Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 14, 2016

Business & Politics

US hardwood plywood imports down 1% in April

Lesprom Network
July 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

US hardwood plywood imports were down 1% in April, the fourth consecutive month-on-month decline. A total of 211,096 cubic metres were imported in April, worth $122.1 million, ITTO reported. Year-to-date import volumes remain slightly higher (+1%) than in April 2015, but the value of year-todate plywood imports decreased 7% compared to 2015. Lower plywood imports from China and Indonesia were largely responsible for lower April figures. Imports from China were 101,187 cubic metres in April, down 10% from March while imports from Indonesia fell by 37% month-on- month to 23,380 cubic metres.

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American Forest & Paper Association progresses toward sustainability goals

Recycling Today
July 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) released its 2016 Sustainability Report, showcasing the U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry’s commitment to sustainability across the value chain, including progress toward achieving the “Better Practices, Better Planet 2020″ sustainability goals. …We are proud to represent companies that are committed to advancing their sustainability performance,” says AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman. “Their efforts led to the early achievement of the ‘Better Practices, Better Planet 2020’ goals to improve safety and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

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DiCaprio’s foundation announces $15.6 million in grants

Atlanta Journal Constitution
July 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

NEW YORK — Leonardo DiCaprio is upping the ante in his environmental philanthropy: His foundation has announced $15.6 million in grants for conservation efforts. It’s the largest series of donations by the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation . It boasts donations of more than $59 million since it was founded in 1998. DiCaprio has lobbied world leaders about climate change, protecting wildlife and more. In a statement released Wednesday, the Oscar-winning actor said he was increasing the level of grants “to help solve some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges.” He also appointed Terry Tamminen as the foundation’s CEO. He was once secretary of California’s Environmental Protection Agency.

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Plum Creek Timberland “like a splinter,” says Board of Assessors

The Oconee
July 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

During a Tax Assessors meeting Tuesday, Forester Dave Francis likened Plum Creek Timberlands to a splinter that continues to fester. “We are still in limbo with them,” said Chief Appraiser Allen Skinner, explaining that the company’s new ownership has slowed down—but not halted—efforts to change the valuation of timberland going back several years. The company has lost several appeals before the Board of Equalization. It owns four parcels in Oconee County totaling 1,079 acres appraised at roughly $3.2 million, or $2,977 per acre. Plum Creek Timberlands has argued that the county should retroactively apply a soil-quality discount. Skinner has said that Plum Creek has a reputation for appealing property valuations elsewhere in the country.

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Plum Creek reaped millions in land deals as it sold half its Montana holdings in past 15 years

Hungry Horse News
July 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

While Weyerhaeuser blames the shortage of logs in the region for closing two mills in Columbia Falls, it might have a better supply if Plum Creek hadn’t sold nearly 700,000 acres of timberlands in the past 15 years. …Fingers have long pointed at the Forest Service for the lack of logs. To be sure, log production from the Flathead National Forest isn’t what it was decades ago, when harvest in some years was well over 100 million board feet. ….In 2000, Plum Creek owned about 1.44 million acres of land in Montana, nearly all of it timberlands.  But over the years, it continued to liquidate its assets and made hundreds of millions in the process. The largest single land deal was the Montana Legacy project in the Swan Valley. In that deal, which netted the company $510 million — about half from government sources secured by former Sen. Max Baucus — the Nature Conservancy and the Trust for Public Lands purchased more than 320,000 acres of land.

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SFPA: Exports of Southern pine lumber decreased by 3% in May

Lesprom
July 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Exports of Southern Pine lumber held steady in May, totaling just over 53 million board feet (MMbf), according to the latest reports from the USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service. This volume represents a dip of 3% below the same month last year, resulting in an overall year-to-date increase of 6% when compared with the first five months of 2015, as Southern Forest Products Association (SFPA) reports. Offshore shipments during May roughly break down as follows: 27.7 MMbf dressed, 12.1 MMbf rough, and 13.4 MMbf treated lumber.

