Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 4, 2016

Froggy Foibles

Wanted: Beer-Drinkers to Help Save the Entire World

New Zealand Scoop
February 3, 2016
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

Beer-drinkers of New Zealand, in 2015 a true Kiwi invention was born when DB Export brought you DB Export Brewtroleum, a high grade biofuel made from the by-product of beer. This year, we’re asking you to drink DB Export so that DB Export Brewtroleum can make its return and we can continue to save the entire world. While it’s a sacrifice, DB Export believes Kiwi beer-drinkers will take on their duty help to save the polar bears, fight global warming and create a more environmentally-friendly world. This is a call to arms to New Zealand: drink DB Export and help replenish the country’s supply of DB Export Brewtroleum, a biofuel that is better for the planet.

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Business & Politics

Forest Industry urges speedy ratification of Trans Pacific Partnership

Forest Products Association of Canada
February 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA: The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) is pleased that Canada has signed the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement and urges the federal government to ratify the treaty as soon as possible. The Minister of International Trade, Chrystia Freeland, officially signed the trade deal at a ceremony today in New Zealand. However the TPP must still be put to a vote in Parliament before Canada officially ratifies the12-country agreement. The TPP would greatly benefit the Canadian forest products industry by eliminating prohibitive tariffs, as well as providing clear provisions to help settle disputes and avoid unfair blocking of imports because of concerns about insects or other contaminants. For example, forest products from Canada now face up to a 31% tariff in Vietnam, 40% in Malaysia, 20% in Brunei and 10% in Japan.

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Parliamentary Secretary Kim Rudd Meets with Forest Sector Stakeholders

Natural Resources Canada
Government of Canada
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Parliamentary Secretary Kim Rudd, on behalf of the Honourable Jim Carr, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, today met with forest sector stakeholders and highlighted the Government’s support for growing and developing markets for Canada’s sustainably produced, high-quality forest products.  Parliamentary Secretary Rudd’s speech discussed five key areas for the transformation of Canada’s forest sector, including combatting climate change, promoting innovation and clean technology, supporting science, improving market access and enhancing engagement with Indigenous Peoples.  The Parliamentary Secretary also announced that the 2015 State of Canada’s Forest Report will be tabled in Parliament today.

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Chamber sees Wynndel Box and Lumber-Canfor deal as positive

My Kootenay Now
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

he Creston Valley Chamber has weighed in on Canfor’s recent purchase of Wynndel Box and Lumber. President, Rob Schepers says it’s a good thing and he’s excited. He says Canfor’s promise of more jobs may not mean “new” jobs. Schepers says a major impact to the valley will only be seen if Canfor steps up production at the sawmill. Wynndel Box and Lumber produces premium boards and customized speciality wood products under the brand name Wynnwood.

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What Next for Canfor Pulp Products Inc Stock After Reaching 52-Week Low?

WallStreet
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The stock of Canfor Pulp Products Inc (TSE:CFX) hit a new 52-week low and has $8.95 target or 6.00% below today’s $9.52 share price. The 7 months bearish chart indicates high risk for the $688.32M company. The 1-year low was reported on Feb, 3 by Barchart.com. If the $8.95 price target is reached, the company will be worth $41.30 million less. The 52-week low event is an important milestone for every stock because it shows very negative momentum and is time when sellers come in. During such technical setups, fundamental investors usually stay away and are careful buying the stock. The stock closed at $9.52 during the last session. It is down 39.13% since June 26, 2015 and is downtrending. It has underperformed by 31.62% the S&P500.

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BID Group selected to build state-of-the-art mill

Prince George Citizen
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Vanderhoof-based BID Group of Companies has landed a contract to built a state-of-the art sawmill in Newton, Mississippi. Work on the he $80-million project for Biewer Lumber will start in the second quarter of 2016, creating 125 jobs in the process, and should be in operation by the second quarter of 2017. In a statement BID Group credited its expansion into the southern United States for winning the contract.

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Times are good for the local forest industry

Bridge River Lillooet News
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Sunday nights, the crews arrive back in Lillooet, ready to go to work early Monday. For the rest of the week, loaded logging trucks are lined up outside Aspen Planers’ Savona Specialty Plywood Company’s Lillooet veneer plant. Some trucks are hauling two loads of wood a day – something that hasn’t occurred here in years. And Aspen Planers has posted numerous job openings for work in this area. Those are only three indications of the upswing the local forest industry is experiencing. Since last fall, there’s “definitely been an increase in work,” says Clint Ely. He is an RPF (Registered Professional Forester) and one of the co-owners of Lillooet’s Interwest Forest Management.

