Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: October 24, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

Industry’s call for more science in Caribou plans called ‘disingenuous’

Tree Frog Forestry News
October 24, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

Derek Nighbor’s (FPAC) call for more science in Caribou protection plans is designed to “cast doubt on the science of caribou conservation“, according to Desmog Canada; while the Wildlife Conservation Society calls Ontario’s lack of Caribou leadership “unacceptable and shocking“. Such colourful language and PR antics like last week’s Forest Funeral may draw headlines, but Cassie Turple (of Ledwidge Lumber) expresses dismay and asks “does anyone else find it ironic that a forest funeral is carried out in a wooden casket?”

In Forestry news: the Seattle Times has a story on the urgent need to invest in wildfire prevention, and a story on how the “wildfire fight” is bringing Northwest Democrats and Republicans together. Elsewhere, Portugal is stepping up its wildfire response as warm weather persists.

In Business news, a Japanese conglomerate is buying 48% of Pacific BioEnergy (a BC wood-pellet company), while a British company aims to build a wood-to-jet-fuel refinery in Natchez Mississippi. Finally, innovation dominates the Wood Products news with ways to make maple into ebony; bark tannins into glue and cellulose into tin can coatings.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

 

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Business & Politics

Japanese conglomerate buys 48% share in B.C. wood-pellet producer

Business in Vancouver
October 23, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

A Prince-George-based wood-pellet manufacturing plant – the second largest of its kind in Canada – has sold a 48% stake in the company to a Japanese conglomerate, the province announced Monday. …Katsunori Takamitsu, Sumitomo’s general manager of biomass said in a statement that the pellets are seen as a clean, reliable fuel that will “provide a high-quality and consistent supply” to Japan’s utilities sector for power generation. The Japanese company has been importing from B.C. since 2008, and Takamitsu said the investment allows for Pacific BioEnergy to grow further in Japan. B.C. officials have also expressed hope that the investment will mean Pacific’s wood pellets would see an increase access to markets throughout Asia through Sumitomo’s worldwide network.

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‘Suspicious’ Creswell mill fire one of the largest in recent history, officials say KVAL

KVAL
October 23, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

CRESWELL, Ore. — Fire officials continue to investigate a fire at a Creswell mill that could cost as much as half a million dollars in damage. The state fire marshal is now investigating. Neighbors reported flames at the Creswell Forest Products facility on Butte Road around 7 p.m. Sunday. Around 20 firefighters responded, but officials say all the lumber inside went up in flames. Officials said there was also a fire on 8th in a barrel. The estimated cost of damages so far is $200,000, which included a damaged forklift, a covered structure, pallets, miscellaneous lumber and offices. It took firefighters between 45 minutes and an hour to knock down the blaze. There were no injuries reported. Officials say it was one of the larger fires they’ve seen in recent history in Creswell: “In my time, since the big Bald Knob fire and that was years ago,” said South Lane Fire District Captain Aaron Smith, referring to the Bald Knob veneer mill fire in 2008.

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Buoyant forestry industry plugging dairy’s economic dip

By Brad Markham
Stuff.co.nz
October 24, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

…Long truck and trailer units loaded with perfectly straight radiata pine logs, rumbling along the highway between Hawera and New Plymouth. I often wonder what hillside they’ve been plucked from and where they’re destined.  The majority end up stacked in back-to-back piles lining the wharf at the Port of Taranaki.  Logs are a growing business for the ratepayer-owned port and they’re rolling in and out in record numbers. That’s meant the port has had to adapt its operations to meet the needs of its forestry customers. According to the port’s 2016 annual report, 357,000 JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standard tonnage) were exported during that financial year. That was well up on the 209,000 JAS shipped overseas in 2015. As a result, log revenue soared 80 per cent, which helped offset a fall in commodity imports and exports. That growth is showing no sign of easing. According to the Port of Taranaki’s latest annual report, its “log business continues to grow exponentially”. 

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

New wood technology, materials and science enhance safety and structural performance

reThinkWood
Globe Newswire
October 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Washington, DC — At a time when engineers, designers and builders must find solutions for a resource constrained environment, new wood technology, materials and science are accelerating efforts to enhance safety and structural performance. International Building Code requires all building systems, regardless of materials used, to perform to the same level of health and safety standards. These codes have long recognized wood’s performance capabilities and allow its use in a wide range of low- to mid-rise residential and non-residential building types. Moreover, wood often surpasses steel and concrete in terms of strength, durability, fire safety, seismic performance and sustainability – among other qualities.

