Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 17, 2014

Business & Politics

Stella-Jones says growing economy, U.S. home market straining lumber supply

The Canadian Press
March 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

MONTREAL – Stella-Jones says a strengthening North American economy and improving U.S. housing market are putting a strain on the supply of lumber used for its railway tie and utility pole businesses. However, the Montreal-based company said it can meet the challenge because its strong inventories and procurement network should allow it to meet demand at an optimal cost. Supply is constrained because many mills closed during the housing crisis over the last few years, said CEO Brian McManus, who is confident that existing mills will increase capacity or new mills will be started.

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City of Campbell River’s $126,000 re-match with TimberWest

Courier Islander
March 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

It may seem like the City of Campbell River is taking a $126,000 gamble in its bid to bring taxation levels on 7,500 acres of TimberWest Managed Forest Lands (MFL) up to the provincial average. The last time TimberWest and the city squared off in court over proposed tax hikes, the forest company won. It cost the city $42,000 for its own legal fees and $84,000 to cover TimberWest’s costs. In 2008 TimberWest was paying $79,185 on its MFL. In 2009 the city tried to raise that to $1,211,639. TimberWest took them to court, won and the city was forced to reconsider its established taxation on MFL.

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Forestry feels the bite of Vancouver port strike as talks continue

Business in Vancouver
March 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Talks continued on March 14 towards a resolution of the trucking strike that has crippled Vancouver’s port and caused layoffs in British Columbia’s forestry sector. Surinder Ghog, chief executive officer of Surrey-based Aspen Planers, told Business in Vancouver that approximately 10 workers at his company’s reloading facility had been temporarily laid off because of the lack of work. The company’s various veneer, plywood and cedar mills could be shuttered as early as next week if the strike continues.

Vancouver-area port truckers remain on strike following failed weekend talks from The Canadian Press

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Safety questions may dog Clark when she returns to Burns Lake

Globe and Mail
March 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

In the final week of the B.C. election campaign last May, Premier Christy Clark donned a blue hardhat for a tour of the construction of the new Babine Forest Products mill. …For the Premier, there is a tougher assignment awaiting her, if she goes. The Premier has been asked to come to Burns Lake by Mr. Luggi’s widow, to explain her refusal to hold a public inquiry after the Criminal Justice Branch declined to lay charges against the mill’s owners.

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WorkSafeBC required to have investigate expertise

By: Gordon Hoekstra
Prince George Citizen
March 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A 2007 agreement with B.C.’s solicitor general to give WorkSafeBC investigators special powers requires them to know how to conduct interviews and seize evidence so it can stand up in court. Those requirements are among key issues cited by the Criminal Justice branch in rejecting charges in January in the deadly Babine Forest Products sawmill explosion two years ago. The special constable agreement — obtained by The Vancouver Sun through a freedom of information request — raises more questions about why WorkSafeBC investigators did not use search warrants during its investigation and warn interviewees of their Charter rights to remain silent.

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Rustad working to ‘bring closure’ to Babine victims, families

Prince George Citizen
March 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada West

Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Minister John Rustad said something is in the works to bring closure to the victims of the explosion at Babine Forest Products and their families. Rustad didn’t disclose precisely what is planned or when it would be announced, but he said after consulting with victims, their families and First Nations leaders from the area, the government is preparing to announce something. “I’ve had some discussions with some of the First Nations leaders around a project of some kind that could help [bring closure],” he said on a conference call with regional media on Friday. “It’s in the early stages of discussion so I’m hopeful to have more details about that in the near future.”

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Irving pumps $38M into Chipman, Doaktown forest operations

Company pledges dozens of direct and indirect jobs in forestry, construction
CBC News
March 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

J.D. Irving Ltd. rolled out two more major investments in its forestry operations Friday, pledging to pump a total of $38 million into sawmill operations in Chipman and a centre in Doaktown. The announcements follow on this week’s commitment by the Alward government to increase the allocation of softwood the forest industry will be able to cut on Crown land. The company will invest $23 million in its Grand Lake Timber Sawmill, beginning this fall.

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Cascades beats Q4 expectations with $6 million profit

Canadian Press
March 13, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cascades easily beat expectations as it swung to a $6-million profit in the fourth quarter after benefiting from improved productivity and a weakened Canadian dollar. “We ended the year on a stronger note than we anticipated,” CEO Mario Plourde said Thursday during a conference call in which he noted that all operating segments contributed to the stronger results….But Paul Quinn, of RBC Dominion Securities Ltd., warned of excess capacity developing in the North American tissue products sector over the next two years.

