Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 22, 2016

Special Feature

NAWLA’s Vancouver Meeting Draws Record Crowd

Tree Frog News
April 22, 2016
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West, International

Vancouver — If there was any doubt about lumber’s importance as an economic driver in BC, or for that matter in North America as a whole, it was allayed at NAWLA’s 2016 Regional Meeting yesterday. Evidence in this regard included the record attendance of 250 lumber executives, including lumber wholesalers, traders, manufacturers and those that provide goods and services to the sector. Moderated by local NAWLA leader Paul Harder (of Dakeryn Industries), three keynote speakers provided confirmation of lumber’s import. This included Cees de Jager of the Softwood Lumber Board, whose marketing programs have increased lumber demand by 1.7 Bbf since 2012 and returned $15.5 to industry for every dollar invested. Cees noted that confirmation of success is best provided by the competition who are saying that wood’s success has contributed to an above-grade wall market share decline “from 14% in 2005 to about 7% currently“. Raymond James analyst Daryl Swetlishoff commented on the sector’s underlying attractiveness for investors “notwithstanding its small size, lack of liquidity and low profile“. Finally, COFI’s CEO Susan Yurkovich provided a long list of statistics demonstrating industry’s importance to BC (e.g., $12 billion in GDP, 145,000 jobs, etc.) but also the competitiveness challenges faced going forward. This includes the uncertainty inherent in the recently expired Softwood Lumber Agreement to which she added emphasis by noting that “over the past 30 years we’ve only had ‘free trade’ in lumber for 25 months”. [END OF STORY but more detailed highlights of each presentation will be included in next week’s news].

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Business & Politics

WestPine MDF explosion investigation continues

Woodworking Network
April 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

QUESNEL, B.C. – The investigation into last month’s explosion that rocked the WestPine MDF facility in Quesnel, British Columbia, is ongoing, with WorkSafeBC reporting that it may be months before a conclusion is reached. …Though the mill had an active dust management plan, wood dust may have been contributing factor. “It’s too early to say at this point, but obviously there’s indicators this explosion and fire occurred in the fiber bin area,” WorkSafe BC Vice President of Prevention Field Service Al Johnson told CBC News (cbc.ca). “It has four dust collection towers where there is wood dust present, so there may be an association.”No date has been given for reopening the plant, one of two MDF mills owned by West Fraser Mills Ltd. (TSX:WTF).

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Low water levels spark discussions

by Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
April 22, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Low water levels in Cowichan Lake again this spring have spurred dialogue about the need to increase water-storage capacity in the lake. …The water level in Cowichan Lake is reported to be well below what it was last year at this time, and that’s connected to the fact that the snow pack in the surrounding mountains is only about two-thirds of what it usually is at this point in the spring. Catalyst Paper operates the boat lock and weir on Cowichan Lake and the forest company has a water licence to adjust the outflow of water from the lake into the Cowichan River mainly for use in its pulp mill in Crofton.

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F&W Forestry acquires London-based firm

O.C.S. Group Ltd. purchase allows for F&W Forestry expansion
The Albany Herald
April 21, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States, International

ALBANY — Albany’s F&W Forestry Services greatly increased its global operations this week when officials with the forest management and consulting firm announced it had completed the acquisition of London-based O.C.S. Group Ltd.’s forestry and land subsidiaries. The acquisition, which was announced via a press release Thursday, said the acquisition now gives F&W control of three new companies, including Fountains Forestry Inc., a forest management firm, and Fountains Lands Inc., a retail forest real estate firm, both of which are located in the Northeastern United States. The deal also includes the purchase of Fountains Forestry UK Ltd., a forest management and real estate firm, operating in England, Scotland and Wales.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Illegal wood and the role of LEED

US Green Building Council
April 21, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Illegal logging is a pervasive and global problem. This practice includes removing trees from protected areas, failing to pay taxes and fees for timber, cutting protected species, stealing wood from the rightful owners and/or removing more timber than allowed from a given area. It causes enormous damage to forests, habitat, local communities and the economies of producer countries. And it’s not a small industry—illegal logging accounts for 50–90 percent of all forestry activities in key producer tropical forests, such as those of the Amazon Basin, Central Africa and Southeast Asia, and 15–30 percent of all wood traded globally. Even more surprising, trade in illegally harvested timber is highly lucrative and estimated to be worth between USD $30 and $100 billion annually.

