Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 26, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

US housing starts fall but permits suggest rebound is coming

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 26, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

US single family housing starts fell more than expected in February dropping to a 1.5-year low, but permits were unchanged suggesting a rebound in coming months. In other Business news: most, but not all sawmill unions ratify Northern BC labour agreement; and Western Forest Products takes noise action at Duke Point while its Cowichan mill closes for two weeks.

Forestry/Climate researchers say: forests thrive despite climate change; humans are producing more CO2 than forests can absorb; increased cloud cover is offsetting human-caused warming; and some trees release methane while others are net absorbers. Elsewhere: ENGO’s laud BC’s anti-SLAPP legislation; California’s wildfire emergency declaration is endorsed by the LA Times; illegal logging in Russia and illegal timber imports into Oregon

Finally, a recap on Portand’s International Mass Timber Conference.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

U.S. housing starts fall more than expected in February on weak single-family home building

By Lucia Mutikani
The Globe and Mail
March 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

U.S. home building fell more than expected in February as construction of single-family homes dropped to more than a 1-1/2-year low, but the outlook for the housing market is improving amid declining mortgage rates. Housing starts decreased 8.7 per cent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.162 million units last month, the Commerce Department said on Tuesday. …Single-family home building, which accounts for the largest share of the housing market, tumbled 17.0 per cent to a rate of 805,000 units in February. …Permits to build single-family homes were unchanged in February at a pace of 821,000. These permits are now leading housing starts, suggesting a rebound in single-family construction in the coming months. Starts for the volatile multi-family housing segment jumped 17.8 per cent to a rate of 357,000 units in February. Permits for the construction of multi-family homes fell 4.2 per cent to a pace of 475,000 units last month. [to access full a Globe & Mail subscription is required]

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Catalyst deal will protect worker pensions

Letter by Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan
Victoria Times Colonist
March 26, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Routley

Last week’s announcement of the finalized purchase of Catalyst by Paper Excellence is a reason to celebrate. And it’s about time people in our coastal forest communities had something to celebrate. Under the previous provincial government, we regularly heard about mills shutting down, of jobs being lost. This announcement supports the continued operation of mills in Crofton, Port Alberni and Powell River, as well as a distribution centre in Metro Vancouver, which provide jobs to about 1,500 employees in the forestry sector. This is a sign that our coastal forest industry is finally moving in the right direction. Protecting forestry jobs and worker pensions has always been a priority of our government. …Our government took other actions to help ensure protection is provided to pensions while facilitating the sale of Catalyst. …Our government is working hard to revitalize our forest industry, and we will continue to do so.

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Votes on sawmill contracts drawing mixed outcomes

By Mark Nielsen
The Prince George Citizen
March 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The process of ratifying new agreements at northern B.C.’s unionized sawmills has hit some bumps. United Steelworkers agent Brian O’Rourke named nine operations where deals have been ratified and another three where votes remain pending. That leaves four where workers have rejected ratification. Mills where the contracts have been accepted are Canfor’s Isle Pierre, Polar and Chetwynd operations, Dunkley Lumber, Conifex in Fort St. James, Tolko’s operations at Soda Creek in Williams Lake and Quest Wood in Quesnel and Babine Forest Products in Burns Lake. Those where the proposed contracts were turned down are Lakeland Mills in Prince George, Canfor in Houston, Tolko’s Lakeview Lumber and and West Fraser’s Williams Lake planer. Ratification votes remain outstanding at Conifex in Mackenzie and Canfor in Fort St. John and Vanderhoof. 

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Western Forest Products to install silencer following complaints over constant hum

By Dominic Abassi
The Nanaimo News Now
March 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

NANAIMO — Western Forest Products is taking steps to hopefully numb the hum emanating from its Duke Point sawmill. WFP will install a piece of silencing equipment at the operation just south of Nanaimo in late April or early May, senior director of communications Babita Khun Khun. Khun Khun said the silencer was recommended by an acoustical engineer, who the mill hired to study the issue following several complaints from the surrounding community and involvement by the City of Nanaimo. …Randy Shalagan, who lives along the Newcastle Channel, created an online petition and spearheaded efforts to push for a solution. He said WFP showed a willingness to correct the problem.

