Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: September 26, 2016

Business & Politics

Province partners with BC First Nations Forestry Council

Merritt Herald
September 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The provincial government and BC First Nations Forestry Council (BCFNFC) have entered into a new labour market partnership to bring aboriginal communities together with forestry employers. The B.C. government has provided more than $80,000 through the Sector Labour Market Partnership Program, to the BCFNFC to lead the First Nations Regional Forestry Opportunity Studies Engagement project. The goal of the project is to bring together Aboriginal communities, forestry sector employers and other partners, including the Aboriginal Skills Employment Training Strategy, to identify the forestry labour demands and opportunities in various B.C. regions. The project is expected to finish in January 2017.

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Forest industry prosperous in tough times

The South Peace News
September 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Forestry and lumber businesses make the cut for a prosperous industry during the current economic downturn. High Prairie Forest Products continues to thrive since the parent company West Fraser Timber Co. bought the former Buchanan Lumber in April 2014. “It hasn’t affected us too much,” says Lee Barton, general manager. “We’ve just been forging ahead and we’ve been making it sustainable for the High Prairie plant. “Lumber prices are getting better, and our production is improving weekly and monthly and getting better all the time.” In October, HPFP plans to start up a new sorter/stack system in the saw mill to increase employee safety and production. “We’re very excited about that project’ it is the largest project we’ve done on site,” Barton says. A new weigh scale is also in progress.

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Potential Import Duties in 2017 Could Marginalize Many Canadian Sawmills

By Russ Taylor
Wood Markets
September 26, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After the expiry of the 9-year Softwood Lumber Agreement, Americans are still claiming that Canadian sawmills are subsidized by government timber pricing… The bottom line answer to any question about competitiveness is to compare sawmill margins (earnings on an EBITDA basis) from different producing regions to a specific market destination. “Our Q3-2016 analysis yields a similar answer to our other cost benchmarking surveys,” indicated Russ Taylor, President and author of the report. “Since 2008, the U.S. South has made the highest sawmilling margins in North America, and since 2002, the lowest margin region continues to be in Eastern Canada.” How the U.S. South region could have any claim any unfair advantage against Eastern Canada seems incomprehensible, but that is one take in the current chapter on the U.S. – Canada softwood lumber dispute.

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Tolko closure a shock

By Michael Potestio
Merritt Herald
September 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The decision to close the Tolko mill brought about reactions of shock and dismay as Merritt is losing its biggest employer in an industry that helped shape the town. “[It’s] devastating for the community,” said Merritt Mayor Neil Menard, adding that the announcement was unexpected. “A closure like that, it doesn’t just affect the 200 workers at the operation in town, it affects a whole bunch of other direct and indirect jobs in the community — loggers, the businesses in town — the whole bit,” he said. “I was as shocked as everyone else when I heard it,” said United Steelworkers Local 1417 president Marty Gibbons. A total of 203 people will be out of work when the lumber mill shuts down on December 16.

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Tolko draws mayor’s fury

Canadian Press in Castanet
September 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West


The mayor of Merritt says he’s angry about Tolko Industries’ decision to close a sawmill that employs 200 people in his community. Neil Menard says the company had set up a meeting with city officials last week but cancelled it, and now he knows why. …Menard says the city is in process of setting up meetings with cabinet ministers next week at the annual Union of B.C. Municipalities Convention. Forests Minister Steve Thomson says the province will send a transition team to Merritt to help the city look for other opportunities.

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Merritt mill closure latest in series of Interior setbacks going back 15 years

Kamloops This Week
September 24, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The planned closure of Tolko’s Merritt sawmill by the end of the year — throwing 200 workers out of a job — is the latest in 15 years of joblessness and permanent shutdowns in the Interior’s forest sector. Citing a lack of timber, Tolko Industries Ltd. announced this week it will close its Nicola Valley sawmill in December — a major job loss in the community of 8,000. The move will leave the city with just one sawmill, Aspen Planers, where it once had five. Marty Gibbons, president of Steelworkers Local 1-417, has seen closure of mills in Valemount, Clearwater, Louis Creek, Canoe, Merritt and Kamloops.

