Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 8, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

I’ll huff and I’ll puff but I just can’t blow your CLT house down

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 8, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

The forest sector continues to fight back despite pit falls like fires, insects, and politics. Gerry Mooney, Woodlands Manager for Tolko sums it up well saying, “We’re open for business and we’re looking for opportunities…“. That in the face of a recent mill fire and challenges accessing salvage timber. CIBC analyst Hamir Patel tells Bloomberg that the fire at Tolko’s Lakeview Mill will add pressure to already soaring lumber prices, while ERA analyst Kevin Mason expects many mills will offset duties by jacking up prices. Across the country, in Eastern Canada, Peter Hall, Export Development Canada says pricing and demand south of the border may help New Brunswick absorb softwood duties. 

WoodWorks in cooperation with the USDA Forest Products Lab and the Softwood Lumber Council is rewriting the premise behind the Three Little Pigs – proving that CLT can take a punch. Tests conducted at the Tyndall Air Force Base determined that after a series of blasts test CLT structures remained intact under significant explosive loading. Add these (soon to be released results) to studies conducted by the Swiss National Research Program “Resource Wood” – and the report card for wood looks pretty damn good! Their conclusion? “Exploiting forests makes sense in terms of ecology and biodiversity as it can stabilise CO2 emissions for decades and diminish the greenhouse effect”. It seems wood is “not just a conventional material!

–Sandy McKellar, Tree Frog Editor

 

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Business & Politics

Lofty Lumber Prices Could Rise Even More After Canada Mill Fire

By Jen Skerritt
Bloomberg Markets
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Lumber prices that have soared amid a Canada-U.S. trade dispute could rise even higher after a fire at a British Columbia sawmill cuts supplies. Futures are trading at a 23-year high amid rising demand for housing and after the U.S. imposed tariffs on softwood imports from Canada. The rally could extend after a major fire at Tolko Industries’ Lakeview mill, which accounts for about 2 percent of production in British Columbia’s interior, CIBC analyst Hamir Patel said Monday in a note. …Some Canadian sawmills are raising prices above $500 in an effort to offset countervailing duties of 14.25 percent and anti-dumping duties of 6.58 percent, according to Kevin Mason, managing director of Vancouver-based ERA Forest Products Research. They are “hoping to jack up prices at the Canadian mills to offset final duties,” Mason said in an email.

 

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Crofton mill workers sign collective agreement

By Robert Barron
Cowichan Valley Citizen
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The workers at the Crofton pulp mill have a new four-year contract. Few details of the new collective agreement have been publicly released, other than a statement from Catalyst Paper, which owns the mill, that it is pleased that the contract has been ratified. “We worked hard to achieve a negotiated agreement that recognizes employees’ contributions and reflects the changing realities of our business,” Catalyst’s statement said.

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Western Forest Products Announces Closure of Englewood Train

By Western Forest Products Inc.
Market Wired
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

VANCOUVER, BC – Western Forest Products today announced the closure of its Englewood logging train. This announcement is consistent with the Company’s ongoing efforts to reduce costs and strengthen its competitiveness. Logs will be transported by truck at a lower cost to create efficiencies in the transportation of logs to its mills from northern Vancouver Island forestry operations. …As a result of the closure of the train, these positions will be eliminated. The Company will work with its employees and union representatives to identify opportunities for the impacted employees to transition to other positions within its operations. Accordingly, the reduction in overall jobs is anticipated to be fewer than 15.

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New Brunswick may be in better position to absorb softwood lumber duty hit: Export Development Canada

By Andrew Cromwell
Global News
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

An export expert says there may be a bit of comfort when it comes to duties being imposed on New Brunswick softwood lumber producers. Last week, the U.S. Department of Commerce announced New Brunswick would not be exempt from duties and tariffs of softwood lumber products crossing the border. …Peter Hall, chief economist and vice-president of Export Development Canada, says while New Brunswickers are definitely wincing, both pricing and demand are high south of the border. Mike Legere, executive director of Forest NB, says while it’s business as usual for now, New Brunswick finds itself at a huge disadvantage to its neighbouring jurisdictions, especially Nova Scotia.

