a number of jobs in the Northwest — from the farmers that grow the trees to the truck drivers that help transport them, Bondi said. …Still, people enjoy fake trees for their convenience.

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Endangered forest-dwelling fisher to be re-introduced to Cascades over next several years

Associated Press in The Kelowna Daily Courier
November 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE – A weasel-like predator that disappeared from Washington state decades ago will soon be reintroduced to the Cascade Mountains. State and federal wildlife officials are preparing to re-establish fishers into Mount Rainier and North Cascades national parks and surrounding areas as part of an effort to restore the state-listed endangered animals to their previous range. The dark brown forest-dwelling mammals historically were found throughout much of the forested areas of the state. But they declined in numbers due to overtrapping in the 1800s and early 1900s, and the loss of forest habitats. Fishers are believed to have disappeared from the state in the mid-1900s.

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Fire season sets records in northeast Oregon

The snow is flying, bringing a merciful end to a painful wildfire season in Eastern Oregon.
East Oregonian
November 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Canyon Creek. Windy Ridge. Grizzly Bear. Three massive wildfire complexes burned 296,807 acres across Eastern Oregon in 2015, fueled by intense heat and drought that set new records for large fire growth. And, now that the snow has started to fly over the Blue Mountains, the Oregon Department of Forestry says it will spend the winter figuring out how to prepare for what could be the new normal. “We had 100,000-acre fires here in northeast Oregon, and that’s not typical,” said Joe Hessel, unit forester for ODF in La Grande and Baker City. “There’s a good chance the trends will be toward more active and longer fire seasons.”

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An inside look at the Appalachian timber industry

WVVA.com
November 25, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

West Virginia’s timber industry has drastically changed since the time when loggers used hand saws, mules and steam engines. Today’s logging crews still use traditional tools, but technology is making the industry more efficient.  West Virginia has 7 million more acres of forested land than it did in 1910 according to the West Virginia Forestry Association and forestry contributes $3.2 billion annually to West Virginia’s economy. Randy Wade started his logging company in 1989. “I started with $15,000, a single axle truck, an old skidder and a loader. I did everything myself the first year,” said Wade. Wade hired employees the second year and now runs a fully mechanized logging outfit.

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Indonesia to show the world how to prevent forest fires

Asia One
November 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Indonesia will present it’s ideas on how to prevent forest fires and rehabilitate damaged peatland as part of climate change mitigation efforts at the upcoming UN climate change conference in Paris, France. …”The most important thing is serious prevention, so that there will be no more forest fires, especially ones caused by humans. If they were caused by natural factors it would be different, but we also need to emphasise readiness,” he said as quoted by Antara news agency. The government has said it would accelerate peatland rehabilitation and halt new peatland clearing concessions following the massive forest fires that blanketed parts of the country over the last few months.

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Spotted gums leave their mark on region

Gympie Times
November 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AT this time of year, especially after a few windy storms, the roads and paddocks can be littered with patches of bark that have fallen from a common local hardwood – the spotted gum. Many trees, even in close proximity, shed their bark at different times with different coloured bark. A shedding spotted gum is an attractive pattern of grey, pink and cream colours and shapes that suddenly becomes clean. After the bark has completely sloughed off a clean, smooth, cool and very tactile trunk remains. Find a good tree and feel the texture. Often described at this stage as a sensuous tree, the new bark often contains a number of small dimple; the appearance of which lends to its name.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canadian Council of Forest Ministers Committed to Climate Change Science

Canada News Wire Press Release
November 27, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

PARIS, France – On the occasion of the 21st meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP21), the Canadian Council of Forest Ministers is proud to showcase the comprehensive work that has been done in Canada to minimize the risks and maximize the opportunities in the context of a changing climate. The Council’s Climate Change and Sustainable Forest Management in Canada guidebook provides scientific information and tools for forest managers to build climate change science into their sustainable forest management practices. 

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Vaughn Palmer: B.C. climate leadership team says raise the carbon tax

Vancouver Sun
November 28, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — British Columbia’s carbon tax needs to double within five years and continue to increase every year afterward if the province is to get back on back on track in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But at the same time the government ought to reduce the sales tax by one point and implement other relief to help communities adjust and to discourage export industries from relocating to lower-tax jurisdictions Those were among the 36 recommendations in a report released Friday by the B.C. climate leadership team, a dozen-and-a-half community, academic, business, First Nations and environmental leaders appointed by the B.C. Liberals to revitalize the eight-year-old climate action plan.

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To Save Trees From Climate Change, Researchers Try Assisted Migration

Radio interview with Sally Aitken, UBC Forestry Professor
NRP
November 27, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

In Canada, conservationists are performing a radical experiment to save some endangered trees from the impacts of climate change, moving them. It’s called assisted migration. Scientists around the world are trying it with other plants and animals as well. Sally Aitken is a plant geneticist at the University of British Columbia. Seven years ago, she planted the seeds of a tree that was hurting as its environment warm to a place closer to its traditional habitat. She says those seeds have now grown into seedlings at a normal rate. She joined us from Vancouver. Good morning.

