Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 10, 2016

Business & Politics

Softwood lumber trade reached 10-year high in 2015

Canadian Forest Industries
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

A majority of the 20 largest softwood lumber-consuming countries in the world increased their importation of lumber in 2015, resulting in global trade reaching its highest level in 10 years. The U.S. imported 10 per cent more lumber year-over-year and a number of countries in Europe also raised their consumption of imported lumber last year. The U.S. lumber market was a bright spot as compared to most other regions of the world in 2015. As a result of a healthy housing market, lumber consumption was up almost five per cent as compared to 2014 and import volumes in 2015 were 10 per cent higher than in the previous year. The strong domestic market and a weakening Asian market also resulted in less lumber being exported in 2015, as reported in the WRQ. Export shipments were down 9.7 per cent, while imports were up 10 per cent from 2014.

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Unity Is Needed For A Renewed Softwood Lumber Deal

by Jerry Dias, National President, Unifor
Huffington Post
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The next seven months could be very nervous times in Canada’s forestry sector, particularly softwood lumber. That’s because the Softwood Lumber Agreement that Canada signed with the U.S. in 2006 expired last October 12. Canada had hoped to simply renew the agreement at that time, but the U.S. refused. Instead, we have a one-year grace period in which the United States is obliged to refrain from bringing new trade cases against Canadian lumber for one year.  …Getting the U.S. to agree to a reasonable deal will become increasingly difficult as that day approaches.

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Canada Shies Away From Lumber Pact as Obama and Trudeau Meet

Bloomberg News
March 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Canadian government is signaling it could test the waters of quota-free softwood lumber trade with the U.S., a move expected to reignite a dispute that simmered for decades. Canada’s trade minister wouldn’t commit to reaching a deal before the U.S. is allowed to again place tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber. The previous softwood agreement, which included quotas and was struck in 2006, expired in October and a one-year tariff freeze expires this year. “We are very aware of the importance of this industry to Canada,” Trade Minister Chrystia Freeland said in a phone interview last week. “We are working hard to achieve an outcome which is going to be great for the forestry industry across the country. It is a fiendishly complicated issue.”

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Kamloops company lays off 40 of 60 employees

Kamloops This Week
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Kamloops value-added wood manufacturer has laid off two-thirds of its staff, citing difficult market conditions. Thompson River Veneer Products gave layoff notices to 40 workers in its plywood manufacturing operation in east Kamloops last week. About 20 workers remain on the veneer-drying side that supplies material for speciality engineered wood products.
“We’re taking a temporary curtailment,” said plant manager Doug Webb. Webb, who opened the plant in 2006, said this time of year typically sees a slowdown, but conditions are worse that usual. “The market is really down,” he said.

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Fortress Paper Announces Fourth Quarter 2015 Results

Marketwired
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA– – Fortress Paper Ltd. (“Fortress Paper” or the “Company”) (TSX:FTP) reported 2015 fourth quarter operating EBITDA of $3.3 million. The Dissolving Pulp Segment generated operating EBITDA of $1.5 million and the Security Paper Products Segment generated EBITDA of $3.9 million. Corporate costs included in operating EBITDA were $2.1 million. “We were pleased to report another quarter of positive operating EBITDA,” stated Yvon Pelletier, Chief Executive Officer. “Operating EBITDA for the year 2015 was $10.4 million, a $32.9 million improvement from the operating EBITDA loss of $22.5 million for the year 2014.

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West Fraser denies breach of contract allegations

Prince George Citizen
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

West Fraser Ltd. is denying it breached a contract when it fired a foreman after he had a confrontation with his ex-wife at the company’s Quesnel Plywood plant. In a response to a notice of civil claim, filed Tuesday in B.C. Supreme Court in Quesnel, the company said Randall Couture was terminated after a complaint of bullying and harassment was confirmed. West Fraser also alleged Couture failed to be forthright during the initial investigation meeting. …In its response, West Fraser cited five previous occasions where
Couture was disciplined for such things as failing to follow established procedures, acting inappropriately to an employee, failing to comply with the company’s safety police and failing to be honest.

