Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: June 5, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

BC gets first test for new tenure transfer rule

The Tree Frog Forestry News
June 5, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

With Canfor’s mill closure, forest companies will see the first test of BC’s requirement to approve tenure transfers (Tom Fletcher). Related stories include:

In other Business news: add stumpage increase to BC’s mill worries; Alberta’s mills are back on the job post-fire; Weyerhaeuser & Kimberly Clark to pay for Washington state restoration work; Georgia Pacific to layoff 555 in Arkansas; GP gets out of the particleboard business; and Canada appeals WTO’s ‘zeroing ruling‘ on softwood tariffs.

Finally, Ottawa provides a lifeline for Ontario’s tree-planting program; and a new US study say wildfires release less carbon that thought.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canada appeals WTO ruling on U.S. lumber duties: official

Reuters
June 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Chrystia Freeland

GENEVA – Canada has appealed against a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel ruling in a case it lost in April that would allow the United States to use “zeroing” to calculate anti-dumping tariffs on lumber, a WTO official said on Wednesday. Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland had already announced that Ottawa would appeal, saying U.S. duties on Canadian softwood lumber are “unfair and unwarranted”. The WTO ruling approved a long-outlawed U.S. trade policy when a panel said Washington’s use of “zeroing” to calculate anti-dumping tariffs was permissible in the lumber case brought in 2017. Zeroing calculates tariffs based on whether the domestic price of a product exceeds its U.S. import price after it is adjusted for transportation and handling costs. [END]

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Stumpage rate increase prospect causes worries

BC Local News
June 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The prospect of a stumpage rate increase July 1 has industry representatives and elected officials worried about what that means for the forest industry. With B.C. already labelled as one of the more uncompetitive forest industry sectors in North America because of high logging and processing costs, having to pay the province more for timber that’s harvested is leading to fears of additional closures and production cutbacks. “From what we’re hearing from licensees, from the industry, from contractors, the feeling is that stumpage is going up July 1. But by how much, no one knows at this time,” says Todd Chamberlain, the assistant general manager of the Interior Logging Association which represents logging contractors through a broad swath of B.C. “It’s a concern for us for sure. We’ve already seen curtailments at mills, including Canfor, and increased prices is something we don’t need right now.”

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Minister’s statement on Canfor’s closure of Vavenby sawmill

Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development
Government of British Columbia
June 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests… has released the following statement about Canfor’s closure of its Vavenby sawmill and the request to transfer tenures to Interfor: “I was saddened to hear that Canfor will permanently close its Vavenby sawmill. The loss of any job is difficult, especially in a small community. “Staff from the regional economic operations branch of my ministry and staff from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction will work with Canfor, the workers and the community to co-ordinate the delivery of provincial support programs. …“With the recent amendments to the Forest Act (Bill 22), we will also ensure that the public interest is protected when companies seek to transfer public forest tenures. …This spring, Premier John Horgan invited Interior forest sector CEOs to collaborate with all their partners – First Nations, workers and local governments – on innovative solutions for the industry.

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Kudos to the Government of BC

By Russ Cameron, President, Independent Wood Processors Association of BC
Tree Frog News Editorial
June 5, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Government is taking a lot of criticism from the big tenured companies for restoring ministerial approval of tenure transfers.  …The granting of tenures was a mid-1900’s social engineering project designed to develop the province.  These rights to harvest the public’s timber came with social obligations to the public. The Forest Renewal Act of 2003 (FRA 2003) removed these obligations and essentially converted tenures into freely traded assets.  The removal of ministerial oversight inevitably resulted in big companies merging to become bigger companies and then buying out the little guys. The Independent Wood Processors Association (IWPA) is a group of about 60 family-owned BC companies that exist for the purpose of buying partially finished forest products from the tenured companies and employing British Columbians to further process that wood within BC. Since FRA 2003, it has become increasingly difficult for IWPA members to buy that raw material as the number of potential suppliers has decreased and the market control of the remaining suppliers has increased.

