Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: September 2012

Business & Politics

Former Sino-Forest CFO leaves company

Globe and Mail
September 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Sino-Forest Corp., the Canada-based Chinese timber firm that collapsed under the weight of fraud allegations in 2011, says former chief financial officer David Horsley is no longer employed by the company. Mr. Horsley was the top Canadian-based executive at the TSX-listed forestry firm and served as CFO from October, 2005, until April, 2012, when Sino-Forest was hit with enforcement notices by the Ontario Securities Commission.

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Business Leaders Unite to Tell Ottawa: It’s Time to Fix Rail

Canada Newswire press release
September 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

OTTAWA- A group of CEOs and other senior executives from major resource sectors such as forestry, fertilizers, mining and agriculture converged in Ottawa earlier this week to deliver a strong common message – that now is the time to address inefficient and inadequate rail freight service. …”For Resolute Forest Products, the inefficiencies of rail service have an impact on our bottom line and our ability to compete in fiercely competitive world markets”, says Richard Garneau, President and Chief Executive Officer.

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Energy, lumber push up Scotiabank commodity index

Canadian Press
September 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

The Scotiabank Commodity Price Index rebounded in August, rising 3.1 per cent from July, thanks largely to stronger oil prices and the early signs of a recovery in the U.S. housing market. Prices for forest products were also higher. …Forest products prices were 2.3 per cent higher as Western Spruce-Pine-Fir 2×4 lumber prices jumped to $310 US per thousand board feet in August, their highest levels since May 2006. “After a challenging environment since 2008, linked to a prolonged and sharp down-turn in U.S. housing, lumber and OSB producers, as well as medium-density fibreboard and particleboard manufacturers, will enjoy a substantial recovery in earnings in 2013,” said Patricia Mohr, commodity market specialist at Scotiabank.

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Catalyst Alberni boss to move on

Alberni Valley News
September 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Catalyst Paper mill manager Tom Paisley is headed back home to New Brunswick after three and a half years in Port Alberni. The announcement was made to mill staff on Monday and a search for a replacement is underway. Paisley’s last day will be in mid-October after which he will head to New Brunswick, where he is originally from and still maintains a small property. “Our son and daughter still live there. Our daughter is getting ready to give birth to our first grandchild,” Paisley said. “It’s home, so it’s a good time to move.”

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Local sawmill making the cut

Terrace Standard
September 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Terrace sawmill has started producing lumber for the first time since 2007. Skeena Sawmills, which was purchased by the B.C. company Roc Holdings Ltd. in July 2011 and has spent about $6 million in BC to date including upgrades and operations, is currently testing equipment in preparation for full-capacity operations which will ramp up in the coming years. The test stage is just one of many steps that have taken place since the mill and logging rights were purchased from West Fraser last year.

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Judge grants NewPage extension until Oct. 5, latest order a precautionary measure, monitor says

Chronicle Herald
September 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A Nova Scotia Supreme Court judge has granted an extension of the sale of NewPage Port Hawkesbury until Oct. 5. The eighth stay of proceedings granted Thursday buys the owners of the Cape Breton paper mill an extra week to ink a deal with top bidder Pacific West Commercial Corp. Yet the complex, yearlong transaction is still expected to close late today, the court-appointed monitor said. “The game plan at this stage is to get all the documents finalized and approved and close the transaction by the end of business (Friday),” George Kinsman, senior vice-president with Ernst & Young, said outside court Thursday morning.

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Loggers awaiting contract talks with mill

Western Star
September 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

TRITON — Sometimes, Lindy Vincent and the loggers and silviculture workers he represents, feel like they’ve been forgotten about. Vincent is president of Local 60N of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union of Canada, which represents woodlands employees who work for Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. …The woodlands workers have been without a new collective agreement with the paper company since Dec. 31, 2008, even longer than the CEP unions inside the mill that agreed to new labour contracts this past June.

