Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: July 29, 2016

Business & Politics

Housing boom spurs Canada lumber surge as U.S. mulls import duty

by JEN SKERRITT
Bloomberg News in the Globe and Mail
July 28, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

With Americans buying more new homes than at any time since the recession, the cost of the wood used to build them is rising. Lumber prices are off to their biggest rally in more than a decade, touching a 19-month high last week as demand increased from builders. But almost a third of all wood used in U.S. homes comes from the world’s top exporter, Canada, where surging shipments have compounded a trade dispute and increased the chances of import tariffs that may top 30 per cent. That spells trouble for producers including West Fraser Timber Co. and Canfor Corp. While the two countries have until October to iron out a new softwood-lumber trade agreement to replace one that expired last year, imports are flooding into the U.S., intensifying opposition from American producers who say their northern neighbors get unfair subsidies.

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Interfor Reports Q2’16 Results

MarketWired
July 28, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Vancouver, BC – Interfor Corporation (TSX:IFP) recorded net earnings in Q2’16 of $23.2 million, or $0.33 per share, compared to $0.8 million, or $0.01 per share in Q1’16. Adjusted net earnings1 in Q2’16 were $20.9 million, or $0.30 per share, compared to $2.6 million, or $0.04 per share, in Q1’16. Adjusted EBITDA1 was $56.9 million on sales of $458.8 million in Q2’16, versus Adjusted EBITDA1 of $33.4 million on sales of $433.9 million in Q1’16. …Lumber production in Q2’16 was 637 million board feet versus 618 million board feet in Q1’16.

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Chipper still moving when worker injured, WorkSafeBC finds

By Mark Nielsen
Prince George Citizen
July 28, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Brink Forest Products Ltd. employee who was seriously injured while preparing to change the knife assemblies on a wood waste chipper was carrying out the work while the machine was still moving, according to a WorkSafeBC incident investigation report. The report, which stems from a November 2014 incident, said the worker was on the day shift but was part of the crew that reported to work earlier in order to change the blades, which is done prior to every shift. According to evidence deduced by the WorkSafeBC investigator, he turned off the chipper disconnect and entered the chipper room while the machine’s disc was still rotating. 

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US housing starts have Prince George well-positioned

By Patrick Blennerhassett 
Business in Vancouver
July 28, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A resurgence in American housing starts will help position Prince George at the head of the country’s class of mid-sized cities in terms of future growth, according to the Conference Board of Canada. However, the city’s mayor says the region is striving to diversify from its reliance on forestry. The Conference Board of Canada’s Mid-Sized Cities Outlook 2016 studied 32 mid-sized Canadian cities, using Statistics Canada data. The Conference Board of Canada predicted Prince George will lead the country’s mid-size cities in growth. It has forecasted Prince George’s real GDP will grow 2.4% this year and 2.8% in 2017.

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Hefler seeks investor to take controlling interest in lumber company

By James Risdon 
Chronicle Herald
July 28, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

An iconic and completely modernized Nova Scotia lumber company is seeking an investor to take a controlling interest in it – in exchange for wiping out its debt. Hefler Forest Products Ltd. appeared in the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia last week asking for more time to pay off its creditors. Lawyer Carl Holm told the court last Monday that the company owes more than $30 million to four secured creditors and another 30-40 unsecured creditors. But Floyd Gaetz, Hefler president and co-owner, said the bulk of that money – roughly $15.6 million – is owed to him and his partners; the banks are only owed about $12.5 million. The company’s management team is already in negotiations with several investors who have been waiting for the plant to get the final go-ahead before inking any deal.

