Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 28, 2019

Today’s Takeaway

Forestry Strike is killing our communities: Port McNeill Mayor

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 28, 2019
Category: Today's Takeaway

Happy US Thanksgiving!

Port McNeill’s Mayor begs WFP and the Steelworkers to get back to the table for the communities’ sake. In related news: Kelowna MP Dan Albas calls for federal leadership; and Port Hardy Save On Foods adds striking loggers to their list of Christmas charities

In other news: a new study says caribou habitat restoration may be ineffective; changes to Canada’s building code to help an ailing forest industry; a truly amazing wood structure in Norway; and researchers look into touch-sensitive wood in car dashboards. Lot’s more news here of course but first—Happy Thanksgiving to our US readers and a safe Black Friday to all!

With respect to the latter—although Black Friday was coined in the 1960s to describe traffic jams in Philadelphia the day has a more fateful connotation in Australia. This due to their Black Friday fires in 1939, where on January 13th [a Friday no less], a total of 69 sawmills were burned and 71 lives lost.

Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Western Forest Products strike ‘killing our communities’: Port McNeill Mayor

By Troy Landreville
My Powell River Now
November 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Gaby Wickstrom

The Mayor of Port McNeill says the ongoing forestry workers strike is crippling the region. Gaby Wickstrom posted an open letter on Facebook, addressed to chief negotiators Brian Butler (USW 1-1937) and Roger MacDougall (Western Forest Products). …Wickstrom said this strike cannot go any longer.  “It’s killing our communities and heartbreaking to see what it’s doing to people,” Wickstrom said. “…but we can only take so much before we break.” She added that in a small community, the ripple effect of the strike is “pretty swift.” …independent contractors are on the edge of losing their equipment and livelihoods… “I am imploring you to get back to the table. I am begging you… to get back into a room together and work out a deal. Talk until you can’t talk anymore. …Don’t give up until you have reached a deal. Our very survival requires you to do so.”

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Okanagan company Woodtone invites minister to visit Spall plant

By Darren Handschuh
Castanet Kelowna
November 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hal Hanlon has issued an open invitation for the BC Minister of Forests to pay a visit – again. Hanlon is the president of Woodtone Specialties in Spallumcheen, a wood plant that is taking value added to whole new levels. …given the state of the forest industry the time is right to visit a company that is expanding while others are laying off. The amount of fibre that can be harvested will also be reduced in future, making the work Woodtone does even more important. The company takes small pieces of wood …from area sawmills and turns them into large, valuable pieces of wood coveted for a variety of construction projects. “We partner with a lot of the primary mills around the Okanagan particularly, and we buy a lot of the lengths and odds and ends they can’t get rid of,” said Chad Richmond, Woodtone territory manager and product manager.

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Save On Foods in Port Hardy is accepting donations for striking loggers

By Tyson Whitney
The North Island Gazette
November 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Save On Foods in Port Hardy is now chipping in to help out the striking loggers. Store Manager Jake Martin said… “We want to make sure that in all our communities we support as many groups as possible.” …United Steelworkers local 1-1937 union member George Genoe, who is on the Camp Committee in Port McNeill and has been a member of the union for 50 years, says this donation bin at Save On Foods came about because “Just out of years of watching them support the food banks and everything, I figured Save On Foods could be our centrepiece here for bringing in donations.” …With this now the longest strike in history, surpassing the previous longest strike that happened back in 2004, Genoe said

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Forestry deserves to be discussed in Ottawa

By Dan Albas, MP
The Summerland Review
November 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dan Albas

…Despite the election occurring back in late October, Prime Minister Trudeau has waited until Thursday, Dec. 5 to recall the house for a throne speech… the house is not scheduled to sit again until Monday, Jan. 27, 2020 …Citizens in Kelowna are deeply concerned that 174 residents who worked at the local Tolko lumber mill are now out of work. This week the BC NDP Government announced, in the fiscal update, that revenue received from the BC forest sector has decreased by $110 million. …These critically important points deserve… response from the Liberal Government. …Some BC forest companies… closing down lumber mills in BC…are investing in and opening up new lumber mills in the United States. This is deeply concerning. …Many of the regions they are investing in have different government policies.

