Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: December 17, 2014

Business & Politics

Uncertainty hangs over B.C. lumber industry

Imminent expiry of softwood lumber agreement with U.S. leaves industry wondering what happens next
Vancouver Sun
December 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

A big question hangs over British Columbia’s forestry industry in 2015 with the 2006 Canada/U.S. Softwood Lumber Agreement set to expire in October. The deal brought relative peace in the decades-old dispute between Canada and its biggest lumber trading partner, but with its term running out, observers are beginning to wonder whether the sides will strike a new deal, roll over the old one or slide back into legal battles over whether Canada subsidizes its industry with its Crown forest policies. The consequences of that could be new, punishing U.S. duties against Canadian lumber at a time the B.C. industry is still recovering and faces reduced timber supplies due to the mountain pine beetle infestation of the province’s Interior forests.

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PIT Conference 2015 to Bring Together Industry Leaders and Innovators

December 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Montréal, QC – December 16, 2014 – FPInnovations’ Performance Innovation Transport (PIT) group, a not-for-profit engineering and research group for the North American trucking industry, today announced that PIT Conference 2015, Innovation Has No Borders, will be held February 25-26 at the Toronto Congress Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Canadian and U.S. fleets are invited to attend the second annual gathering of industry leaders and innovators to explore synergies and solutions for bringing Canadian and U.S. fleets closer together and leading to a stronger North American trucking industry.

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B.C. sets rate structure for truckers in ‘complicated’ situation at Port Metro Vancouver

Canadian Press
December 15, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA — In an effort to address issues from a bitter strike earlier this year, the B.C. government has released its proposed rate structure for Port Metro Vancouver container truckers. The Transportation Ministry says it hopes to resolve industry undercutting so unionized and non-unionized truckers can earn a fair wage and eliminate tensions at Canada’s busiest port. New regulations include minimum rates for all truckers who serve the port on and off dock, a two per cent fuel surcharge, a whistleblower line and enhanced audits for all trucking companies.

Press Release from BC Government

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Container truck drivers complain about proposed new rates

CKNW
December 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Truckers at Port Metro Vancouver say a proposed deal to end a strike from back in March is being whittled away. Unifor’s Gavin McGarrigle says rates released by the Transportation Ministry yesterday are complicating what they agreed on. “They’ve added trip rates for hourly drivers and they’ve added hourly rates for owner-operators, and as a result, those owner-operators and hourly drivers are earning less money.” McGarrigle says the ministry is also allowing the port to now require owners to buy new trucks more often – again cutting into compensation.

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Catalyst Paper indefinitely idling B.C. paper machine; 50 jobs lost

Decision to curtail paper machine at Powell River, B.C., plant made due to lack of orders, according to Catalyst
Canadian Manufacturing
December 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

RICHMOND, B.C.—Catalyst Paper Corp. said it is indefinitely idling a paper machine at its Powell River, B.C., plant due to a lack of orders, shedding 50 jobs along with it. The Richmond, B.C.-based company said the decision to curtail the machine, one of three paper machines at the facility, was “fully market-related,” and is based on lack of demand. The machine was temporarily shuttered Oct. 27. “This is a difficult, but necessary decision that supports Catalyst’s commitment to align mill operations and production with market demand,” Catalyst president and CEO Joe Nemeth said in a release.

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Unifor members make big gains at Canadian Forest Products

Canada Newswire press release
December 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

GRANDE PRAIRIE, AB – Nearly 150 Unifor members at Canadian Forest Products achieved significant wage and benefit increases in the newest collective agreement, ratified this week. “This deal brings us to the forefront of the industry in Alberta,” said Phil Brinson, Unifor Local 446 President. “I would like to thank the bargaining committee for their work on this collective agreement.” The collective agreement includes wage increases between 9% and 16% over the next three years. The contract also includes a two-fold increase to benefits available under short- and long-term disability programs, should a worker become disabled.

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Worker killed on logging site in northern Alberta

OHS investigation is underway
CBC News
December 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A worker was killed Monday afternoon in a logging area between Athabasca and Smith, Alta. The man was struck by debris that had fallen from a grappler being used to load logs onto a trailer, said Brookes Merritt, a spokesman for Occupational Health and Safety. Merritt said the man was between 35 and 40 years old. Het said the employer’s name will not be released, but said the prime contractor is Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Ltd. OHS is now investigating the death, which is at least the ninth workplace death in the province since the beginning of November. Smith is about 200 kilometres north of Edmonton.