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C.B. paper mill gets break on power rate

Chronicle Herald
September 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

The would-be owner of a struggling Cape Breton paper mill has received a new power rate. The Nova Scotia Utility and Review Board granted Pacific West Commercial Corp. a discount tariff for the former NewPage Port Hawkesbury operation. The ruling, made late Thursday afternoon, will help the Vancouver company’s plan to close a deal today to acquire the paper mill. “We certainly appreciate the Nova Scotia UARB and the other parties for dealing with our application expeditiously,” Pacific West spokesman Marc Dube said in a telephone interview Thursday evening.

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Information flowing between mill and government

Western Star
September 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

CORNER BROOK — Finance Minister Tom Marshall says the provincial government has received some reports from Corner Brook Pulp and Paper, but is awaiting more information before moving ahead with its plan to help the mill. Government has committed to supporting the mill in some fashion as the company tries to stay operating in the declining newsprint industry. The exact nature of that assistance has not been specified, but the province has said it would do what it could as long as the company could reach new labour agreements with its unionized employees and the company could show government a long-term viability plan.

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Improved US housing good news for lumber industry, report

Could cause rebound for wood products manufacturers in N.B.
CBC News
September 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A new report shows some of New Brunswick’s wood products manufacturers could soon experience a rebound, due to an improving housing market south of the border. A report released by Scotiabank points out an increased demand for wood products in the U.S. According to the report the rebound is due in part to an improving U.S. housing market and west coast lumber being exported to Asian markets. … David Palmer, the manager of the York Sunbury Charlotte Forest Products Marketing Board, said there is already preparations at one of the company’s mills.

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Cause of Redwood Valley lumber mill fire unknown

Ukiah Daily Journal
September 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

The cause of a fire that burned a Redwood Valley lumber mill last week is still undetermined after an investigation by CalFire and the Redwood Valley-Calpella Fire Department, according to RVCFD Capt. Brendan Turner. The fire started on the northeast corner of the mill at about 1:41 a.m. and completely burned the building. The blaze also consumed two forklifts, causing their propane tanks to explode, along with a number of household-size propane tanks inside the building, Turner said. “We were able to narrow down the area of origin, but we were unable to determine the cause,” Turner said.

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Utility pole business to build $25M facility near Sidney

Scottsbluff Star Herald
September 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

SIDNEY — Another business has chosen to expand its operations in western Nebraska. During the Tuesday night Sidney City Council meeting, representatives from Bell Lumber & Pole Company, based in Minneapolis, announced plans to build a $25 million plant and logistics center that will be used in the manufacturing and transportation of wooden utility poles. The plant will be built at the Adams Industrial Logistic Park northwest of Sidney and is targeted to be operational next summer.

Minnesota company to build Nebraska pole plant from the Associated Press

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Mill executives say Maine paper industry viable, but there are challenges

Bangor Daily News
September 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

BANGOR, Maine — Executives from three of Maine’s paper mills told 50 businesspeople that reports of the demise of Maine’s pulp and paper industry have been greatly exaggerated. “Maine is 92 percent forested,” said Keith Van Scotter, president and CEO of Lincoln Paper and Tissue. “If paper and pulp is going to be made anywhere, it’ll be made in this state, so it’s not a dying industry. It’s a viable industry.” Van Scotter; …Van Scotter added that pulp and paper is being used to make rayon clothing in the Far East, opening up a whole new market.

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Gunns CEO L’Estrange sacked by receivers

Business Spectator
September 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Gunns Ltd chief executive Greg L’Estrange has been sacked by the receivers put in charge of the collapsed group, according to The Australian. The receivers, KordaMentha, have retained other senior managers pending a review of staffing while they also search for a buyer of Gunns’ $2.3 billion Tamar Valley pulp mill. Mr L’Estrange had recently extended his contract at the timber company until the end of 2012, but was reportedly let go Wednesday evening.

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Gunns woes hit SA’s south-east

ABC News, Australia
September 26, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The South Australian Government is looking at the financial help it can offer Gunns-owned timber operations in the south-east of SA. Gunns has gone into voluntary administration because of a huge debt. It has about 220 workers in the south-east of SA, most at a mill at Tarpeena. Grant District Council Mayor Richard Sage says the region faces a tough time, but he thinks the timber industry will remain viable.