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Northern Alberta industries interrupted by wildfires

By Lisa Johnson
The Edmonton Journal
June 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

As two forestry mills welcome staff back to work in High Level, two oil and gas companies have temporarily shut-in operations elsewhere in the province. …In High Level, forest products company Tolko announced its mill would restart full production on Wednesday, according to spokeswoman Janice Lockyer. The mill has about 325 full-time employees, and stopped operating at full capacity on May 20, when High Level residents were forced to flee their homes. Tolko’s Athabasca division in Slave Lake, where operations were suspended on Friday due to an evacuation order, also resumed work on Saturday. …Forestry product manufacturer Norbord… also temporarily suspended production in order to comply with evacuation orders on May 20. Norbord resumed production at its High Level mill Monday.

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Canfor announces Vavenby mill closure, transfer of timber to Interfor for $60 million

By Derrick Penner
The Vancouver Sun
June 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Corp.’s decision this week to close its Vavenby sawmill, with the loss of 172 jobs, will reverberate across the North Thompson region right down to the heating system at the District of Clearwater’s municipal hall. …Mayor Merlin Blackwell said the district installed a biomass heating system that burns wood chips from the soon-to-close mill. …“It is a big deal,” Blackwell said. …Interfor executive Ric Slaco said that under the circumstances the Adams Lake mill, where Interfor has spent $180 million since 2009 modernizing facilities that employ 235 people, “is a logical home” for Canfor’s harvesting rights. The transfer of timber rights requires approval of the minister of forests, under a recent amendment of the Forest and Range Act, but the idea of a transfer between Canfor and Interfor rankles the union that represents Vavenby’s workers. …Forest Minister Doug Donaldson said the province will “be reasonable,” but he hasn’t seen the companies’ proposal.

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B.C. forest companies get first test for new logging licence rules

By Tom Fletcher
BC Local News in the Northern View
June 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s forest companies are seeing their first test of the NDP government’s requirement to approve timber licence transfers, with a $60 million purchase of logging rights made available by the latest sawmill closure. Canfor’s decision to close its Vavenby sawmill this week includes a deal to sell two licences in the Adams Lake area to Interfor. …When the legislation was debated, B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson warned the industry that its purpose was to reduce the concentration of Crown forest licences in B.C., and Indigenous community involvement in licence transfers will be mandatory. Premier John Horgan has said the big players in B.C. are working with the new rules, but “the ones that wanted to get out of town with a big bag of money weren’t happy about it.” Kelowna-Mission MLA Steve Thomson, the previous forests minister, said the NDP government is interfering in business decisions.

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Canfor plans to sell tenure to Interfor, which could trigger intervention by forests minister

By Nelson Bennett
Business in Vancouver
June 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Canfor Corp. will permanently shut down its sawmill in Vavenby, B.C., and sell the forest tenure associated with that mill to Interfor. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson may have something to say about the proposed tenure sale, however, thanks to a controversial new act, Bill 22, that requires the minister to sign off on any sale or transfers of forest tenure. …It is the second recent announcement of a permanent sawmill closure in B.C., and is not likely to be the last. …Before any sale or transfer of tenure is allowed, the Ministry of Forests will allow First Nations, workers and the general public to weigh in. It is expected that some of the tenure now concentrated in the hands of a few big players will end up with smaller organizations, including First Nations. …The industry has warned, however, that the uncertainty that Bill 22 introduces may mean a decline in investments in B.C.’s forest sector.

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Settlement clears way for Snohomish River restoration work

The Associated Press in the Seattle Times
June 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

SEATTLE — A settlement in federal court could clear the way for an important environmental restoration project at the mouth of the Snohomish River in Everett. The Justice Department announced Monday that to remedy past pollution the Port of Everett had agreed to rehabilitate and maintain Blue Heron Slough, a roughly 340-acre project that includes intertidal estuary and upland habitats. …Three companies — Weyerhaeuser Corp., Jeld-Wen Inc. and Kimberly Clark Corp. — agreed last year to pay close to $4 million for damage they caused by operating mills and manufacturing operations in the area dating to the early 1900s. The federal government, Washington state and the Suquamish and Tulalip Tribes brought the legal actions that resulted in the settlement.

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Georgia-Pacific won’t rebuild Thomson plant

By Damon Cline
The Augusta Chronicle
June 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-Pacific said Tuesday it will not rebuild the particleboard plant in Thomson that was destroyed by fire last week. “We understand that this greatly affects our employees and the community and we will work with all of our employees affected by this decision to help them in whatever transition they must make,” company spokeswoman Karen Cole said. The decision to permanently close the Harrison Road facility was included in a larger announcement that included the closure of two other particleboard facilities, one in Hope, Ark., and one in Monroeville, Ala. The three plants, which build composite panels used in the construction industry, each employed approximately 100 people. “Demand for particleboard remains flat, and new mills from other producers will increase capacity in the market as much as 25%,” Georgia-Pacific said in a statement.