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International Paper sees weak packaging demand

MarketWatch
July 28, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States


International Paper Co. isn’t seeing a rise in packaging demand in Brazil ahead of next month’s Olympic Games, a marked contrast to two years ago, when demand surged as the country hosted the World Cup soccer tournament. “For the Olympics, we see virtually nothing in terms of packaging demand, ” Chief Executive Mark Sutton told The Wall Street Journal. International Paper makes packaging for a wide range of goods and is an early indicator of consumer spending. …. Mr. Sutton said demand is easing in China but picking up momentum slightly in the U.S. He reiterated the company expects to close its $2.2 billion acquisition of Weyerhaeuser Co.’s pulp business in the fourth quarter. The Memphis, Tenn.-based company reported earlier Wednesday its second-quarter profit fell to $40 million, or 10 cents a share, from $227 million, or 54 cents a share, a year earlier. Results were weighed down by pension expenses.

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Sumitomo Forestry buying Aussie homebuilder Wisdom

Nikkei Asian Review
July 28, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

TOKYO — Sumitomo Forestry will acquire a 51% stake in an Australian homebuilder, the Wisdom group, as early as Friday for the estimated equivalent of tens of millions of dollars. This marks the second Australian acquisition by the Tokyo-based company. The first was Victoria-state-based Henley Properties Group, which sold 2,151 homes last fiscal year. Wisdom supplies about 400 mainly built-to-order homes a year in New South Wales, which includes Sydney. As housing demand rises with the population in the southeastern state, lots are shrinking to fit increasingly scarce residential land. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Creativity takes root with salvaged elm trees

Trees cut down due to Dutch elm disease being offered a second life as instruments, jewellery and furniture
CBC News
July 29, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Some Islands artisans and businesses are taking a part of Charlottetown’s heritage and giving it new life. In 2015, about 300 of Charlottetown’s elm trees had to be cut down, in an attempt to help stop the spread of Dutch elm disease. Now, treated wood from those trees is being used across the Island. Instrument maker Adam Marsh Johnston said, once he heard that wood from the diseased elm trees would be available, he got to work finding some right away. He says so far, working with it has been an adventure. “It’s very easy to bend,” he said, “but on the other hand, is a bit of a nightmare because it’s a very open pored wood so it just drinks up the lacquer. I keep putting it on and it keeps sucking it up, and I’m working hard to get a nice level finish on the wood.”

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TV Show Profiles “World’s Greatest Wood Treater”

Building-Products.com
July 28, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Madison Wood Preservers, Madison, Va., is being profiled on the TV show World’s Greatest! “They have the world’s largest wood treating facility in terms of physical size and treating capacity—180,000 sq. ft., capable of treating over 1 million bd. ft. of lumber in a single day,” said Gordon Freeman, executive producer of the show. “That’s what leaders do, they pioneer, grow and lead. We think their story will be meaningful as well as educational to our viewers.” As part of the show, the production company, How2Media, sent a film crew to spend time at the company’s facilities in Madison to see the state-of-the-art controls and attention to detail that illustrate why Madison Wood was selected as the best in their category.

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Developer of Golden Valley apartment fires contractor over lumber issue

By Jim Buchta
Minneapolis Star Tribune
July 29, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The developer of one of four Twin Cities apartment buildings suspected of being built with lumber that doesn’t meet state building codes has fired its general contractor. … “On Big-D’s watch, lumber that was not approved or code-compliant was used on the Hello Apartments project and Golden Villas LLC will not tolerate actions that create any risk for future tenants,” said Traci Tomas, chief manager of Golden Villas. …The issue emerged last month when building inspectors were notified that 2-by-6-inch and 2-by-8-inch wall studs that were being used for exterior framing on those four projects didn’t have the proper stamp showing that it was treated with a fire retardant material that’s required by state building codes.

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Handsome House XL is constructed almost entirely from cross-laminated timber

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
July 29, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Slovenian architecture firm SoNo Arhitekti completed a gorgeous modern home that’s stunning in its use of contrast and texture. Created for a large family of seven, the 410-square-meter House XL draws influences from both urban and rural settings in Slovenia. Its three symmetrical gabled roofs allude to the farmhouse vernacular, while its sleek black facade and sculptural timber cladding give the house a sophisticated urban vibe.

