Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: March 10, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Trump’s tough talk designed to solicit trade concessions

Tree Frog Forestry News
March 10, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Given Greenpeace’s legal-defence claim (against “racketeering charges” by Resolute) that it’s okay to attack your opponents with “forceful language and rhetorical hyperbole“, you won’t be surprised with today’s headline: “Greenpeace to take Indonesian forestry ministry to Supreme Court over environmental data”. In their own words, they need “to check corporate malfeasance” in Indonesia given that it’s “less than two decades removed from a military dictatorship historians describe as one of the modern era’s most rapacious and corrupt”.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland—in response to claims by the US Commerce Secretary that the US would “extract concession in NAFTA talks” and that Trump’s tough talk was designed to “soften up other countries to accept concessions—shot back with warnings that “a border adjustment tax would hurt businesses in both countries” and emphasized the “importance of getting a resolution on the countries’ softwood lumber file“. 

Citing “increased density and cost savings” benefits, Saint John, New Brunswick is hoping the adoption of the 2015 National Building Code—which allows for six-storey wood-framed construction—”will spur growth in its downtown core“. Saint John is the first city in Atlantic Canada to adopt the new building code.

— Tree Frog Editors

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Business & Politics

Possible border tax would hurt business in Canada, US

By Adrian Morrow
The Globe and Mail
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, United States

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland has warned U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that a border adjustment tax would hurt businesses in both countries… The minister wasted no time letting Mr. Ross, who was sworn in last week, know that Canada opposes any sort of border tax – a protectionist economic measure some Republicans have endorsed as a way of curbing foreign imports… Ms. Freeland also impressed upon Mr. Ross the importance of getting a resolution on the countries’ softwood lumber file and the significance of the steel industry, the statement said… Ms. Freeland’s conversation with Mr. Ross comes just a day after the Commerce Secretary warned that the U.S. would extract “concessions” from Mexico and Canada in NAFTA talks. In an interview with Bloomberg Television, Mr. Ross said Mr. Trump’s tough talk had softened up the other countries so they would be willing to accept the concessions without much of a fight.

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Conifex Announces Closing of Bought Deal Offering

By Conifex Timber Inc.
Yahoo Finance
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Conifex Timber Inc. is pleased to announce that it has completed its previously announced bought deal offering, including the exercise in full by the underwriters of their over-allotment option, resulting in aggregate gross proceeds of $10,522,500. The Offering was conducted by way of a short form prospectus dated March 1, 2017 by a syndicate of investment dealers led by Raymond James Ltd. and including CIBC World Markets Inc., who purchased a total of 3,450,000 common shares of Conifex at a price of $3.05 per share. Conifex intends to use the net proceeds of the Offering to partially repay outstanding indebtedness under its existing credit facility with Wells Fargo Capital Finance Corporation Canada, which may be re-drawn, to partially pay costs of its El Dorado sawmill project and for working capital.

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Northern Health, Canfor and UNBC all Named Top Employers

By Elaine Macdonald-Meisner
250 News
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Prince George, B.C. Three major employers in northern B.C. have once again made it to the list of the best employers in the Province. …The competition for B.C. employers started in 2006 and for the 5th straight year, Canfor Corporation has made it to the list. Canfor is cited for: encouraging lifelong learning with formal mentoring opportunities, subsidies for professional accreditation, in-house and online training and tuition subsidies for courses taken at outside institutions; helping employees plan for life after work with retirement planning assistance and a defined benefit pension plan for the majority of its workforce; providing free access to a shared -use onsite fitness facility for head office employees.

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Fire rages through Shuswap area sawmill

By Blaine Gaffney
Global News
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

More than 30 firefighters were needed to bring a sawmill fire in the Shuswap under control Thursday morning. The blaze at Elite Forest Products in Malakwa was called in just before 6 a.m. Fast moving flames destroyed the sawmill operation and about half of the buildings at the site. Malakwa fire chief Joanne Held said the level of devastation may never let investigators understand what caused the blaze. The mill was closed for the winter, but production was supposed to resume Friday.