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Call for Tas to change focus

ABC News, Australia
September 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

An economic researcher has slammed the proposal for a pulp mill in the Tamar Valley. Phil Ruthven from business group IBIS aired his views on the project at an economic workshop in Hobart today. The 2-billion-dollar pulp mill may never be built after its proponent, Gunns, went into voluntary administration this week. Mr Ruthven says even if it was built, it would struggle to be competitive.. …Mr Ruthven is urging Tasmania to move away from forestry and to focus on tourism and agriculture.

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The man who pulped the pulp mill

When Bob McMahon saw the environmental havoc caused by a pulp mill in Chile he vowed it wouldn’t happen in Tasmania.
Sydney Morning Herald
September 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

AT THE height of the Tasmanian pulp mill protest, Bob McMahon’s phone would start ringing at 6am and wouldn’t stop until midnight. McMahon was the go-to man everyone would call about the $2.3 billion project at Bell Bay first proposed in 2004 by the giant timber company, Gunns. Back then, the project was hailed by federal government, with then prime minister John Howard pledging to throw in $5 million as a pre-election sweetener. Opposition leader Mark Latham also backed the mill as a big plus for the island state’s environment and economy.

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China wood pulp production to continue at aggressive pace, but market pulp business unsustainable over time

RedOrbit
September 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

BOSTON, Sept. 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — China will continue to see rising wood pulp production along with rising imports of wood chips to make that pulp, according to 2012 The China Pulp Market: A Comprehensive Analysis and Outlook, a new study release today by RISI the leading information provider for the global forest products industry. The study also concludes that large-scale papergrade market pulp production in China is not a sustainable business over time.

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Chinese in frame to buy Gunns

Stock and Land
September 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

TASMANIAN Premier Lara Giddings sought out Asian investors for the beleaguered Gunns pulp mill project during her recent trip in the region. Ms Giddings revealed her pitch on Wednesday as Chinese investors emerged to buy Gunns’ assets and even the $2.3 billion pulp mill project, prompting a backlash from the Greens. Ms Giddings said there were no firm proposals for the mill but that she had raised it as an investment option, along with Tasmania’s dairy and mining industries, during her recent trip to China.

Chinese buyers size up Gunns’ assets from the Farm Weekly

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Tasmania’s divisive timber mill project reduced the mighty Gunns to a pulp

There are lessons here for other industries, particularly mining.
The Age
September 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

THIS week’s announcement that Gunns, the timber company that once bestrode the forests and valleys of Tasmania like a brooding behemoth, had entered voluntary administration is a case history that should focus the minds of many corporate boards – particularly in the mining industry.  It is difficult to conjure the all-pervasive nature of Gunns at its height, such is the speed of its fall. Not only did it dominate the timber industry in Australia, it spread its roots into a bewildering array of unrelated assets, including hardware stores, wineries and walnut plantations. …And it was this pulp mill that sank the company, not the markets as some politicians and commentators are now suggesting.

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Gunns receivers may sell rights to Bell pulp mill

Stock and Land
September 27, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

RECEIVERS will attempt to sell the right to build the controversial Bell Bay pulp mill as part of a carve-up of the $2 billion project’s failed owner, Gunns. But receiver Mark Korda said hopes for a sale rested on an assessment of the mill’s viability, to be conducted next month. ”Our preliminary view is that all of the permits and requirements to continue the pulp mill can be transferred or sold with little impediment,” he said. ”What we’ve got to do is a review in October to lay out what the strategic alternatives are.”

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Gunns’ workers to get payouts

ABC News, Australia
September 28, 2012
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Workers at Gunns’ Launceston timber yard are celebrating the news they will receive their entitlements. The mill employees are being made redundant tomorrow. The closure decision was made before Gunns went into administration on Tuesday. Yesterday, about 50 workers marched from Gunns’ headquarters to the ANZ bank which is the company’s biggest lender. They met Gunns’ receivers Korda Mentha this morning. They were told all salaries and leave entitlements will be paid.

Angry Gunns workers march on ANZ from NineMSN.com.au

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Weyerhaeuser makes breakthrough in thermoplastic composites

Business Examiner (blog)
September 27, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Weyerhaeuser Co. has launched a proprietary, patent-pending form of thermoplastic composite that uses sustainably sourced cellulose fiber as a reinforcement additive. The Thrive composites will initially be used in household goods and automotive parts. In addition, Thrive can be used in a variety of composite plastic applications, including office furniture, kitchenware, small and large consumer appliances, and other industrial goods.