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Hornepayne mayor says community can’t afford to lose skilled labour jobs

CBC News
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The mayor of Hornepayne, Ont., says people have already started leaving his small township because of a lengthy lumber mill closure affecting employment. The Olav Haavaldsrud Timber Company shut down its mill in the community last November, laying off 146 workers as it seeks to reach a resolution with the province over how it intends to sell power from its co-generation plant. “We can’t afford to have people leave the community with skilled labour skills, we need to preserve that workforce because once it’s gone, it’ll be very difficult to bring it back,” said Mayor Morley Forster, who represents roughly 1,000 residents. 

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Columbia reopening veneer mill

Northern Ontario Business
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Columbia Forest Products is reopening its Rutherglen veneer mill, east of North Bay, after a five-year shutdown. Gary Gillespie, vice-president of Columbia’s Northern Operations, announced Dec. 15 that Columbia is in the “intermediate stages” of preparations to reopening the shuttered veneer facility, which closed in 2010 in the face of imports from China, a strong Canadian dollar, and a major downtown in the forest products industry. Seventy employees lost their jobs. At its peak period, the mill employed 200. “We have been anxiously awaiting the moment when we could announce that it was time to fire up the boilers and bring folks back to work at the Rutherglen facility,” said Gillespie in a news release.

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Plum Creek Reports Results for Fourth Quarter and Full Year 2015

Businesswire Press Release
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

SEATTLE—Plum Creek Timber Company, Inc. (NYSE:PCL) today announced fourth quarter earnings of $34 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, on revenues of $323 million. Results include approximately $8 million, or $0.04 per diluted share, of transaction costs directly related to the pending merger with Weyerhaeuser Company (NYSE:WY). Earnings for the fourth quarter of 2014 were $68 million, or $0.39 per share, on revenues of $428 million. Results for the fourth quarter of 2014 included $2 million after-tax, or $0.01 per diluted share, of insurance recoveries related to the June 2014 fire at the company’s medium density fiberboard (MDF) plant in Montana.

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Oil, Gold, Timber, And The Loonie

Bangor Daily News
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

…The loon I speak of is of course the loonie—Canada’s dollar. Since mid-2012, the loonie has been declining against its US dollar counterpart, and as I write this, it sits at about 70 cents versus USD. At first glance, a strong US dollar sounds great, and in many ways it is—American tourists can now enter Canada with more purchasing power than they previously would have been able to, and it would signal, at least in theory, a strong US economy. But there is a dark side to that strength, and it has affected the way we sell wood. …Moreover, the timing of this collapse is remarkably poor: As of October, 2015, the long-standing Softwood Lumber Agreement has expired. Beginning in 2006 and arising from concerns that Canadian producers were unfairly subsidized by the government, the SLA imposed a tariff of up to 15% on imported Canadian lumber during times when prices were low. Now unhindered, Canadian exports have ramped up, putting pressure on already-depressed prices.

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U.S. Lumber Group to expand in Harford County with big lease

Baltimore Business Journal
February 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

U.S. Lumber Group will soon expand its regional distribution center in Aberdeen to Joppa, company officials said. The lumber giant recently signed a lease for 258,000 square feet of space in a warehouse formerly occupied by Procter & Gamble at 1805 Fashion Court in Joppa. …U.S. Lumber Group had outgrown its current 114,608-square-foot warehouse in Aberdeen at 504 Advantage Way, company officials said. It will move at the end of March. In addition to the larger warehouse, the new location will allow for outdoor storage space.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Cost is biggest challenge for UBC wood project

Journal of Commerce
February 3, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

One of the biggest challenges for designing what will soon be the world’s tallest wood building wasn’t the engineering – it was cost. “One of the major challenges is the economic situation,” said Austrian architect Christoph Dünser, referring to University of British Columbia’s (UBC) planned 18-storey student housing project. “The easiest way to do it is to build up a honeycomb which involves a lot of wood and load-bearing construction, but you end up with a very high price because the wood is double as expensive as it is in Austria,” he said. Dünser, an architect for Herman Kaufmann, explained that this is due to the wood technology industry in Canada.

