Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: January 30, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Canada to US: Give us a softwood deal and we may drop WTO case

The Tree Frog Forestry News
January 30, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

Although progress was reported by all parties in the Montreal round of NAFTA talks, US Trade Representative Lighthizer called Canada’s [separate] WTO complaint a “massive attack on the US system of international trade”. Not to be outdone, Canada’s Chrystia Freeland fired back, offering to drop the litigation on one condition: that the US “negotiate a softwood lumber deal.”

In other trade news, Trump’s tough talk on trade at Davos has investors rattled; US Democratic leader Schumer wants the trade decision on Canadian newsprint reversed; and the Motley Fool is recommending three Canadian companies (including Canfor) in the face of NAFTA risks.

Elsewhere: Police set up a tip line to find out who started BC’s largest forest fire in 2017; the TLA elected Mike Richardson as their new president, EACOM’s chief forester (Jennifer Tallman) is a trailblazer for women in forestry; and SFPA’s Erin Graham promotes “building to a higher standard” in the wake of recent catastrophic flooding.

Finally, Car and Driver Magazine says “carbon fibre from trees has the potential to wean carbon-fibre production off oil entirely”.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Schumer: Reverse harmful decision to NY newspapers

The Hudson Valley 360
January 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Chuck Schumer

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., is calling on the U.S. Department of Commerce to reverse its recent decision to impose duties on special paper from Canada used in newsprint. …“The bottom line is that this decision will have a huge and harmful impact on newspapers in every hometown across upstate New York, so the Department of Commerce should reconsider this decision,” Schumer said. “This decision is not supported by the domestic paper manufacturing industry, so Commerce should find a new way forward that does not place such an unfair and unwise burden on an already at-risk and extremely vital American industry that provides so many jobs and so much value to New Yorkers from one corner of the state to the other.”

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Trump administration’s tough talk on trade rattles investors

By Cory Schouten
CBS News – MoneyWatch
January 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The Trump administration’s tougher posture on global trade policy is ringing alarm bells on Wall Street. The immediate trigger for those concerns was President Donald Trump’s move… just days before his appearance at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Mr. Trump’s Treasury and Commerce secretaries added fuel to the fire at the annual confab by suggesting that additional measures could be on the horizon. The risk: Affected countries could retaliate with their own tariffs or other sanctions, setting the stage for a trade war that could mean higher prices for consumers and shrinking exports for U.S. manufacturers. …”We continue to believe the U.S. administration will want to avoid deterioration into a trade war,” Christian Keller, the head of economics research for the investment bank Barclays, said in a note. “However, the coming months will show whether this view could be too sanguine.”

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NAFTA talks progress but pace is too slow

By Vicki Needham
The Hill
January 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Robert Lighthizer

Trade leaders with the United States, Canada and Mexico said on Monday they made progress in updating the North America Free Trade Agreement as the sixth round of talks concluded in Montreal. U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer said the NAFTA discussions must move at a faster clip if the trading partners want to alleviate uncertainty and seal a deal. “Some real headway was made here today,” Lighthizer said. …Lighthizer torched Ottawa’s decision to file a a wide-ranging World Trade Organization case challenging U.S. antidumping and countervailing duty measures. …Freeland said she hoped the United States would come to the negotiating table on softwood lumber, which is a separate issue from the NAFTA talks. …Trump is expected to address trade in his State of the Union address on Tuesday night although it is unknown whether he will speak in broader terms or focus on the future of deals like NAFTA.

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Canada to U.S.: Give us a softwood deal and we may drop WTO case

The Canadian Press in CTV News
January 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

MONTREAL — The Canadian government has suggested it might drop its major international trade case against the U.S., if it gets a softwood lumber deal. Canada has filed a wide-ranging complaint to the World Trade Organization about the way the U.S. applies punitive tariffs, infuriating the Americans. U.S. trade czar Robert Lighthizer called it a “massive attack” on the American system of international trade. “If it were successful, it would lead to more Chinese imports into the United States and likely fewer Canadian goods being sold in our market,” he said Monday at the end of NAFTA talks in Montreal Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said the case is directly tied to softwood lumber, where the U.S. imposed duties.