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Workers at Cowichan Bay sawmill, off the job

By Kyle Christensen
My Cowichan Valley Now
March 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Approximately 120 workers are off the job at the Western Forest Products Cowichan Bay sawmill today because of what the union president is calling a “bargaining tactic.” President of the United Steelworkers Local 1-1937, Brian Butler said this two-week shutdown is a result of the CEO of Western Forest Products providing United Steelworkers union workers with a bleak economic outlook. Western Forest Products Director of Communications Babita Khunkhun echoes comments from CEO Don Demens. “We’re definitely curtailing operations at Cowichan Bay because of market conditions and it’s also related to an environment of persistently high log costs,” said Khunkhun. …The bargaining process is set to begin on April 15.

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Cascades launches a new brand: Cascades IMGN retail solutions™

By Cascades Inc.
Cision Newswire
March 25, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

KINGSEY FALLS, QC – Cascades, a leader in the recovery and manufacturing of green packaging and tissue products, is proud to unveil its new brand for retail solutions: Cascades IMGN retail solutionsTM. The diverse IMGN portfolio comprises POS, displays, consumer and shelf-ready product packaging, all of which used to improve in-store brand impact. The total offer includes high-resolution colour printing via flexography, lithography and digital. It brings you unparalleled colour intensity and printing precision. “Cascades IMGN is the result of major investments, in both Canada and the United States, to acquire cutting-edge technology — and of the exceptional work done by our teams.” …The name IMGN [is] a contraction of the word Imagine, embodies several qualities of Cascades IMGN retail solutionsTM

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

The Canadian Forest Service National Secondary Wood Product Manufacturing Survey: A Prevue

By The Pacific Forestry Centre
Natural Resources Canada
March 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

A new nation-wide survey shows secondary wood product and wooden furniture manufacturing generate an estimated $20 billion in sales and 94,000 jobs across Canada. In 2016/2017, these activities, hereafter referred to as secondary manufacturing, accounted for roughly 27% of total forest sector and furniture sales and 35% of employment; however, outside of Natural Resources Canada’s National Secondary Wood Product Manufacturing Survey, comprehensive information on these activities is scarce. Moreover, as commodity forest product industries continue to be challenged by increasing competition, fibre supply shocks and changes in demand, developing secondary manufacturing industries is an important strategy for enriching the economies of forest-dependent communities. Credible, up-to-date information on secondary manufacturing helps to ensure effective policy responses and may aid communities and industry associations in creating viable approaches to support growth and diversification.

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Where mass timber comes together

By Joseph Gallivan
The Business Tribune
March 26, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

At the International Mass Timber Conference in Portland last week, there was ample evidence that mass timber… is growing to live up to the hype. Mass timber has been hailed as a silver bullet for Oregon’s economy, with its ability to stimulate the rural (forestry) and urban (design and engineering) at once. …Bill Parsons, vice president at WoodWorks, the Wood Products Council, said there are more than 220 CLT projects being built in North America at the moment, compared to just 20 in 2014. …Europe is way ahead, but in North America, Canada is by far the leader in mass timber. On a map of where the factories are that make mass timber, there were six in Canada and four in the United States. …the real heavy lifting in the supply chain is less about getting architects on board than persuading construction companies and the wood industry to embrace mass timber.

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Wood-based technology creates electricity from heat

By University of Maryland
Phys.org
March 25, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A University of Maryland-led team of researchers has created a heat-to-electricity device that runs on ions and which could someday harness the body’s heat to provide energy. Led by UMD researchers Liangbing Hu, Robert Briber and Tian Li of the department of materials science, and Siddhartha Das of mechanical engineering, the team transformed a piece of wood into a flexible membrane that generates energy from the same type of electric current (ions) that the human body runs on. This energy is generated using charged channel walls and other unique properties of the wood’s natural nanostructures. With this new wood-based technology, they can use a small temperature differential to efficiently generate ionic voltage, as demonstrated in a paper published March 25 in the journal Nature Materials.