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Blast at West Fraser Mills plant could halt production for a week

Associated Press in Canadian Manufacturing
March 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

QUESNEL, B.C.—Investigators remain at the scene of an explosion at a wood products mill in Quesnel, B.C. No one was hurt March 9 when a blast and fire damaged one side of the West Pine MDF mill, at the northern end of the Cariboo community, about 600 kilometres north of Vancouver. Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says the mill employs about 100 people and all the workers on shift at around 5:30 Wednesday were safely evacuated. …A cause of the explosion is under investigation and Simpson hopes the mill can resume operation in about a week.

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‘Major explosion’ at West Fraser plant in Quesnel, B.C. leads to fire

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson says no one was injured
CBC News
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A “major explosion” caused a significant fire at the West Fraser medium density fibreboard plant in Quesnel, B.C. on Wednesday evening. Mayor Bob Simpson said the explosion occurred at about 5:30 p.m. Luckily none of the eight to 10 people on shift at the time were injured. “Without question it was a major explosion and fire,” said Simpson. “Every employee was evacuated and there were no injuries.” Simpson said crews were still putting out hot spots at 8 p.m., but the fire was under control. Fire crews told Simpson the explosion broke out in the baghouse which is designed to mitigate the risk of such emergencies.

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Larger impact of Weyerhaeuser-Plum Creek deal still unknown, CatchMark exec says

SNL Financial
March 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The larger impact of the Weyerhaeuser Co.-Plum Creek Timber Co. Inc. merger on the timber REIT marketplace is still very much an unknown, CatchMark Timber Trust Inc. executives said March 8. “I think everybody is still holding their breath, trying to figure out what ultimately will come out of it,” President and CEO Jerry Barag said on the company’s 2015 year-end earnings call. Barag noted on the call that, though CatchMark did not have a lot of footprint overlap with the legacy Weyerhaeuser entity, it did with Plum Creek. “But from an operating standpoint, nothing really has changed,” Barag said. “Our biggest intersection, with respect to the new company, is the fact that we are a large supplier to Weyerhaeuser’s … pulp mill. We sell them a lot of timber, and we have been in constant communication with them.”

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Equipment from West End’s shuttered Allen Logging mill to be auctioned off starting today

Peninsula Daily News
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

FORKS — Trucks, saws and other equipment from the last lumber mill on the West End will be auctioned off today and Friday. Some $1.5 million in equipment from the Allen Logging Co., will be auctioned off at the mill site … All the rolling stock — trucks, chip trailers, loaders, “anything that has wheels” — will be auctioned off as well as the buildings and their contents, such as band saws and barkers, said Rick Atkins, the former maintenance supervisor for Allen Logging. The mill was closed in July, idling 45 workers. “Some have gone back to school. Others have been able to find work. Some are still looking for work,” said Atkins, who is now working for LPS, which he said purchased the equipment.

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Drone Footage of a Modern Sawmill Is Surprisingly Mesmerizing

Popular Mechanics
March 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The lumber industry has come a long way since the early days of mass deforestation when much of the tree-chopping and log processing was still done with the help of human hands. Now we have machines that basically eat trees for lunch and sawmills that essentially run themselves. Take, for instance, Vaagen Brothers Lumber’s Colville mill. Shown off in this wonderfully choreographed drone tour (which even includes indoor portions!), the mill is almost entirely mechanized, with all kinds of conveyors and robot arms doing the work of moving the logs from saw to saw to saw. It’s a fascinatingly complex process:

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U.S. Bank, Patrick Lumber Close $20MM Asset-Based Facility

ABL Advisor
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Lumber exporter and secondary manufacturer Patrick Lumber Company has closed on a $20 million loan from U.S. Bank to support its growth and provide working capital.  Founded in 1915, Portland, OR-based Patrick Lumber sells niche high-grade softwood products to distributors throughout the world in truckload, container, and railcar volumes. The firm also has a subsidiary, Wood Source, that sells to residential and commercial contractors in the greater Denver metro area.  “Patrick Lumber over the years has shown a thoughtful approach to growth – both domestically and abroad – centered on their commitment to quality products and customer service,” said Sam Philbrick, president of U.S. Bank Asset Based Finance. 

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Maxwell Elected Chair of Hardwood Federation Board

Monticello Live
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

The Hardwood Federation has elected Tommy Maxwell, President and CEO of Maxwell Flooring in Monticello, as the chair of the Hardwood Federation Public Action Committee Board of Directors. The Hardwood Federation is comprised of 28 hardwood trade and industry groups from around the United States and serves as the united voice of the hardwood industry in Washington, D.C., representing the industry on federal policy issues that impact hardwood suppliers, manufacturers and distributors.

