Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 25, 2018

Today’s Takeaway

Serial arsonist suspected in Oakland construction blazes: concrete industry claims combustible materials are the problem

The Tree Frog Forestry News
October 25, 2018
Category: Today's Takeaway

After six under-construction residential complex fires in Oakland over two years, evidence points to a serial arsonist; unless of course you’re the concrete industry and the problem is the combustible materials. In related news: the USDA announces a grant program to expand wood product use and wood energy markets.

In Business news: Northern Pulp’s stand-off at sea makes the Washington Post, but the company is committed to staying, and the forest industry watches and worries. Other company news includes: Canfor’s solid third quarter; West Fraser’s beaten up stock; White River’s resurgence; Resolute’s Thunder Bay investment; the cause of Western Forest Products’ train derailment in Woss; and Weyerhaeuser’s truck driver shortage.

Finally, a US study says burning more biomass for energy is required to suck CO2 out of the air; but the Dogwood Alliance and others say it’s a dangerous delusion.

–Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

If you’re looking for beaten-up stocks, this is a sector to watch

By David Berman
The Globe and Mail
October 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Beaten-up forestry stocks led us into this bout of market mayhem. Will they lead us out? West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. epitomizes the forestry sector’s dismal state. The stock price tumbled 28 per cent since mid-August amid falling lumber prices and concerns that higher borrowing costs are depressing homebuilding activity. …Much like the broader market, forestry stocks have enjoyed a good run during the past nine years of economic expansion. …Now, though, the fundamentals are less supportive. …And U.S. housing starts appear to be levelling off at about 1.2 million units a month. …The takeaways here? First, West Fraser is a company that’s making piles of money, even with lumber prices down. Second, it’s impossible to know when this stock will hit bottom. And third, if you’re looking for beaten-up stocks, this one should be on your list.

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Canfor Reports Results for Third Quarter of 2018

Cision Newswire
October 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Company reported operating income of $201.8 million for the third quarter of 2018, down $80.3 million from reported operating income of $282.1 million for the second quarter of 2018, with the decline reflecting lower operating earnings in both the lumber and pulp and paper segments.  Reported results for the third quarter of 2018 included a net duty expense of $42.6 million, at a current effective countervailing duty and anti-dumping duty rate of 14.94%, compared to $51.7 million reported in the second quarter of 2018.  After adjusting for duties, operating income was $244.4 million for the third quarter of 2018, down $89.4 million from similarly adjusted operating income in the second quarter of 2018.  Adjusted lumber segment earnings primarily reflected steep declines in Western Spruce/Pine/Fir and Southern Yellow Pine benchmark lumber prices, and to a lesser extent, the disruptive impacts of severe forest fires in Western Canada, and Hurricane Florence in the US South…

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Resolute Investing $40 Million in its Northwestern Ontario Operations and Spending an Additional $13.5 Million on Major Maintenance

By Resolute Forest Products Inc.
Cision Newswire
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

MONTREAL – Resolute Forest Products Inc.today announced $40 million in investments at its Northwestern Ontario operations, in addition to $13.5 million in major maintenance and the creation of 25 new jobs. The announcement was made at a press conference in Thunder Bay attended by OntarioPremier Doug Ford, Ontario Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry Jeff Yurek, and many dignitaries and company employees. “Resolute has a strong operating presence in the region, and we are committed to investing in our facilities to ensure their profitability and long-term competitiveness,” stated Yves Laflamme, president and chief executive officer. “A secure fiber supply and sustainable business environment remain critical to future investments in the province.” The investment plan includes $14.7 million for the company’s Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill to improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as well as $14.3 million to improve pulp capacity, reduce costs and maintain assets. 

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White River enters the golden age

By Ian Ross
Northern Ontario Business
October 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The resurgence in mining and forestry in northwestern Ontario is having a transformative effect on the community of White River. The township’s once-shuttered sawmill has been up and running for the last five years as White River Forest Products, under the legendary Frank Dottori, and 25 kilometres to the north, mining mogul Stephen Roman and Harte Gold are bringing the newly christened Sugar Zone Mine to life. …Housing is at a premium and there’s a glaring need for people to fill industry and service sector jobs, “but it’s all good news to the community,” said long-time Mayor Angelo Bazzoni. …Bazzoni leads a pro-business council that teamed with Pic Mobert First Nation to buy the idled saw mill assets off Domtar in 2013 and recruited Dottori to buy in and take over the operation. The majority of the mill’s workforce commutes from surrounding communities.

