Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 20, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Washington State embraces mass timber, Oregon ENGO rallies against it

The Tree Frog Forestry News
March 20, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

On the heels of legislation requiring building codes to accept mass timber, Washington State is pursuing a Bill requiring all public buildings 12-storeys or less to use CLT. In related news: Oregon’s International Mass Timber Conference kicks off in Portland; Think Wood speaks to the research behind the innovation; but Oregonwild protests – calling it “greenwashing clearcut logging“.

Companies in the news include: West Fraser’s stock surges 56% [G&M subscribers only]; Tolko’s Lakeview sawmill will take longer to resurrect; Tolko plans to build an energy plant in Alberta; and Fortress moves up the value chain with xylitol (a sweetener used in gum). Elsewhere, AF&PA speaks in favour of NAFTA.

In Forestry news: Alberta suspends its caribou conservation plan due to costs; a new pheromone discovery may predict mountain pine outbreaks; the Australian forestry wars are back; and Asia Pulp & Paper is now growing… mangos!

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

U.S. publishers forecast higher newsprint prices after duties

By Brent Jang
The Globe and Mail
March 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Higher U.S. newsprint prices are on their way after fresh duties imposed against most Canadian producers, a new group fighting the tariffs warns. Members of Stop Tariffs on Printers and Publishers (STOPP) are upset by last week’s decision. …The preliminary duties totalling 28.69 per cent will hurt newspapers and book publishers already struggling to cope with recent increases in paper prices, STOPP said in a statement from Virginia. …The punitive tariffs “will result in driving up the costs of print and force an even faster migration to digital options at a time when our industry is already being severely disrupted,” Quad/Graphics chairman Joel Quadracci said. …Even before the anti-dumping tariffs, newsprint prices jumped 10 per cent from US$575 a tonne in September to US$635 a tonne in February, according to RBC Dominion Securities Inc.

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Pulp company moves up the value chain

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
March 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Chad Wasilenkoff

Fortress Global Enterprises Inc. recently announced the planned acquisition of S2G for $2.5 million, and plans open a new demonstration plant at its Fortress Specialty Cellulose mill in Quebec to produce xylitol – a sweetener used in chewing gum and candies.  …It’s precisely the kind of value-added diversification in the Canadian forestry industry that was discussed at Globe 2018. Experts in forestry, genomics and wood construction talked about need to move into higher value added uses for wood – from cross-laminated timber used to build high-rises to biochemicals. “The drive is to get value from every part of that tree,” said Derek Nighbor, CEO of FPAC. …S2G, which was spun out of University of BC research in 2012, developed a process for turning hemicellulose from wood or agricultural waste into glycols, which are a precursor for a wide range of products – from polyester to antifreeze – that has traditionally been made from petrochemicals.

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Tolko’s Lakeview sawmill could reopen by fall

By Brenden Pawliw
My Prince George Now
March 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hopes that Tolko’s Lakeview Division sawmill would only remain closed until this May following a devastating a fire last year have been dashed. First vice president with United Steelworkers Local 1-2017, Paul French confirmed Monday that the sawmill will likely not be operational until September. “We’re very disappointed,” he said. …They’re having issues getting the equipment and working around details with insurance because of a result of the fire. So the number of employees that are onsite today will probably remain that way or we’re sure hoping it doesn’t get any smaller.” …“The longer this drags out the employees that are hanging out there on EI that will start to run out…” says French.

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Tolko Industries to build a new energy plant at its lumber mill in High Level, Canada

Tolko Industries
Lesprom Network
March 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko Industries Ltd. to build a new energy plant at its lumber mill in High Level , Alberta, Canada. Construction of the energy plant is expected to start in April, and to be operational by June 2019, as the company says in the press release received by Lesprom Network. Dave Gillespie, Plant Manager… noted that there are many benefits to the new energy system, including that it will consume most of the bark produced by the High Level sawmill, use a state-of-the-art electrostatic precipitator to minimize air emissions, enable the sawmill to significantly reduce natural gas used in the lumber drying process by replacing it with bioenergy, and provide green bioenergy to the future pellet plant at the site which is currently planned to begin operation in 2020.