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Researchers use local species to expand market for cross-laminated timber

Virginia Tech
April 20, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Daniel Hindman, associate professor of wood engineering in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment, has researched high-performance wood composites for the better part of a decade. Four years ago, he seized the chance to help develop a material made from North American lumber that would be strong enough to replace concrete. …Along with fellow faculty members Earl Kline, Joseph Loferski, Brian Bond, and Henry Quesada-Pineda, Hindman has designed CLTs from yellow poplar. In addition, Hindman has been working with the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center in South Boston, Virginia, to study the use of southern pine CLTs.

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Forestry

Celebrating Environmental Stewardship on Earth Day

TimberWest Blog
April 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Today the whole world celebrates Earth Day, a day dedicated to bringing awareness to environmental stewardship. At TimberWest, we can proudly say that every day is Earth Day because environmental stewardship is at the cornerstone of our century old business. TimberWest is the largest private landowner in Western Canada, and with that privilege comes great responsibility. Our daily operations are focused on sustainable forest management practices from harvest to new growth. This is made possible by the expert staff at TimberWest. Our foresters, biologists, geologists, hydrologists and operations specialists all complement one another in making sure species are managed, planning layouts consider the landscape, critical habitat is preserved, and new stands are nurtured for successful growth. Our forest plans adhere to strict government regulations. Beyond that, we also voluntarily commit to a secondary level of scrutiny through third-party certification of our forest lands under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). 

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Opinion: The power of urban forests

Vancouver Sun
April 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The tree huggers had it right all along. As it turns out, trees are much more than merely beautiful; they constitute an asset yielding a real return on investment — $255 million a year, in fact, in Greater Vancouver. To be precise, for every dollar spent on forestry in Greater Vancouver, residents are receiving nearly $5 worth of value annually according to a report on urban forests published by TD Economics. This calculation is based on the hard work that trees perform in reducing pollutants, absorbing excess precipitation to diminish damaging erosion and lowering energy bills. Trees, of course, also boost property values and enhance neighbourhood aesthetics as well as offering additional benefits related to tourism and recreation.

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‘Wondrous’ artists offer rare glimpse into remote Great Bear Rainforest

The Vancouver Observer
April 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest is inaccessible to most Canadians. The rare coastal temperate ecosystem stretches more than 64,000 square kilometres from the northern tip of Vancouver Island to Alaska, reachable only by air and water when weather conditions are optimal.  For decades, its misty fjords, rugged mountains and vulnerable wildlife went largely unprotected, yet today, more than 80 per cent of the rainforest is off limits to industrial logging. If it sounds like a place you’d like to visit, look no further than the ‘Wondrous’ exhibit at the TELUS World of Science. 

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Nature Conservancy of Canada announces tree donation in conjunction with Earth Day

The Chronicle Journal
April 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Mother Earth got a big present on her big day in Nova Scotia. In conjunction with Earth Day, the Nature Conservancy of Canada announced the donation of 167 hectares of Cumberland County forest loaded with rare Eastern White Cedar and Black Ash trees as well as other forest species. The cedar forest is one of the largest stands of the at-risk trees in Nova Scotia. Bonnyman & Byers Ltd., a family-owned Nova Scotian forest management company, donated the wooded expanse near the Pugwash River.

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How More Rain and Booming Forests May Mean Wildfires and Dry Aquifers

Motherboard
April 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

…According to a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports courtesy of researchers from the US Forest Service, climate change has the potential to cut water supplies offered by USFS-administered forests by up to 7 percent by 2100. This is true even in the face of projected increases in overall precipitation during the same period. The reason is somewhat counterintuitive. Simply, given future warming conditions and projected increases in precipitation, we can expect a large increase in overall ecosystem productivity—forests will thrive. By 2100, we can expect a 24 percent increase in total forest biomass. This has its upsides for sure—increased carbon sequestration, for one—but it also means that less water will wind up back in our aquifers. This is the result of evapotranspiration.