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NAFTA talks set to continue as Canada and the U.S. trade barbs

By Tonda MacCharles and Allan Woods
The Toronto Star
January 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Robert Lighthizer

MONTREAL—Canada’s Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland… fixed her gaze on the back of the room as President Donald Trump’s crusty trade ambassador Robert Lighthizer took swipe after swipe at what he described as unacceptable Canadian trade positions. Then Freeland fired back. If the U.S. wanted to settle its differences on softwood lumber, or on any other points of dispute, it could come to the negotiating table and talk. …Freeland directly challenged Lighthizer on Monday to live up to what she later called his “rhetoric” and negotiate a deal. …Freeland admitted publicly for the first time what the Star reported earlier this month: that the WTO complaint is aimed squarely at the “unfair and punitive” duties Washington has levied against Canadian softwood lumber.Freeland then offered to drop the litigation on one condition: that the U.S. “negotiate a softwood lumber deal.”

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A peek at this year’s Council of Forest Industries Convention

By Tamar Atik
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Susan Yurkovich

The BC Council of Forest Industries (COFI) is in full swing preparing for its annual convention taking place this year from April 4-6 in Prince George, B.C. “The COFI Convention is the largest forestry event in Western Canada so it’s a place where we all get the opportunity to gather together, network and share ideas. Delegates will also hear from speakers and presenters on current issues and opportunities facing the industry,” said Susan Yurkovich, president and CEO of COFI.  Taking into account all that has occurred in the past year, Yurkovich said the conference will cover topics including softwood lumber and the Canada-U.S. relationship, the future of fibre supply, wildfire impacts, the impacts of beetle-wood and a look at the markets including U.S. and Asia – the latter of which is being pushed into more in light of recent events with Canada’s neighbour to the south.

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Truck Loggers Association Elects New President from Campbell River

Truck Loggers Association
January 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mike Richardson

Vancouver – Mike Richardson was elected President by the Truck Loggers Association membership at their AGM last week. With 42 years of experience in the forest industry, Richardson will represent TLA member interests to both government and industry. He is currently a partner in Tsibass Construction Ltd., a stump-to-dump logging contactor based out of Campbell River. However, he spent 14 years of his career working for both a major licensee and a First Nations licensee. “I’ve worn a few different hats over the years and I believe there is common ground that can be reached so all parties can be successful,” said Richardson. …Richardson has called Campbell River home for 37 years and that’s no surprise—Campbell River is the heartland of forestry on BC’s coast. “There are 100 TLA member companies based in Campbell River which is just over a fifth of our membership,” said Richardson. 

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Timeu Forest Products closed after buy out

The Barrhead Leader
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Spruceland Millworks has been acquired by Millar Western Forest Products and will be auctioned off later this year. The deal was made public with a press release issued Jan. 2 and Joshua Sawatzky, vice-president of Spruceland Millworks says all operations related to the company’s saw-mill in Fort Assiniboine have ceased. Spruceland Millworks acquired the mill, previously operated by Timeu Forest products, in 1991 and operated the facility until late 2017.“The mill will be auctioned off in its entirety sometime in the spring and we’ll eventually sell all of the land and equipment there as well,” Sawatzky said, adding the approximately 30 employees impacted by the closure were all offered jobs at Spruceland Millworks Acheson location.

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3 Currency-Sensitive Companies to Buy in the Face of NAFTA Risks

By Chris MacDonald
The Motley Fool
January 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With a number of Canadian industries highly sensitive to exchange rate movements, and changes in the CAD/USD exchange rate, investors attempting to value said companies in the face of NAFTA concerns certainly have a significant amount of homework to do. …Companies such as Canfor Corporation, with a similar revenue profile and heavy ties to the U.S. market for its softwood lumber products, will also benefit from a strengthening Canadian dollar. As the U.S. economy is expected to continue to improve, a stronger U.S. economy benefiting from the recent tax changes put in place by the Trump Administration would further the case that housing starts would continue to pick up steam, and Canadian softwood lumber producers would benefit in the near to medium term.

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Fortress Paper Announces Name Change to ‘Fortress Global Enterprises Inc.’

By Fortress Paper Ltd.
Cision
January 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Fortress Paper Ltd. is announcing that it has changed its name to “Fortress Global Enterprises Inc.”, effective January 29, 2018, in order to better reflect its existing business and future prospects. Chadwick Wasilenkoff, Chief Executive Officer of the Company, stated: “We are pleased to change the name of the Company to Fortress Global Enterprises Inc. to align our focus on global investment opportunities. With the recent sale of our Swiss security paper products business, we will now adopt a name that better reflects our Company’s global perspective while we continue to seek new opportunities to create shareholder value.”

