Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for September 22 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Does forest certification work in tropical forests?

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 22, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Does forest certification work in tropical forests? The verdict—according to a review in Mongabay of past studies—is YES for the environment, NO for reducing deforestation, NO for profits for logging companies, and MAYBE for people. Elsewhere, fiber maker Lenzing claims a certification breakthrough with traceability in the final clothing product, National Trust seeks to save the bloodline of the paperbark maple, and new ways are being found to use bacteria and fungi to fix nitrogen and reduce stress in plants.

In the wake of historic wildfires, environmentalists seek to block a bipartisan movement in Congress for forestry reforms that would protect funding for fire prevention and allow “more aggressive management practices“. Related headlines include:

In Business News, FPAC welcomes the trade deal with Europe while Reuters downplays Canada’s threat to walk away from NAFTA, and Woody’s Premium Cabinetry is ranked as one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Special Feature

Forests Forever – Innovation In Modern Forestry

BC Forest Discovery Centre
September 22, 2017
Category: Special Feature
Region: Canada, Canada West

Members of the coastal forest industry and its wide-reaching economic and social network are collaborating with the British Columbia Forest Discovery Centre (BCFDC) to create a new exhibit telling the story of modern forestry innovation on the coast of BC. This exhibit will provide an immersive and interactive experience that will enhance visitors’ understanding of why BC’s forests are unique in the world, how science and technology is helping us sustainably manage our forest resource, as well as present visitors with opportunities to further explore BC’s working forest. The intent of the exhibit is to inject new life into the BCFDC, making it the premier tourism destination on the BC coast where you can learn about forestry – past, present and future. Potential target audiences are local, national and international tourists, students, outdoor enthusiasts, forestry workers and BC wood products consumers.

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Forestry

Burnt timber salvageable if harvested now, says B.C. forest company

By Clare Hennig
CBC News
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tom Hoffman, Tolko

British Columbia’s state of emergency was lifted over the weekend, but the forest industry is still reeling from the effects of a summer of wildfires that shut down mills and halted logging in its tracks. The province estimates that 53 million cubic meters of timber burned in the Interior — an entire year’s timber harvest. Tom Hoffman, the manager of external and stakeholder relations with forest product’s company, Tolko, said the industry is trying to regain a footing. …”Our mills were shut down for the better part of three weeks,” Hoffman told CBC Daybreak South host Chris Walker. ….Hoffman said that although there is a lot of damage, some of the burnt timber may be salvageable, if it is harvested quickly enough. “There is a lot of potential in the burnt logs,” he said. “We need to access this fibre as quickly as we can, so that it is still viable. The longer we leave it, the more insects, disease and rot occurs.”

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Witnessing coastal change

By Hank Shelley
Salmon Arm Observer
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Hank Shelley

In March 1778, Capt. James Cook sailed his ship, the Resolution, along the mist-shrouded shores of the B.C. coast to Nootka Sound. …How beautiful the B.C. coast must have looked; rich in sea life, whales, sea otters, the coastal mountains rich in untouched fir, spruce, cedar stands. Driving into the historic mining and logging village of Zeballos, last week, for our annual salmon and halibut charter… I was astounded about the amount of clear-cut and heli-logging Western Forest Products is conducting. Off-road giant trucks full of red cedar and fir grind their way off steep hillsides. Foresters will tell you regeneration will happen quickly from coastal rains, but mountains still remain naked from generations of timber extraction and profit to the U.S.-based timber barons.

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Environmentalists Try To Block Congress From Implementing New Ways To Fight Forest Fires

By Tim Pearce
The Daily Caller
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A bipartisan movement is building in Congress to reform the forest management practices of the U.S. Forest Service (USFS), despite environmentalists’ charge that the moves give too much power to the logging industry, The Washington Post reports. …The Trump administration is urging Congress to reform the USFS’s forest management funding dynamics and policies as the agency spends over half its budget fighting fires, according to a press release last week. …So far, environmentalists have derailed USFS attempts for more aggressive management practices through lawsuits. Legislation would prevent environmentalists from using the courts this way, however, the groups are pushing back.

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Monument battle a tangled web of claims

By the Editorial Board
Mail Tribune
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s memo to President Donald Trump recommending that the president modify 10 national monuments created by his predecessors, including shrinking the boundaries of four, is fraught with factual errors and may be on shaky legal ground. Any attempt by the administration to change the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is sure to trigger a legal challenge by monument supporters, and a lawsuit is already pending against the monument by timber interests.  …Parts of the monument also are former Oregon & California Railroad lands, designated by Congress for sustainable timber production under the O&C Lands Act of 1937. Timber industry representatives and the O&C Counties Association say a presidential proclamation under the Antiquities Act cannot overrule an act of Congress.