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Gov. McAuliffe makes two economic announcements in Halifax Co.

WSLS 10
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

HALIFAX COUNTY  – Governor Terry McAuliffe made two economic announcements in Halifax County Wednesday. Slick Rock Lumber will invest $535,000 to open a new sawmill operation that will create 13 new jobs. The company will source 75 percent of its timber needs from Virginia land owners. “Virginia’s forestry industry supports thousands of good jobs in our rural communities and provides important market opportunities for the Commonwealth’s private forestland owners,” Governor McAuliffe said. “Partnering with a company like Slick Rock Lumber is a great way my administration can support Virginia’s forest products sector, one of Virginia’s top private industries. Slick Rock’s new facility will bring welcomed employment opportunities and economic vitality to the region, further helping with my administration’s efforts to build a new Virginia economy.”

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Editorial: Bring opportunity to the east side

The Gainesville Sun
March 8, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Alachua County commissioners should stop blaming everyone but themselves for the lack of development in east Gainesville. Given that they just rejected a major project near the area, they should recognize their own role in creating economic disparities in the community. Last week, the commission voted 3-2 against sending the Envision Alachua sector plan to the state for review. The proposal by the Plum Creek Timber Company, now merged with the Weyerhaeuser company, was a master-planned development that offered the prospect of first bringing jobs and then housing east of Gainesville. It offered a better alternative than the piecemeal housing development allowed there under current regulations.

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PNG Forest Minister urged to allow audit

Radio New Zealand News
March 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Papua New Guinea Forest Minister has been urged by a transparency and environmental NGO to allow an audit of financial reporting by the logging industry. Despite a new report by the Oakland Institute tracking massive tax evasion by foreign companies involved in PNG forestry, the minister Douglas Torumiesa has defended the loggers. Mr Tomuriesa attacked the report’s findings as being inaccurate because the companies do pay log export taxes. But Act Now’s Effrey Dademo said Mr Tomuriesa seems to miss the fact that the companies have been reported as avoiding corporate, not log export, taxes.

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Sweden: Softwood lumber exports grow considerably in 2015

Global Wood Markets Info
March 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In the first eleven months of 2015, Sweden has exported about 11.7 million cubic meters of sawn and planed softwood lumber. This represents a 15% increase over the same period of 2014. Main export markets for the Swedish lumber were the United Kingdom and Egypt, followed by Germany and Norway. In particular, exports to Egypt dropped by -11% over January-November 2014, down to a volume of 1,17 million cbm, a signal that the overall political crisis in the country is influencing exports.  Overall, the increase in Swedish exports was supported by larger deliveries to Great Britain, Germany and the Netherlands. But even to Denmark, Algeria, China and Japan considerably more was exported. …A significant surge was recorded in exports to the United States. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Calgary fire marshal explains why newer homes have greater fire risk

CBC News
March 9, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Calgary’s fire marshal says some new building materials burn hotter and faster than older materials, and some Calgary communities were built to standards that don’t have the same level of fire prevention as the 2014 Alberta Building Code. …As we’ve all seen in the last 25 years, there’s been more expanding construction methods [and] building products used for economy and functionality. More engineered wood products are used rather than conventional dimensional lumber that we’ve seen in legacy [homes], and fabrication through bonded fibres is giving structural strength to new engineered products. New construction materials built out of engineered wood products are fabricated through bonding and glue type materials and therefore it’s not conventional, thick lumber material, it’s more like kindling.

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Denman design firm named finalist for VIBE award

Comox Valley Record
March 9, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Etienne Design, a small, full-service residential design firm based on Denman Island, has been selected as a finalist in the Vancouver Island Building Excellence (VIBE) Awards. The VIBE Awards showcase the best Vancouver Island has to offer in residential construction, design and renovation. The 2016 finalists were announced on March 4. The project entry from Etienne Design is a spectacular Courtenay home located on an oceanfront acreage. It was entered in the Best Single Family Home (more than 3,000 sq. ft.) category. The home, called Eagles Aerie, was built in conjunction with project partner Island Timber Frame (Cumberland) and homeowner/builder Brad Jefferson.

