Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for September 19 2017

Today’s Takeaway

US Interior Chief urges shrinking of protected areas

Tree Frog Forestry News
September 19, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Interior Chief Ryan Zinke’s [leaked] memo to President Trump—urging the shrinking of 4 national monuments and allowing more active timber management—is being greeted with anger by opponents. The protected areas include Cascade-Siskiyou (Oregon), Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante (Idaho), and Gold Butte (Nevada).

Worldwide demand for softwood lumber is pushing prices higher, supported by recent hurricanes and strong single family housing starts [US Census Bureau] in the US and Canada. Norbord is donating US$1 million to the Home Builders Institute to help with the rebuilding efforts in Texas and Florida, while good news is hard to come by in NAFTA talks.

In bioenergy news, a CNBC report speaks to the progress made in having biomass for energy deemed “carbon neutral” in the US, and the Australian industry seeks to alleviate energy shortages with wood waste, while proponents of Climate Week NYC claim forests are being destroyed to feed our “ravenous appetites for burgers, buns, and shoes”.

Finally, Two Sides claims a 61% success rate in removing or changing misleading environmental claims about the use of paper, a UK group reports significant progress on paper cups recovery and recycling, and the future of beer may be in wood pulp bottles.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Froggy Foibles

The future of beer may be in wood pulp bottles

By Yvonne Dick
Food in Canada
September 18, 2017
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

For companies in North America and Europe, fibre packaging may become a new alternative to glass beer bottles and aluminum cans. When a wood fibre bottle is empty, it can be recycled into a bin. Additionally, the materials are so environmentally friendly they can biodegrade in your garden or compost heap. …“The bottle has been created with input from some of the leading packaging specialists in the world, who are very excited to participate in the project,” says Håkon Langen, packaging innovation director. “Though we still have technical challenges to overcome, we’re on track on the project.”

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Forestry

Canada to host meeting of global forestry leaders to plan future of responsible forest development

Forest Stewardship Council
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

MONTREAL – The world’s leading forest certification organization, the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), will hold its triennial global General Assembly in Canada for the first time from October 8-13, 2017, in Vancouver. 800 people from more than 80 countries, including leaders in global forestry, will be attending to focus on how to enhance responsible forestry worldwide.  As FSC’s highest decision making body, the General Assembly (GA) sets the direction for the organization for the coming years, with several important areas of responsible forest management, conservation and sustainability on the agenda. These include, among others, the protection of High Conservation Value areas such as Intact Forest Landscapes, ensuring the rights and participation of Indigenous Peoples in forest development, and the future directions for forest restoration and conservation, all while permitting forests to continue to supply the vital products the world depends on for many purposes.

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Province appeals ruling clearing forestry company in $5.5M wildfire

By Charmaine de Silva
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The B.C. government is in court this week trying to recover $5.5-million from a forestry company for a wildfire near Vanderhoof in 2010. The case comes as the province continues to grapple with its worst wildfire season on record. The province is appealing a 2016 decision that found a Canadian Forest Products (Canfor) subcontractor didn’t cause the fire that burned more than 6,000 hectares of Crown land. A four-day hearing is underway at the BC Court of Appeal, where the province hopes to overturn the BC Supreme Court ruling in favour of Canfor and its contractor Barlow Lake Logging Ltd.

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Seeing the forestry centre for the trees

By Jennifer Thuncher
The Squamish Chief
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Sea to Sky Forestry Centre ramps up fundraising and launches logo contest. The future Sea to Sky Forestry Centre, destined for south of the Squamish Adventure Centre gravel parking lot, will entertain, educate and inspire, if its planners have their way. The approximately 11,000 square foot, multi-storey centre will be crafted with locally-sourced materials and include event space, interactive displays, temporary and permanent exhibits and much more, says Ken Pickering, president of the Sea to Sky Forestry Centre Society. “Our slogan is ‘forestry past, present and future,’” he says. “We want visitors to our centre to come away with the much storied past of our forest industry and how it helped to open [up] much of B.C. and provide jobs and opportunity to many.”