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Senators call for wildfire funding fix

Coeur d’Alene Press
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

In the wake of historic wildfires in Oregon, Idaho, California, Washington and across the West, several U.S. senators from throughout the region introduced an updated version of their bipartisan wildfire funding solution that would protect funding needed for fire prevention and treat wildfires as the natural disasters they are. The Wildfire Disaster Funding Act of 2017 … seeks to end the cycle of borrowing from fire prevention accounts to put out fires and stop the erosion of the U.S. Forest Service’s budget by reforming the way the federal government funds wildfires. …As of last week, wildland fire suppression costs for the fiscal year exceeded $2 billion, making it the most expensive year on record, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Wildfire season sparks calls for forestry reform

By George Plaven
East Oregonian
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Out of the ashes of another record-breaking wildfire season across the West, Oregon lawmakers are calling for changes in the way national forests are managed and how the government pays for fighting increasingly large, destructive fires. Rep. Greg Walden, the state’s lone Republican member of Congress, visited Pendleton and Hermiston on Thursday where he touted the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017, which passed the House Committee on Natural Resources in June. The controversial bill includes provisions that would expedite certain forest thinning projects, while establishing a pilot program to resolve legal challenges through arbitration.

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Arizona Public Service official: Red tape slows utilities’ efforts to prevent forest fires

By Isaac Winders
Payson Roundup
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Andrew Rable

WASHINGTON – When overgrown forests clash with energy infrastructure – devastating fire and power outages can follow. But current law puts up bureaucratic hurdles that make it hard for utilities to do the forest clearing that could prevent those fires, and then holds them responsible when fires break out, an Arizona Public Service official told a Senate committee Tuesday. That’s why Andrew Rable, the manager of forestry and special programs for APS, said the utility and the Edison Electric Institute were supporting bills – one House measure and one Senate bill – that would streamline the process for getting right-of-way access while shielding utilities from fire liability under some circumstances.

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Forest Service does bad job fighting fires

Letter by George H. Severson
Herald and News
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Sunday’s Herald and News contained a guest commentary from Luke Ruediger, a self-proclaimed fire expert out of Williams, Ore. and just another activist to claim that this summer’s fires are mere under-burns and more a benefit than a hindrance. As a professional forester and vegetation manager, I approach the issue from a different angle than even my industry brethren. While I don’t deny that heavy fuels are a contributing factor, to approach this simply from a lack of funding (Senator Ron Wyden) angle or from a pro-logging standpoint misses the bigger issue: The Forest Service absolutely can’t fight fire. Anyone who doubts that should talk to the folks in Brookings who nearly lost everything do to inaction and gross incompetence of our government.

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Juniper mill illustrates ‘new natural resource economy’

By George Plaven
Capital Press
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West
A University of Oregon study aims to support the new ways businesses are utilizing natural resources in rural Eastern Oregon. …the community of Ritter in rural Grant County is dealing with a scourge of unwanted Western juniper trees, crowding out native vegetation for wildlife and livestock. In response, a collaborative group of landowners known as the Ritter Land Management Team recently purchased a small portable sawmill to turn the pesky plants into valuable lumber. …Patti Hudson, executive director of the Ritter Land Management Team, said harvesting juniper will not only help ranchers keep their land healthy and productive, but may revitalize the local timber industry in a new way.

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Daines’ call for forest health is a smokescreen

Letter by Jim Bailey
The Bozeman Daily Chronicle
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Jim Bailey

As our fire season ends, another kind of smoke rises in political and industrial rhetoric. Sen. Daines leads the forestry propaganda. Examples are a Sept. 7 letter to the Forest Service and his Sept. 15 Chronicle editorial. Both contain undefined or unsubstantiated slogans and opinions. …Forest: With emphasis upon species of commercial value, Daines seems unable to see the forest for the trees. A forest is a biotic community of plants and animals interacting with a diverse and dynamic environment. Unhealthy: While individual trees can be “unhealthy,” fire, insects and disease are natural in healthy, dynamic forests. They contribute to species, patch, and structural diversity, and to inspirational and esthetic values. …We should not be misled by misrepresented benefits and neglected costs that promote logging our public lands.

