Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 4, 2016

Business & Politics

How a trade feud with Canada built hundreds of homes in places like New Orleans

Canadian Press in The Chronicle Journal
December 27, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

NEW ORLEANS — One little-known legacy of the now-expiring softwood lumber agreement: it spawned a massive, Canadian-funded humanitarian effort in the United States that people north of the border have never heard of. Funds dispersed with little fanfare under the decade-old Canada-U.S. deal built hundreds of houses in places like this once-underwater neighbourhood in New Orleans, affecting lives like Sheldonna Durosseau’s. Durosseau gets teary-eyed describing the impact of home ownership on her and her daughter, on the one-year anniversary of their move into a neighbourhood filled with post-Hurricane Katrina construction projects.

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Millar Western, Northlands complete sale of Alberta sawmill

Edmonton Journal
December 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Millar Western Forest Products Ltd.’s sawmill operations at Boyle have been sold to Northland Forest Products Ltd. for $30.7 million plus working capital, the two companies said Thursday. The transaction, announced Dec. 1, was completed on Tuesday, the companies said in a news release. A plan to shut down the mill indefinitely early in 2016 remains in effect. When the phased shutdown was announced Nov. 19, Edmonton-based Millar Western said it was due to market conditions and the sawmill’s cost structure. Ninety-one employees got severance notices. The shutdown is continuing and expected to be complete by February or March, a Millar Western spokeswoman said Thursday. Millar Western had owned the mill since 1994.

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Mill closure means $200K in lost taxes

Coast Reporter
December 24, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The partial closure of Howe Sound Pulp and Paper (HSPP) will result in a loss of nearly $200,000 from major industry taxation in 2016, upping taxes for homeowners across the Coast. Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) directors were told of the anticipated impacts at a Dec. 17 corporate and administrative services committee meeting. Staff said BC Assessment told them in August it was “unlikely the 2016 assessment roll would be impacted” by the closure of HSPP’s paper mill in Port Mellon. However, HSPP had until Nov. 30 to apply for a “closure allowance,” which would provide assessment relief. On Nov. 25, the SCRD was notified that HSPP had successfully filed the documents needed.

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BC mill fined $56K over pellet plant explosion that injured three

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
December 22, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

BURNS LAKE, B.C. – British Columbia’s workers’ compensation authority has fined a Burns Lake company $56,000 in the wake of a 2014 explosion at a wood pellet plant that injured three workers. WorkSafeBC imposed the penalty against Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. after an investigation report concluded the company failed to maintain safe working conditions and to exercise due diligence. Pinnacle fell short on providing adequate safety information, training and supervision, the report found. “These failures contributed to an explosion which carried a high risk of causing serious injury or death,” read the document.

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Planting a development seed

Grand Falls-Windsor Advertiser
January 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The former general manager of the AbitibiBowater pulp and paper mill in Grand Falls-Windsor said a tissue-producing plant could possibly work for Central Newfoundland and could utilize the province’s tremendous forest resources. “I’ve worked all over the world… and I’ve never, ever come across a fibre that’s as good as Newfoundland Black Spruce. Right now it’s only being used for newsprint in Corner Brook and that’s sad,” David Kerr said during a recent telephone interview. “It’s inexpensive to convert and it’s a shame that that fibre is not being used. In my view, it’s the best fibre in the world,” Kerr added. Kerr tosses out the idea of some clever engineers and businesspeople coming up with a plan to produce a product that is not in decline.

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Why Resolute can’t win in an ever-changing bush war

By Konrad Yakabuski
Globe and Mail
December 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Long before global environmentalists had even heard of the oil sands, their Canadian target of predilection was the forest industry. Greenpeace and Forest Ethics waged savvy PR campaigns to persuade the world, and purchasers of wood and paper products, to boycott Canadian goods made from clear-cut forests. It was a roaring success. Celebrities took up the cause and donations to the environmental NGOs came rolling in. Canada’s biggest forest companies lost millions of dollars worth of business in what seemed a patently unfair attack on forest-management practices that, while far from perfect, remained head and shoulders above those followed in most of world.