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Endangered Ontario: Why we should care about caribou

By Tim Alamenciak
TVO
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

If Jim Schaefer were to be cryogenically frozen and then wake up suddenly in 2100, the first thing he would ask would be, “Are the caribou okay?” …“I’ve learned to call this ‘caribou century,’ in part because caribou lost or conserved will be a very sensitive sign about our success at a whole host of challenges that we face,” says Schaefer, a professor of biology at Trent University. The boreal population of caribou is classified as threatened in Ontario, which means that if steps aren’t taken to preserve them, they will become endangered. Caribou need large, undisturbed tracts of forest in which to live and feed. They prefer areas of old-growth forest, where the trees and plants are 50 years old or older.

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Bitterroot forest proposes 27,400-acre timber project near Darby

Ravalli Republic
September 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Bitterroot National Forest is taking comments on a proposed 27,453-acre project near Darby that involves logging, prescribed burns, creation of about four miles of new roads while decommissioning 35 miles of roads, and changing access to some roads and trails. Eric Winthers, the Darby district ranger, said the project is fairly small and mainly involves land acquired a few years ago from the Darby Lumber Company. It encompasses land in the Rye Creek, Little Sleeping Child Creek, Harlan Creek, Roan Gulch, Burke Gulch and Robbins Gulch drainages on the Darby/Sula Ranger District. The project is known as Darby Lumber Lands Phase 2, and is a continuation of the Darby Lumber Lands watershed improvement project in 2015. 

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Light in the Forest

By Steve Cameron
The Coeur d’Alene Press
September 17, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Little more than a year ago, North Idaho forestry and logging industries could hardly see the road in front of them. The obstacle was a blizzard of lawsuits, filed under the umbrella of the Endangered Species Act by various environmental groups. These legal challenges cost a staggering amount of time and money, holding up business and emptying taxpayer pockets to the tune of $30 million just since 2009. …But now, times have changed: Boeh and Keough both speak optimistically about a completely new playing field. Why? A business-friendly Congress, with encouragement from the Trump Administration, has decided to try putting the hammer on useless lawsuits and the attorneys who file them. A bill introduced by Rep. Bruce Westerman, R-Ark., would virtually eliminate these “strategic” suits altogether and replace them with an arbitration system. The measure is called the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017.

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Oregon’s forest fires have cost $340 million so far

By Tracy Loew
Statesman Journal
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Oregon has had a “challenging” fire season this year, State Forester Peter Dougherty told several legislative committees Monday. But most of the cost will fall to the federal government. The Oregon Department of Forestry provides fire protection for 16 million acres of public and private forestland in the state. The federal government is responsible for the rest. So far this year, fires have scorched 42,000 acres of state-protected lands. That’s slightly more than the 10-year average of 34,562 acres, but much less than in 2013 (104,167 acres), 2014 (53,387 acres) or 2015 (86,848 acres). Oregon’s biggest fires this year have been on federal lands. In total, 1,093 fires have burned 678,000 acres across both state and federally protected lands, compared with a 10-year average of 493,399 acres.

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Astoria wise to invest in a healthy watershed

By the Editorial Board
The Daily Astorian
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It has become commonplace among political elites to observe that clean, fresh water will increasing become one of the world’s most precious and fought-over resources as this century progresses. Astoria leaders couldn’t have known this decades ago when a series of wise decisions led to acquisition of the city’s forest watershed, but we and future generations will have ample reasons to be thankful for their understanding of water’s importance. In late August, The Daily Astorian provided a thorough update on the city’s watershed and ongoing management of its timber. Routinely thinning the forest enhances its health and biological diversity, while improving fire safety and generating revenue and forestry jobs. …Carefully planned harvests within the watershed take pains to avoid creating erosion, sedimentation and other impacts on water quality and the environment.