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IN DEPTH: Lumber and Structural Panels

LBM Journal
March 8, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

With housing starts growing in both single-family and multifamily categories, lumber suppliers are looking to advance their product lines beyond the commodity mindset to help builders resolve more challenges. They also point to the many intangibles provided by suppliers that provide values beyond the initial price when considering options for dimensional lumber, OSB, plywood and structural panels. “The trend we’re seeing with OSB panels is a move to enhance products in different ways,” says George Hendry, market development manager at Weyerhaeuser. “Builders are struggling with reduced levels of skilled labor, so they’re looking at enhanced panels to help them find ways to make products easier and faster to install.

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Forestry

Lake Babine Nation standing up for their share of the forestry resource

CFNR Network
March 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Lake Babine Nation is making it clear that it wants a bigger share of their forestry pie. At a meeting on Monday, the Lake Babine Nation met with representatives of the forestry industry to discuss how they can increase their share of timber allocations in their traditional territory. Chief Wilf Adam of the Lake Babine Nation says about 2-million cubic metres of timber is harvested from their territory, but they’re allocated about 4% of that number. He says as a starting position, they want that bumped up to 15% to 20% or about 250,000 cubic metres per year. The Lake Babine Nation took a carrot and a stick approach towards industry. Adam says they rather work with the forestry companies to come to a collaborative solution, then to have to go through a lengthy and costly court battle.

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An Opportunity to Shape Our Community

The Castlegar Source
March 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Rossland residents are invited to examine draft versions of Rossland’s Life and Environment Action plans and to provide valuable input. Second-year Selkirk College Integrated Environmental Planning Program students prepared the plans. …“There has been a great deal of work put into this plan with lots of input from community members,” says Selkirk College Integrated Environmental Planning Program Instructor Peter Holton. “The plans are intended to help Rossland further some of the many goals and initiatives identified some of their long range land use and sustainability plans.”

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West Fraser to plant 2,100 trees at Boitanio Park

My Cariboo Now
March 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Thousands of trees will be planted this spring at Williams Lake Boitanio Park. General Manager of West Fraser, Dave Walgren says the project came together as the company celebrated their 60th anniversary with the community last year. “Part of that celebration was one of our employees, Lisa came up with doing a legacy project that we could give something or do something for the town which fit in with what we do as a business.” The 2,100 ponderosa pine trees which will help reforest some of the Park which has suffered over the last decade from drought, insects, and other factors, will cover 1.53 hectares of the area east of the dog park.

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Stewardship – A Forest Practices Board Perspective

BC Forest Practices Board
March 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Forest Practices Board has often used the term stewardship in its reports and communications. This bulletin describes the Board’s perspective on stewardship, within the context of the Board’s fundamental purpose of encouraging sound forest and range practices that warrant public confidence and continuous improvement of those practices. The Board will apply the definition and principles in this bulletin to help promote stewardship across BC.

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Fossil of oldest pine tree discovered

BBC News
March 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Scientists have discovered the oldest-known fossil of a pine tree. The charred pine twigs date back 140 million years to a time when fires raged across large tracts of land. Pine trees now dominate the forests of the Northern Hemisphere. The research suggests the tree’s evolution was shaped in the fiery landscape of the Cretaceous, where oxygen levels were much higher than today, fuelling intense and frequent wildfires. “Pines are well adapted to fire today,” said Dr Howard Falcon-Lang of Royal Holloway, University of London, who discovered the fossils in Nova Scotia, Canada. “The fossils show that wildfires raged through the earliest pine forests and probably shaped the evolution of this important tree.”

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Washington forest landowners thrust into fisher fray

The Capital Press
March 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIA — Fishers, a weasel-like mammal being reintroduced to Washington’s forests, appear poised to potentially affect logging and grazing on as many as 5.3 million privately owned acres between the coast and the east slopes of the Cascades. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says it will decide by April 7 whether to list fishers as a threatened species in Washington, Oregon and California. In a separate but related government process, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife may soon, with USFW’s permission, sign up forest landowners to voluntarily protect fishers. The agreements would shield landowners from later facing tougher land-use limits under the Endangered Species Act.

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Forest Service Commits to Effort on AZ Wildfire Mitigation

Prescott News
March 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Washington, DC – During today’s Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing, U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) secured a commitment from U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell to work with local entities in Arizona on advancing the implementation of the current Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) efforts to expedite wildfire mitigation plans. A concern that Flake brought up during the hearing was how the $10 million increase for 4FRI in the southwest region, including Arizona, will be spent and if the proposals brought forward by the Eastern Arizona Counties Organization (ECO) would be considered. Tidwell expressed that part of the funds will be used on the local suggestions to improve 4FRI efforts in the White Mountains along with other long-term stewardship contracts.