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Georgia-Pacific to partially close Crossett plant

El Dorado News-Times
June 4, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Georgia-Pacific Corp. will close a major part of its operations in Crossett this fall, with about 555 workers losing their jobs, according to a news release from the company Tuesday. The release states the company will close the equipment and processes supporting the bleached board operations at the Crossett plant in October. The company said the decision was based on an assessment of the mill’s ability to effectively compete in the market. The closing of the company’s bleached board operations at the Crossett mill will affect 555 jobs, including 25 in sales and other business operations. Bleached board is used in paper plates, cups and cartons. The closure includes the extrusion plant, woodyard, pulp mill and “a significant portion of the energy complex at the Crossett mill,” the release states. In July, the company also will shut down older tissue machines that don’t “support the long-term competitiveness of the tissue business.”

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Experience the Possibilities of Wood | Mobile Tour Approved

The Softwood Lumber Board
Global Newswire
June 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

The Softwood Lumber Board announced… that the organization will take the successful Timber City exhibit concept on the road in a mobile interactive tour this year. Under the Think Wood brand, the SLB is proud to introduce WoodBox, a beautiful and compelling museum-quality display that showcases the environmental and economic benefits of different softwood lumber products and their many uses in both residential and commercial construction. The mobile exhibit will feature a variety of activation elements …providing an opportunity to tell the SLB story from the forest to the market. “This experiential mobile tour” …said Ryan Flom, SLB’s CMO. “Where most see just a tree, we see the future of the built environment.” …Planned locations include: CTBUH 10th World Congress – Chicago; IBS – Las Vegas; Mass Timber Conference – Portland, Ore.; and AIA Conference – Los Angeles.

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Mill to recycle more, use less water

By Kirk Boxleitner
Port Townsend Leader
June 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The Port Townsend Paper Corporation aims to increase its intake of recycled cardboard, while also reducing its consumption of fresh water by close to a million gallons per day. Both improvements are tied to the planned replacement of the company’s Old Corrugated Container pulper, which is 22 years old, scheduled for this fall, but not before the public comment period expires June 28. …According to Kevin Scott, General Manager, the new machine should allow the paper mill to go from producing 400 tons of cardboard pulp a day to a maximum average capacity of 800 tons a day, without requiring significant changes to the plant’s footprint or its material processing equipment. “We’re currently running on about 40% recycled fiber,” Scott said. “This lets us go up to about 60%.” Scott said the ability to use more recycled cardboard will make the mill less dependent on virgin wood fiber…

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First dowel-laminated timber building in the U.S. set to open in Des Moines

By Drew Zeiba
The Architect’s Newspaper
June 4, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

A four-story mixed-use structure in Des Moines, Iowa, will be the first building in the U.S. to be constructed with dowel-laminated timber, an all-wood mass timber product that is held together without nails, glue, or fasteners and can be assembled with friction-fit wood connectors. Designed by Neumann Monson Architects, the 65,000-square-foot building, which houses shops, restaurants, and offices, is made from pre-fabricated 8’x20′ DowelLam panels by StructureCraft, along with spruce glulam beams and columns, and precast concrete. DowelLam can reportedly be created in an array of custom profiles and is easily handled by CNC equipment. The architects reported that working with the easy-fit prefab panels allowed for faster construction with fewer workers. Not just structural elements, the panels will also remain exposed on the building in order to contribute to its overall aesthetic.

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How construction will look in 2030: Better standards, off-site construction, more wood

By Jim Malo
Domain
June 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The Australian construction industry needs to radically shake up its approach to construction to help save the environment, experts say. A more timber-heavy and mostly off-site construction process could be the way forward, Adjunct Professor at the Centre for Smart Modern Construction at Western Sydney University David Chandler said. He will appeal to the timber and construction industries to adopt off-site construction manufacturing, or OSCM, already popular in Europe, by 2030 at the Timber Offsite Construction conference on June 17. …The resurgence of enthusiasm within the industry for the age-old building material timber was helping to enable this pathway, Aurecon major projects director Ralph Belpario said. …“Timber is an enabler,” he said. “It’s lighter, easier to handle, less cranage, the material is easier to work.” …“timber is the only true sustainable building material,” he said. “…It’s the only material that you can plant, grow, harvest and grow again.”