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Millwright students frustrated with Corner Brook Pulp and Paper

CBC News
March 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East

First year millwright students in Corner Brook are upset they can’t get into the paper mill to complete their apprenticeship hours.  Jerome Bradley, one of 12 students in the program, said the Corner Brook Pulp and Paper Mill is shutting its doors to students. “We were talking to the mill human resources and they confirmed there are currently no apprentices working there,” Bradley said. “We have heard from other people that they haven’t had apprentices from sometime in the 1980s.” The Newfoundland and Labrador government’s apprentice program pays 90 per cent of a first year student’s salary, 80 per cent the the next year, and 60 per cent for third and fourth-year students.

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Rickford optimistic about forestry

Kenora Online
March 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Local mills continue to wait for a decision from the Supreme Court, regarding wood from the Whiskey Jack forest. In the meantime, Minister of State and Kenora MP Greg Rickford is confident the northwest has what it needs for possible mill start ups. “Our communities are in a good position,” he said. “They’ve got the infrastructure they need, for the most part. Bridges, roads and I think some more waste water are our priorities. we should see some positive things.” The minister’s comments come as there are renewed hopes the spring thaw will bring renewed activity in the forest, as the American economy continues to show signs of recovery.

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Atlanta REIT CatchMark acquiring timberland in southeast Georgia

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
March 14, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

CatchMark Timber Trust Inc., an Atlanta-based real estate investment trust, said it is acquiring 36,340 acres of timberland in southeast Georgia and east Texas from Hancock Timber Resource Group for about $74 million. The announcement sent the newly publicly traded company’s stock higher in trading Friday. CatchMark President and Chief Executive Officer Jerry Barag said the deal is in line with the company’s strategy “to make selective and accretive acquisitions of prime forest land with substantial harvest inventory.” 

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Log contracts negotiated ‘under urgency’

Otago Daily Times
March 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Crunch time looms for the 400 staff of ailing Southern Cross Forest Products, as crucial log supply contracts are negotiated ”under urgency” with receivers KordaMentha. Without immediate and ongoing log contracts in place, Southern Cross’ viability for sale as a going concern is undermined; having been placed in receivership 13 days ago, by ANZ, carrying $58 million in debt. Amalgamated Workers Union spokesman Calvin Fisher, representing the majority of staff, called on Dunedin City Council-owned City Forests to throw Southern Cross a lifeline, and renew, and enlarge, its log supply contract.

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Russia’s lumber export growth not compensating for decline in log exports

Timber Trades Journal
March 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Russia’s increase in lumber exports has not yet compensated for the decline in log exports that followed the introduction of higher log export tariffs in 2007, according to Wood Resource Quarterly. The log export tax led to Russia’s share of globally traded logs declining from 44% in 2006 to 15% in 2013. By 2013 only one-third of the log volume exported at the peak level six years ago was shipped to foreign markets. Russia has now fallen behind New Zealand and the US for log export volumes. The softwood log export tariffs were reduced to 13-15% after Russia joined the World Trade Organisation in 2012.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

2013 a banner year for green buildings

Daily Business Buzz
March 14, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada

The Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) recently announced that in 2013 there were more Canadian projects certified to LEED than in any prior year: a total of 574. This brought the total projects certified in Canada to 1484. In addition, 598 projects registered to pursue certification increased the total registered and certified projects to 4685. 2013 saw the highest number of LEED Gold certifications to date at 173, and it was another strong year for LEED Platinum certifications, the most rigorous level of LEED certification, with a total of 32 projects certified.

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VIDEO: the 2014 BC Wood Design Awards

Journal of Commerce
March 17, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada West

Over 350 professionals attended the Wood Design Awards in BC on March 3 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This year’s ceremony was the tenth anniversary of the awards, and there were 113 nominations in 12 categories from across BC and other regions.
Wood Works BC! Executive director Mary Tracey spoke to the Journal of Commerce’s editor, Bradley Fehr, about the history of the awards and the wide range of innovations being recognized.