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Clallam commissioner asks Department of Natural Resources for murrelet analysis

Peninsula Daily News
March 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES — Clallam County Commissioner Bill Peach, in his role as the timber county representative on the state Department of Natural Resources, has asked for more data on the financial impacts of marbled murrelet protection. Peach, one of six members on a board that guides how DNR manages its lands, told his fellow county commissioners Tuesday that DNR’s new sustainable harvest calculation has been rescheduled for the third quarter of next year. The decadal sustainable harvest yield, now two years overdue, identifies areas where timber can be sold for revenue.  Revenue from timber sales supports 21 timber counties and myriad junior taxing districts such as schools, hospitals, libraries and fire departments. …[The murrelet’s] presence on state trust lands is one of many factors that impact forest management. “It’s a very complex issue,” said Peach, a retired forester who represents the West End.

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Op-Ed: Don’t Delist Yellowstone Grizzly Bears

March 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced its intention to strip federal Endangered Species Act protections from Yellowstone’s grizzly bears. This process is called “delisting” and it means that the feds think the grizzly population around Yellowstone is safe from threats to their survival that date back to 1975. If this proposal is successful, bear management will be turned over to the surrounding states, and they will issue hunting permits. …Yellowstone’s grizzlies are currently facing two great threats to their survival: global warming, which has already decimated the most important grizzly food in Yellowstone; and delisting, with the attendant plans to open up trophy hunting in Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. …Fish and Wildlife pledges to monitor grizzly deaths, but has no funding to do so. 

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Working the woodlands: Three generations take care of the trees

Ohio Farm Bureau
March 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Schmukis first became interested in learning how to take care of their wooded areas in 1993 when they developed a management plan for their Navarre dairy farm, including their 8-acre wooded lot. “I was fascinated by what went into properly taking care of the woods and when this piece of land (in Newcomerstown) came up for auction, I knew we had to have it,” said Mike, a Stark County Farm Bureau member. The Schmuki family’s woodlands are certified by the American Tree Farm System, which promotes the growth of renewable resources on private land while protecting the environment.

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Forest chief talks to rangers in Great Falls

Great Falls Tribune
March 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Thomas Tidwell, chief of the U.S. Forest Service, spoke to some 40 district rangers from four states who are meeting for their annual meeting in Great Falls this week. Rangers from forests in Montana, Idaho and North and South Dakota who work in forests in Region 1 are conducting their annual meeting at the Holiday Inn. Tidwell, on a whirlwind stop in Montana, spoke with the rangers for about two-and-a-half hours Wednesday, said Beth Ihle, a deputy district ranger on the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest who helped to organized the meeting. Ihle called the chance to meet with the chief of the forest a “very, very special time.”

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Timber permit holders receive extension

International Falls Journal
March 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

An early spring doesn’t have everyone leaping for joy – especially when making a living is involved. The prime season for logging is coming to a quick end, resulting in the Koochiching County land commissioner asking the county board for an extension on expiring timber permits. “There was a little bit of county timber that got cut, but because of the weird winter, (permit holders) had to rearrange some of their harvest plans,” said Land Commissioner Nathan Heibel. “Lack of frost forced some to alter their plans and cut areas that didn’t expire this year.

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Former Australian Greens leader Bob Brown to challenge Tasmania’s forest protest laws

The Mercury
March 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

ENVIRONMENTAL campaigner Bob Brown will challenge Tasmania’s tough anti-protest laws in the High Court, claiming they breach the Australian Constitution. Dr Brown, who is due to appear in the Hobart Magistrates Court in Hobart tomorrow on charges arising from a protest in the Lapoinya Forest, said the case was about a fundamental issue of democratic rights. … Dr Brown said he believed the laws were unconstitutional because they breached the right to free political expression implied in the constitution. “These laws, if not challenged, will trap everybody who wants to take a stand against something that’s manifestly wrong going on in our country,” he said.