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Photos: Cross-laminated timber installed on Portland project

Dail Journal of Commerce Oregon
February 2, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Albina Yard, the first commercial building in the United States to use domestically fabricated cross-laminated timber as a structural element, is on the rise in North Portland. Last week, crews hoisted a series of Oregon-made CLT panels into place to form the building’s third story deck. The four-story, 16,000-square-foot mixed-use office building is being constructed and developed by Portland-based Reworks Inc, and was designed by LEVER Architecture. Riddle, Ore.-based D.R. Johnson manufactured the panels, which range in size from about 9×20 feet to 10×22 feet. KPFF Consulting Engineers is the project’s structural engineer. The building is slated for completion this summer.

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UMaine tests Maine trees used to make ‘plywood on steroids’

Mainebiz
February 3, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Scientists and engineers at the University of Maine are evaluating the strength, thermal and moisture properties of Maine trees when used to make cross-laminated timber, a kind of lumber used to build homes in Canada and Europe, The Times Record reported. On its website, UMaine terms the material “plywood on steroids.” Cross-laminated timber, made from solid-sawn and composite lumber from trees that grow in Maine and the northeastern United States, is a timber construction product developed as an alternative to stone and concrete in the 1990s in Austria. It is used to build homes and mid-rise commercial buildings in Europe and Canada, UMaine says.

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Timber Buildings to Rise Higher Following NCC Amendments

Sourceable
February 4, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Approved changes to the National Construction Code (NCC) will see timber buildings in Australia rise to far greater heights starting from May 1, 2016. The changes to the NCC will permit the construction of Class 2, Class 3 and Class 5 timber buildings to effective heights of as high as 25 metres, which is roughly equivalent to eight storeys. This is a marked increase compared to previous provisions, which restricted the height of timber buildings to just three storeys in the absence of “alternative solutions” that had been specially designed and documented.

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Forestry

Rough-and-tumble Quesnel wants a brand new image

The Province
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Cariboo city is seeking help to shed its reputation as a rough-and-tumble logging town. The City of Quesnel filed a request for proposals last week for a branding consultant to help the city with “repositioning” its “community identity.” For years, Quesnel has been dogged by faltering industry and its distinction as a centre for violent crime — but the mayor says the story has changed. According to the RFP, Quesnel lacks a well-defined brand and uses communication materials that don’t reflect the community’s true character. Mayor Bob Simpson told The Province the plan is to have a consultant help the city reposition itself to attract business, development and potential residents, but with locals’ best interests at heart.

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Canada’s Great Bear rainforest preservation deal

Radio Canada International
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

It has been 20 years in the making. Now an agreement has been reached among environmentalists, aboriginal groups, logging companies, and the government, to protect a massive area of British Columbia’s coastal rainforest. Valerie Langer, director of forest conservation for Forest Ethics Solutions was a major player in the deal. Forest Ethics Solutions, one of the environmental NGO’s involved in the deal, is itself an environmental group but with a view that with proper management and regulatory guidance, sustainable development can occur along with protection of the environment. Langer says for many years, there were often bitter disputes between the various players over logging of the coastal forest. 

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African refugee tree planters awarded overdue EI payments

Revelstoke Times Review
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A group of African refugee tree planters who were found living in miserable conditions at a camp near Golden were award their EI payments after more than five years in court. According to the BC Public Interest Advocacy Centre (BCPIAC), who represented the tree planters in their fight with the Canada Revenue Agency, the Minister of National Revenue ruled that the workers’ unpaid overtime and travel time should count towards their insurable hours. The workers are now waiting for Service Canada to act on the ruling in order to be paid the overtime they are due. The ruling is the latest in the long-running saga of 57 workers, many of whom were refugees from Africa, who were employed as tree planters for Khaira Enterprises and worked in the Revelstoke and Golden areas.

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FSC abandons proposal of mediation involving Resolute Forest Products and asks FSC Board of Directors to take action

Forest Stewardship Council
February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Bonn, Germany – Following an unwillingness on the part of Resolute Forest Products to be involved in mediation efforts to resolve its suspended Canadian FSC certificates, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has abandoned its efforts to engage Resolute FP in such a process. Rather, FSC will continue to engage many other Canadian organizations that are willing to find solutions….“During a meeting with Resolute FPs’ CEO, there were no signs that Resolute is willing to engage in efforts to resolve the problems they pointed out so eloquently. This confirms the consistent, negative signals we are receiving from Resolute, and for this reason, FSC is abandoning the idea of a mediation process involving Resolute Forest Products,” said Kim Carstensen, Director Gen-eral, FSC.