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Strait Area businesses celebrated during annual fall awards dinner

The Cape Breton Post
November 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

PORT HAWKESBURY, N.S. —  Safety champions, new ventures and the best in business and customer service were celebrated during the fall awards dinner hosted by the Strait Area Chamber of Commerce. …A new award presented this year was the Marc Dube Innovation Award, which recognizes a business, organization or person who has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to innovation and business success. The award is named for Dube, who was the development manager at Port Hawkesbury Paper when it was reopened by parent company Stern Partners following a period of closure. His innovative, professional and compassionate approach to his work and community is said to have had a deep impact on the region. The Dube award’s inaugural recipient is Blaire Martell of Lobsters-R-Us Seafood in Little Harbour. 

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Fire trucks from three cities called to Norbord fire in Nacogdoches

By Donna McCollum
KTRE 9
November 27, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NACOGDOCHES, Texas  – Fire trucks from three cities were called to Nacogdoches this afternoon to help with an industrial fire at Norbord, a wood products plant. The call came in around 12:40 on Wednesday. Nacogdoches firefighters arrived to heavy smoke. Immediate concern led to calls to Center for a ladder truck and Lufkin for additional personnel. Center volunteer fire departments backed up Nacogdoches stations to take other calls. Chuck French with the Nacogdoches Fire Department said the cause of the fire is unknown at this time. He says it started on the conveyer belt moving wet chips that were headed to the dryer. No one was hurt and the scene was under control in less than two hours. END

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Federal Labor MP challenges Andrews government over native forestry ban

By Bob Harris
The Sidney Morning Herald
November 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Federal Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon has delivered a veiled swipe at the Andrews government over its decision to phase out Victoria’s native timber industry. …The decision by Premier Daniel Andrews earlier this month to end the harvesting of native hardwood timber from 2030 has caused a major split within the Labor movement, leading to fierce criticism from the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union. …Mr Fitzgibbon told the annual forestry industry dinner at Parliament House that government agreements had reliably provided the hardwood industry with resource security for more than two decades. …Mr Andrews has continued to brush aside savage union attacks about his decision to ban native logging and rejected criticism that the move will threaten thousands of jobs in regional Victoria.

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Southeast Asian furniture industry seeks to achieve prosperity together

The Viet Nam News
November 28, 2019
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Furniture companies and industries in Southeast Asia should pool their strengths and enhance co-operation to achieve prosperity and sustainability. …Delegates at the “ASEAN Market Attraction” forum organised by Handicraft and Wood Industry Association of HCM City and the ASEAN Furniture Industry Council agreed that the region boasts many advantages. …Last year, the countries in the region exported US$12.1 billion worth of wooden furniture out of the global total of $150 billion, with the US, Europe, Japan, Korea, and Canada being their main markets. …With the impact of the US-China trade war, many buyers have shifted their orders from China to Southeast Asia. In the first seven months of this year, Chinese wooden furniture and furniture exports to the US fell by 18.3 per cent year-on-year to $14.3 billion.

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Finance & Economics

Non-residential construction set to buttress B.C.’s economy

By Jock Finlayson, Business Council of BC
The Western Investor
November 28, 2019
Category: Finance & Economics
Region: Canada, Canada West

With mounting concerns about a slowing global economy and a worrying downshift in per capita growth across the advanced economies, the recent release of Statistics Canada’s Provincial and Territorial Economic Accounts Review contains some good news for B.C. …B.C.’s per capita real GDP rose by one per cent in 2018, second only to Quebec. While far from a world-beating result, this was ahead of the other provinces. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Two Architects Check the Pulse of the Sustainable Building Practices

By Kelly Beamon
Architectural Record
November 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Jamison Guest & Arno Adkins

The environmental goalpost for buildings has been moved. Clients don’t just want to cut VOCs and energy use, they want architects to help them significantly reduce a project’s carbon footprint. …Amid the pressure to surpass even LEED standards, two architects shared their view of next steps. With increasingly stringent certifications cropping up, which truly measure a sustainability? LEED remains the widely accepted standard for measuring building performance. It is, however, only one standard of measuring building performance. We’ve become increasingly focused on using others, such as Living Building and WELL. Are you excited about any specific sustainable materials? Our hope is that building standards and codes begin to further embrace cross-laminated timber for a wide variety of typologies.