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Indonesia’s largest landscape-level forest restoration project ongoing in Kampar Peninsula

Jakarta Post
March 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…In 2013, APRIL Group initiated the Restorasi Ekosistem Riau (RER) project to protect and restore more than 20,000 hectares of peat forest in Kampar Peninsula in partnership with Fauna & Flora International (FFI) and local social NGO Bidara. The program operates under eco-restoration licenses granted by the Indonesian government. Following two years of restoration efforts, drawing on the expertise of APRIL Group, FFI and Bidara as well as local communities, the collaborative restoration of this unique peat forest was expanded to 150,000 hectares in 2015.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

LETTER: Public should lobby on tie bid

by Kim Herdman
Williams Lake Tribune
March 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The decision by the Ministry of Environment to allow Atlantic Power to increase the amount of rail ties to 50 per cent of their fuel supply is fast approaching. The pressure is on all of us to advocate for limiting the pollutants in not only our air shed but the complete biome (air, water, soil) but as well to advocate for our local economy and community. …Allowing Atlantic Power to forgo the huge amounts of forestry road side logging debris for toxic rail ties will adversely affect the economic well being of the community. …How many possible logging/trucking jobs will not be utilized cleaning up the huge amount of road side logging debris and beetle killed wood because Atlantic Power can make huge money in tipping fees disposing of rail ties?

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EIA predicts increased electricity production from renewables

Biomass Magazine
March 9, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has released the March edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, predicting total renewables used in the electric power sector will increase by 8.7 percent this year and 6.5 percent next year. For nonhydropower renewables, the EIA predicts an 11.5 percent growth in 2016 and 9.5 percent in 2017. …The EIA predicts wood biomass will be used to generate 113,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, increasing to 116,000 MWh per day next year. Waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 60,000 MWh per day, falling to 59,000 MWh per day next year. …Across all sectors, the consumption of wood biomass is expected to reach 1.972 quad this year, increasing to 1.988 quad next year. 

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Biomass goes from golden age to the brink of demise

Environment & Energy Publishing
March 9, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Once hailed as a renewable alternative to oil, energy from trees faces a dismal future. Low oil and gas prices are threatening plants that make energy from wood chips and similar biomass. From California to New York, companies are on the verge of shutting down facilities that can’t compete with historically low gas prices — and the decline is prompting critics to say they’ve known all along that the biomass craze couldn’t last. …That’s too bad, Cavalieri said, because biomass — a range of materials from algae to grass to wood chips — can play a useful role in the United States’ long-term energy plans. Demand for energy in the years ahead outpaces what the nation can provide in fossil fuels, and prices for gas and oil won’t be low forever, he said.

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Researcher examines biochar use in forests

The Capital Press
March 8, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Research is underway that could lead to more uses for waste wood, a U.S. Forest Service researcher says. Instead of thinning stands to boost productivity and burning the resulting slashpiles, researchers believe turning it into biochar — a supplement made of charred biological matter — would be better for long-term carbon storage and boosting soil’s nutrient- and moisture-holding capacities. “We’re hoping we can make a change in forest management,” said Deborah Page-Dumroese, research soil scientist with the U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station in Moscow, Idaho. “Instead of making slashpiles, we can actually use that waste wood for a benefit.”

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Experimental biomass harvest a step toward sustainable, biofuels-powered future

Penn State News
March 9, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The first harvest of 34 acres of fast-growing shrub willow from a Penn State demonstration field this winter is a milestone in developing a sustainable biomass supply for renewable energy and bio-based economic development, according to researchers in Penn State’s College of Agricultural Sciences. The shrub willow plantation is part of a broader five-year program called NEWBio, which is aimed at investigating and promoting sustainable production of woody biomass and warmseason grasses for energy in the Northeast. Planted in 2012 on land formerly owned by the State Correctional Institution at Rockview, the biomass crop will regrow and will be harvested every three years from now on.

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Aggregated Micro Power Buys Forest Fuels And Will Raise Funds (ALLISS)

London South East
March 9, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Aggregated Micro Power Holdings PLC on Wednesday said it has conditionally agreed to acquire Forest Fuels Holdings Ltd and will raise funds to back the acquisition. Aggregated Micro will acquire Forest Fuels, a wood fuel supplier based in the UK, for GBP2.8 million initially, with an additional deferred consideration payable in shares dependent on certain targets being met. To fund the deal, Aggregated Micro will place 3.2 million shares at 54.00 pence per share to raise GBP1.7 million and will issue five-year convertible notes, with a conversion price of 70.00p, to raise another GBP4.1 million. The company also intends to seek shareholder approval to issue up to GBP20.0 million in convertible notes.

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