Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: February 8, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Stronger Than Steel, Able to Stop a Speeding Bullet—It’s Super Wood!

The Tree Frog Forestry News
February 8, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

A simple “densification process” can transform any type of wood into a material stronger than steel, and even some high-tech titanium alloys, according to Nature magazine. The Maryland researchers behind the claim say the compressed wood’s resistance is increased more than 10-fold, it can be molded into almost any shape and it’s moisture-resistant. Look out steel, concrete and plastic!

Names in today’s news include:

In other news: scientists are mapping the genome of giant redwoods; increased UV from ozone depletion can sterilize trees; and researchers at Columbia University confirm the link between climate change and wildfires.

Finally, Dunkin’ Donuts embraces paper cups and SFI, while a piece of WWII history is charted on Domtar’s Espanola mill wall.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

A man with a plan for the future: FPInnovations President and CEO carves out his vision

By Heather Lynch
The Paper Advance
February 6, 2018
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada

Stéphane Renou

Paper Advance sat down with Mr. Stéphane Renou, President and Chief Executive Officer of FPInnovations, to discuss his new role. Below are a few quotes from his response:

  • The forestry sector is at a critical juncture: there’s a thirst for innovation now more than ever. Developing innovation requires the desire to inno- vate along with an open mind to acquire new approaches from other industries and apply them in the forestry context to advance its particular needs. 
  • Over the next year, we will work closer with all our partners, improve efficiency and improve value creation as highlighted during the recent survey that FPInnovations launched in 2017.
  • FPInnovations is evolving and increasing its focus on developing the best innovation value proposition for the forest-based industry. We all need to evolve more rapidly to support a constantly changing world and its needs. This can only be achieved through collaboration within and outside of the industry.

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Froggy Foibles

A piece of history sits in the Domtar mill in Espanola

By Claude Sharma
CTV News
February 6, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada East, Canada

Inside Espanola’s biggest employer, Domtar Pulp and Paper Mill, sits a piece of history. It’s a map, painted on one of the walls by a prisoner of war who was held there during World War II. …According to former Espanola Historical Society President Tim Gallagher, the map was created by a man that was a navigator in the German Luftwaffe. The POW was also said to be a geography teacher and cartographer in civilian life. “Espanola Pulp and Paper Mill was abandoned because of lack of work at the time, so it was used as a holding place for captured prisoners of war, which were brought back from Great Britain.” said Gallagher.

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Business & Politics

Federal government open to helping newsprint producers: federal minister

The Canadian Press in The Chronicle Herald
February 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Jim Carr

MONTREAL — Federal Natural Resources Minister Jim Carr said Wednesday his government is ready to help the country’s newsprint industry after the U.S. Department of Commerce slapped a tariff on 25 Canadian paper plants. Carr told a conference on forest industry products that Canada will continue fighting at the World Trade Organization and during NAFTA renegotiations against the “unjust and unjustified” protectionist measures introduced by the U.S. …Carr said he was open to a global approach to help the newsprint producers, similar to what his government did for the softwood lumber industry, after the U.S. imposed duties on that sector in 2017. While he said he wasn’t opposed to offering new money to the newsprint industry, Carr said Ottawa was looking into diverting some of the $867 million already set aside for the softwood lumber producers.

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New Brunswick Premier cautiously optimistic U.S. will offer relief on softwood lumber

The Canadian Press in The Globe and Mail
February 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Brian Gallant and Paul LePage

New Brunswick’s premier says he remains cautiously optimistic the United States will provide his province with relief from hefty tariffs on softwood lumber exports. Brian Gallant and Maine Governor Paul LePage met with U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross Jr. in Washington Wednesday. It’s the third meeting Gallant has had with Ross in the last year. The U.S. Department of Commerce announced last November that New Brunswick softwood lumber producers, who had been exempt from U.S. tariffs in the past, will now have to pay 20.83 per cent duty, although producers in the rest of Atlantic Canada will be exempt. Forestry giant J.D. Irving will pay a lower rate – 9.92 per cent. Gallant says he’s confident New Brunswick can get rid of the tariffs through litigation, but says that could take years, and some mills can’t wait that long.