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London timber skyscraper concept looks to the future

By Korky Koroluk
Daily Commerical News
July 29, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The idea of a timber skyscraper gracing London’s skyline may have taken a step closer to reality earlier this year, when conceptual plans for an 80-storey, 300-metre tower were presented to the city’s mayor. Michael Ramage, of the University of Cambridge and Kevin Flanagan, a partner at PLP Architecture, presented the renderings to Boris Johnson, who at the time was still mayor of London. He has since been appointed British Foreign Secretary in a government re-organization. The renderings show a tall, slender timber-framed structure rising from an area known as the Barbican, a large residential complex designed and built in the 1960s and 70s. The conceptual proposals include creation of more than 1,000 new residential units in a mixed-use tower and mid-rise terraces. The tower would enclose a million square feet.

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The benefits of building all-wood developments

By Adrian Bishop
OPP Today
July 28, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Leading international architect C.F. Møller has won a contest to design an innovative urban area in Sweden made entirely from wood. C.F. Møller Architects and C.F. Møller Landscape, in cooperation with developer Slättö Förvaltning, won the task of designing a visionary residential quarter in central Örebro. CFMollerlongThe 18,000 square metre Örnsro Trästad (Örnsro Timber Town) aims to enrich the city by integrating nature into the urban landscape and create innovative buidings. …“For us, it is an obvious choice to choose solid wood for structure as well as façades of wood. In addition to contributing positively to the environment, wood gives us new opportunities to create innovative and value-creating architecture.”

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Assured offtake becomes key factor on German waste wood market

EUWID
July 28, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

While conditions on the German market for non-hazardous commercial wastes are difficult, the situation on the waste wood market is even bleaker. “Waste wood recovery capacity is a scant resource”, a market player summarised the situation at the end of July. The development of the last few months on the waste wood market thus continues unabated. At least in some regions, market experts speak of a waste management crisis. Others are taking a less dramatic view of the situation and “only” mention significant capacity shortages. The situation in the south and west of Germany especially for grade A IV waste wood appears to be notably more tense than in eastern and northern Germany.

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Eco-conscious Port Melbourne Football Club building shows off the beauty of sustainably sourced timber

By Lucy Wang
Inhabitat
July 29, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Australian firm k20 Architecture completed the handsome Port Melbourne Football Club Sporting and Community Facility as a shining example of how eco-conscious design can be a win-win for the environment and the local economy. Completed in Victoria, the timber-clad building was constructed using locally sourced and manufactured materials and assembled with local labor. The project’s eco-friendly design and energy-efficient systems earned the building a Sustainability category award at the 2015 National Australian Timber Design Awards. …CRI Green Label Plus-certified modular carpet tiles with 90% post-consumer content backing line the rooms and is complemented with low VOC-coated timber flooring.

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Forestry

Natural defences in trees may be attracting mountain pine beetles

Professor Mary Reid’s studies show ecological impact of pine beetle outbreak may not be as severe as once feared
University of Calgary
July 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the mountain pine beetle season gets into full swing, researchers at the University of Calgary are trying to figure out what makes the insect tick. The current mountain pine beetle outbreak started in British Columbia in the early 1990s and crossed into Alberta in 2006 causing serious impact on commercial lodgepole pine. Recently, the insect has been spreading further east and north, now almost reaching the 60th parallel. While the outbreak is waning in B.C., here, impact has been most visible around Jasper and West-Central Alberta, where researchers are seeing healthy populations of mountain pine beetles.