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Yosemite Park Officials say allowing some wildfires to burn saves money while improving the forest

By Nathalie Granda
ABC30.com
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

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WoodMobile lumbers in for Farm Day

Bay Michael Roknick
Sharon Herald
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

COOLSPRING TOWNSHIP – Matthew Kenny hopes to return to the Mercer County area again – knock on wood. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture employee is something of a Johnny Appleseed. He plants seeds of knowledge by educating visitors on the value of Pennsylvania’s forests and its lumber industry. Kenny travels Pennsylvania highways from spring to fall in the Ag Department’s WoodMobile. Although the 34-foot trailer isn’t made of wood, almost everything inside it is – including the interior, a bicycle frame and a guitar. 

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Agencies, landowners partner to improve forest health

By Jamey Malcomb
Lake County News Chronicle
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…Much of the balsam fir in Lake County and parts of St. Louis County is under attack from the spruce budworm, a native pest in the fifth year of an outbreak forecast to last until 2022. Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) forester Tim Byrns said while spruce trees are threatened by the pest, 70 to 100 percent of the balsam firs in Lake County could be dead by the end of the outbreak. …The dominance of balsam in some parts of Lake County forests and the intensity of the spruce budworm outbreak is a result of a number of factors including logging practices in the early part of the 20th Century and, ironically, fire suppression. …Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources is providing $114,000 in a Clean Water Fund pilot project and working with the SWCD, the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa and landowners to clear properties of balsam understory and regenerate the forest.

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National Trust bid to save bloodline of ancient tree

BBC News
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Steps are being taken to save the bloodline of one of the National Trust’s greatest trees – the paperbark maple – at a Vale of Glamorgan garden. The tree at Duffryn Gardens – also known as the Acer griseum – came from the original seedling brought to Britain from China in the 1900s. Due to its age, it will soon stop producing seeds. But the Trust is gathering and germinating its seeds, to preserve future generations. Head gardener Chris Flynn said: “From research and extensive documentation on the origins of the Acer griseum, we have good reason to believe that the one in our arboretum dates to the early 1900s, which means it might not be around for much longer. “The tree is still producing a small number of seeds so we want to germinate them to try and hold onto the heritage of our champion Acer.

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Research to Use Bacteria in Revolutionary Ways

By Lincoln University
Scoop Independent News
September 22, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

A new Lincoln Agritech research programme will find revolutionary ways of using naturally-occurring bacteria and fungi to increase the availability of nitrogen to plants and improve plants’ tolerance to stress.  …the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment has awarded the programmes a combined $8.2m. …The first of the two projects will benefit the forestry and pastoral sectors by allowing pine trees and grasses to convert atmospheric nitrogen into plant-available mineral nitrogen in the same way that legumes such as clover do, and by improving the plants’ tolerance to stress. Dr Weld says this can be achieved by optimising the natural microbial communities associated with the plants, thereby creating new symbioses between plants, bacteria and fungi.

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Irish Farmers Association Launches Plan to Revitalise Forestry & Ensure Regional Balance

Irish Farmers Association
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Joe Healy, IFA President

A change in Government policy on forestry is needed to ensure the sector can reach its potential to create jobs and help Ireland to meet its climate change and renewable energy targets, while ensuring a balanced regional spread, IFA President Joe Healy has said. …He said, “Government must take a serious look why Ireland is failing to meet its forestry targets and address the barriers that exist to planting, some of which are a direct result of current policy.” …Joe Healy said, “The perception of forestry has been seriously damaged among farmers and the public…” The fact that more than 36% of planting is now undertaken by investors who do not live within the communities in which forests are planted is also damaging to how forestry is viewed.

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Does forest certification really work?

By Shreya Dasgupta
Mongabay.com
September 21, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tropical timber has earned a bad reputation. … But tropical timber does not have to be bad, some experts say. Tropical wood forms an integral part of many of our daily-use products, like furniture, toilet paper, flooring, construction, and packaging material. And this important resource can be harvested from forests responsibly and sustainably, experts say, ensuring that we meet our future wood needs while conserving forests. … Despite the rapid expansion of FSC certification over the past 20-plus years, we found only limited rigorous science investigating its effects. What research there is suggests that FSC-certified and RIL-managed forests are better for the environment than conventionally managed forests for several outcomes. But for one of certification’s primary environmental goals — reducing deforestation — the evidence is currently poor.