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Orr seeks to create mentorship program for Aboriginal youth

By Frank Peebles
Prince George Citizen
February 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Derek Orr

Derek Orr has always used his position to uplift local Aboriginal youth. …Orr became renowned across Canada for presiding as chief over the sustained economic strides taken by the McLeod Lake First Nation. …In modern times, Orr and his fellow leaders set up logging and construction companies that did booming business in natural resource projects large and small, while retaining a firm hand on environmental stewardship in relation to those projects. It was a prosperous balance that continues to this day. Orr stepped away from the chief’s title in June. He was hired immediately by Carrier Lumber to be their business development manager. …Orr is setting the stage to bring a version of the First Nations Natural Resources Youth Employment Program to Prince George and he has the backing of some powerful industrial interests to see it done. 

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Private Forest Land Owners Association Announces Appointment of Megan Hanacek as CEO

By Sue Handel
Private Forest Landowners Association
February 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Megan Hanacek

NANAIMO, BC, February 7, 2018 – The Private Forest Landowners Association (PFLA) Board of Directors is pleased to announce the appointment of Megan Hanacek as Chief Executive Officer, effective March 1, 2018. Megan has a Bachelor of Science, Biology from Simon Fraser University and a Diploma in Natural Resource Technology from BCIT. She is a Registered Professional Forester and a Registered Professional Biologist. Megan comes to the PFLA from her position as Forest Stewardship Specialist for the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals, and previously was Managing Director, Board Director and Vice President of the Association of Professional Biology of B.C.

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As cryptominers eye Quebec, forest companies see opportunity

By Allison Lampert
Reuters
February 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – At least two Canadian forestry companies are reviewing offers by cryptocurrency miners who want to lease excess mill space in Quebec, a province where electricity prices are among the lowest in North America. Resolute Forest Products and Fortress Global Enterprises said they have received interest from Canadian and foreign cryptominers, although both cautioned their talks are preliminary. “They want space and cheap power,” Chad Wasilenkoff, chief executive of British Columbia-based Fortress Global, said. U.S. miners are interested in space at the company’s Quebec dissolving pulp mill, he added. …Miners are looking at the pulp and paper industry because their facilities are already equipped to meet the needs of the energy-sapping cryptomining industry.

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Cross Laminated Timber Market Consumption will hit 1753 K Sq.m by 2022

By eMarketOrg.com
Digital Journal
February 8, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

According to this cross laminated timber market report, during past six years, global CLT sales increased from 723.7 K Sq.m in 2011 to 1090.3 K Sq.m in 2016, with an average increase rate of 8.54%. In the future, global consumption will continue to increase. By 2022, global cross laminated timber market consumption will be 1753.7 K Sq.m. Generally, there are two types of cross-laminated timber such as adhesive-bonded CLT and mechanically fastened CLT. Adhesive-bonded CLT is a common cross-laminated timber. In 2016, sales of adhesive-bonded CLT took a share of 91.38%. …Global major cross-laminated timber market production regions are Austria, Germany and other Europe region. Austria is the largest CLT producing country. Global consumption regions are also concentrated in Europe.

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AFPA and AWC jointly announce statements regarding EPA

Wood & Panel
February 1, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

American Forest & Paper Association President and CEO Donna Harman and American Wood Council President and CEO Robert Glowinski issued the following statement regarding the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) issuance of new guidance to reclassify certain major sources as area sources under the Clean Air Act: Donna Harman, President and CEO of AF&PA said, “For too long, the air permit process has been overly bureaucratic, slow and outdated, thereby causing unwarranted red tape, costs and delay for the regulated community. …We applaud EPA’s new guidance, which is faithful to the text of the Clean Air Act and will not only reduce unwarranted red tape but will remove disincentives to voluntary efforts and technical innovations that could reduce emissions.” …Robert Glowinski, President and CEO of AWC said, “Reforming the cumbersome environmental permit system is essential to reviving the competitiveness of U.S. manufacturing.”