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Forestry

New victory on anti-SLAPP law is bittersweet

Letter by Jessica Clogg (West Coast Environmental Law Assn) and Christy Ferguson (Greenpeace Canada)
The Province
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Jessica Clogg

Christy Ferguson

This month, the legislature unanimously passed the Protection of Public Participation Act. It flew mostly under the radar, but the law means that nearly three-quarters of Canadians will have some protection from abusive lawsuits some companies use to quell criticism. This type of lawsuit is generally known as a strategic lawsuit against public participation, or SLAPP. Companies rarely expect to win, but they have money to burn on litigation that makes life harder for advocacy organizations critical of their practices. …Before Ontario passed its anti-SLAPP law, Montreal-headquartered logging giant Resolute Forest Products launched a $7-million defamation case against Greenpeace Canada and two staff members who criticized its impact on threatened wildlife habitat. …At a time when the planet’s climate is changing dangerously and biodiversity is in crisis… Closing the legal loopholes that leave Canadians vulnerable to SLAPP suits is a fundamental part of that solution.

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Smoke from pile burns to be visible near Williams Lake

BC Wildfire Service Cariboo Fire Centre
Government of British Columbia
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

BC Wildfire Service crews plan to burn piles of woody debris near Williams Lake over the next six weeks to reduce wildfire risks in the area. Smoke and flames may be visible from Williams Lake and surrounding communities. Firefighters could start igniting the piles as early as Monday, March 25, 2019, and end as late as April 30, 2019, depending on weather and site conditions. BC Wildfire Service personnel will be on-site with firefighting equipment to monitor and control these burns at all times. This work is part of ongoing fuel management projects. Cariboo Fire Centre crews have already piled up the accumulated debris in the two locations listed below. By removing this material, less fuel will be available to burn in the event of a wildfire and any such fire will burn with less intensity.

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New land added to B.C.’s parks and protected areas

By Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Government of British Columbia
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Proposed amendments to the Protected Areas of British Columbia Act will expand B.C.’s parks and protected areas system, adding approximately 107 hectares of new land to six existing Class A parks. To reflect ancestral connections and support reconciliation efforts, the amendments also include renaming John Dean Park to ȽÁU,WELṈEW̱/John Dean Park (pronounced Tlay-will-nook), which means “place of refuge” in the language of the W̱SÁNEĆ people. …The proposed additions are the result of private land acquisitions and include: 29 hectares to Bridge Lake Provincial Park in the Cariboo region; 2.5 hectares to Harmony Islands Marine Provincial Park along the Sunshine Coast; 17 hectares to Kikomun Creek Provincial Park in the Kootenays; 19 hectares to Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park in the Okanagan; Four hectares to Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park in the Kootenays; and 35 hectares to Syringa Provincial Park near Castlegar. …Official plans provide a clearer description of where the parks or protected area boundaries are located

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Cottonwood Lake group applauds Regional District of Central Kootenay purchase but wants to buy more

By Bill Metcalfe
The Nelson Star
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada West

The Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society is pleased that the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is buying some of the land surrounding Cottonwood Lake to add to Cottonwood Lake Park, according to chair Andrew McBurney. But the land purchased from Nelson Land Corporation is only 33 per cent of the area slated for logging, he said. “… So the larger portion of land is still privately owned. There is no zoning for this area and private land logging is still unregulated.” …McBurney said his group will keep fundraising to preserve all the land around the lake as well as the forest above the Apex ski area.

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Environmentalists, forestry industry agree biodiversity bill needs changes

By Jean Laroche
CBC News
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

NOVA SCOTIA — Environmentalists, woodlot owners and forestry company representatives were united in calling for changes to the measures being proposed by the McNeil government to protect Nova Scotia’s biodiversity, but Bill 116 is headed back to the floor of the legislature without amendment. That’s because Liberal members on the law amendments committee used their majority to defeat a motion… to send the Biodiversity Act back to the Department of Lands and Forestry to mull over what it was told Monday afternoon. …Debbie Reeves, who called herself a sixth generation woodlot owner in Lunenburg and Kings counties, told the committee she was worried the proposed law gave Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin too much power. …Those who wanted greater protective measures were united in asking for changes to the law that would push Rankin to do more.

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‘I can see the devastation,’ says former forester prepared to protest clearcut

CBC News
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Iian Rankin

A carpenter and former forest technician in Nova Scotia’s Shelburne County… is adding his voice to the calls for a moratorium on clear cutting in a 154-hectare area in Allendale. …More than a thousand people have signed the letter calling for a moratorium, at least until the area can be re-assessed in light of the province’s acceptance of the recommendations in the Lahey report. …Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin said there is a process in place for people to submit feedback on clear cutting. …The minister also said the government is working on incorporating the forest management recommendations of the Lahey report and has made “significant progress” towards that goal. 