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Higher Temperatures May Doom Many Trees

Scientific American
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Drought is projected to intensify in frequency and severity, bringing with it more wildfires, insect-induced tree mortality and a host of economic impacts as global temperatures rise, according to a comprehensive scientific assessment released by the U.S. Forest Service. Simply put, the report released Monday synthesizes a growing body of research that finds that drought is not good for America’s forests. “Looking at 300 pages as a whole, the main message is that even if we don’t know exactly how drought will manifest in the future, the consequences for forests are likely to be worse,” said Charles Luce, a research hydrologist with the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station and co-editor of the report.

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San Juan National Forest plans response to spruce beetle activity

The-Journal
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The San Juan National Forest announced Tuesday that it is working on several proposals this year in its battle with the spruce beetle, including public involvement and environmental analyses. According to an annual aerial survey conducted by the U.S. Forest Service and the Colorado State Forest Service, the devastation caused by spruce beetles across Colorado forests accelerated for a fourth consecutive year. The once widespread infestation of pine beetles has largely subsided, according to the survey. The spruce beetles were found to have newly infected 182,000 acres of previously unaffected forests, bringing the number of acres currently impacted to 409,000 across the state.

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4fri: Painfully Slow Progress

Payson Roundup
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

This year logging trucks will drive 6.7 million miles hauling 823,000 tons of wood harvested from 16,000 acres as part of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. Good Earth Power, the 4FRI contractor expected to thin 300,000 acres in 10 years, put out a January progress report on the massive project, jammed with impressive statistics and plaintive explanations for why the company has fallen years behind the original schedule. Only about 6,500 of the projected 60,000 acres have been cleared so far. Good Earth also announced a partnership with International Forest Products to market the 40 million board feet of timber produced by the existing Good Earth mills in Heber and Williams. The Kraft Group owns IFP, which is one of the top 15 wood exporters in the United States.

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Lolo Restoration Committee supports Marshall Woods project

Dylan Brown and Dave Atkins write on behalf of the Lolo Restoration Committee.
The Missoulian
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…In the Jan 3 article “Objections continue to smolder over Rattlesnake Rec Area forestry plan,” Jake Kreilick was interviewed regarding the objection submitted on behalf of Friends of the Rattlesnake, Wilderness Watch and the WildWest Institute. In the interview, Rob Chaney identified Kreilick as a member of the Lolo Restoration Committee, which he is; however, Chaney didn’t mention the fact that Kreilick was representing the WildWest Institute during the interview, not the Lolo Restoration Committee. Due to this omission, it appeared to some that the Lolo Restoration Committee objected to the Marshall Woods Project. This is not the case. It is true that Kreilick is a member of the Lolo Restoration Committee and we are very happy for his involvement, as he brings great energy and a valued perspective to the group. However, members of the committee thought it was important to make clear the Lolo Restoration Committee position on the project.

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California, federal agencies partner on plan to boost prescribed burning

Intentional fires in Sierra, elsewhere could reduce fuel that stokes destructive blazes
The Modesto Bee
February 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Land managers launched a new push Tuesday on prescribed burning in the Sierra Nevada and other parts of California with over-dense timber and brush. They said the practice, already well-established in Yosemite National Park and certain other places, would reduce fire losses while enhancing wildlife habitat and watersheds. The partnership, announced during a telephone news conference from Sacramento, involves several state and federal agencies and environmental groups. “It’s really about using the right fire in the right place at the right time,” said Randy Moore, regional forester in charge of national forests in the state. Details were not available on how much land needs treatment, how much has been done already and how much an increased effort will cost.

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Fire officials focus on grants for Cambria forest

The San Luis Obispo Tribune
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

As fire and forestry officials and others work to meet the terms of a $498,000 carbon-sequestration grant already awarded to improve the health of the North Coast’s 3,200-acre Monterey pine forest, they continue to seek other funding opportunities that look promising. To sequester carbon in this case, actions taken would have to reduce the amount of dead wood that’s left on site after a tree falls and find uses for that wood that reduce the carbon footprint, such as turning it into charcoal, milling it for lumber or burning it to generate electricity that would otherwise be provided by a carbon-rich process.