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Fort Frances residents reflect on future of Resolute mill

CBC News
December 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Fort Frances residents hope a new buyer is found for Resolute’s shuttered pulp and paper plant, but their opinions vary on how likely that is. Pub owner Pat Gartshore said many of his customers feel the mill is finished — and Gartshore doesn’t think the province will grant wood rights to a new owner. “There’s gloom and doom,” he said. “We figured, because we’re so far out here, and being represented by a party that’s not in power, perhaps not much can be done to help us.” Mayor Roy Avis has a solution-centred view on the situation. “I hope that we could bridge the gap between the buyer and the government, the provincial government. But, we have to have a willing seller as well.”

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Wood Resources International: U.S. pellet exports up in Q2

Biomass Magazine
December 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

Total shipments of wood pellets from North America to Europe plateaued in 2014 after almost four years of continuous increases. During the first two quarters of 2014, exportation from Canada and the U.S. were just over 1.3 million tons in each of the two quarters. This was down from the all-time-high of almost 1.4 million tons in the 4Q/13, according to the latest issue of the North American Wood Fiber Review. Pellet volumes shipped out of Canada to Europe have actually fallen by almost 25 percent from the 4Q/13 to the 2Q/14, while volumes leaving the ports in the U.S. 

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Toxins abound off old Port Angeles pulp mill site, state Ecology says

Peninsula Daily News
December 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

PORT ANGELES ­­­­­ ­— Mercury, arsenic, dioxins and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are among the ingredients of the toxic brew in the eastern side of Port Angeles Harbor near the site of the former Rayonier mill. A draft Marine Data Summary Report released Tuesday by the state Department of Ecology in Olympia summarized the amount and types of marine contamination in the 1,300 acres of water and sediment. The poisons are concentrated most highly in water in the eastern part of the former log pond and near the mill dock, the report said, but “are spread throughout the marine environment.” These areas also contain sediments that are toxic to such marine organisms as crabs, clams and small crustaceans.

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Longview Workers To Vote On KapStone’s Offer

Oregon Public Broadcasting
December 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

About 800 union employees at the KapStone Paper and Packaging mill in Longview, Washington plan to vote on the company’s final contract offer starting Wednesday. Union officials with the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers said they expect employees to reject the contract. Earlier this month, employees voted to authorize a strike. Greg Pallesen, vice president of the union, said the company isn’t taking the strike vote seriously. “If the labor agreement does not get improved, that site is heading to a serious labor dispute,” he said. “Neither party wants a strike, but if it comes down to that we’re certainly headed to that.”

KapStone president: ratify company’s offer or risk losing insurance options from The Longview Daily News

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84 Lumber vice president McCrobie says company, housing market rebounding

TribLive.com
December 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

If the booms and busts of the housing market were a roller coaster, Mike McCrobie sat in the front car. McCrobie, 37, is vice president of national sales and construction services for 84 Lumber. In his nearly 17-year career, he enjoyed the housing market boom that kept his customers — American homebuilders — busy, and he is now sharing in their frustration as they wait for the market to come back. As 84 Lumber has shed half of its locations since it peaked at more than 500 stores in 2006, McCrobie is helping the company adjust through offering expanded services, providing builders with materials and doing some of the subcontracting work on framing, windows, doors, trim and roofing.

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Yen depreciation pushes up Japanese wood import costs

IHB The Timber Network
December 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The recent rapid and significant depreciation of the yen since late October pushes cost of all the imported commodity sharply. North American Douglas fir log prices for November shipment are US$ 20 per M Scribner up FAS., making IS sort prices of US$ 870. An increase in FAS dollar prices plus weak yen will make arrived yen cost much higher, which will impact Douglas fir lumber prices in Japan. Export prices of South Sea hardwood plywood remain unchanged…

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China: Significant rise in wood products imports

IHB The Timber Network
December 16, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In the first three quarters of 2014 China?s log imports totaled 48,359,000 cubic metres valued at USD9.34 billion, a year on year increase of 19% in volume and 37% in value. Softwood log imports rose 15% to 27,809,000 cubic metres, temperate hardwood log imports grew 28% to 11,618,000 cubic metres and tropical log imports increased 26% to 8,932,000 cubic metres. The main suppliers of logs to China’s the period January to September 2014 were in Asia (1,961,000 cubic metres, up 46%), Africa (2,736,000 cubic metres, up 6%), Europe (3,622,000 cubic metres, up 34%), Australia (14,953,000 cubic metres, up 15%), North America (7,145,000 cubic metres, up 17%) and Russia (8,5 64,000 cubic metres, up 10%).