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Greenstone mayor looks forward to new forestry, mining jobs

TB Newswatch
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada East, Canada

Renald Beaulieu

THUNDER BAY — An ad inviting people to apply for jobs as sawmill lead hands, debarker operators, lumber graders, general labourers and a wide range of other positions has Greenstone Mayor Renald Beaulieu feeling that better times are ahead for his municipality. Beaulieu says Nakina Lumber Inc., owned by Thunder Bay-based Buchanan Forest Products, has already been started up a few times to test the machinery, and the company has been looking for workers. The sawmill shut down seven years ago, so Beaulieu said its imminent reopening “is great news” for Greenstone. …Beaulieu said the forestry sector in the Greenstone area is already “on a roll,” thanks to the sawmill in Longlac and Aditya Birla’s pulp mill in Terrace Bay. 

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Gorge timber forum examines issues

By Jesse Burkhardt
Hood River News
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Jason Spadaro

This year’s Columbia Gorge Economic Symposium, organized by The Dalles-based Mid-Columbia Economic Development District, focused primarily upon the Columbia River Gorge region’s forest products industry. Several speakers discussed what they saw as the industry’s challenges and opportunities over the next 10 years. Jason Spadaro, president of SDS Lumber Company in Bingen, was the keynote speaker for the event, which was held Thursday at the Hegewald Center in Stevenson. …Spadaro said that sentiment also applies to the forest products industry. “There is a general impression of the decline of the industry,” Spadaro said. “Honestly, nothing is further from the truth. I see a bright future for the industry.” Spadaro listed what he perceived as several main challenges facing the forest products industry in Wasco, Sherman, and Hood River counties in Oregon and Klickitat and Skamania counties in Washington.

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LP Reports Third Quarter 2017 Results

By Louisiana-Pacific Corporation
Business Wire
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

NASHVILLE, Tenn.—-Louisiana-Pacific Corporation (LP) (NYSE: LPX) reported results today for the third quarter of 2017, which included the following:

  • Sales for the third quarter of $718 million were higher by 20 percent compared to the year ago quarter.
  • Income from continuing operations was $111 million ($0.76 per diluted share) compared to $66 million ($0.45 per diluted share) in the third quarter of 2016.
  • Non-GAAP adjusted income from continuing operations was $102 million ($0.70 per diluted share).
  • Adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations for the third quarter was $192 million compared to $111 million in the third quarter of 2016.

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Engineering students get behind-the-scenes view of Weyerhaeuser Company

The Meridian Star
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Neshoba Central High School’s engineering students recently toured Weyerhaeuser Company in Philadelphia for a behind-the-scenes view on how technology impacts the manufacturing process. According to a company representative, a core value of Weyerhaeuser Company is to support the communities where they do business and communicate openly with the public. Those values were demonstrated from its managers, engineers and employees in taking the time to answer students’ questions about how Weyerhaeuser determines the quality of trees and the process of turning those trees into products that are shipped around the world.

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UPM and the Government of Uruguay sign an investment agreement to establish a competitive operating platform for a possible new pulp mill in Uruguay

Nasdaq
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

UPM and the Government of Uruguay have signed an investment agreement, which outlines the local prerequisites for a potential pulp mill investment. The agreement details the roles, commitments and time-line for both parties as well as the relevant items to be agreed prior to the final investment decision. The agreement defines the requirements for the operating environment of a world-class pulp mill project. The site of the mill would be close to the city of Paso de los Toros, in the department of Durazno in central Uruguay. A long-term industrial operation requires stable and predictable operational environment.

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Start of pulp mill in Svetlogorsk could be delayed

EUWID Pulp and Paper
November 7, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

Following massive delays and repeated postponement of commissioning, Belarusian pulp mill in Svetlogorsk may still not be able to start operation this year. According to the latest announcement by Belarusian state-owned operator Bellesbumprom the mill was scheduled to start off on 7 November 2017. Various problems concerning cabling, water pipes as well as waste management amongst others, could however lead to a renewed delay, report Belorusian media, who do not expect the mill to start up before 2018. The site was originally supposed to start operating in October 2015.

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Freight subsidy scheme being exploited by Tasmania for forestry fix, says Wilkie

By Leon Compton
ABC News, Australia
November 8, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

The Tasmanian Government is being accused of rorting a federal subsidy scheme to help solve a lingering forestry issue. The Tasmanian Freight Equalisation Scheme (TFES) helps Tasmanian producers overcome their geographic disadvantage, helping them sell into interstate markets at competitive prices. In 2016 the Federal Government extended the scheme to include products exported internationally from Tasmania, so long as the goods were loaded into containers and trans-shipped through any Australian port. The program was allocated $200 million over four years — great news for Tasmania’s booming agriculture sector, with its eye on growing markets in Asia. But one company employed the scheme for shipping cheap logs, known as residues, out of Hobart. …Because Majestic Timbers is packing the logs into containers, and the ship heads to Asia via Melbourne, the company gets the money for freight under the federal scheme.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