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Sawmill Legislative Roundup: Year of the Farm Bill…or at least we hope

By Dana Lee Cole
TimberLine Magazine
February 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The House and Senate Agriculture Committees are putting pen to paper on the next Farm Bill because the current version expires this year. …The Hardwood Federation has been working hard with colleagues on a few key policy areas in the Farm Bill. Our highest priority is seeing that the Market Access and Foreign Market Development programs are authorized for another five years and fully funded. …We have also been active with the Forests in the Farm Bill Coalition on a couple of policy deliverables. One is the Timber Innovation Act, which would promote using wood to construct taller buildings. …Finally, we are working on a biomass energy proposal for inclusion in the Farm Bill which we think will help with our challenges dealing with sawmill residuals. 

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Trump’s Canadian lumber tax, and other reasons why wood prices are going up in Sioux Falls

By Patrick Anderson
The Argus Leader
February 7, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Trade squabbles between the United States and Canada could soon eat away at the bank account of Sioux Falls home buyers. It all comes down to wood prices which are climbing to new heights as homes continue to pop up around Sioux Falls’ outer rim. Lumber prices have surged in recent months for a myriad of reasons—including U.S.-Canada tensions. Prices climbed to record highs at the end of January and continued their ascent last week. …The price of imported softwood timber has increased 30 percent since last summer, according to the National Association of Home Builders. …Like other building materials, lumber prices have also been influenced by high demand and transportation problems caused by workforce shortages.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Dunkin’ Donuts to stop using foam cups by 2020, will use paper cups

By Ellanje Ferguson
MassLive.com
February 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Your morning cup of Dunkin’ will begin to look and feel a little different this spring as Dunkin’ Donuts plans to eliminate the use of polystyrene foam cups by 2020. This change will be occurring in Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants worldwide, “as part of its commitment to serve both people and the planet responsibly.”  The Massachusetts based coffee chain announced today that it will begin this process in spring 2018… According to a statement, the majority of Dunkin’ Donuts’ international markets are already using the paper cups and the move complements the brands commitments to have 80 percent of fiber-based consumer-facing packaging certified to the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Standard by the end of this year. 

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Soon, skyscrapers could be made of wood

By Andrew Masterson
Cosmos Magazine
February 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Wood has been employed as a building material for thousands of years, but in today’s world of office towers… its usefulness is distinctly limited. Now, however, US scientists have demonstrated a treatment method that could see it being used instead of steel girders in major building projects. …The US team, led by Jianwei Song from the University of Maryland has created a two-step process… [that] involves boiling it in a mixture of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulphite to partially remove lignin and hemicellulose. After this, the wood is put through a hot-rolling process, which causes what’s left of the cell walls to collapse. The result is a very dense form, characterised by tightly aligned cellulose nanofibres. The process works with any species of tree. As well as uses in the building industry, the scientists flag another potential application for their super-dense material – in the military.

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Stronger Than Steel, Able to Stop a Speeding Bullet—It’s Super Wood!

By Sid Perkins
Scientific American
February 8, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Some varieties of wood are renowned for their strength. But scientists say a simple and inexpensive new process can transform any type of wood into a material stronger than steel, and even some high-tech titanium alloys. …Liangbing Hu, a materials scientist at the University of Maryland, and his colleagues say they have come up with a better way to densify wood, which they report in the February 7 Nature. …The results are impressive. The team’s compressed wood is three times as dense as the untreated substance, Hu says, adding that its resistance to being ripped apart is increased more than 10-fold. It also can become about 50 times more resistant to compression and almost 20 times as stiff. The densified wood is also substantially harder, more scratch-resistant and more impact-resistant. It can be molded into almost any shape. Perhaps most importantly, the densified wood is also moisture-resistant.

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Drone footage reveals 10-storey timber atrium by Studio RHE

By Tom Ravenscroft
Dezeen Magazine
February 7, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Studio RHE has created a 10-storey engineered timber atrium at the heart of a London office building, as shown in this exclusive footage shot by Dezeen for the architecture firm. London-based Studio RHE renovated the Import Building for Trilogy Real Estate, as the first phase of the reinvention of the Republic complex in East India Quay. The building was fully updated, with amenities including bars, cafes and extensive outdoor terraces. However the most striking intervention is the new atrium. This structure was built using two types of engineered wood: glulam and cross-laminated timber.