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Governor McAuliffe announces new exports for Virginia lumber companies

WSLS
July 13, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

LONDON (WSLS 10) – Local lumber companies benefit from a new international deal. Today, Governor McAuliffe announced four lumber companies in the Commonwealth – including the R. Deacon and Sons Mill in Rockbridge County and Blue Ridge Lumber, which has a lumber yard in Covington – will export Virginia wood products to the U.K. …The sales were struck between four Virginia lumber companies and James Latham PLC, one of the oldest and largest wood importers and distributors into the U.K., the top customer of Virginia wood products in 2015.Speaking on behalf of the four Virginia companies, Susan Jennings, President of the Virginia Forest Products Association, added, “Europe is an important market for Virginia wood products. We are appreciative of all of the efforts made by Governor McAuliffe and his team to identify new buyers for our members and all Virginia wood products companies.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Shigeru Ban’s First Canadian Project Will Be the Tallest Hybrid Timber Structure in the World

By Nick Mafi
Architectural Digest
July 13, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

When Pritzker Prize–winning architect Shigeru Ban was commissioned to build his first skyscraper in Canada, many predicted the structure would be akin to his other designs around the world: bold and innovative. Today, the Japanese architect unveiled his plans, and it appears he has, indeed, stayed true to form. Although Ban and Vancouver-based developer PortLiving have yet to release firm numbers on the project, both say that, when completed, the new skyscraper will be the tallest hybrid timber structure in the world. Planned for an area of Vancouver called Coal Harbor, the residential-only Terrace House may set a new standard in luxury urban design, sustainability, and engineering innovation. …The upper portion of the structure will be formed by a timber frame supported by a concrete and steel core. 

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Shigeru Ban unveils “tallest hybrid timber structure in the world” for Vancouver

Dezeen
July 12, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Japanese architect Shigeru Ban has been commissioned to design a residential tower for Vancouver that its developers claim will be the tallest hybrid timber structure in the world. Called Terrace House, the apartment tower is slated to rise near the waterfront in central Vancouver, where a curved apartment tower by architect Kengo Kuma is also being built. Although information about the Ban-designed structure’s height has not yet been disclosed, a rendering of the building shows a glass-clad tower with a sloped roof. Its upper portion will be formed by a timber frame supported by a concrete and steel core.

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Exhibit features furniture from trees destroyed during storm

By Solvej Schou
Associated Press in Helena Independent Record
July 13, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

LOS ANGELES — Furniture designer Harold Greene grew up making toys out of reclaimed scraps of wood in his Southern California neighborhood. So when a windstorm pummeled Los Angeles County on Nov. 30, 2011, destroying thousands of trees, he and nine other members of the L.A.- based Box Collective, a group of environmentally conscious furniture makers and designers, did what came naturally. They set about collecting wood from the fallen trees to make furniture and art.

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Stunning new wooden sports center in Paris is hidden underneath sprawling green roof

Inhabitat
July 13, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Clamart Sports Center is a stunning new building made out of sustainable wood, tucked under a giant green roof in Paris. Designed by Gaetan Le Penhuel Architecture, the building houses four schools under a lush field and a huge curved wooden shell supported by structurally efficient laminated wooden beams. The complex is framed by two contrasting urban conditions: a suburban zone of detached houses in the south, and a uniform configuration of social housing towers in the north. In order to reconcile the different social and architectural scenarios, the architects created a new artificial landscape that combines educational functions, urban design, and public space.

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Forestry

Bark art no danger to trees: expert

By Christine Hinzmann
Prince George Citizen
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Look up. Way up. And gaze upon the hidden treasures at Cottonwood Island Park where carver Elmer Gunderson has bestowed upon the bark of a few select trees images of a host of characters and wee fairy houses for the whimsical enjoyment of all who pass. It’s crossed the mind of many a tree lover to wonder if there is any harm done to these long-standing keepers of nature who have been honoured with a carving. Kathy Lewis, forest pathologist at the University of Northern B.C., set the record straight. “Cottonwood tends to have fairly thick bark, especially older trees, and as long as the cuts are only in the outer bark it really should not affect the tree at all,” said Lewis. …If the carver’s cuts go too deep, it’s a whole other story.

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Should you need a city permit to cut down your own tree?

By David Staples
Edmonton Journal
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Should city council have a say in whether or not you can cut down a tree in your yard?  City council voted Tuesday to ask the province to grant it the power to enact tree-cutting regulations. The majority on council believes that in some circumstances, such as preventing the clear-cutting of trees on a lot that is being prepared for redevelopment, it might be good to have a bylaw limiting such destruction.  But Coun. Bryan Anderson believes this is one area where the city shouldn’t get involved.  “I don’t (like) the municipal government telling me or my neighbours or anybody else what they can do with plants on their own property,” Anderson says.