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This one kind of leapt off the page

Truro Daily News
January 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Canadians are quite used to hearing about trade disputes that originate from some lobby in the United States, aimed at one of our industries. But in an updated example in the tradition of internecine warfare, here we are dealing with one within our own national boundaries. People in Nova Scotia will readily recall aid from the former provincial NDP government to the Port Hawkesbury paper mill. It had been in limbo – not surprising given the uncertain future of the product – but of course in a small province of many small towns depending upon a scarcity of industry, its plight could hardly be ignored by a provincial government.

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BRIGHTON: The high price of government support

The Chronicle Journal
January 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Government subsidies for the Cape Breton paper mill have embroiled the province in another trade dispute. A previous dispute that came to a head in December led to hefty duties on U.S. imports of supercalendered paper from Canadian mills. In that case, complaints of unfair competition came from the other side of the border. Now Resolute Forest Products Inc. in Montreal is taking action against Nova Scotia and Ottawa through the North American Free Trade Agreement. On Wednesday, Resolute filed a notice of intent to seek arbitration through NAFTA in its quest for $70 million in damages. It is doing so “as a U.S. investor in Canada,” according to a note filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.

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?Resolute Forest Products sues for $70M over Port Hawkesbury aid

CBC News
December 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The federal government said Thursday it will mount a vigorous defence against a $70-million claim for compensation that Resolute Forest Products plans to file under the North American Free Trade Agreement. The Montreal-based company said late Wednesday that it’s seeking compensation for losses from the closure of its Laurentide mill in Quebec. Resolute says the closure of its mill in Shawinigan, Que., was a result of competition from a rival paper mill in Port Hawkesbury, N.S., that reopened in 2012 with provincial government assistance. Under NAFTA rules, the federal government is responsible for acts taken by provincial governments.

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Controversial industrial-scale sawmill to hit permit deadline

The Post and Courier
December 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ROWESVILLE — A huge lumber sawmill is apparently still on hold that could dramatically escalate timber cutting in the Lowcountry. A state air quality permit to build the Klausner mill along the North Edisto River outside Orangeburg is due to expire Sunday. The company has not filed for an extension after asking for one in May, said Jim Beasley, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. Because the deadline falls on a Sunday, Klausner has until close of business Monday to do it. An extension request would be reviewed like a permit application and have a 30-day public comment period. The mill was one of three proposed for Southeast states. Similarly sized mills in Enfield, N.C. and Live Oak, Fla., already are in production.

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Maine’s logging industry confronts pulpwood ‘crisis’

Bangor Daily News
December 31, 2015
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

EDGECOMB, Maine — The forest products industry has played an essential role in the region’s economy for more than two centuries, but a shrinking domestic market for by-products of the industry, including wood chips, has taken a heavy toll on the logging industry, pulp mills, sawmills, and local harvesters. Despite its long ties to the state’s economy, the past decade has seen fundamental shifts hit the timber sector, pushing portions of the industry, including pulp and paper mills, close to a breaking point. “What I see is a real crisis on our step and it’s going to get worse if we don’t do anything,” said Norman Hunt.

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Maine’s once-strong paper mills continued skid in 2015

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
January 2, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WESTBROOK, MAINE – Emery Deabay, a paper mill worker for four decades, sees the dismantled pieces of the old Verso mill in Bucksport leaving town by train day after day and knows the trains are taking what’s left of the state’s fading paper industry with it. The state’s once-thriving paper mill industry, like American papermaking at large, continued its downturn in 2015 in the face of closures, digitization, foreign competition and consolidation. Remaining players in the industry, which has declined from 426 mills nationally in 2005 to 326 today, say adaptation to changing consumer trends is needed for survival.

