Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 22, 2015

Special Feature

Forest Bathing: How A Walk In The Woods (or sitting in a wood room) Can Slash Stress And Boost Immunity

Reset.me
December 22, 2015
Category: Special Feature
Region: International

Humans are innately aware of the therapeutic value of a brisk walk, but now science is showing that both the mental and physical benefits can be significantly augmented if such exercise is performed within a forest setting. These benefits range from improved mood and sleep to slashed stress levels and — perhaps more impressively — a boost in immune system function that may even help to fight cancer. …Additionally, research has been performed that measures physiological responses to differing ratios of wooden room interiors. Subjects in a room with a 30 percent wood ratio experienced significant decreases in pulse rate and diastolic blood pressure, indicating a relaxed response to such an environment.

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Business & Politics

Lavington pellet plant emissions ‘like night and day’

Kamloops Info News
December 21, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VERNON – The company behind a controversial wood pellet plant in Lavington says it has drastically reduced emissions. Pinnacle Renewable Energy Group president Leroy Reitsma says the results of third-party testing by McCall Environmental show emissions are down 83 per cent thanks to new technology. “What we’re running at compared to what we used to is night and day,” Reitsma says. “It’s the difference between an oxcart and a rocket ship in terms of technology.” The new system filters the emissions from both the pellet plant, and the existing Tolko planer mill, reducing overall emissions at the site, Reitsma says.

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Mercer International Position Sold by Northcoast Asset Management

Dakota Financial News
December 22, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Northcoast Asset Management closed out its position in Mercer International during the third quarter, according to its most recent Form 13F filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The hedge fund previously had a 428,738 share position in the company, valued at approximately $3,807,193. Northcoast Asset Management had fully closed out its position in company by the time it had filed its most recent disclosure with the SEC. Mercer traded down 0.23% during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $8.86. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,565 shares. 

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September: BIV 2015 Year in Review

Falling lumber demand shows China in transition: industry leader
Business in Vancouver
December 22, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Crashing prices and growing stockpiles of B.C. lumber are identified as key indicators of China’s transitioning economy, according to Russ Taylor, president of International Wood Markets Group. Taylor said the falling demand for B.C. lumber is not so much a symptom of economic stagnation in China as an indicator of China’s transitioning from a manufacturing and export-based economy to a domestic consumer-driven economy.

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The TPP is a giant boost for B.C. and the forestry industry

David Emerson is chair and Jeff Zweig is president and CEO of TimberWest Forest Products.
Globe and Mail
December 22, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With another round of contentious softwood-lumber negotiations between Canada and the United States looming, it’s more important than ever that the Government of Canada bring forward the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement for parliamentary approval as quickly as possible. We are encouraged that the TPP has been on high on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s agenda in his initial conversations with U.S. President Barack Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The TPP includes 12 countries and gives Canadian businesses preferred and improved access to a combined market of about 800 million people and more than $28-trillion in economic activity. British Columbia’s forest industry continues to be the engine of the province’s economy as its largest exporter, with logs, lumber, pulp, paper and other products totalling more than $12-billion in exports from B.C. in 2014.

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Moody’s says Boise Cascade’s Acquisition of Engineered Lumber Mills is Credit Positive

Moody’s
December 22, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Moody’s Investors Service says Boise Cascade Company’s planned acquisition of 2 engineered lumber facilities from Georgia-Pacific LLC is credit positive because the additional facilities will increase the company’s operational diversity, generate cost synergies and provide Boise Cascade with additional manufacturing capacity as US residential construction increases to normalized levels, while only modestly increasing its leverage.

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Kames Capital: Four big headwinds for investors in 2016

Kames Capital
December 22, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

US housebuilders have benefited from the return of house price growth in the US, following one of the sharpest downturns on record. However, having outpaced the wider stock market over the last few years, they started to correct in late 2015. One way to assess how much further this trend has to run is to look at housebuilders versus lumber, one of the core raw materials needed in house construction. If you do a ratio of housebuilders to lumber, the stocks have come back some way from the peak seen earlier in the year. Housebuilders got too expensive, and now as the Federal Reserve starts to hike rates, it will put renewed strains on the sector. Therefore, housebuilders should see share prices mean revert back to their historical trend versus lumber, and so going underweight (or indeed short) the sector looks attractive.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

See which Tempe startup won AZ Tech Council’s StartupConnect AZ pitch contest

Phoenix Business Journal
December 22, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A Tempe startup whose tagline is “building homes by saving trees” beat out six other companies this month to win the pitch contest at the third annual StartupConnect AZ conference. BetR-blok LLC, a manufacturer of construction blocks made from recycled paper, cardboard and other recyclable cellulose material, was the winner in the Dec. 9 contest hosted by the Arizona Technology Council.

