Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: April 27, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

NAWLA Regional Meeting a demonstration of optimism for the lumber market

The Tree Frog Forestry News
April 27, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

If there was any doubt about the optimism for softwood lumber, it was allayed at NAWLA’s 2018 Regional Meeting in Vancouver yesterday. In other Business news: NAFTA negotiations are at a critical point as officials seek a deal by Tuesday; the 13 biggest lumber companies increased production by 2.3% in 2017; and the rail crunch is adding to the cost of lumber at a time of record highs.

In other news: Caribou protection policies in Alberta threaten the “northern way of life“; new conservation officers in BC will “lessen human-wildlife conflicts“; and the humble wood pellet has been gaining momentum in Canada while being criticized for contributing to air pollution in Georgia and Louisiana

Finally, have you ever wanted to ride along with a log through a saw mill? Well, here’s your chance!

–Kelly McCloskey Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

Riding Along With a Log Through a Saw Mill Is Absolutely Terrifying

By Andrew Liszewski
Gizmodo UK
April 26, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: International

It’s not uncommon for cartoon characters to find themselves unwittingly dragged through all the chaos of a saw mill. From the audience’s perspective, it’s usually hilarious. But when you send a small camera on a log through a saw mill, scary doesn’t even begin to describe the experience of being pulled through all that machinery. 

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Business & Politics

‘Full-court press’ on NAFTA as Freeland skips NATO meeting for negotiations

By Graham Slaughter
CTV News
April 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Chrystia Freeland

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland is skipping an important diplomatic trip to Brussels to stay in Washington as NAFTA talks intensify. The minister’s decision suggests that NAFTA negotiations may have hit a critical point, with some reports suggesting that there is a push by officials to hammer out a deal by next Tuesday. That’s when U.S. steel and aluminum tariffs — which Canada is exempt from — take effect. …Still, Dias said there are kinks to iron out. He says U.S. negotiators are still intent on eliminating Chapter 19, NAFTA’s existing dispute-mechanism system, in favour of hearing all cases in U.S. courts. Dias called the idea “a foolish proposal.” “Since NAFTA (talks) started in August of last year, they came after us on softwood lumber, paper, aerospace, steel, aluminum. So for Canada to even contemplate allowing all disputes to be handles on U.S. soil, is a non-starter,” he said.

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13 biggest lumber companies increase production by 2.3% to 34.2 billion board feet in 2017

Wood Markets in Lesprom Network
April 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

The annual Wood Markets’ “Billion Board Foot Club” list of top global lumber companies showed further gains in production by 10 of the 13 companies making the list in 2017 (as compared to 2016 output). Three companies recorded output declines despite robust U.S. – as well as export – market demand (this was due mainly to timber supply issues in the B.C. Interior, the U.S. West and Chile). The largest North American firms increased their output, mainly because of mill capex programs or shifting at existing operations. There was only one major sawmill company acquisition in 2017: West Fraser’s purchase of Gilman. The average rise in production was only 2.3% for the 13 companies on the list — a slower pace than in the last three years. …Eleven of the companies that made the list since 2005 did so again in 2017. 

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Canada’s Rail Crunch Is Adding to the Soaring Cost of Lumber

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg Markets
April 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Don Kayne

Just when it seemed lumber prices couldn’t surge any higher, problems for Canada’s railways mean the rally could continue. A shortage of rail capacity cost Vancouver-based lumber producer Canfor Corp. C$20 million in the first quarter and led to a pile-up of inventories that were left sitting at the company’s sawmills and pulp mills, Chief Executive Officer Don Kayne said Thursday. The rail crunch is adding to the cost of lumber at a time when futures in Chicago are already trading at record highs. Prices have soared amid rising demand from the U.S. housing market and pressure from President Donald Trump’s tariffs on Canadian shipments. “All the duties and now transportation, there’s no question that both had and are having an impact,” Kayne said Thursday during his company’s first quarter earnings call.

