Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 11, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Michael leaves trail of destruction in Florida, two dead.

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 11, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida’s Panhandle left wide destruction and at least two people dead. In related news: Forbes Magazine asks – what kind of architecture best withstands hurricanes [wood of course], while flooding in North Carolina renews the debate over logging and wood pellets. Elsewhere: BC’s natural gas explosion closes three Canfor mills; Irving pleads guilty to three pollution charges in New Brunswick; and ND Paper plans to reopen the Old Town mill in Maine.

In other news: mass timber is hyped in New York City and Hamilton, while Charlottetown adopts new code to allow taller wood structures; BC and Washington pledge habitat protection; Ireland’s forestry boom is panned; and Europe’s forests may not help fight climate change.

Finally, Vicki Christiansen, the US Forest Service Chief, took the interim off her title; and an acornucopia erupts in Washington DC.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor 

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Froggy Foibles

Call it an acornucopia: Oak trees in our area are producing tons of seeds this year

By John Kelly
The Washington Post
October 10, 2018
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: United States

I like a conversation that begins with, “You’re witnessing one of nature’s weirdest phenomena that we still don’t fully understand.” And that’s exactly what Scott Aker said the other day when I rang him up at the National Arboretum, where he is the head of horticulture and education. …“We’re seeing a lot of white oaks now producing a bumper crop of seeds,” he said. It’s called a mast year. …“It’s called the predator satiation hypothesis,” said Michael Steele, a biology professor at Wilkes University in Pennsylvania. …Every few years, trees such as oaks produce an overabundance of acorns, so many that the predators can’t possibly eat them all.

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Business & Politics

Canada can avoid offending U.S. by pursuing sectoral trade with China: report

By Andy Blatchford
The Canadian Press in the Prince George Citizen
October 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA — Dozens of experts are urging Canada to choose a surgical, sector-by-sector approach when it comes to expanding its trading relationship with China rather than a sweeping free trade deal that could risk provoking the United States, says a new report. …The study will also arrive after Canada recently agreed to a free trade pact with the U.S. and Mexico, a deal that includes a controversial new clause requiring the countries to notify each other if they enter into trade talks with a “non-market” economy. The clause makes no specific mention of China, but the provision is being widely viewed as an attempt by Washington to single out Beijing. Even with these new constraints, the report advises Canada to chase several targeted arrangements covering numerous sectors ranging from agri-food, to natural resources, to education.

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Blast forces closure of Canfor operations

The Prince George Citizen
October 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Nobody had a closer view of Tuesday night’s natural gas pipeline blast than the employees of Northwood Pulp Mill. The Canfor factory was on the doorstep of the explosion, but, said company spokesperson Michelle Ward, “Northwood did not sustain any structural damage.” …”Both our Northwood and Prince George Pulp and Sawmill have been shut down due to the gas supply being turned off,” said Ward. “Our Intercontinental Pulp Mill is continuing to operate with the use of alternate fuels.” Ward added that the employees of Northwood and Prince George Pulp and Sawmill were, despite the shutdown, “continuing to work. They are performing maintenance or other activities.”

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Sale of 3 coastal pulp and paper mills hailed as win for 1,500 workers in B.C.

By Liam Britten
CBC News
October 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Business leaders and the provincial government are hailing the sale of three coastal pulp and paper mills as a win for the 1,500 workers employed there. British Columbia-based Catalyst Paper Corp. has reached an agreement to sell three coastal mills to Paper Excellence Canada of Richmond, B.C. …In a statement, B.C. Premier John Horgan called the sale of Catalyst to Paper Excellence a “major vote of confidence in our province and people. More importantly, it will help keep families and communities strong as we continue to revitalize our coastal forest sector,” Horgan said. …Paper Excellence CEO Brian Baarda told All Points West guest host Manusha Janakiram the deal would provide certainty to Catalyst employees and retirees. …”The initial feedback from all three communities has been that they’re pleased to see that this transaction has been announced,” Baarda said.

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Speakers tackle industry challenges at National Hardwood Lumber Association

By Ellen Cools
Wood Business – Canadian Forest Industries
October 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Andy Moses, Penske Logistics’ vice-president of global products, began the day… discussing the difficulties in trucking, how to overcome them, and technology trends. As many industry professionals know, the main challenge facing transportation today is replacing professional drivers as they retire. Attracting younger drivers is difficult not only because trucking isn’t seen as a skilled profession, but also because pay arrangements are performance oriented – paid per mile. …In fact, some technology, such as autonomous vehicles, could resolve the driver shortage. …But other trends in the industry are more positive, as Brooks Mendall, president and CEO of Forisk, pointed out. Over the past 30 years, the logging industry has become more efficient thanks to increased experience and improved equipment, Mendall said. In fact, the industry has been 1.2 – 1.5 per cent more productive each year.