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Tolko mill closure robs tiny Merritt of a major employer and 200 jobs

by Susan Lazaruk
The Vancouver Sun
September 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 200 jobs will be lost when Tolko Industries shuts its Nicola Valley sawmill in Merritt in December because of a lack of lumber. “It’s a dark day for Merritt,” said Marty Gibbons, president of United Steelworkers Local 1417. “We’ve lost one of the two major employers in town.” He said the 203 workers will be out of work on Dec. 16. The average age of mill workers is early 40s to early 50s and the crew at Merritt is “pretty senior,” he said. “We’ll try to help them into pensions,” he said. And he will be working with the company to find other positions for the younger workers at the company’s other plants. Tolko has other mills in Armstrong, Vernon, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Kelowna, Kamloops and Lumby, and in other provinces. Gibbons said he the shutdown wasn’t market-driven but caused by a lack of supply of timber.

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Tolko announces closure of Merritt mill

Vernon Morning Star
September 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries announced Thursday it will permanently close its Merritt mill, effective Dec. 16, putting 203 people out of work. “Making the decision to close an operation is never easy,” Tolko president and CEO Brad Thorlakson said in a release. Thorlakson said a reduction in the annual allowable cut as a result of the completion of the pine beetle harvest led to a review of wood supply for all of Tolko Southern Interior operations. “Based on this review, we have determined there is not enough timber to supply all of our mills,” Thorlakson said. “This has resulted in the decision to permanently close our Nicola operation.” The closure of the mill will result in the removal of 250-million board feet of capacity from the lumber market.

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Union members to rally against TPP in uptown Saint John

Canada Newswire in Montreal Gazette
September 26, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

SAINT JOHN, NB – Unifor members are leading a rally against the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal on Monday to highlight the dangers of this deal to New Brunswickers and encourage conversations with local MPs. …”The TPP will no doubt impact jobs in both the Canadian forestry and dairy industries, important sectors for New Brunswick workers, including Unifor members,” said Lana Payne, Unifor Atlantic Regional Director. …”Any potential changes to our log export policies – even an opening of that door – should be reason for concern among Canada’s forestry workers and this is what the TPP allows for,” said Payne. “We know very well that processing is where the value-add comes from and what supports our economy and many of our New Brunswick communities. We can’t sign a deal that gives away good jobs for Atlantic Canadians.”

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Timber still a stalwart in Santiam Canyon

Statesman Journal
September 24, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

A quarter-century after the heated political battles over protections for Opal Creek, timber companies have adjusted to changes in the available resources as well as the markets. Investing, retooling and gauging various markets are more important for the Freres or the Frank companies today. Freres employs 480 workers with its veneer, plywood and trucking operations out of Mill City and Lyons. Franks employs 120 at its Mill City site. On a recent tour of the family’s veneer plant in Lyons, Rob Freres pointed to a towering overhead portal crane straddling and moving steadily over a mountain of raw logs. “My dad said if we go broke, we could sell Bungee jumps off that thing,” he said of the rigging, a $7 million investment back in 1993 designed to handle smaller logs but at a larger volume.

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McCabe: All hands on deck for Maine forest products industry

by Rep. Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan,
Kennebec Journal & Morning Sentinel
September 26, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

There’s no question about it. These are rough times for Maine’s forest products industry. We see the headlines about mill closures: East Millinocket, Lincoln, Old Town, Bucksport, Auburn and, closer to home, Madison. And biomass plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro have shut down while the remaining four remain at risk. Despite the hardships, the forest products industry remains vital to our economy, particularly in rural Maine. A report released this week projects that for 2016, its economic impact will be $8.5 billion and that it will employ 33,538 people — 14,563 of them in direct jobs. Though smaller than in past years, these figures show the importance of the industry to Maine’s economy.

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Domtar cuts 100 jobs as part of restructuring of North Carolina fluff pulp mill

Canadian Press in MetroNews
September 23, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

MONTREAL — Domtar is cutting about 100 positions at its mill in Plymouth, N.C., as it closes a pulp dryer and reduces production of fluff pulp used in diapers. The Quebec-based pulp and paper producer says the changes are part of a restructuring at the mill to be completed by mid-2017 that will see annual fluff pulp production decrease to about 380,000 tonnes from 470,000 tonnes. Domtar CEO John Williams says the changes will ensure the mill’s long-term success. In 2014, the company announced plans to spend US$160 million over two years to increase fluff pulp production at its Ashdown mill in Arkansas that would result in the elimination of about 142 jobs.

