Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 4, 2016

Business & Politics

North America exports 6.1 million tons of wood pellets in 2015 Lesprom Network

Lesprom
May 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

North America exports of wood pellets reached record-highs in 2015, with the US Gulf States increasing shipments by 70% from 2Q/15 to 4Q/15, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review. Exportation of wood pellets from North America totaled 6.1 million tons in 2015, which was 2% higher than in 2014 and almost four times as much as in 2010, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR) issued by Wood Resources International. In the second half of 2015, export volumes from Southern Gulf ports were up almost 70%. North American overseas pellet exports increased for the third consecutive quarter in the 4Q/15, rising 7% from the previous quarter to just over 1.7 million tons .

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Int’l Paper Not Fretting About Antitrust Review of Weyerhaeuser Deal

Wall Street Journal
May 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Aggressive antitrust enforcement isn’t worrying International Paper Co.IP -0.11% as it awaits regulatory approval of its $2.2 billion acquisition of assets from Weyerhaeuser Co. “It’s certainly a deal that can get done,” said Carol Roberts, International Paper’s chief financial officer, in an interview. The transaction, announced on Monday, needs approval from antitrust regulators. The Memphis, Tenn. paper and packing company is buying five pulp mills and two facilities that produce pulp used to make items such as diapers, tissues and textiles. Yet regulators have struck down several large deals in recent months. …Ms. Roberts noted that market demand is causing companies to produce more of the kind of pulp used in such items, which could help make the case for the acquisition’s regulatory approval.

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Idaho lumber mill closing; workers’ future uncertain

Associated Press in KSL.com
May 4, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

GRANGEVILLE, Idaho — Workers at an Idaho lumber mill have been notified by letter that the mill has been purchased and will be shut down and dismantled. The Lewiston Tribune reports that the letter from Blue North Forest Products owner Michael F. Burns confirmed rumors that began circulating Friday. Burns wrote that the past year has been difficult in the lumber business and especially hard for Blue North. He said he was selling the business because he couldn’t sustain any more losses. Mill manager Herb Hazen says the Idaho Forest Group has tentatively purchased the operation and is looking over the property. He says the mill has about 65 employees and he could not comment on their future employment status.

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Weyerhaeuser expands as housing market grows

News.Markets
May 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Weyerhaeuser report its first quarter 2016 results on May 6 just days after announcing the sale of its pulp business to re-focus on selling lumber and other wood products. The sale of its cellulose fibres business to International Paper Company for $2.2 billion in cash will allow Weyerhaeuser to significantly reduce its leverage following its recent acquisition of Plum Creek Timber Company, a credit positive according to Moody’s Investor Services. The new entity will create the world’s premier timber, land and forest products company with more than 13 million acres of the most productive and diverse timberland in the US. 

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Column: Sun Paper would be better for Arkansas if it was in China

Dr. Luis Contreras is an ecologist with a Ph.D
Magnolia Reporter
May 3, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

…When I first heard of the Sun Paper fluff mill last December, it sounded like a great idea for China. Not much was known; some said it had to do with solar panels. The new information and the site of the mill near the Ouachita National Forest makes a bad dream a terrifying nightmare. …Paper mills stink like rotten eggs. If you live within 20 miles, there is nothing you can do. When the wind blows and the conditions at the plant are just right, the stench will be hard to ignore as far as Little Rock. The smell of “money” is part of the deal. Pulp mills are bad for public health. The Newsweek April 12, 2016, report “How a paper plant in Arkansas is allegedly poisoning the people of Crossett,” tells a grim story. The “allegations” go back to 1990; cancer deaths are real.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Wood100: The Healthiest, Sustainable And Energy Efficient Homes Now Available in Canada

Press Release Rocket
May 3, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Wood100, an established name in natural wooden houses, has formally launched its services in Canada through its online platform www.wood100.ca Established over 20 years ago by Erwin Thoma in Austria, Wood100 is a sustainable building system where only 100% wood materials are used. The company was created out of a strong concern for the environment, a love of wood construction and the desire to provide a truly healthy and natural home for its customers. With knowledge of solid wood buildings constructed thousands of years ago and still standing in Asia and Europe and a strong environmental concern for cradle to cradle building, Erwin Thoma set out to build the healthiest home. Wood100 was the result.