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Made of bioplastic: The best of 2015

Plastics Today
December 22, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

From sewage-based plastic to 100% biobased PET, 2015 was a year which saw a surprising number of developments in the field of renewably-sourced materials, which hold genuine promise for the future… So, here’s my personal list of the five most memorable biobased products that I came across in 2015 in no particular rank order.
Bicycle helmet
A Swedish company called Cellutech developed a bicycle helmet that is completely based on cellulosic materials. Designed and constructed by the designer Rasmus Malbert, the helmet has an outer shell of wood veneer and straps made of durable paper. The cushioning inside consists of Cellutech’s cellulose foam, Cellufoam. Cellufoam is made of nanocellulose produced from wood pulp and is therefore both renewable and biodegradable. The bicycle helmet is the first example of how Cellufoam can be used.

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Hello Wood Creates Three Christmas Trees in Budapest, London and Manchester

Arch Daily
December 21, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

For the third consecutive year, Hello Wood—an international educational platform of design and architecture based in Hungary—have “rethought the Christmas Tree.” Their three festive installations, in London, Manchester and Budapest, have been designed to live beyond the holiday season and will be recycled into new structures to help different causes in the New Year. “The role of architecture has changed a lot in the last few years,” says Peter Pozsar, co-founder of Hello Wood. “Hello Wood represents this socially responsive architecture.”

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China Wood Optimization Attends the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference

ACN Newswire (press release)
December 21, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

HONG KONG – China Wood Optimization Limited, an advanced new technology group engaged in the processing, manufacturing and selling of processed wood products and which constantly strives to achieve energy conservation and emission reduction through low-carbon environmental protection measures, was the only Chinese innovative wood enterprise invited to the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference and an exhibition held in Paris…. China Wood Optimization’s eye-catching exhibition was located in the “Climate Era” exhibition hall, next to The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) display.

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Louisville Slugger braces for attack of tiny killer beetle

Ash borer beetle forcing Major League baseball players to switch to maple bats
CBC Sports
December 22, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron and Derek Jeter made a good living and entered the history books swinging the iconic Louisville Slugger bat. Ever since 1884, when Hillerich & Bradsby Co. started making the bats from the wood of the white ash tree, the sticks have reigned supreme among the sport’s top stars. But the ash bat may be heading for extinction, killed off by a tiny killer beetle—one that some scientists say may be thriving because of a warmer climate—and by competition from maple… Since it was first identified in Detroit and Windsor, Ont., in 2002, the borers have shown a big appetite for ash forests. They do their damage as larvae, burrowing inside trees and feeding under the bark. By doing so, they cut off water and other nutrients to the rest of the tree… Herms says it typically takes from one to four years after the initial infestation for ash trees to start dying. Within six years, entire forests are completely dead. 

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Forestry

Why the rare woodland caribou’s diet is being watched in the Boreal forest

Treehugger
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

It’s not just a little concern over a few too many holiday treats…it’s to help understand the nutritional value of food available in the forest habitat of caribou, so that forest managers can help increase their chances of surviving northern winters. Woodland caribou can be found throughout Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia, and are also found in some of the northern U.S. States. A number of herds have declining populations – over 50% of caribou calves in Canada and the U.S. don’t survive past 50 days old, for a variety of reasons – some known, and some unknown. To reverse the decline, researchers must first understand it.

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No new gov?t staff, laws to protect wildlife, habitat

Prince George Citizen
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government will not be changing laws or considering hiring more staff as recommended in a report by one of its own MLAs on how to protect wildlife and biodiversity from the affects of resource industries… An internal report from Prince George-Mackenzie MLA Mike Morris — commissioned by the B.C. Liberal government to respond to the concerns of wildlife groups — recommended several key legislative changes, and called on the province to consider adding more natural resource compliance and enforcement officers, in addition to expanding their powers… Morris, a former RCMP superintendent who was recently named the province’s solicitor general, also recommended removing wording in forestry laws on planning, practices and protection objectives that states “without unduly reducing the supply of timber from British Columbia’s forest.” His report said this wording “significantly lowers the threshold protecting our biodiversity.”

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Caribou fears unjustified claims group

Chronicle Journal
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fears being raised by some environmental groups that Ontario’s caribou are in danger of disappearing aren’t backed up by current science, says a forest industry advocacy group. “Caribou are the most abundant (hoofed animals) in North America,” Ontario Forest Industries Association researcher Ian Dunn said in a news release earlier this week. “Woodland caribou . . . is classified as threatened, however, they also remain abundant in Ontario and their habitat is well protected.” Greenpeace and other groups have been raising the alarm about Canadian caribou for several years, saying the country’s population “has shrunk dramatically as logging has spread north and roads have fragmented once intact forests.” Greenpeace and like-mind groups point out that the animals need ” huge areas of old growth forest- about 13,000 square kilometres for a herd of 500 – in order to survive.”

