Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 15, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

US tariff on newsprint another blow for the Canadian forest sector

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 15, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The US Dept of Commerce ruled that some Canadian producers are dumping uncoated roundwood paper in the US. A smattering of responses:

  • Catalyst Paper is very disappointed (Ned Dwyer, Catalyst CEO)
  • Another blow for Canadian forestry (Alex Moreau, Montreal Economic Institute)
  • We will not be bullied (Bruce Ralston, BC Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology)
  • US publishers sound alarm, some will close (David Chavern, News Media Alliance)
  • Trade remedies are needed to level the playing field (Craig Anneberg, Norpac CEO)

Elsewhere in Business: BC log export restrictions are the big change in the softwood lumber dispute; an Ontario court awards $2.6 billion in the Sino-Forest fraud case; and the number of Canadian towns relying on forestry is down significantly.

In other news: wood frame construction is “under fire” due to Georgia’s wood bill; FSC approves the final draft of its National Forest Management Standard; the new USFS Chief calls for improved response to sexual misconduct; and the WA Nature Conservancy seeks to replicated old growth forests.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Ontario court awards $2.6-billion in Sino-Forest fraud case

By Mathew Miller
Reuters in the Globe and Mail
March 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, International

A Canadian court has awarded plaintiffs $2.63-billion in a civil case against Sino Forest Corp co-founder and CEO Allen Chan, a decision that’s certain to lead to more litigation over one of the biggest cases of securities fraud by a listed Chinese firm. Ontario Superior Court Justice Michael Penny… found that Chan engaged in fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligence. He awarded damages in the amount of $2.63-billion. He also awarded $5-million in punitive damages. …Sino-Forest, the failed timber firm, was a publicly traded company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, before short seller Muddy Waters LLC published a report in 2011 accusing the company of being a Ponzi scheme riddled with fraud, theft and undisclosed related-party transactions.

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Human Activity and the Environment: Forests in Canada

Statistics Canada
March 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

…The forest sector was a major economic driver for 105 communities across Canada in 2016, down from 463 in 2001, according to the latest release of the publication Human Activity and the Environment. These communities derived at least 20% of income from forest sector employment. Overall, the share of forest sector employment income generated by forest sector-based communities fell from 30% in 2000 to 11% in 2015. Increasingly, communities that receive a significant proportion of their income from the forest sector are smaller. …The overall contribution of the forest sector to Canada’s economy has declined since the mid-2000s, when it was hit by a decrease in demand for lumber, paper and newsprint following the collapse of the US housing market, as well as the rise of online media. The sector’s share of gross domestic product declined from 1.7% in 2007 to 1.2% in 2014.

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NAFTA exit would hurt Ontario, New Brunswick more than rest of Canada, Moody’s says

By Rajeshni Naidu-Ghelani
CBC News
March 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Provinces that rely heavily on NAFTA and cross-border activities would be harder hit than the Canadian economy as a whole should the free trade deal collapse, according to a new report from Moody’s. The ratings agency singled out New Brunswick and Ontario as having the highest exposure in terms of trade with NAFTA partners based on their “output and export mix.” …Meanwhile, Ontario exports more to the U.S. than any other province, largely because of its significant exposure to the manufacturing industry, including the auto sector. …While the end of NAFTA would be worse for Canada than for the U.S., Moody’s said, the impact on Canada’s overall economy would be “marginal” — although there would be winners and losers in terms of different industries and regions of each country.

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Commerce announces antidumping duties on Canadian groundwood paper

By Diane Wilson
The Newburgh Gazette
March 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON – The American government hit the Canadian forestry industry with more duties late Tuesday as it upheld counterveiling duties on Canadian newsprint. The News Media Alliance, a coalition of media organizations that includes approximately 2,000 newspapers in the USA and Canada, denounced the Commerce decision in a statement Tuesday. …The effects of the combined duties are expected to hit newspapers in smaller US communities especially hard. “Some small-market or rural newspapers, with slim margins, will close”, he said. This definition includes but is not limited to standard newsprint, high bright newsprint, directory paper, book publishing paper as well as printing and writing papers. It’s not much consolation that this is less than the nearly 55 per cent rate requested by the Washington-based North Pacific Paper Company.

