Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 11, 2016

Business & Politics

Canada, U.S. poised to reignite softwood lumber war

By Barrie McKenna
Globe and Mail
October 9, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canada and the United States are about to find themselves in a very familiar place – quarrelling over softwood lumber. The U.S. lumber industry will be in a legal position to file a potentially damaging trade case against Canada at midnight Oct. 12, when a decade-long truce between the countries ends. If the United States launches a challenge – as widely expected – Canada and the United States will be locked in a lumber trade war for the fifth time since the 1980s. A lot is at stake. Canada exported $6-billion worth of lumber to the United States in 2015 and it’s on pace to do much better this year. Through August, exports totalled $5-billion, up nearly 27 per cent from the same period in 2015, buoyed by a cheaper Canadian dollar, a strong U.S. housing industry and the expiry of an export control regime that ended the last dispute in 2006.

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American ‘turnaround’ company eyes Tolko paper mill in The Pas

By Sean Kavanagh
CBC News
October 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

CBC News has learned the name of the company behind a letter of intent to buy the Tolko paper mill in The Pas, Man. Sources familiar with negotiations on the possible purchase say New York-based American Industrial Acquisition Corporation (AIAC) is the company interested in buying the plant. The company is privately held and does not publish its financial statements or balance sheets. According to AIAC’s LinkedIn profile, the company is “founded on the principal (sic) of acquiring under-performing companies and helping those companies to survive and thrive.”

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Canada’s Trudeau Confident Nafta Trade Deal Will Survive

By Dow Jones Business News
Nasdaq
October 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

OTTAWA—Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Friday he is confident the next U.S. president will realize the importance of keeping intact the North American Free Trade Agreement. “There will always be people that will point to certain changes and challenges, and make causal correlations and blame, but the fact is trade is important,” Mr. Trudeau said at a Thomson Reuters event in Toronto. His comments on the trade deal between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico come amid heightened antitrade rhetoric during the U.S. presidential campaign. …Mr. Trudeau’s optimism is in contrast to previous warnings from Canadian officials.

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Vaagen switches to big hauling company

by Kathleen Saylors
Bounary Creek Times
October 6, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

After news came out on social media last week that the Vaagen Brothers mill in Midway would be moving from using independent contractors to a provincial company, it is clear the change will impact local owner/operators of trucking companies in the Boundary area. One local, who owns and operates Sun Rider Ranch with his father, said he is drastically impacted by the change. He can no longer work in the area, after he said he received only a day’s notice from Vaagen. He asked that the name of his company be used in lieu of his personal name, as he doesn’t want to jeopardize a chance at a future job.

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The U.S. and Canada are Gearing Up for the Next Battle in the “Softwood Lumber Wars”

By John Collins
In These Times
October 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

As the subject of international trade deals dominates the presidential race, a long-standing dispute between the U.S. and Canadian lumber industries is also heating up (again). The so-called “softwood lumber wars”—disputes over allegations that Canadian lumber subsidies unfairly undercut our domestic logging industry and create an inability to compete—have been on and off again since the early 1980s. The Squamish Chief, a local newspaper in British Columbia, recently referred to the perennial disagreement as “the largest, longest-lasting and most complex trade dispute in the history of Canada-U.S. relations.”

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Weyerhaeuser struts stuff in new Pioneer Square headquarters

By Daniel Demay
KOMO News
October 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE – Timber and forest products behemoth Weyerhaeuser has long been a major facet in the Pacific Northwest. Now it can count itself as yet another facet of the Seattle landscape, as the company celebrated the grand opening of its new headquarters building in Pioneer Square Monday afternoon. With company and city officials, members of the media were given a tour of the new space that incorporates a number of the company’s own products into what it described in a news release as a sustainable building. …A spokesman said the new building “reflects who Weyerhaeuser is and where they’re headed,” and the release notes the company is aiming to be the “premier timber, land and forest products company.”

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Blackduck’s Lundberg named Chairman of Northwestern Lumber Assoc.

Bemidji Poineer
October 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Golden Valley, MN – Daryl Lundberg, President of Northwoods Lumber Company was recently elected as Chairman of the Northwestern Lumber Association Board of Directors. His 30 years of experience and service in the lumber and building material industry will be an asset to the organization and its members. Lundberg has previously served as a Director and Vice Chairman of the NLA Board of Directors and on the Advisory Council for Orgill Distributions. Not only is Lundberg committed to the lumber and building material industry, but he is also active in his community serving as mayor of Blackduck, on the city council, on the Blackduck Area Development Corporation and the Blackduck Chamber of Commerce.