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Laser imaging helps UNH researchers see forest

Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

DURHAM, N.H.  – University of New Hampshire researchers are looking at data from laser imaging of forests with the goal of helping foresters and landowners track tree inventories to save them from the time-consuming practice of heading into the woods with tape measures. Mark Ducey of the New Hampshire Agricultural Experiment Station has been investigating how aerial and ground light detection and ranging — better known as LiDAR — can be used to provide more accurate and detailed information about forests. The technology maps three-dimensional land surface elevations. Data from such projects as aerial mapping of New Hampshire, which is being done as part of a national effort announced in 2014 by the Obama administration, can be used to see what’s in the forests.

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Emerald Ash Borer Task Force updates plan to combat deadly tree beetle

Daily Cardinal
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

More than 2,500 ash trees were removed during 2015 in accordance with Madison’s adopted response plan to the emerald ash borer, according to a Common Council meeting Tuesday night. The Emerald Ash Borer Task Force updated Madison Common Council with a presentation on the response plan to the invasive beetle species that has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees in North America. The exotic beetle was first discovered in Michigan during the summer of 2002. Madison developed a task force to respond to the emerald ash borer in 2008 and adopted its plan in 2012. The first emerald ash borer-infested tree was found in November 2013 on the city’s north side.

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Prescribed burn takes a dangerous turn

St. Augustine Record
February 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A prescribed burn in an area of state forest known as the Warner Tract was being conducted on Tuesday when the wind shifted and a “spot over” jumped about a quarter mile ahead of the burn area just before 4 p.m., according to Florida Forest Service spokeswoman Julie Maddux. The Forest Service called St. Johns County Fire Rescue for assistance and by 5:30 p.m. the fire had burned about 350 acres, some of which was on Rayonier land, Maddux said. Rayonier is a timber company.

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Boring insects are not boring, they’re serious pests

Michigan State University Extension
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Boring insects are serious pests that can severely endanger tree health and kill a tree. While many species of boring insects are native to Michigan, they rarely cause as much wide-scale damage as an exotic or non-native borers does. …To a forester or arborist, wood borers attacking trees are never boring. The sign of borer infestation inside a tree is indeed serious business! That’s because insect borers, once they have really established themselves underneath the bark of a tree, are very difficult to control. While chemical pesticide options do exist, they can be expensive. In addition, sometimes trees are so weakened by borer attack and possibly other pre-disposing factors (old age, prior defoliation events, etc.) that they are just too weak to respond to treatment.

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America’s First Forest

WUNC.org
February 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The demand for wood at the end of the 19th century decimated America’s forests in the North and Midwest with unsustainable logging practices. However, innovative techniques started to bloom as German forester Carl Schenck began to manage the thousands of acres of woodlands around the recently-built Biltmore Estate near Asheville. Schenck’s strategies for foresting and his creation of the first forestry school helped Pisgah National Forest become the first national forest established from private land. The new documentary, America’s First Forest: Carl Schenck and the Asheville Experiment, examines the effects of harmful logging during the Industrial Revolution and the establishment of Schenck’s school of forestry.

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Future forestry: 3D space technology aims to cut down on logging

RT.com
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

This otherworldly neon forest may look like a hiking trip bolstered with hallucinogens, but it’s actually how a new 3D laser scanning system sees a forest. Developed by an Irish firm in partnership with the European Space Agency, the project uses laser technology to tackle careless deforestation. Scanning forests allows loggers to establish how many trees are in front of them and how many they need to chop down, before any sawing starts.Treemetrics say they aim to maximize the use of trees and make the forestry industry much more sustainable. Using 3D thermal imaging and geotagging, the technology is able to pinpoint the best quality trees before they are felled.

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Cause for hope: Secondary tropical forests put on weight fast

EurekAlert
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

How fast tropical forests recover after deforestation has major consequences for climate change mitigation. A team including Smithsonian scientists discovered that some secondary tropical forests recover biomass quickly: half of the forests in the study attained 90 percent of old-growth forest levels in 66 years or less. Conservation planners can use their resulting biomass-recovery map for Latin America to prioritize conservation efforts. “Regenerating secondary forests could play a critical role in carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation” said Daisy Dent, a research associate at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama and a lecturer at the University of Stirling. 