BUILDEX Calgary gets to the root of iconic wood projects

By Kathleen Renne
Journal of Commerce
November 8, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Wood construction will be at the centre of a PechaKucha-style presentation at this year’s BUILDEX Calgary today (Nov. 8). Titled Iconic Wood Projects, the presentation will feature three architects who will be discussing their respective wood buildings. On the program are Bill Marshall, a principal with Marshall Tittemore Architects, who’ll be discussing the Canmore Civic Centre; Troy Smith, a principal with Group2 Architecture, who’ll be showcasing the Meadows Recreation Centre in Edmonton; and Vedran Skopac, an architect with Manasc Isaac Architects, who will be talking about Edmonton’s Mosaic Centre for Conscious Community and Commerce. The presentation will be headed up by Rory Koska, the program director of WoodWORKS! Alberta.

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WoodWorks Leads Successful Blast Testing of Loaded Mass Timber Structures

Wood Products Council
Business Wire
November 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States

WASHINGTON — WoodWorks, in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service Forest Products Lab and Softwood Lumber Board, conducted a second series of blast tests on three existing two-story, single-bay CLT structures at Tyndall Air Force Base—the same structures involved in a series of initial blast tests performed in 2016. While a full analysis will be published early next year, on-site observations are decidedly positive. All structures remained intact under significant explosive loading well beyond their design capacity. “Last year, we tested the structures under their own self-weight,” said Bill Parsons, VP of Operations for WoodWorks. “Those tests were successful and, this year, we built on that effort by testing whether the design methods established as a result of those initial tests needed to be adjusted when the buildings carried typical gravity loads and included different connection configurations, increased panel thickness, and alternate mass timber wall systems.”

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City backs timber high-rise with $6M in affordable housing funds

By Jon Bell
Portland Business Journal
November 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

The Portland project being billed as the first new high-rise in the country constructed out of wood has landed $6 million from the Portland Housing Bureau for the building’s 60 affordable housing units. In a release, Home Forward, local developer project^ and the team behind the Framework building announced that PHB had awarded the project $6 million from its Fast Starts program. That initiative helps speed up construction of affordable housing units. “By investing in Framework, our city will now be home to the first skyscraper made from wood in the United States,” Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler said in the release. “This project not only reflects Oregon’s leadership in the newly emerging wood products industry of Cross Laminated Timber, it also demonstrates our city’s commitment to finding innovative ways to quickly deliver affordable units during our housing crisis.”

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Wood goes high-tech

Swiss National Science Foundation
Phy.org
November 7, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: International

Wood could potentially replace petrol in chemistry and concrete in construction, according to studies conducted under the National Research Programme “Resource Wood.” They show how precious chemical compounds can be extracted from wood, how its usability as a building material can be improved, and how forest management can be optimsed. Wood is not just a conventional material, it also has great innovation potential as a high-tech component and raw material for chemistry. This is one of the conclusions of the National Research Programme “Resource Wood” (NRP 66), which is nearing its end after five years of research. Research participating in NRP 66 have developed new construction methods and analysed forest management in Switzerland. … “Exploiting forests makes sense in terms of ecology and biodiversity as it can stabilise CO2 emissions for decades and diminish the greenhouse effect,” Martin Riediker says.

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Forestry

Tolko Industries wants salvage timber and reduced stumpage

By Ken Alexander
Quesnel Cariboo Observer
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

…Quesnel mayor and council agreed to take a message to Forests (FLNRO&RD) Minister Doug Donaldson’s staff on behalf of Tolko Industries Ltd. Mayor Bob Simpson asked Tolko’s Tom Hoffman what message he would like him to give to them. Hoffman said … “We need to access to burnt timber and it’s imperative to have a salvage plan, and time is of the essence. …It is going to be expensive to harvest and mill burnt wood, he added. …Gerry Mooney, Tolko’s woodlands manager – harvesting for the Cariboo, talked about the salvage plan. …“We’re open for business and we’re looking at opportunities to continue fibre up that mill. “We want our workforce to stick with us. We want those guys who have left the community to realize there’s a future here with Tolko and that we’re committed to fibre up this facility.

