Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: March 2014

Froggy Foibles

Beer brewed with tree branches made to evoke tastes of walking trail

CBC News
March 27, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles
Region: Canada

The Meewasin Valley Authority is offering beer drinkers a taste of the trail as it continues raising money for its $8-million effort to expand the walking route through Saskatoon’s river valley. Saskatoon brewery Prairie Sun is helping that effort with Meewasin 80 ale, and it’s quite authentic. The custom brew not only adopts the name of the trail, but some of its flavours. It is brewed with branches from spruce and pine trees. The branches come from trees along the Meewasin Valley.

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A prince of a frog

News Observer
March 30, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles

Among the very first of woodland creatures to send forth their songs and voices to brave the chill, rainy and windy days of spring are the tree frogs… A remarkable creature, the first of the spring peepers often is trilling his banjo-voiced songs of spring as early as mid-March, seeking to celebrate a bout of spring love-making that can last up to 14 wild hours of romancing per couple. Then they settle down to the family responsibilities of raising little tadpoles and devouring mosquito larvae.

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Business & Politics

U.S. Lumber Coalition Disappointed by Arbitral Decision Regarding Remedy for Quebec and Ontario Violations of the SLA

The U.S. Lumber Coalition
PR Newswire
March 26, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Lumber Coalition is disappointed by today’s London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) ruling that Canada is not required to continue to apply compensatory adjustments to export taxes under the Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), notwithstanding that the adjustments previously awarded by the LCIA for Canadian violations of the SLA have not been fully collected. In January 2011, the LCIA found that Quebec and Ontario had provided new subsidies to softwood lumber producers in breach of the SLA.

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Douglas fir lumber prices tank as Tembec (T.TMB) backs softwood deal

Stockhouse
March 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

March 2014 waned for North American solid wood players much as it had dawned; with sluggish demand as the constant onslaught of bad weather in key buying regions continued, writes Keta Kosman in Madison’s Lumber Reporter. At least there was a resolution to one transportation issue this week.  Spring Break was credited with the dampened demand for dimension lumber and panel products this week as traders seemed to be running out of explanations for the lack of usually increasing spring sales volumes.

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Life In Quesnel After Canfor’s Closure

250 News
March 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Quesnel, BC – It will be two weeks on Monday since operations ceased at Canfor’s sawmill in Quesnel, and while efforts to deal with the loss of the more than 200 jobs began when the closure was first announced last fall, they continue to pick up steam. City Councillors and members of the Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation (QCEDC), District Chamber of Commerce, and Business Improvement Association hit the streets for a Business Walk on Wednesday – touching base with business owners in the downtown core, South Quesnel, West Quesnel and Two Mile Flat to find out how they’re faring in the wake of the closure.  

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Steelworkers at Conifex Mackenzie Huddle Today

250 News
March 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Mackenzie, B.C.- The 200 members of the United Steelworkers union at the Conifex sawmill in Mackenzie will be meeting with their union’s leadership today. The object of the session is to try and ward off strike action at the sawmill. The membership has twice rejected the tentative agreement put before them even though their counterparts at the Conifex operations in Ft. St. James have ratified the deal. USW local 1-424 President Frank Everitt says the issue is complex, but the main issue holding back contract acceptance in Mackenzie surrounds working conditions.

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B.C.’s bigleaf maple syrup farmers hard hit by a cold February

The Province
March 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It’s been a sour year for one of B.C.’s sweetest niche markets. A dry fall and cold February contributed to one of the worst bigleaf maple syrup seasons in 10 years, said producer Gary Backlund. A hot culinary trend, thanks in part to the 100-Mile diet, B.C.’s bigleaf maple syrup industry is largely based on Vancouver Island. Unlike the traditional maple syrup of Eastern Canada, which begins to flow in the spring, West Coast maple syrup is tapped whenever the weather warms after “mock winter events,” explained Backlund.

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B.C. sawmills struggle to comply with dust regulations

Experts say major changes needed, including a new attitude toward safety
Vancouver Sun
March 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A year and a half after a second deadly wood dust-fuelled explosion ripped through a B.C. sawmill killing two workers, a pair of WorkSafeBC inspectors stepped into Sigurdson Forest Products sawmill west of Williams Lake. By this time, in early November 2013, the message had been delivered loud and clear to the more than 140 sawmill mills in the province: manage and clean up potentially explosive wood dust in your mills. Yet by the time WorkSafeBC officer Shane Campbell and his partner Robert Roesner had finished inspecting the Interior B.C. sawmill, they’d written up half a dozen orders for dust accumulations that were a hazard for fire or explosion, for failure to ensure regular dust inspections and for the use of high-pressure air to blow down dust.