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Resolute set to announce new investments in NW Ontario

By Gary Rinne
Thunder Bay News Watch
October 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — Resolute Forest Products is poised to make what’s expected to be a major announcement about new spending related to upgrading or expansion of its operations in northwestern Ontario. The company has called a news conference for Thursday morning at its Thunder Bay pulp and paper mill. Resolute says the purpose is to “announce significant investments and projects underway at its Northwestern Ontario pulp, paper and sawmill operations in Thunder Bay, Atikokan and Ignace.” Premier Doug Ford and Ontario Natural Resources and Forestry Minister Jeff Yurek will participate in the event. [END]

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Forestry industry watches Northern Pulp situation

By Adam Macinnis
The Chronicle Herald
October 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

FOXBROOK, PICTOU COUNTY — Andrew Watters can’t help but worry about the future. He manages the Group Savoie sawmill in Foxbrook. …A bigger worry for forestry workers is the future of Northern Pulp. In an industry that is interconnected, Watters hopes, for the sake the sawmill he works at and others in the province, that Northern Pulp will be able to build a new effluent treatment facility and continue operation in Pictou County without interruption. More than 35 per cent of the saw logs that come into Group Savoie are from Northern Pulp, which sorts the wood and sends it to the place where the wood will get the highest value. …Jeff Bishop, executive director for Forest Nova Scotia, said the impact of the mill is significant. He believes if Northern Pulp were to ever close, the impact would be immediate.

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In Nova Scotia, a dispute between fishermen and a pulp mill escalates with a standoff at sea

By Antonia Noori Farzan
The Washington Post
October 25, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PICTOU, NOVA SCOTIA — The fishing piers and the pulp mill represent two of the area’s major industries. But recently, they’ve been embroiled in conflict. Late last year, Northern Pulp announced plans to pipe chemically treated wastewater into the Northumberland Strait. Fishermen have argued that doing so would effectively destroy their livelihood. …On Tuesday, a showdown took place after fishermen spotted a boat they believed was doing preliminary survey work on behalf of the pulp mill. A fleet of fishermen met the vessel about two miles offshore and confronted the crew, then escorted them back to the dock. …Northern Pulp told the CBC, “At all times, the safety of employees, contractors and their employees is our first priority. …“If they come back there might be another ship wreck on the bottom of pictou harbour,” one fisherman wrote in a comment on a Facebook post.

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‘Challenges ahead’: Northern Pulp committed to staying in Pictou County despite timeline crunch

By Adam Macinnis
The News
October 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Paper Excellence says it’s still committed to a future in Pictou County. Despite vocal opposition to its proposed plans for a replacement treatment facility that would pipe treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait, an ever-narrowing window to get the project complete before the Boat Harbour Treatment Facility is mandated to close and even though Paper Excellence has just purchased three pulp mills out west that produce a similar product, the company has no plans on pulling out of Pictou County, says Kathy Cloutier, director of corporate communications. “Paper Excellence executives… are committed to this project, Northern Pulp and its future,” she said. Over the summer, Cloutier said the company has tried to listen to the concerns about the original proposed route and have developed one that is more land-based but will still discharge treated effluent into the Northumberland Strait.

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Packaging Corporation of America CEO Mark Kowlzan named RISI Global Containerboard CEO of the Year

By RISI
Cision Newswire
October 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Mark Kowlzan

BOSTON — RISI, the leading information provider for the global forest products industry, today announced that Mark Kowlzan, Chairman and CEO of Packaging Corporation of America (PCA), has been named 2018 Global Containerboard CEO of the Year. …The Global Containerboard CEO of the Year is nominated by a group of investment analysts and portfolio managers covering the international containerboard industry. Candidates are nominated for showing vision and leadership and achieving strong financial returns over the past year. …Analysts credited Mr. Kowlzan for delivering the highest returns for any publicly-traded containerboard/corrugated box suppliers. …Since July 2010, PCA’s stock price has risen from $21/share to as high as $131/share earlier this year. 

