Tree Frog Forestry News

Monthly Archives: April 2014

Froggy Foibles

Biodegradable Urns That Will Turn You Into A Tree After You Die

Prevent Disease.com
April 30, 2014
Category: Froggy Foibles

Trees are the lungs of our planet. The more trees we plant, the cleaner our air for generations to come. We are very proud to now offer our audience the Bios Urn, a funerary urn made from biodegradable materials that will turn you into a tree after you die. Inside the urn there is a pine seed, which can be replaced by any other seed or plant, and will grow to remember your loved one. Bios Urn transforms death into life through nature… We also offer Ginko, Maple, Oak, Ash or Beech at no extra cost.

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Business & Politics

The 2013 “Billion Board Foot Club” of largest softwood lumber producers shows further growth as the big get even bigger

International Wood Markets Group
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

West Fraser remains the global leader but acquisitions continue to change the industry landscape. The latest WOOD MARKETS annual survey of the “Billion Board Foot Club” that features the largest global softwood lumber producers shows that West Fraser Timber has retained its title of being the world’s largest softwood lumber producer in 2013 with 5.15 billion board feet (bf; or 8.3 million m3 net). Canfor was in second place (4.75 billion bf) and narrowed the gap on West Fraser. Weyerhaeuser’s softwood lumber operations in the U.S. and Canada put the company solidly in third place (over 4.0 billion bf). Rounding out the Top 5 was Stora Enso Timber of Finland and Sierra-Pacific Industries of the USA.

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Future of sawmill industry jobs jeopardized by overharvesting

Companies take green timber along with forests killed by pine beetle
Vancouver Sun
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER — The amount of timber salvaged from mountain-pine-beetle-killed forests in B.C.’s central Interior appeared stark and provided a flash point in the debate over how well the province is managing the unprecedented infestation. Companies operating around the sawmill town of Houston overshot the volume of green non-pine timber they were expected to log by the equivalent of almost 29,000 logging-truck loads between 2009 and 2013, after limits were set in 2008. 

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TimberWest victory could cost taxpayers

Campbell River Mirror
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

If TimberWest wins its tax challenge against the city, Campbell River homeowners could see another tax increase. Council approved a 2.92 per cent residential tax increase in January, which equates to an extra $41 for the average assessed home at $256,600, but that could change. It all depends on whether TimberWest is successful in its B.C. Supreme Court challenge against the city raising taxes on managed forest lands. Dennis Brodie, the city’s finance operations supervisor, said if TimberWest wins, those extra taxes will have to be made up by residents.

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Vancouver’s West Fraser remains world’s top softwood lumber firm as production exceeds five billion board feet

Runner-up Canfor narrowed the gap as most of the top producers increased output to supply the recovering U.S. housing market and meet strong demand from China
Canadian Press
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

MONTREAL — West Fraser remained the world’s largest softwood lumber producer for a sixth consecutive year in 2013, but runner-up Canfor narrowed the gap as most of the top producers in the “Billion Board Foot Club” increased output to supply the recovering U.S. housing market and meet strong demand from China, according to an industry report. Vancouver-based West Fraser’s production from 26 mills in B.C., Alberta and the U.S. south exceeded five billion board feet for the first time, reaching 5.15 billion net board feet or 8.3 million cubic metres. 

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Logs should be processed at home

Letter by Bob Baillie
Victoria Times Colonist
April 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

I am happy that the loggers and truckers have jobs. As I sit at the highway in Lake Cowichan, I realize that 200 logging trucks a day are passing through, loaded with spectacular logs. But then I realize that 95 per cent of them will be exported as raw logs. It is bad enough that we rape the earth, but we could at least attempt to keep some of the processing (50 to 75 per cent) to provide employment for our people. I have tried to find a provincial figure for these conditions, but it seems that is hard to come by and the rape of the province’s primary reources is being sold out to absentee shareholders.

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Timber access overhaul raises industry concerns

By Gordon Hamilton: Tree farm plan aimed at fibre supply squeeze in wake of pine beetle infestation
Business in Vancouver
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A plan by the province to give logging companies more secure access to timber is running into opposition from within the forest industry as well as from advocate groups upset over what they see as an erosion of public rights. The government is proposing changes that would enable forest companies in the Interior to convert their volume-based forest licences to area-based tree farm licences. It’s a move that the province says is limited in scope to help address the issue of declining timber supplies in the wake of the mountain pine beetle infestation. But at least one industry leader believes the move is ill advised.