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Controlling fuel loads lessens severity of wildfire

By Wes Melo
The Register-Guard
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We westerners have been living through yet another smoke-filled summer of extensive and uncontrollable forest wildfires. Millions of trees on thousands of acres once again are destroyed, our watersheds imperiled and, in some situations, forests forever changed. Isn’t it time to understand what can be done to address this problem? Simply stated, in order to burn, fires require oxygen, fuel and heat — plus a source of ignition. Since humans have no significant influence on either oxygen or heat in natural settings, the only opportunity we really have to mitigate fire severity in our forests is to control fuel loads.

 

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Leaked Memo Suggests Shrinking Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

By Courtney Flatt
Oregon Public Broadcasting
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

New details about a proposal to shrink the size and loosen protections for Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument are being greeted with anger and dismay by opponents. Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument is on the short list of wild lands that President Trump’s administration wants to shrink. New details about the recommendations by President Trump’s interior secretary surfaced Sunday in a memo obtained by The Washington Post. …It suggested the monument’s boundaries… should be revised to reduce impacts on private lands and remove O&C Lands to allow sustained yield timber production.”

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Bring back the timber industry

By Julie Stoner (letter)
Helena Independent Record
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

We spend all winter indoors looking forward to summer outdoors. Smoke filled summers should NOT be the NEW NORMAL! Something needs to be done and FAST! Please, the powers that be, bring back the timber industry to save the forests. Being a Helena native and raising three children here, summers were NEVER like the smoky tragedies of my now senior citizen years and that of my children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. Our forests thrive on mitigation – not just for housing and encroaching subdivisions, but for protective sustainability habitat for wildlife.

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LIDAR turns up new Bitterroot fault line

By Eve Byron
The Missoulian
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A mapping method used to look at floodplains in the Bitterroot Valley turned up something unexpected: a new fault line that just might cross under the Lake Como Dam. Jeff Lonn, a geologist with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology in Butte, said Ravalli County was using Light Detection and Ranging — or LIDAR — equipment as part of a floodplain study. LIDAR uses laser to map the ground, showing what the land is like devoid of homes, grasses and trees. Mike Stickney, a senior research geologist and director of earthquake studies at the Bureau of Mines was watching a presentation on the LIDAR study, and realized he was seeing something that looked like a “fault scarp” in the Bitterroot.

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Interior chief urges shrinking 4 national monuments in West

By Matthew Daly
Associated Press in the Washington Post
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Ryan Zinke

WASHINGTON — Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is recommending that four large national monuments in the West be reduced in size, potentially opening up hundreds of thousands of acres of land revered for natural beauty and historical significance to mining, logging and other development. Zinke’s recommendation, revealed in a leaked memo submitted to the White House, prompted an outcry from environmental groups who promised to take the Trump administration to court to block the moves. The Interior secretary’s plan would scale back two huge Utah monuments — Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante — along with Nevada’s Gold Butte and Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou. The monuments encompass more than 3.6 million acres — an area larger than Connecticut — and were created by Democratic administrations under a century-old law that allows presidents to protect sites considered historic, geographically or culturally important.

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Purdue professors finding burns, timber harvests may benefit Indiana’s hardwood forests

By Emma Ambrose
Journal & Courier
September 15, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Oak-hickory forests are in serious trouble. That’s the opinion of Purdue University agriculture professor Robert Swihart. “They’ve been undergoing a shift in composition for decades,” Swihart said. “If you fly over them or if you walk through them everything looks great, but things aren’t great.” Swihart is also a principal investigator on the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE), a 100 year-long, statewide project that studies the impact forest management techniques have on flora and fauna in hardwood forests. The project is a combined effort of researchers from across the state and Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources. The project has nine research areas, including the Yellowwood State Forest, which is a mature oak-hickory forest.