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Weyerhaeuser funds wood product truck driving program in Maine

By Robert Dalheim
Woodworking Network
October 24, 2018
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

DEXTER, Maine – Wood products and timberlands giant Weyerhaeuser is teaming up with a Maine technical center to build upon a commercial driver’s license training program. Tri-County Technical Center in Dexter, Maine will train high school junior and senior students how to load and drive logging trucks. Students – a maximum of 10 to start – will have the opportunity to either intern with a company during summer months or be selected for an apprenticeship opportunity leading to full-time employment, reports Mainebiz. Maine is the only state in the country that trains and licenses students under 18. Weyerhaeuser is funding the program because of an overall driver shortage, say program runners.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

US Forest Service announces $8 million to expand wood products and wood energy markets in the US

The US Department of Agriculture
EIN News
October 24, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The U.S.D.A. Forest Service invites grant applications for projects that expand wood product and wood energy markets, reduce wildfire risk, and improve forest health. Applications will be accepted through Jan. 23, 2019. Grants provided through the agency’s Wood Innovations Program simultaneously boost local economies while helping make communities safer through the reduction of hazardous fuels on the landscape. In 2019 the program will invest up to $8 million in projects designed to have a long-term impact on both Forest Service and other forest lands. …This week, Oct. 21-27, is National Forest Products Week, when we recognize how vital American forests are to our well-being and national prosperity. 

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5-Alarm Blaze Rips Through Residential Construction Site, Embers Spark Nearby Fires

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association
For Construction Pros
October 24, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Early on Tuesday, massive flames destroyed an East Bay housing complex built of salvaged wood, along with several other buildings in the area’s fifth major residential fire in just two years. The five-alarm blaze was so powerful that firefighters could not enter the structure, instead launching a defensive effort to keep the fire from spreading. Over 2,200 homes were without power, and one firefighter was left hospitalized. …“It’s just a big pile of kindling,” says Nick Luby, deputy fire chief with the Oakland Fire Department. …“The tragic fire in East Bay is about more than construction and building loss,” says Kevin Lawlor, a spokesperson for Build with Strength. “This is about the housing and the safety of our families. It’s about time elected officials recognize the risk of combustible building materials, in Oakland and across the country.”

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Massive housing complex blaze in West Oakland was site of fire 6 months ago

By Sarah Ravani and Michael Cabanatuan
The San Francisco Gate
October 23, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

A massive fire at a large residential construction site early Tuesday in West Oakland — the East Bay’s sixth major conflagration at a housing development in a little more than two years — has renewed concerns that a serial arsonist is targeting projects across the region. That suspicion was fueled by a second discovery Tuesday morning: a gas can, rag, match, hammer and the remnants of an intentionally set fire that burned itself out 10 blocks away at an under-construction apartment complex not far from the Oakland-Emeryville border. …Reports of Tuesday’s three-story-complex fire came in around 1:59 a.m., said Nick Luby, a deputy fire chief with the Oakland Fire Department. “It’s just a big pile of kindling… Small timber, it just grows quite quickly.”

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A new process for full utilization of softwood bark

The Technical Research Centre of Finland
Phys.org
October 25, 2018
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

In the Finnish mechanical and chemical forestry industry, three million tonnes of softwood bark are produced annually, presently mainly used for energy production. Using a method developed by VTT (Technical Research Centre of Finland), a high yield of pure tannins can be extracted from the bark for use as a raw material for resins used in wood products. The residual fibre fraction can be used to produce sugar as a raw material for fermentation products. It is also suitable for material applications. …The new process uses much higher alkaline conditions and a higher temperature, more closely resembling the wood cooking process. The method for the total utilization of the bark has been developed by VTT as part of the EU’s SPIRE program project.

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Forestry

Hundreds of hectares of trees being removed from Jasper area

By Emily Mertz
Global News
October 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wildfire prevention efforts, mountain pine beetle damage as well as some construction and road work mean thousands of trees are being cut down around Jasper, Alta. Above the Jasper townsite, 350 hectares of trees are being removed as part of a wildfire risk reduction project. It’s an expansion of the community fireguard that’s been maintained for the last 30 years. Thousands of pine beetle-infested Lodgepole pine trees and mature spruce trees are being removed to try and make it easier for crews to battle a potential wildfire. The firebreak extends from Patricia Lake to Highway 16.  “We’re basically creating a crescent of cleared space … that will give us more room to defend against fire,” said Dave Argument, a resource conservation manager with Jasper National Park. …Canadian Forest Products is doing the work for free in exchange for the wood.