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TED’s next chapter is Vancouver’s

Globe and Mail
March 15, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada West
…But there were other challenges, chief among them the need to create a custom-designed-for-talk TED theatre built to fit inside the Vancouver Convention Centre. The pop-up theatre is designed to accommodate 1,200 people without losing the sense of grand intimacy that is part of the TED experience; Mr. Anderson likens it to storytelling around a campfire. The theatre is constructed from thousands of laser-cut pieces of locally harvested Douglas fir, and can be dismantled and stored until next year’s TED event. …Mr. Michael Green will be back this year, this time as a paying customer. He’s also building the second stage for the conference. …Mr. Green, whose 12-minute talk [last year] “Why we should build wooden skyscrapers” has been viewed more than 900,000 times since it was posted last summer

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UMaine professor helps business take wood from bottom of lake to the showroom

Bangor Daily News
March 15, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

ORONO, Maine — Robert Rice is a University of Maine professor of wood science, but Tom Shafer thinks of him as a senior adviser. Co-owner of Maine Heritage Timber Co., Shafer took back from Rice a load of 2-inch-thick planks on Wednesday that had been cut from logs submerged in Quakish Lake in Millinocket since the early 1800s. Shafer wanted to know whether the wood would be suitable for use as kitchen tables. After treating the water-soaked wood in a kiln behind Nutting Hall for 14 days, Rice had his answer: Yes

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Tall Timber – VIDEO

ABC News Australia
March 16, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

The reputation of timber as an old fashioned building material is being challenged. Two recently constructed land mark buildings in Melbourne are using a relatively new type of wood panelling. It’s called cross-laminated timber, or CLT. And an uptake in its use could prove a timely boost to Australia’s timber industry. Tim Lee reports. TIM LEE, REPORTER: There’s a quiet revolution taking place among the forest of tall towers and the giant cranes that haul loose-construction materials skyward.

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Forestry

B.C. government and Tla’amin nation on the cusp of reaching treaty deal

Canadian Press
March 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

POWELL RIVER, B.C. – The B.C. government says it’s one step closer to ratifying a treaty that would grant self-determination to the Tla’amin First Nation. The government says it has signed an agreement that would spell out the band’s ownership and management of minerals, forestry and other resources on treaty lands as well as fishing and gathering rights. The government says the treaty will provide the band with a $29.7 million capital transfer, $6.9 million in economic development funding and a $250,000 fishing vessel fund.

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Forestry grads get their rings in Prince George, BC

The Working Forest
March 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Students graduating from forestry programs at the University of Northern BC (UNBC) and the College of New Caledonia (CNC) were presented with their silver forestry rings at a well-attended ceremony in Prince George, BC on March 8th. …one student from each class was awarded a Gold Medal for outstanding achievement in academics, sportsmanship and citizenship during their time at school. . …Ed Morrice closed the evening by remarking, “I am glad to have known this group of students, and feel confident that the future of forest stewardship is in good hands.”     

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Comment: Forest, parks bills should be open to debate

Victoria Times Colonist
March 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Big changes are being discussed for the future of British Columbia’s parks and forests. Despite the impact of these changes, British Columbians are not being consulted. Buried within a 36-page document, Bill 5 looks to make what is being called an administrative change to speed up the process for the export of wood chips. In reality, this change is anything but simple and could have undesirable impacts for communities and those who work in the forest sector. Forest Lands and Natural Resources Operations Minister Steve Thomson proposes an increase to the maximum amount of wood residue (wood chips) that the minister can permit for export from 5,000 bone-dry units to 200,000 bone-dry units.

Buried
within a 36-page document, Bill 5 looks to make what is being called an
administrative change to speed up the process for the export of wood
chips. In reality, this change is anything but simple and could have
undesirable impacts for communities and those who work in the forest
sector.

Forest Lands and Natural Resources Operations Minister Steve Thomson
proposes an increase to the maximum amount of wood residue (wood chips)
that the minister can permit for export from 5,000 bone-dry units to
200,000 bone-dry units.

– See more at:
http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-forest-parks-bills-should-be-open-to-debate-1.898223#sthash.p1FOcNAD.dpuf

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NB strategy allocates 660,000 cubic metres of Crown land softwood

Farm Focus
March 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

New Brunswick Premier David Alward and Natural Resources Minister Paul Robichaud introduced ‘Putting our Resources to Work, a Strategy for Crown Lands Forest Management’ in Fredericton March 12. The strategy, that will allocate an additional 660,000 cubic metres of softwood on Crown land, was designed to encourage investment, maintain thousands of jobs, create hundreds of new jobs and manage Crown forests in a sustainable way.??

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Jim Irving defends New Brunswick forest practices, expanded cut

J.D. Irving Ltd. co-CEO says company would change direction if shown ‘good science’
CBC News
March 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

The head of J.D. Irving’s forestry division says if anyone can produce “good science” that shows the company’s forest practices are harmful to the environment, the company will change direction. The company has successfully lobbied New Brunswick government to increase the annual softwood allocation for Crown land. Last week, the provincial government announced a 21 per cent increase in the annual allowable cut of Crown softwood. ….”We expect — and the DNR folks know this as well — that … over a third will still be available for all the biodiversity requirements.”

