Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: May 30, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Architecture / construction innovators Michael Green and Katerra to join forces

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

Design/build giant Katerra is growing with its announced purchase of renowned architectural firm Michael Green Architecture. Katerra also plans to open a CLT plant in Spokane Washington. In related news: a video by Seeker makes the case for skyscrapers made of wood and covered with plants.

In other Business news: CP Rail has reached a tentative agreement with its union; an Edmonton energy company plans to build a torrefied pellet plant in McBride BC; Weyerhaeuser is taking heat from community leaders; and the Alabama Forestry Association announced their picks for the 2018 election.

In Forestry news: critics speak out on old growth logging in BC; professional reliance (also in BC); over-logging in Nova Scotia and forest certification in Indonesia. Elsewhere: Nova Scotia promises to reduce old growth logging and Syracuse is using biotech to bring back the American chestnut tree.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Michael Green Architecture Becomes a Katerra Company

Michael Green Architecture
May 30, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Michael Green

Vancouver – Katerra, a technology company redefining the construction industry, and Michael Green Architecture Inc. (MGA), a globally recognized leader in mass timber architecture, announced a partnership today that underscores a profound evolution in the design and construction industries. … This new partnership will bring together technology, manufacturing, and design excellence to offer more sustainable, cost effective, and elegant architecture options to North American and global markets. In becoming a Katerra Company, MGA’s leadership and team will remain fundamentally unchanged and continue to provide their clients with thoughtful and sustainable solutions of all scales and typologies. …“MGA is excited to become a part of the Katerra ecosystem,” said Michael Green, CEO and President of MGA. 

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Canadian Pacific and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers reach a tentative three-year agreement

By Canadian Pacific
Cision Newswire
May 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

CALGARY – Canadian Pacific Railway Limited and System Council No. 11 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) are pleased to announce that we have reached a tentative three-year deal. CP President and CEO Keith Creel thanked the IBEW bargaining committee for their hard work and their creativity. “We have come through a number of challenging years to become an operational leader,” Creel said. “I look forward to working with this union to become the employer of choice.” Senior General Chairman Steve Martin expressed that while negotiations were difficult “in the end we have reached a good deal for our membership and we’re looking forward to building on the momentum of the last few days.”

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Weyerhaeuser clearcuts violate community values

By Arlene Burns and Peter Cornelison
The Hood River News
May 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

We recently became aware of Weyerhaeuser’s plans to clearcut approximately 250 acres south of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail located east of Hood River. Many residents and visitors recreate on this trail to enjoy the scenic beauty and natural splendor the experience provides. We are very concerned by the size and visibility of the proposed clearcuts and their effect on the quality of life that we enjoy in our communities. …Taken cumulatively, these clearcuts are the largest proposed in one area at one time since the passage of the National Scenic Area Act in 1986. …We urge Weyerhaeuser to develop a forest management plan that is more consistent with the protection of our national scenic treasure. …And community input on should always come before the cutting starts.

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Here’s everyone the Alabama Forestry Association has endorsed in the 2018 election cycle

By Elizabeth Lauten
Alabama Today
May 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ForestPAC the official political action committee of the Alabama Forestry Association, whose mission is to promote good stewardship of our renewable forest resources for the benefit of society and the forestry community, has announced its endorsement of candidates for the upcoming June 5 primary elections. ForestPAC is strictly non-partisan and supports candidates based on their pro-forestry and pro-business philosophy and record. Their mission is to elect candidates for legislative, local and statewide offices who demonstrate a commitment to conservative principles and support of forestry issues. The Board of Directors uses the following criteria to determine which candidates to support… Here’s everyone the Alabama Forestry Association has endorsed…

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Bill Schuette hears concerns of professionals in the logging industry

By Tyler Markle
Upper Michigan’s Source
May 29, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

ESCANABA, Mich. – Employers in the trades fields have found it more and more difficult to find workers over the years and the logging industry is no exception. A lack of skilled workers is one of the biggest issues logging companies deal with. …38th District State Senator Tom Casperson, who has a background in logging believes this is an issue that can be solved by expanding trades education in middle and high school, something that governor Snyder has worked to achieve. …The lack of skilled workers wasn’t the only complaint from those in attendance. Many spoke about the dangers of over regulation and how that can hinder their business. …Another struggle for the industry has been a lack of resources. …Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette heard these concerns, and even offered up his own solutions.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

UBC’s Wesbrook Village home to first mass timber condominiums in North America

By Peter Meiszner
Urban YVR
May 29, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

A new building at UBC’s Wesbrook Village is the first market condominium project in North America to use something called mass timber, also known as cross-laminated timber (CLT) in its construction. The six-storey Virtuoso development by Adera Development Corp. was honoured May 24 with a REAP Gold award by UBC Properties Trust. All new residential buildings at UBC must meet REAP building standards, which stands for Residential Environmental Assessment Program. The system was developed on-campus at the University of British Columbia and recognizes sustainable building practices. “When Adera told us they were planning to use CLTs we got quite excited to see that next step of innovation,” said Paul Young, director of planning and design at UBC Properties Trust.