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$65 million sawmill announced for Demopolis

By William Thornton
AL.com
October 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Two Rivers Lumber Co. is planning a $65 million “state of the art” sawmill for Demopolis. According to an announcement today from Gov. Robert Bentley’s office, the mill will employ 55 people initially, and eventually 95. Construction is slated to begin next January, with mill production expected to start by next September. In a statement, Bentley said the project “perfectly aligns with the goals we’ve set to help rural Alabama.” This will be the first mill for Two Rivers Lumber, and is planned for just south of the convergence of the Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers. The mill will produce all sizes of Southern Yellow Pine dimensional lumber to be marketed throughout the country. Jay McElroy, a principal in the project, said planning began more than a year ago.

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Demopolis sawmill to create at least 55 jobs

By Angel Coker
Tuscaloosa News
October 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A new lumber company coming to Demopolis will create more jobs for West Alabama. Two Rivers Lumber Co. with its $65 million, state-of-the-art sawmill is expected to employ 55 people initially and eventually employ 95 people. Indirect jobs in the forest products industry are expected to expand and be created, too. The company is a new operation formed by two area businessmen — Roy Geiger, owner of Sumter Timber in Jefferson, and Jay McElroy, owner of McElroy Trucking in Cuba. This will be the company’s first mill, which will be south of where the Black Warrior and Tombigbee rivers meet. The mill will produce all sizes of Southern Yellow Pine dimensional lumber, which will be marketed throughout the U.S.

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Conifex Restoring Arkansas Mill

Building-Products
October 10, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Conifex Timber, Vancouver, B.C., is refurbishing the former Georgia-Pacific sawmill in El Dorado, Ar., hoping to begin production by the end of June 2017, according to site manager Robert Hanry. Hanry was plant manager when G-P shuttered the facility in 2008 and has been leading efforts to restart it ever since, including attempts to convet it to a wood pellet plant in late 2009. Conifex purchased the mill in summer 2015.

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Report details global softwood lumber price growth

Timber Trades Journal
October 7, 2016
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The upward trend of global softwood lumber prices is charted in the latest market update from Wood Resource Quarterly. Higher prices during the first six months of 2016 are due to higher demand and a weaker dollar. The report says the major importing countries have imported more lumber during the first six months, with few exceptions. Demand for softwood lumber in the US has expanded continually so far in 2016. During the first five months lumber consumption was 14.2% higher than during the same period in 2015. The increased demand was predominantly met with higher production by sawmills in the US South, a substantial rise in import volumes from Canada (up 40%) and incrementally more shipments from Europe, says Wood Resource Quarterly. Prices in the US reached their highest levels in August since early 2015.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Timber tall buildings feasible, solid wood an alternative to concrete: AEIC speaker

by Angela Stelmakowich
Canadian Underwriter
October 7, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

Advances in wood engineered products and fabrication have made the idea of constructing timber tall buildings feasible and a genuine alternative to concrete, Eric Karsh, principal of Equilibrium Consulting Inc., suggested Thursday during the 43rd Annual Engineering Insurance Conference in downtown Toronto. …“The idea of building 85-storey buildings out of wood until very recently was an idea that just appeared, quite frankly, ridiculous,” Karsh said. …So what has changed? “Timber has essentially become a high-tech material. In the same way that steel and concrete, over the last century, have developed decade after decade to become very sophisticated construction materials, wood has now become a very sophisticated construction material,” he pointed out.

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Oregon firms get national exposure for timber construction

by Jon Bell
Portland Business Journal
October 7, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Oregon’s efforts in cross-laminated timber and heavy timber construction are taking center stage at an exhibit at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. Known as Timber City, the exhibit is spotlighting the innovations in timber construction, including how strong, fire-resistant and sustainable the material actually is. The Oregon contingent on display includes CLT from D.R. Johnson Wood Innovations, the CLT manufacturing arm of Riddle, Ore., wood products company D.R. Johnson. D.R. Johnson is the first certified manufacturer of CLT in the U.S. Its panels were used in the construction of Lever Architecture’s Albina Yard, a 16,000-square-foot creative office building under construction in North Portland.