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Alberta forestry industry on the upswing

Industry buoyed by turnaround in U.S. market, new markets in Asia
CBC News
March 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Alberta’s forestry industry had a good year in 2013 and its success is expected to continue. The Alberta Forest Products Association says there was a 14 per cent increase last year in the value of its products. Sales are expected to remain strong into the future. Part of that success is being attributed to market diversification. “With the U.S. market turned down in about 2008, we knew that we had to go out and find some more customers,” said Brock Mulligan, director of communications with the Alberta Forest Products Association.

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Lumber Prices Almost No Object for Hardwood Buyers

Woodworking Network
March 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The Weekly Hardwood Review Leading Hardwood Demand Indicator (LHDI)—a forecast of future demand for U.S. hardwood lumber based on residential and commercial construction, import/export trends, inflation levels, and job markets— trends up from a reading of 119.0 in March to 127.2 in April to a record high of 138.2 in May (Jan 2013=100) on spring bumps in remodeling activity and non-residential construction, improving jobs markets, and expectations of record exports to Asia.

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Idaho forest industry rebounded in 2013

Capital Press
March 26, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

BOISE — The economic conditions of Idaho’s forest products industry improved dramatically in 2013 and industry experts believe the positive news will continue for at least the next few years. The industry was hit hard by the Great Recession and suffered through some tough years, said Tom Beck, president of The Beck Group, a consulting company out of the Portland, Ore., area. “Fortunately … things are much better in the industry than they have been for a few years,” he said. “This is an industry that is on the rebound, with excellent prospects for the foreseeable future.”

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Stora Enso’s joint venture pulp mill almost ready to begin production

Pulp and Paper News
March 31, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International


Stora Enso’s new Uruguayan joint venture Montes del Plata mill is expected to begin pulp production in the near future. The Montes del Plata project, a 50/50 joint venture between Stora Enso and Arauco, includes a modern cellulose pulp processing mill, a port and a renewable energy generation unit. The unit’s $2 billion eucalyptus pulp mill is approximately 98 percent complete.

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NZ log export update

International Forest Industries
March 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Zealand – Export log prices are still increasing, but the in-market price rises over the past month haven’t fully translated into wharf gate returns due to shipping price rises. Unpruned log prices are up 1-2% this month, but pruned log prices stayed steady on average. There were 1% increases in northern North Island and northern South Island regions, but a 2% decrease in the southern North Island region… Pacific North West log supply to China is increasing, and was up 32% year-on-year for the rolling quarter to January. China now accounts for 60% of Canadian export logs, and 45% of US export logs. Exports to China during January were up by over 370,000m³ over January a year ago.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Best wood design honoured at gala

Journal of Commerce
March 31, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

The 10th anniversary of B.C. Wood Design Award recognized leadership and innovation in wood design. “We are here to honour architects, engineers, project managers and builders for the amazing projects they’ve designed,” said Mary Tracey, executive director of WoodWorks! B.C. Twelve different awards were handed out at a gala at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This year, there were 113 nominations for projects that have been built over the last three years. “The quality of nominations has really improved over the years,” Tracey said.

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reThink Wood… CCMPA agrees

March 31, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Toronto alone averages 1,400 watermain breaks per year, and it’s well-known how hard this past winter has been. All cities across Canada experience these same issues. The mayor of Winnipeg, for example, recently noted that 619 properties had been affected by frozen pipes, and at one count, 537 property owners there were waiting for pipes to be thawed by city crews. Mid and high rise wood construction counts on suppression — i.e. sprinklers — to meet code and safety requirements. Sprinklers require a water supply to work.

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A forest industry shout-out to Bill Mauro

Northern Ontario Business
March 31, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The Ontario Forest Industries Association (OFIA) is congratulating Thunder Bay-Atikokan MPP Bill Mauro on his cabinet appointment as the new minister of municipal affairs. In a March 27 statement, association president-CEO Jamie Lim said Mauro will a “positive voice” for Northern Ontario jobs and the economy. Two years ago, Mauro introduced a private members bill to amend the Ontario Building Code to permit six-storey wood frame buildings in Ontario.