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Lendlease commits to timber buildings at all of its development precincts around Australia

By Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review
May 30, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Developer Lendlease’s $140 million 9-storey 25 King Street projectin Brisbane’s RNA Showgrounds redevelopment will be Australia’s largest timber building when it is completed in October. It will be Lendlease’s fifth timber building in Australia and its second commercial building, following International House at the Barangaroo in Sydney. Lendlease said 25 King Street… will be the largest and tallest engineered timber office building in the world based on gross floor area. …Lendlease Building chief executive Dale Connor said the cost of timber building was on par with a traditional concrete structure, but he believed the development in design technology and the time savings from timber would soon make it a cheaper option. …”We are looking for opportunities to showcase timber at all of our major precincts around Australia,” Mr Connor said in an interview with The Australian Financial Review.

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How the world’s tallest timber building withstands fire

Construction & Maintenance
May 30, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Mjøstårnet will be the world’s tallest timber building. But what if a fire breaks out? “The fire safety measures that have been implemented in Mjøstårnet make the timber building far safer than a corresponding building with a traditional steel and concrete structure. Mjøstårnet is one of the safest buildings along lake Mjøsa, and can withstand even an extensive fire,” says Even Andersen. …up to 1997 it was prohibited to build timber houses taller than three storeys in Norway. This was due to the old “Brick law,” which came into effect after the Ålesund city fire in 1904. “…at Moelven we have long experience building tall and fireproof timber buildings. The key is in the structure and the use of glulam beams,” says CEO Rune Abrahamsen of Moelven Limtre. …The glulam structures have such huge dimensions that they retain their load-bearing ability in the event of a burnout fire.

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Skyscrapers of the Future Will Be Made of Wood and Cover ed in Plants

Seeker
May 30, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Skyscrapers are symbols of modern ambition. But the race to be the tallest is fueled by steel and concrete, two materials that account for an estimated 8% of global C02 emissions. So, what if the skyscrapers of the future were inspired by nature instead? Two countries in particular – Singapore and Canada – are attempting to transform the urban skyline. In Singapore, engineering firms like WOHA are coating their buildings with lush, native plants. …In Canada, architects and engineers are piloting new designs out of a familiar material: wood. To construct a wooden skyscraper, engineers use mass timber, which is engineered to handle loads similar to concrete and steel. 

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Forestry

B.C. First Nation not surprised by leaked audit’s info about energy vs caribou

By Bob Weber
Canadian Press in National Post
May 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A leaked audit that revealed energy companies in northeastern British Columbia routinely ignoring rules for development on caribou habitat is no surprise to a local Indigenous group. “We have concerns about how the (B.C. Oil and Gas Commission) regulates,” Katherine Wolfenden of the Fort Nelson First Nation said Tuesday. Wolfenden helped with field work for the 2014 audit, which looked at dozens of well sites, roads, pipelines, seismic lines and other associated infrastructure to assess how well energy companies followed the rules. The areas reviewed are all on Fort Nelson’s traditional territory, which band members use extensively. Wolfenden said the band never got the report, despite asking for it in 2016 and 2017. A leaked copy eventually arrived anonymously on her desk. …Charlotte Dawe of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee said well-meaning plans to protect the habitat of threatened caribou herds are being watered down throughout the province.

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Blame for felled Nahmint giant placed on NDP

By Mike Yours
The Alberni Valley News
May 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Logging underway in the Nahmint Valley threatens one of the last prime spots of B.C. old-growth habitat and points to the NDP government’s failure to honour its election promise, says an Island-based conservation group. Ancient Forest Alliance led a media tour on Wednesday, May 23 to examine a freshly felled Douglas fir estimated to be 800 years old. “This is a monumental screwup,” said Ken Wu, alliance executive director. “They’ve just cut down the ninth largest Douglas fir.”…He holds the NDP government directly responsible because the logging is administered by its own agency, B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS). BCTS has auctioned cut blocks that overlap areas of ancient old growth, the group contends. Extensive logging in the area began this spring.