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Canfor Corp. reports drop in Q1 earnings; blames harsh winter and port strike

Canadian Press
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER – Canfor Corp. is reporting adjusted net income of attributable to shareholders of $45.5 million, or 33 cents per share in the first quarter. That compares to $61.9 million, or 43 cents per share, in the same quarter a year earlier. The Vancouver-based company blames the drop on a harsh winter that reduced home construction across much of North America and a recent truckers`strike at the Vancouver port. The company says lumber shipments were down 16 per cent and pulp shipments were down 22 per cent from the previous quarter due to transportation challenges, while lumber production was up three per cent.

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Tolko Industries announced an innovative partnership for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area

Lesprom Network
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Representatives of Tolko Industries (Tolko), Nazko First Nations (Nazko) and Pacific BioEnergy Corporation (PBEC) announced an innovative partnership for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area. The agreement will provide additional log supply for Tolko’s Quest Wood sawmill, harvesting work for Nazko Logging LP and additional fibre for PBEC’s wood pellet manufacturing plant in Prince George. The timber will come from PBEC’s mountain pine beetle salvage licence in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area (TSA), as the company said in the press release received by Lesprom Network.

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Labour group marks day for fallen workers with demand for stricter negligence penalties

Globe and Mail
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Through their tears, the families of sawmill workers killed in separate B.C. blasts in 2012 called for accountability Monday, drawing attention to a little used decade-old law that makes it easier to convict employers when someone is killed or injured at work. The pleas came during a moving National Day of Mourning ceremony on the banks of the Fraser River to honour workers killed on the job – two widows and a sister speaking of unbearable pain due to what they said is a lack of accountability in the tragedies.

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Inquiry would have more power: NDP

Prince George Citizen
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A public inquiry into the explosions at the Babine Forest Products and Lakeland Mills sawmills two years ago would have the power to find fault, something a coroner’s inquest does not possess, according to a legal opinion provided to the Opposition New Democrats. In the opinion, lawyer David Crossin said a coroner’s inquest is not designed to assign fault to those involved in the incident . “Indeed, ‘the jury must not make, and the coroner must not accept, any finding of legal responsibility or express any conclusion of law,'” Crossin said, citing the Coroners Act.

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Wincrief Forest Products facing prospect of bankruptcy

Kenora Daily MIner and News
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Wincrief Forestry Products is facing bankruptcy. The business, which until now looked like a much-needed success story for Kenora’s forestry industry and First Nation business partnerships, filed paper work earlier this month to make a last attempt to avoid seeking bankruptcy protection. Court documents obtained by the Daily Miner and News show the small forestry company, which is owned 51 per cent by the Wabaseemoong (Whitedog) First Nation, owes creditors $4.75 mllion.

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N.S. rapped for hiring former Bowater manager in renewables role

The Chronicle Herald NS
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

A recent hire by the province’s Natural Resources Department is drawing concerns that industry is too cozy with the department. Jonathan Porter was hired as executive director of the department’s renewable resources branch following a job competition. Porter is a former woodlands manager at the Resolute pulp and paper mill — formerly Bowater Mersey — in Brooklyn, Queens County. Bob Bancroft knows Porter well and says the department’s new hire is “for the status quo.” 

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Tacoma-based forest products company reportedly being offered for sale

The News Tribune
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Tacoma’s Northwest Hardwoods, the nation’s leading manufacturer of hardwoods, is once again being offered for sale, the Wall Street Journal reports. Once part of Weyerhaeuser Co., the hardwoods manufacturer and distributor sold in 2011 to American Industrial Partners as Weyerhaeuser trimmed and focused its portfolio of businesses. The company, once based in Federal Way, moved its base of operations to Tacoma. The Journal reported sources told the paper that Goldman Sachs has been retained to shop the firm.

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Scarborough wood fiber cloth producer wants $900,000 facility in Dover-Foxcroft

Bangor Daily News
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A Scarborough firm wants to locate a facility that produces wood fiber-based cleaning cloth at a Route 7 industrial park, but it needs a $450,000 state grant to make it happen, officials said Tuesday. If the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development awards the community development block grant to GLOBEco Maine LLC and all else goes well, the $900,000 manufacturing plant eventually would employ as many as 100 people, said Ken Woodbury, community development director for the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council.