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America’s Management of Urban Forests Has Room for Improvement

By Amanda Kolson Hurley
The Atlantic CityLab
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

Forested areas in cities may seem best left untouched, but it’s a common misconception that they can take care of themselves, according to Sarah Charlop-Powers, executive director of New York City’s Natural Areas Conservancy. “We need to undo the conception that natural areas are inherently self-sustaining,” she said. …That’s one conclusion to be drawn from a survey of managers of urban forests that Charlop’s group conducted with the Trust for Public Land and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. …Survey-takers represented 125 organizations in 110 cities. …The upshot: Societal issues such as green-space access and the urban heat-island effect often aren’t integrated into management of urban forests. Forest managers need more data on climate change, pests, and other factors. They need more funding. And they spend much of their time dealing with invasive species and trash.

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Deal made to protect more than 900 acres of Santa Cruz Mountains redwood forest

By Nicholas Ibarra
Santa Cruz Sentinel
March 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SANTA CRUZ — More than 900 acres of redwood forest in the Santa Cruz Mountains is set for permanent protection from development under a new deal between a Bay Area land trust and Santa Cruz lumber company valued at $11.7 million. …The partnership between interests that have historically been at odds may be the first of its kind in Santa Cruz County. Under the deal, Big Creek Lumber will acquire 617 acres of second-growth redwood forest in Corralitos, southeast of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park under a conservation easement that permanently protects the land from development and places restrictions on lumber harvesting. As part of the deal, the lumber company is handing over 320 acres of mature redwood forest adjacent to Butano State Park that conservationists say is critical habitat for the marbled murrelet, an endangered seabird.

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It’s OK to bend the rules to make Californians safer from wildfire

The Editorial Board
The Los Angeles Times
March 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Gavin Newsom

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared Friday what had already become apparent last year: California needs an emergency response to reduce the risk of more deadly, devastating wildfires. …While lawmakers have approved billions in new funding in recent years to help with fire prevention, Newsom took it a step further by declaring a state of emergency, thereby suspending environmental and regulatory review requirements for certain fire-risk reduction projects and allowing the state to hire companies for those projects without competitive bidding. …Bending the rules for those projects makes sense. After the death and human suffering witnessed in Paradise, Redding and Santa Rosa. …Environmental groups quickly lined up in opposition, arguing that Newsom’s decision to shortcut regulations is “Trumpian.” …But there’s a big difference between the kind of large-scale logging that the Trump administration has proposed and the targeted “fuel reduction” projects around vulnerable communities. 

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Undercover Investigators Find Oregon Link To Illegal Rainforest Logging

By Tony Schick, Conrad Wilson and David Steves
Oregon Public Broadcasting
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

OREGON — Jim Green wanted his prospective business partners to know he wasn’t all that concerned with where they cut down the tropical hardwood that would eventually become veneer siding on homes across the United States. …As it turns out, Green, a Eugene businessman and hardwood importer… was revealing his secrets to an environmental watchdog group’s undercover investigators, who were surreptitiously recording him on video. Those video recordings, along with other investigative materials, have been shared with federal officials, who are conducting an investigation of possible illegalities involving west Central African rainforest poaching, black market trading, and the roles played by Northwest businesses. On Monday, the watchdog group behind the undercover operation, Environmental Investigation Agency, released that video and the rest of its findings to the public.

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New Jersey Forest Fire Service enters their 84th year of improving forests with prescribed fire

By Bill Gabbert
Wildfire Today
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The New Jersey Forest Fire Service (NJFFS) has been using prescribed fire on state lands since 1936, primarily to reduce hazardous fuel accumulations. Other beneficial effects of these treatments include providing high quality wildlife habitat and resilience in forest health. While reducing the threat to public safety posed by hazardous fuels is always the primary mission, this year’s signing of the New Jersey Prescribed Burning Act has given fire management officers additional latitude for using prescribed fire as a tool to achieve several other ecological objectives. While prescribed burning takes place statewide across all ownerships, much of the activity is concentrated on state lands in fire-adapted Pine Barrens communities. …Today, this program capitalizes on the constantly emerging breadth of new knowledge and technology including satellites and laser-based sensors, to drive research on aspects of fire that were once impossible to study. 