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UW’s Jerry Franklin honored for lifetime of forest research, policy

University of Washington
April 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Forest ecologist Jerry Franklin has made a career of straddling two sometimes very different worldviews — that of the ecologist and the forester. The two professions historically didn’t see eye to eye, but Franklin, in his current role as a UW professor of environmental and forest sciences and previously as a forester with the U.S. Forest Service, has in his 60-year career found a way to integrate ecological and economic values into forestry. He is now a world-renowned leader in sustainable forest management. The Washington, D.C.-based Pinchot Institute for Conservation recently awarded Franklin its Pinchot Medallion, which honors “an individual who has made extraordinary and valuable contributions to science or practice in environmental conservation and sustainable natural resources management.”

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BLM Plan Under Fire

Eugene Weekly
April 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On April 12, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) publicly released its proposed plan to increase timber harvest and environmental protections in Western Oregon forests. The plan claims to strike a balance between timber interests and protecting wildlife, but local environmental groups have called BLM’s new plan and “balanced approach” into question. The proposed BLM “Resource Management Plan” will include a 37-percent increase in timber harvest, according to Cascadia Wildlands, Oregon Wild and Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center. “This plan is going to ramp up logging in Western Oregon by almost 40 percent, and it’s imperative that we begin to look at our public forest lands as more than piggy banks, as they’re the lifeblood of our region,” says Josh Laughlin, executive director of Cascadia Wildlands.

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Kilmer coming to Aberdeen for public meeting

KXRO
April 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

On Monday, May 9th, Representative Derek Kilmer (D-WA) will visit Aberdeen to join in the latest of a series of public meetings with timber, conservation, and local leaders from the Olympic Peninsula Forest Collaborative. The hearing will provide a chance for the Collaborative to engage the public in its efforts….The project will feature forest restoration silvicultural treatments that benefit the ecosystem and provide for additional harvest in the region. … The volume produced from this proposed project will be in addition to the United States Forest Service budgeted timber sale outputs for the year.

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Coos one of 18 counties challenging BLM’s proposed Resource Management Plan

KCBY
April 19, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COQUILLE, Ore. — 18 counties in Oregon plan to challenge the Bureau of Land Management’s proposed Resource Management Plan in federal court. The BLM released the proposal last week. Leaders in Coos County are speaking out about their decision to support the lawsuit, which will determine whether or not the Oregon & California Lands Act of 1937 takes precedence over the BLM’s recent proposal….  Coos County Commissioner Bob Main says the proposal would devastate an already dwindling timber industry in rural Oregon.

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Salvage sale won’t be fast tracked

Hungry Horse News
April 20, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Flathead National Forest will have to prepare a formal environmental assessment on a proposed salvage sale in the Trail Creek Fire burn near the Great Bear Wilderness. Spotted Bear District Ranger Deb Mucklow said last week that an Emergency Situation Determination was denied by Forest Chief Tom Tidwell. Local environmental groups opposed the project because of its proximity to wilderness. The Swan View Coalition led a letter-writing campaign opposing the project, but Mucklow said that wasn’t why the emergency determination was denied. She said there were other higher priority projects the Forest Service was considering that were set for this summer. The Trail Creek project calls for winter logging, she noted.

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Separating facts, opinions on Sparta Mountain plans

New Jersey Herald
April 21, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Tonight the Skylands Group of New Jersey Sierra Club will host a town hall meeting rallying opposition to the state’s forest stewardship plan for Sparta Mountain Wildlife Management Area. …Organizers of Thursday’s opposition meeting contend that those who drafted the plan have had the microphone so far on the issue as they have appeared before several municipalities to explain and defend their stewardship plan. Now, opponents say, it’s their turn to explain why the plan is a bad plan. Fliers promoting tonight’s meeting claim the plan is about “logging our public lands,” “sellout of open space” and “destroying our pristine streams,” among other dire predictions. The state has said the plan is to create a more diversified forest, creating habitat for more diversified plants and wildlife.

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‘Betty’ the ash tree offers hope against deadly dieback disease

Scientists identify first tree to show strong tolerance to the disease raising hopes of developing a resistant strain
The Guardian
April 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A mature ash nicknamed Betty is offering new hope against ash dieback disease after the tree in an ancient woodland was the first to be identified as possessing a strong tolerance to the disease. Scientists from a government-backed consortium of universities and research centres made the breakthrough after comparing the genetics of infected and uninfected trees with different levels of tolerance to ash dieback disease in Devon, Oxfordshire, Norfolk and in European woodlands. The Nornex consortium, a team of British and Scandinavian researchers led by the John Innes Centre in Norfolk, has developed three genetic markers to enable them to predict whether a tree is likely to be tolerant to the disease, raising the possibility of using selective breeding to develop strains of disease-resistant trees.