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Have Oregon mills moved past old growth? Take 3 For Politics (video)

The Oregonian
March 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

 

Have Oregon mills retooled to the point that they’re no longer interested in old growth? The question has implications for Oregon timber companies as well as efforts in Congress to increase harvests on federal lands in the state. PolitiFact Oregon reporter Dana Tims and senior politics reporter Jeff Mapes talk about a claim by Seneca Jones Timber Co. of Eugene. 

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Environmental group threatens to sue buyers of forest

The World
March 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A Eugene-based environmentalist group has given notice to potential buyers of state forest lands in Coos County that it intends to sue them if their bids are successful. Cascadia Wildlands, which won a 2012 injunction blocking logging on identified marbled murrelet nesting habitat in the Elliott State Forest, says that it will seek similar injunctions against any purchasers of three forest tracts currently up for auction. In a letter to bidders and prospective bidders Thursday, attorney Daniel R. Kruse said the group intends “to commence litigation to obtain an injunction — the very same injunction already obtained against the current owner — to prevent you from logging in suitable or occupied marbled murrelet habitat.”

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U.S. timber industry a cautionary tale for Canadian agriculture

March 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

It’s called social licence — and farmers will pay a steep price if they lose it. It happened to American logger Bruce Vincent, who offered his story as a cautionary tale to a rapt audience of beef producers at the recent Alberta Beef Industry Conference. “Our social licence to operate was rejected by the public,” he said of his failing family logging business in Libby, Montana. “And I can no longer say you’re someday going to be looking at what we’re looking at. You’re looking at it now.”

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Beloved 1,000-year-old tree partially collapses during storm

KOMO News
March 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US West

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, Wash. – A well-known cedar tree said to be 1,000 years old, has partially collapsed, and its fate will soon be decided by an Olympic National Park botanist. Those who know this tree – and there are many – call it simply “Big Cedar.”

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Preserving water quality, recreation, and a working forest in Whitefish

Montana Public Radio
March 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The U-S Forest Service ranks a Whitefish project involving drinking water, recreation, and logging as a number one priority in the nation. The Haskill Basin project encompasses about 3-thousand-acres of the F.H. Stoltze Lumber Company’s land. Whitefish Mayor John Muhlfeld said it’s a popular recreation area, and it also supplies 75% of the city’s water. ..The city is looking to make this agreement official, and keep it that way by buying up the development rights to the land.  Whitefish
teamed up with the Trust for Public Lands to find a way to preserve
this land as a source for water and recreation, and also as a working
forest.

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A day at the Logging Conference in Ukiah

Ukiah Daily Journal
March 14, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The walkway into the Ukiah fairgrounds is teeming with groups of grade school kids, each led by a volunteer, checking out the logging machinery vehicles on either side of the path. Close to the entrance on the right is a harvester; it grabs a live vertical tree (up to 36 inches in diameter), cuts it at the base, picks it up and lays it down horizontally on the ground. There’s a main loader next
to it with a 40-foot arm; it’s used to pick up logs and create log
piles. Next to it is a grapple cat; after the timber fallers fell the
trees, limb the trees and buck them into lengths, the hook picks them up
and skids them to a landing.

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State foresters scramble to salvage downed pine trees

Greenville Online
March 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Forests throughout the Upstate largely escaped major damage from February’s ice and snow storms that caused up to $363 million in losses to pine forests in a wide swath of counties across the state. The damages led South Carolina’s state forester to issue a forest disaster declaration last week after fly-over and on-the-ground surveys showed that storms had downed entire groves of pulpwood pine trees and snapped branches and canopies from scores of other trees left standing.

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Tree-destroying ash borer spreading quickly in county, state

The Berkshire Eagle News
March 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The tree-destroying emerald ash borer has spread faster than expected within Berkshire County and now poses a threat to Eastern Massachusetts, state environmental officials have said. … “Our tree traps found the ash borer at Wahconah Falls on the Dalton/Windsor line, October Mountain State Forest [in Washington], Appalachian Trail in Hinsdale and Grange Hall Road in Dalton,” Gooch said in an Eagle interview. “We expected it would spread, but not this fast.”

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Tenn. honored for reforestation program

Associated Press
March 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

NASHVILLE, Tenn.— The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency has received the Arbor Day Foundation’s 2014 Forest Lands Leadership Award. The award is given annually to an individual or organization that provides leadership in advancing sustainable forestry on public land. The TWRA was recognized this year for its bottomland hardwood forest restoration program in West Tennessee.