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Forest Management Agreement extension not granted, Tolko plays waiting game

By Chris Clegg
The South Peace News
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Tolko and High Prairie and area officials are anxiously playing the waiting game. High Prairie Mayor Linda Cox reported at council’s Feb. 28 meeting that Tolko has not officially received their forest management agreement (FMA) extension. The news came after Cox spoke to Tom Hoffman, Tolko’s manager, external and stakeholder relations. “The FMA hasn’t gone to cabinet,” said Cox. “Now [Tolko] thinks it will not go forward until March.” Tolko needs the guarantee of the five-year extension to harvest wood in the FMA as promised, before any hope of re-opening the mill occurs. “We have to keep putting the pressure on,” said Cox. END OF STORY

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J.D. Irving, Limited Lumber Donation delivers Excitement and Housing

JD Irving Blog
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Through the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI), J.D. Irving, Limited (JDI) donated lumber to construct the Red Bull Crashed Ice Ottawa track. Over 20,000 spectators watched as competitors zoomed at speeds of up to 70 km/hour down the steep, twisting track in Canada’s Capital. The races were broadcast live on TVA, Sportsnet 360 and Red Bull TV. The track, constructed alongside the Chateau Laurier, took workers 10,000 hours to construct.  Over 85% of the wood used for the track will be recovered and re-purposed for other Ottawa 2017 events such as Kontinuum and La Machine. In addition, materials will be re-purposed for Habitat for Humanity builds and ReStores in the Greater Ottawa region including the building of a home for an Indigenous family. 

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Bill Allowing a Reporting Extension for Timber Purchases Passes House

The Chronicle
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US West

The Washington state House of Representatives has approved a bill by Rep. Jim Walsh, R-Aberdeen, that extends the expiration date for reporting timber purchase data to the Department of Revenue. House Bill 1148 would extend the date to report purchases from July 1, 2018, to July 1, 2021, in a move which he said will help account for potential changes in tax policy and market conditions. “This bill brings private sector timber landowners together with state agencies,” Walsh said in a press release. “The private land owners share proprietary information about their land and assets. This helps ensure stumpage values are calculated, and taxes gathered, that reflect real market place conditions.”

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Bethel-area village to open commercial lumber sawmill

Associated Press in The Idaho Statesman
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

BETHEL, Alaska – A Bethel-area village is starting a commercial lumber business along the Kuskokwim River. Workers from the Native village of Napaimute are currently moving a sawmill 40 miles downriver from Chuathbaluk to three miles below Kalskag where the mill will cut commercial lumber on demand, KYUK-AM reported Wednesday. Officials say the mill will create jobs and provide cheaper lumber for Kuskokwim residents. Napaimute Director of Development and Operations Mark Leary said the same crews who are moving the mill are also plowing the Kuskokwim highway, another job creation effort out of the village. “You ask any young person in our region what they want. They want a job. They want a job, and I have so many people calling, asking, ‘Do you got any openings? Do you got any openings?’ So many guys looking for work,” Leary said.

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China imports record high volumes of softwood lumber

Wood & Panel
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

China imported record-high volumes of softwood lumber in 2016 and softwood log imports reached their second highest level on record. Despite relatively pessimistic forecasts for wood demand early in 2016, China’s need for imported wood picked up during the summer and fall with import volumes of both logs and lumber being up about 20% in the 4Q/16 as compared to the 4Q/15. Total importation of logs and lumber (in roundwood equivalents) reached almost 76 million m3 in 2016, which was up 17% from 2015, and almost 38% higher than five years ago, according to the Wood Resource Quarterly (WRQ).

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Slovenia: Value of purchased roundwood increased by 50% in December

Lesprom
March 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Slovenia’s roundwood purchased from private owners in December 2016 was worth Euro 6.3 million, which is about 11% more than in the previous month (mainly due to the higher quantity of purchased wood), as the Statistical Office of the Republic of Slovenia said in the press release received by Lesprom Network. The value of purchased sawlogs and veneer logs was higher by 6% and of pulpwood by almost 46%. The value of purchased other industrial roundwood was higher by almost 28% and of wood fuel by 12%. The value of roundwood purchased from private owners in December 2016 was more than 50% higher than in December 2015, mainly due to the higher quantity of purchased wood.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

2017 Wood Award Winners Video

By BC Wood WORKS!
You Tube
March 10, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

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New building code adopted by Saint John in hopes of spurring growth

By Joseph Tunney
CBC News
March 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada East, Canada

Saint John is adopting the most recent standards of the National Building Code, allowing taller structures to go up with cheaper materials, with the hopes of attracting projects and people to the uptown core. “What it does is it allows developers that are looking at building new buildings the ability to add a couple more floors,” said Keith Brideau of Historica Developments, one of the many developers that came out for the announcement. The 2015 National Building Code allows six-storey wood-frame structures to be built uptown. Wood-framed structures were previously limited to four storeys under the previous version of the National Building Code from 2010.