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2012 Wood WORKS! BC Community Recognition Award winners

from Wood WORKS! BC
Canada Newswire press release
September 26, 2012
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building

VANCOUVER, – Wood WORKS! BC Community Recognition Awards were presented to local government representatives today at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Victoria. The awards are presented annually to communities that have been exemplary advocates for wood. This may be demonstrated through the specification of wood in a community project and/or through visionary initiatives that work toward building a community culture of wood.

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Forestry

Clear-cutting dissent

Letter by Tanya Currie
Calgary Herald
September 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

On Tuesday, I went to the public consultation meeting about the pro-posed clear-cutting in West Bragg Creek. The minister and the guy with her were questioned by many well-informed, concerned people from the Bragg Creek area and Calgary about subjects such as: How many kilometres of trails will be affected? How many hectares of area will be clearcut? … All of which the answer was, “We don’t have that information.” These questions seem to be important ones to have answered be-fore proceeding.

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Funding supports First Nations forestry businesses

Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
BC Government
September 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – First Nation forestry businesses throughout British Columbia will continue to receive the technical support they need to succeed, thanks to an additional $400,000 provided by the government of B.C. The First Nations Forest Sector Technical Support Program helps First Nations develop new and existing forest-related businesses by providing technical advice and hands-on expertise. The program supports job creation, community development, market development and improved economic well-being.

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Bird population declines in Alberta’s boreal forest

Edmonton Journal
September 25, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – More than 20 per cent of Alberta’s boreal forest has been directly altered by human activities, leading to a corresponding decrease in terrestrial bird populations, a report released Wednesday reveals. …The report shows that as of 2010, 21 per cent of the boreal forest had been affected by a variety of activities, including agriculture, forestry and energy production, resulting in bird populations 80 per cent of what would be expected if there was no development.

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PEI video promotes National Forest Week

Farm Focus
September 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

“Healthy Forests…Healthy Communities” is a short video created to promote National Forest Week and raise awareness of Prince Edward Island’s forests and the benefits they provide, says Agriculture and Forestry Minister George Webster. “Forests play a valuable role in our environment, our economy and our way of life,” Webster said. “National Forest Week helps to remind us that caring for our forests will improve soil conservation, protect watersheds, improve air quality, and protect wildlife habitat for today and for future generations.”

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11 full-time equivalent jobs will be cut from MNR head office on Water St.

Peterborough Examiner
September 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ministry of Natural Resources is cutting the equivalent of 11 full-time jobs from its Peterborough head office. MNR spokesman John Steele was unable to say which departments would be affected, but pointed out there are still steps to take, including a retirement incentive for long-time employees. “The changes to be made are difficult but necessary,” Steele said. There is no timeline in place, he said. The cuts come as part of the province’s MNR transformation plan, a three-year program aimed at “modernizing” the ministry.

Caliper Lake among 10 Ontario park closures from the Kenora Daily Minder and News

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Natural Resources Moves Forward with Transformation Plan

Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
September 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ministry of Natural Resources is moving forward with a plan to modernize its business and operate on a more cost efficient basis. With its transformation plan, the ministry is reviewing its operations to ensure a clearer focus on its core mandate of natural resource management. The review process includes public consultations on a proposed framework for streamlining and automating permitting and licensing processes to help individuals and businesses access services faster and more efficiently.

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Managing our forests: a shared responsibility

Dalhousie University
September 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

With more than three-quarters of Nova Scotia’s land in forest, how we use and manage that land has a profound influence on the sustainable prosperity of the province. This idea — that the health of a community is intertwined with the health of the forest in it and surrounding it — is fundamental to the concept of community forests that Peter Duinker, professor in the School for Resource and Environmental Studies, Faculty of Management, is developing with the province. “We all need to share in the responsibility of managing our forests,” says Dr. Duinker.