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Irving Pulp and Paper pleads guilty to pollution charges, faces $3.5M penalty

By Bobbi-Jean Mackinnon
CBC News
October 9, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Irving Pulp and Paper has pleaded guilty to three charges under the federal Fisheries Act related to numerous “significant” instances of effluent discharges from its pulp mill in west Saint John into the St. John River over a two-year period. The company has agreed to pay $3.5 million in penalties as part of an agreed statement of facts and joint recommendation presented in provincial court Tuesday that involved 12 other charges being withdrawn. A condition of the proposed court agreement would require the company to install a multi-million-dollar effluent treatment facility as a condition to operate. …If the $3.5 million penalty is imposed, it will be one of the largest penalties for depositing of deleterious substances. …Irving Pulp and Paper self-reported all of the incidents, co-operated with the investigation, and accepted responsibility through its guilty pleas, said Adams.

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Christiansen becomes full chief of Forest Service

By Rob Chaney
The Helene Independent Record
October 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Vicki Christiansen

Vicki Christiansen took the “interim” off her title and became the chief of the U.S. Forest Service on Wednesday. In taking over the agency’s top post, Christiansen continues a trend of bringing Missoula-headquartered Forest Service Region 1 experience to Washington, D.C. …Christiansen was made interim chief in May, after then-Chief Tony Tooke resigned in the wake of a sexual misconduct investigation.  The Forest Service oversees 154 national forests and 20 grasslands in three states and Puerto Rico. It has nearly 30,000 employees. …During a May appearance in Missoula, Christiansen said changing the culture of the Forest Service would be one of her top priorities. One of her first actions was to have an agency-wide “stand-up” where staff pledged to be accountable for changing the workplace climate for the better.

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Michael leaves trail of destruction in Florida, now roars across U.S. southeast

The Associated Press
October 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The most powerful hurricane on record to hit Florida’s Panhandle left wide destruction and at least two people dead and wasn’t nearly finished Thursday as it crossed Georgia, now as a tropical storm, toward the Carolinas, that are still reeling from epic flooding by Hurricane Florence. …The storm’s maximum sustained winds have decreased to 80 km/h and it was moving to the northeast at 33 km/h. The core of Michael will move across eastern Georgia into Central South Carolina on Thursday morning. …Damage in Panama City near where Michael came ashore Wednesday afternoon was so extensive that broken and uprooted trees and downed power lines lay nearly everywhere. Roofs were peeled away, sent airborne, and homes were split open by fallen trees.

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Shuttered paper mill to be sold, reopened next year

The Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
October 10, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

A shuttered Maine paper mill may reopen next year under new ownership. ND Paper LLC, which also owns a paper mill in Rumford, said Wednesday it has an agreement to purchase the Old Town property from OTM Holdings LLC. ND Paper will pay an undisclosed amount and promises it will bring over 100 high-paying jobs to the area. OTM Holdings bought the mill in January, also saying it would bring 100 jobs to the area as it aimed to attract tenants. The University of Maine’s forest bioproducts research institute has a research center in the mill’s warehouse, which city officials say will remain on the property. [END]

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A ‘smok’n and blow’n’ US housing sector poses challenge for Aussies

By John Halkett
Timber & Forestry E-News
October 11, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Brian Hawrysh

WITH 98% of the timber exported from Canada going across the border into the US, clearly a lesson for producers is the high risk and vulnerability of putting all your eggs in the one basket. Certainly, diversifying their export trade would seem to be a sensible strategy. Here is where Australia might get a more prominent seat at the table. An enhanced timber trade relationship between Australia and Canada could be mutually beneficial. From an Australia perspective, structural softwoods and engineered wood products to support home and mid- rise construction provide opportunities for collaborative trade enterprises between the Australian timber trade and Canadian suppliers. BC Wood chief executive Brian Hawrysh is no stranger to the Australian timber scene. …Brian now heads BC Wood, a critical organisationin British Columbia’s mega timber industry. He says that while outflanked today by mining and tourism the timber industry remains central to the economy and prosperity of theprovince.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Charlottetown council approves new National Building Code

By Isabella Zavarise
CBC News
October 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Charlottetown is moving forward to implement the 2015 National Building Code by the end of October. Council passed a motion Wednesday night to introduce the new code. Coun. Greg Rivard, the chair of planning and heritage, said developers have been waiting for this change. …”With the amount of units that are approved to be built, and listening to what the developers are saying, that they want this new National Building Code,” said Rivard. …Rivard said one of the biggest changes for developers will be the opportunity to build an extra floor, increasing building height from four storeys to five. “It also talks about building out of wood over 40 feet. That’s key,” he said. “Right now everything that’s constructed over the 40 feet, the four floors requires steel. You can do so with wood now, under the new by law.”