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Botwood eyes wood chip project as biofuel plant bites dust

By Ryan Cooke
CBC News
January 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A U.K.-based company has set up shop in central Newfoundland with hopes of shipping wood fibres across the ocean and bringing hundreds of jobs to Botwood. Details of the proposal are emerging in the wake of news that an earlier proposal by a different company to set up a biofuel plant in the town will not go ahead. Bulk Logistics has set its sights on the 285,000 cubic metres of wood fibres once belonging to Abitibi, which fueled industry in Botwood for decades. If it can reach a deal for the timber rights, the company will use local sawmills to process the wood and send it to international markets, including a plant in Wales. …Sceviour said the company projects 300-plus jobs within three to five years.

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Take a look inside Amazon’s Spheres as they get set to open

By Matt Day
The Seattle Times
January 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Sitting on one of the half-dozen lounge chairs in a secluded spot nestled just under the four-story-high steel superstructure that caps Amazon’s glass-paneled Spheres, the feeling is like resting in a space capsule ready to launch. A short walk away, past a living wall of carnivorous Asian pitcher plants and Philippine rhododendrons, tables and chairs are set by beds of succulents. Downstairs, a wooden path circles the leafy canopy of a towering 49-year-old tree, stopping at a few meeting nooks. These different environments in the three connected domes convey the same sensation. You quickly forget you’re in a bustling office park downtown. For the building’s designers, that’s the point. Amazon’s Spheres, the centerpiece of the retail juggernaut’s $4 billion urban campus, will open to employees — and, in a limited fashion, to the public — next week, a milestone in a decadelong corporate growth spurt that has reshaped Seattle.

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NZ export log prices hit new record on strong Chinese demand

By Tina Morrison
Scoop Independent News
January 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand export log prices advanced to a new record, driven by continued strong demand from China, lower shipping rates and a favourable currency. The price for A-Grade export logs lifted to $131 a tonne from $129/t last month, marking the highest level since AgriHQ began collecting the data in 2008, according to the agricultural market specialist’s monthly survey of exporters, forest owners and saw millers. The average export price for pruned logs jumped to $176/t from $170/t last month and marking the highest level since July 2016, AgriHQ said. New Zealand is experiencing strong demand for logs from China, which has clamped down on the harvesting of its own forests and reduced tariffs on imported logs to meet demand in its local market.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Building code changes could raise housing costs in Saanich

By Wolf Depner
Victoria News
January 29, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Saanich is moving ahead with plans for a program that promises to reduce emissions responsible for climate change, but could also raise the net cost of housing. Council last week asked staff to consult with builders and others about implementing the second phase of implementing the B.C. Energy Step Code. The code consists out of five steps designed to improve the energy efficiency of new buildings with the stated goal of making all new buildings by 2032 net-zero energy ready. Net zero energy ready buildings are buildings that could (with additional measures) generate enough energy onsite to meet their own energy needs.

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Carbon Fiber from Plants Instead of Oil: Not Just Greener but Cheaper

By Bengt Halvorson
Car and Driver
January 29, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Carbon fiber is glamorous. …But it also has a dark side in that it’s by no means an eco-conscious material to produce. Carbon fiber’s large ecological footprint centers around the way in which acrylonitrile, the base material for commercial carbon fiber, is currently made: from petroleum, using a process that uses quite a bit of energy, requires an expensive catalyst, and yields hydrogen cyanide, a toxic byproduct. This also helps explain carbon fiber’s high price. …Fortunately, this issue is at the center of biomass research that aims to make significant cuts to costs and eventually to wean carbon-fiber production off oil entirely. …The research team estimates that, using cellulosic biomass (from wood, grasses, or even paper pulp) or starch-based sugars, it could lower the cost of making the base material to below $1 per pound.

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New ideas for wood: Replacing road salt, making a building (yes, that’s new)

By David Brooks
The Concord Monitor
January 29, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Considering that New Hampshire is smack dab in the middle of a region sometimes called the Saudi Arabia of biomass – i.e., we have lots of trees to sell – it’s a little weird that our logging and milling industries are struggling. The problem is that many of the industries that used to buy lumber and chipped wood are in decline. As a result, people are trying to find new uses for the trees we cut down and chop up. This column will look at two possibilities. One – replacing road salt – is kind of goofy but the other – replacing structural steel and concrete in mid-rise buildings – is drawing a serious attention.