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Scientists at University of Minnesota develop Natural Synthetic Rubber

By Manju Mathew
Tires and Parts
March 9, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

In a development that could eventually have significant impact on the tire industry, scientists at the University of Minnesota have come up with new technology to make automobile tires from grasses and trees. The University of Minnesota’s Office for Technology Commercialization, has already applied for a patent on the renewable rubber technology and says it will license the technology to companies that would like to scale it up on a commercial basis. …Paul Dauenhauer, a University of Minnesota associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science and lead researcher of the study said that the team came up with a new process to make isoprene, which is the key ingredient in the rubber of for car tires, from natural substances like corn, grasses and trees.

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Forestry

Forestry audit finds Husby meets B.C., Haida Gwaii standards

By Andrew Hudson
Haida Gwaii Observer
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s forestry watchdog says recent work by Husby Forest Products meets the legal standards set by the province and by the Haida Gwaii land-use order. Last summer, B.C.’s Forest Practices Board did a random audit that looked at all of Husby’s logging, silviculture, and fire-protection work near Collison Point and Eden Lake over a two-year period starting in August 2014. As it happens, when the auditing team of two foresters, an engineer, and a chartered account were actually on Haida Gwaii doing field work last Aug. 22 and 23, dry weather and an extreme fire danger rating had forced Husby to shut down all its forest operations. Still, the auditors found Husby had taken the right steps and had fire-fighting tools on hand. “Husby had abated fire hazards in an effective and timely manner and now has a system in place to conduct hazard assessments in the future,” said Ryan in a March 2 press release.

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Canfor: Live Cutblock Tour for Students Who Braved the Cold

By Bonnie Bridges
Northern Opportunities
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Students from School District 60’s North Peace Secondary School braved the frigid temperatures to take part in an annual cutblock tour on Monday, March 6. Wind chill brought the temperature to a feel of -28, but students enthusiastically proceeded to witness amazing heavy duty machinery and operators perform their skilled work. Students were exposed to the full logging process. They observed standing forest all the way to shipment of logs via logging truck. First, surveyors collect data on a harvest site, then feller buncher machines (with very powerful circular saw blades) cut the trees down and lay them down in loose groups. …Thanks go out to Fred Klassen, site superintendent and Wes Neumeir of Canfor for showing the group around and providing many insights. Thanks to all for braving the frigid temperatures and enjoying a day in nature.

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Conservation Authority engages public on forest management plan

By Lynne Brown
Sault This Week
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

On Tuesday, March 7th 2017, The Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority (SSMRCA) held a public forum to share details of a recently completed Draft Forest Management Plan… “The last Forest Management Plan was done in 2007 and expires at the end of December 2017… The Forest Management Plan is a guide for forestry activities, including forest management, provisions for wildlife habitat, recreation and education. It provides the overall direction for an ecosystem-based approach to the management of the SSMRCAs forested properties… “One of the main challenges is that our staff are not specialists in forestry. “Another challenge is that we don’t have a lot of money. 

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Change overdue in forestry practices

Letter to the Editor by Tom Miller
New Glasgow News
March 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but that’s because the record is broken! The reporting of Lloyd Hines, Minister of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), speaking to the Pictou County Chamber of Commerce last Thursday is an example of our government leading from the top – down. I always thought that governments were there to carry out the wishes of the people. Not anymore, I guess… The industry’s reliance on clear-cutting (over 85 per cent of all harvesting) is rapidly depleting this resource, releasing carbon into the atmosphere and causing the loss of important soil nutrients, particularly nitrogen. I’m not calling for any mill closures as my livelihood as a woodlot owner and operator would obviously be affected, but I agree with a change in practices and said so to Voluntary Planning.