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Isle Madame native attending UN climate summit

Cape Breton Post
November 29, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

An Isle Madame native who is attending this week’s United Nations climate summit in Paris believes it’s both an individual and collective moral obligation to be aware of the issue and try to become part of the solution. Courtney Kehoe, 27, is pursuing a master’s degree in environmental sustainability at the University of Ottawa’s Institute of the Environment. …She ultimately contacted the Forest Products Association of Canada. It was an organization with which she had some connections after having held an assistant research position with Sustainable Prosperity, a national economy-environment think-tank based out of the university involving forest products as a case study. The association eventually agreed, in exchange for Kehoe using their observer status to report back to them on a number of areas of interest and issues related to forestry.

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Wood pellet industry creating confusion

Asheville Citizen-Times
November 28, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A relatively new yet rapidly growing industry that makes wood pellets to burn for energy in place of coal, with production mills proposed in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina, is generating heat of another kind – confusion. Critics believe the little-known industry’s rapid growth will damage Southern forests, the environment and quality of life. Industry proponents say wood pellets are a sustainable form of energy that burns cleaner than coal and can strengthen rural economies by adding jobs. A recent report by the Natural Resources Defense Council, in cooperation with the Asheville-based Dogwood Alliance, highlights the fact that Southeastern forestlands are being cut and industrial manufacturing plants are being built in the United States to create wood pellets primarily shipped to Europe.

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Red Rock marks progress on $200M biofuel plant

Herald and News
November 28, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Red Rock Biofuels announced Tuesday it has signed two agreements with Lake County and is moving forward with its $200 million biofuel facility in Lakeview. Red Rock Biofuels, a developer of renewable jet and diesel bio-refineries, has jointly signed a Long-term Rural Enterprise Zone Agreement with Lake County and the city of Lakeview, and a Natural Gas Capacity Sharing Agreement with Lake County, according to a news release. The rural enterprise agreement designates Red Rock’s site as an Enterprise Zone and exempts the corporation from property taxes being assessed on new plant and equipment. Once the facility is in service, the tax exemption applies for 15 years, the release said. In lieu of property taxes, Red Rock will provide a yearly community service fee to the city and county.

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Amazon deforestation report is major setback for Brazil ahead of climate talks

Report showing 16% increase in tree destruction underscores climate threat and is a disappointing result for government efforts to combat deforestation
The UK Guardian
November 27, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Trees covering an area more than seven times the territory of New York City have been cleared in the Brazilian Amazon over the past year, in a major setback for government efforts to combat deforestation. The grim statistics from Brazil’s environment ministry, which were released on Thursday, underscore the growing climate threat posed by deforestation ahead of a United Nations conference in Paris that aims to reduce global carbon emissions. Satellite data revealed that 5,831 square kilometers of land was cut down or burned in the Brazilian Amazon in year to 1 August: a 16% increase on the destruction of the previous 12 months.

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Japan to levy new tax to promote forest preservation

Asahi Shimbun
November 28, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The government plans to introduce a new tax to promote the protection of the nation’s woodlands as part of measures to curb the effects of global warming. The “forest environment tax” will be included in revisions to the tax system to be compiled Dec. 10 for the fiscal year that starts in April. Details, such as the amount of the tax, have yet to be decided. The central government plans to collect the new tax through municipal governments as “added portions” to residential taxes. Residential tax is based on income and is paid to local governments.

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Climate change is killing our trees

Phys.org
November 30, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Climate change and extreme climatic events appear to be killing trees around the world. In a report released by the Ecological Society of Australia, Dr Niels Brouwers from Murdoch University’s Centre of Excellence for Climate Change, Woodland and Forest Health (CECCWFH), and colleagues, suggest these changes in climate are also reducing tree growth and health. “In Western Australia we found that more than 25% of mature trees across 7000 hectares of forest died in response to extreme drought and multiple heatwaves in 2010-11,” said Dr Brouwers. “We saw similar numbers of trees dying in arid areas of Queensland in response to the 2003-07 drought, and there are similar reports from around the world.”

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The low-tech solution to cut carbon emissions in half

TreeHugger
November 27, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

On Monday, leaders from around the world will meet in Paris with the goal of reaching a global agreement to fight disastrous levels of climate change. In order for such a goal to be a success, they’ll need to transition the world away from fossil fuels, but how fast that can happen remains to be seen. While the switch from carbon-heavy fossil fuels to renewable energy technologies needs to happen as fast as possible in order to cut carbon emission, there’s another tool that shouldn’t be underestimated. That tool is rainforests.

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Rotting wood turns Austria’s poorest town into green model

New Straits Times Online
November 28, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Broke, remote and deprived of jobs – just 25 years ago, the border town of Guessing close to Hungary was one of the poorest in Austria, a forgotten frontier along the Iron Curtain trail. Yet today, the municipality of 4,000 people has morphed into a global flagship model for green energy, after becoming the first community in the European Union to produce all its heat and power from renewable sources back in 2001. Latest figures show the town is already 80 percent carbon neutral, a clear frontrunner in the bloc’s race for reducing C02 emissions. “The whole world should become Guessing,” enthused Austria’s most famous green advocate, Arnold Schwarzenegger, during a visit two years ago. In many ways, it all began with a “pile of rotting wood“, said engineer Reinhold Koch, one of the masterminds behind the dramatic transformation.

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