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Forestry projects to create local jobs

The Examiner
September 25, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

More than 55 jobs are expected to be created if a Northern Tasmanian wood pellet plant were to go ahead. A funding commitment of $250,000 was announced by the state government to complete a $5 million feasibility study into the viability of the project. If it were to proceed, the $115-145 million plantation fibre-only wood pellet plant would employ 25 full-time equivalent workers on site, and an estimated 30 jobs in raw material processing and supply. Minister for Resources Guy Barnett said the government was committed to rebuilding the forest industry which he believed was a key employer of Tasmanians. Pre-feasibility work has already been completed for the Northern plant project and Mr Barnett said it had the potential to open up a new export market for the state.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Three sustainable builds showcased

New Zealand Green Building Council
New Zealand Scoop
September 26, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada West, International

Three sustainable builds showcased in ratings announced for World Green Building Week. A central Auckland office building and a Northland kura kaupapa have achieved ‘New Zealand excellence’ Green Star ratings, and eight Housing New Zealand homes have achieved high Homestar ratings, in time to celebrate World Green Building Week 2016. World Green Building Week (September 26–October 2) is the flagship event of the world green building movement. Every year, events in dozens of countries highlight the many environmental, financial and social benefits of sustainable buildings. Celebrations in New Zealand are led by the New Zealand Green Building Council.

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Good wood draws crowds

By Jan Degrass
Coast Reporter
September 23, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

We on the Sunshine Coast love our wood. The Wood Expo, a one-day celebration of this natural resource, took place last Saturday and drew a constant flow of crowds to the Seaside Centre in Sechelt. It was organized by the Sunshine Coast Community Forest and the 22 exhibitors were all local folk who do the most interesting things with locally sourced wood. For example, Charly Mithrush is an artist, not a woodworker, but she has been incorporating her art into garden benches, and she will use waste cuts of wood from construction sites to apply encaustic, paint or inked paper wrap to embellish them. The Suncoast Woodcrafters Guild has also been creative.

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Tiny timber meditation pavilion in Italy reconnects people to nature

By Lucy Wong
Inhabitat
September 26, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

In 2014, a tiny nomadic pavilion popped up on the shores of Italy’s stunning Stelvio National Park, inviting visitors to get back in touch with nature as it moved throughout the landscape. The sculptural structure, named Riondolo, is a meditation pavilion designed by Milanese architect Giovanni Wegher. Constructed from timber, the mobile pavilion was created for easy assembly and disassembly and to encourage quiet introspection in nature.

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Design Options for Mid-Rise Timber Structures

By Andrew Heaton
Sourceable
September 26, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

From a design perspective, one of the most significant areas of opportunity which came out of changes to the National Construction Code in 2016 revolves around the enablement of mid-rise timber buildings under a deemed to satisfy (DTS) solution. With the new provisions having come into force in May this year, it is timely to look at what they mean and to examine some of considerations and options they raise. At the core of the provisions is a new clause (C1.13) which has been inserted into Volume 1 of the Code. Essentially, this enables class 2, 3 or 5 buildings of up to 25 metres of effective height to be constructed of ‘fire protected timber’ so long as sprinkler systems are installed throughout the building, insulation is non-combustible and cavity barriers are introduced.

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Forestry

VIPs take a Walk in the Rain at DEMO International

By Sandy McKellar
Tree Frog News
September 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

DEMO International 2016 was a hit with the local community, but it drew
more than just folks from Maple Ridge and BC. Walking the site, we heard
a myriad of languages spoken, from French to Spanish, to the down under
lilt of “Australian English”! The show opened on Thursday, September 22
to blue skies and sunshine, a perfect welcome to both the exhibitors
and delegates. Thousands lined up at the Albion Fair Grounds to hitch a
ride on the shuttles that ferried guests to the event. In fact, on day
one, more than 4,000 people arrived to walk the 3.2 km loop lined with
demonstrations and exhibitors.

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Creating utility corridors just makes sense

By Rick Brouwer, executive director of the Terrace-based Skeena Nass Centre for Innovation in Resource Economics
Terrace Standard
September 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Over the next couple of years, BC Hydro’s transmission line from Terrace to Kitimat is going to be replaced. But BC Hydro is not just changing the towers, they’re moving the line to a totally new place. This means that they’re clearing almost 350 hectares of forested land as they develop a whole new corridor. That’s a lot of trees to be cut. …Our forests are a great renewable resource, but not when they are permanently cleared. Perhaps the footprint of the clearing for the BC Hydro line could have been reduced by using part of the PTP corridor. Of course the pipeline and the transmission line can’t be on top of each other – flammable gas and electricity don’t mix well – but they almost certainly could have shared information (wildlife, fish, terrain, archaeological surveys) and infrastructure (access roads and bridges), and reduced the total cleared area (staging areas, temporary work spaces).