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Fire Destroys Bearden Pine Sawmill

Arkansas Matters
January 1, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BEARDEN, Ark. — A major fire destroyed one of the primary breakdown departments of the pine sawmill owned by Anthony Timberlands, Inc. at Bearden, Arkansas (Ouachita County). The fire, which was reported at near midnight on December 31, began and was contained within the Bandmill, which acts as the main department for breaking down large logs at the Bearden facility. The newer, higher production, small log processing Sharp Chain mill was not damaged. “The Bandmill accounts for
roughly 15% of total mill production”, according to ATI President Steven
M. Anthony.  “We can operate the rest of the mill without it, but will
need to replace it in order to maintain the capability of processing the
larger logs produced from area timberland.

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Mills close as state’s paper industry folds due to less demand

Associated Press in Press Herald
January 2, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

WESTBROOK — Emery Deabay, a paper mill worker for four decades, sees the dismantled pieces of the old Verso mill in Bucksport leaving town by train day after day and knows the trains are taking what’s left of the state’s fading paper industry with it. The state’s once-thriving paper mill industry, like American papermaking at large, continued its downturn in 2015 in the face of closures, digitization, foreign competition and consolidation. Remaining players in the industry, which has declined from 426 mills nationally in 2005 to 326 today, say adaptation to changing consumer trends is needed for survival.

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German planed lumber exports decline by 7%

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
January 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

German exports of planed softwood lumber decreased by 7% in the third quarter vis à vis last year’s comparative quarter to 231,918m³. According to information published by the Federal Statistical Office, deliveries to customers in Europe were 14% below the previous year’s figure at 144,033m³. Significant declines in exports were recorded, for example, to Belgium (-37%), the Netherlands (-29%) and Great Britain (-9%). The decreased deliveries within Europe were only partially compensated by a 6% increase in exports to countries outside Europe to 87,885m³.

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UAE softwood imports top 412,000 cu m

Trade Arabia
January 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

UAE imported approximately 412,400 cu m of softwood lumber from main European and North American exporters between January and July 2015, said the organisers of the upcoming Dubai WoodShow, citing an industry report. The 11th edition of the largest trade fair for wood products in the Middle East will take place from April 4 to 6 at Dubai World Trade Center. Romania is the biggest exporter of softwood lumber to the UAE with a volume of 233,000 cu m, while Germany came second with a volume of 101,000 cu m. The collective exports of Austria, Russia, Canada and Ukraine to the UAE were of the value of 78,000 cu m of softwood lumber.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

BC lumber trade delegation to Asia encouraged by response

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
December 28, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Climate-change policies could steer China and Japan toward use of more value-added wood products.It sounds a bit contradictory to call the province’s recent forestry trade mission to Japan and China a success when British Columbia’s lumber shipments into the region are on the slide. For industry officials, however, the trip at the end of November was about maintaining their presence, even during a slowdown in those countries, and to “move up the value chain” in those markets toward higher-value forest products and away from plain lumber, said industry representative Rick Jeffrey. In that sense, “it was quite a successful mission,” he said. The 40-member delegation, led by Minister of Forests Steve Thomson, spent three days in Japan then three days in China to advance that cause.

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2016 Wood Design Awards: NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN

Wood WORKS!
December 22, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nominate a deserving architect, engineer or building owner for an innovative and inspiring wood project. Celebrate excellence in wood building and design as winners are recognized before their peers, industry leaders and media at the much-anticipated annual awards event at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Recognize projects throughout BC – and now internationally with the NEW! International Wood Design category.

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‘Timber Kings’ bring wood building to the masses

Journal of Commerce
December 22, 2015
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

When Pioneer Log Homes of B.C. founder Bryan Reid Sr. built his own log home 43 years ago, little did he know it would spawn a thriving international business and a hit reality TV show. “Forty-three years ago I just wanted to build my own log house,” Reid said. He was just two years out of high school at the time. “It was for myself and my young family,” he said. “The sawmills had come to central B.C. and nobody had built log houses. They were looked on as cheap.” Now, custom log homes are in high demand and customers have to get in line. Reid and his team are already booked solid through 2016. However, one can still watch Reid and his team’s craft as they work to finish projects around the world on the hit reality show “Timber Kings” on HGTV.