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Allura Introduces Fiber Cement Decking

Building-Products.com
May 3, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Plycem is introducing to the U.S. the Allura fiber cement decking collection, taking advantage of the material’s inherent weather resistance, moisture imperviousness, durability and attractiveness.  The decking line is engineered with a proprietary direct processing system that creates the natural look of wood and designed to add more authenticity to every customer’s design. The line is made to possess all the aesthetically pleasing features that come with having a natural wooden deck. …Declaring that the product is a great low-maintenance alternative to wood and a sustainable, long-lasting product, it seems as though Allura’s is finding an alternative way to enhance this new wave of outdoor living.

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New bill would push research for timber building construction in U.S.

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
May 3, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON D.C. – A new bill from Congress would establish performance driven research for advancing tall wood building construction in the U.S.  The “Timber Innovation Act” would: Authorize the Tall Wood Building Prize Competition through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) annually for the next five years; Create federal grants to support state, local, university and private sector education, outreach, research and development, including education and assistance for architects and builders, that will accelerate the use of wood in tall buildings; Authorize technical assistance for USDA, in cooperation with state foresters and state extension directors (or equivalent state officials), to implement a program of education and technical assistance for mass timber applications

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Determined carpenter uses salvaged materials to build his Craftsman home (photos)

The Oregonian
May 3, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Imagine a house built by a carpenter and salvage artist. Almost every piece of wood, stained glass and hardware would have a story. Such is the case at Brian Skinner’s newly finished Craftsman-style home in Washougal, Washington. …Skinner, a second-generation carpenter, could have created a museum to display the architectural pieces he rescued from grand residences that were being torn down in the 1960s and 1970s. Instead, he saved the pieces and decades later, built a home for himself. …He took his time building this project, which rose from nothing into a pitched-roof house filled with treasures. “I wasn’t in a hurry. I wanted to let my creative juices flow,” he says. “It takes time to work out a stairway where there are hundreds of pieces of wood. The vision developed slowly as I was guided by the old wood.”

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OSU president: Cascades campus needs expansion funding

By Jennifer Wade
KTVZ Central Oregon
May 3, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

BEND, Ore. – Oregon State University President Edward Ray called Tuesday night for an infusion of state support for facilities and infrastructure on OSU’s expanding OSU-Cascades campus and for the university to achieve aggressive student success strategies by 2020. …Construction will begin this year on OSU’s new forest science complex in Corvallis. The center will study and accelerate the use of advanced, cross-laminated wood products in the construction of high-rise buildings in Oregon and around the world. “This wood science initiative will help restore high-paying jobs to rural Oregon and increase the use — and value — of Oregon’s natural resources,” said Ray. OSU researchers, he said, are studying the use of small diameter pine logs from Eastern and Central Oregon forests for use in the cross-laminated wood structural components.

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Beijing Woodwork Fair 2016 Join Hands with Renowned Exhibitors to Promote Green & Sustainable Woodworking Solutions

Indonesia Woodworking Magazine
May 4, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Being known as Asia’s No.1 woodworking exhibition, The 16th International Exhibition on Woodworking Machinery and Furniture Manufacturing Equipment and The International Exhibition on Woodworking Machinery Supplies and Accessories will once again gather top industry players at China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, PR China on 1-4 June 2016. WMF 2016 will focus on the latest intelligent and green woodworking machines, technologies and solutions which assist woodworking and furniture enterprises in achieving environmental-friendly and sustainable production with reduced cost. WMF 2016 is expected to attract over 30,000 trade visitors and feature more than 600 top-notch exhibitors across an exhibiting area of 55,000 sqm. 

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Forestry

Illegal dumping in Nanaimo area leads to collaboration

Nanaimo News Bulletin
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Government, companies and organizations are teaming up to battle illegal dumping in the Nanaimo area. The Regional District of Nanaimo, Island Timberlands and TimberWest say they are spending more than $200,000 annually on cleanup. Representatives from the three groups will meet monthly to share information and tips from Nanaimo and District Crime Stoppers as part of the initiative. …Makenzie Leine, spokeswoman for Island Timberlands, shared Larson’s concern about yard waste. “Some think that yard waste is not an issue because it is organic but it can have seeds or cuttings of non-native species that in the wilderness are noxious,” Leine said in an e-mail. “The spread of invasive species can take over natural vegetation that is important to functions in the forest.” For Monica Bailey, TimberWest spokeswoman, illegal dumping presents health hazards and is an ugly issue to come across in the forest.