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reThink Wood… CCMPA agrees

March 31, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

The City of Toronto alone averages 1,400 watermain breaks per year, and it’s well-known how hard this past winter has been. All cities across Canada experience these same issues. The mayor of Winnipeg, for example, recently noted that 619 properties had been affected by frozen pipes, and at one count, 537 property owners there were waiting for pipes to be thawed by city crews. Mid and high rise wood construction counts on suppression — i.e. sprinklers — to meet code and safety requirements. Sprinklers require a water supply to work.

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US and New Zealand follow Australia towards tall timber buildings

Architecture and Design
March 31, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

Both the United States and New Zealand have announced million dollar plans to encourage tall timber building construction. The White House Rural Council and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have announced a climate-driven initiative to encourage architects builders and engineers to use wood as a structural material. America’s Forest Service has invested $1 million and will work with WoodWorks, a not-for profit organisation to provide industry technical support, education, and resources related to the design of modern wood buildings. This organisation will operate much like the joint Australia and New Zealand research consortium The Structural Innovation Timber Company (STIC).

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Forestry

Renewing our woods

Letter to the Editor by Mary MacDonald
Prince George Citizen
March 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

The forests of B.C. are so vitally important to all of us. And yet, they and the communities who rely on them are in rough shape these days due in large part to government neglect and ongoing (and increasing) deference to large forest companies self-regulating and calling the shots, while drastically reducing forest-service oversight. It isn’t working. 

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Timber companies can’t see the consequences for the trees

The Globe and Mail
March 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

British Columbia is in the midst of an unprecedented and unsustainable salvage operation in its interior forests because of the attack of the mountain pine beetle. And yet, when two of the province’s biggest forestry companies were caught going into those woods and cutting truckloads of healthy green timber meant for future harvests, Forests Minister Steve Thomson’s reaction was as mild as a milk-sated kitten. After forestry-ministry staff raised alarms, Mr. Thomson signed an order that could have led to hefty penalties for Canfor and West Fraser for taking greenwood in an area where they were supposed to be targeting the dead and dying pine… But the minister’s order was rescinded after the companies – both heavy contributors to the governing B.C. Liberal party – agreed to behave. 

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Petition signed by thousands of British Columbians demands repeal of new parks bill

Environment minister says people should be assured that new laws don’t open doors to pipelines in parks
Vancouver Sun
March 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tens of thousands of people have signed an online petition asking the provincial government to repeal a bill changing how B.C. parks are managed, which they say could open the door to pipeline expansion in protected areas… The Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society had more than 8,000 signatures on its own digital petition to repeal the law and has received more than 4,000 letters to the government, according to spokesman Peter Wood… However, the minister on Saturday firmly said the groups are misinterpreting the act, and people should be assured that the new legislation doesn’t mean pipelines will be going through parks.

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Roundtable on the environment and the economy created

Ministry of Environment
BC Government
March 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – A roundtable of representatives from communities, industry, labour, First Nations and the environmental sector has been established to discuss ways to find the right balance between economic development and environmental protection, Environment Minister Mary Polak announced. Last June, Premier Christy Clark tasked Polak with the creation of the roundtable in her mandate letter to the minister. The roundtable will be an opportunity for stakeholder groups to work with the B.C. government on environmental policy priorities to strike a balance between sustainable resource development and the protection of human health and the environment.

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Grassy Narrows free of logging under new plan

Chronicle-Journal
March 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

When a new management plan kicks in this week for the Whiskey Jack Forest north of Kenora, logging operations will not encroach on territory claimed by Grassy Narrows First Nation, says the province. A statement from Natural Resources Minister David Orazietti’s office states that the government wants to make it clear that once the new forest management plan comes into force that there are no planned forestry operations in Grassy Narrows territory. [Full story available to subscribers only]

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Native trappers defend Canada forests from logging

DigitalJournal.com
March 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Beyond a clear-cut in Quebec’s far north — marked by a sign that reads “the road of destruction ends here” — aboriginal Canadians are fighting for an ancient forest and their traditional hunting rights… For centuries, Cree tribesmen have also lived and hunted in these woods.They lived without hindrance until the 1970s, when logging and the construction of hydro-electric dams in the James Bay region started to encroach on them.In 2010, a dozen Cree tallymen — tasked with supervising trapline activities — decided to take a stand on behalf of 16,000 Cree who live in this area, and blocked logging roads in protest. They say logging offers few benefits to indigenous people, while damaging the environment.

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US tree beetle woes boosts Portland pine exports

The Standard
March 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

PORTLAND’s port is on track to break export records again this year — mainly because a North American tree beetle has created an international shortage of pine. Export numbers through the port are expected to approach six million tonnes — 10 per cent higher than last year’s record of 5.4 million with log trade being the main trigger. Port chief executive Jim Cooper said the pest had devastated forests in the United States, forcing the nation to halt shipments to China. 