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NAWLA Regional Meeting a demonstration of optimism for the lumber market

B Kelly McCloskey
The Tree Frog News
April 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver — If there was any doubt about the current state of the lumber market and the optimism for continued demand in the future, it was allayed at NAWLA’s 2018 Regional Meeting yesterday. Evidence in this regard included the record attendance of 250 lumber executives, including lumber wholesalers, traders, manufacturers and those that provide goods and services to the sector. Moderated by local NAWLA leader Paul Harder (Dakeryn Industries), three keynote speakers provided confirmation of lumber’s rise. Jennifer Cover (WoodWorks USA) noted the significant progress made to grow the mid-rise and tall-wood markets, Russ Taylor (Wood Markets/FEA Canada) demonstrated how supply constraints and high demand have (finally) shepherd in the long-awaited “super cycle” and Derek Orr (Carrier Lumber Ltd.) spoke of the importance of mentors in his rise as a leader in his personal, community and business life. We’ll have a full report on Monday.

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Three Wells societies receive BC Rural Dividend Program funding

The Quesnel Cariboo Observer
April 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Wells… recently announced provincial grant funding will help advance work in these areas. Three societies in Wells have received B.C. Rural Dividend Program grants to support their work in outdoor recreation, arts and culture. …West Fraser Mills did some logging work in the Wells-Barkerville Community Forest, and as part of this work, WATS requested a new portion of trail to be built in the Cross Country Ski Network on Cornish Mountain, Kate Sulis of WATS explains in an email. …“West Fraser Mills has generously agreed to supply machine time towards this project, and WATS will use the B.C. Rural Dividend Program money towards getting more… work done throughout our whole trail network.”

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We have failed to diversify economy, find new markets

Letter by Peter W. Rusland
Cowichan Valley Citizen
April 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

We have failed to diversify economy, find new markets. While I welcome government cooperation to mitigate effects of U.S. tariffs on B.C. mill products, this very reaction yells loudly about our leaders’ sad lack of economic diversification. Our hefty dependence on American markets for pulp and paper — from mills such as Crofton — makes our economy and job pool vulnerable to American protectionist taxes now being mulled by the Republican Trump government. …Canadian governments, including B.C.’s — have failed for generations to find new, stable global markets for our goods while also diversifying our economy. And this alarming failure to hedge our bets reaches right into local governments such as North Cowichan council that apparently has no plan about guarding taxpayers from massive tax hikes should Catalyst’s Crofton pulp-and-paper mill leave, along with its $3 million-odd annual tax dollars and about 200 jobs.

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Irving showed ‘disdain’ for law, court hears in wood-marketing case

By Jacques Poitras
CBC News
April 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Bill Richards

The province’s largest forestry company was accused of showing “disdain” for the law Thursday during a New Brunswick Court of Appeal hearing on the future of New Brunswick’s wood-marketing system. Lawyer David Duncan Young argued J.D. Irving Ltd. had repeatedly “ignored or challenged” the authority of SNB, the Sussex-based wood marketing board for much of southern New Brunswick. …”Is it an abuse of the board’s power to try to get J.D. Irving to come back to the board to negotiate?” he asked. One of the justices, Barbara Baird, seemed open to Young’s argument that the board only acted after years of frustration. …But Irving lawyer Paul Steep argued the board’s order was flawed because it was too vague and left “a huge amount of discretion”.

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One of Charlotte’s biggest developers is being bought out by a Japan-based company

By Ely Portillo
Charlotte Observer
April 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Charlotte-based Crescent Communities, one of the city’s oldest and most prominent developers, said Friday that it’s reached an agreement to be acquired by Sumitomo Forestry America, a subsidiary of a Japanese firm. …“We are excited to partner with Sumitomo as their investment will continue Crescent Communities’ growth strategy and enhance our capital structure,” said Todd Mansfield, CEO of Crescent Communities. “This acquisition is evidence of Sumitomo’s favorable view of our multi-product platform and geographic footprint in high growth markets.” …Sumitomo Forestry is a wood products company and homebuilder, a major producer and importer of timber. The company owns building companies in the U.S., such as Dan Ryan Homes, and is also a promoter of wood-framed construction, which is how most of Crescent’s apartments are built.