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Unadilla company wins national award

The Daily Star
October 8, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A family business that began more than a century ago in Unadilla received a national award this week. Unalam, which makes laminated wood structures, was presented with a 2016 Forest Stewardship Council Leadership Award on Wednesday at Greenbuild, the world’s largest green building event, which was held this year in Los Angeles. Craig Van Cott, Unalam’s president, and his son, Leif Van Cott, who
is vice president of operations, traveled to the West Coast to accept a
plaque for the honor during a ceremony at the Grammy Museum, they said.. …In the years since Unalam was initially certified, the company has supplied glulam made with FSC-certified lumber for more than 26 projects, adding up to more than $1.5 million and almost 300,000 board feet of lumber, according to Zoë O. van der Meulen, executive vice president of Unalam and Craig Van Cott’s daughter.

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Prefabricated timber apartments to boost Adelaide housing market, industry predicts

ABC News, Australia
October 11, 2016
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Timber-based prefabricated apartments being built in Adelaide could give momentum to the South Australian Government’s push for more inner city development, the Housing Industry Association (HIA) says. South Australia’s first wooden apartments are being built on King William Street in Kent Town by the Verde venture. About 620 tonnes of prefabricated cross-laminated timber panels have been imported from Austria and trucked from Port Adelaide to the inner city site. The building technique has been used in Europe for 30 years, but the project is just the second in Australia. Lead builder Andrew Morgan said it could be the start of a new wave of apartment developments.

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Forestry

Bat biologists in Yukon and B.C. brace for arrival of deadly white-nose syndrome

First bat with syndrome in western North America was discovered in March
CBC News
October 8, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Biologists on Canada’s western coast are bracing for the arrival of a deadly disease called white-nose syndrome in British Columbia and Yukon’s bats, but a number of mysteries mean the disease’s impact is still unclear. The disease, which causes white patches to grow on bats’ noses and wings, has killed more than six million bats in 28 U.S. states and five Canadian provinces since it was first discovered in eastern New York in the winter of 2006-2007. The first afflicted bat west of the Rocky Mountains was found in Washington in early March. Experts and biologists have held emergency meetings in British Columbia, preparing for the disease to arrive in full force.

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Employee recruitment focus of new B.C. forestry projects

Vernon Morning Star
October 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The provincial government has partnered with the B.C. Forest Safety Council and the Council of Forest Industries on two projects that will support the recruitment, identification and skills assessment of qualified workers. Victoria has invested more than $530,000, through the Sector Labour Market Partnership Program (LMP), to BCFSC to lead the Forest Sector Workforce Initiative Competency Standards Project and to COFI to lead the Forest Workforce Initiative Recruitment Project. “The B.C. forest industry is facing a demographic shift with up to 50 per cent of its skilled workforce retiring over the next 10 years,” said Susan Yurkovich, COFI president and CEO.

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Help make the world a better place: Why forestry is much more important than you think

By UBC Faculty of Forestry
Study International
October 9, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Over the years, Forestry has had to fight back against unreasonable negativity. But for all the naysayers and environmental pessimists, a little research will reveal that modern forestry is about much more than most people realize. At the University of British Columbia (UBC), one of the world’s foremost public universities, it is possible to study many different facets of modern forestry, from conservation to wood products to genomics, allowing students around the world to really make a difference to some of the most prominent threats currently facing humanity.

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Celebrating First Canadian SFI Award for North American Sustainability Initiative

Resolute Blog
October 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Each year, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) recognizes one of its state/provincial SFI Implementation Committees for exemplary performance in promoting responsible forestry and for member participation, community engagement and partnerships. The proud winner of the 2016 SFI Implementation Committee (SIC) Achievement Award is the Central Canada SFI Implementation Committee (CCSIC), led by our own Mike Maxfield, Ontario Certification Superintendent and Chair of the CCSIC. This is the first Canadian committee to win the award, an extraordinary achievement given the competition involves 34 SFI Implementation Committees across North America.