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Wildfire fighters using iPads to battle blazes

KPAX-TV
September 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HAMILTON – Most of us think of iPads as a way to watch movies, entertain family or play games. But Greg Poncin’s Type 1 firefighting team on the Hamilton Sawtooth Fire is using the devices in a U.S. Forest Service pilot project. This summer on three major fires, including the Sawtooth and Pine Creek Fires in Montana, Poncin’s crew used the 3G-wireless-equipped iPads on the fire lines, and in camp, shooting videos and photos, creating detailed maps and designing response plans, enabled by an app written by a team member.

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Department of Forestry: Update on wilfires around the state

Statesman Journal
September 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The Oregon Department of Forestry provides a daily update on the wildfires burning around the state. The Pole Creek fire, burning six miles southwest of Sisters, is 26,285 acres and 80 percent contained. Deschutes County officials have lifted the pre-evacuation alert for residents in the Crossroads and Edgington/Remuda areas. Two miles east of Hood River, a 70-acre fire is 15 percent contained. A lack of strong winds has assisted the 110 fire personnel working the fire with assistance from two helicopters.

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Montana’s legal forest fire season extended indefinitely

NBC Montana
September 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

MISSOULA, Mont. – Don’t count on burning that brush you’ve been itching to get to anytime soon. Montana’s legal forest fire season will stay open indefinitely. Unseasonable, hot, dry conditions prompted the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation to extend the official fire season, and burning restrictions. The state is still seeing new fire starts.

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‘Semi-dwarf’ trees may enable a green revolution for some forest crops

Phys.org
September 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The same “green revolution” concepts that have revolutionized crop agriculture and helped to feed billions of people around the world may now offer similar potential in forestry, scientists say, with benefits for wood, biomass production, drought stress and even greenhouse gas mitigation. Researchers at Oregon State University recently outlined the latest findings on reduced height growth in trees through genetic modification, and concluded that several advantageous growth traits could be achieved for short-rotation forestry, bioenergy, or more efficient water use in a drier, future climate.

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Access to northern Minnesota forest becomes leverage in tax law fight

Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 27, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

…Stinging from a decision by lawmakers in 2010 to change the state’s Sustainable Forestry Incentives Act, Molpus Woodlands Group of Jackson, Miss., has erected about 16 gates across roads in Koochiching and St. Louis counties, promising to seal off most motorized travel on hundreds of miles of snowmobile trails and back roads leading to private cabins and hunting outposts …The company purchased 286,000 acres of Minnesota forest lands last summer from Forest Capital Partners, an East Coast investment group.

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Discovered beetle attacks trees in the area

Purdue Exponent
September 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

An evasive beetle could be the cause of death for many untreated ash trees in the Lafayette-West Lafayette area within the next four to five years. According to Purdue entomologist Cliff Sadof, the destructive emerald ash borer has been discovered in West Lafayette, which suggests most ash trees in the area have been infested. Last week, the beetle was detected in a nearly dead ash tree bordering Sagamore Parkway.

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Young people in forest sector believe in its future

Finish Forest Assocation
September 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Young people who have chosen to study or work in the forest sector feel significantly more positive about the sector and its future than other young Finns. Only one in every three Finnish teenagers actively seeks information when choosing their field of study. They know practically nothing about the well-being at work, pay levels or job descriptions in the forest sector, reveals a study by 15/30 Research Oy, commissioned by the Finnish Forest Association and the Finnish Forest Industries Federation.

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EU climate change experts gather for forestry summit

Place North West
September 28, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Mersey Forest will host ministers and advisers for a three-day European conference in Liverpool during November. The conference will mark the end of the European Union-funded Interreg IVb ForeStClim project addressing forests and climate change with 21 partners in UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and Luxemburg.

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Fenland Black Oak: 5000-year-old tree found in Norfolk

BBC News
September 26, 2012
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The trunk of a giant oak-tree, thought by experts to be more than 5000 years old, has been unearthed from a field in Norfolk. The 44ft (13.4m) Fenland Black Oak, or bog oak, was found buried in farmland at Methwold Hythe, near Downham Market. Planks cut from the trunk will be dried over seven months in a specialist kiln. A spokesman said the tree will make “a breathtaking table for public display giving an insight into the grandeur of these ancient giant forests.” Bog oak is generally found buried in farmland.

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