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Neutral outlook for timber in 2015, eye on log supply

Borneo Post
December 17, 2014
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

KUCHING: RHB Research Institute Sdn Bhd (RHB Research) maintains its neutral outlook on the timber sector ahead, as it warns investors to keep an eye out for two key moves in Sarawak’s timber sector entering into 2015 which could impact log production and supply. The first, it said, is the implementation of the Sarawak government’s new timber licensing policy announced in August, where the government is extending the tenure of forest concession licenses to up to 60 years from five to 15 years currently. This is provided that the license holders achieve the Forest Management Certification within three years of issuance.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Staples: The Meadows is the pinnacle of rec centre design

Edmonton Journal
December 16, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

EDMONTON – There are four massive problems with the Meadows, Edmonton’s fantastic new recreation centre… The Meadows, which had its grand opening this past weekend, is a complex as gorgeous as it is useful. It has to be ranked high on the list of the best public buildings ever constructed in Edmonton… For lovers of design, the Meadows has got a lovely vaulted wood ceiling and wood trusses. “It’s big and it’s bold and it has that warmth that steel structures just don’t have,” says architect Troy Smith of the design firm Group 2.

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The Future is Here … and it’s Made of Wood

USDA Blog
December 17, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

It’s a good time for building with wood products. More architects and contractors are returning to this renewable, sturdy, all-purpose material after decades of what some might consider an undue reliance on concrete and steel. In furthering that message, I was pleased to join WoodWorks, a nonprofit organization supported by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Forest Service, to host more than 350 architects and builders this year at the Wood Solutions Fair in the District of Columbia.

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Da Vinci apartment fire tested every aspect of firefighting

Daily News
December 16, 2014
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Los Angeles Fire Department officials on Tuesday called last week’s Da Vinci apartment fire “a career fire” that served as a test for every aspect of firefighting, noting it will be discussed for years to come. As investigators continued to search for clues on the cause of the fire, LAFD Deputy Chief Joseph Castro told the Los Angeles Fire Commission firefighters were able to successfully battle the blaze at the seven-story, under-construction complex adjacent to the 110 Freeway and keep the damage to a minimum in nearby buildings through a combination of pre-planning and ingenuity… The LAFD had pre-planned in the event of a fire on the site, a wood-frame structure with stacks of lumber piled up around it, Castro said.

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Forestry

SFI Board Welcomes Conservation and Economic Representatives

Sustainable Forestry Initiative
December 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, United States

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative® Inc. (SFI) has strengthened its capacity to conserve North America’s forests with the election of three new members to its Board of Directors: Robert Abernethy, Craig Armstrong, and Gail Wallin. “Their respective experience in the environmental and private sectors will be an important asset. We are so pleased to welcome Robert, Craig, and Gail to the SFI Board. Given their tremendous expertise, they will help SFI further enhance the vital link between healthy forests, responsible purchasing, and sustainable communities,” said Kathy Abusow, President and CEO of SFI Inc.

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Peter Foster: Greenpeace tramples on Canada too, destroying business, jobs and prosperity

Financial Post
December 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada

Greenpeace activists stepped over the line at the recent climate meeting in Lima when they trampled on a sacred Peruvian monument, the ancient earth etching of a giant hummingbird. Closer to home, Greenpeace is also trampling on the reputations of Canadian companies in order to destroy their business, and with it jobs and prosperity. The radical NGO has recently been crowing because it bullied electronics giant Best Buy into diverting business from Resolute Forest Products, one of the largest Canadian forestry companies. 

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Foresters urge consumers to “think trees”

Winnipeg Free Press
December 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Is there anything more beautiful this time of year than an evergreen tree dusted with snow and sparkling with lights? Christmas trees are everywhere and their colour and smell are uplifting in the dead of winter. December, then, seems like the ideal month to “Think Trees.”  Think Trees is the slogan of the Manitoba Forestry Association… Tatiana Moroz and Kristen Malec are two young, ambitious graduates of the University of Winnipeg’s bachelor of science program. Kristen studied forest ecology while Tatiana grew up in West Kildonan and studied forest policy and management. Forestry is a changing field and many more women are choosing it as a career.