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Hamilton-Niagara Chapter thinks wood

Construction Canada
October 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Construction Specifications Canada’s Hamilton-Niagara Chapter has organized an evening of networking and interactive presentations highlighting design and construction practices using engineered wood products and mass timber systems. It will be held on October 24 from 5:30 to 9 p.m. at Shawn & Ed Brewing Co. Jack Keays, P.Eng. (Vortex Fire Consulting), will present on “Current Wood Building Projects in Ontario.” He will speak about mass timber and wood design considerations for designers and specifiers. He will be followed by Lauren Cottell (Sansin Corporation) who will talk on “Extending the Lifecycle of Wood Buildings Through Design, Coating and Maintenance Planning.” In this presentation, Cottell will review design decisions that lead to maximum durability when using wood, discuss the role of coatings to combat the most common weathering and biological decay factors, and show project examples where design and coatings come together to maximize wood’s performance.

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What Kind Of Architecture Best Withstands Hurricanes?

By Regina Cole
Forbes Magazine
October 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

In 1911, Harry Filson, a Houston lumber magnate, built a summer house in Morgan’s Point, Texas. Since then, many a hurricane has blown away neighboring homes and trees and flooded the area, but this venerable American Foursquare stands. In Pasadena, California, the Blacker House and the Gamble House… were built in 1907 and 1908 and have stood through earthquakes, even while newer structures crumbled. Greene and Greene’s Ultimate Bungalows are symphonies in wood, built like boats of heavy timbers pegged together and married to over a dozen varieties of wood species in timber beams, rafter tails, wall shakes and interior elements. When the ground shakes under them, the wood moves and flexes, but the houses stand. What these vastly different kinds of architecture have in common is a reliance on wood for both strength and flexibility, and building techniques that cut no corners.

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Bowdoin’s new Roux Center isn’t just another academic building

By Maureen Milliken
Maine Biz
October 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

The story of Bowdoin College’s new Roux Center for the Environment begins with the iconic white pines that surround it on the Brunswick campus. …The building is LEED platinum certified, as well as being the campus’s “most technologically advanced building,” Mansfield said. …One of the most innovative aspects of the building is its Cambia thermally modified poplar siding, which came from Northland Forest Products in Kingston, N.H. …The thermally modified process, used in Europe for years, takes fast-growing young wood — in this case poplar — and heats it to destroy the organic compounds in it that are prone to rot and insect infestation. The result is a durable, hardwood that requires no maintenance or coating. Like the cedar shingles so common on Maine homes and coastal buildings, the coffee-brown wood weathers to a soft gray over several years.

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A recent seminar in New York City talks up the use of mass timber for taller buildings

By John Caulfield
Building Design + Construction
October 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

If all goes as planned, the first phase of Riverfront Square, a seven-phase 5-million-sf redevelopment on 11.8 acres in Newark, N.J., could break ground next Spring. The master plan for Riverfront Square…calls for up to 1,800 residential apartments, a 240-key 185,000-sf hotel and conference center, a 30,000-sf arts and cultural space, and up to 2 million sf of Class A office space. …Linehan shared new details about Riverfront Square during “Timber in the City,” a seminar on mass timber for urban construction held on October 5 at Parsons School of Design|The New School in New York City, and cosponsored by the Binational Softwood Lumber Council. …But the seminar was also a sobering reminder that mass timber in residential and commercial construction is still an outlier, and that its broader acceptance faces many barriers. Several projects that speakers alluded to during the seminar haven’t moved beyond their drawing boards.

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New sustainable pulping technologies

European Commission
October 11, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The vision of the pulp and paper industry is to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions while improving energy and resource efficiency. Hence, a European initiative has developed a breakthrough technology for greener pulp production. Currently, pulping of wood to isolate cellulose fibres for paper production uses energy-intensive technologies developed more than a century ago that require fossil chemicals. There is an overall consensus towards greener processes that require less energy, are more sustainable but at the same time retain the efficiency of high quality pulp production. The pulp and paper industry can make a major contribution towards a resource-efficient world, supporting global efforts towards a low-carbon bioeconomy. Partners of the EU-funded PROVIDES project developed an innovative technology for wood and agro-based lignocellulose raw materials. “Our aim was to achieve 40 % energy reduction and 80 % CO2 emission reduction in the pulp and papermaking industry,″ explains project coordinator Annita Westenbroek.