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Southern Pine Industry Promotes Building to a Higher Standard

By Erin Graham, SFPA
Building Products Digest
January 30, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Erin Graham

As 2018 kicks off, another promising year lies ahead for southern pine lumber manufacturers. Robust homebuilding and remodeling activity continues, supporting high levels of lumber shipments at mills across the Southeast. Producers are well-equipped to deliver high-quality products, serving both domestic and international markets. That’s good news for lumber distributors and dealers. …The recent catastrophic flooding in Houston, along the Gulf Coast, and throughout Florida has renewed calls for building homes to a higher standard. The southern pine industry stands ready to help builders and homeowners with the information they need to build raised wood floor foundations. Satisfying the higher expectations of today’s homebuyer presents new challenges. Meeting these challenges begins with a raised wood floor foundation that reduces flood risk, enhances curb appeal and provides many other benefits.

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Forestry

New Vancouver Island University forestry program to start in Woss

By Hanna Petersen
North Island Gazette
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Woss will soon be home to a new Forestry Program. Sponsored by the BC Forest Safety Council and Vancouver Island University, the 12 week Fundamentals of Forestry – Harvesting Practices Program will begin April 16. The program consists of a combination of classroom and hands on training led by an Instructor with over 10 years of coastal harvesting experience. It is designed to provide new forestry workers with the foundational skills and knowledge required to work safely, productively and sustainably in a harvesting environment. The program content is based on competencies identified by the BC Forest Safety Council (BCFSC) and developed with Vancouver Island University.

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City to debate allowing nine-axle logging trucks within city limits

Monica Lamb-Yorski
The Williams Lake Tribune
January 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tom Hoffman

City council is weighing the options of permitting nine-axle logging trucks on roads within Williams Lake’s city limits. Staff has been working with Tolko Industries to review the possibility and is expected to discuss it at Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting. Tolko’s manager of external and stakeholder relations, Tom Hoffman, said industry has been advocating the use of nine-axle vehicles for five years and are already using 10-axle units in Alberta. “This isn’t rocket science, this is just bringing us into an equilibrium with other jurisdictions,” Hoffman said. …“Even though they haul more, there is a reduction so there’s less impact to the roads and with nine axles, instead of eight, there is more braking power,” Hoffman explained. “We also use less fuel per unit per payload.

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Police set up tip line to find source of B.C.’s largest forest fire in 2017

Canadian Press in Victoria Times Colonist
January 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

CLINTON, B.C. — RCMP say they’re looking for help in finding the source of a human caused wildfire that burned nearly 2,000 square kilometres of forest, brush and buildings in British Columbia last year. The so-called Elephant Hill fire started on July 6 near Ashcroft and was officially declared contained on Oct. 2. Police say in a news release they are continuing to investigate the cause of the fire and a dedicated tip line has been activated for anyone who may know how the flames started. It was the largest blaze in a record-breaking wildfire season in the province. Mounties had said in August that train traffic or maintenance connected with a nearby rail line were ruled out as being the cause of the blaze.

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Emerald ash borer to drill $105M hole in Winnipeg’s budget over 10 years

By Bartley Kives
CBC News
January 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The emerald ash borer is expected to take a $105-million bite out of the public purse as the invasive species lays waste to Winnipeg trees over the next decade. In a new report, Winnipeg’s public works department warns city council of ​the financial costs the city expects to incur in  order to deal with an insect that has the potential to kill all of the city’s 256,000 ash trees, including 101,000 on city property alone. Over 10 years, those costs include $22.5 million to remove 72,000 dead trees, $48 million to plant 65,000 new ones, and $19.5 million to protect 29,000 trees that stand a good chance of surviving the emerald ash borer, city forester Martha Barwinsky writes in the report to council’s parks, protection and community services committee.​

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Tallman setting a path for women in forestry

By Maija Hoggett
Timmins Today
January 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Jennifer Tallman

Jennifer Tallman didn’t set out to be a trailblazer for women in forestry. “I never really thought about that I was setting the path, but it just kind of turns out that way,” said Tallman, who is the first woman to serve as EACOM’s Chief Forester for Ontario. Working at the Timmins sawmill, she was appointed to the position in the fall. “It’s a really interesting role and especially as we’re going forward. EACOM is a fairly small company, we’re starting to grow, so some of the opportunities that I have is making sure that we have a really good team,” she said. …As Chief Forester, Tallman helps make sure the forest management plan for the areas EACOM is responsible for are being carried out. That means planning harvests, access points, renewing the forests after, liaising with First Nations partners and the general public, and more. 