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Woodland Protection Bill Receives Cold Welcome

By Tim Faulkner
ecoRI news
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

PROVIDENCE — A bill to protect Rhode Island’s remaining woodlands and forests wasn’t received warmly by the House Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources. Rep. Brian Patrick Kennedy, D-Hopkinton, said it was “a big concern” that the bill could remove land from property tax rolls and increase residential tax bills. The primary advocate for the bill, Lawrence Taft, executive director of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island, said the legislation preserves and manages Rhode Island’s “fragmenting” open space and offers protection against climate change, which threatens to destroy or displace 50 percent of bird species. “We have a chance right now in Rhode Island to preserve some intact forest,” Taft said at the March 21 committee hearing. “After that window is open and we don’t do something, that opportunity will be gone.” Taft noted that woodlands deserve the same protections that wetlands first received in the 1960s.

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Papua New Guinea Risks Losing Forests: Goldman

PNG Post-Courier
March 26, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

PAPUA NEW GUINEA is at risk of losing all its forests, according to the Forest Research Institute (FRI). Institute director Martin Golman said PNG has already lost a large part of its forests to economic development such as logging. Mr Golman said a partnership effort is needed to replace the lost areas and to protect what is left for the future. He said the government has the ‘tanim graun, planim diwai’ (till the earth, plant trees) program that is aimed at planting 800,000 hectares of forests by 2050. “Forests are important for the economy and need to be properly managed,” he said. “Large scale operations can bring destruction that affects all.” …Mr Golman said as a research institute that receives funding from the government for its work, FRI can only do so much within its budget capacity.

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Russia’s forests threatened by illegal logging

Deutsche Welle
March 25, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Almost half of Russia is covered with forests. However, much of the vast country’s woodlands, which absorb millions of tons of CO2, are under threat from mismanagement, illegal deforestation and corruption. …Shmatkov believes that the law enforcement officials are stretched to their limits, and that they stood by without taking action — or even cashed in on the logging. Often, he says, it is not the Chinese but the Russian forestry workers who then sell the wood, without the necessary permissions, in China. Admittedly, Shmatkov adds, the Chinese customs officers make sure that the necessary papers are in order, “but getting hold of these is no problem in Russia.” Corruption is allegedly widespread amongst state authorities and the politicians who protect them, lining their own pockets in the process. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Tree Rings Show The Forest Thrives Despite Climate Change

By Lysette Maurice
The Science Times
March 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

TREE RINGS — …The beauty of these tree rings is beyond the physical exterior and contains a wealth of information that says a lot about how bountiful the environment is. It is not just about the years of survival that they seem to have mastered. Rather, it is about the absolute resiliency of these trees and the forests they thrive in. Today, the team of Neil Pederson, a senior ecologist at Harvard University is conducting his research in the Harvard Forest, a 4,000-acre site. They are looking at gaining a better understanding of how forests and trees, in particular, are taking all the impact of climate change. The carbon dynamics of the forest need to be greatly understood as they could be the primary reason why humans could survive the tragic change that comes with global warming.

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Power plant conversion could boost forest restoration

By Peter Aleshire
Payson Roundup
March 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Arizona Public Service will study the conversion of the Cholla Power Plant from coal to biomass produced by thinning millions of acres of forests in northern Arizona. “A conversion at Cholla would ultimately assist in forest thinning, thereby reducing wildfire potential, ensuring forest health and protecting our watersheds,” said Barbara Lockwood in a letter to the Arizona Corporation Commission. The power company’s announcement could lead to a breakthrough in the stalled effort to reduce wildfire risks and boost forest health by thinning the tree thickets that threaten every community in northern Arizona with crown fires. Converting the 60 megawatt plant to coal would support the clearing of about 30,000 acres of overgrown forest annually.