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Lever Architecture transforms Portland industrial buildings into creative workspace

By Jenna McKnight
Dezeen Magazine
November 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

American firm Lever Architecture used …original timber in the adaptive reuse of two factories built over 70 years ago for a hay-baler manufacturer. The project, called Redfox Commons, is located in an evolving industrial district in Northwest Portland. Encompassing 60,000 square feet (5,574 square metres), the project entailed the conversion of two heavy timber buildings into a speculative office complex for creative tenants. …Within the buildings, original timber trusses were left in place. “Recognising the historic and environmental significance of the old- growth wood structure, the renovation preserves and restores the original lumber,” the team said. “The existing trusses were sand blasted and remain exposed, highlighting the natural beauty of the wood.” …”During demolition, wood from an overbuilt mezzanine was salvaged to create a new timber-and-glass entrance structure that connects the two historic buildings,” the studio said. …Redfox Commons recently won a design award from the Portland chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

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On the Money: Making gift wrap sustainable

By Dee-Ann Durbin
Associated Press in Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Growing unease about waste has some Americans rethinking wrapping paper. Gift wrap is still a huge business. U.S. sales of wrapping paper climbed 4% to $8.14 billion last year, according to a recent report by Sundale Research. But sales of reusable gift bags rose faster, the company said. Sundale said it’s also closely watching green trends — like furoshiki, the Japanese art of wrapping with fabric — because they could impact gift wrap sales in the coming years. …Some consumers are ditching wrapping altogether. In a survey released last month, half of U.S. respondents said they will give holiday gifts without wrapping this year to avoid using paper, according to Accenture, a consulting firm. Nearly two-thirds said they would happily receive gifts without wrapping. …Choose recyclable gift wrap. Papers that contain foil, plastic coating, cellophane and glitter are not recyclable, according to the American Forest and Paper Association.

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Getting the Holidays Down on (Recycled) Paper

By Ming Liu
The New York Times
November 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

When Alexa Pulitzer started her eponymous stationery brand in New Orleans nearly 25 years ago, she was drawn to recycled paper and soy-based inks from the start. “It was instinct,” she said. “Recycled paper seemed the more common sense approach — and I actually found it more interesting, too. The stock had these stripes in it that almost looked like watermarks.” And her main supplier, the Wisconsin-based company Neenah, uses renewable energy and sources materials certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Alexa Pulitzer now is sold in more than 1,500 stores worldwide, and its whimsical, tongue-in-cheek designs have attracted the likes of Gwen Stefani, Dita Von Teese and Hillary Clinton, as well as the major retailers Bergdorf Goodman and Anthropologie. Stationery, naturally, is one of her favored gifts, such as her BFFdesign.

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Sri Lanka gets first bamboo–to-timber board production line with UNIDO backing

Lanka Business Online
November 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

UNIDO, with the public sector, has granted hi-tech machinery for the production of bamboo boards from within Sri Lanka for the first time. The first such hi-tech machinery series used for the production of bamboo boards to be set up in Sri Lanka greatly enhances creation of glue-laminated timber boards based on local bamboo supplies. The latest breakthrough is a part of “Bamboo Processing Sri Lanka” -a project launched by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)… The objective of this project is to develop a bamboo supply chain and product industry in Sri Lanka. Bamboo is an exceptionally fast-growing and resilient plant. Producing laminated boards from bamboo will reduce logging pressure on existing forests and therefore protect the environment. …Industrial Development Board of Ceylon is to establish a national bamboo training center and will promote the utilization of bamboo as a substitute for wood while tackling deforestation and creating innovative and sustainable products.

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Peter Pichler designs luxury ‘tree suites’ elevated within an Austrian forest

By Lynne Myers
Designboom
November 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Milan-based studio, Peter Pichler Architecture, has unveiled images of their latest project designed for a tree-covered site close to the austrian town of Kitzbühel. Aptly titled ‘tree suites‘, the proposal is envisioned to form part of a new 7-star hotel development. The timber structures, which rise amid the forest, intend to connect guests with nature and provide a unique experience, similarly to the studio’s previous sustainable treehouse projects conceived for sites in Italy and the US. …In their contemporary interpretation of vernacular buildings, the architects have applied a wooden exoskeleton that wraps around the entire building. This structure is composed of two layers: a diagrid structure and a second layer made of intersecting timber sticks to filter the light and afford privacy. …The application of wood works twofold, firstly to reflect a local and sustainable material and secondly, to provide a warm, cozy feeling within the spaces.

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The wooden wonder that makes me worry even more for my country

By Alastair Campbell, Editor-at-Large
The New European
November 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

STAVANGER, NORWAY — It is not the first time a new city has blown me away. Nor the first time a building has blown me away. But it’s the first time I can recall both happening on the same day. Welcome to Stavanger, Norway’s fourth biggest city, and in a moment let me take you on a tour of a remarkable new construction here. …Stavanger is the Aberdeen of Norway. …”Welcome to the biggest wooden building in Europe,” said Haugland as we pulled up outside. Virtually all of the construction materials above ground level are wood, and so are the floors, ceilings and stairways which link the seven floors. …I was so awestruck by the whole thing that I snapped away on my iPhone and sent the pictures to the only architect I know. 