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Forestry

Dual focus for upcoming forest technology conference

forestTECHX
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In early March, professional foresters and operations managers from Canada’s leading forest companies will be treated to an international selection of innovative systems for enhancing forest management and log values. ForestTECHX 2018 is an international forest technology conference running on March 6-7th in Richmond, BC. Program manager for ForestTECHX, John Stulen says, “Based on the feedback from our focus group for this conference we chose to cover technologies in two key areas – stand measurement and log value improvement.” “We then focused on forest measurement technologies that bring practical benefits to the practicing foresters out in the woods. Adding to that we have people whose log value enhancing systems are already delivering better log grades from harvesting operations.”

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Public land and wildlife continue to be destroyed, yet are absent from industry costs

By Bob Bancroft, Nature Nova Scotia
The Truro Daily
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Pulp companies use softwoods like spruce to manufacture paper products. They obtain leases to cut wood on Crown land, in forests owned by the public. The leases allow them to cut hardwood trees on Crown land. …Margins go up and margins go down, but one important aspect not factored into this equation as corporations adapt to profit, is the cost to wildlife. Animals are crushed under heavy equipment as they cower in their dens. Songbirds made their homes in these forests. They are nowhere on the financial statement. The cost to wildlife can be the ultimate price. …So what price is our elected government exacting from corporations that are converting public hardwood forests to chips? The provincial government may have a stated commitment to public transparency, yet the Details of Department of Natural Resources price agreements with PHP remain cloaked in secrecy.

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Oregon Wildlife Commission to Decide Fate of Threatened Seabird

Center for Biological Diversity
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND, Ore.— Responding to a petition from conservation groups, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will hold a public hearing this Friday and decide whether to increase state endangered species protections for the marbled murrelet by listing it as endangered. Its current status is threatened.  …The commission’s decision could have implications for forest protection on state and private timberlands. “The marbled murrelet has been listed as threatened under the Oregon Endangered Species Act for more than two decades and during that time it has slipped closer and closer to extinction in our state,” said Nick Cady, legal director at Cascadia Wildlands. “It’s critical that the state increase protections for this species right away if there is to be any hope of saving the Oregon population.” In response to a petition …the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife developed a status review to assess the murrelet’s condition.

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Shoshone forest moves ahead with logging along Yellowstone route

The Billings Gazette
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Shoshone National Forest’s newly appointed supervisor has green lighted a logging project along the road to Yellowstone National Park’s Northeast Entrance. The work is designed to lessen the chance that a western spruce budworm infestation will spread and to protect homes near the small community of Crandall, Wyoming, from wildland fires. Lisa Timchak, who just stepped into her new role with the forest on Jan. 7, signed off on the Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact for the Budworm Response Project. A 45-day objection period runs through March 23. The logging 30 miles northwest of Cody, Wyoming, along the Chief Joseph Scenic Byway will require the Forest Service to suspend its own rules for scenic objectives along about nine miles. 

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Montana senators’ dueling wilderness bills both get hearings

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A U.S. Forest Service official offered support to Sen. Jon Tester’s wilderness bill and Sen. Steve Daines’ wilderness study area removal act in a Capitol hearing on Wednesday. Both Montana senators presented their legislation before the Senate Subcommittee on Forests, Public Lands and Mining. Republican Daines’ S. 2206 would remove the WSA designation from five Forest Service areas totaling 449,500 acres, opening them for motorized use. Democrat Tester’s S. 507 would add 79,000 acres of wilderness along the southwestern corner of Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex as well as two recreation areas for snowmobile and mountain bike activity. Daines, who sits on the committee, welcomed Tester and Blackfoot outfitters Connie and Mack Long to the committee chambers before the testimony started. The Longs were attending to support Tester’s Blackfoot-Clearwater Stewardship Act.