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There’s a way to relieve farmers of the railroad backlog, but Ottawa’s ignoring it

By Mary-Jane Bennett
National Post
March 20, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Angry farm groups, apologetic railway executives and shippers looking for leverage are the voices of this year’s grain backlog. The crisis began in mid-February, when an extreme cold settled over the Canadian West. Deep colds force trains to run shorter and slower, with three times as many operators. Adding to the problem, Western grain producers harvested one of the biggest crops in the country’s history, creating a surge in demand for rail shipments. …Mining, chemical and forest producers appear to be seeking to benefit from the farmers’ woes. …they’re using the crisis to ask Ottawa to establish cost-based railway rates for their industries, which would turn the clock back to the 1950s when the government, not the market, set shipping rates. Bill C-49, the Transportation Modernization Act …disallows market rates for grain, house-cleans some irritants and introduces a cumbersome new set of shipper protection, known as long-haul interswitching.

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Building boom fuels West Fraser shares despite softwood tariffs

By David Berman
The Globe and Mail
March 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

[This content is available to Globe and Mail subscribers only]. U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber producers certainly aren’t holding back West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. Despite punitive duties of more than 20 per cent imposed by the U.S. Commerce Department last April, West Fraser’s profits have been rising, dividends have been growing and the share price has surged 56 per cent, smashing returns for the S&P/TSX Composite Index and the S&P 500. But what can investors expect in the year ahead as the shares near record highs and the trade dispute between Canada and the United States continues to fester? …According to RBC Dominion Securities, Western SPF prices averaged US$401 per mfbm in 2017, 31 per cent higher than the average price in 2016. And the price continues to climb. So far in 2018, the average price is 34 per cent higher than 2017. This week, CIBC World Markets raised its forecasts.

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AF&PA to Underscore Support for Free, Fair Trade in Administration and Congressional NAFTA Meetings

American Forest & Paper Association
March 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

WASHINGTON – American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) President and CEO Donna Harman issued the following statement in strong support of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). AF&PA and member company leaders will meet with administration and Congressional offices on March 20 to advocate for free and fair trade policies that recognize the strong global position of the paper and wood products industry.  “NAFTA countries account for $9.6 billion or 45% of our industry’s pulp and paper exports, making them a vital industry market. As negotiators work to modernize NAFTA with Canada and Mexico, we support constructive changes that will ensure these markets remain open to our country’s exports and recognize the benefits of an interconnected supply chain.

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New York moving to protect private forests, support forest products industry

Olean Times Herald
March 19, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos today highlighted Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s proposed Empire Forest for the Future Initiative (EFFI) at Forestry Awareness Day, an event hosted by the Empire State Forest Products Association at the State Capital. EFFI is a multi-part program under Governor Cuomo’s proposed 2018-19 Executive Budget with the goal of protecting and enhancing the health, quality, and sustainability of trees and forests across New York State. “Protecting New York’s forest lands and open space has been a priority under Governor Cuomo’s leadership,” said Seggos.  “The Empire Forest for the Future Initiative serves as a milestone effort to protect and conserve the state’s vast forest resources held by more than 700,000 forest owners across New York.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The 2018 Montréal Wood Convention: Hot Topics and Networking

By Quebec Wood Export Bureau
Cision Newswire
March 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

QUÉBEC – The entire wood industry and the media are invited to the Montréal Wood Convention, to be held on March 20 to 22, 2018, at Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth. The convention continues to thrive and more than 1000 participants are expected. This year, the Convention will once again play host to the regional meeting of the North American Wholesale Lumber Association (NAWLA), which includes a panel on Tuesday afternoon, March 20, to discuss the industry’s future. On Wednesday morning, the economy and markets seminar will provide insight on the state of affairs and trends. At Wednesday’s luncheon, participants will have the opportunity to hear what keynote speaker Darrell Bricker has to say. He is the CEO of Ipsos Public Affairs, a leading market research firm, and will provide unparalleled perspective on trends affecting business and the economy. 

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What a wood: Telling the whole story builds a case for case goods

By Thomas Russell
Furniture Today
March 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Thomas Russell

In the world of musical instruments, there are a somewhat limited number of tone woods that not only help define the sound, but also add a layer of visual appeal that endures well beyond the life of the player. This is particularly true of instruments that get passed down from generation to generation. In the violin family of stringed instruments, for example, maple is perhaps the most commonly used wood species. …My question is: Can the same be true of furniture? It might depend on the species, i.e. whether the furniture is made with a solid wood species such as oak, maple or mahogany. Or if could also depend on the kind of fancy face veneer used in the piece, whether it be oak, walnut, primavera or ropey cherry. …How do we tell the wood story in a way that is both compelling and that sparks the consumer’s imagination?