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Transparent wood: the building material of the future?

By Sarah Wild
Phys.org
November 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

When Timothée Boitouzet studied architecture in Japan… he realised the next smart material might be one that humans have used for thousands of years—wood. …In 2016, Boitouzet founded material science company Woodooin Paris, France, which retrofits timber to give it new properties. …Wood, however, can be used for more than support pillars. By selectively extracting wood’s lignin and replacing it with a specific type of polymer, it becomes a new material. This wood is weather-proof, more fire resistant, three to five times stronger, and transparent,” Boitouzet said …So far, automotive companies are the ones that have shown the most interest in his augmented wood. Currently, through a project called Woodoo Augmented Wood, the company is working on integrating electronics into its touch-sensitive wood. The material, which transmits light, will become wooden panels for ‘tactile dashboards’ in cars, Boitouzet says.

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Engineered timber versus concrete and steel for commercial buildings – what’s the cost difference?

By Marta Steeman
New Zealand Stuff
November 28, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Using engineered timber instead of concrete and steel on commercial buildings may not be a lot more expensive, big construction firm Naylor Love says. New Zealand’s largest private construction firm with 700 staff and $600 million turnover, Naylor Love has developed a calculator that quantifies the amount of carbon in building structures using different materials. The calculator is based on a report commissioned by Naylor Love and authored by sustainability experts thinkstep-anz. The research project modelled a typical six-storey commercial building constructed two ways – engineered timber versus conventional concrete and steel. The engineered timber model reduced carbon emissions by up to 90 percent, Naylor Love said. …”The net total cost difference for an engineered timber structure can be as low as a few percent of the total building cost. For this, you can achieve about a 90 percent reduction in carbon emissions.”

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New mass timber projects a glimmer of hope for B.C. forestry industry

By Adam Chan
CTV News Vancouver Island
November 27, 2019
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

VICTORIA – Changes to Canada’s national building code could prove promising for an ailing forestry industry. Starting in 2020, the national building code of Canada will allow for mass timber buildings to be constructed across the country. …After the mass timber policy change next year, buildings will be permitted to stand up to 12 storeys tall. The increase in size and scale of wooden buildings could help revitalize the forestry industry, according to professionals in the field.  “This is great for jobs, this is great for the industry,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director for Wood Works BC. “Each building uses roughly one million board feet equivalent of lumber – it’s a big number.” ,,,”There’s an explosion in mass timber projects right now” said Ilana Danzig, a structural engineer for Langford’s upcoming Tallwood 1 building. 

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Forestry

New Annual Allowable Cut 41 per cent lower than previous limit

BC Local News
November 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The new Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) of timber for the Burns Lake region is about 41 per cent lower than the previous AAC. The new determination for the Lakes Timber Supply Area (TSA) is 970,000 cubic metres, down from the 1.6 million cubic m of the old AAC that was set in 2016… The AAC, announced by chief forester Diane Nicholls breaks down into a maximum of 400,000 cubic m per year for live coniferous volume; up to 20,000 cubic m per year for live deciduous volume; and a maximum of 550,000 cubic m per year for dead volume. …Steve Zika, CEO of Hampton Lumber, which owns the Decker Lake and Babine Forest Products sawmills in Burns Lake said the new AAC puts the region in a difficult position. “The question will be whether it is possible, or feasible to reach the AAC of 550,000 m3 of dead timber and also what the final apportionment among the licencees will be. 

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North Cowichan picks company to consult with public on forestry

Cowichan Valley Citizen
November 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Municipality of North Cowichan has awarded a contract for its public engagement on forestry to the Vancouver-based company Lees and Associates.  …North Cowichan is one of the few communities that owns and manages forest lands for the benefit of residents. The Municipal Forest Reserve occupies approximately 25 per cent of the land base in North Cowichan. …Last winter, North Cowichan’s council began hearing from citizens interested in the municipality’s activities within the reserve. As a result, council asked for a review of North Cowichan’s forestry operations and curtailed harvesting until such time as an interim and long-term forestry management plan could be implemented. …The municipality is working with Dr. Stephan Sheppard, a professor at the University of British Columbia, the Coastal Douglas Fir Conservation Partnership, and 3GreenTree Consulting to perform a technical review and seek as many feasible management options as possible.