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Thinning work begins along Rattlesnake trail

by Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Work has begun to improve fire safety in the lower portion of the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area trail corridor. Lolo National Forest crews started on Wednesday to clear small trees and undergrowth near the Spring Gulch trail junction, about 2 miles north of the main trailhead. Missoula District Ranger Jen Hensiek said the 120 acres of work should take less than three weeks. “We’re beginning in the areas with the highest concentration of people or nearness to residences,” Hensiek said. “We’ve also been spraying weeds along there for about a month in preparation for this work. We anticipate we’ll be doing some road work on the Marshall Canyon side later this fall.” The activity could include trucks on the trail corridor, chainsaw work and occasional delays or detours around work sites. Hensiek asked trail users to stay back from workers for safety concerns.

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AZ Coal Plant Will Test Burning Biomass to Accelerate Forest Restoration

KNAU
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Arizona’s first attempt to generate electricity with a mix of biomass and coal will take place later this year, using debris from forest thinning projects in northern Arizona. he test run will take place at the Coronado Generating Station in eastern Arizona, operated by the Salt River Project. Officials plan to burn coal mixed with more than 2,600 tons of wood chips. That’s about the amount of biomass produced by thinning 250 acres of forest. Bruce Hallin is the water supply director for SRP. He says biomass is not the most efficient option for generating electricity, nor is it as cost-effective as coal, “but again our motivation here is, let’s see if we can help accelerate some of these forest restoration efforts, so we can get those forest thinned and protect that watershed.”

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DNR to Begin Herbicide Application in Backus area to help Reforestation Efforts

The Lake Country Echo
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will begin herbicide applications on select state lands to improve reforestation efforts. Applications will begin around July 15, and continue through approximately Aug. 15, to 55.3 acres on four sites in the Backus Forestry Administrative Area. “Herbicides will be sprayed on the ground to reduce competing woody vegetation,” said Darren Bundy, Silviculture Program lead in Backus. “This gives the tree seedlings a better chance to grow and survive.” …The DNR plants trees on state lands to reforest harvested areas, provide wildlife habitat, protect watersheds and maintain healthy state forests. Part of the reforestation process involves applying herbicides to the harvested areas prior to or following tree planting. DNR foresters determine the right tree species for the site and private contractors do the actual planting.

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Forestry Day focuses on selective logging, possibility of a controlled burn

The Daily Record
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Nature Conservancy is helping to reduce the threat of wildfires in Upper Kittitas County by selectively harvesting timber. The group had a Forestry Day on Saturday at its land near the Cle Elum Ridge. The Nature Conservancy used the day to talk to members of the public and media about its ongoing restoration projects, particularly selective logging. Thayer Excavating of Ellensburg was hired to selectively log about 310 acres. The Nature Conservancy has about 46,000 acres of land in Upper Kittitas County it purchased from the Plum Creek Timber Co. in December 2014. The goal of the conservancy is to return that forestland to historical conditions, said Reese Lolley, director of forest restoration and fire for the Nature Conservancy.

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Editorial: BLM needs planning 3.0

The Bend Bulletin
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

When the Bureau of Land Management makes plans, it’s a big deal. The BLM manages 10 percent of the land in the U.S. and 30 percent of the minerals. In Oregon, the BLM manages 25 percent of the total land in the state. The BLM’s plans direct how that land can be used. And it’s hard to avoid the conclusion that the BLM’s proposed “Planning 2.0” rule will mean less local control of decisions. There should be more local control, not less. The BLM says Planning 2.0 will fix many things that are wrong with its planning process. That may be. It also insists there will not be less local control. “There are no changes to the status or role of cooperating agencies being considered as part of this draft rule,” Jim Lyons, a deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior, said in congressional testimony.

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Canyon Creek Complex fire salvage authorized

Blue Mountain Eagle
July 12, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A recent Forest Service decision authorizes salvage treatments for the Canyon Creek Complex fire. The decision notice for the Canyon Creek Complex Fire Salvage Project was signed by District Ranger Dave Halemeier on July 6, according to a Forest Service press release. The decision notice and finding of no significant impact authorizes salvage treatments, reforestation, research activities, forest road activities and a temporary closure for cross-country travel in the area. It is available at fs.usda.gov/project/?project=48518. The proposed action was available for review during public scoping Jan. 6-26, and the preliminary environmental assessment was available for review April 27 through May 27.