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UMaine system takes a step toward powering Orono campus with wood and solar

By Eesha Pendharkar
The Bangor Daily News
March 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

The University of Maine System trustees on Monday took a step toward allowing construction of a renewable energy source to power the University of Maine’s campus in Orono. At a meeting in Machias, trustees approved spending up to $5.7 million to plan out the project. …Honeywell’s initial projections said the project could cost between $86 million and $160 million. The work would primarily involve replacing old infrastructure, and building new biomass and solar energy production facilities. The university system currently envisions construction of new energy generation facilities, including a six-megawatt combined heat and power plant fueled by wood, and a six-megawatt solar plant to produce and distribute electricity.

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Humans are producing too much carbon dioxide for forests to absorb

B Taran Volckhausen
The Pacific Standard
March 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Forests around the world are absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, but they still can’t keep up with the sheer volume of the global-warming gas being emitted through human activity, a new study has found. “Intact forests are playing a large role in absorbing the CO2 we’re emitting,” says Benjamin Gaubert, a scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. “This means that global forest are helping to mitigate climate change.” … The study, published in the journal Biogeosciences, suggests forest growth is becoming more robust as atmospheric carbon concentrations increase, and therefore taking more CO2 out of the air. …While northern forests, which cover a greater landmass, account for the majority of the CO2 absorption, the study suggests that tropical forests in the global south are most effective, per given area, at trapping carbon.

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Trees release flammable methane—here’s what that means for climate

By Andrew Revkin
National Geographic
March 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

In 1907, Francis W. Bushong, a chemistry professor at the University of Kansas, reported a novel finding in the journal Chemical and Physical Papers. He’d found methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, in a tree. …The finding was reported mainly as a novelty and faded into obscurity. …An expanding network of researchers has discovered methane flowing out of trees from the vast flooded forests of the Amazon basin to Borneo’s soggy peatlands, from temperate upland woods in Maryland and Hungary to forested mountain slopes in China. …The full climate impact of methane from trees is nowhere near that of the tens of billions of tons of carbon dioxide released annually from smokestacks and tailpipes. …Trees in wet soils uniformly were net emitters of methane but those in drier conditions in some regions actually were net absorbers of the gas.

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How clouds are modifying the warming created by human-caused climate change

By Janet Aguilar
The TuniseSoir News
March 25, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

WALES — A new study has revealed how clouds are modifying the warming created by human-caused climate change in some parts of the world. Led by Swansea University’s Tree Ring Research Group, researchers from Sweden, Finland and Norway analysed information contained in the rings of ancient pine trees from northern Scandinavia to reveal how clouds have reduced the impact of natural phases of warmth in the past and are doing so again. …Even though northern Scandinavia should be strongly affected by global warming, the area has experienced little summer warming over recent decades — in stark contrast to the hemispheric trend of warming temperatures. …According to the study, temperature changes have been accompanied by an increase in cloudiness over northern Scandinavia, which in turn has reduced the impact of warming.

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Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment Report needs clarity from government

By New Zealand Forest Owners Association
Scoop Independent News
March 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Forest Owners want clarity for what New Zealand plantation forestry is expected to deliver on climate change targets. The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, Simon Upton, has just issued a report which downplays the contribution of forestry in sequestering atmospheric carbon, and instead wants to drive down fossil fuel use. But the Forest Owners Association President, Peter Weir, says Simon Upton is contradicting the Productivity Commission’s report earlier this year which pointed to planting trees serving as carbon sinks as the main means of getting New Zealand to carbon neutrality by 2050. …Peter Weir says that Simon Upton is correct in that forestry can’t offer climate change solutions indefinitely. 

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Govt rejects Upton proposal to restrict use of trees

By Pattrick Smellie
Scoop Independent News
March 26, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

The New Zealand government is committed to using forests as carbon ‘sinks’ for all greenhouse gas emissions, dismissing recommendations in a new report from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment that forests should only be used to offset agricultural GHGs. Commissioner Simon Upton argues that if the government relies too heavily on forests to capture emissions to meet its 2050 climate target, it could face an even steeper challenge to reduce emissions after that date if policy settings had not also forced a stronger focus on reducing emissions from burning fossil fuels. …While the proposals were “thought-provoking”, Climate Change Minister and Green Party co-leader James Shaw said the government is committed to retaining the use of forestry offsets for carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions “for the sake of providing policy stability and predictability for emitters and the forestry sector.”

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