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Timber industry sees Border checks as part of solution in hard Brexit

By Simon Carswell
The Irish Times
April 26, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The timber industry sees a copy of checks on the Canadian-US and Norwegian-Swedish borders as part of preparations for a possible hard Brexit to minimise its impact on Irish-British and cross-Border trade. Concerned that the UK will crash out of the European Union in March 2019 without a deal, the industry made the observations in a new report aimed at preparing Ireland for the worst post-Brexit. The industry supports 12,000 jobs and relies on unrestricted trade north and south of the Border and between the UK and the Republic. It has already felt the pinch from Brexit as the fall in the value of sterling is costing the industry an estimated €40 million to €50 million a year.

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New Zealand log export market picks up after slowdown

By BusinessDesk
Scoop Independent News
April 27, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand’s export log market has picked up following a slowdown ahead of the Chinese New Year period and traders are optimistic about the outlook for the year ahead, according to the latest AgriHQ forestry market report. The country’s log export volumes in February were 1.6 percent ahead of the three-month average and 18 percent up on the same time last year as weaker exports to India and South Korea were offset by strong exports to Japan and China, the report said. Lumber exports also picked up, with February export volumes up 25 percent on the same time last year, driven by strength in China and the US.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Canadian Timberframes is a local business with a big reach

BC Local News
April 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Stephanie and Jeffrey Bowes

Canadian Timberframes have been manufacturing spectacular homes for almost 20 years now. Since first building homes in Golden, it has branched out to build homes and commercial structures all across North America. Owners president Jeffrey Bowes and his wife, vice president Stephanie Bowes say they owe the success of the business to the people and the environment in Golden. “It’s a real kudos to Golden. The fact that we’re here allows us to compete internationally,” Jeffrey says, explaining it’s the quality of wood and the hardworking mentality of the people employed at Canadian Timberframes that is helping to build this company into an “affluent luxury brand.” …The locally-grown slow growth, tight grained Douglas fir tree is having a moment right now. It is the most sought-after wood by architects and clients within the industry and adds to the quality of product we manufacture here.

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Vancouver Regional Construction Association announces Zero Emissions Building Centre of Excellence

By Warren Frey
The Journal of Commerce
April 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA), Passive House Canada and the Open Green Building Society have partnered with the City of Vancouver to create the Vancouver Zero Emissions Building Centre of Excellence (ZEBCoE), a central platform to encourage the delivery of zero emissions buildings by both industry and public stakeholders. …“The centre’s mission is to rapidly accelerate the capacity and enthusiasm of local developers, designers and builders to deliver cost-effective, attractive, zero emissions new residential and commercial buildings in Vancouver,” she said. …In addition to Passive House Canada and the Open Green Building Society, the centre will also work with… Wood WORKS! BC and other non-governmental organizations, companies and government agencies.

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Save what remains of New Brunswick’s covered bridges, new group pleads

By Sarah Trainor
CBC News
April 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick is down to 58 covered bridges. In 1953, there were 340 wooden structures spanning rivers and streams across the province. Boucher said  Damage from flood waters, vehicle accidents and industrial mishaps have battered the bridges in recent years, but a newly formed group is troubled by the lack of care and attention made to their repairs. The newly formed group, Covered Bridges Conservation Association of New Brunswick, is now standing guard over what remains of the province’s covered bridges.

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Wood growth model advances genetic engineering of trees for paper, biofuels

By Catharine Paddock
Market Business News
April 26, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A wood growth model promises to advance genetic engineering of trees for timber, paper, pulp, biofuels, and environmentally friendly products. The idea is to simulate the effects of gene-tweaking on the biology of wood without having to create and then wait for live specimens to grow and be analyzed. Professor Vincent Chiang of the Forest Biotechnology Group at North Carolina State, and colleagues describe their “biosynthesis model” in a paper that was published recently in the journal Nature Communications. The current prototype, or “base model,” allows scientists to observe what happens to wood growth when they manipulate up to 21 genes that control the properties of lignin, a major component of wood.

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Wood Formation Model To Fuel Progress in Bioenergy, Paper, New Applications

By Jack Wang and D’Lyn Ford
North Carolina State University
April 20, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Vincent Chiang

A new systems biology model that mimics the process of wood formation allows scientists to predict the effects of switching on and off 21 pathway genes involved in producing lignin, a primary component of wood. The model, built on more than three decades of research led by Vincent Chiang of the Forest Biotechnology Group at North Carolina State University, will speed the process of engineering trees for specific needs in timber, biofuel, pulp, paper and green chemistry applications. “For the first time, we can predict the outcomes of modifying multiple genes involved in lignin biosynthesis, rather than working with a single gene at a time through trial and error, which is a tedious and time-consuming process,” says Jack Wang, assistant professor in NC State’s College of Natural Resources and lead author of a paper about the research in Nature Communications.