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Australia’s Finest: 7 Timber-Clad Bungalows Along the Sunshine Coast

Architizer
January 1, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

…The following collection takes a closer look at timber construction and cladding through various residences along the coast. While there’s a long history of wooden architecture in the Australian vernacular, from sheds and barns to aboriginal huts, contemporary projects are using timber to form hybrid spaces and envelopes which merge different styles. Sited atop mountains and overlooking expansive vistas, the houses use clean lines and sharp angles to articulate transition and define interior and exterior space. The projects make use of screened envelopes and intentional building orientations to capitalize on the subtropical climate and embrace the surrounding landscape. See for yourself with these modern timber bungalows along the Sunshine Coast.

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Forestry

Moving Forward Together in the Modern Era

Coast Forest Products
December 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As 2015 comes to a close, we are on the cusp of finalizing the landmark Great Bear Rainforest (GBR) Agreement. An Agreement that is the result of over 15 years of negotiations between industry, government, First Nations and environmental non-governmental organizations (ENGOs), it will allow for a globally significant area on B.C.’s coast to support a viable forest industry while ensuring that 85% of the area is off limits to resource development. It will preserve important ecosystems and, at the same time, provide economic certainty for the forest industry and the communities it supports. The Agreement is another example of forestry’s positive track record and commitment to apply research, innovation and continual improvement to managing our forests and ecosystems.  

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Alberta forestry model broken

Rocky Mountain Outlook
December 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The scope and scale of current clearcut logging on public lands is supported by an outdated forestry model primarily designed to supply jobs and feed the sawmills. Here are the top 10 reasons why Alberta’s current forestry model is broken: 10) Rules: What rules? Operating ground rules, which govern logging operations, are based on best principles of forest management. However these best practices are easily ignored, with a wide range of deviations approved by Alberta’s Ministry of Forestry. 9) Forest fires do not equal clear cutting. Natural Disturbance Forestry (NDF) is purported to emulate forest fires, which are natural phenomena. However, NDF is neither natural, nor anything like a forest fire. 

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Newsmaker of the year: Community rallies around city’s green heart

Powell River Peak
December 30, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

With all its protests, rallies and open houses, 2015 was the year of Lot 450. And as the year concludes, the future of Powell River’s urban forest remains to be resolved. Island Timberlands (IT), the province’s second largest landowner, may have left the trees in the city’s green heart standing for now, but those opposed to the harvest wait for the forestry company’s return. “This had less to do with stopping logging than it did with stopping vandalism,” said community organizer Jason Down in October. Stretching from Westview to Wildwood, Lot 450 is the largest parcel of land inside City of Powell River. It includes a large amount of IT-owned, forested land from around the base of Valentine Mountain, alongside the pole line and out to Westview.

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Canfor buys Meadow Creek Cedar license

Nelson Star
December 23, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor has acquired the troubled Meadow Creek Cedar forest license. District forests manager Garth Wiggill was unavailable for an interview this week, but the ministry confirmed Canfor bought the license, which has an annual allowable cut of 96,513 cubic meters. The ministry also said $251,000 in outstanding debts to the Crown were settled during the transfer, and Canfor will assume Meadow Creek Cedar’s outstanding obligations on the land base. However, the property in Cooper Creek where Meadow Creek Cedar’s sawmill burned down in 2014 remains under the ownership of Dale Kooner.

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Q and A: Alberta’s environment minister on climate change, grizzly bears and the Castle parks

Calgary Herald
January 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Shannon Phillips, elected as MLA for Lethbridge-West in early May, was later appointed that month as Alberta’s environment and parks minister under the new NDP government. ..In a year-end interview with the Herald’s environment writer Colette Derworiz, …Q. The climate change strategy wasn’t the only immediate matter. Your government also announced the creation of two parks in the Castle wilderness area. Why was that a priority? A. We made the commitment during the campaign. …We also moved quickly on that because we wanted to ensure there was certainty for the logging interests in that area so we acted quickly to end the logging, based on the fact it was very clear there was some sensitive habitat and headwater protection issues.