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New Zealand to be world-leader in sustainable construction

By New Zealand Future Forest Products
Scoop Independent News
June 5, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Auckland, NEW ZEALAND – N.Z. Future Forest Products (NZFFP) believes that New Zealand is perfectly positioned to supply the rapidly urbanising Asia-Pacific region with the construction materials needed to house the world’s population in a low carbon future – and is planning to invest $900 million to prove it. Three billion people will need affordable housing in South East Asia, according to a recent United Nations report. However, incumbent construction materials such as steel are responsible for 9% of global CO2 emissions. NZFFP sees these dual challenges as significant opportunities – both to mitigate climate change, as well as to create a brand new export market for New Zealand engineered timber solutions in Asia-Pacific. New Zealand has distinct geographic advantages for forestry combined with multi-generational industrial expertise in wood products and access to growing Asia-Pacific export markets.

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Forestry

Day of action Thursday in Courtenay in support of old-growth forest protection

The Comox Valley Record
June 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Do you care about Vancouver Island? …If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you are asked to be on the Courtenay Courthouse lawn at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 6, to join others across the province in a Day of Action. That’s when residents of the Valley and many others province-wide will lift their voices to demand that the NDP stop provincial government-sponsored clear-cutting of the little remaining old-growth forest left on the Island and South Coast. …“Our Day of Action will call out the provincial government and its representatives who are relentlessly abandoning old-growth forests to the interests of the logging industry,” said Safford. “We will no longer stand by and watch old growth giants disappear forever from the Island. 

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‘It’s worth being careful with’: Thunder Bay group works to protect Brook Trout Triangle

CBC News
June 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Thunder Bay, Ont., citizens group is hoping to halt plans to allow forestry operations in what it calls a vital fish habitat known as the Brook Trout Triangle. “It’s never been cut before,” Jed Ziegler, a member of Coalition to Preserve the Brook Trout Triangle, said of the area. “It’s got a large number of really closely-situated, natural reproducing [brook] trout lakes.” …However, forest management company Greenmantle, as part of its five-year forest management plan for the Lakehead forest area, hopes to build an access road into the area and start forestry operations there, Ziegler said. …However, Ziegler said the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is also proposing to create a new fish and wildlife management area there, which will be called Amethyst Highlands. …Greenmantle is hosting a public open house on its forestry management plan [and]… encouraged people … to attend and give their opinions

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‘Sustainability is a group effort’

By Pat Kerr
The Sault Star
June 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Sustain Algoma opened the Johnson Farmer’s Market 2019 season with cool breezes and steady visitors. In fact, it was one of the market’s “biggest” vendor/exhibitor events, said Edith Orr, an event organizer. …One of the newest vendors at Sustain Algoma was Algoma Forest and Nature School, which operates out of two sites, one on St. Joseph Island and the other at Hiawatha Sugar Shack. …Lesley Phillips, with the Ontario Woodlot Association and Algoma Managed Forest Service, was raising awareness of the benefits of a healthy sustainable forest and  managed forest plan. “After the drought last year, we are seeing die back now,” Phillips said. “There was wilting last July. The drought got some of our tree planting.”

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Ottawa pledges to spend $15 million to restore Ontario’s tree-planting program

The Canadian Press in the National Post
June 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

OTTAWA — The federal government is pledging to spend $15 million to save a tree-planting program in Ontario. A spokesperson for Environment Minister Catherine McKenna says the money, which comes from Ottawa’s low-carbon economy fund, will help the non-profit Forests Ontario reach its goal of planting 50 million trees by 2025. Premier Doug Ford’s Progressive Conservative government cancelled the program in late April, saying the forestry industry is a responsible steward of the province’s forests. Those involved in the program said its cancellation would cause job losses and stall environmental progress. …The federal government announcement is timed to coincide with the United Nations’ World Environment Day.