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Forest modeling topic of talk in Forks tonight

Peninsula Daily News
March 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

FORKS — Forestry technology expert David Diaz will share his experience and outlook on using cutting-edge mapping and forest modeling for landowners at Evening Talks at the Olympic National Resources Center at 7 tonight. …Diaz is the director of forestry technology and analytics at Ecotrust. The Portland, Ore.-based organization works to foster prosperous communities along the West Coast. In 2014, Ecotrust launched a free web application, “Forest Planner,” to enable landowners in Oregon and Washington to visualize and compare tradeoffs of different forest management approaches customized to their property, including carbon sequestration, timber production and economics, and fire hazards.

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Rob Bishop: Republicans seek ‘paradigm shift’ in federal land management

By Bartholomew D Sullivan
Statesman Journal
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

WASHINGTON — Four days after Donald Trump took office, Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz introduced legislation to dispose of 3.3 million acres of federal land in 10 Western states. Nine days later, after public protests and irate phone calls from sportsmen and others, he withdrew the bill. Last week, Natural Resources Chairman Rob Bishop, another Utah Republican, wrote to colleagues, saying “it’s time for a paradigm shift in our nation’s approach to federal land management” and called for $50 million to be set aside to facilitate conveyances of federal land to state, local and tribal governments. Both proposals illustrate the radical shift in public land policy that has been a goal of Republicans for several years.

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Association says counties were shortchanged over fed timber payments

Associated Press in the Mail Tribune
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The BLM illegally withheld federal timber payments from Douglas and 17 other Oregon counties, the Association of O&C Counties said this week. The association has asked the federal government to correct what it calls a “costly mistake” in calculating how much money those counties get. The association sent letters to Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke and Oregon’s congressional delegation Monday urging them to take prompt action. The counties receive 50 percent of timber receipts generated from harvests on 2.1 million acres of land formerly owned by the Oregon & California Railroad, and now owned by the federal government In Fiscal Year 2016, their share was calculated at $20.2 million, but the counties say the distribution in January was $1.4 million short. That’s because the BLM argued it had to sequester 6.9 percent of the counties’ share. It based that decision on the Budget Control Act of 2011.

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Elliott is the heartbeat of Oregon

Letter by Joe R. Blakely
The Register-Guard
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Donald Alexander’s letter to the editor was right on target (“Elliott sale may mean economic hit,” March 9). We should save the Elliott State Forest. Of the three people on the State Land Board, Gov. Kate Brown is the only one trying to save the Elliott. That means next month, when the board meets, odds are the largest old growth forest in our state will be sold to a timber company. It also means that only the few will reap the benefits from the Elliott. I don’t understand it. Right now this forest represents so many positives: the saving of the spotted owl, saving the marbled murrelet, saving coho salmon, saving old growth trees, saving carbon dioxide storage, saving treasured fishing and hunting habitat and saving an untold number of other flora and fauna species.

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Governor’s staff lobbies treasurer on Elliott Forest proposal

By Claire Withycombe
Portland Tribune
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

SALEM — Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s staff met with members of the Oregon Treasurer’s Office Wednesday as part of the governor’s efforts to get traction for her plan to avoid selling the Elliott State Forest. …Treasurer Tobias Read and Secretary of State Dennis Richardson serve alongside the governor as part of the State Land Board, the governing body for Common School Fund trust lands such as the Elliott. Read and Richardson voted in favor of continuing with the privatization proposal last month. …Brown cannot lobby either Read or Richardson directly because their meeting on board business would constitute a quorum of the board, and would be subject to Oregon’s open meetings law.

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Replanting Underway Within Rim Fire Burn Scar

By B.J. Hansen
My MotherLode
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Groveland, CA — Volunteers have started heading out this season to replant trees in areas burned by the 2013 Rim Fire. Around 25,000 trees will be planted by groups of volunteers in the Groveland area throughout March. Clare Long of the US Forest Service notes that most of the trees are grown at a nursery near Placerville, and new this year, 4,800 are coming from a nursery put together by female jail inmates in Tuolumne County. She says among the early groups that have helped with tree planting are the Friends of Berkeley Tuolumne Camp and Curtis Creek Elementary School. The volunteer efforts are being coordinated in partnership with the Tuolumne River Trust. In addition, about two times as many trees will be planted by professional contractors this season. Long adds,

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Slower winds in forecast could aid crews battling wildfires

By Heather Hollingsworth
The Missoulian
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The winds fueling deadly wildfires that scorched vast swathes of land in four Plains states finally dropped Thursday, bringing hope to crews trying to contain the blazes. Emergency personnel warned, however, that extremely dry conditions and hot spots could cause a flare-up, even in areas where there’s “not much left to burn.” Most of the burned land is in Kansas, where about 2,000 firefighters have been battling a series of blazes that consumed more than 1,000 square miles and damaged or destroyed dozens of structures. The firefight Thursday was focused on four counties, down from 21 on Monday.