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Atmos Studio’s sinuous timber staircase spirals through the centre of London restaurant

By Alyn Griffiths
Dezeen
April 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Atmos Studio has completed a flowing staircase made from laminated oak that is the centrepiece of a recently opened restaurant in Mayfair, London. StairStalk is the centrepiece of the Oliver Dabbous’s recently opened HIDE restaurant, where it ascends from a basement bar to the dining areas on the ground floor and upper mezzanine.  The multidisciplinary practice is known for its organically inspired designs and was chosen to create a statement staircase that appears to grow out of the shadows of the basement level towards the daylight above. The overall concept for the restaurant’s interior was already developed by interior designer Rose Murray, director of These White Walls, before Atmos Studio was brought on board to create the showpiece staircase. The restaurant was realised by architectural consultancy Lusted Green.

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Beulah Unveils A Promised Land In Dixwell

By Markeshia Ricks
New Haven Independent
April 27, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Dixwell neighbors are used to developers trying to woo them with plans for apartments, leaving them asking “‘affordable’ for whom?” They were pleased not to be asking that question after hearing Thursday night about the details of a new planned gateway to their neighborhood with 70 mostly lower-income apartments on a now-vacant lot. The nonprofit development arm of Beulah Heights First Pentecostal Church  is looking to put affordable housing across the street, built safely but quickly, with environmentally sustainable materials—namely wood. …The development team believes it can get the project up so quickly because of a new building technology called mass timber construction. …Dixwell Alder Steve Winter said the project hit many sweet spots for him. “It’s affordable, it’s extremely environmentally friendly, it has the potential to be carbon sink maybe even carbon negative, who knows,” Winter said. 

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Forestry

Do what you can to be fire smart

By Salmon Arm Mayor Nancy Cooper
BC Local News
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nancy Cooper

It’s been a long winter and a slow cool start to spring. Now that seasonal spring weather appears to be upon us it time for yard work and garden cleanup. …The City of Salmon Arm with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) have comprehensive emergency plans with well trained staff and volunteers ready to move into action quickly if needed. The reality is we live a beautiful natural region of forests lakes and watercourses. So we should all be prepared for an emergency and there is much you can do to be “Fire Smart.” The Home Owners FireSmart Manual is available at City Hall and at the CSRD office. This manual states the best protection against loss, damage, or injury due to wildfire is prevention. The following suggestions are from the FireSmart Manual.

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Once Upon a Creek

By July Bradbury
The Coast Reporter
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

If you look at the B.C. Ministry of Forests map that shows the many forest blocks tagged to be logged in the next few years on Mt. Elphinstone above Roberts Creek, you’ll see, tucked away in the bottom far right corner, almost off the map, a forest designated DL 1313. DL 1313 is uniquely situated because, unlike the other forest blocks on the slopes of Mt. Elphinstone, it is surrounded on three sides by houses. It is truly an urban forest. …But, Richmond said, ordinary citizens are beginning to wake up to the amazing potential of a wilderness forest on their doorstep. …To save DL 1313 will not be easy. A deadline is fast approaching.

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Caribou herds are dwindling, but the policies to protect them threaten northern way of life

By Jesse Snyder
The National Post
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite spending the better part of his career surrounded by endless stretches of boreal forest, John Unger has almost no first-hand knowledge of the boreal woodland caribou, a species whose survival instincts keep it deep in the woods and away from potential predators. “I’ve never seen a caribou in my life,” said the chief executive of La Crete Sawmills Ltd., a northern Alberta facility that employs around 100 people and is named after the hamlet it’s located in. But the naturally reclusive caribou could soon leave a major imprint on northern communities such as La Crete, Unger said, as Ottawa pushes ahead with contentious species protection plans to save threatened herds. The policy could have a “devastating” impact on Unger’s sawmill by designating large swaths of land off-limits to timber harvesting.