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DCR’s sawmill on wheels keeps lumber local in state forests

Berkshire Eagle
April 28, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

CHARLEMONT — It seems simple: If someone needs lumber, get it from local trees. But the forestry industry in Massachusetts has been in decline for some time, in part because people buy lumber that is produced elsewhere. On Monday, Sean Mahoney, the Department of Conservation and Recreation’s outreach service forester, brought DCR’s portable sawmill to the Mohawk Trail State Forest, the state park in Charlemont, to help keep lumber local. “I’m the ‘buy local wood guy,'” Mahoney said. 

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Seven injured after explosion at Texas plywood plant

Houston Chronicle
April 27, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Seven employees and one volunteer firefighter were injured in an explosion at a Georgia-Pacific lumber plant in Corrigan, about 20 miles north of Livingston in Polk County. Corrigan police say the call came in just after 6 p.m. Saturday that there had been a blast at the plant that produces plywood about 100 miles northeast of Houston. …About 400 people work at the plant, according to Corrigan police spokesperson Dawn Aguilera-Quiroz. It’s unknown how many were actually on duty at the time. Aguilera-Quiroz said it is still unclear what caused the blast, but noted that some had thought it had started in the “dryers area” of the plant.

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New owner of Gunns’ timber assets commits to woodchip exports

Prime 7
April 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Woodchip exports out of Tasmania are set to ramp up, with the sale of Gunns’ timber plantations to a Sydney-based investment company. New Forests has bought 176,000 hectares of freehold land, including 100,000 hectares of timber plantations owned by the collapsed Tasmanian timber company. …Speaking from San Francisco, CEO David Brand told the ABC the aim is to ramp up woodchip exports and then possibly look at processing the wood domestically. “We’ll harvest trees, woodchip them and send them to Japan, China and potentially India,” he said.

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APP pledges ambitious forest conservation target, NGOs cautious

Eco-Business
April 30, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Asia Pulp and Paper Group (APP) has taken another step closer to strengthening its forest conservation commitment, promising to conserve and restore one million hectares of forest landscapes across Indonesia in partnership with various environmental groups. …Other conservation NGOs, however, such as WWF and Greenpeace, welcomed the news with caution. These groups have been critical of APP’s forest commitments before, and while they lauded the latest initiative, WWF said a comprehensive consultation with various stakeholders is needed to effectively implement the firm’s target.

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New Forests the new owner of Gunns timber

ABC News, Australia
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

New Forests has purchased 175, 000 hectares of Gunns freehold land in Tasmania from the receivers of the company for an undisclosed sum. The purchase includes around 100,000 hectares of timber plantations as well as two woodchip mills, the Somerset nursery and a laboratory at Ridgley, but does not include the permits for the planned pulp mill. Speaking from his San Francisco office, CEO of New Forests David Brand says the company is in the timber industry not in the business of building pulp mills.

Gunns assets sale fuels pulp mill doubts from The Sydney Morning Herald
New Owner of former Gunns Ltd plantations believes pulp mill unlikely to be built on Tamar site from The Mercury

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Indonesian pulp and paper company to restore one million hectares of rainforest

ABC News, Australia
April 29, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Indonesia’s largest pulp and paper company Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) says it will restore one million hectares of rainforest. Condemned by green groups, APP has been subject to consumer bans in the past because of its destructive logging practices. A year ago it appeared to turn a new leaf, using only plantation timber and banning the logging of natural rainforest by all its suppliers. But APP says its zero deforestation policy implemented a year ago is not enough.

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Forestry

Road building puts water quality at risk in some B.C. communities

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

Logging road and bridge construction is putting drinking water quality at risk in some community watersheds, according to a special investigation by British Columbia’s Forest Practices Board.  But logging itself – the cutting of trees – is being done in a way that doesn’t have significant impact on drinking water quality, said the report released Tuesday. “When it comes to logging, we’re doing a good job – but we’ve got to pay more attention to our roads and bridges,” Tim Ryan, chair of the Forest Practices Board, said in an interview.

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Inconvenient truths about pine beetle

Alberni Valley News
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – Last week’s column on Earth Day myths attracted a fair amount of criticism. One tireless member of the “Alberta tar sands killing the planet” crowd scolded me for daring to mention that 60 per cent of the oil pollution in the oceans around North America comes from natural seeps. That’s eight times more than all pipeline and tanker spills combined, and it’s been going on 24 hours a day for the last 10,000 years or so. 