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One last chance to protest at the end of an era for the Tongass

Alaska Public Media
October 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The federal government is getting close to finalizing a plan that could shape the future of timber in the Tongass National Forest. Various stakeholders have given input through the years. But if the objection letters are any indication, several agencies and groups are still not content — for different reasons. Buck Lindekugel has been spending a lot of his time with maps. They’re color coded to show which areas of the Tongass are suitable for timber harvests. And which areas are prioritized for conservation….The agency is expected to finalize a plan for the national forest this winter. Lindekugel is the grassroots attorney for the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council or SEACC. And although the planning phase is almost over, the organization still has issues with what’s left of the table. Namely, so many old growth trees.

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Proposed settlement reached in Washington landslide suit

Associated Press in Canadian Business
October 10, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE – Attorneys representing the survivors and family members of people who died in a massive 2014 landslide north of Seattle have announced a proposed $50 million settlement with the state of Washington on the eve of a trial. The tentative pact was announced Sunday night. The state Attorney General’s Office did not immediately return messages from The Associated Press. The lawsuit was filed following the devastating March 22, 2014, Oso landslide, which wiped out a rural neighbourhood and killed 43 people. The victims or their families alleged that the state, Snohomish County or a company that logged above where the hillside collapsed have liability for worsening the damage or failing to warn about the danger.

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Judge approves class action status in $1.4 billion lawsuit

Albany Democrat Herald
October 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Linn County’s $1.4 billion breach-of-contract lawsuit against the Oregon Department of Forestry can move forward as a class action suit, Circuit Court Judge Daniel Murphy ruled this week. That means nearly 150 taxing districts will have the choice of remaining participants in the lawsuit, or opting out, Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist said. Litigants were informed of Murphy’s decision during a status conference call Tuesday, although the order had not been signed as of Thursday afternoon. Murphy said the class will include “Linn County and all other Oregon counties that conveyed forest lands to the State of Oregon pursuant” to state laws.

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First-time agreement between Nature Conservancy, National Forest allows timber dollars to stay in northern Wisconsin

WJFW
October 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

ARMSTRONG CREEK, LAKEWOOD – This year, the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest in northern Wisconsin sold 114 million board-feet of lumber. But most of the money from those timber sales went straight to the federal treasury, which means that money could be distributed to places far away from northern Wisconsin. In fact, the revenue could go to the Department of Defense or into the federal road budget. However, a new agreement will allow some local CNNF money to go to projects that benefit people in the Northwoods. CNNF timber program manager Karl Welch is used to managing timber sales on the National Forest, including on a 380-acre red pine stand in Forest County.

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Going batty: White Nose Syndrome added as threat to bats in Pennsylvania

By CHUCK ABRAHAM
The Bradford Era
October 6, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

KANE — With bat populations already down in the Commonwealth, state and federal biologists have now added White Nose Syndrome as a threat to bats across Pennsylvania. The new threat was the topic for discussion at Thursday’s Roach Bauer Forestry Forum held at the Kane Country Club on U.S. Route 6, east of the borough. Greg Turner, endangered mammal supervisor with the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s Bureau of Wildlife Management, is a nationally known expert on bats and bat biology. Turner explained there are nine breeding species of bats separated into two guilds: tree or migratory bats, and hibernating bats.

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Govt considering incentives to encourage forest planting

By Pattrick Smellie
Scoop Independent News
October 11, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The government is considering measures to further encourage more forestry planting as it examines whether locally grown forests will be cheaper than buying foreign carbon credits to meet its climate change targets. Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett told the Climate Change and Business Conference in Auckland that “how to get more trees in the ground” is a key part of its work on the supply of carbon credits into the country’s emissions trading scheme in the 2020s. Earlier this month, the government ratified the new global climate change deal agreed at the annual global conference in Paris last year, ahead of this year’s global meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, in December.

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More Forest Products in Indonesia Need to Get Certified: FSC

Jakarta Globe
October 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Jakarta. The local arm of Forest Stewardship Council, or FSC, an international NGO for responsible forest management, wants to introduce their certification scheme to more forest industry players. Activist have raised alarms bells over the issue of forest conservation in the country for a long time. So far, only 2 million hectares of forest areas in Indonesia have been FSC-certified. “FSC Indonesia needs to actively introduce the FSC certification scheme to forest product industry players to ensure production processes are environmentally friendly, responsible and from a traceable origin,” FSC Indonesia representative, Hartono Prabowo, said in a statement on Friday.