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Think Wood Research Library Answers Industry Call for More Research

Think Wood
Nasdaq
March 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Cees de Jager

Washington, DC — News articles and reports increasingly cite fire and seismic safety concerns related to wood design and construction with a call for more research. Think Wood, an industry-driven initiative that provides research and resources on the benefits of using softwood lumber in multifamily residential and non-residential building applications, is answering this call. The Think Wood Research Library, launched in 2017, is now stocked with nearly 900 unique pieces of research to aid architects, engineers and other industry professionals in building safe, high-performing buildings that can stand the test of time. “The Think Wood Research Library is the central resource for research on designing and building with mass timber,” said Cees de Jager, Executive Director, Binational Softwood Lumber Council.

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International Mass Timber Conference addresses innovative mass timber technology and the seismic shift it’s sending through the building world

Mass Timber Conference
March 9, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The world continues to urbanize and cities are building up, not out. And as those taller buildings rise, designers are looking at wood again rather than automatically choosing concrete and steel. City planners, architects, builders, and forestry experts can credit climate change, carbon footprint considerations, and a host of new mass timber products for rearranging the deck chairs in the construction world. As the International Mass Timber Conference rolls into the Portland Convention Center, March 20–22, for its third annual event, the ambitious agenda examines the new face of mass timber construction, offering attendees unparalleled knowledge and networking opportunities. The conference is co-produced by Forest Business Network in cooperation with the wood design experts at WoodWorks–Wood Products Council.

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Portland Rally Against Greenwashing Clearcuts!

Oregonwild.org
March 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

On Tuesday March 20th, the logging industry (AKA King Clearcut), along with architects, builders, and elected officials from Portland, Oregon, and beyond, will gather at the Oregon Convention Center for the International Mass-Timber Conference. At this conference, King Clearcut will spend three days making the case that clearcut logging is good for forests and good for Oregon. We plan to be there with a different message – one of healthy forests, and clean cool streams – and you can join us! This year, much of the focus of this conference is on a “new” wood product called Cross Laminated Timber. …We’ll be there to say: “Don’t Greenwash Clearcut Logging!” 

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Washington State is embracing mass timber construction

By Antonio Pacheco
The Architect’s Newspaper
March 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Jay Inslee

With a mix of recently-enacted and forthcoming legislation, Washington State is beginning to embrace mass timber construction. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee recently signed legislation for State Bill 5450, a new law that directs the state’s building code council to “adopt rules for the use of mass timber products for residential and commercial building construction.” The law will allow state and local jurisdictions to begin to work mass timber construction into local building and zoning codes. …In a more aggressive move, the Washington State Legislature is also working toward enacting State Bill 5379 (SB 5379), a measure that would require all public buildings in the state rising 12 stories or less be built using Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT). …The potential law would make the state the first in the country requiring mass timber construction. 

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Georgia Lawmakers Move To Ban Cities From Wood Building Bans

By Molly Samuel
WABE News Atlanta’s NPR Station
March 19, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Legislation headed for the governor’s desk prevents Georgia cities and counties from banning building with wood. That includes places that already have wood building bans in place, including Sandy Springs, which restricts its use in larger buildings. Supporters of the bill say it’s good for rural Georgia and the state’s agriculture industry. …Opponents say if you go to a construction site that uses wood a lot of the lumber is from out-of-state. And they say laws like this restrict cities’ abilities to govern themselves. “I’m not against lumber, let’s make that perfectly clear. But I am in favor of the local control aspect,” said Republican state Sen. Fran Millar, who represents Sandy Springs. Millar introduced an amendment to the bill that would grandfather in cities that already have wood-building restrictions. That failed.

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Forestry

B.C.’s Cariboo Regional District mulls wildfire proposals after 2017 blazes

The Kelowna Daily Courier
March 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

WILLIAMS LAKE, B.C. – A regional government in British Columbia’s southern Interior is mulling more than 70 recommendations to improve its response to wildfires. …The recommendations are part of a report following community consultations last fall. Regional district chairwoman Margo Wagner says some of the proposals would require help from the provincial government, but others related to local operations could be implemented first. She says those would include improved communications or better permitting to allow residents to more easily return to evacuated areas. Wagner says the regional district is as prepared as it can be for another wildfire season.