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Equinox West Georgia Street build an innovation exercise

By Peter Kenter
Journal of Commerce
October 23, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Equinox West Georgia Street inspires fitness enthusiasts to work their hardest. Refurbishing the existing space into the organization’s first Vancouver club also inspired three contractors to work their hardest: Novacom Building Partners Ltd., BC Hardwood and Daryl Evans Mechanical Ltd. …The prominence of wood floor features in the facility offered significant challenges, says Dennis Bartlett, senior project manager at BC Hardwood. …The company installed 5,000 square feet of luxury walnut hardwood flooring at the club. …The pièce de résistance: an Equinox logo stenciled onto the floor, followed by a fresh coat of finish. Other rooms required distinct flooring choices: two types of rubber, and three types of cork. In total, BC Hardwood installed 5,000 square feet of rubber and cork combined.

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Penn State creates food packaging material from wood and shells

By David Templeton
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
October 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: US East, United States

Jeffrey Catchmark had the ideal formula for an all-natural, nontoxic coating to replace plastic coatings and packaging used in the food industry, among other uses. Not only would it be cheaper than plastics but his formula would be biodegradable and nonpolluting.  …Its components include cellulose pulp from wood or cotton and a material known as chisosan, derived from chitin, a main component of exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans. Cellulose, the main component of wood, is one of the most readily available materials on the planet, Mr. Catchmark said. …He now is seeking a patent on the material, which he said could be used in wood-fiber composites for flooring, impervious films and industrial coatings and adhesives. It also could replace formaldehyde-based adhesives in many construction materials as well as uses in eco-friendly  cosmetics.  

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Adhesives and composite materials made from Swiss tree bark

By The Swiss National Science Foundation
Phys.Org
October 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Studies conducted by the National Research Programme show that tannins extracted from native tree bark can be used to produce adhesives and composite materials. …The bark of native conifers is known as a waste product in the timber industry. …Tannins are a focus of Swiss wood research. Frédéric Pichelin and his team at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Biel see great potential in native tree barks. …Tannin extracts are already employed in wood adhesives. But they are mostly extracted from tropical wood and are produced overseas. Tree bark of native conifers is never used in commercial tannin extraction. The researchers in Biel …have developed methods to extract tannins from native tree bark and tested their suitability in the production of adhesives for fibreboards and chipboards.

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Swiss create sustainable – and legal – ebony substitute

Swiss Info
October 24, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Researchers have developed a way to modify domestic Swiss wood species to mimic the acoustic properties of the endangered tropical hardwood ebony, long prized as a key material in violin-making. The start-up, Swiss Wood Solutions, was founded by researchers from the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) and the federal technology institute ETH Zurich. It uses sustainably grown Swiss maple in its process, which involves soaking, drying and then pressing the wood with a heat press. The end product is a wood with similar acoustic properties to prized tropical woods like ebony, used in violin and viola-making, or grenadilla, used to build clarinets and oboes.

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Forestry

Board to audit West Fraser Mills Ltd.

BC Forest Practices Board
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA – The Forest Practices Board will examine the activities of West Fraser Mills Ltd. on tree farm licence 52, near Quesnel, during the week of Oct. 30, 2017. Auditors will examine whether harvesting, roads, silviculture, fire protection and associated planning, carried out between July 2016 and October 2017, met the requirements of the Forest and Range Practices Act and the Wildfire Act. Tree farm licence 52 consists of two blocks: one is located east of Quesnel toward Bowron Lake Provincial Park and one northwest of Quesnel along the Fraser River. The operating area is 293,485 hectares and consists of mainly spruce and lodgepole pine trees.

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A BC-Specific Species and Eco-Systems at Risk Legislation– An Opportunity for Policy Innovation

By Les Kiss, RPF, Vice President, Forestry, Coast Forest Products Association
Coast Forest Products Association
October 20, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Premier Horgan has tasked Environment Minister George Heyman to develop a new species at risk legislation for British Columbia. Coast Forest Products Association believes this creates an opportunity to generate made-in-BC policies and legislation which will account for the social, environmental and economic interests of British Columbians while managing species at risk. Coastal companies have a long history of science-based, responsible habitat management for species such as the Marbled Murrelet, Northern Goshawk, Grizzly Bear, Vancouver Island Marmot and others.  We operate in a world-class regulatory land use framework that emphasizes habitat management for wildlife, fish biodiversity and species at risk.  