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Harvard forest report: Forests, funding, and conservation in decline across New England

By Harvard University
EurekAlert!
September 19, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Petersham, MA – New England has been losing forestland to development at a rate of 65 acres per day, according to a new report released today by the Harvard Forest, a research institute of Harvard University, and a team of authors from across the region. Public funding for land protection has also been steadily declining in all six New England states and is now half what it was at its 2008 peak; with land conservation trends following suit. “The incremental chipping away of forest and farmland by scattered development is hard to see day-to-day but it adds up over time and represents a significant threat to the region,” said David Foster, Director of the Harvard Forest. ”

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Prospect of timber harvesting creates uncertainties for Katahdin Woods and Waters

By Kevin Miller
Portland Press Herald
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Ryan Zinke

The interior secretary calls for ‘active timber management,’ but it’s unclear whether that would keep visitors away. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s recommendation to allow “active timber management” within Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is raising new questions about logging on the 87,500-acre swath of federal lands in Maine’s North Woods. In a report sent to the White House last month, Zinke proposed that President Trump use his authority “to promote a healthy forest through active timber management” and to prioritize traditional uses such as hunting and fishing in Katahdin Woods and Waters. The recommendations garnered immediate, and mixed, reactions from individuals and groups involved in the years-long debate over the monument.

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Korea to benchmark Japan’s forestry job creation

By Son Ji-hyoung
The Korea Herald
September 18, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

With South Korea aiming to quadruple its forestry employment, Japan’s policy — which has sparked an interest among the young generation — could be the thing to aim for.  The high-level dialogue Monday between Korea and Japan held at the Korea Forest Service headquarters in Daejeon offered a nation suffering from chronic unemployment a chance to benchmark Japan’s track record of a recovery in forestry employment, the officials said. The two-hour meeting was held in light of the Korean government seeking a breakthrough in the nation‘s prevailing youth unemployment, the ongoing retirement of baby boomers born between the mid-1950s and mid-1960s, as well as shortcomings in the workforce to address forestry issues.

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Forest Fires

Sept. 17: Elephant Hill at 70 per cent containment

By Max Winkelman
100 Mile House Free Press
September 17, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Elephant Hill fire is still 192,725 hectares and is 70 per cent contained since yesterday (Sept. 16), says Fire Information Officer Erin Catherall. “Today we have 101 firefighters, 40 pieces of heavy equipment, additional support staff and an incident management team … We have firefighters continuing to work in the area and do danger tree assessment that continues to be a major priority for us.” They’re also conducting infrared scanning and patrols and actioning any hot spots, she says. “We just really want to let people know the section 11 of the Wildfire Act, which is the restriction still remains in effect around the area. This restriction continues to restrict public access into crown land area … We really don’t want people going into the black so the area that’s burned by the fire because there’s a lot of hazards out there including danger trees and ash pits.”

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Full Wildfire Update: White River Complex 80% Contained, Lamb Creek 35% Contained

By Bradley Jones
Summit107.com
September 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

The BC Wildfire Service remains dedicated to its fight of active fires across the East Kootenay as the Lamb Creek and White River Complex Fires are now 35% and 80% contained respectively. Remaining at 2,094 hectares in size, 136 personnel, 21 pieces of heavy equipment, four helicopters and additional air support have been assigned to the Lamb Creek Fire. Continuing hand ignitions on the south flank of the fire, crews are continuing to gain control of the blaze. Regardless, Green Bay, Monroe Lake, Braunagel Road, Moyie Shores Estates and Aurora Estates remain on evacuation order, while the remainder of the Moyie area previously on evacuation order has since been placed on evacuation alert.

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Skiff of snow on wildfires

By Alanna Kelly
Castanet
September 19, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

An area that has been a focus for BC Wildfire Service recently has received some relief with snowfall, but not enough. The Southeast Fire Centre has seen an extreme drought this summer and wildfires continue to burn. “Any precipitation is always welcome on the wildfire front, however we need significant amounts of precipitation to impact the forest fuels after the prolonged drought we have experienced this summer,” said fire information officer Karlie Shaughnessy. There has been a couple skiffs of snow along some fires near the Rockies and the showers felt in that area have been quite spotty. “We do have a lot of fires near the Rockies, not necessarily burning on the peaks but the majority of fires in that area are definitely showing a decrease in fire behaviour as a result of cooler temperatures and in some cases precipitation,” she said.