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NDP suspends caribou conservation plan, calls on federal government for cash infusion

By Clare Clancy
Edmonton Journal
March 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The NDP suspended portions of its caribou protection plan Monday and called on the federal government to step up on the file, citing a $1-billion price tag over the next four decades. “Alberta’s approach … and fulfilling the requirements under federal law cannot and will not come at the expense of our economy,” said Environment and Parks Minister Shannon Phillips in a letter sent to Ottawa. The province released its draft plan on Dec. 19 to help threatened woodland caribou populations recover in 15 different ranges. Hundreds of Albertans have since voiced concerns, Phillips said, referencing public meetings in communities including Cold Lake, Fort McMurray and High Level. In the letter to federal Environment Minister Catherine McKenna, Phillips said the province needs a cash infusion “to restore habitat necessary to ensure population growth.”

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With 40 years of work experience, I have learned a few lessons

By Les Kiss, VP
Coast Forest Products Association
March 15, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Recently I’ve been asked, “What have you learned with over 40 years of coastal forestry work experience?” After some reflection, what follows are my thoughts. Some would say getting older gives you increased perspective and wisdom. I can say with certainty, the coastal forestry business has changed a great deal in the last 40 years, but more in its form than in its fundamentals. …All in all, the general take-away is a forester and the forest sector must be flexible to changes which include dealing with shifting forest management priorities, ever changing popular political and environmental expectations, while utilizing forests for dozens of other uses. …On a professional level, I have enjoyed being part of a great Coast Forest team and believe we have played a significant, positive role in the ever-changing coastal forest management and forest products business.

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New pheromone insight may help predict mountain pine beetle outbreaks

University of British Columbia
March 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Researchers at the University of British Columbia have shed new light on how mountain pine beetles produce an important pheromone called trans-verbenol, which could aid in efforts to better predict outbreaks. …In a study … scientists have uncovered previously unknown reservoirs of trans-verbenol in the bodies of juvenile mountain pine beetles. “Trans-verbenol is a pheromone that female mountain pine beetles use to attract other insects to a suitable host tree and coordinate large-scale attacks,” said Christine Chiu, lead author of the study and graduate student at the Michael Smith Laboratories at UBC. …“What we have found is that female beetles can release trans-verbenol independent of whether or not they are in contact with alpha-pinene, the compound found in the resin of new host trees,” said Joerg Bohlmann, the principal investigator of the study and professor at the Michael Smith Laboratories and faculty of forestry.

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Enterprise 50 Year Tree Pledge Surpasses 12 Million Plantings, 100 Reforestation Projects

By Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation
Cision Newswire
March 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

ST. LOUIS — Since 2006, the Enterprise Rent-A-Car Foundation has funded a massive reforestation effort with more than 12 million tree plantings. Every year, 1 million trees are planted as part of the Enterprise 50 Million Tree Pledge – a unique public-private partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation that will continue through 2056. In Oregon, more than 820,000 trees have been planted to date through the Enterprise 50 Million Tree Pledge along the Willamette River Basin. The 12 million plantings represent more than 100 projects in Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the UK – as well as in diverse forests throughout 16 states in the U.S.: Alabama, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah and Wyoming.

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Conservation, Timber Come Together for Conference on National Forests

Public News Service
March 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho – A diversity of stakeholders in the West’s national forests are coming together for a two-day workshop in Idaho. The “Resilient Landscapes, Thriving Communities” conference is taking place in Coeur D’Alene today and tomorrow in the spirit of collaboration between conservationists, the timber industry, the U.S. Forest Service and local elected officials. Gov. Butch Otter will give the keynote address on Wednesday. Will Whelan, the director of government relations at The Nature Conservancy in Idaho says that these groups have overlapping interests. “What they found is that they can actually work together on projects that help restore the resilience of forests,” he says.

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New state Forest Service leader has Alaska experience

By Ed Schoenfeld
KTOO Public Media
March 19, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

David Schmid

The U.S. Forest service controls 22 million acres in Alaska, including most of Southeast. It’s overseen by a regional forester, whose staffers manage logging, mining, recreation and fish habitat. The agency is getting a new top official in April. David Schmid will have to deal with a particularly controversial land management plan that’s under attack. Schmid began his Forest Service career in Alaska. … “Over the years I think we spent 23 years together in Alaska and just having an opportunity to come back and re-engage with folks and work on Alaska issues has just been a dream of mine,” he said. He’s leaving his post as deputy regional forester for the agency’s Northern Region, based in Missoula, Montana.

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International Day of Forests to be celebrated worldwide on 21st March

Devdiscourse
March 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March the International Day of Forests in 2012. Since then, each year this day celebrates and raises awareness of the importance of all types of forests. On this day, countries are encouraged to undertake efforts to organize local, national, and international activities involving forests and trees, such as tree planting campaigns. 2018 theme: Forests and Sustainable Cities. …This global celebration of forests provides a platform to raise awareness of the importance of all types of woodlands and trees, and celebrate the ways in which they sustain and protect us.The majority of oxygen that is of utmost importance to sustain life in Earth is produced by trees hence it’s the responsibility of every human being to plant trees and save forests.