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Cairo WoodShow to launch 1st International Buyer Program

Thomson Reuters Zawya
October 10, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Cairo WoodShow anticipates the biggest participation of major wood and woodworking machinery players from North Africa in its fourth edition to be held on November 30-December 3, 2018 at the Cairo International Convention Exhibition Center in Egypt. The event brings together exhibitors and buyers to meet and explore investment opportunities and conclude business deals. This year’s edition of Cairo WoodShow introduces its newest feature, the International Buyer Program where manufacturers, contractors, traders and real buyers from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Sudan, Lebanon, and Jordan can meet and conclude regional and international business deals to further boost the growth of timber industry in the region. …Through Cairo WoodShow’s International Buyer Program, exhibitors coming mostly from the region can maximize the dedicated platform to increase their business bottom line as the 4-day event will provide direct negotiation between exhibitors and genuine buyers, and trade servicing feature between nations.

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Forestry

B.C. and Washington pledge to protect habitat for orcas, salmon

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in the Nanaimo Bulletin
October 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

Jay Inslee & John Horgan

B.C. Premier John Horgan and Washington Gov. Jay Inslee pledged Wednesday to do their part to protect chinook salmon habitat, the main diet for southern resident killer whales that have been a focus of concern on both sides of the border. …Horgan and Inslee pledged to continue work on inland areas, including logging protection for the Skagit River and the Columbia, which lost most of its salmon runs due to hydro dams on the U.S. side of the border. Horgan said he has given assurances… that the B.C. government will carefully review the impact of logging in an excluded area between Manning Provincial Park and Skagit Valley Provincial Park on the B.C. side of the Skagit River watershed. B.C. Timber Sales received permits under the previous B.C. Liberal government to log in the so-called “doughnut hole” area of the park.

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Timber poaching a growing problem on Vancouver Island

By Susan Lazaruk
Vancouver Sun
October 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Magnificent trees that are hundreds of years old are being poached by timber thieves, sometimes just to turn a quick buck by reducing old-growth Douglas fir to firewood. B.C.’s natural resource officers are always on the lookout for poachers but are also asking the public to report any suspicious activities they witness while hiking or riding on Crown land. Timber poachers are becoming more of a problem on Vancouver Island where they under the cover of darkness enter Crown land and chop down old-growth trees. “We’ve seen a real surge of blatant timber theft across Vancouver over the last couple of years,” said Luke Clarke, a natural resource enforcement officer with the Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Ministry. He said the thieves are targeting commercial-grade timber and cutting down the trees, sometimes unsafely, to sell it to unscrupulous mills or unsuspecting individuals. 

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Poaching elk is stealing from us all

By Editorial Board
BC Local News
October 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

There are about 3,660 Roosevelt elk in British Columbia. Most of them (3,300) live on Vancouver Island. In the Cowichan Valley we are lucky enough to be able to see these magnificent creatures in person, as some call this area home. …They are a part of the character of Cowichan Lake… Residents name the animals (sometimes after the various bits and pieces of human detritus they’ve gotten stuck in their antlers) and look for them year after year. But too often there are those with no respect for these animals, whose population, really, is tiny. Just over 3,000 may seem like a lot out of context, but in the grand scheme of things, that’s perilously close to extinction, if just a few conditions change for the worse. One of those adverse conditions is the poachers who every year, without compunction endanger the local herds with their senseless slaughter.

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Tiny tree-killing pest exacting huge financial toll on Saskatoon

By Phil Tank
The Star Phoenix
October 11, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A destructive three-millimetre insect is straining Saskatoon city hall’s ability to keep up with the devastation it leaves behind. A city council committee endorsed three initiatives Tuesday to try to address the carnage left behind by the cottony ash psyllid, which has killed thousands of black ash trees in Saskatoon. The toll on Saskatoon’s trees will likely change the way the city plants trees in the future, with an eye to a greater mix, council’s environment, utilities and corporate services committee heard. …The city removed 1,661 trees this year in response to the psyllid infestation, including the removal of 1,175 tree stumps, while 385 trees were replanted. However, another 2,900 trees need to be removed.