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City staff get real-world disaster experience from B.C.’s wildfires

By Chris Bush
BC Local News in Nanaimo News Bulletin
September 11, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: Canada, Canada West

…When the province called for help battling this summer’s wildfires, Nanaimo city staff and volunteers trained to deal with large-scale emergencies stepped up to travel to trouble zones and bring home valuable real-world disaster management experience. McRae spent eight days in August as the Emergency Operations Centre director in Williams Lake, helping decide what areas could have evacuation orders lifted to allow families to return home, while assessing which areas needed to be kept under evacuation alerts. He’s one of at least seven municipal staff and four volunteers – not counting Nanaimo firefighters and RCMP members – who joined their counterparts from across B.C. to assist with the multitude of tasks that must be performed in a major disaster. 

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Rain halts Chetco’s march

By Annette McGee Rasch
Mail Tribune
September 18, 2017
Category: Forest Fires
Region: United States, US West

…All evacuation notices in Curry County associated with the 189,787 acre Chetco Bar fire have been lifted. In Josephine County, the Level 1 evacuation alert affecting hundreds of Illinois Valley residents also has been lifted; and the Level 3 notice for people living along Illinois River Road have been dialed back to a Level 2 advisory and is expected to be further downgraded to Level 1 on Tuesday evening. All national forest closures remain in effect, however. The Checto Bar fire is now 53 percent contained and while efforts to increase that number continue — 1,330 firefighters are still assigned to the West Zone and 280 are camped out in the East Zone — operations have shifted toward rehabilitating areas impacted by both the fire and firefighting efforts.

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Company & Business News

US housing starts: Overall in line; single-family starts remain strong

By Paul Quinn and Charan Sanghera
RBC Capital Markets
September 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

The US Census Bureau released new residential construction statistics for August, with housing starts in line with consensus (1.180MM vs. consensus of 1.174MM) while permits were ahead of consensus. Multi-family starts continue to be weak, while single-family starts remain strong. …On a regional basis, starts in the South represented 48% of the total versus 26% in the West, 17% in the Midwest and 9% in the North-East. …We note that single-family starts are the key driver for forest products consumption, with ~3x the use of wood products vs. multi-family units. …Canadian housing starts in August averaged 223K – This is 21.5% higher and 10.8% above the 10- year average of 201K. 

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Softwood lumber demand pushes prices higher

By Karl Forth
Woodworking Network
September 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

SEATTLE — Increased demand for softwood lumber worldwide has pushed lumber prices higher, especially in the United States and China during the first half of 2017, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly. International trade of softwood lumber is on pace to a new record high in 2017 if the trend from the first six months of 2017 continues in the second half of the year. …Russia alone, has accounted for 22 percent of global lumber trade so far in 2017, which is up from 15 percent 10 years ago. Canada’s seven consecutive years of expanding shipments may reach an end this year with export volumes having declined 2.2 percent during the first half of 2017. …Lumber production in the U.S. South bounced back… The total production output from January through May was 7.3 percent higher this year.

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NAFTA talks: Three scenarios and three bad outcomes

By Lawrence Herman
The Globe and Mail
September 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada, United States

With NAFTA Round 3 starting this weekend in Ottawa, good news is hard to come by. …as Canada and Mexico try to deal with U.S. President Donald Trump’s aggressive “America first” agenda. …here are three possible scenarios based on what we’ve seen so far. None is particularly encouraging. Scenario 1: The negotiations succeed with a NAFTA 2.0 deal by year-end or early in 2018. …All told, it could take at least 225 days before the draft bill is even sent to Congress. …Scenario 2: The negotiations collapse and Mr. Trump notifies Canada and Mexico that the United States intends to withdraw from NAFTA. …Scenario 3: The negotiations collapse and further talks are suspended. …Any deal on softwood lumber would be at risk.