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Lisa Murkowski, the #1 Anti-Public Land Lawmaker

By Jake Bullinger
The Outside Online
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Lisa Murkowski

As chair of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Alaska’s Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski often fights with U.S. Forest Service brass over management of the Tongass National Forest. She believes federal regulations are to blame for the lumber industry’s decline. …Three years later, Murkowski is still talking the Tongass. And as Congress faces another budget deal showdown this week, Murkowski is hoping to slide in her own special request. Her draft bill to fund the Forest Service would, among other things, nix an Obama-era plan to phase out old-growth logging there and would exempt Alaska from the so-called roadless rule, which could open 9.3 million acres of the largest temperate rainforest in the world to the lumber industry.

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Decoding the Redwoods

By Scott Wilson
The Washington Post
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…As California’s climate changes to one of extremes and humans continue to harvest, the only coast redwoods on the planet are in peril. The challenge to preserving them is here, in forests like this one — and so, scientists believe, is the key to a solution. For the first time, scientists are mapping the coast redwood’s genome, a genetic code 12 times larger than that of a human being. By the end of the year, scientists hope to have mapped the complete genome of the coast redwood and of the giant sequoia, a close cousin that also is among the tallest trees in the world, some reaching hundreds of feet high. …Knowing a tree’s genetic makeup, and how those traits fit into a larger stand of trees, will allow Burns and Richard Campbell, the league’s forestry program manager, to trust the choices they make in protecting and restoring redwood forests.

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Increased UV from ozone depletion sterilizes trees

By The University of California – Berkeley
EurekAlert
February 7, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jeff Benca

Pine trees become temporarily sterile when exposed to ultraviolet radiation as intense as some scientists believe the Earth experienced 252 million years ago during the planet’s largest mass extinction, lending support to the theory that ozone depletion contributed to the crisis. The effect of high UV on conifers and potentially other trees also suggests caution today in introducing chemicals that deplete Earth’s ozone layer, which has yet to recover after a global ban on chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants in the 1980s instituted after ozone holes developed over the poles. Some industrial chemicals also destroy atmospheric ozone, which is the planet’s sunscreen, protecting all life from excessive UV rays, in particular UV-B wavelengths, which causes mutations in DNA. Results of the experiment, which was conducted by University of California, Berkeley graduate student Jeffrey Benca, will be published in Science Advances.

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Former Administrator: State Park Logging Plan Numbers Don’t Add Up

By Dan Heyman
Public News Service
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The numbers in a plan to log West Virginia state parks don’t add up, according to a retired forester and administrator. Gov. Jim Justice is backing legislation designed to put money in the under-funded state park system through selective cutting. Robert Beanblossom retired regional administrator said the parks are just too small – with too many visitors – to yield enough timber to meet the governor’s revenue targets. “They would have to harvest approximately 4,187 acres a year,” Beanblossom said. “Even if that were possible, they would cut through all available land in about three or four years.” Supporters of the plan argue parts of the parks could be set aside for recreation or for logging. But Beanblossom said the parks are just one half of 1 percent of West Virginia’s woods.

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Modern forestry has to be judged on its merits

By Stuart Goodall, Confederation of Forest Industries
The Times
February 8, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Stuart Goodall

SCOTLAND — Forestry is entering a new age. Unfortunately, the reference points of our critics appear to remain the forestry practices of the past. It is vital that modern forestry is judged on its own merits. …Scotland’s largest new forest is reducing flood risks to a village that was inundated as recently as 2012. …About 15 years from now, trees will begin to be harvested, supplying sawmills and wood processors across Scotland, including Norbord, which employs 330 people just eight miles away at Cowie. …Although the benefits of new forests are massive, our ambitions are relatively modest. Scotland’s forest cover of 18 per cent is about half the European average. [May require sign-up]

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood pellet co-firing to resume in the Netherlands

By Gordon Murray
Wood Pellet Association of Canada
February 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, International

According to Argus Biomass Markets, Germany’s RWE expects to start co-firing biomass at its 600 MW coal-fired plant in the Netherlands by the end of this month. Argus reports that RWE plans to co-fire 50pc biomass at Amer 9, which will consume around 900,000 t/yr, and that further work will be carried out to increase co-firing to 80pc in the coming years. This is very good news for Canadian wood pellet exporters, who will be among the first to ship to this plant. Like many other affected stakeholders, the Wood Pellet Association of Canada (WPAC) has been participating in the Dutch biomass co-firing debate since 2014. WPAC has made repeated trips to the Netherlands to meet with the Dutch government, NGO’s, and electrical utilities. In 2016, WPAC also hosted a trip to B.C. for Dutch government officials to demonstrate the sustainability of Canada’s wood pellet supply chain.