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Even reduced-impact logging in the Amazon may be unsustainable

Mongabay
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Researchers in the Brazilian Amazon say they have found no evidence that the composition of timber species and total forest value recover even after highly selective logging, suggesting that the most commercially valuable species must inevitably become rare or even “economically extinct” in old logging frontiers. Brazil accounts for 85 percent of all native neotropical forest roundlog production, but the sustainability of timber harvests beyond the initial, typically selective rounds of logging, remains poorly understood, according to a study published in the journal PLOS ONE today. A team of researchers with the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK studied 824 harvest areas in private and community-owned forests scattered throughout the 124-million-hectare (more than 306-million-acre) Brazilian state of Pará, which is the source of almost half of all timber production in the Brazilian Amazon.

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Amazon rainforest boasts so many tree species it will take 300 years to discover them all

By Shivali Best
UK Daily Mail
July 13, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

From slithering snakes, to tiny leafcutter ants, wildlife in the Amazon comes in all shapes and sizes.  But this huge variety of life extends far beyond the animals that can be found there – the rainforest is home to a plethora of plant species too. Now analysis suggests there may be so many species of tree in the Amazon that it will take humanity 300 years to discover them all. While it has long been suspected that there are more different kinds of trees in the Amazon rainforest than anywhere else on earth, the exact number has long been a mystery. In 2013, scientists from the Field Museum in Chicago, estimated that the number of species was around 16,000, although no-one had taken the time to specifically count them.

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Forest Fires

Record-breaking wildfires changing the face of the boreal forest

By Tyler Hamilton
TVO
July 13, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

Every Wednesday, climate journalist Tyler Hamilton gathers up the latest Ontario climate news and cutting-edge research on how climate change is shaping the world. It’s a recurring theme in our weekly roundup, but it’s difficult to talk about climate change during the summer without some mention of wildfires. And on that front, Alberta has suffered more than its share of fire damage. Roughly 600,000 hectares have been destroyed so far this year, about four times the province’s 10-year annual average. Within it all, the Fort McMurray wildfire back in May stands out as the costliest in the province’s history. In fact, the Insurance Bureau of Canada just estimated the total bill at $3.58 billion.

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Forest Fires Can Heat Up the Whole Planet

By Laura Parker
National Geographic
July 13, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada

…Griffith is director of the Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment (ABoVE), a decade-long NASA study that is using satellite imagery to examine the impact of climate change on the Arctic tundra and boreal forests. The region under NASA’s microscope spans 2.5 million square miles (6.4 million square kilometers). The project launched its first field research earlier this spring on nearly two dozen separate studies, which range from the changing migratory patterns of caribou and birds to the role of fire as a contributor to climate change. Scott Goetz, deputy director and scientist at Woods Hole Research Center in Falmouth, Massachusetts, first documented the shifting colors of the tundra and boreal forest in 2005.

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Wet weather has helped lower fire danger rating

By Erin Haluschak
Comox Valley Record
July 13, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Fire officials note while the cooler and rainy July weather has helped to lower the fire danger rating across the Coastal Fire Centre, the potential for forest fires remains. Marg Drysdale, fire information officer for the centre, says the moderate rating – meaning forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires starting – in the Courtenay/Comox region may be deceiving. “The rain in the area helps to dampen the forest fuel, and within the next few days … there may be more precipitation. It should drop the rating even lower.” The danger class ratings range in a four-point scale from low to extreme.

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Yukon ‘dodging a bullet’ when it comes to a major forest fire, says expert

Bad fire year will happen if fuel, weather and ignition factors combine
CBC News
July 14, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

An Alberta professor says Yukon’s year for a major forest fire will come. Mike Flannigan, a professor with the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta and the director of the Western Partnership for Wildland Fire, says Yukon currently has the three ingredients for a major forest fire: fuel, ignition and weather. “You have lots of fuel except for those 2004 fires,” he said. “Some of the landscape may be still not available to burn but it will be soon. Ignition — some years you have lots of lightning, some years you don’t — and then the weather. When that upper ridge parks over the Yukon for seven to 10 days, then fire is fair game.

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Yukon forest fire season ‘remarkably quiet’

Shock of Fort McMurray fires may be causing Yukoners to take more care, official says
CBC News
July 13, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A “remarkably quiet fire season” in Yukon so far this year may be due in part to the Fort McMurray fires, said fire information officer George Maratos. He says the number of human-caused fires in Yukon is down. “I think it was just more of an awareness thing, where people saw the devastation [in Fort McMurray] and took the time to put out their campfires, to make sure they were burning responsibly,” Maratos said. So far there have been 35 fires in Yukon this season, burning an estimated 16,137 hectares. Most of those fires have been lightning caused.   The 10-year average is 74 fires burning 68,712 hectares by July 13.