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Protection of Drinking Water in Community Watersheds Examined

BC Forest Practices Board
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An investigation of how well the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA)protects drinking water in community watersheds has identified a number of improvements necessary to help ensure government objectives for drinking water quality and quantity are achieved. “The status and management of community watersheds needs to be reviewed by government to ensure this resource is being properly managed in those places where it needs to be managed, in consideration of all types of development activity,” said board chair Tim Ryan.

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Marsh’s ash trees under attack by invasive pest

Mississauga News
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

MISSISSAUGA — Clarkson’s Diane Damario has enjoyed visiting Rattray Marsh for a number of years and always wanted to give back in some fashion. Now that the marsh’s 2,200 ash trees are under serious threat from the invasive emerald ash borer, Damario thinks she might have found how she can help. “My family and I visit Rattray Marsh frequently and I think it’s quite amazing that when you go into the marsh you can’t see any signs of the city around it,” said Damario. “I don’t think I had quite realized the extent of the problem. It will be kind of sad to see such a large canopy disappear (if nothing is done).”

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‘One of our last, best’ chances to study caribou

The Starphoenix
April 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Saskatchewan’s boreal forest still provides woodland caribou with habitat unchanged from 200 or even 500 years ago, making it perfect for studying the threatened mammals and their predators. “It’s one of our last, best opportunities to study the woodland caribou which is in decline in other parts of the country,” said wildlife biologist Philip McLoughlin. The forest is so wild that it was hard for McLoughlin to find herds of woodland caribou when he, some graduate students and provincial biologists flew in a plane over the quiet forest last month. 

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As fire season approaches, let’s create ‘charter forests’

Billings Gazette
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

With the number and severity of wildfires increasing dramatically, it’s time to rethink management policies for our national forest system. …Rather than trying to comprehensively fix all of the problems plaguing the Forest Service, whose 35,000 employees manage approximately 10 percent of all land in the United States, what’s needed is a new management model — the type public education reformers have been experimenting with. Like charter schools, we need “charter forests.”

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Land management: Bullock did great given timeline

Letter by Loren Rose, chief operating officer, Pyramid Mountain Lumber
The Missoulian
April 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The recently passed Farm Bill provided an opportunity for states to assist the U.S. Forest Service in getting much needed work done on federal land. States had 60 days to designate appropriate lands to the agency. Gov. Steve Bullock did a wonderful job reallocating resources meeting this timeline. Lands nominated were based on hard data collected annually by the Forest Service and matched their analysis of current conditions.

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Bozeman man sues governor over proposed logging

The Missoulian
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

HELENA – A Bozeman man on Tuesday sued Gov. Steve Bullock and some top administration officials, accusing them of violating the state Constitution by nominating 5.1 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land for restoration without giving the public a chance to participate. The proposed Montana forest restoration program could include some logging, but by no means is all logging, the Bullock administration said. Steve Kelly, a Bozeman artist and former congressional candidate, filed the complaint in Gallatin County District Court. 

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Bullock promoting good timber projects, stewardship

The Missoulian
April 28, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The National Wildlife Federation has been working with Montana timber companies for many years to find ways to sustain local mills and the jobs they sustain and provide for good fish and wildlife habitat on national forest lands. In this work we’ve partnered with other conservation groups like Montana Trout Unlimited and the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. This work has been difficult for two primary reasons. First, the Forest Service faces difficult challenges in designing and approving timber stewardship projects because of declining budgets, a shrinking work force and the annual need to redirect agency resources to fighting the bigger, hotter wild fires that are now common in the West.

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Iowa DNR: Conifer trees showing stress from winter

Associated Press
April 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa officials say conifer trees around the state are showing signs of stress as a result of the winter. The state Department of Natural Resources says signs of winter desiccation, or winter burn, include browning or bleaching needles, needle loss and tree death. Forest health program leader Tivon Feeley says the trees run out of water because they use water reserves in the needles but are unable to absorb new water from the frozen soil.

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Loggers steal valuable walnut trees in Wisconsin

Associated Press
April 29, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

MADISON, Wis. — A sheriff says people have been illegally cutting down walnut trees in southern Wisconsin to sell the valuable wood. Rock County Sheriff Robert Spoden says landowners have confronted loggers who cut down as many as 20 trees on private property without asking permission. Brian Knudson tells Wisconsin State Journal that loggers cut down 12 to 20 trees on land owned by him and a neighbor. He says the loggers offered him $1,000 per tree to keep quiet and not report the activity to law enforcement.