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Prince William and Kate to meet with First Nations, tour Central Coast region

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
September 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BELLA BELLA, B.C. – Prince William and his wife Kate will be surrounded by British Columbia’s natural beauty and experience indigenous culture on Monday with a trip to pristine rainforest in the Central Coast region. Visiting the renowned Great Bear Rainforest, among the largest intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world and home to the white kermode or spirit bear, the royal couple will dedicate the territory as part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy initiative. The initiative was launched in 2015 to create a network of forest conservation programs involving all 53 countries in the Commonwealth. As part of the network, regions can share ideas and innovations about forest conservation and receive global attention for their efforts.

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Canada’s Great Bear forest comes under Commonwealth canopy

By Patrick Wintour
The Guardian
September 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

An unlikely alliance of the Queen, Prince William, the Labour MP Frank Field, Commonwealth countries and Canadian ecologists join forces today to protect one of the largest coastal temperate rainforests in the world: the Great Bear rainforest along the central and west coast of British Columbia. Prince William is in the Canadian province for a weeklong visit and will announce on Monday that the forest will join an international network of forests designed to involve all 53 countries in the Commonwealth. The network of forests is part of the Queen’s Commonwealth Canopy (QCC), a forest conservation initiative launched in the monarch’s name at the Malta Commonwealth summit last year.

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Editorial: Victoria must intervene in renewed ‘war in the woods’

The Vancouver Sun
September 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s economy may be the strongest in the country right now, but the last thing it needs is to revisit the rancorous “War in the Woods” that convulsed the political landscape in the 1990s. Environmental activists spiked trees, damaged equipment, blockaded roads, sparked international boycotts, and were carted off to mass civil disobedience trials in numbers never before seen in Canada. Their opponents heaved rocks, waved nooses, adorned themselves with venomous T-shirts advocating that young female environmental protesters would benefit from being sexually assaulted, and on one occasion put on masks and rampaged through a camp at night menacing young people. So, recent events on the Sunshine Coast where protesters erected a flaming barricade to block access to a site above Roberts Creek at which a forest company is cutting old-growth timber adjacent to Mount Elphinstone Provincial Park are disturbing.

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Beyond white spruce: Restoring forests in P.E.I. National Park

‘Much of the new parkland had been used for agriculture’
CBC News
September 26, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Some students from UPEI pitched in this weekend on Robinsons Island in P.E.I. National Park to help restore the forest there to a more natural state. Twenty students enrolled in environmental studies and biology planted 400 trees as part of a restoration program with Parks Canada. Parks Canada spokeswoman Jennifer Stewart said the partnership with UPEI is part of an ongoing effort to restore the Acadian Forest on Robinsons Island…. “For the last few years, Parks Canada has been taking an active role in working to restore the Acadian forest, and one way we’re doing this is by planting native species that are currently missing from the landscape.”

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Women continue to play important role in USFS

by Susan Douglas, public affairs specialist, Bighorn National Forest
The Sheridan Press
September 22, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Women have played important roles in the U.S. Forest Service for more than 100 years. Considered the founder of environmental education in the Forest Service, Edith R. Mosher, was inspired by a branch from a peach tree. Mosher was an elementary school teacher in Michigan when a student brought the branch to school for a nature lesson. She regarded instruction about nature to be fundamental to child development and finding no classroom books to use, she resigned her teaching position and went to Washington, D.C., for a position with the USFS.

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Trees are dying in the Sierra but the forests aren’t

by Char Miller, professor of environmental analysis at Pomona College
Los Angeles Times
September 25, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The trees are dying. The forests are not.  This distinction is getting lost in all the angst over the tree die-off in the central Sierra, coastal ranges and other forests of California. Players ranging from the Forest Service to CalFire to Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other public officials are ignoring this key fact in their rush to do something, anything, about the dying trees. …Besides, dead trees are not bereft of life. They are essential to the survival of such cavity-nesting species as the endangered California spotted owl and the increasingly rare black-backed woodpecker. Ditto for the little-seen Pacific fisher, a forest-dweller related to the weasel whose diet in part consists of small mammals that take advantage of snag ecosystems.