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Forest Fires

‘The landscape has changed’: Residents return as Waterton Lakes National Park reopens to the public

CBC News
September 20, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

Residents in Waterton Lakes National Park returned to an intact townsite but a changed landscape more than a week after a raging wildfire in southwestern Alberta forced an evacuation of the park. Parts of the park reopened to the public Wednesday afternoon. The Kenow wildfire had forced a mandatory evacuation order … Waterton, which is 270 kilometres south of Calgary. Parks Canada information officer Natalie Faye said that for safety reasons access is permitted only along the entrance road into the community and the townsite itself. …Jed Cochrane, one of three fire incident commanders in Waterton, said the Kenow wildfire was most likely started by lightning in B.C.’s Flathead Valley on Aug. 30.

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Company & Business News

Forest industry welcomes start of trade deal with Europe

By Richard Walker
Forest Products Association of Canada
September 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada

Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) today expressed its support for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union for commencing its provisional application. This agreement will immediately result in the elimination of quotas and tariffs of up to 10% on Canadian exports of wood-based panels and other wood products to the European Union. “We welcome the provisional application of the agreement, as a start to freer trade within the area,” CEO of FPAC, Derek Nighbor. “The prosperity of the forest products industry relies on strong exports, which CETA will help support.” …FPAC also urges speedy full implementation by governments of this landmark deal.

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Despite tough talk, Canada seen unlikely to walk away from NAFTA

By David Ljunggren
Reuters
September 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

OTTAWA (Reuters) – Despite Canada’s threats to walk away from NAFTA talks if necessary, its limited success in diversifying exports leaves the nation too reliant on U.S. markets to play hardball, government insiders and trade experts say. …“The desire is 100 percent to modernize … it is still true to say no deal is better than a bad deal but obviously that would be a pretty extraordinary set of circumstances,” said one person familiar with government thinking. …but Canadian exports of softwood lumber, for example, are not covered by NAFTA. The dependence on a single market has worried Canadian governments on and off since the early 1970s, when the Liberal administration of Pierre Trudeau – Justin’s father – tried to boost access to Japan and the European Union.

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Western Forest Products’s 2017 Log Champ LC650 Yarder

By Western Forest Products
You Tube
September 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

Introducing the new Log Champ LC650 Yarder! It’s fast, versatile and efficient. Join WFP operator John Gilbert on a quick tour of this mega-machine. A special thanks to the experienced team of engineers, builders and operators who made this dream a reality: Finning Canada, T-MAR Industries, and our team at Western Forest Products.

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Wildfires burn up business for local forest industry

By Michael Potestio
Merritt Herald
September 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, Canada West

This year’s wildfire season has burnt up more than just a million hectares of land. Local forestry businesses are reporting feeling the pinch from logging operations being suspended due to a wildfire danger rating much more intense than last summer.At Aspen Planers, planning forester Brent Turmel said the mill had to scale back logging operations due to the wildfire danger rating in the area. “We were shut down for over two months,” said Turmel. “And not only that, but contractors [were] out of work and other contractors being on hold,” said Turmel. According to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, logging operations often temporarily shut down in the summer in areas of high wildfire risk. 

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Lumber industry returns to work after fire closures

By Nicholas A. Johnson
Coos Bay World
September 20, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: United States, US West

COOS BAY — After recent rains, many lumber workers have been able to return to work this week as fire levels in many areas are back down to a level safe for industrial work. The State of Oregon has Industrial Fire Precaution Levels, which dictate the amount of work a lumber company can do while a fire is burning. Last week, most of Southern Oregon was at a level four, which calls for complete closure of lumber industry while fires are being fought.  “We were down all of last week in Roseburg,” Steve Swanson, CEO of Swanson Group, said. Swanson Group is a lumber company that owns mills all over the state, including Coos County.  …Todd Payne, the CEO of Seneca Sawmill, said “It’s not just the closures that hurt us. We own 167,000 acres in timber lands. We lost 1,000 acres in the fire.”

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Sappi North America Awarded by Minnesota Office of Foreign Direct Investment

Sappi North America
PR Newswire
September 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

CLOQUET, Minn — Sappi North America, a leading producer and supplier of diversified paper and packaging products, today received an award for its investment in the state of Minnesota from the Minnesota Office of Foreign Direct Investment, under the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. The award highlights the company’s contributions to the economic vitality of local communities, and its commitment to keeping Minnesota a world-leading business destination.