Thieves targeting walnut trees in rural areas from The Wisconsin State Journal

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Forest safety review ‘needs to find answers’

Voxy.co.nz
April 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The Combined Trade Unions is to be praised for making health and safety the focus of this year’s Workers’ Memorial Day, say forest owners and contractors. …”This is the role of the Independent Safety Review and the Coroners Court hearings now underway. They need to go beneath the emotion and the loss and take a hard look at the evidence to find out where the industry and individuals are going wrong … to find out how we can all do things better.” He says the CTU is strongly advocating solutions to the accident toll, including stricter regulation of work practices.

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Congo rainforest ‘browning’ as temperatures rise

The Ecologist
April 30, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Scientists have found that the world’s second greatest rainforest, the Congo, is losing its green, writes Tim Radford. As temperatures rise and rainfall reduces, the forest canopy is taking on a browner hue, and this could be an early signal of worse damage to come. The Congo rainforest is getting steadily less green. The slow change in colour during this century, recorded by a series of US satellites, has been matched by a rise in temperature and lower precipitation.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Wood pellet exports from North America to Europe have doubled in two years

Bio-based News
April 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, United States

With no slowdown in sight, North American wood pellet exporting companies keep building new facilities to manufacture pellets for the European market. Export volumes hit a new record high in the 4Q/13 and the total shipments for 2013 were up almost 50% from the previous year and more than double that in 2011. The total value of wood pellet exports reached over 650 million dollars last year. A rapid expansion of pellet production capacity in the US South during 2012 and 2013 has resulted in a tripling of pellet production in the region in just two years. 

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Coldstream gives green light to pellet plant

Vernon Morning Star
April 30, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

Coldstream has officially signed off on the proposed $39 million pellet plant in Lavington. Tolko Industries and Pinnacle Renewable Energies have plans to construct the plant on land next to the existing planer mill off School Road. Coldstream gave its approval Monday by amending the official community plan to re-designate the property from agricultural to general industrial land. “We’re showing our commitment to it,” said Mayor Jim Garlick, of the plant which could generate upwards of 50 jobs.

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B.C. contributes to cellulose filaments research

Pulp and Paper Canada
April 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Government of British Columbia’s has contributed $2.25 million to cellulose filaments (CF) research. The investment will be used as part of an existing R&D program focused on non-traditional applications of cellulose filament (CF) that are of interest to, and most beneficial to B.C. – specifically for the province’s northern bleached softwood kraft (NBSK) pulp producers. FPInnovations’ cellulose filament research and innovation project is the subject of investments to date totaling $43.1 million, including funding from Natural Resources Canada, through the Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program, as well as a grant from the Québec Ministry of Natural Resources, a loan from Investissement Québec, a contribution from Kruger Inc. and funds from FPInnovations’ pulp, paper and bioproducts industry members.

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EIA: Energy generation from biomass resources increases

Biomass Magazine
April 29, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Energy Information Administration recently reported that approximately 6.2 percent of U.S. electricity supplies in 2013 were generated from nonhydro renewable energy sources. Maine led all states by generating 32 percent of its electricity from nonhydro renewables, primarily biomass generation by the wood products industry. In fact, the EIA estimated that approximately 25 percent of Maine’s net electric generation came from biomass. The April issue of EIA’s Electric Power Monthly includes updated bioenergy data through February. 

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Forest Service offering Wood-to-Energy grants

Laker Lutz News
April 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Forest Service is seeking proposals that expand wood energy use and support responsible forest management. Part of the federal agency’s Hazardous Fuels Wood-to-Energy Grant program, the Forest Service will provide about $2.8 million to help complete the engineering design work needed to apply or public or private loans for construction and long-term financing of wood energy facilities. On top of that, the agency announced $1.7 million in funding availability under the Statewide Wood Energy Team cooperative agreement inviting public-private teams to seek funding to advance wood energy. 

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Switch from cattle fields to ‘carbon farms’ could tackle climate change, save endangered animals cheaply

Phys.org
April 28, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

Changing cattle fields to forests is a cheap way of tackling climate change and saving species threatened with extinction, a new study has found. Researchers from leading universities, including the University of Sheffield, carried out a survey of carbon stocks, biodiversity and economic values from one of the world’s most threatened ecosystems, the western Andes of Colombia. The main use of land in communities is cattle farming, but the study found farmers could make the same or more money by allowing their land to naturally regenerate.

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