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Government managing public lands poorly

By Bob Peart
Victoria Times Colonist
May 27, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Bob Peart

…However, if you go out to the woods today, you will be surprised to discover how poorly our lands, waters and natural resources are being managed. The BC government has abandoned the notion of stewarding the land for the future and is treating the province as “government land” to do with as they wish — with seemingly little respect for conservation, economic sustainability and the obligation to honour the rights of indigenous people. …The “professional reliance” approach lacks credibility, and leads to conflict and uncertainty on the land base. It harms the health of British Columbians, degrades our environment and has resulted in the loss of public trust and confidence in the decision-making process. …if you witness mismanagement of our forests or waters, contact your MLA. Let them know you want an improved resource management regime…

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Forestry hearing tone-deaf

Letter by Dale Smith
The Chronicle Herald
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Dale Smith

Recently, I sat in on the provincial legislature’s standing committee on resources, as an observer. The experience was surreal. …The underlying presumption conveyed is that Nova Scotia’s forests, and particularly forests on Crown lands, are de facto resources ripe for forestry industry exploitation — that is, at least where there’s a buck to be made. The not-so-subtle messaging is “Don’t worry, be happy,” supported by the spin that harvesting methods are guided by carefully considered science-based criteria. …Committee members probed tentatively, but did not manage to penetrate the façade that obscures the reality of decline so indisputably and distressingly evident to increasing numbers of concerned Nova Scotians. The session amounted to an industrial version of the dance of the seven veils deftly performed, not by the biblical Salome, but by the forestry industry proponents and apologists.

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Province, Port Hawkesbury Paper promise no more harvesting of old growth forests

By Jake Boudrot
The Port Hawkesbury Reporter
May 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

HALIFAX: The provincial government and Port Hawkesbury Paper are promising no more reoccurrences of an incident in which old growth forest was cut in Guysborough County. …The Department of Natural Resources recently assessed 27 forest stands in the Lawlor Lake area of Guysborough County. …Natural resources minister Margaret Miller said… “Now that we know that so much of this is old growth forest, it will not be cut, it will be maintained and preserved,” Miller stated. “It will be under protected lands, and certainly under the old growth forest policy, it will be kept. Also, old trees and old forest in that category, it also will be kept because eventually it will be old growth.” …Port Hawkesbury Paper said it will continue to comply with all provincial policies and procedures.

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We nearly killed off these trees. But biotech can bring them back.

By Andrew Newhouse
Washington Post
May 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

SYRACUSE — American chestnuts used to be unique and beautiful trees, providing sustenance and shelter for wildlife and a healthy and profitable nut crop for humans. …But tragically, American chestnuts were almost entirely wiped out when an invasive blight fungus was accidentally introduced to the United States in the late 1800s. …relatives of the American chestnut evolved with the blight fungus in Asia; they usually tolerate blight infections without much damage. …efforts to breed American with Chinese chestnuts to get desirable characteristics from both species… is a slow and unpredictable process… At the College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) here in Syracuse, our research team is trying a different approach. We’re using the tools of biotechnology to produce fully American chestnut trees that successfully tolerate blight infections, protecting the tree without even harming the blight fungus itself.

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Discovering new life in forests after fire

By Douglas Bevington, LDF Forest Program Director
The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Chad Hanson

…Conifer forests in the western U.S. are home to a special type of habitat known as “snag forests” that contain some of the highest levels of animal and plant diversity and abundance of any forest type. These important places are created when patches of intense, high-severity fire occur within larger wildfires. …The reality is that forest fires naturally burn with a mixture of severities. Most fires consist mainly of low- and moderate-severity effects where the majority of the trees survive the fire, while they also include patches of high-severity. There is a growing body of scientific research showing that the high-severity portions of these fires are creating great habitat. …Snag forests abound with life. Yet all these ecological benefits from fire are lost when snag forests are cut down. Forest ecologist Dr. Chad Hanson of the John Muir Project has spent a lot of time in snag patches for his field research…

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History on tap at Forks Logging Museum

By Zorina Barker
The Peninsula Daily News
May 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OLYMPIC PENINSULA — The Forks Timber Museum, 1421 Forks Ave., began pouring wine for the ladies of the Foxy Fedoras of Forks, one of two Red Hat groups on the West End. …Beginning this season, groups can pay for after-hours gatherings at the museum. …“Everything we have now is more cohesive for the visitor to get a more complete picture of life on the West End,” Offutt explained, adding “But we are still very steeped in logging history.” Reading names associated with items and displays at this museum is like reading a roster of West End homesteading and pioneer families.