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Forest strategy proposal welcomed

NZ Forest Owners Association
Scoop Independent News
April 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forest owners say a Pure Advantage report that proposes a near-doubling of the area of planted forest in New Zealand is very welcome. “The independent report by Dr David John Hall raises many issues that forest owners have been emphasising with politicians for decades,” says Forest Owners Association (FOA) technical manager Glen Mackie. “If this gets some cut-through, we will be thrilled. Forests offer so many benefits to our society and with the right incentives, they could offer so much more. “Our members are businesses who need to make a profit from growing trees, either from the sale of logs or through the storage of carbon. But there are many other reasons to plant trees, such as erosion control, reduced flooding, improved biodiversity and cleaner waterways, as we are currently promoting through the NZ Wood campaign.”

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Grim forecast for paper giant’s wood supply raises deforestation fears

Mongabay
April 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Asia Pulp & Paper’s (APP) plans to operate a giant mill in South Sumatra later this year have raised some uncomfortable questions about the veracity of the conglomerate’s lauded no-deforestation commitment and the potential environmental impact on one of Indonesia’s most-fire prone provinces. …The paper company dismissed the concerns in a statement sent to Mongabay, explaining that the OKI mill will only increase its capacity when APP is able to secure enough raw materials from its suppliers. APP said the construction of the OKI mill was part of its plan to “increase our production capacity responsibility, which is essential for us to continue meeting growing market demands and further strengthen Indonesia’s contribution to global trade.”

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Forest Fires

Minister says forest fire conditions ‘normal’ after record blazes in 2015

Canadian Press in The Star Phoenix
April 21, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

REGINA — Saskatchewan Environment Minister Herb Cox says there are “relatively normal conditions” ahead of the forest-fire season, after historic blazes last year. There was some concern earlier this year due to below-normal snowfall and generally warmer temperatures over much of northern Saskatchewan this winter. Saskatchewan also recalled firefighting crews early as it prepared for what was feared to be an early start to the wildfire season. But Cox says officials in the north have told him there’s been some improvement in terms of the snow pack and more moisture. The province’s fire hazard map currently shows a moderate risk across northern Saskatchewan.

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Christy Clark’s Answer to B.C.’s Early Forest Fires? Burn More Fossil Fuels

DeSmog Canada
April 21, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Not even taking into account the Orwellian logic of using increasing early starts to the destructive wildfire season to sell the public on the province’s biggest fossil fuel ambitions ever, that statement is akin to saying switching to a fast food diet will help you lose weight because at least you’re not eating pure lard: it’s somewhat true, but only if you’re really desperate to justify that Big Mac. Here are the facts: when the full life cycle of natural gas and its non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions (like methane) are taken into account, LNG does little or nothing to reduce overall emissions, even in places where it displaces coal — and it may even increase emissions according to some estimates.

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Shortened air-tanker contracts not a concern, forestry officials say

Government based decision on analysis that shows 96 per cent of fires happen in May, June and July
CBC News
April 21, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberta government plans to rely on resources from other provinces if air-tanker companies turn down an offer to extend their newly truncated contracts when they run out in August. Both Air Spray and Conair say their contracts have been cut by 30 days this year, due to budget constraints. Their contracts will run out in mid-August. MLAs reviewing the budget estimates Thursday were told the decision to shorten the contracts was based on an analysis that shows 96 per cent of fires happen in May, June and July. …Executives with Conair and Air Spray have raised concerns over the shortened contracts. Paul Lane, the vice-president of Air Spray, said tankers may not be available after the agreement expires in mid-August.