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Eye on BC’s Forests: The FPB Newsletter Chair’s Message

Forest Practices Board
December 31, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Over its 20 years, the Forest Practices Board has published some 500 audits, investigations and special reports; a few of which, for one reason or another, have ended up being controversial. This past summer, the Forest Stewardship Plans Need Improvement special investigation (FSP) was one of those few reports. It garnered accolades from some for “saying it like it is,” and criticism from others for the tone taken in the Board’s commentary and executive summary and for not reporting the “on-the-ground results.” Initially, in many instances, forest industry representatives, professionals, government staff, and others did not read beyond page one of the report.

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B.C. forestry watchdog finds timber companies have too much power

By Larry Pynn
Vancouver Sun
December 26, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government has given away so much power to timber companies that district forest managers no longer have the authority to stop suspect harvesting practices in the public good, a Forest Practices Board report reveals. The independent provincial watchdog says that in recent years it has seen “situations arise where forestry development was putting local environmental and community values at risk, yet district managers could do little to affect the development and protect the public interest.” The board adds that “conflicts between resource users could have been avoided if district managers had the authority to intervene to ensure operations would meet local management objectives and respect tenured interests.”

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Alberni needs change: Wayne Coulson

Alberni Valley News
December 29, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Between fires, waterbombers, political drama and an airport expansion, it’s been a busy year for Wayne Coulson. Sitting in his office at Chances RimRock, Coulson admits that he didn’t think that the airport expansion would garner so much attention—or controversy, “We didn’t think there would be so much focus on us,” Coulson said. “We’ve been there 20-plus years; 1994 is when we had the grand opening of the hangar. So we’ve been out there doing our own thing for 20-some odd years.” But when the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District went to Alberni Valley residents to decide whether or not they could borrow the $6 million, not all of them were happy that they were being asked to pay for an expansion that some saw as Coulson-inspired.

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Group fights for Lantzville forest

Nanaimo News Bulletin
December 24, 2015
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A push to protect a Lantzville forest is ramping up, with organizers arguing there’s at-risk species and high recreational value. “Can you imagine if Stanley Park was being logged?” asked Ted Gullison, biologist and concerned resident behind the Save Lantzville Forest effort. “It wouldn’t really matter if they were doing responsible logging, it just doesn’t make any sense. “It’s the same thing here.” Woodlot 1475 is at the heart of the fight, an approximate 256-hectare swath in upper Lantzville that’s 96 per cent Crown land.

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DC politics hurt Montana wildland firefighters

The Missoulian
January 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Our nation has a serious problem in how we fund wildland firefighting. As a former fire lookout and wildfire dispatcher, I have seen friends and colleagues work endless hours in a dangerous job to defend local communities time and time again. I believe they deserve better support from the U.S. Congress. Despite widespread agreement on the seriousness of the fire funding problem—and the solution—some members of Congress are playing politics by making extreme demands that would block public involvement in the management of our national forests.

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Northern Idaho company dives for lost logs in Flathead Lake

Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
January 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MOSCOW, Idaho — Around the turn of the 20th century, as early loggers put their sweat and blood into the harvest of timber and the Great Northern Railroad began winding its way west — supported by the timber industry — the Somers Sawmill was established along Flathead Lake in Montana. The family-owned mill experienced a windfall from the burgeoning railway, which ordered railroad ties created from logs floated down the Flathead or Swan rivers to the lake that fed its saws. Over the years, thousands of larch and pine logs sank, spending a century in the silt and mud on the lake bottom. Until now.