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Congressman Zinke spends a morning with Forest Service in Rattlesnake

by KASEY BUBNASH
The Missoulian
July 28, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Thursday-morning sunshine, paired with the scent of larch and ponderosa pine in Marshall Woods, had Congressman Ryan Zinke talking about spending every workday outside. “Don’t you wish being in the Forest Service meant always being in the forest?” Zinke, R-Mont., asked a ranger with a laugh. The Marshall Woods, part of the Lolo National Forest, are included in the U.S. Forest Service’s effort to restore 13,000 acres of forest around Missoula by enhancing recreation opportunities, doing road and trail work, managing vegetation, thinning and burning the trees, and treating noxious weeds. Lolo National Forest Supervisor Tim Garcia said when Zinke asked if he could go on a field trip with the Forest Service, Garcia thought the wilderness surrounding the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area would be perfect.

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Youth Forest Monitoring Program helps guide management decisions

By Thom Bridge
Helena Independent Record
July 28, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

After more than six weeks collecting data on forest ecology, local high school students presented their findings to officials from the Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest and community members Thursday morning. Now in its 19th year, the Youth Forest Monitoring Program (YFMP) takes high school students into the forest to monitor four main components: wildlife, streams, weeds and soils. The students monitor 45-50 sites in the national forest. “YFMP is an intensive, seven-week internship program for high school students,” Liz Burke, YFMP program leader, said. “In the program, these students explore forest ecology, discover a variety of natural resource careers, take part in stewardship projects, and supplement ongoing forest health analysis through strong, citizen-led forest monitoring.”

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Sierra Nevada giant sequoias respond to water stress with clever adaptations

BY Robert Kuo
The Sacramento Bee
July 28, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The leaves atop giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevada are better at storing water than those closer to the ground, an adaptation that may explain how their treetops are able to survive 300 feet in the air, researchers at American River College and Humboldt State University have found. “It can take over a week for water to get from the ground to the top of the tree,” says Alana Chin, who led the study and is an instructor at American River College. “When you’re that tall of a tree, you’re under tremendous water stress.” Chin and her colleagues used ropes to climb the trees and collect samples. They found that leaves higher up the tree have less surface area and more transfusion tissue compared to leaves near the trunk.

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Earth Notes: After a Fire, Chain Saws?

By Alexandra Murphy
KNAU.org
July 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Each summer, wildfire scorches western forests, leaving millions of charred trees in its wake. Often logging trucks are not far behind, moving in to harvest the dead trees. While salvage logging can help recoup economic value from dead trees, the practice exacts an ecological cost. Even in fire-adapted forests, like the ponderosa pine forests here in the Southwest, high-intensity fire usually increases soil erosion by burning off ground cover and reducing the soil’s capacity to absorb water. … A recent study helped quantify the cumulative impacts of salvage logging. Observing both logged and unlogged burned forests for nine years, Joseph Wagenbrenner of Michigan Technological University and his research team found 10 to 100 times more stream sedimentation in salvage-logged sites, along with reduced rates of vegetation regrowth.

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Bad plan, Forest Service

Letter by Les Hahn
The Spokesman Review
July 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Recently, the Forest Service drafted a new plan that would drastically alter the management of the Colville National Forest. The plan doesn’t provide any new tools or ideas to address the current restoration needs of our forest, would severely limit the amount of timber available for commercial harvesting, and continues the failed policies of ignoring forest restoration after catastrophic fire. Sustainable timber harvesting within Colville is broadly supported by local communities and collaborative groups representing diverse interests. However, the plan ignores both this public support and their duty to get work done on the ground.

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Cone overloads snapping firs, creating alerts

By Brian Walker
Coeur d’Alene Press
July 28, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COEUR d’ALENE — A different type of danger has arrived in North Idaho forests this summer — grand fir trees snapping because of big cone loads at the top. The phenomenon, believed by U.S. Forest Service officials to have been created by the weather extremes of last summer’s drought and the November windstorm stressed trees, has prompted a public safety warning from the agency. “We are concerned that these large mass of cones and limbs can cause serious injury or death and so we wish to remind forest visitors to be alert in the forest and make sure they are aware what’s going on in the trees above them,” said Shoshana Cooper, public affairs officer with the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. Cooper said the Forest Service has received many reports from forest visitors about the toppling tree tops.