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Elliot Forest could bring $40 Million for schools

Oregon Natural Resource Report
March 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A new report released shows that if the Oregon State Land Board sold or leased the 93,000-acre Elliott State Forest, public school funding would increase by at least $40 million annually. Roughly 85,000 acres of the Elliott State Forest are managed for the primary purpose of raising funds for public schools. These lands are known as “Common School Trust Lands,” and the Oregon State Land Board is required by law to manage them for the trust beneficiaries: public school students.

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Oregon rewrote forestry rules after slides

Fatal, shallow, rapid landslides hit in 1996
Statesman Journal
March 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West


After heavy rains triggered fatal landslides in 1996, Oregon rewrote its rules on where logging can happen in landslide-prone areas. Oregon forestry rules now say you can’t log in areas with where logging could trigger a public safety risk from a certain type of landslide. But it’s not the type of landslide that devastated Oso, Wash. It’s the kind that killed people in Oregon back in 1996. That type of landslide — a shallow, rapid landslide or debris flow — sends the top layer of soil washing down a slope and taking everything on the surface along with it.

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Clear-Cut Crossed Into No-Logging Zone In Oso

KUOW.org
March 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

State officials say they didn’t approve clear-cutting inside a no-logging zone directly above Saturday’s deadly landslide that struck the town of Oso. But aerial photos show a clear-cut extending into the zone where a loss of trees would heighten the risk of landslides. Removing forest cover can increase the amount of rainwater that finds its way underground. Geologists say the extra groundwater can destabilize the already unstable soils deep beneath landslide zones. Records obtained by the Seattle Times and by KUOW show that a clear-cut in 2005 did take out trees inside that zone for the Oso slide.

Logging OK’d in 2004 may have exceeded approved boundary from The Seattle Times

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Judge suggests logging suit stop

Chinook Observer
March 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A federal magistrate judge has recommended that a challenge to a series of timber sales in the Coast Range be thrown out. If upheld, the decision would allow the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to begin logging on more than 500 acres of forest that includes some spotted owl habitat. The sales would take place over 10 years and produce a cut of about 14 million board feet of timber… Nick Cady, legal director for the Eugene-based Cascadia Wildlands, said the environmental group was disappointed with the ruling and looks forward to making its case before McShane. He said Coffin’s decision contradicts itself in several places and appears to give the bureau unfettered clearance to “log without regard” in spite of its own spotted owl recovery goals.

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UWSP Forestry Students Get Unique Experience Cutting Trees

WASW News
March 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Wisconsin — If a tree falls in the woods and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound? While the answer to that conundrum is still debated, some local students were practicing making trees fall safely. It may seem simple, but University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point Associate Professor of Forestry, Les Werner said there’s a science to cutting down trees… “We’re giving them the outdoor, hands-on, in the environment, the nitty-gritty, the real world, this is the way it’s done and exposing them to new methods that will improve their safety and productivity out here,” said Husqvarna National Training Specialist, Cary Shepherd.

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Teams tally biological oddities on Bay Area’s federal land

San Francisco Chronicle
March 31, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCO—Scientists were swinging in the trees at Muir Woods on Friday as botanists, lepidopterists, entomologists and other lab-coat-wearing types poked around the Presidio and other sites in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in a frenzy of research… The plan is to chart the health of the trees over time and use laboratory analysis of carbon and oxygen isotopes to figure out how the trees have reacted to climate and weather conditions. By studying the rings, scientists hope to be able to plot biological changes dating 1,000 to 2,000 years and forecast how the redwoods will change as the Earth warms up.

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Public Lands Director speaks with candor and courage on Governor’s timber harvest expansion

BDN Maine
March 27, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Will Harris, one of the very few hold-overs from the Baldacci to the LePage Administration, spoke with remarkable candor and courage yesterday when questioned by legislators about the governor’s plan to harvest more timber on public lands and use the money for public heating assistance programs. Harris serves as the Director of Maine’s Parks and Public Lands, a gubernatorially appointed position. He could be fired without reason by the governor, making his remarks all the more astonishing. I haven’t checked this morning to see if Will is still on the job!

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Forests disappear, trees reappear. So deforestation isn’t an issue?