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Commerce sides with Norpac in antidumping case

By Zack Hale
The Longview Daily News
March 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Craig Anneberg

In response to a trade petition filed by Norpac last summer, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced Tuesday that it will impose anti-dumping duties on uncoated groundwood paper from Canada. …A coalition of media organizations, including one that owns The Daily News, has warned that slapping tariffs on Canadian newsprint will threaten thousands of jobs in the publishing industry. And at least one Canadian paper analyst bashed the tariffs, calling the Commerce decision “shocking” and “bizarre.” However, Norpac maintains that trade remedies are needed to level the playing field. …“As we indicated in our petition, we have suspected that some Canadian producers were dumping uncoated groundwood papers in the U.S. markets — this has now been confirmed,” Norpac CEO Craig Anneberg said in a prepared statement.

 

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Newsprint: Another blow for the Canadian forestry sector

By the Montreal Economic Institute
Cision Newswire
March 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Alexander Moreau

MONTREAL – After softwood lumber and supercalendered paper, this time it’s newsprint and other printing paper that’s being hit by American protectionism. These new tariffs will penalize not only Canadian companies, but also American consumers. “The softwood lumber and supercalendered paper tariffs are already hurting the industry. The addition of antidumping duties on newsprint will be particularly detrimental to companies that produce all three,” points out Alexandre Moreau, Public Policy Analyst at the MEI. …”It will be the same story with newsprint. Our companies, but also American consumers, will pay the price for these protectionist measures. South of the border, publishers and printers who use our paper will have to pay more, and may proceed with layoffs to offset these costs,” explains Alexandre Moreau.

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US publishers sound alarm over Canadian newsprint tariffs

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
March 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The US newspaper industry is warning of pain ahead after the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed anti-dumping duties that resulted in tariffs totalling 28.69 per cent on most Canadian producers. “Newsprint is the highest expense item behind payroll,” News Media Alliance president David Chavern said in a statement on Wednesday. “Most newspapers will not be able to absorb these increased costs and will be forced to reduce page counts, reduce days of distribution, and/or move more information to digital platforms.” …The effects of the combined duties are expected to hit newspapers in smaller US communities especially hard. “Some small-market or rural newspapers, with slim margins, will close,” Mr. Chavern said. …Catalyst Paper’s combined tariff is 28.25 per cent… Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products rate is 4.42 per cent and Montreal-based Kruger must now pay 32.09 per cent.

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Catalyst Paper disappointed with anti-dumping duty

By Robert Barron
BC Local News
March 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst Paper, which owns the pulp and paper mill in Crofton, is disappointed with a recent decision by the U.S. Department of Commerce that will impose a large anti-dumping duty on the forest company. …“We are very disappointed with this decision,” says Ned Dwyer, Catalysts’s president and CEO. …Bruce Ralston, B.C.’s Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, said the province is “extremely disappointed” …saying, “We will not be bullied. We will not be pushed around. We will work closely with Catalyst and the federal government to fight this preliminary decision by the DOC, and demand that B.C. is treated fairly by its largest trading partner. People in B.C. can count on this government to fight for their jobs and their industries whenever they are threatened.” The Crofton mill employs more than 570 people, while Catalyst’s Powell River mill has almost 450 workers.

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B.C.’s Catalyst says anti-dumping duties could threaten business

Chek TV News
March 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ned Dwyer

The United States government is imposing more anti-dumping duties on Canadian newsprint, which could prove devastating for local mills. …Port Alberni’s mayor says the move could have a significant impact on the mill and the community. “Frankly I’m not surprised but it is a huge threat to Catalyst as a company,” Mayor Mike Ruttan said. “No company, including one as big as Catalyst, can sustain those kinds of losses month after month indefinitely. Catalyst issued a statement on Wednesday with President and CEO Ned Dwyer saying they are “disappointed with the decision.”…”They pose a threat to our competitiveness and the sustainability of our business and we will continue to vigorously defend ourselves against them.” …The department says it will make its final determination in the investigation in August.

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Statement from Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology on pulp and paper tariffs

By Ministry of Jobs, Trade and Technology
Government of British Columbia
March 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bruce Ralston

Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs, Trade and Technology, has issued the following statement, after a preliminary decision by the United States Department of Commerce to apply an anti-dumping duty of 22.16% on Catalyst Paper’s and Kruger Products’ uncoated groundwood paper exports to the United States. With preliminary countervailing duties already in place, Catalyst and Kruger are now facing combined duties of 28.25% and 32.09%, respectively. “Today, people working at Catalyst mills in Port Alberni, Powell River and Crofton are receiving the news of yet another unfair decision by the U.S. against B.C.’s newsprint industry, and their communities. “B.C. is extremely disappointed that the current U.S. administration has, once again, made the decision to impose unfair tariffs, this time on B.C. newsprint producers.