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Con: Timber does Washington good

by Todd Myers, director of the Center for the Environment at Washington Policy Center.
Crosscut
July 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

During the time I worked at the state Department of Natural Resources, a meeting with members of the Washington Environmental Council stood out. They demanded a number of changes to the rules regarding timber harvests.  After they went through their list, a question occurred to me. Science-based, modern timber harvest planning is informed by the ancient pattern fire once played in forests, providing a range of natural habitat types from clearings to old growth. The balance of that habitat is important to ensure that all animals can find habitat for living, traveling and foraging. Based on that science, I asked my question – how would the changes they demanded impact that balance of habitat? After a pause, they answered “We don’t know.” Not understanding how your proposals impact ecosystem science is like giving an Uber driver street directions without knowing where you want to go.

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Sen. Lisa Murkowski stops in Wrangell for meet & greet

By Aaron Bolton
KSTK News
July 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski is campaigning for reelection to the U.S. Senate. Murkowski is making stops across Southeast to meet with constituents and stopped in Wrangell Wednesday for a meet and greet. KSTK’s Aaron Bolton met with Murkowski after Wednesday’s event. …The chief of the Forest Service believes that is feasible. There is an awful lot of people who are out in the woods everyday who say that is not feasible. That is too accelerated. That is why a complete inventory is not only appropriate, it’s necessary. That is why we need to understand where we are in terms of volume, in terms in just kind of a lifecycle of these trees. We recognize that we are transitioning to second-growth harvest, but we also need to make sure the transition plan is based on real facts, real science, real data and that’s what we’re doing.

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Forest Service doesn’t dispute yield numbers, but notes other factors at play

By Chris Peterson
Hungry Horse News
July 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Forest Service doesn’t dispute industry numbers that say it could sustainably harvest more trees on the Flathead National Forest, but managers note there are several limiting factors in increasing timber yields. In a meeting last week with the Hungry Horse News, Forest planner Joe Krueger and vegetation specialist Heidi Treschel explained how the Flathead will formulate its sustainable yield in the future as it works on a new Forest plan. The draft plan has four separate alternatives, A, B, C and D. Subtract wilderness lands and inventoried roadless areas and the Forest Service has a timber base of about 500,000 acres, save for alternative C, which calls for more wilderness, dropping the timber base to 317,300 acres.

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Preserving forest lands is vital

By Ken Perrotte
Fredericksburg
July 27, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…Old growth, closed treetop canopy forests may be fun to wander through on a warm day, but darn little wildlife can live there, at least not for the duration of their lives. Almost all species of wildlife benefit from active forest management and the creation of stands of habitat in close proximity that are in various stages of maturity. Properly managing forest lands, whether hardwoods or pines, takes some planning and effort, especially if you’re trying to boost mast crops needed by wildlife or working to prevent non-desirable species from taking over your land.

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Forest restoration gets a cutting edge

Eco-business
July 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Research by scientists from the UK and Tanzania has revealed that assisted ecological restoration can lead to dramatic increases in growth of new and established trees – helping to mitigate climate change and boost biodiversity. All that is required, they say, is effective control of lianas, the fast-growing, woody climbing vines that, left to their own devices, quickly take over forest in which most or all of the merchantable timber has been cut, and crowd out emerging tree seedlings.  Trials carried out over five years in Tanzania’s Magombera forest – one of the world’s most threatened habitats – compared tree growth on plots where lianas were left undisturbed with those where they were cut back twice a year.

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Critically endangered swift parrot breeding ground in Tasmania illegally logged for firewood

ABC News, Australia
July 29, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A patch of forest at Buckland, in southern Tasmania, used as a breeding ground for the critically endangered swift parrot has been targeted by illegal wood cutters. People were discovered cutting down trees in the Crown land earlier this week by researcher Dejan Stojanovic from the Australian National University. “When I turned up on site, there was two cars worth of blokes standing around the base of one of my nest trees, and I could hear the chainsaws actually running out the window of my car when I arrived,” he said. The men quickly left, but Dr Stojanovic said the area had been repeatedly targeted.