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Newfoundland and Labrador’s Forestry Innovation Day

Newfoundland and Labrador Environmental Industry Association
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Save the Date for Newfoundland and Labrador’s Forestry Innovation Day on March 1, 2018 in Corner Brook, NL. The day includes two events: Bio-Economy Business Development Workshop—Featuring discussions on various new technologies available, current and upcoming research initiatives, and potential applications to develop NL’s bio-economy. And The Cutting Edge’ Dinner Meeting—Learn about the latest developments and trends in the forestry industry. This event is a must-not-miss for resource managers, woodlands personnel, contractors, truckers and all those involved in the industry!

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Tracking Forest Sustainability to Meet U.S. and International Goals

By Guy Robertson
US Department of Agriculture
January 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Sustaining the nation’s forests to provide lasting benefits to the people of the United States is at the core of the USDA Forest Service’s mission, and the agency is building the tools and data to support this mission. Specifically, Forest Service scientists actively monitor and assess the sustainability of the nation’s forests through the Sustainability Assessment Program, an effort that gathers and tracks information on forest conditions across the country. …Fortunately, we have a success story to tell. At the national level, forest area in the U.S. has remained remarkably stable over the last 50 years, and the amount of wood growing on these forests has increased considerably: over 20 percent since 1990. …We know this thanks to the forest inventory survey, a robust forest monitoring and assessment system maintained by the Forest Service for much of the last century. 

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Foresters’ Ball construction underway

By Kolby Kickingwoman
The Missoulian
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The day got started bright and early Monday morning for some forestry students, with the laying of the foundation for what will turn Schreiber Gym into an 1890s logging town for the 101st annual Foresters’ Ball. …”Of course a lot of people want to see it make it to the 100th (annual), but I think it’s really a lot to be said that we’ve made it passed that point and we’re still going,” said the 21-year-old resource conservation major. …The Foresters’ Ball began in 1915 as a scholarship fundraiser, and all proceeds from the logging town-themed dance go to a scholarship fund for students who put in at least 80 hours of work. 

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Forest conservation can have greater ecological impacts by allowing sustainable harvesting

By The University of Missouri-Columbia
Phys.Org
January 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Francisco Aguilar

New research at the University of Missouri has found that forest owners at greater risk of illegally cutting trees from their forests prefer to participate in conservation programs that allow sustainable timber harvesting. The findings of the study, conducted by Francisco Aguilar and Phillip Mohebalian, could be used to craft conservation contracts that are more likely to be accepted by forest owners and might succeed in preventing deforestation and forest degradation. …”Money has an effect, but it’s not everything,” said Aguilar, associate professor of forestry at the School of Natural Resources in MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. “We found that among high-risk forest owners, long-term contracts that allow sustainable timber harvesting are more agreeable. On the other hand, forest owners at lower risk preferred programs that have short-term contracts and offer greater financial incentives.”

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Novaterra (Brazil) and Planet Alpha (US) Ink Agreement to Urgently Address Deforestation in the Amazon

By Planet Alpha and Novaterra
Digital Journal
January 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. & RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil — Earth’s natural resources, particularly forests, are widely acknowledged to be under threat of destruction by deforestation. For example, new data for the Amazon show a surprising jump in deforestation of 27% trending higher relative to previous years. Novaterra (NT) and Planet Alpha Corp (PAC) will jointly develop projects in the Amazon to urgently address deforestation by linking directly measured carbon sequestration and reversal of deforestation to revenue. The approach is open to individuals, communities, large and small private companies, non-governmental agencies and governments. The goal of reversing deforestation should be achievable with tangible incentives for stakeholders. Novaterra specializes in remote sensing while PAC specializes in patented greenhouse gas (GHG) measurement-to-monetization field platforms.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Reducing wildfires preferable to ‘cap and invest’

By Nick Smith, Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities
The Register-Guard
January 30, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Oregon’s political leaders have prioritized passing an expensive and partisan “cap and invest” bill during the February legislative session as a way to “decarbonize” the state’s economy. The legislation is complex, raising questions about its effectiveness, about its effects on homegrown businesses and rural Oregonians, and about how millions in state revenue would be spent. Unfortunately, the proposal pays scant attention to the carbon emissions resulting from wildfires. Nor does it address how carbon can be sequestered in a way that creates jobs and helps adapt our forests to changing climate conditions. As an alternative to “cap and invest” the Legislature should consider House Bill 4109, a bipartisan bill that promotes carbon sequestration solutions that promise healthier forests, cleaner air and a stronger rural economy.

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