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B.C. log export restrictions the big change in softwood lumber dispute

By Brenda Swick
The Lawyer Daily
March 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Not only does the [softwood lumber] dispute continue to focus on the alleged subsidization of Canadian lumber producers through what is known as “stumpage” …, it now also embraces log export restrictions (LERs) in British Columbia including those restrictions applicable to timber harvested off federally regulated private land, which the DOC has found confer a countervailable subsidy to Canadian producers. …Under federal legislation, the export of logs is prohibited unless an export permit is issued by the minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. …The B.C. LER regime is a contentious point for American industry, who alleged in their petition that LERs suppress domestic log prices by up to 66 per cent. In reaching its conclusion, the DOC made a number of significant findings, including that B.C.’s LERs result in a financial contribution by means of entrustment or direction of private entities in that official governmental action compels suppliers of B.C. logs to supply to B.C. consumers, including mill operators. [NOTE: The Lawyer’s Daily is a subscription publication – our read more link goes to a PDF version of the story obtained with a 14 day free subscription. This PDF will be removed at the end of our free trial and replaced with the story link]

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Norbord to Temporarily Suspend Production at its 100 Mile House, BC Mill

By Norbord Inc.
Cision Newswire
March 15, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

TORONTO – Norbord Inc. announced today that a shortage of wood will cause it to temporarily suspend production at its oriented strand board (OSB) mill in 100 Mile House, British Columbia.  Norbord currently expects the suspension to commence on or about May 14, 2018 and to continue for approximately one month. The significant wildfires that the province of British Columbia experienced in the summer of 2017 seriously damaged logging areas surrounding the 100 Mile House mill.  Further, the severe weather conditions this winter have limited loggers’ ability to access the forests during the months when the mill typically builds its annual log inventory. Combined, these extraordinary circumstances have impacted Norbord’s ability to secure a sufficient wood supply to operate the mill on a continuous basis during this one-month period.

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Vavenby sawmill manager talks to town council

By Keith McNeill
The Clearwater Times
March 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Steve Paneta

Canfor needs to modernize its Vavenby operation but first it needs to know if it has the support of the community. That seemed to be the gist of a presentation by sawmill manager Steve Planeta to Clearwater town council’s economic development committee on Tuesday, March 6. “The first question Jimmy Pattison asked on his first visit here was, ‘Steve, does the community support us?’” he told the council members. Pattison owns a majority stake in Canfor, which is North America’s second largest lumber producer. …Modernization will mean some job loss, he cautioned. …it is important to remember that the lumber industry moves in cycles. …He said that it’s a contract year for the industry and we do not know if there will be a strike or not.

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Ontario Supporting Sawmill in Killaloe

By Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry
Government of Ontario
March 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ben Hokum

Ontario is supporting Ben Hokum and Son Ltd. to upgrade and modernize its sawmill in Killaloe, helping to create and maintain 106 jobs and boost economic growth. Ben Hokum and Son Ltd. is one of eastern Ontario’s largest lumber producers, and the largest producer of red and white pine in Ontario.  Its lumber is used in flooring, framing, paneling, pallets and crafting material.  Through funding from Ontario’s Jobs and Prosperity Fund, the company will be able to grow its business and increase efficiency by modernizing its infrastructure and purchasing new equipment. This will increase production capacity and increase competitiveness while ensuring resources are managed sustainably. The project will maintain 101 existing jobs and create five new positions at the mill in Killaloe.

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Two new greenfield sawmills planned in Georgia, USA

EUWID Wood Products and Panels
March 14, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

In the last few days, both US-American Georgia Pacific and Canadian Canfor have announced the construction of a sawmill in the US state of Georgia. In a release published on 22 February, Canfor announced a greenfield project in Washington, Georgia. Canfor quoted the cost of the investment in the sawmill designed for an annual capacity of 275m bdft as 120m US$. Canfor already operates a gluelam timber works in Washington through Anthony Forest Products Company. Work on building the new sawmill was originally scheduled to begin in the second quarter, with the start-up initially due to follow in the third quarter of 2019. Canfor had to revise this schedule only one day after announcing the plans for the sawmill, however.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Not Your Average Tree: The Development of Wood Building Technology

By Natural Resources Canada
LinkedIn
March 14, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