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Norbord Donates US$1 Million to Home Builders Institute for Hurricane Reconstruction Efforts

By Norbord Inc.
Canada Newswire
September 19, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: Canada East, Canada

TORONTO – Norbord Inc. is pleased to announce that it is donating US$1 million to the Home Builders Institute (HBI) to help with the rebuilding efforts following the recent hurricanes in Texasand Florida. “The construction industry is already afflicted by labor shortages, and the demand for framers will grow considerably due to the storm damage,” said Peter Wijnbergen, President and CEO of Norbord. “Building on the success of our ‘Thank A Framer’ campaign, we are donating US$1 million to the HBI. This money will go to training and educating new construction professionals to help Texas and Florida rebuild.” The funding will enable HBI to expand and extend its existing training programs in Texas and Florida. These funds will provide valuable long term jobs for hard-working Americans, offer support for those who need to rebuild and help ease the labor shortage in the industry.

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Recent hurricanes likely to cause building cost increases in Kentucky

WKYT
September 18, 2017
Category: Company & Business News
Region: US East, United States

LEXINGTON, Ky. – As construction crews in Florida and Texas prepare to take on massive rebuilding operations, the demand for raw materials could impact homeowners and businesses in Kentucky. The Building Industry Association in Lexington says workers are right in the middle of a busy season and that the timing of recent hurricanes hitting the United States couldn’t be worse. Experts in the building industry say Kentucky has struggled to find workers; now finding affordable materials is also becoming a challenge. “We are paying more for material now than we did even a few weeks ago,” said Doug Barr. Barr is the manager at Palumbo Lumber. He says the volume of materials that will be needed to rebuild the battered coasts of Florida and Texas will likely mean higher prices. “What it does is create panic buying amongst those of us that are sitting out here trying to make sure we have product for our customers,” Barr said.

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Enterprise zone helps sawmill rebuild, expand

By Christine L. Pratt
Columbus Dispatch
September 17, 2017
Category: Company & Business News

MILLERSBURG — Helping a local business rebuild following a July 18 fire, the Holmes County commissioners on Monday approved a partial tax abatement for construction of a new sawmill at Winesburg Hardwood. It took firefighters between 1½ and two hours to control the fire, which was contained to the steel-sided sawmill building, in which employees also made pallets. Now, the company is looking to rebuild the sawmill, a project that, especially because it was unplanned, is made economically easier thanks to the abatement, which will reduce the company property tax on the new construct from an estimated $10,000 to $5,000 annually over the 10-year life of the agreement, in which the company also commits to expanding its work force.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

While Trump Addresses UN, Businesses Meet To Address Climate Change

By Steve Zwick
Ecosystem Marketplace
September 18, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

Major media today are focused on US President Donald Trump; but a more intriguing story is unfolding a few blocks west, in the Morgan Library. That’s where the Climate Group is kicking off Climate Week NYC. With the US momentarily neutered, other countries have coalesced around the effort, which increasingly focuses on one of our greatest bulwarks against climate change: namely, the world’s forests. These forests are also at a critical moment: on the one hand, with so much carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, they’re growing at unprecedented rates; but on the other hand, as temperatures become more extreme, their ability to absorb greenhouse gasses diminishes. To make matters worse, forests are being destroyed to feed our ravenous appetites for burgers, buns, and shoes.

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A burning question: Throw wood on the fire for 21st-century electricity?

By Zachary Basu
CNBC
September 17, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

For hundreds of millennia, humans have depended on wood as a basic but reliable source of fuel. Today efforts to grow that dependence in the face of an evolving energy landscape are widespread. But they’re also contentious. The debate over biomass, an umbrella term that encompasses a range of organic materials used for energy, rests primarily on the question of “carbon neutrality.” It’s taking place at the federal level — the House Appropriations Committee voted during the summer to designate biomass “carbon neutral” — and across the states. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker announced in August that his administration would move to designate fuel derived from felling trees and clearing brush in forests as renewable energy. In Arizona the state’s Public Service recently ordered to research forest bioenergy as part of its power portfolio. 