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Firefighters battling huge fire near Timberon in Lincoln National Forest

KVIA
July 14, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

TIMBERON, New Mexico -The Otero County Sheriff’s Office confirms a 200+ acre fire consumed 10 structures and destroyed a firetruck Wednesday afternoon near Timberon. Adding at one point the fire station itself was in jeopardy of burning. Sheriff’s officials say roads going into the Village of Timberon have been closed off. They say about 900 people live in the area and about 30 residents have evacuated to a shelter located at Cloudcroft High School in Cloudcroft, NM.  The fire is reportedly moving fast and voluntary evacuations are in effect, the sheriff’s office said. Sgt Steve Odom of the Otero County Sheriff’s office tells ABC-7 there are close to one hundred firefighters trying to contain the massive blaze.

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Crews tackle small fires in the Bitterroot National Forest

KPAX
July 13, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON – Firefighters are working to contain and mop-up a pair of new wildfires that were recently sparked by lightning in the Bitterroot National Forest. The West Creek fire is burning on the West Fork Ranger District, one mile northeast of West Mountain. It is currently 1/10th of an acre in size and is staffed with two firefighters. The Chaffin Creek Fire is located on the Darby Ranger District, two miles north of Trapper Peak. It is also 1/10th of an acre in size and was contained last night. Three firefighters remain on scene and will continue mopping up today. Bitterroot National Forest spokesman Tod McKay says there have been more than 150 confirmed lightning strikes on the forest in the last three days and crews will be on the lookout for more fires over the next several days.

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Area firefighters join Beaver Creek fire crew

Rawlins Daily Times
July 14, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

RAWLINS — Three men from Carbon County joined the 231 men and women working on the fire crew for the Beaver Creek earlier this week. According to Rawlins Fire Chief and Carbon County Fire Warden John Rutherford, three local firefighters — Aaron Zent, Ron Brown and Bob Meyer left to assist crews in Colorado with a city brush truck that holds about 450 gallons of water. The crew is serving with Division P on the northeastern edge of the fire, in an area defined as being near the Wyoming state line on the north edge and Independence Mountain on the south side. The fire is now approaching Trophy Mountain Ranch, a private elk-hunting destination near Cowdry, Colo. So far, no permanent structures have been lost to the fire, except for three outbuildings, fire officials said.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Construction begins on $104M Cote-Nord biocrude plant in Pont-Cartier, Que.

Canadian Manufacturing
July 14, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

PORT-CARTIER, Que.—Crews have broken ground on a major cleantech project on the north shore of the St. Lawrence River in eastern Quebec. Designed to take advantage of the province’s abundant supply of biomass to produce clean fuel, the Cote Nord Project will convert tens of thousands of metric tonnes of slash and other forest industry residues into millions of litres of renewable biocrude each year. The project, known officially as AE Côte-Nord Canada Bioenergy Inc., will cost $103.9 million to build and is expected to come online by the end of next year. The Canadian and provincial government have committed to contributing the majority of construction costs.

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US researchers develop hybrid sweetgum tree to boost bioenergy production

Bioenergy Insight Magazine
July 13, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Researchers at the University of Georgia have crossed American sweetgum tree with its Chinese cousin, creating hybrid sweetgum trees that have a potential to boost bioenergy production. The hybrid sweetgums have a better growth rate and denser wood than native varieties and can produce fibre year-round. Sweetgum trees thrive under diverse conditions, grow as fast as pine trees and provide the type of fibre desired by paper and bioenergy producers. Harvesting mature sweetgums can often be too costly or even ill-advised because they typically grow on the edges of swamps and in river bottoms, which are often inaccessible during the wet winter months. The hybrid sweetgum trees have enormous potential for the production of bioenergy and paper, said Scott Merkle, a professor in UGA’s Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.

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600 oppose wood pellet industry

Clinton Chronicle
July 13, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The dogged determination of an Asheville-base environmental group has led to a petition of 600 names going to Laurens County Council, seeking to block the wood pellet industry. An Enviva wood-gathering and pellet-producing plant has been proposed for Laurens County, and the Dogwood Alliance has worked for several months to block it. Morgan Rowden, a Dogwood Alliance local volunteer, told the County Council last night that 600 people have signed a petition to block Enviva. She asked for a one-on-one meeting with Council Chairman Joe Wood to discuss what the Dogwood Alliance wants – a Council resolution that blocks any state or local tax incentives to Enviva if the company starts to exercise the land options it has obtained in Laurens County.

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