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Gov’ts need more voice over forested lands

Letter by Chris Alemany, Port Alberni
Alberni Valley News
November 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Nov. 5 the provincial government released a summary of what they heard during the review of the Private Managed Forest Lands Act. The good news is, it appears local government and citizens are speaking with one voice. They want better protections of watersheds, habitat, old growth, access and a better functioning forest sector. … I believe one key way to achieve all of that is to repeal Section 21 of the Act. This is the section that prohibits local governments and communities from regulating the actions of private forest companies within their territories. Communities should have more control, especially when it comes to protection of water supplies, and economic development. …That’s right, Mosaic and its operating companies Island Timberlands and Timberwest want more of our money and less regulations, or they will leave “the program”.

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Genomics to bring cost savings to the pulp and paper industry

By Genome British Columbia
Global Newswire
November 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — The forest industry is a key economic sector in BC, providing 32% ($14.1 billion) of B.C.’s total exports in 2017. …One of the challenges of the industry is to provide rapid, timely and accurate identification of the tree species present in the fine woody outputs of pulp and paper processing, also known as feedstock. …Knowledge of feedstock composition has a direct impact on how it is processed. …The project team, led by Dr. Richard Hamelin, will design ready-to-use DNA detection and quantification assays that can generate an accurate ratio of tree species in the feedstock. …“Current means of determining species rely on time-consuming microscopic examinations,” says Dr. Paul Bicho who leads the Canfor Pulp Innovation team. “We need a timely way to determine species proportions in powdered biomass… and we anticipate savings when this tool is fully operational.”

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Caribou habitat restoration may be ineffective in the short term, says UBC study

By Brenna Owen
The Canadian Press in the Prince George Citizen
November 28, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — A new study done in northeastern Alberta suggests habitat restoration may not be enough to save threatened woodland caribou, at least in the short term, and researchers at the UBC say their results make the case for a more rigorous analysis of conservation methods. Much of the caribou habitat in Western Canada has already been degraded by industrial activities, so one of the key tools being used to protect caribou is habitat restoration, said Cole Burton, a forestry professor who leads the wildlife coexistence lab at the university. …The study, which was published last week in the journal Biological Conservation, showed that most predators and prey used the restored seismic lines about as much as they used the unrestored lines. …The same issues are happening in northeastern B.C., where woodland caribou also roam alongside seismic lines established for oil and gas exploration, Burton said.

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Federal judge rules Cascade-Siskiyou expansion was illegal

Associated Press in The Oregonian
November 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A U.S. judge has ruled that much of President Barack Obama’s expansion of Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument just before he left office in 2017 was illegal. Timber counties in western Oregon and the timber industry had challenged the expansion, as well as current Bureau of Land Management policy that reduces the amount of other lands available for commercial timber production. They argued that those public lands were set aside by Congress explicitly for logging, with a portion of the proceeds going directly to the counties. The District of Columbia District Court judge agreed with both challenges, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported Tuesday. A U.S. magistrate in Oregon earlier this year defended Obama’s expansion of the national monument. Opponents of the expansion said that because it intrudes on land already reserved for timber production, Obama unilaterally disregarded an act of Congress.

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Elliott State Forest tract sale was illegal, Oregon Supreme Court says

The Associated Press in The Oregonian
November 27, 2019
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — The Oregon Supreme Court has upheld an appeals court ruling that found the sale of a tract of the Elliott State Forest was illegal. The ruling announced Wednesday upholds the appeals court decision last year that overturned the sale of 788 acres to the Seneca Jones Timber Company after environmental groups sued. The old-growth forest was intended to be managed to generate money for public education but logging on the land has been curtailed by lawsuits. The East Hakki Ridge tract was considered a test case for selling to private timber. In May, the State Land Board voted unanimously to stop the sale of the forest entirely. The forest, north of Coos Bay, contains one of the largest uncut old-growth forest in the Oregon Coast Range. END

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Active Energy signs licence deal with Canadian forestry management firm

By Josh White
ShareCast
November 28, 2019
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Biomass-focussed renewable energy business Active Energy Group has agreed terms for the issuance of its first ‘CoalSwitch’ licence agreement to RMD Environmentals – a Canada-based forestry management and environmental engineering and consultancy business. The AIM-traded firm said the agreement was for the development and management of projects involving the use of CoalSwitch technology in the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. …chief executive officer Michael Rowan said, “AEG’s directors believe the existing and future market opportunity for advanced biomass fuels and fuel additives, which utilise waste wood… and which have significant renewable and sustainability advantages, has never been more relevant.

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