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The decision was made, now Oregon should sell the Elliott State Forest

By Debra Fromdahl, president/CEO, Roseburg Area Chamber of Commerce and Timm Slater, executive director, Coos Bay Area Chamber of Commerce
The Oregonian
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…Discussions about selling the Elliott State Forest started long ago. The decision was made. Highly-regarded local entities stepped forward, united and worked together to create a solution in the best interest of our state. It’s time for our elected leaders to honor the protocol they established and move forward. We support and appreciate the vote at the Feb. 14 land board meeting to accept and move this proposal forward. We applaud newly-elected State Treasurer Tobias Read’s thoughtful and fair modifications to the venture that will add further protections for the forest long-term. The land board meets again in April and it is certainly our hope its members bring this issue to a conclusion predicated on its February decision.

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House Bill 155 Supports Alternative to Logging Ketchikan’s Iconic Deer Mountain

By Mary Kauffman
SitNews
March 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Juneau, Alaska – Monday, Representative Dan Ortiz (I-Ketchikan) introduced House Bill 155, which details the process for swap lands between the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and the U.S. Forest Service. The Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority uses revenue from Trust-owned property and lands to provide funding for programs and services that benefit people with mental illnesses, developmental disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injuries, and substance abuse disorders. One piece of Trust-owned land is Ketchikan’s iconic Deer Mountain, which has been considered for logging.

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Public lands, public involvement

By Joan May, San Miguel County commissioner
The Telluride Daily Planet
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture released a planning rule that governs the use and management of our nation’s 154 protected national forests that cover almost 200 million acres of land (19 percent of which is wilderness) within our country. It’s like a land use code for forests.  We’ve only had one such forest service planning rule before, and that was written in 1982. Things are a bit different now than they were before the advent of snowboards and mountain bikes, back before new advances in mining, drilling and timber harvest expedited extraction. It was written before revenue generated by recreation dwarfed revenue generated by resource extraction on those lands and before billions of dollars a year were diverted to fire suppression, before we took climate change seriously, and before knowledge about things like spotted owls influenced forest planning. There has clearly been a need for a new rule. However, every revision to date has been successfully knocked down by lawsuits, alternatively by the timber industry or by environmental groups. 

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Greenpeace to take Indonesian forestry ministry to Supreme Court over environmental data

By Philip Jacobson
Mongabay
March 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Greenpeace will appeal a Jakarta court’s ruling against its freedom of information request directed at the Indonesian Ministry of Environment and Forestry, setting up an encounter between the NGO and President Joko Widodo’s administration in the nation’s highest court. Greenpeace wants the ministry to release a range of data pertaining to the management of the country’s natural resources, especially in the forestry, agribusiness and mining sectors. Much of the data is already available as PDF and JPEG files, but Greenpeace is specifically seeking it in the shapefile (SHP) format. Shapefiles allow for much more sophisticated analysis and watchdogs say it is crucial that they have it if they are to play a monitoring role in the world’s third-largest democracy. Indonesia is less than two decades removed from a military dictatorship historians describe as one of the modern era’s most rapacious and corrupt.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

UK report confirms positive impact of biomass on carbon, forests

By U.S. Industrial Pellet Association
Biomass Magazine
March 9, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International

A report released yesterday by the UK Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, titled “Use of North American woody biomass in UK electricity generation”, reaffirms the positive impact of US biomass industry on US forests and carbon emissions. Speaking about the report, USIPA Executive Director Seth Ginther said, “This study confirms that biomass sourced from US forests is sustainable and carbon beneficial and that bioenergy plays a key role in reducing emissions and mitigating climate change as a low-cost replacement for fossil fuels. The report reaffirms the findings of countless academics and scientists – that when sourced sustainably, biomass can play an important role as a baseload renewable energy source.

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