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ROAMS students learn forestry

Parksville Qualicum Beach News
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Following on the heels of last year’s successful Guinness Book World Record tree plant, this year’s Rivers, Ocean and Mountain School (ROAMS) students planted 3,800 Douglas-fir seedlings in Northwest Bay with Island Timberlands. “Island Timberlands goes above and beyond supporting local youth,” said ROAMS teacher Darin Carmichael. This is the third year in a row they have supported ROAMS students by introducing them to silviculture operations.” Students were paired with professional silviculture workers from Timberline Reforestation and forest professionals from Profor Consulting. …“Island Timberlands looks forward to opportunities to partner with schools in our community,” said Makenzie Leine, Island Timberlands manager, community and government relations.

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A crisis in Island’s old-growth forests

by Andrew Weaver, MLA for Oak Bay Gordon Head
Saanich News
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The current state of old-growth forests on Vancouver Island is now being classified by some as an ecological emergency. Putting this in context, over 90 per cent of the biggest and most productive low-elevation old-growth forests on Vancouver Island have now been logged. Of the remaining 9-10 per cent roughly three per cent is protected in parks or Old Growth Management Areas. The rest of it is up for grabs by logging companies. There are a number of reasons why we should care deeply about this issue, and take steps to protect our old growth forests. First, they provide habitat for many species and, importantly, they are a crucial habitat to a number of species at risk including the marbled murrelet and northern goshawk. Second, these forests are substantial carbon sinks and actually take in more carbon than young forests do. Finally, as anyone who has visited Cathedral Grove can attest, they can play a strong role in local eco-tourism efforts.

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Diane Nicholls, BC’s chief forester on post-pine-beetle hot seat

By Derrick Penner
Vancouver Sun
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Before moving to government 10 years ago, Diane Nicholls, B.C.’s new chief forester, had a full career on the private-sector side of forest management. As she tackles the major decisions ahead, she will undoubtedly draw on that breadth of experience. Nicholls, who was named permanently to the post Feb. 26, is taking over as the province grapples with a shrinking supply of timber from its interior forests after a mountain pine beetle epidemic that has chewed through 10 million hectares of forests. Now, she is the forester on the hot seat whose job it will be to determine allowable harvests, which were increased to salvage beetle-damaged trees during the infestation, but will have to be cut — in some cases dramatically — while forests recover. …She is the first woman to hold the chief forester’s job and is, so far, undaunted by the challenge. “Forestry is my passion,” Nicholls said, “and I see it as an opportunity of regrowing the forest and regrowing all of the collaborations that can occur (in managing forests).”

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In forest spraying regulation, people come last

by Justin Workman, part of the Highway 36 Human Health Exposure Investigation since its inception.
The Register-Guard
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In 2011, a group of residents from the Triangle Lake area who had been poisoned by chemical herbicides decided they’d had enough of the agency run-around. After years of contacting agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and the Oregon Department of Forestry about forestry-related pesticide poisonings, we realized these agencies exist to shield industry from litigation. …Of these seven agencies, two are responsible for overseeing and regulating forestry sprays in Oregon — the state departments of agriculture and forestry. According to an agency official involved with the investigation, these two departments and the state Pesticide Analytical and Response Center “did not want to actively participate, and had to be dragged through the investigation.

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USFS plans to thin NW Georgia forest to stave off Southern pine beetle infestations

By Doug Walker
Northwest Georgia News
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a significant thinning of pine timber across national forest property in Northwest Georgia in a bid to reduce the risk for Southern pine beetle infestations. The Armuchee Healthy Forest Project would encompass large tracts of Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest land in Floyd, Chattooga, Walker and Whitfield counties. Conasauga District Ranger Jeff Gardner is seeking public input on the project. However, the project falls under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act, which means his decision regarding the final scope of the project is exempt from environmental review. The proposed project would include commercial and non-commercial thinning, which would most likely begin in 2017 and stretch out over three to five years. The commercial thinning would encompass a total of 1,465 acres.