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Land Board OKs major Whitefish conservation easement purchase

Missoulian
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WHITEFISH – It’s not the final hurdle, but a five-year effort to protect Whitefish’s drinking water cleared an important one Monday in Helena, when the state Land Board approved the purchase of a conservation easement on Haskill Basin. The vote was unanimous, according to Darlene Edge, Lands Program manager for Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. The easement will also maintain public access to the 3,020 acres north of Whitefish and allow the property’s owner, F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co., to keep the land in commercial timber production.

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To save a pine tree, researchers fight fungus with fungus

High Country News
December 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In a cluttered Bozeman laboratory, Cathy Cripps lays a whitebark pine seedling across the plate of a microscope, adjusts a few knobs, and peers into the eyepiece. The young tree is just a three-inch-tall spray of green needles, bursting from a carrot-shaped sleeve of black dirt. A constellation of white freckles, each speck no larger than a period on this page, dots the soil like dandruff. Under the microscope, however, the spots blossom into bizarre and spectacular structures, with elegant coralline branches and cotton candy-like threads that coat the tree’s labyrinthine roots. These otherworldly bodies are -mycorrhizal fungi, symbiotic organisms that trade favors with plants.

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DNR awards $135,000 for community tree programs

The Journal Gazette
December 21, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

DNR’s Division of Forestry has awarded $135,000 in federal funds to 12 cities, towns and non-profits in Indiana for urban forestry projects. The projects include tree inventory and analysis for management planning, new tree plantings and education and awareness campaigns. Urban forests enhance air and water quality, making communities healthier, safer and more beautiful. Funds for tree inventory and analysis were awarded to: the cities of Elkhart, $20,000; Kendallville, $17,425; and West Lafayette, $18,562; and the town of Pendleton, $11,575.

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Fire-fighters make the best of cooler weather to shore up bushfires in NSW south-east

ABC New – Australia
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Heavy earth-moving equipment is continuing to work on containment lines at a blaze in the Yumbulla State Forest south of Eden. The Rural Fire Service said lower temperatures were allowing it to extinguish the remaining hot spots. RFS Far South Coast spokesman, Marty Webster, said the fire came within a kilometre of a pine plantation and containment was difficult. But he said there was now no active fire edge and crews would monitor the situation over the next few days.

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Ottomans’ favorite tree to be planted across northwest Turkey

Hurriyet Daily News
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Turkey’s Forestry Ministry is set to plant plane tree saplings in the northwestern town of Sö?üt as well as Istanbul due to the significance the tree possessed during the Ottoman era. Hundreds of thousands of plane saplings will be planted starting in Sö?üt, a district in the province of Bilecik and the first capital of the Ottoman state, upon a directive from President Recep Tayyip Erdo?an, Turkish Forestry and Waterworks Minister Veysel Ero?lu told daily Hürriyet, adding that the project would start next year. “We are starting a ‘plane tree campaign’ upon the directive of our president. The plane tree was the symbol of the Ottomans. We will plant plane tree saplings starting from where the Ottoman state was founded until wherever we can. 

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Forestry tycoon urges more govt support for the industry

Jakarta Post
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Indonesia’s forestry industry will continue to flourish next year if the government provides more support for its development, according to forestry tycoon Sukanto Tanoto. “I believe the forestry industry will continue to grow in the future, if the government thinks of its good impact on social welfare but at the same time keeps it in balance with environmental conservation,” he said during the launching of the Tanoto Forestry Information Center (TFIC) at the Bogor Agriculture University (IPB) in Bogor on Monday. The TFIC is a collaborative project between the Tanoto Foundation and IPB to build a library with international journals and discussion centers for local and international researchers on the university campus. 

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Indonesia punishes 23 companies for causing forest fires

Associated Press in Washington Post
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

JAKARTA, Indonesia — Indonesian government has punished 23 companies for causing forest fires that spread thick, smoky haze around Southeast Asia, an official said Tuesday. The Forestry Ministry’s investigations director, Brotestes Panjaitan, said that 33 more companies are under scrutiny and waiting for decisions on possible punishment. Forestry Minister Siti Nurbaya announced Monday that a total of 56 companies were involved in the land-clearing activities that led to the fires.

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Growing revenue: how does the Christmas tree business stack up?