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How one First Nations band councillor also runs a successful forestry business

By Maria Church
Canadian Forest Industries
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West
Don Matthew has a lot on his plate. The 45-year-old is both a band councillor for Simpcw First Nation and the founder and owner of Chinook Cove Contracting – a successful timber harvesting, pipeline maintenance, mechanical site prep and road building company in B.C. …Chinook Cove Contracting had its start in 1998, a significant year for many First Nations people in Canada. “After the Delgamuukw decision I could see a swing where more opportunities were coming for First Nations peoples,” Matthew says. The Degamuukw decision was a ruling by the Supreme Court of Canada in December 1997 that set precedents in Canada on legal cases involving Aboriginal Title. Matthew is a member of Simpcw First Nation, a division of the Secwepemc, or Shuswap Nation. The band’s territory covers about five million hectares of land from Barriere to north of McBride, B.C.

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Logging impacts Wells Gray Park tourism benefits

Letter by Tay Briggs, manager – Wells Gray Adventures
BC Local News
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

I was interested to read the recent article in The Times regarding the meeting at the forest service discussing the visual impact of logging on the road into Wells Gray Park. Though a visual quality designation that recognizes the important tourism value of this area would be welcome, it is important for people involved in the tourism industry to understand this discussion will have no impact on the logging that CANFOR is currently doing in the Clearwater River corridor. Despite many requests from community members, CANFOR has not acknowledged the need to help the tourism industry maintain a more wilderness feel for the entry into Wells Gray Park.

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Ontario stumbles on caribou protection plan

By Ainslie Cruickshank
Toronto Star
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Ontario once led the way in boreal caribou recovery planning, but now the province has failed alongside most other jurisdictions to develop critical range protection plans by a deadline laid out five years ago. The science is clear that further habitat protection is needed, but the provinces and territories are “all very behind,” said Justina Ray, the president and senior scientist of the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada… In the meantime, the Woodland Caribou boreal population has continued to decline, a signal the entire ecosystem could be at risk, she said. …For her, the exemptions to Ontario’s endangered species act for industries such as forestry and mining are a key concern. Those exemptions, which are due to expire next summer, allow industry to destroy boreal caribou habitat under approved forest management plans.

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‘Disingenuous’ Forest Industry Campaign Tries to Undermine Protection of Endangered Caribou

By Carol Linnitt
De Smog Canada
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

A forestry industry lobby group is working to undermine Canada’s plans to protect endangered caribou, according to several experts. The campaign, ‘Caribou Facts,’ launched by the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), is designed to cast doubt on the science of caribou conservation. Several caribou populations in Canada are listed as threatened or endangered under the Species At Risk Act, which means provincial and federal governments are legally required to protect habitat and develop recovery plans to avoid localized extinction. Scientists have pinpointed habitat fragmentation, caused by things like oil and gas activity, seismic lines, forestry and hydroelectric development, as the leading cause of caribou declines.

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Forestry sector maligned

Letter by Cassie Turple, Ledwidge Lumber
The Chronicle Herald
October 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Cassie Turple

I find it disappointing how little some Nova Scotians know about an issue but feel the need to speak out about it. I read the story about the “Forest Funeral” in downtown Halifax and was surprised and dismayed by the quotes from some local academics who are simply misinformed, and then that misinformation gets spread.  …Those in the forest industry live and work here. Not out west. Here. We provide good jobs to Nova Scotian families — just as we’ve done for the last 100 years in this province. We love the outdoors and spend most of our time there. We know that a clearcut can be part of a healthy cycle to a forest, and that just because trees are cut down doesn’t mean the end of the forest. It’s a renewable resource.

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Warm weather may deprive some areas of vivid red fall colours

CBC News
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Unseasonably warm weather in parts of Canada may deprive some areas of one of their trademark natural attractions — rich fall colours. A forestry expert says the vivid red leaves that draw crowds of tourists to areas of Ontario and parts of Quebec are triggered by bright sunshine combined with cold temperatures. Sean Thomas, a professor of forest ecology at the University of Toronto, says trees start breaking down the chlorophyll in their leaves in the fall in order to draw out nutrients such as nitrogen and store them over the winter. He says chlorophyll is what gives leaves their green colour, so as it is broken down, other pigments such yellow and orange are revealed.