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Timber bio-fuel stymied by lack of government incentives, says industry

By Renee Cluff
ABC News, Australia
September 18, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

With a number of coal-fired power stations tipped to close over the next decade, the Queensland timber industry says it could help alleviate any energy shortages by producing green fuel from its waste but is being held back by a lack of government incentives. About one million tonnes of wood waste is generated in the state every year and Timber Queensland CEO Mick Stephens said that amount of bio-fuel has the potential to create about 100 megawatts of baseload power. “The timber industry is a renewable industry, it’s based on a resource that’s re-grown and we generate a fair bit of wood waste, things like sawdust and shavings,” he said.

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Scientists Warn Forest Loss May Lead to More Hurricanes

By Center for International Forestry Research
Scoop Independent News
September 18, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Bogor (Indonesia) – According to emerging theories, the world’s standing forests may be protecting continents against cyclonic storms, such as hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones. But as these forests disappear, scientists anticipate more frequent and more destructive storms. Recent research conducted in collaboration with the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) suggests that forests and cyclones share a fundamental link in atmospheric dynamics, and that changes in one can trigger changes in the other. Both cyclones and forests are characterized by striking amounts of rain, which derives from the atmosphere. Evidence suggests that by importing atmospheric moisture from the ocean, forests deplete the vapor available to generate and support cyclonic storms.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Inside Vancouver’s Brock Commons, the World’s Tallest Timber Structured Building

By Zoya Gul Hasan
ArchDaily
September 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

“Plyscraper,” “woodscraper,” call it what you will, but the timber age is upon us. Brock Commons Tallwood House, the recently completed student residence building at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, now occupies a prominent position within architecture: the tallest timber structured building in the world. Designed by the Canadian practice Acton Ostry Architects Inc., the project was a collaborative effort of a number of leading companies and consulting firms including Fast + Epp, Austria-based Architekten Hermann Kaufmann, and GHL Consultants Ltd., along with the renowned manufacturer of mass timber products and packages, Structurlam. “We found that working with wood, we could reduce timelines for construction. The assembly of the wood structure went up incredibly quickly, faster than we even expected”, explained John Metras, Managing Director of Infrastructure Development at UBC.

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Two Sides Global Anti-greenwash Campaign: 278 leading companies remove misleading ‘go green’ claims

Two Sides
September 19, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Phil Riebel

Two Sides, the global initiative to promote the sustainability of print and paper, reports a 61% success rate in removing misleading environmental claims made by some of the world’s largest corporations as they seek to replace paper-based communications with lower cost electronic alternatives. Two Sides research into more than 600 of the world’s leading corporations, including banks, utilities, telecoms and insurance providers, has shown that a total of 460 of those companies have been using misleading and unsubstantiated environmental statements. To date, 278 of those companies have removed such statements as a result of ongoing engagement by Two Sides. Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America, comments: “88 major corporations, including many of the Fortune 500, have now changed or removed misleading environmental claims.

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Paper cup recovery and recycling on the rise, says report

By Phillip Chadwick
Packaging News
September 18, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The organisation said that “significant progress” has been made towards its goal that by 2020 the majority of the UK public will have access to facilities enabling used paper cups to be recovered and recycled. The number of points where paper cups can now be recycled is, by PCRRG estimates, now up to over 4,000. Costa, Starbucks, McDonald’s and the City of London have boosted collection points as well as accepting cups from other retailers. Simply Cups has also boosted its networks and partnerships over the last 12 months. Recovered cups are also being recycled at a number of facilities including James Cropper and ACE UK. “…We know there are still challenges that we need to address in terms of the growth of the market, infrastructure restrictions and consumer behaviour change, but we are determined to impact these.”

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