The Conversation UK
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Christmas tree is a classic example of a product that the vast majority of people would not think of buying or using at any other time of year. Most households will only buy one tree per year. …The natural Christmas tree market in the UK is worth approximately £384m per annum, with 8m trees annually retailing at a current average price of £48 for a six-foot tree – although, in recent years, retailers including Aldi and IKEA have offered imported trees at lower prices. It can take six years to grow a six-foot tree and about 1,000 trees can be grown per acre. So the maximum retail value could be as much as £8,000 per acre per year. The tree growers will keep only a fraction of this revenue, unless they sell direct to consumers.

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By cutting down forests, humans may be giving themselves malaria

The Washington Post
December 22, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A surprising factor may be contributing to the spread of malaria in Malaysia, new research has found. In a new study, published Friday in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases, scientists argue that deforestation is causing environmental changes that have upped transmission of a form of the infectious disease usually found only in monkeys… Cutting down forests, on the other hand, might not be the most obvious risk factor when it comes to infectious disease — but it’s one that scientists are paying more and more attention to. Studies are beginning to show that deforestation can cause changes in the way humans interact with the landscape, and with the animals that call it home, making them more susceptible to contracting certain types of diseases.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Scientists say climate change could cause a ‘massive’ tree die-off in the US Southwest

Washington Post
December 21, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

In a troubling new study just out in Nature Climate Change, a group of researchers says that a warming climate could trigger a “massive” dieoff of coniferous trees, such as junipers and piñon pines, in the U.S. southwest sometime this century. The study is based on both global and regional simulations — which show “consistent predictions of widespread mortality,” the paper says — and also an experiment on three large tree plots in New Mexico. The work was led by Nate McDowell of the Los Alamos National Laboratory who conducted the research along with 18 other authors from a diverse group of universities and federal agencies, including the U.S. Geological Survey.

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Rivers, lakes impact ability of forests to store carbon

EurekAlert
December 21, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Forests help remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere by storing it in trees, but a sizeable amount of the greenhouse gas actually escapes through the soil and into rivers and streams. That’s the main finding of a paper to appear Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It’s the first study to comprehensively look at how carbon moves in freshwater across the entire U.S. The researchers found that across the country, the ability of forests to store carbon is not as robust once freshwater is factored into the equation. They hope to introduce this as an important concept to consider when modeling how much carbon is stored in terrestrial landscapes.

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Your Christmas Tree’s Carbon Footprint

The Daily Score
December 21, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US West, Canada West

Cascadia is a global center of Christmas tree farming, harvesting approximately nine million trees per year. Christmas tree farms pepper the region’s landscape, covering nearly 100,000 acres across British Columbia, Oregon (the top Christmas tree-producing state in the United States), and Washington (the fifth-largest producer). Together, these farms may store more than 80,000 tons of CO2 annually, roughly equal to the emissions produced by 17,000 cars in a year. But is fresh-cut the greener choice? Or are reusable plastic trees, like most reusable goods, the better option? Short answer: with rare exceptions, real trees are better, at least when measured by their climate impact.

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Biomass pellet market to grow

Agri-View
December 21, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The global biomass-pellet market was valued at $6,976.3 million in 2014, and is expected to grow at an annual growth rate of 11 percent over the next five years. Low greenhouse-gas emissions from biomass, increased government initiatives for renewable technologies, the need for constant energy supply and untapped biomass potential will drive market growth, according to P&S Market Research. In 2014, the European market held the largest share in the global biomass-pellet market, in terms of value and volume. The market is expected to maintain its growth rate, mainly driven by subsidies and legislation.

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Reform of the forest industry through innovation

Biofore
December 21, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Developed and produced at the Lappeenranta mill site, UPM’s renewable diesel is a good example of the transformation of the forest industry. Finnish innovation helps the industry expand into new fields. Jaakko Nousiainen tells the story of BioVerno, UPM’s renewable diesel. The story began nearly a decade ago when the management of UPM was looking into expanding the company’s operations from traditional wood and paper industries into new fields. One of the ideas discussed was biofuels. Soon enough, UPM started research on converting wood mass to biofuel by gasification. Another approach to biofuel production was to utilise the side streams from pulp and paper production, but initially this option did not get as much attention.

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More data, mapping, can help countries tackle deforestation

Devex
December 21, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

“Brazil is the country of tomorrow, and always will be,” goes a common saying about the perennial unfulfilled potential of Latin America’s largest country. But in a post-Paris world, the chance to reduce climate change by reversing deforestation presents a major opportunity for Brazil, and other countries that are home to the world’s rainforests, to lead future environmental action. …Brazil, a long time contributor to the problem of deforestation, has managed to reverse course because of new monitoring and information systems that have aided government oversight. …So through satellite imagery technology and spatial analysis, Imazon worked to provide municipalities with mapping information to track deforestation patterns.

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