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Proposed logging around rec trails sees public opposition

By Jordyn Thomson
Pentiction Western News
October 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Recreational users of the popular Pine Loop, Squirrel Loop and Fir Loop trails are petitioning against logging planned to take place in the area in 2019. An online petition was started by Neda Joss and newly formed Carmi Recreation Trails group. …The land in question, which is approximately 10 minutes outside of Penticton, is owned by the crown and is zoned as Intensive Recreation. Plans regarding the cut block were first shared by BC Timber Sales (BCTS) to the South Okanagan Trail Alliance (SOTA) in November 2017. …Although 11 citizens have contacted BCTS about the project since the plans were shared in 2017, a growing community-led opposition began to arise just recently when users in the area saw workers ribboning trees. This is when Joss began to champion the movement, alongside the Carmi Trails Group, to stop the proposed logging.

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Soot-filled rivers mark the need for a national wildfire strategy

By Edward Struzik, Fellow, Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy, School of Policy Studies, Queen’s University, Ontario
The Conversation
October 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

During the record-breaking 2018 fire season, the typically clear waters of Cameron Falls in Waterton Lakes National Park in southern Alberta flowed black. But it had nothing to do with the extensive fires that torched much of British Columbia and a small part of Waterton. The carbon came from the remnants of another wildfire that had raced 26 kilometres — from one end of the park to the other — in less than eight hours the year before. Heavy rain from a violent thunderstorm in July 2018 flushed the ash, soot and blackened debris that lay on the forest floor into the Cameron River. …Wildfire isn’t all bad for watersheds. It can add food to nutrient-deprived rivers and lakes, and transport the sediments that salmon and trout need to build their nests.

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Big legal victory for our forests, timber

Oregon Natural Resources Report
October 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Environmentalist groups have dropped their challenge to the Quartz Project on the Umpqua National Forest after failing to obtain an injunction against the project in federal court. On October 11, United States District Court Judge Michael McShane denied the groups’ motion for a preliminary injunction. This is a significant victory for active forest management on a landscape badly in need of restoration. American Forest Resource Council intervened in the case on behalf of its members Rosboro Company and Swanson Group… “This decision acknowledges what Oregonians already know: responsible, active forest management is part of the solution to our federal forest health crisis, resiliency, community protection, and reducing toxic smoke that endangers public health,” said AFRC President Travis Joseph. “AFRC was proud to join the Forest Service to defend this scientifically based, much-needed project. Our industry will continue to stand up for responsible forest management on the Umpqua National Forest and throughout the Pacific Northwest.”

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Protecting People From Wildfire Involves Costly Work That No One Wants To Do

By Sophie Quinton
The Huffington Post
October 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PAGOSA SPRINGS, Colo. — J.R. Ford’s company removes trees and brush from key areas around subdivisions, power lines and water utility infrastructure in a bid to better protect people from wildfire. It’s work that’s vitally important here in the arid West, where mountains have become overgrown with quick-to-burn trees such as ponderosa pine. But many of the trees that Ford’s Forest Health Company removes are too thin to turn into conventional lumber products, such as boards and planks. So he chips them. …The Trump administration, states and local leaders agree that more must be done. But few timber companies have found a way to make a profit from the stewardship work land managers want. …The leaders of the Arizona collaborative have pressed ahead …to find grants and tax incentives for sawmills and lobbying state utility regulators to allow more biomass generation.

 

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Opinion: Disagreeing on a policy proposal doesn’t make you ‘anti-environment’

By David Hampton, Hampton Lumber
Oregon Live
October 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

I would like to urge writers for local media to take a more careful look at the words they use and… their coverage of current events. …This recently hit close to home for Hampton Lumber after reading The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Oct. 5 article, “Knute Buehler says he’s not taking anti-environment money. He’s gotten more than $850,000.” We were labeled “anti-environment” by The Oregonian/OregonLive because of our position on a natural resources policy proposal. Or were we labeled as such simply because we grow trees and manufacture renewable wood products for a living? …We plant over a million trees a year and keep roughly 80,000 acres of forests in Oregon forested decade after decade, providing clean water, clean air and wildlife habitat. …That’s why we urged natural resource agencies to look at recent research that shows marbled murrelet populations improving in Oregon.