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Objections continue to smolder over Rattlesnake Rec Area forestry plan

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
January 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Rattlesnake forestry debate many thought was settled last summer still smolders as the deadline for a final decision nears this month.  In August, Missoula District Ranger Jennifer Hensiek decided to remove a controversial part of the Marshall Woods project that called for commercial logging along the creek bottom of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area on the city’s northern border. But the revised version of the project still contains directions that objectors find disturbing. “They haven’t really spelled out what they’re going to do and when,” said Jake Kreilick, a member of the Lolo Restoration Committee, which worked with the U.S. Forest Service on the Marshall Woods project.

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Interactive project maps all 600,000 trees in New York City’s urban forest

January 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The 600,000 trees that line the streets of New York City have been mapped, revealing a diverse array of greenery in the midst of one of the world’s largest cities. Jill Hubley, a web developer who lives in the New York borough of Brooklyn, used official city data to create a visualization of where each of the 600,000 trees, which cover 168 different species, are situated. The map shows some striking differences in the types of trees across New York, with silver maples popular in Queens but very sparse in Manhattan. Pin oaks are widely distributed, although the London plane tree, a hybrid of the native sycamore and the oriental plane tree, is the greatest in abundance across the five boroughs. Other species mapped include poplar, English oak and ginkgo

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Interactive project maps all 600,000 trees in New York City’s urban forest

January 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The 600,000 trees that line the streets of New York City have been mapped, revealing a diverse array of greenery in the midst of one of the world’s largest cities. Jill Hubley, a web developer who lives in the New York borough of Brooklyn, used official city data to create a visualization of where each of the 600,000 trees, which cover 168 different species, are situated. The map shows some striking differences in the types of trees across New York, with silver maples popular in Queens but very sparse in Manhattan. Pin oaks are widely distributed, although the London plane tree, a hybrid of the native sycamore and the oriental plane tree, is the greatest in abundance across the five boroughs. Other species mapped include poplar, English oak and ginkgo

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Nova Scotia biomass burning regulations questioned in new report

CBC News
December 23, 2015
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

A report released today by a non-profit, environmental law group questions whether forest biomass is actually a renewable source of fuel. Biomass — trunk bark and chips from the tree — technically meets the definition of a renewable energy source because trees grow back. In Nova Scotia, provincial regulations treat biomass as a renewable resource. The equivalent of 50 pulp trucks a day, or 700,000 green tonnes of woody biomass a year, is burned to generate electricity for the Nova Scotia Power grid and Port Hawkesbury Paper mill next door to a biomass boiler that recently came online.

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Under California cap-and-trade program, North Coast forests turn carbon uptake into cash

Santa Rosa Press Democrat
January 3, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

They say money doesn’t grow on trees, but a nearly 75,000-acre swath of redwood and fir forests blanketing the wildlands of Sonoma and Mendocino counties is generating millions of dollars as it contributes to California’s ambitious campaign to curb greenhouse gas emissions. In a reversal of forest profiteering that dates back to the mid-1800s, the trees are making landowners money by staying upright and growing fast on damp coastal hills where vegetation thrives and few humans set foot. The Conservation Fund, a Virginia-based nonprofit, has since 2008 sold more than $36 million worth of a new forest commodity called carbon credits, also known as carbon offsets, which represent 4 million metric tons of greenhouse gases sequestered, or stored, by forests that in turn must be sustained for 100 years.

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Ashland mill supplying pellets to UMFK boiler but demand is down

Bangor Daily News
January 2, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

FORT KENT, Maine — The University of Maine at Fort Kent said its biomass plant received 50 tons of wood pellets from Northeast Pellets of Ashland as of Dec. 31 via the university’s contractor, days after the mill said it was cutting production in part because of a drop in orders for the UMFK boiler. Northeast Pellets announced Dec. 28 it was reducing operations from five to three days per week along with hours for the 13 full-time employees, amid warmer weather, low heating oil prices and the favorable Canadian currency exchange rate. “It’s not the kind of trifecta you want,” said Matt Bell, founder and president of Northeast, the state’s first pellet manufacturer.

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