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Clemson scientist’s research on tropical forests featured in Nature

Clemson Newsstand
February 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

CLEMSON — Clemson University scientist Saara DeWalt is part of a collaborative study of second-growth tropical forests in Central and South America that will be published Feb. 11 in the journal Nature. DeWalt and dozens of other scientists contributed to the paper titled “Biomass Resilience of Neotropical Secondary Forests.” Much of the world’s tropical forests are no longer “old-growth forests”— defined as forests that are at least 500 years old – but rather are “secondary forests” less than 100 years old that have naturally regenerated following forest clearance or agricultural abandonment. Past research on secondary forests has focused on how they might help to conserve plant and animal species specific to old-growth forests. But this new paper will spotlight how quickly secondary forests recover biomass and uptake carbon.

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Call for urgent inquiry into world heritage forest fires in Tasmania

February 4, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International


A national inquiry into the fires devastating world heritage forests in Tasmania is urgently needed, say conservationists and academics. The call comes as experts say fires like those could be the new normal. The Australian Conservation Foundation has called for the public inquiry as dozens of fires continue to ravage the world heritage forests and look set to burn for days or weeks to come. “We need to ask whether or not Parks and Wildlife have adequate resources to implement a policy of actively fighting … remote area fires, especially in sensitive alpine areas,” said Jess Abrahams, an ACF campaigner.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

UBC finance committee says no to selling off fossil fuel holdings

The Vancouver Observer
February 3, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — The University of British Columbia’s finance committee has voted against selling off the school’s fossil fuel holdings, saying it would go against their fiduciary duty. The finance committee, part of the school’s Board of Governors, made the recommendation Wednesday to keep fossil fuel stocks as part of the university’s $1.4-billion endowment, while also creating a $10-million sustainability fund to promote environmental goals. George Hoberg, a forestry professor and faculty co-ordinator for the school’s divestment campaign, said he was disappointed by the decision and the reasons given for making it. “As a member of the UBC faculty for 27 years I’m deeply disappointed that the decision departs so far from the university’s stated aspirations to be a leader in sustainability,” said Hoberg.

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Biomass North back in business

Northern Ontario Business
February 3, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Biomass North Development Centre is gaining traction and building momentum as it unrolls its completed Northern Ontario Biomass Strategy (which goes by the cheeky acronym NO-BS). In the summer of 2014, the Ontario Union of Indians (OUI) and the Biomass Innovation Centre (BIC) operating out of Nipissing University signed a memorandum to develop a biomass strategy for the North. The aim was to fill a gap created by the closing of CANBIO, and ensure representation for small and medium bioeconomy enterprises. The BIC was shut down at Nippissing University in May 2015, and the plans were put on hold as the group reformed as the Biomass North Development Centre, or Biomass North.

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Grey Treefrogs Reveal New Clues about Climate Change

Science World Report
February 3, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Grey treefrogs may reveal new clues about climate change. Scientists have found that increasing temperatures and climate variability may have an effect on the sounds produced by these frogs, making them canaries in the coal mine. Grey treefrogs are a common species found in North America and throughout the eastern two-thirds of the country, including Missouri. They have sticky toe pads that help them cling to windows, and also a mating call that distinguishes them on warm, summer evenings.

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Wood Council pleased with US Senate amendment

AWC says it is encouraged by the passage of a biomass amendment in a Senate energy bill.
Renewable Energy from Waste
February 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The Washington-based American Wood Council (AWC) and its vice president of government affairs have issued a statement in support of a recently passed amendment to a United States Senate energy bill. The supportive statement was made regarding a biomass amendment added to Senate Bill 2012. The effort to add the amendment was led by Senators Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota. The amendment would require the Secretaries of Energy and Agriculture and the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to jointly ensure that federal policy relating to forest bioenergy: (1) is consistent across all departments and agencies; and (2) recognizes the full benefits of the use of forest biomass for energy, conservation and responsible forest management.

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Bioenergy area ‘could create 3,000 Irish jobs’

Irish Independent
February 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Incentives to encourage firms to switch to renewable heat include woodchip and wood pellets could help create up to 3,000 jobs, the BioEnergy Association claims. A renewable heat incentive (RHI), which has been promised for more than a year and is still under discussion at the Department of Energy, would benefit both farmers and those installing the heating systems, as well as helping to reduce costs and emissions. The association’s annual conference was told the introduction of an incentive for business would drive the bioenergy sector to double in size and create 3,000 new jobs. It wants an incentive of €0.076 per kWh, falling to €0.002 per kWh above 1MW.

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