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ANDRITZ Successfully Starts Up Fibria’s New Pulp Mill

By Andritz
Newswire Today
September 21, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: International

Três Lagoas, Brazil – International technology Group ANDRITZ has completed start-up of key production technologies and equipment for Fibria’s new pulp mill in Três Lagoas. Fibria’s new pulp mill has a production capacity of 1.95 million tons of eucalyptus pulp per year. Combined with the existing mill at Três Lagoas the total production capacity reaches 3.25 million tons per year, thus making Três Lagoas one of the largest pulp production sites in the world.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Japan fires up biomass energy, but fuel shortage looms

By Yuka Obayashi
Reuters
September 21, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

TOKYO – As the sun sets on Japan’s solar energy boom, companies and investors are rushing into wood-burning biomass projects to lock in still-high government subsidies. More than 800 projects have already won government approval, offering 12.4 gigawatts (GW) of capacity — equal to 12 nuclear power stations and nearly double Japan’s 2030 target for biomass in its basic energy policy. The sheer number of projects has raised questions about how they will all find sufficient fuel, mostly shipped in from countries like Canada and Vietnam, while some experts question the environmental credentials of such large-scale plants.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Retired U of Guelph prof experiments with making guitars from invasive species

By Jessica Lovell
Guelph Mercury Tribune
September 20, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Doug Larson

A retired University of Guelph professor is undertaking a research project aimed at determining if there might be an upside to one of North America’s most hated invasive plants. Doug Larson, a retired biology professor and amateur luthier, has already made several guitars using Rhamnus cathartica or common buckthorn to build the fret boards, and now he’s pitching it to guitar makers to see if the worthless plant could become useful. “You want, for a finger board, hard, dense, heavy wood that does not absorb sound,” Larson said, noting also that the wood must not bend or warp. “Rhamnus has that property.” …Now, he wants to know whether those guitar manufacturers could be convinced to use buckthorn as an alternative. The plant doesn’t produce stems big enough to make the backs and sides of a guitar, but it’s ideal for the necks, Larson said.

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London Premium Cabinetry Business Named One of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies for 2017

By Woody’s Premium Cabinetry
Canada Newswire
September 22, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Canadian Business and PROFIT ranked Woody’s Premium Cabinetry (Woody’s) on the 29th annual PROFIT 500, of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies. Woody’s is one of London’s fastest-growing companies, and now one of the fastest-growing businesses in the nation. “Woody’s is honoured to be on the PROFIT 500 ranking,” says Shawn Fentie, President of Woody’s. “We did not set out to win awards when we launched our business in London. We hoped to deliver quality craftsmanship, and exceptional customer service. This achievement reflects hard work, vision and the dedication of our team.” …Woody’s is a family owned community oriented business, building stunning cabinets since 2005. 

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Lenzing’s Adds Traceability to its Sustainability Message With EcoVero Viscose

By Alison Nieder
California Apparel News
September 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Fiber maker Lenzing has launched a new line of viscose fibers that are both environmentally friendly and traceable. Lenzing EcoVero fibers are made using a special manufacturing system that enables companies to identify EcoVero fibers in the final product. This enables retailers and brands to verify that they are using Lenzing’s eco-friendly viscose fibers rather than generic viscose that might not meet their sustainability standards. …EcoVero fibers are made from wood from sustainable forestry plantations that are independently certified. The wood sources are FSC or PEFC.

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Better fire protection needed in wood-framed buildings

Letter by Bob Sweeney, president RES Associates
Providence Journal
September 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Bob Sweeney

Recently there has been a series of fires in large wood-framed apartment buildings under construction nationwide, including three in the greater Boston area. These fires call for a review of the methods used to construct these buildings. …The urgent need is to design a new system of fire protection while these wood-frame buildings are under construction as the resulting fire loss runs into the millions of dollars.  There is a second choice in the design stage for owners and developers to offer their tenants and guests a higher level of safety, and that is to build to exceed code by using a “balance design” concept. This method is passive, using a combination of precast concrete, masonry and steel building components. Also, they must have a code-compliant fire-suppressant system. This will result in a more robust and hardened structure.

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13 storey tower built of sustainably harvested Brazilian wood

By Lloyd Alter
Treehugger
September 21, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Brazil is often in Treehugger because of illegal logging and deforestation. Not this time. We have shown a lot of wood buildings on TreeHugger, but this is the first design we have seen for tall wood in Brazil. It is designed by Triptyque architecture for Amata, a forest management company. …There is a lot of illegal logging in Brazil, and deforestation is a huge issue, so there was a twinge of nervousness writing about this building; but Dario Guarita Neto, cofounder and CEO at Amata, tells Designboom: Wooden framed buildings are an efficient solution and may serve as a boost toward a change in the environmental consciousness of our societies. As we replace non-renewable resources with natural raw materials, we also help create a cleaner chain of production and we add value to certified forests. This can lower the pressure for deforestation.

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