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New conservation officers to be hired in northern communities

Prince George Citizen
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A total of nine conservation officers have been hired to fill new and vacant postings in northern communities, while 11 others will be hired for postings elsewhere in B.C. The 20 new conservation officers were sworn in today in Victoria. A government news release stated that the eight of the staff have been hired to fill existing vacancies and areas where retirements are imminent. …Conservation officers cover specific zones and are responsible for responding to complaints and concerns within these zones. …”We recognize the need for additional conservation officers to help protect our natural resources and lessen human-wildlife conflicts. For too long, there has been a lack of frontline conservation officers, and communities have suffered the consequences,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, in a media statement.

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Salon de la forêt celebrates riches of the forest

Fiddlehead Focus
April 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

EDMUNDSTON, New Brunswick — The University of Moncton, Edmundston Campus, School of Forestry announces the 30th Salon de la forêt will take place at the Palladium of St. Jacques May 3-5 with the theme “30th Adventure.”  As is tradition, and through the generous contributions of its major partners, admission will be free during the show. The organizing committee will present a salon full of educational and entertaining activities for young and old. This year, over 50 exhibitors will be on hand with a variety of forest-related attractions. …There will be trout fishing, a Relay for Life benefit, tastings of maple products, face painting for children and a conference on FIRESMART: your home  – is it protected against forest fires? Other features will include food carving with chainsaws, a demonstration of forestry equipment and a baby contest.

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Two Thunder Bay forestry students develop hiking app

CBC News
April 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Two forestry students from Confederation College in Thunder Bay, Ont. have turned their end-of-term assignment into a business idea after their teacher advised them to seek out partners in the community for support. Katherine Couzelis and Graeme Saukko-Sved have developed an app that will highlight over 800 kilometres of hiking trails in northwestern Ontario. …they’ve decided to partner with a local marketing and communications agency to help them develop an app which is expected to be launched in June. …She said for every $10 donated, the two will also plant a tree as a way to give back to the community.

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Growers prepare to decide fate of Christmas tree checkoff

By Mateusz Perkowski
Capital Press
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Christmas tree farmers across the U.S. will begin voting May 1 on whether to continue funding a research and promotions “checkoff” program for the crop. The referendum will accept votes until May 31 from roughly 1,500 growers who sell more than 500 trees per year and are thus subject to the 15 cent per tree assessment. The checkoff program, overseen by the USDA and the Christmas Tree Promotion Board, completed its third annual advertising campaign last year since being launched in 2015. Roughly $1.8 million a year is collected under the program, with much of that money directed at an online and social media strategy intended to convince Millenial generation consumers to chose real trees over artificial ones.

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Management plans advance for central Idaho wilderness areas

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Three new central Idaho wilderness areas could have management plans in place this year. Federal officials released the Jim McClure-Jerry Peak Wilderness Management Plan covering 183 square miles (474 square kilometers) earlier this month, and are taking comments from those who have previously participated in the process through June 4. Officials say they chose a middle-ground plan when it comes to restrictions on human visitors and activities. “Most of the direction here is going to help with preserving the setting that people enjoy,” Emily Simpson said, a wilderness planner with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. …The wilderness areas contain lands administered by both the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The agencies are following a somewhat similar and parallel public process for each wilderness area.

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Ennis native is first woman to lead Montana forestry division

By Karl Puckett
The Great Falls Tribune
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sonya Germann

Sonya Germann is the new administrator of Montana’s Forestry Division, the largest division within the state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation. She’s the first woman to head the division, whose tasks include fire suppression, forestry programs and timber contracting on state lands. “I have a real passion for forestry, stewardship of our forests and the jobs and economies that our forest products support,” said Germann, who was chosen out of 38 applicants and six finalists. The Forestry Division is based in Missoula, the location of the University of Montana’s School of Forestry, but also includes six regional offices and several smaller offices around the state.