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National Park Service cancels controlled burn near Earth’s largest tree

By Joseph Serna
The Los Angeles Times
October 23, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A National Park Service plan to set fire to an ancient sequoia grove in western Sierra Nevada has been canceled for the second time this year, further delaying a delicate forestry operation aimed at triggering new growth near the world’s largest tree. The controlled burn in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks was expected to blacken 483 acres in the Giant Forest, a cathedral-like grove of sequoias straddling Generals Highway. The carefully tended fire was expected to last seven days, but was canceled Friday after a test fire failed to consume vegetation fast enough for the plan to work, according to Mike Theune, a fire information officer with the National Park Service. …Although vegetation appeared to be dry enough for a controlled burn during the planning stage, a test fire on Friday did not burn as intensely as officials hoped, Theune said.

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How Climate Change Fueled Europe’s Bizarre Wildfire Summer

By Natalia Megas
Daily Beast
October 24, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

…What made the Greek wildfire so catastrophic? There were the strong winds, the highest recorded in the eight years since the weather stations were installed. This helped turn the inferno into a raging crown fire, spreading from treetop to treetop in a region notorious for highly flammable and combustible Aleppo pines. All this was further complicated by the wildfire’s microweather, and fire-enhancing katabatic downslope winds. Those bizarrely strong winds may have something to do with how climate change is impacting jet streams and what is known in meteorology as atmospheric blocking, where weather systems stagnate over a region. Countries that do not normally see wildfire activity, like Sweden and Latvia, saw unusual wildfire upticks this summer due to prolonged heat waves. Dr. Gavriil Xanthopoulos, a wildfire expert at the Institute of Mediterranean Forest Ecosystems, explained that Mati residents never expected a wildfire.

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Global zoo and animal organisation joins hands with FSC to fortify sustainable forestry practices

Forest Stewardship Council
Eco-Business
October 25, 2018
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Bonn– The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) and the Forest Stewardship Council, announced a partnership to develop a global framework aimed at creating a more sustainable world through responsible forest management. The MOU… aims to support FSC’s national network partners and members of WAZA in promoting responsible forest management as an important tool for the conservation of nature and of endangered species. …WAZA’s chief executive officer, Doug Cress, said, “Zoos and aquariums… can play an important role in working with the Forest Stewardship Council to help ensure forests are responsibly managed and protected for future generations.” …WAZA will collaborate with FSC to develop a joint programme that emphasizes the benefits of FSC certification for nature conservation. In addition, the MoU sets clear targets for…  their procurement of paper and wooden products.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Report: Efforts to suck carbon from air must be ramped up

By Seth Borenstein
The Associated Press in The National Post
October 24, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — The nation needs to ramp up efforts to suck heat-trapping gases out of the air to fight climate change, a new U.S. report said. The report Wednesday from the National Academy of Sciences says technology to do so has gotten better, and climate change is worsening. By mid-century, the world needs to be removing about 10 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the air each year. That’s the equivalent of about twice the yearly emissions of the U.S. …The technologies outlined include the simple and the futuristic: Plant more trees and manage forests better, and limit the amount of land used by people. …Conserve soils better so they can store more carbon dioxide and produce more food. …Conserve and restore coastal plants, like marshlands and sea grass beds. …A relatively new technology called direct air capture. …Burning more biofuel — like wood.

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New study stokes the debate over oil heat versus wood

Mainebiz
October 24, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A report by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry claims more than 100 major buildings in Maine have made the conversion to heating with wood instead of oil. In most cases, the report says, wood chip or wood pellet systems replaced those using heating oil. The installations have been on college campuses, schools and institutions. Part of the debate centers around the fact that most of the wood pellets and wood chips are produced in Maine, while heating oil comes from outside the market. As a result, direct spending on “local” fuels, wood pellets and wood chips, totals $6.3 million a year. The study claims the annual savings amounts to $5.5 million. The total economic impact from buying the wood products is $20.6 million, according to the report. …The fuels are nearly entirely produced within Maine, “supporting hundreds of jobs,” the study claims.