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Rosendale solicits concerns from regional logging industry

By Duncan Adams
Daily Inter Lake
October 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Five men from the region whose livelihoods hinge on cutting timber met with U.S. Senate candidate Matt Rosendale Tuesday afternoon in a back room at Sykes, in downtown Kalispell, to outline a host of challenges facing their industry. The Glendive Republican and state auditor continued his campaign to oust incumbent U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, a Democrat. In August, Rosendale met at Sykes with local veterans to hear their concerns. On Tuesday, the timber industry representatives listed concerns ranging from restrictions tied to the Endangered Species Act to the process for cutting timber on lands managed by the U.S. Forest Service, which they said is encumbered by red tape, snarled by litigation and hampered by the Forest Service’s apparent reluctance to identify acreage for logging.

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A forestry boom is turning Ireland into an ecological dead zone

By Mary Colwell
The Guardian
October 10, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

We all love trees. …So when Europe’s least forested country, Ireland, sets a target to increase tree cover from 11% to 18% by 2046, we should all applaud, shouldn’t we? Unfortunately the new woodland rising across Ireland is an ecological dead zone. Sitka spruce plantations …now cover what was once nature-rich farmland. Dense blocks of these non-native coniferous trees smother the landscape, driving out endangered wildlife … that could be extinct in Ireland within the decade. …But do plantations of conifers really act as a cure-all for Ireland’s carbon woes? Not necessarily. A lot of carbon is stored in the soils of peatland and marginal grassland. If they are disturbed, however, by ploughing, draining, tree planting and felling, they can release more carbon into the atmosphere than will be sequestered by the trees. So simply planting trees does not equate to a net lowering of carbon in the atmosphere. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

How Carbon Trading Became a Way of Life for California’s Yurok Tribe

By Carolyn Kormann
The New Yorker
October 10, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

When Marty Lamebear is not fighting fires, he is starting them. In the past few years, as a member of the Yurok Tribe Forestry Program’s fire department, he has been helping revive the controversial practice of prescribed burns to protect and restore the coastal redwood forests of northern California. …Around 2010, Yurok leaders began negotiating a way to participate in California’s cap-and-trade program. For each metric ton of carbon that the tribe can prove its forests have sequestered from the atmosphere, the California Air Resources Board (carb) issues the tribe one offset credit. …The Yurok’s carbon-offset project, among the first of its kind in the United States, has become the tribe’s main source of discretionary income. It has helped the tribe buy back, to date, nearly sixty thousand acres—up from five thousand.

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Post-Hurricane Floods Renew Debate Over North Carolina Wood Pellet Industry

By David Boraks
WFAE
October 10, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Production of wood pellets continues to expand in North Carolina and across the South. Millions of tons are sent every year to be burned in power plants in Europe, where they’re considered a form of renewable energy. But after heavy flooding from hurricanes Matthew and Florence, there’s also growing debate over just how environmentally friendly they are. It’s a debate among competing ideas about how to solve global climate change. On one side is Enviva, the world’s largest wood-pellet producer, which has three plants in North Carolina — and soon to be four. …Most wood pellets from the Southeast are shipped to Europe, where they’re burned for energy, as a “green” alternative to coal. …On the other side of the debate are environmental groups that object to the increased logging needed to feed Enviva’s plants. The Asheville-based Dogwood Alliance estimates the company must cut 37 acres of forest a day for each plant.

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EU forests can’t help climate fight: study

By Patrick Galey
Phys.org
October 10, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Europe cannot rely on its forests to help ward off the effects of climate change, experts warned Wednesday, calling instead for nations to protect their natural resources against the warming planet. The world’s current roadmap to mitigate climate disaster encourages EU nations to use their forests to help suck greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere. But European scientists now say no approach to forest management complies with the goals of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. …They warn that attempts to use forests to store greater amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases might have unexpected side effects—including darkening the Earth’s surface leading to higher surface temperatures—and that it would be better to protect woodland from climate change. …They unearthed a climate Catch-22.

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Health & Safety

MPs agree there’s much more to do on safety in forestry

By First Union
Scoop Independent News
October 11, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: International

Politicians have responded with shock to revelations from forestry and wood processing workers at a symposium on the future of work in the industry. FIRST Union’s Forestry & Wood Processors Symposium 2018 was attended by Union members, delegates and officials, Green Party leader Marama Davidson and Labour list MP in Tauranga Jan Tinetti. The symposium also hosted a panel of industry leaders including WPMA’s Dr. Jon Tanner, Refining NZ Chief Executive Mike Fuge, Professor Göran Roos from Intellectual Capital Services and Greenpeace Executive Director Dr Russel Norman. Workers told the panels they felt an increase in fatalities in the industry is due to a combination of issues deriving from the competitive contracting models used in forest. They cited decreases in training programmes and an increased pressure to work longer hours and to produce products faster.

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