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Invasive emerald ash borer discovered in Maine for first time

B Aislinn Sarnacki
The Bangor Daily News
May 29, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees throughout the country, has been found in Maine for the first time, in the northern town of Madawaska. Maine entomologists have been searching and preparing for this destructive insect from Asia for over a decade, and now that it has been discovered, state and federal officials are meeting to implement a statewide emergency-response plan. “We’ve been planning for it, and now we’re in the process of implementing a response,” John Bott, spokesman for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, said. “We need to gather more information from the field and then there will be a discussion as to what happens next.”

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Forests watchdog sends ultimatum to Indonesian paper giant

By Stephen Wright
The Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The main global group for certifying sustainable wood has sent a “come clean” ultimatum to one of the world’s largest paper companies and its billionaire Indonesian family owners following evidence it continues to cut down tropical forests and operate through corporate proxies. A May 28 letter from the Forest Stewardship Council seen Wednesday by The Associated Press makes four demands of Sinarmas and the Widjaja family that it insists must be met within days. The conglomerate’s years long effort to be readmitted to the council, whose stylized tree mark is an influential endorsement in the global marketplace, could be completely undone if it doesn’t comply. It was expelled in 2007 for extensive destruction of Indonesia’s rainforests.

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Forestry and fungi – a neglected relationship

Nordic Forest Research
May 30, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The consequences of forestry on fungal communities are seldom up to discussion in the debate, but new results indicate that logging have long-term impacts on important fungal groups. Disturbing the fungal balance may even lead tonutrient deficiency and reducedtree growth. …When trees are cut, mycorrhizal fungi lose their symbiotic partners. Recent studies have shown that mycorrhizal species decrease after a clear-cut, and instead give room to free-living fungiwith more efficient decomposition.This accelerates decomposition during the decade following clear-cutsresulting in a nutrient flush. Some mycorrhizal species recolonize the new forest stand, but others seem to be suppressed for longer times. …What can be done to prevent the long decline of certain mycorrhizal fungi? …It is probably more efficient toleave retention trees as forest patches. Uneven-aged forestry, avoiding clear- cuts, could also be effective.

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Forest Fires

Discarded cigarette butt ignites 100-year-old trestle bridge near Hope, B.C.

By Karin Larsen
CBC News
May 29, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

A small but difficult fire continues to burn on and underneath the Ladner Creek Trestle Bridge outside of Hope two days after the historic bridge caught fire. According to witnesses, on Sunday two men and one woman ventured across the dilapidated bridge and dropped a cigarette butt near the far end. By the time they returned, smoke was beginning to rise from the bridge deck. “We asked them were you smoking out there and they said, ‘shoot, that’s not good,'” said witness Mallory Mogg. …Mogg said within 20 minutes the fire had grown from campfire size to bonfire size, and the planks of wood from the rail bed were falling into the forest below, lighting the trees on fire. …The Coastal Fire Centre says the fire is currently 0.2 hectares in size, but that steep terrain is making it difficult for the crew fighting it. 

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Warm weather increases fire danger in Houston

BC Local News
May 29, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

As Houston recovers from the recent flooding, another concern is lurking on the horizon – wildfires. The Northwest Fire Centre had 15 wildfires between April 1 and May 22, compared to 11 during the same period last year. “We are certainly seeing warmer and dryer than normal conditions for this time of year, which has bumped the fire danger rating up to higher than usual levels as well,” said Kevin Skrepnek, B.C. Wildfire Service’s chief fire information officer. For most of last week Houston had a “moderate” fire danger rating, which means that forest fuels are drying and there is an increased risk of surface fires starting. Across the province, there were a total of 182 wildfires between April 1 and May 22. Of the 182 fires, 118 were human-caused.

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Here it comes: Fire season starts Friday

By Mark Freeman
The Mail Tribune
May 29, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

State wildland firefighters plan aggressive initial attacks on Southern Oregon wildfires this season, hoping to repeat last year’s success at curbing burned acreage on non-Forest Service lands to less than one-fifth of normal. The 2018 wildfire season officially begins Friday, June 1, on lands protected by the Oregon Department of Forestry, which is taking its aggressive-but-safe approach to initial attacks on grass, brush and forest fires. Jumping early on wildfire starts proved effective in 2017, when the season opened June 4 and saw 350 fires char just over 1,000 acres during the 138-day season, according to ODF. …The quick-attack approach also helped contain 97 percent of ODF’s fires here to less than 10 acres, records show.