At this year’s GLOBE Forum in Vancouver, Natural Resources Canada’s (NRCan’s) Canadian Forest Service (CFS) promotes the greater use of wood in non-traditional construction in Canada. For a decade, NRCan has funded the research and development of new wood-based products, systems and structural solutions. These projects are one of the many ways Canada is working to reach its 2030 climate change targets. Following up on the success of the Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative (TWBDI), The Government of Canada launched the Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) Program in the fall of 2017 to catalyze a broader awareness of, and domestic capacity for, innovative tall wood buildings, timber bridges and low-rise wood commercial buildings. At GLOBE from March 14-16, CFS presents an interactive 360-degree video display of a tall wood house in a virtual reality setup at the Canadian Pavilion. The public can experience this unique video from the comfort of home with virtual reality headsets via NRCan’s YouTube channel.

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Lethbridge College Trades and Technologies building design wins prestigious award

By Lara Fominoff
Lethbridge News Now
March 14, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

LETHBRIDGE – A big achievement for all parties involved in the design and construction of Lethbridge College’s new Trades, Technologies and Innovation building. It has been chosen as Wood Works Alberta Prairie Wood Design’s “Top Institutional Design.” …The nearly 170,000 square foot, $77 million building opened in Sept. 2017, and is the largest construction project undertaken in Lethbridge College’s history. Wood elements in the building include the rafters, custom made doors and 22 massive pillars. It was designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in Association with Sahuri and Partners, while Stuart Olsen oversaw the construction. Lethbridge College Vice President, Corporate Services and CFO Simon Griffiths, says wood was selected as a design element because of the focus on sustainability and efforts to target LEED gold certification.

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Georgia should not prevent Sandy Springs from building stronger communities

By Stephen Skalko, fire consultant
Northside Neighbor
March 14, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Stephen Skalko

Sandy Springs City Council enacted an ordinance prohibiting the use of combustible materials in buildings… The state legislation, House Bill 876, passed recently by the Georgia House of Representatives, and going to the Senate for consideration, is contrary to local government’s ability to protect their citizens from fires in buildings. As a fire-safety and construction consultant, I can personally attest that, if passed, this bill will leave Georgians and the future of our communities painfully vulnerable. Wood, albeit a traditional building material, is simply inferior to modern alternatives such as concrete, masonry or steel, especially as it pertains to fire safety and durability. The rate at which wood burns can often be too fast before firefighters are able to adequately respond.

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Forestry

Reaching momentous consensus in the forest

Forest Stewardship Council
March 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

A critical milestone is reached as the Standards Development Group and FSC Canada Board of Directors reach historic consensus on Forest Management Standard in Canada. In February 2018, the FSC Canada Standards Development Group and Board of Directors reviewed and approved the final draft of the National Forest Management Standard. FSC Canada’s forest management standard revision process was undertaken to help address key 21st century forest management issues such as free, prior and informed consent, and the management of species at risk, such as the woodland caribou, while maintain reliability and quality of its certification system. “Our goal was to be able to find consensus from diverse aboriginal, environmental, economic, and social interests on what responsible forestry is in 2018”, said François Dufresne, President, FSC Canada “we are proud that after four years of intense and lengthy discussions, that we were able to find consensus and provide a final draft for approval.” 

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Do we protect our drinking water or serve industry and ATVs?

By Stephen Legault
The Edmonton Journal
March 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

As the City of Edmonton wraps up hosting duties for the Cities and Climate Change Science Conference, this is the perfect time to reflect on how what happens in the mountains to our west impacts the water that we depend on as a city and province. Nearly 90 per cent of the North Saskatchewan River’s water comes from the mountains and foothills of the Bighorn Wildland, more than 200 kilometres upstream. They are our headwaters. …Despite being the subject of intense debate over future metallurgical coal mines… and large-scale clear-cut logging, the Bighorn region is one of the province’s best bets to protect our water supply. Logging and prescribed burns have the potential to enhance watershed health by more closely mimicking natural disturbance, but regulations and industry need to modernize. 