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Over 120 groups from around the world declare large scale forest biomass energy a dangerous ‘delusion’

By the Dogwood Alliance
WENY News
October 24, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Asheville — A loud chorus of civil society organizations representing hundreds of thousands of people around the world has come together to release a new statement expressing concern over the use of forest biomass for renewable energy. Dogwood Alliance has joined these groups concerned that biomass is a societal delusion for climate change mitigation and who have increased their commitment to working collectively for real solutions that protect and restore forests. …We call on governments, financiers, companies and civil society to avoid expansion of the forest biomass based energy industry and move away from its use. Subsidies for forest biomass energy must be eliminated. Protecting and restoring the world’s forests is a climate change solution, burning them is not.” One hundred twenty-three organizations from over thirty countries have published this joint statement.

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Logging for Biomass Energy Blasted by 120 Civil Society and Scientific Organizations from 30 Countries

By Derek Lee
Wild Nature Institute
October 25, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A large international group of civil society and scientific organisations representing hundreds of thousands of people around the world has released a statement expressing concern over the use of forest biomass for energy. The groups say that biomass energy from forests is a societal delusion that makes climate change worse. The collective has increased their commitment to working for real climate solutions that protect and restore forests. The statement says, “We, the undersigned organisations believe that we must move beyond burning forest biomass to effectively address climate change. We call on governments, financiers, companies and civil society to avoid expansion of the forest biomass based energy industry and move away from its use. Subsidies for forest biomass energy must be eliminated. Protecting and restoring the world’s forests is a climate change solution, burning them is not.”

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Himalayas facing severe global warming disruption, say foresters

The Economic Times of India
October 24, 2018
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

SHIMLA INDIA — Being sensitive to temperature variations, mountain ecosystems in the Himalayas are facing severe disruption from global warming as they are witnessing melting glaciers and major ecological and geophysical changes, wildlife biologists say. The prevention of soil erosion and the preservation of native flora and fauna are increasingly becoming a big challenge, says a book, “The Great Himalayan National Park: The Struggle to Save the Western Himalayas”, by environmentalist Sanjeeva Pandey and Canadian research scientist Anthony Gaston. …The unpredictability of weather and natural changes that have struck the Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh in the past two decades are clear indicators of a marked shift in weather patterns in the region. The state government recognises that climate change is enhancing pressure on the forests, biological diversity and the local environment.

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Health & Safety

Host of errors blamed in Woss derailment that claimed 3 lives

By Katie DeRosa
Victoria Times Colonist
October 25, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Faulty equipment and a host of mechanical errors caused the 2017 logging train derailment in Woss that killed three people and injured two, WorkSafe B.C. has found. …On April 20, 2017, a faulty coupler, the mechanism that connects rail cars, caused 11 cars loaded with logs to detach and roll freely toward the community of Woss. …The train would have derailed well before it reached the maintenance crew, but a derail mechanism wasn’t working properly. …However, the derail device was attached to old rail ties that had rotted away due to wet conditions. The derail device, instead of diverting the cars, came free when it was hit by the first set of wheels, making it useless. As a result, the rest of the wheels stayed on the tracks and the rail cars barrelled toward the maintenance crew. …In a statement Tuesday, Western Forest Products said: “The safety and security of our employees has and always will be our number one priority.

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Faulty coupling cited as cause of fatal 2017 logging train derailment in Woss

By Alistair Taylor
The Comox Valley Record
October 24, 2018
Category: Health & Safety
Region: Canada, Canada West

Eleven rail cars loaded with logs rolled unrestrained towards a crew of five workers sitting unsuspectingly in a “speeder” and a backhoe near Woss on April 20, 2017. …Three workers, Roland Gaudet, Jacob Galeazzi and Clement Reti were killed and two were seriously injured, a WorkSafeBC report into the incident says. The report was released after a Freedom of Information request by the Victoria Times-Colonist. The cause of the crash was determined to be faulty coupler components failing to engage on a car attached to a braked rail car that anchored the string of 12 cars. That coupling failed, releasing the 11 cars connected to it. In addition, a safety mechanism called a derail then failed to stop the free-rolling cars. …The incident happened on Western Forest Products’ Englewood Railway at Woss.

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