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International Paper and the Nature Conservancy Join Forces to Advance the Science of Climate Smart Forestry

By International Paper
The Corporate Social Responsibility Newswire
April 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MEMPHIS – International Paper and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) announced an agreement to collaborate on the development of ‘natural climate solutions’- the conservation, restoration and improved forest management techniques that increase carbon storage and avoid greenhouse-gas emissions in forest landscapes. The collaboration will focus on the expansion of Reduced-Impact Logging for Carbon (RIL-C) and its integration with forest certification. RIL-C is a set of practices pioneered by TNC that balance the economic needs of forest-based communities and businesses with environmental goals, especially climate mitigation. The collaboration will initially focus on implementing these practices in key priority tropical forest regions.

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10 of the tallest trees in the world

By Melissa Breyer
Treehugger
April 26, 2018
Category: Forestry

Trees may be stuck in the ground, but they’ve clearly got some enviable traits – I mean, who wouldn’t want to live in a pretty forest for a few thousand years? But despite all the things that trees are famous for, it’s perhaps their height that inspires the most reverie. Humans may have a lot of cool tricks, but we’ll never get to grow up to be 35 stories tall. In this regard, trees get to inhabit the best of all worlds, heaven and earth. …But unlike the proverbial beanstalk of Jack’s, scientists say they can’t grow upwards forever. …Consider the following 10 trees, each one the tallest in the world by species.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Canada’s other contentious energy export sees strong growth potential

By Ian Bickis
Canadian Press in the National Observer
April 27, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

As Canada’s attention is increasingly focused on the polarizing oil exports debate, another contentious energy export has been quietly gaining momentum. The humble wood pellet, once used mostly for small-scale home heating, has graduated to an alternative to coal in the hungry power plants of Europe and Asia with the disputed promise of carbon neutral energy.  Foreign demand has spurred the growth of operations across Canada, as companies look to make use of waste wood to produce about $500 million a year worth of the product, said Gordon Murray, executive director of the Wood Pellet Association of Canada. “It was big in B.C., and then a few Alberta plants got involved, and then also in the Maritimes, and now we’ve got plants in almost every province.”

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Wood pellet factories tend to smash air quality permits, new report commends Georgia

By David Pendered
Saporta Report
April 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Georgia won praise Thursday in a report largely critical of an issue portrayed as lax enforcement of air quality regulations of the wood pellet industry. Criticism also was laid on the new federal policy that power plants fueled by biomass don’t create carbon pollution. “Georgia has definitely played a leadership role in this [wood pellet] industry,” said Keri Powell, a former senior Clean Air Act attorney with the Atlanta office of the Environmental Protection Agency. Powell … co-wrote the new report, Dirty Deception: How the Wood Biomass Industry Skirts the Clean Air Act, on behalf of the Environmental Integrity Project. The report traces emissions by the fast-growing wood pellet industry. …Sami Yassa, Natural Resources Defense Council, said three Virginia coal-fired plants converted to biomass in 2012 now have higher emissions, and the conversion was so expensive that electricity now costs more than power provided through other alternative sources.

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Environmental group takes aim at Louisiana wood pellet plant

By Timothy Boone
The Advocate
April 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

An environmental group is taking aim at the wood pellet industry and in the process asking state officials to take steps to better regulate two manufacturing facilities in Bastrop and Urania that export product through the Port of Greater Baton Rouge to Britain. …The Environmental Integrity Project disputes claims from the biomass industry and U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt that burning wood pellets to generate electricity is carbon neutral, and said even plants like Drax Group’s Louisiana operations create air pollution in manufacturing the pellets. “The records show that the biomass industry releases not only millions of tons of greenhouse gases, but also tons of soot particles that can trigger asthma and heart attacks, as well as carcinogens and smog-forming pollutants,” said Patrick Anderson.

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Building Out Biomass in the Land Down Under

By Patrick C. Miller
Biomass Magazine
April 26, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Australia’s bioenergy sector is alive and brimming with ideas about how to keep pace with progress being made internationally. However, biofuels advocates believe the country lacks a clear strategy, as well as policies to harness the environmental benefits and economic potential that biomass energy offers.  “In contrast to the U.S. and Brazil, where supportive policy environments have led to sustained growth in biofuels production and consumption over the past several decades, the biofuels industry in Australia has not developed to the same extent,” states a paper issued earlier this year by the Queensland University of Technology, titled “Biofuels to bioproducts: a growth industry for Australia.”

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