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City of Yellowknife wins sustainability award for wood pellet heating system

By Jamie Malbeuf
CBC News
February 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Even before it’s up and running, the City of Yellowknife has won a sustainability award for its plan to reduce the city’s emissions with new wood pellet boilers. Yellowknife was recently awarded the 2018 Sustainable Communities Award in the energy category from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities — recognizing environmental initiatives in the community. Instead of using fossil fuels, the city will use the wood pellet system to heat five buildings — the multiplex, fieldhouse public works garage, city warehouse and firehall. It will be the biggest pellet heating system in the Northwest Territories. …The system is expected to start operating in March.

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Bioeconomy Conference Program Launches

Canadian Bioeconomy Conference and Exhibition
February 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Join us June 6 – 8th, 2018 in Prince George, British Columbia for the 8th Canadian Bioeconomy Conference and Exhibition. Over the three day conference, held at the centre of one of the largest biomass fibre baskets in the world, there will be many opportunities to learn more about the industry in BC as well as the latest global trends in fibre supply, sustainability, products, technology, policies and other drivers of the future bioeconomy. We’re pleased to announce the preliminary program is confirmed for the conference. We have a line-up of thought-leaders and insiders from bioenergy, biofuels, bioproducts and renewable energy sectors in North America and Europe.

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Pass Clean Energy Jobs bills to unleash business innovation

By Merritt Paulson, Portland Timbers
OregonLive.com
February 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

This legislative session, Oregon faces an enormous economic and environmental opportunity: the potential to cap and price carbon pollution. The proposed Clean Energy Jobs bills put a price on carbon pollution from the largest emitters in Oregon, and reinvest the proceeds into our economy and communities. …Oregon is in a prime position to create and trade the kinds of low-carbon technologies and materials that can help stem the tide of global climate change. We’re famous for our trees — the Timbers are named for them — and after all, they’re the best carbon removal technologies in the world. They’re also the source of a hot new building material, cross-laminated timber, which is replacing steel and concrete in states and countries that are serious about carbon reduction. But Oregon has to act now to reduce climate risk and to capture these economic opportunities.

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Scientists find strong link between climate change and wildfires

By Lauren Holland & Albert Kyi, Earth Institute, Columbia University
Phys.org
February 7, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Wildfires in western states have been increasing in number and severity over the past few decades. They cause severe destruction to property, sometimes harm or kill people, and cost a lot of money to local and state governments. One recent wildfire in the news, the Thomas Fire in California, has burned through more than 379 square miles and incurred damages greater than $110.2 million. Preventing these wildfires is of utmost importance to humans and to wildlife in the area, so scientists have begun trying to find what exactly is causing these fires. …What they found was that climate change has increased temperatures in the region, which in turn has dried much of the vegetation in western states. Once the vegetation has dried up, it acts as a fuel for many wildfires. …What the Columbia University scientists concluded is nothing new. Other scientists also agree with their opinions.

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Health & Safety

WorkSafeBC releases three-year strategy to reduce serious injuries in the forestry sector

WorkSafeBC
February 7, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Richmond B.C. — WorkSafeBC has released a new three-year plan to help employers reduce serious injuries in the forestry sector. The 2018-2020 Forestry High-Risk Strategy is a renewed three-year strategy for prevention activities in harvesting and related operations. “The intent of the forestry high-risk strategy is to implement focused and effective inspections in those areas of the timber harvesting sector that have the most risk to workers,” said Dan Strand, Director of Prevention Field Services for WorkSafeBC. …Identified high-risk work activities typically fall into five areas of timber harvesting… In addition to the five main areas, emergency-response planning has also been identified as a critical target area for the forestry high-risk strategy.

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