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Dragging the non-profits to court

Parksville Qualicum Beach News
December 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Dozens of non-profit organizations are up in arms about the B.C. government’s proposed changes to the Society Act, which critics are calling “non-democratic.”  In August, finance minister Mike de Jong released a white paper outlining a new Society Act which includes a controversial section 99 that has become disconcerting for those in the non-profit industry. ..“You could have, for instance, a land trust society that is taking a position that’s seen as political and you could have a big forestry company that challenges it (the society), saying it’s not in the public interest,” Krog said, citing a hypothetical example. “Bodies with a great deal of money will be in a position to challenge societies, most of which have no money and will not be able to pay for — or sustain — lawyers in a claim.”

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Canim Lake Band’s forest company passes audit

BC Forest Practices Board
December 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – An audit of forest planning, harvesting and road practices of Kenkeknem Forest Tenure Ltd., in the 100 Mile District, found that all activities met the requirements of provincial forestry legislation, according to a report released today. “This is one of the first active First Nations Woodland Licences in the province and we were pleased to find that the company fully met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act,” said board chair Tim Ryan. In January 2013, the Tsq’escenemc people of the Canim Lake Band were issued a First Nations woodland licence covering 21 400 hectares of land within their traditional territory.

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Daines seeks feedback on forest reform

Great Falls Tribune
December 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

U.S. Rep. Steve Daines, on his way to the Senate, says national forests need more “active management,” including more timber harvesting. Montana has 10 national forests. In a letter sent this week to Montana elected officials, conservation groups, timber industry representatives and sportsmen, Daines, a Republican, said he plans to support comprehensive forest management reforms next year and asked for input on ideas Congress should pursue. In the letter, Daines said he was committed to finding solutions that restore active management to national forests.

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An amazing tale about how a wildfire began — or didn’t

Statesman Journal
December 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON — First there’s the spark, then the conflagration, followed by the litigation and then, surely, the movie. Call it “Moonlight Fire,” and prepare to suspend disbelief. The story is a doozy — a tale of corruption, prosecutorial abuse, alleged fraud upon the court, and possible government cover-ups in the service of power and greed. All the script needs is a Forest Service employee urinating on his bare feet in his lookout tower just as the fire was beginning. What?  This is what a real-life ranger discovered when she went to the tower to pick up a radio for repair. She also reported spotting a small glass pipe and smelling marijuana. As for the urinary exercise, the lookout said he was treating his athlete’s foot. But of course.

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Oregon expands historic smokejumper base

Associated Press
December 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. — The national historic district protecting an old smokejumper base in southwestern Oregon has been expanded to include refurbished crew quarters. The Siskiyou Smokejumper Base operated from 1943 to 1980 in the early days of U.S. Forest Service efforts to control wildfires in remote areas by dropping firefighters by parachute. The original barracks, mess hall and bathhouse were demolished. The museum and historic district at the Illinois Valley Airport outside Cave Junction originally was made up of an administrative building and parachute loft. Now it includes a barracks, bathhouse and exercise area built in 1954. The barracks was recently re-shingled by former smokejumpers.

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Bad news for ash trees: Emerald ash borer sightings jump to 18 counties

December 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A recent spate of confirmed emerald ash borer infestations, including the first identified in rural Iowa, indicates the state has reached a tipping point in its efforts to contain the spread of the tree-killing pest, State Entomologist Robin Pruisner said Monday. “Hold on to your seat belts,” State Forester Paul Tauke said during a telephone news conference to announce that the ash borer has been found in five southern Iowa counties, catapulting the number of Iowa counties with confirmed infestations from 13 to 18. “We are seeing the ash borer population growing at an exponential rate, and we will continue to see more counties at a more rapid rate in 2015,” said Tauke, chief of the Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau.

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LBL Officials Address Concern About Scenery Management Plan

WKMS.org
December 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Land Between the Lake’s officials are addressing some confusion about their draft Scenery Management Plan which has raised concern among those who disagree with Forest Service management of the National Recreation Area. Though the aesthetic plan includes suggestions for more open land along byways and clearing some trees and understory brush for better land and shoreline views, LBL Area Supervisor Tina Tilley says it will not create any additional work on the landscape, as some may think. She says it will guide the LBL in how they go about their work.