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Fires can be both good and bad for the forest, UWSP students learning why

WSAU.com
March 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

STEVENS POINT, Wis. — As the snow melts and the ground dries, the risk of fire increases. That is not entirely bad. That’s according to UW Stevens Point Associate Professor Ron Masters, who trains College of Natural Resources students in wildland fire science. Masters says there is both good and bad in a fire. “Every time you do a burn, you benefit some species, and you may actually harm other species, but overall, ecosystems in Wisconsin and across the country are adapted to fire, and actually need fire at some level.”

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Chernobyl’s Trees Won’t Decay, Increasing the Risk of Nuclear Forest Fire

MotherBoard
March 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

As if the Ukraine didn’t have enough to worry about these days with Russia invading Crimea, recent scientific research points to the very real threat of a nuclear forest fire. Great heavy metal band name aside, the forests around Chernobyl—the nuclear power plant that exploded 28 years ago—are not decaying properly and should it all catch fire, radioactive material would spread beyond Chernobyl’s Zone of Alienation, the off-limits 1000 square-miles around the decommissioned facility located 68 miles north of Kiev.

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Environmentalists denied role in Libs forest peace talks

ABC News, Australia
March 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania’s incoming Liberal Government is under attack for shutting environmentalists out of talks on the future of the forest industry. The Liberal Government is planning to tear up the historic forest peace deal and will meet industry groups this week to discuss how. The Premier-elect last week said he would speak to environmental stakeholders as well but Liberal spokesman Peter Gutwein has today revealed they are not invited.

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Goodies and baddies lost in Tasmanian logjam, PM Tony Abbott will find

Fairytales of the forest could have an unhappy ending for Tasmania’s jobless, as the Prime Minister will soon learn.
The Sydney Morning Herald
March 15, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tony Abbott recently described the people who take the chainsaws to Tasmania’s native forests as ”the ultimate conservationists”. Seriously. In his speech to the 2014 Forestworks Dinner, the Prime Minister claimed that because the loggers’ future income depends on the availability of trees, they – and not the derided greenies – are the true custodians of our wilderness. By that logic, the men who fire explosive-tipped harpoons into whales in the Southern Ocean would fit the Abbott definition of ”real conservationists”. 

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Australia Needs a Forestry Strategy

Sourceable Industry News and Analysis
March 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Australian Forest Contractors Association seemed pleased to hear of the government’s position on forests CEO Colin McCulloch said, “…the political cycle has swung back in the favour of the forestry industry, so it’s happy days as far as I am concerned.” His comments followed Prime Minister Abbott’s address to a logging industry gathering this week, where he said, “we don’t support as a government and as a coalition further lockouts of our forests. We just don’t support it. We have quite enough national parks; we have quite enough forests locked up already. In fact, in an important respect we have too much locked-up forest.”

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Tas govt to meet loggers on forestry

Sky News
March 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Tasmania’s incoming Liberal government will meet with the timber industry this week as it pushes ahead with plans to tear up the state’s forestry peace deal. Liberal forestry spokesman Peter Gutwein on Monday said the meeting would seek a “way forward” for the timber industry, and reaffirmed his party’s pledge to abandon the peace deal between loggers and environmentalists brokered by Labor in 2012. ‘We will sit down with industry stakeholders this week and we will talk with them about rebuilding the industry,’ Mr Gutwein said.

Newly Elected Tasmanian Liberals vow to rip up forest agreement (radio) from The ABC News Australia

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Mountain thermostats: scientists discover surprising climate stabilizer that may be key to the longevity of life on Earth

mongabay.com
March 14, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

What do mountains have to do with climate change? More than you’d expect: new research shows that the weathering rates of mountains caused by vegetation growth plays a major role in controlling global temperatures. Scientists from the University of Oxford and the University of Sheffield have shown how tree roots in certain mountains “acted like a thermostat” for the global climate. In warmer climates, tree roots grow faster and deeper (aided by the decomposition of leaf litter), breaking up rock that combines with carbon dioxide. 

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Impacts of Climate Change in Switzerland

Eurasia Review
March 14, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Southern Switzerland emerges as a hotspot of the effects of climate change. And the bark beetle is putting spruces all over Switzerland under increasing pressure, because an additional generation of pests could hatch each year due to the rising temperatures. These are two of many statements from the report, which deals with the quantitative consequences of climate change for Switzerland. It has been produced under the direction of the Oeschger Centre for Climate Change Research of the University of Bern.

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