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Peru says Deforestation Slowing as it Beefs Up Laws, Sanctions

By Reuters
Voice of America News
October 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

LIMA — Deforestation in Peru has slowed since peaking at nearly 180,000 hectares (700 square miles) in 2014 when swaths of the Amazon were illegally cleared for oil palm plantations, the head of the country’s forest service said on Friday. Fabiola Munoz said tougher new laws and enforcement, including fines 700 percent higher and jail time for people who destroy primary forest, are helping Peru rein in deforestation. “People really used to think there would be no consequences,” Munoz told foreign media. “That’s changed.”

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PwC study: Romania’s forestry and wood processing industry performs below potential

By Georgeta Gheorghe
Business Review
October 7, 2016
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Romania’s forested areas available for exploitation decreased by 18 percent since 1990, despite the fact that at the end of 2015, the country’s wooded area was 6.86 million hectares, the highest level since 1929. In addition, Romania has the lowest productivity of the workforce in the EU. According to Bogdan Belciu, PwC Romania partner and author of a study on the wood forestry and processing industry, intelligent exploitation, forestation and investments in infrastructure would boost the potential of the sector and increase its contribution to the GDP.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Climate change found to double impact of forest fires

By Ivan Semeniuk
Globe and Mail
October 10, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Over the past 30 years, human-caused climate change has nearly doubled the amount of forest area lost to wildfires in the western United States, a new study has found. The result puts hard numbers to a growing hazard that experts say both Canada and the U.S. must prepare for as western forests across North America grow warmer and drier and increasingly spawn wildfires that cannot be contained. “Climate change is playing a substantial role in the variability of fire activity… and we expect that to continue into the future. The question is how are people going to respond to that,” said John Abatzoglou, a climatologist at the University of Idaho and lead author of the study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Climate change and carbon, they are connected

By Stephen Hume
Vancouver Sun
October 10, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States, Canada West

We’re going to revolutionize education by introducing software coding into British Columbia’s elementary classrooms. Yay! I’m all for stretching young minds with science and math. But in the longer run we might all benefit more if those who run the province returned to remedial math class and then use what they learn there to revisit the problem of global warming. Because the math doesn’t lie. What it predicts is scary. Glaciers (the planet’s fresh-water savings account) and arctic sea ice (a crucial regulator of global weather patterns) dwindle at alarming rates. Oceans acidify. Species are on the move seeking more hospitable habitats in the sea and on the land. So do humans. If Europe has problems with a million desperate refugees, how about 100 million?

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Climate Change Doubled the Size of Forest Fires in Western U.S., Study Says

By Justin Worland
Time Magazine
October 10, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

“No matter how hard we try, the fires are going to keep getting bigger”—Man-made climate change has doubled the total area burned by forest fires in the Western U.S. in the past three decades, according to new research. Damage from forest fires has risen dramatically in recent decades, with the total acres burned in the U.S. rising from 2.9 million in 1985 to 10.1 million in 2015, according to National Interagency Fire Center data. Suppression costs paid by the federal government now top $2 billion. Now a new study, published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, has found that a significant portion of the increase in land burned by forest fires can be attributed to man-made climate change.

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Study finds biomass harvesting techniques with minimal impacts

By USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station
Biomass Magazine
October 7, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

A set of newly published studies evaluated nearly 40 years of data on the impacts of biomass utilization on soil, tree, and plant recovery and found minimal impact using certain forest harvesting techniques. The experiments, initiated in 1974, were conducted by scientists from the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station on the Coram Experimental Forest, located in Northwestern Montana. In order to evaluate the ecological consequences of large-scale biomass harvesting, scientists implemented three different tree removal techniques on the landscape—group selection (remove small groups of trees), clearcut (remove all timber), and shelterwood (retain some trees for shade and structure)—all using cable logging.

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Govt plants seeds for more forest planting

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennet is hoping incentives will encourage forestry planting as the government looks at ways of meeting its international targets.
NZCity.co.nz
October 11, 2016
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The government is considering measures to further encourage more forestry planting as it examines whether locally grown forests will be cheaper than buying foreign carbon credits to meet its climate change targets. Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett told the Climate Change and Business Conference in Auckland that “how to get more trees in the ground” is a key part of its work on the supply of carbon credits into the country’s emissions trading scheme in the 2020s. Earlier this month, the government ratified the new global climate change deal agreed at the annual global conference in Paris last year, ahead of this year’s global meeting in Marrakech, Morocco, in December.

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