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Alabama foresters focus on fighting the dreaded pine beetle

Alabama News Center
May 2, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

State and federal forestry officials and private property owners are keeping their eyes open this spring for signs of an old nemesis – the southern pine beetle. The notorious beetle devastated vast swaths of Alabama forests in the 1980s, rendering entire stands worthless. And there are signs the bug is back in action. Experts suspect pine beetle infestation may run in seven- to nine-year cycles, which means the time is right for a potential pine beetle comeback. Detecting pine beetles is relatively simple. Pine needles in infested trees will change from green to light brown within a few weeks. The needles eventually die and turn to a rust or brown color. Any increase in pine beetle infestation is potentially troubling for Alabama, one of the nation’s most heavily forested states and home to important timber-related industries.

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UK wins satellite contract to ‘weigh’ Earth’s forests

BBC News
May 3, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

British industry is to lead the construction of a satellite that will weigh the world’s trees. The Biomass mission’s novel space radar will make 3D maps of forests, improving our understanding of how carbon is cycled through the Earth system. Its data will be important for climate research, and will create a baseline for treaties that seek to monitor the status of global forest resources. …By pulsing with a wavelength of 70cm, the radar can look through the leaf canopy of forests to the woody parts below. Using an approach akin to tomography, it will scan slices through the trees on repeat passes to build up a picture of how much woody material is present. Global maps should be produced every six months. The plan is for Biomass to gather at least five years’ worth of data.

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Forest Fires

‘It was raining ash’: Wildfire sparks exodus from Fort McMurray

By Justin Giovannetti and Carrie Tait
Globe and Mail
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As their city burned, Shams Rehman, his wife and three kids, were among the 80,000 residents fleeing Fort McMurray when they ran out of fuel 200 kilometers into their southbound trek to safety. “I just wanted to get out of that mess. …”I just wanted to get my family to somewhere safe.” All of Fort McMurray was evacuated Tuesday afternoon, in one of the largest such operations in Canadian history, after a wildfire reached town. A Flying J gas station blew up, homes are in ruins, and downtown was on fire, witnesses said. Fort McMurray is the centre of Canada’s oil sands industry and the fire forced major operations north of town to evacuate non-essential employees. Fort McMurray is about 440 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, and only one two-lane highway connects the cities.

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Facing its own forest fires, B.C. says it can’t help Fort McMurray

Globe and Mail
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C. says it can’t help Alberta with the forest-fire situation in Fort McMurray because the province is grappling with its own forest-fire troubles. Ryan Turcot, an information officer with the B.C. Wildfire Service, said Alberta made a request for help Tuesday through the national Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre that processes such calls for assistance. “In this case, given the current level of fire activity in B.C. and the need to maintain necessary resources here, B.C. was unable to lend crews at this time. We will consider future requests,” Mr. Turcot said from Kamloops.  He said B.C. is experiencing “high levels” of forest-fire activity in the Peace region with 48 forest fires, the largest covering 7,000 hectares, burning there. There are four evacuation alerts in B.C. – all in the Peace region.

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Fort McMurray wildfire remains out of control after city evacuated

60,000 flee as wildfire leaps highway and into city
CBC News
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A huge wildfire in Fort McMurray, Alta., destroyed an entire neighbourhood and burned homes and businesses in several others Tuesday, and continues to rage out of control. By late afternoon, the entire city of 60,000 had been ordered evacuated. Residents by the thousands fled the fire and for hours caused gridlock on Highway 63, even overwhelming oilsands work camps, where beds and meals were offered. Police were patrolling the highway with cans of gas, after fuel supplies ran out in Fort McMurray, Wandering River and Grasslands. …The news won’t get any better any time soon, Bruce Mayer with Alberta Forestry said in a mid-afternoon news conference. “This fire today with the temperature, the relative humidity … the fuel is very explosive out there right now,” he said.

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‘Homes are on fire as we speak’: Tens of thousands flee as Fort McMurray burns

Post Media News in National Post
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history forced tens of thousands of Fort McMurray residents to flee Tuesday as explosive fire conditions destroyed homes and businesses and caused a rapid succession of mandatory evacuations that forced people onto gridlocked highways under clouds of smoke. …People fled, some along a highway licked with flames, to emergency evacuation points at oilsands camps to the north and neighbouring communities to the south. Officials estimate 17,000 citizens fled north to industry sites. Another 35,000 headed south, including 18,000 people enroute to Edmonton. Night fell Tuesday with fires having damaged many parts of the city of 83,000 people. Flames snaked their way through the city’s river valleys.