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Feinstein & Wyden: How to stop the next deadly fire

By Dianne Feinstein, Senator and Ron Wyden, Senator
CNN in KBZK.com
October 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Dianne Feinstein

Ron Wyden

Over the last two weeks, the nation’s attention has been on California, which has suffered the most destructive series of wildfires in recent history. …While fires still blaze across the West, the immediate focus must be containing fires, evacuating communities at risk and providing temporary food and shelter.  …But once those immediate needs are addressed, we need to examine the long-term implications of this year’s horrendous fire season. Simply put, we need to change how Congress funds federal agencies in charge of forest health and wildfire suppression — the Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management — so they can use their budgets to manage public lands more effectively. …Putting an end to fire borrowing will allow the Forest Service to use its fire prevention funds for their intended purpose: clearing hazardous fuels in our forests and completing other forest management activities, such as processing environmental reviews for areas impacted by insects and disease.

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Environmental groups sue over White Sulphur Springs timber project

By Tom Kuglin
Helena Independent Record
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

A pair of environmental watchdog groups say that the federal government must analyze the cumulative effects of expedited logging and prescribed burning in nearly 5 million acres of Montana deemed insect and disease infested. Three Forks-based Native Ecosystems Council and Helena-based Alliance for the Wild Rockies filed suit recently over the Moose Creek Vegetation Project near White Sulphur Springs, naming Regional Forester Leanne Marten, Forest Service Chief Tony Tooke, and Helena-Lewis and Clark National Forest Supervisor Bill Avey as defendants. The groups make several arguments in the lawsuit, including that the allowance of categorically excluded timber projects under the 2014 Farm Bill must be analyzed for their cumulative impacts, and that the appearance of a grizzly bear in an area previously deemed unoccupied also warrants environmental consideration.

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Wildfire fight brings Northwest Democrats and Republicans together

By Hal Bernton
Seattle Times
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The four Democratic senators from Oregon and Washington have found common ground with Idaho’s two Republican senators in a bill to reduce wildfire risks near communities. The legislation directs federal land managers to focus tree-thinning and brush-removal projects in areas where wildfire would pose the most risk to people, homes and businesses. It also allocates $100 million to help local governments and tribes in high-hazard areas prepare for fires. …The legislation lands in the Senate at the tail end of a fierce Western wildfire season, which has put more pressure on Congress to curb some of the partisan battles over management of fire-prone public lands.

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Old-Growth Infrastructure: Redwood in Los Angeles

By Jared Farmer
KCET
October 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

From Southern California, the redwood forest of Humboldt and Del Norte counties is a two-day drive. It might as well be another country. …At the time of statehood in 1850, something like 2 million acres of northwestern California were covered in redwood. By 2000, only 5 percent of this old growth remained, effectively all of it protected in public reserves. That’s the “redwood forest” famous around the world. There’s also a second, much larger “redwood forest”: cutover land regrown as plantations. …The 2×4 redwood boards you see at Home Depot come from the second-growth forest. Although young redwood is very good material, it’s not superlative like the old stuff. …For the building of California civilization, old-growth redwood “outranked all other natural resources.”

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Nonprofit hopes to boost 4FRI forest thinning

By Emery Cowan
Arizona Daily Sun
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

…As the northern Arizona program restoration manager for The Nature Conservancy, Neil Chapman is well-versed in the overgrown state of the region’s forests. The Four Forest Restoration Initiative, or 4FRI, aims to mechanically thin densely packed ponderosa forests like these, with a goal of completing 1 million acres over 20 years in northern Arizona. But so far, the Forest Service has struggled to get close to the initiative’s ambitious 50,000-acres-per-year goal. Over the past year, logging companies have thinned about 13,000 acres. Now, The Nature Conservancy and the Forest Service hope a new partnership, called the Future Forest program, will help accelerate that pace.

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The need to invest in wildfire prevention and relief is urgent

By Dylan Kruse and Russ Vaagen
The Seattle Times
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Fire seasons are starting earlier and lasting later into the fall. More than 8 million acres have burned so far in 2017. Ash and smoke have made air quality unsafe. Tragic loss of life and homes in California reminds us again what’s at stake. The U.S. Forest Service has spent $2.5 billion on fire suppression this year — a historical record. This shift to more severe and expensive fire seasons has been called the new normal, and that is a terrifying prospect. It’s time to change our approach to wildfire:

  • The government must change how it funds wildfire suppression…
  • Congress must provide relief to help our communities and landscapes recover…
  • Congress must get ahead of the problem…
  • We must all play our part…

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Flathead Forest hopes to release new land-use management plan in mid-November

By Perry Backus
The Missoulian
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

KALISPELL — If all the stars finally align, the Flathead National Forest will release its new land-use management plan sometime in the middle of November. The plan was originally scheduled to be released in June. A change in administration that included delays in filling the top posts required to sign off on the plan, coupled with a delay in getting a final biological opinion from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, pushed the date back, said Joe Krueger, the Flathead’s forest plan revision team leader. The land-use plan will guide multiple-use management of the 2.4 million-acre national forest for decades to come. The last time the Flathead Forest updated its land-use plan was in 1986. Krueger said the complicated process to update the plan, which included analyzing about 33,000 public comments, took about four years. .