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Forest managers kick prevention into early gear ahead of wildfire season

Drought and climate shifts, coupled with overgrown forests, could make this summer’s wildfire season a challenging one.
Christian Science Monitor
April 21, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Forest officials are beginning their forest fire preparations early this year to try and head off what they fear will be a bad fire season due to drought and chronically overgrown forests. …Alaska had fully staffed both its hotshot and smokejumper teams by mid-March this year, as forest officials try to prepare early following last year’s fire season, which devastated the state’s forests to an unusual degree. “The trend we’re seeing is towards an earlier fire season,” Tim Mowry, the public information officer for the Alaska Division of Forestry, told the Anchorage NBC-affiliate KTUU last month. “We’re trying to bump that training up a little bit and have everyone ready to go by May 1.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Forest Industry Welcomes Signing Of Landmark Climate Change Agreement – Canada’s Forest Sector Intends To Do Its Share

Canada Newswire press release
April 21, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

OTTAWA  – The Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) and other forest groups around the world welcome the official signing of the United Nations agreement on climate change that was reached late last year in Paris. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is among world leaders in New York for the signing ceremony. The global forest products industry has a highly significant role to play in Canada achieving its targets outlined in this deal, says Derek Nighbor, CEO of FPAC. “Canada’s forest products companies have made it clear that we intend to step up to the plate and help in the transition to a low-carbon economy here in Canada and elsewhere around the world,” he says.

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Canada earns a “D” grade on Conference Board environmental report card

Conference Board report ranks Canada 14th among 16 peer countries when it comes to environmental performance
Canadian Press in Maclean’s
April 21, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be dragging plenty of baggage to the United Nations on Friday when he joins some 150 other countries in signing the Paris climate accord. A new report from the Conference Board of Canada released Thursday ranks Canada 14th among 16 peer countries when it comes to environmental performance, with only the United States and Australia doing worse. And the parliamentary budget office has crunched the national numbers to find that Canada’s emissions of greenhouses gases currently are on track to increase through 2030, with a cost of between one and three per cent of gross domestic product to ratchet emissions down to our existing international commitment.

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B.C. gets a ‘C’ on its environmental performance report card: Conference Board

Business in Vancouver
April 21, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

A high level of air pollution per capita has weighed on British Columbia’s grade on the Conference Board of Canada’s environmental performance report card, released April 21. Overall, B.C. received a grade of “C” on its environmental performance. The province came in 16th out of 26 jurisdictions, which included the 10 Canadian provinces and the United States, Australia, Japan and several countries across Europe. Canada as a whole earned a “D” and came in 14th out of the 16 countries studied, and the board said all of Canada’s provinces ranked poorly. Ontario was the highest-ranking province, earning a “B.”

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Carbon stored in Pacific Northwest forests reflects timber harvest history

Wood Business
April 21, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The amount of carbon stored in tree trunks, branches, leaves and other biomass — what scientists call “aboveground live carbon” — is determined more by timber harvesting than by any other environmental factor in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, according to a report published by researchers at Oregon State University. In forests that are about 150 years old or less, live carbon above the ground is associated primarily with the age of a stand — reflecting how long ago it was harvested — rather than with climate, soil, topography or fire. However, as forests mature into “old growth,” the density of carbon is determined largely by factors other than harvesting. The Pacific Northwest has some of the highest forest-carbon densities in the world. Understanding how much carbon is stored in growing forests is a critical component of international efforts to reduce climate change.

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Indonesia’s largest pulp-for-paper producer risks defaulting on sustainability commitments due to bad peatland management

Wetlands
April 20, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

In 2013 Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) committed to use plantation fiber instead of clearing natural forests. However, in the same year APP announced the construction of a multi-billion dollar pulp mill in South Sumatra, Indonesia. A report launched today by twelve NGOs, including Wetlands International, shows that there is a high risk that the supply base of the plantation wood fiber for this mill is insecure. This is largely due to the degradation of peatlands which are drained for pulp-for-paper plantations. Drained peatlands cause increased fire risks, land subsidence, carbon emissions, and floods that cause the loss of land productivity. These peatland plantations constitute 77% of the supply base for the mill.

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General

City officials and others recognize Domtar’s tree donation

Kingsport Times News
April 21, 2016
Category: Uncategorised
Region: US East, United States

KINGSPORT — Domtar Corp. — known for harvesting trees to make copy paper and other fiber-based products — was recognized Thursday for donating 100 fresh trees now lining Fort Henry Drive. Domtar’s Kingsport mill, which has been operating in the Model City for 100 years, funded the purchase of the Cherokee Princess Dogwoods and Paperbark Maples planted on both sides of Fort Henry Drive, beginning at Memorial Park and ending near Center Street. Domtar representatives, Kingsport Chamber of Commerce and Keep Kingsport Beautiful (KKB) members, and city officials marked the donation during a ceremony held next to the Kingsport Civic Auditorium.

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