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Wildfire in northwest Arizona grows to 230 acres, 25 percent containment

By Kimberly Rapanut
AZ Central
May 29, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

A wildfire burning near Sedona has continued to spread, engulfing up to 230 acres of land as of Tuesday afternoon. The so-called Sycamore Fire had tripled in size since Monday evening, and was said to be 25 percent contained. The fire was first reported Monday morning. More than 100 personnel, five helicopters, one air attack, four crews and one engine were battling the flames. The fire’s source appeared to be on the west side of Sycamore Canyon Wilderness, on the Prescott National Forest and 14 miles northwest of Sedona. The fire has stayed near the canyon’s western side, burning through rough terrain, as winds push smoke west and northwest. The fire’s cause is still under investigation; however, officials said there’s reason to believe humans caused it. The fire isn’t threatening any structures so far.

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You Thought The Eagle Creek Fire Was Out? Think Again.

By Cassandra Profita
Oregon Public Broadcasting
May 29, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

You probably thought the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge had died out — but no. A small hot spot flared up early Tuesday morning about a half-mile east of the Herman Creek Trailhead. …Firefighters are using nearby creek water to extinguish it. Rachel Pawlitz with the U.S. Forest Service said this is why the fire was never declared out even though it was fully contained in November. “Fires can be burning underground in organic matter we call duff, in the roots of large trees, deep within this large timber and actually can still have heat in them through the fall rains, winter snow and spring rains,” she said. “And then here we are again.

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Fire bans lifted across Northwestern Ontario

By Matt Vis
The Thunder Bay News Watch
May 29, 2018
Category: Forest Fires
Region: US East, United States

THUNDER BAY — The region-wide fire ban has been lifted, though the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry warns there are still some areas of Northwestern Ontario with a high forest fire hazard. The ministry on Tuesday announced the restricted zone, which had been declared two weeks ago, is no longer in effect after recent rain. People are urged to ensure campfires are completely extinguished and regulations under the Forest Fires Prevention Act, including no daytime burning of brush and wood debris, is adhered. …A municipal fire ban in Neebing remains in effect.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

The next big thing is forestry – company eyes McBride for $90 million biofuel plant

By Andru McCracken
The Rocky Mountain Goat
May 30, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

An Edmonton-based biomass energy company say they plan to build a torrefied pellet plant in McBride. 4Leaf Corp said they are currently in negotiations to buy 197 acres of industrial land for their Robson Valley Energy Centre and expect to close the deal by end of May. Jason Janus, chief executive officer of 4Leaf Corp said his company is responding to a growing market for torrefied pellets, specifically the Japanese market. Janus said torrefied pellets are required by Japan’s coal-fired power plants. He said the pellets are mixed with coal to lower greenhouse gas emissions. Torrefaction is a process that removes moisture and volatile gases from biomass, typically wood, and it leaves something like coal.

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Wood energy works with good forestry

Letter by Joe Zorzin, forester
Berkshire Eagle
May 29, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Joe Zorzin

In the May 24 Eagle is a letter, “Our local forests help protect environment” that has some faulty conclusions regarding forest policies. Yes indeed, the forests are a carbon sink and yes indeed “development and poor forestry practices are major threats.” And it’s also true that, “A balance must be struck between preserving our carbon-dense forests while carefully utilizing them so owners will not sell or develop them.” But the conclusion that use of the forests for energy represents bad forestry and that it’s bad for the climate is simply not true. Wood for energy is only a byproduct of good forest management and allows the wood industry to weed the forests of poor quality and low value trees that otherwise will degrade the health and future value of the forests.

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Design/Build Giant Acquires Michael Green Architecture, Plans to Open CLT Factory

By Randy Gragg
Architectural Record
May 30, 2018
Category: General
Region: Canada, United States

In three short years, the design/build firm Katerra has grown from a Silicon Valley entrepreneur’s bright idea into what soon could be one of the largest commercial residential construction firms in the country. The strategy: vertically integrate every layer of construction, from design to the fixtures and subcontracting in order to lower costs, build faster, and raise quality. The means: venture capital (over $1 billion so far) plus acquisitions of existing companies in the building and products industry. Now Katerra is moving to buy architecture firms, and today is announcing the acquisition of the mass timber innovator Michael Green Architecture of Vancouver, with a staff of 25. … “It was love at first sight,” said Michael Marks, chairman and co-founder of Katerra, by phone. …To date, Katerra has focused on market-rate multi-family housing… But the company is plotting a major mass timber push with a state-of-the-art 250,000-square-foot CLT factory in Spokane, Washington, opening in early 2019.

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