World Agroforestry
March 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Many countries have already turned the corner on “deforestation” and now report increases in forest area. Asia is now following in the footsteps of Europe and North America with China, India and Viet Nam leading the way. Does this mean that deforestation no longer is an issue for policy makers? asks Meine van Noordwijk.   The answer is “not at all” because the tree cover that returns to landscapes is very different from what is being lost. Forests are losing ground while tree cover in agricultural landscapes increases, as a recent study led by Bob Zomer shows. 

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Forest growth season getting longer in northern hemisphere, study says

CBC News
March 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Satellite images taken over a 25-year period show that, on average, what plant life recognizes in the northern hemisphere as the end of autumn is taking place later in the year, and spring is starting earlier, according to a U.K.-led research team. University of Southampton geography professor Peter Atkinson and his colleagues say they saw evidence that the return of greening vegetation is now arriving “slightly earlier” in the year, while a more “significant” change has been noted in the delay of when plant dormancy arrives… The most pronounced change they found was in the broad-leaved deciduous and needle-leaved deciduous forest groups, showing the end of the growing season has become “significantly” later. As much as 12 days.

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Stopping the chainsaws

Determined Australian forester Scott Poynton is employing unusual methods in his crusade to get the world’s loggers to clean up their act.
The Sydney Morning Herald
March 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

In November last year, Scott Poynton was on the verge of convincing the owner of the world’s biggest palm oil company to clean up his environmentally catastrophic business. Poynton, an Australian raised on the hard-scrabble outskirts of Melbourne, thought Kuok Khoon Hong, the chief of palm oil giant Wilmar, should agree to stop his company and its suppliers from cutting down tropical forests for land to produce his ubiquitous product. But other, more belligerent industry players disagreed, and the man who controls 45 per cent of the global trade was pulling back, nervous about going it alone.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Potential for climate change can affect tree species choices

The Start Tribune
March 30, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

CLEARWATER, Minn. — …A trained forester whose philosophy is tempered by his role as a volunteer Minnesota Master Naturalist, Dirksen takes a different approach with his 28-acre forest. There, he plants native species more likely to adapt because their natural range extends farther south. “The biggest thing that we don’t know is what is natural. We only know what we see. It’s only been 10,000 years since the last glacier’s retreat. If nature can take care of itself without our help, I don’t see a reason why we have to help nature,” Dirksen said. “The other side of it is, I will help with nature for my own pleasure.” Some scientists predict Minnesota in 100 years will look more like Kansas, with the dominant trees species becoming those that we’re more likely to see now in our river bottoms — things such as silver maples, willows, cottonwoods, hackberries.

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Purdue biofuel group launches new company, seeking to get more from wood

Boiler Station
March 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

Turning wood fiber into a commercially viable, renewable source of ethanol is a dream that fuels the efforts of Purdue’s Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels. Standing in the way of that dream is a hurdle called lignin. Lignin is what makes wood wood — that is, stiff and durable, compared to other plants. While corn can be fermented and distilled into ethanol with relative ease, getting ethanol from wood fibers is like squeezing water out of a rock. Until now.

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Research Casts Doubt over Potential of Biochar to Alleviate Climate Change

Azo Cleantech
March 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

In the first study of its kind, research undertaken at the University of Southampton has cast significant doubt over the use of biochar to alleviate climate change. Biochar is produced when wood is combusted at high temperatures to make bio-oil and has been proposed as a method of geoengineering. When buried in the soil, this carbon rich substance could potentially lock-up carbon and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The global potential of biochar is considered to be large, with up to 12 per cent of emissions reduced by biochar soil application.

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Scientists struggle to complete climate impacts report

BBC News
March 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Negotiators worked through the night here in Yokohama in an effort to complete their review of a key report on the impacts of climate change. At stake is a dense 29-page summary detailing the effects of climate change on the planet over the next 100 years… The report spells out the likely impacts at different levels of warming in different parts of the world. “We’ve projected climate change impacts at different levels of temperature rise, at levels of 2C and 4C and now beyond,” said Dr Rachel Warren from the University of East Anglia, UK. “We’ve also looked at how people and biodiversity can adapt to climate change. 

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Climate change could wipe out wildlife and is ‘major risk’ to UK forests

The Independent
March 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Climate change poses a “major risk” to forests all over the world, threatening widespread tree deaths that could wipe out wildlife, exacerbate global warming and hurt the economy, a major new UN report will warn today. According to a leaked final draft of the latest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, “tree mortality and associated forest dieback will become apparent in many regions sooner than previously anticipated”. “Forest dieback is a major environmental risk with potentially large impacts on climate, biodiversity, wood production, water quality, amenity and economic activity,” says the draft report, seen by The Independent on Sunday.

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