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Wairarapa kids urging dads to come home safe

By Aroha Witinitara
The Dominion Post
July 28, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Wairarapa children are pitching in to make sure dads working in the forestry industry get home safely. As a part of their safety campaign, Juken New Zealand Ltd (JNL) recently ran a competition asking the children of workers to come up with safety slogans. Nick Cusack, father of competition runners-up Sophie and Charlotte Cusack, said the message had more value than they thought. “The slogans are a reminder to forestry employees to continue building on safety awareness culture and, most importantly, arrive home safely to their families every day.”

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Forest Fires

California coastline wildfire is big and getting bigger

By Terence Chea and Janie Har?
Associated Press in The Washington Post
July 29, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

BIG SUR, Calif. — A wildfire burning along California’s Big Sur coastline keeps growing a week after it broke out, and looks to be a problem for the scenic region for weeks to come. Anxious residents driven from their homes awaited word on their properties and popular parks and trails closed at the height of tourist season because of the blaze, one of several large fires burning across western states. As of Thursday, the blaze spanned 42 square miles (109 square kilometers) and was only 10 percent contained. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection estimated it will take until the end of August to extinguish it. “Every day the fire is gaining ground on us,” Cal Fire Battalion Chief Robert Fish said. It has destroyed at least 34 homes and put at least 2,000 homes and other buildings at risk.

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Progress Made Against Wildfire North of L.A., While Big Sur Blaze Grows

by Jon Schuppe and Phil Helsel
NBC News
July 28, 2016
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

Firefighters have made a lot of progress in beating back a huge wildfire that has been raging outside Los Angeles since Friday. But farther north, another blaze continued to grow amid high temperatures, fire officials said. The so-called Sand fire in the Angeles National Forest north of L.A. remains massive: over 38,000 acres and counting, officials said. But it is now 65 percent contained — up from 25 percent on Tuesday. More than 2,700 firefighters and other personnel are still working on it. Their efforts have been helped by diminished winds, which slowed the fire’s growth, officials said. …Meanwhile, California firefighters on Thursday were continuing to battle another large fire near Big Sur, which grew Thursday. Around 2,000 structures are threatened by the blaze.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biomass projects get $1-M

Winnipeg Sun
July 28, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The government is offering $500,000 to get Manitoba businesses off coal. The province and federal governments are teaming up to offer $1 million for clean-fuel funding, including $500,000 in grants for applied research projects that support the growth of Manitoba’s biomass industry. The maximum grant for coal users or current biomass manufacturers is $50,000, and can go to projects that use agricultural residue (wheat and flax straw), forestry residues (wood chips or salvaged timber) or and biomass crops such as switchgrass, willow and poplar instead. Another $500,000 is available for applied research projects that support the growth of the biomass industry.

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Forest industry arguments based on pseudo-science

By Scott Peterson, executive director, Checks and Balances Project
The Hill
July 28, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

David Tenny of the powerful National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) and three other forest industry lobbyists recently published a post on The Hill’s Contributors blog (“Congress must act on bioenergy,” July 8) that defies established science and logic. If the legislation they promote were to be signed into law, it would send a terrible signal internationally, just as the U.S. is trying to persuade other countries to protect their forests. Tenny and his associates claim that they’re just talking about using “leftovers from the manufacturing process — along with wood lost due to insects, disease and fire” as fuel. But if that’s true, why do they need legislation that declares harvesting and burning trees to be carbon neutral? The fact is, Tenny and his allies are pushing industrial-scale tree-burning to generate electricity. …This “principle” opposes basic laws of physics. Burning adds carbon to the atmosphere.

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