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Ecologist Joan Maloof speaks for the silent giants: Old-growth trees

By Adrian Higgins
The Washington Post
October 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Joan Maloof

…As an ecologist and founder of a group called the Old-Growth Forest Network, Maloof is a pro at reading this woodland. …Maloof is, unabashedly, a tree-hugger.  …Maloof is the author, with nature photographer Robert Llewellyn, of a new book about the Eastern deciduous forest, “The Living Forest,” which marries her lyrical text with his images.  The book comes on the heels of another of Maloof’s, “Nature’s Temples,” which more squarely looks at the precarious state of virgin forest, which once covered much of what is now the eastern half of the United States and the Pacific Northwest. 

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Fires caused forest loss the size of New Zealand in 2016

Deutsche Welle
October 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Forest fires last year resulted in record tree loss around the globe – climate change and El Niño were major factors. This is bad news for the world’s carbon sinks. A record 29.7 million hectares (73.4 million acres) of forest were destroyed in 2016, according to new data by Global Forest Watch. Most of the forests were destroyed by wildfires, caused at least in part by climate change that has increased the risks and intensity of wildfires by triggering temperature rise and drought in some areas. The weather phenomenon El Niño, which in 2015 and 2016 was one of the strongest on record, also played a role, having created particularly dry conditions in the tropics. …2017 might be another record-breaker for burning. Blazes have swept through parts of southern Europe, western Canada and the US this year.

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Call for more planting of trees, more use of timber

By Simon Hartley
Otago Daily Times
October 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The forestry sector is front-footing its wish list as New Zealand’s new coalition government takes shape, calling on investment in new plantings and increased timber use. In separate statements, the Wood Council of New Zealand wants the new Government to introduce a wood-first policy for construction of government buildings, while The Forest Owners Association wants priority put on new forest plantings. The Wood Council’s chairman Brian Stanley said there was already a drive from the top for more plantings, a greater thrust for forestry in regional development and a commitment to use trees for carbon sequestration. “[However] the missing link though is the Government specifying wooden construction as the first choice for its new buildings,” he said in a recent statement.

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Portugal steps up wildfire response as warm weather persists

Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
October 23, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Portugal is beefing up its wildfire response by hiring another 17 water-dropping aircraft after forest blazes killed more than 100 people this year. With warm, dry weather stretching into the fall, the government says it is doubling its air fleet to 35 planes and helicopters. Troops were being deployed Monday to patrol forests. Amid a severe drought, Portugal has witnessed its deadliest fire season on record. Sixty-four people were killed in June and another 44 this month. The European Union says the acreage burned this year in Portugal is six times the annual average.

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Chasing the illegal loggers looting the Amazon forest

By Richard Conniff
WIRED
October 24, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The cargo ship Yacu Kallpa rode impatiently at anchor off Iquitos, Peru, a ramshackle city on a bend in the broad, turbulent waters of the Amazon River. …The captain and crew had a long run ahead, nearly 2,300 miles down the Amazon, then another 4,000 miles north to Tampico, Mexico, and finally to Houston, with lumber harvested from the Amazon rain forest. It was a route the ship and its predecessors had run hundreds of times for more than 40 years, hauling millions of pounds of timber at a time, to supply lumberyards and big-box stores across the United States with the ingredients for the floors, decks, and doors of the typical American home. …The vast scale of illegal logging in the Peruvian Amazon has long been an open secret. Government officials didn’t care, and until recently there was little anyone else could do to stop it

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Biofuel company announces plans for Mississippi refinery

Associated Press in Washington Post
October 24, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

NATCHEZ, Miss. — A British company aims to build a refinery in southwest Mississippi that will turn wood into the equivalent of diesel or jet fuel. Velocys announced Friday that it has signed an option for a 100-acre (40-hectare) site in Natchez. The Natchez Democrat reports Velocys plans 40 refinery jobs paying an average of $100,000 yearly, and could indirectly support another 100 forestry jobs paying $40,000 on average.  Mississippi Development Authority Chief Economic Development Officer Billy Klauser says the company could invest several hundred million dollars. The company says Adams County has offered it tax incentives worth $42 million, and says it could get $15 million in state tax breaks. Velocys says Adams County has offered $4 million in land and upgrades and says local utilities have offered $1 million in upgrades.

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