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Guest Opinion: Timber sale opposition should be respectful

By Warren Merz
Mail Tribune
September 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It seems these days that just about any active forest management that the local Bureau of Land Management office pursues attracts criticism from multiple groups, organizations and/or local citizens. Criticism, of course, can be a good thing, particularly when it’s constructive and respectful. But based on what I’ve read and learned regarding the latest local BLM forest management project, criticism is being delivered under an entirely different set of rules of conduct. The project in question is called the Nedsbar Forest Management Project, which proposes to harvest timber and reduce fuel loads on 3,400 acres, about 7 percent of the total planning area. The goal of the project is to ensure sustainable forest production by managing the forests to improve conifer forest vigor and growth. These activities are necessary if we desire a healthy and resilient forest far into the future.

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Government keeps shutting things down

Letter by Bruce Many
The Daily Sentinel
September 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It’s never going to stop. Government and radical environmentalists just keep shutting down activities and lands. And we keep letting them. It started with logging. As a result, Western forests are now full of dead and dying trees and forest fires burn more acres and homes every year. Increasing numbers of people are evacuated. Carbon from people (vehicles/utilities) is terrible, but carbon-laden smoke from massive and numerous forest fires somehow poses no problems? It moved to mining. Mining, which supplies all the materials that farming and logging don’t, became an evil use of land. Now many of our mining jobs — including energy production — are overseas.

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Money does grow from trees for some Maine municipalities

Bangor Daily News
September 23, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


There was a time in the early years of Maine statehood that trees were the coin of the realm. “Town forests date back to the inception of this state,” said Jan Santerre, senior planner with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. “Towns devoted a parcel to the school, a parcel to the church and a third parcel to what would have been the ‘poor farm,’” Today, according to forest service data, more than 170 of Maine’s 500 municipalities own and manage more than 150,000 acres of forestland ranging in size from a few to thousands of acres. “I think it’s great there are still towns managing woodlots,” Santerre said. “By and large these towns recognize the importance of managing for revenue and for public access and recreation.”

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NEFA vs EPA: Logging and koalas

Bellingen Courier Sun
September 24, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The North East Forest Alliance has demanded a public apology from the Environment Protection Agency after it accused NEFA of making misleading statements regarding a recent EPA study that found that logging is bad for Koalas. …However, after these comments were printed by the Bellingen Shire Courier-Sun, the EPA responded saying it was “misleading information”: NEFA spokesperson, Dailan Pugh, said he categorically rejects the EPA’s assertion that any of his comments are misleading. “I am simply emphasizing the findings that they would rather ignore,” he said. “They should be alarmed, as their findings show that their current logging prescriptions are not working.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

UBC research reveals genetic patterns in trees for climate adaptation

By Anna Dimoff
CBC News
September 25, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Researchers from UBC have helped discover a pattern of genes in two coniferous trees that help them to rapidly adapt to changing climates. Sally Aitken, professor of Forest and Conservation Sciences at UBC, co-authored the study that found the same set of 47 genes in the lodgepole pine and interior spruce that allowed each species to adapt to colder, or warmer, climates. The goal of the team’s research was to understand the genetic differences in trees that are better adapted to certain temperatures and then put that information to work to improve reforestation efforts.

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Forests present challenge to carbon storage policy

By Tim Gray, Executive Director of Environmental Defence
Chronicle Journal
September 25, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada East, Canada

GLOBAL warming is already impacting ecosystems, economies and communities around the world. Here in Canada we’ve seen extreme weather lead to flooding and drought, damaged housing and public infrastructure, and creating conditions that spur massive forest fires and insect outbreaks. …A key emerging debate that connects the forests of Northern Ontario to corporate headquarters in Toronto, Montreal, and beyond centres on the inclusion of forests in the cap and trade system. At the heart of the matter is whether or not forests act, or will act, as carbon sinks or sources. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, a significant greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere through photosynthesis and store it in their roots, branches, leaves and trunks. A carbon sink absorbs more carbon than it gives off, while a carbon source emits more than it absorbs.

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Biomass Policy: States Doing Their Part

by Bob Cleaves, President, Biomass Power Association
Biomass Magazine
September 25, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

With Washington and the rest of the country focusing on the November elections, the Clean Power Plan stuck in the courts, and U.S. EPA’s Science Advisory Board unable to conclude its five-year odyssey on biogenic accounting, you would think that not much is happening to promote biomass energy. In fact, from Maine to California, states are embracing biomass energy through administrative and legislative actions. Take Maine as an example. More than 15 years ago, in a landmark decision, the Maine Public Utilities Commission ruled that a 50-MW biomass plant—now owned and operated by ReEnergy—could sell power to an adjacent sawmill (Stratton Lumber)—without being regulated as a local utility.

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