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Ottawa throws lifeline to 50 Million Tree Program cut by Ontario government

By Peter Zimonjic
CBC News
June 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The federal government is putting up $15 million over four years to rescue the 50 Million Tree Program which was cut by the Ontario government of Doug Ford in its last budget, CBC News has learned.  Environment Minister Catherine McKenna will make the announcement just after noon on Wednesday in Ottawa, explaining how the new cash will extend the program for at least another four years. She said in a statement to CBC News on Tuesday that preserving the program will mean cleaner air, a healthier environment and good local jobs. “While Mr. Ford cuts programs that support tree planting, forest firefighting, flood management, and tackling climate change, we will continue to invest in a clean future for our environment, our economy, and our kids.”

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Study: Controlled burns underused in West

The Associated Press in the Peninsula Daily News
June 4, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

LEWISTON, Idaho — Land management agencies are underutilizing controlled burns to reduce wildfire threats in the western U.S., according to a wildfire study. The University of Idaho study indicates the use of the intentionally set fires has decreased throughout the past two decades in the West while it has ramped up in southeastern states. Controlled fires mitigate wildfire threats by burning hazardous forest vegetation that can fuel wild blazes, said Crystal Kolden, a professor at the university’s College of Natural Resources who authored the study. The fires are only ignited under specific conditions and are closely monitored. They also help restore fire-prone ecosystems. …Western states have less social acceptance for the practice because of the smoke, lack of funding and the occasional fire that escapes control, Kolden said.

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New fund opens to support planting of 130,000 trees in England’s towns and cities

By Melanie May
UK Fundraising
June 5, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Forestry Commission has launched the Urban Tree Challenge Fund, with grants available over the next two years to make urban areas greener and help meet the government’s target of planting one million urban trees by 2022. Initially the Urban Tree Challenge Fund is open to block bids, which are applications with a value of at least £500,000 that contain multiple small planting projects. In year two individual applications will be accepted for smaller, single planting sites, and prospective individual applicants can complete an expression of interest form to register interest in applying in 2020.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Trudeau: Carbon Tax Will Help Deal With Events Like Alberta Wildfires

Canadian Press in Huffington Post Canada
June 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada

Justin Trudeau

VANCOUVER — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the federal carbon tax will help deal with weather disasters such as fires in northern Alberta. Speaking in Vancouver, Trudeau said Canadians are seeing the impact of climate change with an increase in wildfires in Western Canada, recent tornadoes in Ottawa and flooding across the country this spring. “Extreme weather events are extraordinarily expensive for Canadians, our communities and our economy,” he said Tuesday. “We need to be taking real action to prevent climate change. That’s why we’re moving forward on a price on pollution right across the country, despite the fact that Conservative politicians are trying to push back against that.” …Trudeau said the carbon tax will help the federal government protect land and oceans, invest in renewable resources and move to a cleaner economy.

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Study: US West forest fires release less carbon than thought

By Keith Ridler
Associated Press in Idaho Statesman
June 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

The amount of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere from forest fires in the U.S. West is being greatly overestimated, possibly leading to poor land management decisions, researchers at the University of Idaho said. Researchers in the study published last week in the journal Global Change Biology say many estimates are 59% to 83% higher than what is found based on field observations. Healthy forests are carbon sinks, with trees absorbing carbon and reducing the amount in the atmosphere contributing to global warming. Forest fires can release that carbon. “Part of the reason we’re talking about this is that there’s a narrative that has circumvented science,” said Jeff Stenzel, the lead author and a doctoral student at the university. “What that can lead to is management decisions that can exacerbate rather than mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.”

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Getting Fire From A Tree Without Burning The Wood

By Joe Palca
Oregon Public Broadcasting
June 4, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

A scientist walks up to a cottonwood tree, sticks a hollow tube in the middle and then takes a lighter and flicks it. A jet of flame shoots out from the tube. It seems like a magician’s trick. Turns out, there’s methane trapped in certain cottonwood trees. Methane is the gas in natural gas. It’s also a powerful greenhouse gas. So how does it get inside towering trees like the ones on the campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee? …This wetwood makes for a welcoming home for all sorts of microorganisms. …Some of those organisms turned out to be species of archaea that are known methane producers. So it’s not the trees themselves that are making the methane, it’s the microbes living in the trees. Cregger says scientists have known for a while that these organisms existed in forests, but not in the trees.

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