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O’Halleran calls for investigation of Forest Service

The White Mountain Independent
March 13, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Vicki Christiansen

BILLINGS, Mont. — A female wildland firefighter has been tapped by the Trump administration to steady the U.S. Forest Service as it reels from allegations of sexual misconduct and struggles to change its male-dominated culture. Vicki Christiansen was appointed interim chief of the 35,000-employee agency late Thursday. …Rep. Tom O’Halleran, D-Sedona, called on House Agriculture Committee leaders to hold a hearing to investigate claims made against Tooke and others within the U.S. Department of Agriculture. …“Yesterday’s resignation of the Chief of the Forest Service indicates that we need to address this matter in a serious and timely fashion,” O’Halleran wrote to Chairman Michael Conaway and ranking member Collin Peterson. Perdue said Christiansen has been tasked with two goals: improving the agency’s response to sexual misconduct while effectively managing more than 300,000 square miles of forests and grasslands in 43 states and Puerto Rico.

 

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Growing need for urban forests as urban land expands

USDA Fores Service – Northern Research Station
EurekAlert!
March 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

A new USDA Forest Service study projects that urban land in Lower 48 states will more than double between 2010 and 2060, which will affect forest and agricultural lands that are being converted to urban uses as well as expand the importance of urban forests in relation to environmental quality and human well-being. A USDA Forest Service study published in the Journal of Forestry, “U.S. Urban Forest Statistics, Values and Projections,” estimates change in urban land on a national level and state-by-state, and also updates data on the value of the nation’s urban forests. Urban land increased from 2.6 percent (58 million acres) in 2000 to 3 percent (68 million acres) in 2010. …Nationally, U.S. urban forests contain an estimated 5.5 billion trees (39.4 percent tree cover) that produce at least $18 billion in benefits to society.

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Can an experiment reinvigorate Washington’s coastal forests?

By Daniel Jack Chasan
Crosscut
March 14, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A huge, ribbed column of Western red cedar… These trees must be at least 800 years old, says Dave Rolph, regional forester for The Nature Conservancy (TNC), which owns the land… is reshaping young industrially-planted stands so that they can develop into the stands of old growth — big trees more than 150 years old that provide frameworks for complex forest ecosystems — of the distant future. … Their operations, which also involve other nearby forests, include timber cutting. …“We do it very differently,” he explains. TNC’s goal is “creating complexity.” In order to do that, contract loggers work on the spacing and “adjust the species mix. We may take out more Douglas fir and western hemlock and keep all the Sitka spruce and western red cedar that may have regenerated.”

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Better biomass conversion for biofuels and bioproducts

By Krista Eastman
Phys.org
March 14, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Max Mellmer

Behind the successful conversion of biomass to a better biofuel or a new green chemical, there is a carefully chosen solvent. The right solvent not only dissolves biomass but also drives the efficiency of the entire conversion process, resulting in higher yields and a lower bottom line. For researchers at the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, the central role of solvents in converting non-food biomass to biofuels and bioproducts means they’re ripe for optimization. Better use of solvents could improve the economics of biorefineries, push a range of new and more sustainable biofuels and bioproducts to market, and provide new sources of revenue for farmers. But the organic solvents used in biomass conversion are both critical to the process and a little mysterious. 

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Wood you believe Europe may turn its bio economy into ash?

By Sylvain Lhôte, Director General of CEPI, the European association representing the forest fibre and paper industry
EurActiv
March 14, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Let’s think about it – the wood we produce in Europe provides both a renewable and recyclable material that a myriad of bio-based products can be produced from. Paper is one of them, the cardboard packaging that delivers your online purchases to your door is another, the panels that provide decking for your house is yet another. More are coming from the bio-based material revolution on its way. …Now imagine if I said to you that instead of building on these capabilities to advance the bio economy and the revolution in material technology, we would just turn them into ash? This is the sad paradox of the debate on renewable energy. By focusing solely on the energy context of the bio economy rather than seeing it in a broader value-creation dimension, most energy experts are skewing the discussion away from the value that wood can bring beyond bioenergy.

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Health & Safety

Construction sites do carry inherent fire risks, but deaths are rare in the U.S.

By Esteban Hernandez
Denverite
March 14, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: United States, US West

Last week’s deadly fire in Uptown is a tragic reminder of the risks at active construction sites, but it’s not necessarily a sign that these kinds of incidents will be commonplace in a city with so many projects in development. Eric Holt, assistant professor of construction management at the University of Denver, said construction sites like the one at 1833 Emerson St. pose certain “inherent risks.” …“I don’t think there’s a greater risk just because we have more of them,” Holt said. “It’s part of the process of building a light wooden structure…(the) only additional risk is the sheer number, but that’s normal.” …Holt said the Emerson Street building was in a vulnerable phase of construction. It contained an exposed wood frame and likely had few deterrents like drywall or sprinklers that are later installed to enhance its fire safety.

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