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Jobs in timbering, wood products go begging

Capital News Service
December 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

LANSING — The woods are calling, and so are logging and wood products companies. Calling for skilled employees, that is. Experts say the labor shortage hampers economic growth. Many experienced foresters and other workers in Northern Michigan are retiring. At the same time, jobs in other industries such as mining, energy and construction often pay higher wages than those at timber-related companies. The demand is expected to continue as the state looks for new uses for forest resources, including products and energy, according to the Michigan Biomaterials Initiative.

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Fall forest fire hazard season ends in Kentucky

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

FRANKFORT, Ky. – The fall forest fire hazard season has ended in Kentucky, but state forestry officials are urging continued caution when doing outdoor burning. State Division of Forestry Director Leah MacSwords says severe storms in recent years have increased the amount of dead and fallen trees. MacSwords says that’s a particular concern for fire-suppression efforts. Forestry officials say timely precipitation this fall kept fire dangers low in the state.

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WNC’s National Forests at crossroads

Asheville Citizen-Times
December 13, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States


On Oct. 21, the Forest Service unveiled draft management area boundaries that put 692,700 acres — about 69 percent — of Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest in management areas that make “timber production, for the purposeful growing and harvesting of crops of trees to be cut into logs” the “primary or secondary use of the land.” The last time the Nantahala-Pisgah had such a large timber base was in 1987, the year the first Forest Plan was finalized. That plan was also a “50-year plan,” and called for up to half a million acres to be cut by 2037, with little regard for steep slopes and mountain springs.

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Bad news for ash trees: Emerald ash borer sightings jump to 18 counties

December 17, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

A recent spate of confirmed emerald ash borer infestations, including the first identified in rural Iowa, indicates the state has reached a tipping point in its efforts to contain the spread of the tree-killing pest, State Entomologist Robin Pruisner said Monday. “Hold on to your seat belts,” State Forester Paul Tauke said during a telephone news conference to announce that the ash borer has been found in five southern Iowa counties, catapulting the number of Iowa counties with confirmed infestations from 13 to 18. “We are seeing the ash borer population growing at an exponential rate, and we will continue to see more counties at a more rapid rate in 2015,” said Tauke, chief of the Department of Natural Resources Forestry Bureau.

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Murder in the Rainforest

At the U.N.’s latest climate talks, indigenous tribes showed again that they’re frontline allies in the climate fight. So why aren’t we protecting them?
The Rolling Stone
December 16, 2014
Category: Forestry
Region: International

On the morning of December 5th, a dark piece of news began circulating at the U.N. climate talks in Lima: The body of José Isidro Tendetza Antún, a leading Ecuadorian indigenous-rights and anti-mining campaigner, had been found in a riverside grave near his village, his remains bound in rope, showing signs of beating and torture. Antún had planned to be in the Peruvian capital last week, where hundreds of indigenous leaders from around the world gathered to demand recognition and rights, as both defenders of the world’s rainforests and underappreciated players in the effort to slow climate change. The outlines of Antún’s murder were grimly familiar to indigenous activists. The spread of logging, agriculture and extractive industry into once remote forests has sparked social conflict under the tropical canopies of Amazonia, Africa and Asia. Rising native resistance is met with repression and violence, the screams from which don’t often reach the outside world. 

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Yurok tribe hopes California’s cap-and-trade can save a way of life

LA Times
December 16, 2014
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

This winter, Yurok tribe forestry crews will be four-wheeling down muddy fire roads, hiking through steep, slippery brush and trekking across more than 20,000 acres of forest to count and measure trees. Instead of preparing to sell lumber, as it has in the past, the state’s largest Indian tribe is taking stock of its firs, redwoods and tanoaks to make money in California’s cap-and-trade program. By managing its forest near Redwood National Park for carbon storage instead of timber harvest, the tribe is generating credits to sell to oil companies and other businesses that must reduce greenhouse gas emissions as part of the state’s effort to slow climate change.

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General

PIT Conference 2015 to Bring Together Industry Leaders and Innovators

December 17, 2014
Category: Uncategorised

Montréal, QC – December 16, 2014 – FPInnovations’ Performance Innovation Transport (PIT) group, a not-for-profit engineering and research group for the North American trucking industry, today announced that PIT Conference 2015, Innovation Has No Borders, will be held February 25-26 at the Toronto Congress Centre in Toronto, Ontario. Canadian and U.S. fleets are invited to attend the second annual gathering of industry leaders and innovators to explore synergies and solutions for bringing Canadian and U.S. fleets closer together and leading to a stronger North American trucking industry.

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