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After 20 years of uneasy peace, the forest wars are back

By Gregg Borschmann
The Guardian
March 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

AUSTRALIA — Agreements meant to protect forests and create a sustainable timber industry are about to expire, and both sides are preparing for new conflict. …The RFA agreements were intended to be the scientific response to the so-called “forest wars” that raged for two decades. In the 1980s and 1990s forests were front-page news. …The agreements were for 20 years and – apart from Tasmania, which was renewed last year – are due to expire shortly. …Lyndon Schneiders, a forest campaign veteran for the Wilderness Society, says: “The forest wars are coming again because state governments and the industry have not grasped this once-in-a-generation opportunity for change. …Ross Hampton, the chief executive officer of Australian Forest Products Association… believes the RFAs ended the long-running debate and allayed community concern. …“Yeah, the forest wars are over. The forest industry lost the forest wars … harvesting in native forests has declined by around 60%.

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What’s a forestry company doing growing mangos?

By Asia Pulp & Paper
Cision Newswire
March 20, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

TORONTO – Asia Pulp & Paper calls to end the divide between forests and crops in honour of World Forestry Day – Since the launch of Asia Pulp & Paper’s (APP) Integrated Farming and Forestry System (IFFS) Program two short years ago, 189 villages deep in the forests of Indonesia comprised of more than 13,800 households have seen the impact of real change – and this number will grow to 500 villages by 2020. Now, in time for World Forestry Day, the company is hoping others will also commit to thinking outside the context of their own supply chains to deploy solutions that address risks across the landscape. The IFFS Program focuses on improving the well-being of local communities around the company’s concessions through use of modern agroforestry practices, reducing dependence on the forest and improving efforts to preserve the surrounding environment. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Awaiting the Signal

By Ron Kotrba
Biomass Magazine
March 19, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Canada’s wood pellet industry stands patiently ready to deliver domestic supply as a federal Clean Fuel Standard and complementary support mechanisms develop. Big decisions are being made in Ottawa today by a relatively small group of people that will affect the future of energy in Canada. The group of stakeholders has come together at the behest of Environment and Climate Change Canada to shape regulations for the Clean Fuel Standard, with grand ambitions to achieve 30 megatons of annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions by 2030. “There’s maybe 40 or so on this technical committee made up of about one-third government, and the other two thirds is weighted heavily to the fossil fuel guys,” says Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. “It’s David and Goliath, with the government as referee. The fossil fuel guys dig their heels in, but they’ll get dragged along.”  

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Estimates of Carbon Dioxide Withheld from the Atmosphere by Urban Hardwood Products

By Sam Sherrill, Ph.D. and Steve Bratkovich, Ph.D.
Dovetail Partners
March 14, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West
In 2011 Dovetail Partners conducted a study on the potential for carbon sequestration (storage) in three urban hardwood products: landscape mulch, biomass for fuel, and solid wood products. An Excel model was developed that focused specifically on tons of sequestered carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) of solid hardwood products from urban forests in the United States. Estimates for a 30-year period were developed for several situations based on assumptions about variations in carbon and wood harvest. The minimum estimate from the 2011 study was approximately 124 million tons of CO2e that could be sequestered (stored) nationally in urban hardwood products over a 30 year period. Beginning in 2016, a follow-up study reconstructed the national model developed in the previous investigation to convert tons of sequestered CO2e into board feet. In addition, to making the results more user-friendly to urban wood industries, architects, and other interested parties, two products were selected, and sequestered CO2e was estimated.

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Subsidized wood-to-energy firm fell far short on wood purchases, state says

By Darren Fishell
Bangor Daily News
March 20, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

One of two firms getting millions in taxpayer dollars to generate electricity from Maine wood purchased less than half of the wood it promised and fell short on other investment goals, according to a state report. Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission suggested in a report issued Friday that the three-member regulatory body reduce a subsidy payment to the company Stored Solar by 20 percent, to a little more than $1.2 million in taxpayer funds. That’s about $320,000 less than Stored Solar requested under a state bailout program for two companies that burn low-grade wood to generate electricity. Stored Solar was plagued with challenges last year, its first year of operation, facing claims of unpaid bills from loggers and other contractors.

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