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Fort McMurray residents flee in the largest fire evacuation in Alberta’s history

By Paige Parsons and Emma Graney
Edmonton Journal
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fort McMurray fire officials are prepared for another challenging day Wednesday as firefighters try to save the oilsands city from a massive wildfire that has destroyed homes and businesses, and forced the largest wildfire evacuation in Alberta’s history.  Tens of thousands of people have fled north and south. Fuelled by soaring temperatures that hit 32 C and tinder-dry forest, the fire broached the city limits and by 6:20 p.m. a mandatory evacuation order was issued for the entire city. “Today has been a devastating day. We have had explosive fire conditions on the landscape brought on by extremely high temperatures” and low relative humidity, Bernie Schmitte, wildfire manager at Alberta Agriculture and Forestry, said Tuesday night during a news conference.

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Emergency commissioner urges caution with fire as risk climbs in Saskatchewan

Canadian Press in Saskatoon StarPhoenix
May 3, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

REGINA — Saskatchewan’s emergency management commissioner says unseasonably hot, dry weather is already making for a volatile start to the wildfire season in the province. Duane McKay says people need to be extremely cautious when it comes to using fire. McKay says several communities already have fire bans, including La Ronge and the city of Saskatoon. The daily fire danger map from the Ministry of Environment shows a high or extreme risk across Saskatchewan. McKay says emergency officials are better co-ordinated in the fire- fighting response and brought in crews earlier this year after a record fire season last year. There were 720 fires that forced about 13,000 people from their homes last year and burned 17,000 square kilometres of forest. END OF STORY

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Fort McMurray, Alta., wildfire forces more people from their homes

Canadian Press in The Chronicle Journal
May 4, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

FORT MCMURRAY, Alta. – Emergency officials confirmed late Tuesday that whole neighbourhoods of Fort McMurray have been destroyed by a raging forest fire that sliced through the middle of the northern oilsands hub city. Tens of thousands were sent fleeing in both directions, and the entire community of 80,000 was ordered evacuated. Fire chief Darby Allen did not have an estimate of the number of homes destroyed, but said the fire is burning in several areas in the city’s south end and had razed a mobile home park. There have been no reports of serious injuries and Allen said the priority is keeping everyone safe. “Everybody here … has given everything today to do the very best they could,” Allen told a conference call with reporters late in the day. “We will continue to do the very best for you. We appreciate that some of you have lost properties. We have people working here right now that have lost property, too.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Forest Product Industry First to Respond to Growing Climate Change Challenges

Canadian Wood Council
May 3, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The Canadian Wood Council (CWC) is supportive of the Forest Products Association of Canada’s (FPAC) May 2nd launch of the ‘30 by 30’ climate change challenge – a commitment to help Canada remove 30 megatonnes of CO2 by the year 2030. As the first sector to publically pledge its support to the federal government’s climate change goals, the forest products industry’s ‘30 by 30’ announcement made by FPAC symbolizes the sector’s ongoing contribution towards a low carbon economy. “The ‘30 by 30’ challenge is a great example of the wood products industry taking a leadership role in the area of reduced environmental impacts,” says Michael Giroux, President of the Canadian Wood Council. “Renewable wood products from sustainably managed forests in Canada are allowing construction sector stakeholders to balance functionality and cost objectives with reduced environmental impacts on the built environment.”

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Industry sees the climate change train coming, hops aboard

By Tim Harper
Toronto Star
May 3, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

The forest products industry, citing new Ottawa priorities, vows to help Liberals meet climate targets. Of the challenges it has placed on the table, there can be little question the toughest will be the Liberal government’s quest to meet international global warming targets. …Monday, Canada’s forest products industry stepped up, pledging it would be a player in cutting green house gas emissions and helping Ottawa hit its 2030 targets. “Stuff is moving and you can choose to watch it go by you and miss it, or you can choose to say, ‘How can we part of this and make it work for us?’ ” Derek Nighbor, the CEO of the Forest Products Association of Canada, told me Monday. He credits the Trudeau government for changing a focus and helping the provinces move on the environment. 

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UN chief names choices for top UN environments posts

News 24
May 4, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

New York – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appointed Norway’s former environment and development minister Erik Solheim to head the UN environment agency and announced his choice of Mexican ambassador Patricia Espinosa Cantellano for the UN’s top post to tackle climate change. UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric announced Solheim’s appointment on Tuesday and Ban’s intention to appoint Espinosa as executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change after consulting its member nations.

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