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Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest

By Corey Bullock
The Kimberly Daily Bulletin
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

In timing with the federal government’s recent report on dwindling caribou herds and habitats, Wildsight is announcing the debut of the film Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest. The film explores the threatened world of the mountain caribou and their home in the inland temperate rainforest. It will be shown in Kimberley on Thursday, Nov. 9 and Cranbrook on Friday, Nov. 10, presented by Wildsight and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. …The film, produced by noted wildlife photographer David Moskowitz and Wild Confluence for the Mountain Caribou Initiative, is on a twelve-stop Kootenay tour with Wildsight and Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative this November. It is also being shown across BC, Alberta, the US Pacific Northwest and beyond.

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Old-growth forest debate ignites discussion

By Hanna Petersen
North Island Gazette
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

A returning discussion series about old-growth forest once again drew a passionate crowd of foresters and residents from all over the North Island. …the Sierra Club BC and the Wilderness Committee hosted their discussion series. …“It is our organization’s perspective that Vancouver Island’s original forest covers the original ecosystems that are at the brink of collapse and that the timing is an extremely unfortunate one in relation to our climate context, ocean acidification, and degradation,” said Worthing. …“To be frankly honest, I moved up to Port McNeill in 1979 because I married a faller,” said Port McNeill Mayor Shirley Ackland. “Forestry raised my family and it is kind of like a red rag to a bull for small communities that live, breath, eat, and raise their families in forestry to have people that come from a different area telling people up here how our ecosystems need to be preserved, or what we need to do.”

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Northern Ontario municipal leaders refute caribou claims

TB Newswatch
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

THUNDER BAY — Two groups representing municipalities across northern Ontario have issued a joint statement challenging environmentalists’ claims about efforts to preserve and protect woodland caribou populations. Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association president Wendy Landry and Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities president Alan Spacek say climate change appears to be the real threat, and activists who allege that Ontario has not taken steps to save the species are “10 years behind the current state of science.”   Their statement, issued on Tuesday, says recently-published articles are working against the “substantial” efforts the province, industry, communities and stakeholders have taken to study the habitat of caribou in the Boreal forest.

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China reported moving shipping containers to U.S. logging sites

Karl Forth
Woodworking Network
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States

China is reportedly moving shipping containers directly to logging sites in the United States, which itself is not good as they will be removing logs from an already tight log market. According to sources confirmed by Gene Wengert, the Wood Doctor, Chinese buyers are paying 50 percent more than the typical sawmill price for logs. They are paying the equivalent of $900 per 1000 bf, which means the wood will be very expensive when they saw it. The species they want are red oak, white oak, hickory and cherry. They have markets that will pay this high price. This, overall, will increase lumber prices within our country due to shortage of logs, Wengert said. …It will also make U.S. exports more expensive and imports from China of non-U.S. woods more competitive.

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Public lands advocates push collaborative approach

By Rob Chaney
The Missoulian
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Collaboration brings people together. Lawsuits divide them. Reaching the first without triggering the second remains the challenge for those interested in the future of forests. Montana public lands currently have between 30,000 and 40,000 acres left in legal limbo because of litigation, participants at Montana Forest Collaboration Network conference heard Tuesday. Getting beyond that might take congressional legislation or simply better local relationships, according to panel moderator Brian Kahn. “Blaming environmentalists for litigation is politically inflammatory,” Kahn said. “It’s said by people who don’t know that eight out of 10 environmentalists are participants in collaborative efforts. That kind of polarization is fertile ground for demagoguery.”

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State challenges national forest roadless rule again

By Ed Schoenfeld
KTOO
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The state of Alaska is again trying to overturn the U.S. Forest Service’s roadless rule. Officials on Nov. 6 appealed a September court decision that threw out an earlier state challenge. The rule mostly blocks logging in undeveloped areas of the Tongass National Forest. It was established more than 15 years ago, but the Tongass was given an exemption, which was later overturned. Assistant Attorney General Tom Lenhart said the state continues to challenge the roadless rule because it’s damaging Southeast Alaska’s economy. “It’s played a key role in the almost complete demise of the timber industry,” he said. “It’s impacted utility companies and rural communities who may have future plans to build additional roads to connect to the outside world.” The Southeast Alaska Conservation Council is one of the environmental groups that supported the rule in court. .

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Don’t let this federal wildfire fix go up in smoke

By the Editorial Board
Tri-City Herald
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Washington state officials recently released a 20-year plan to improve the health of our forests and reduce wildfires. Put together by 56 representatives from 33 agencies and organizations, it provides a guide for dealing with problems such as sick trees and overgrown forests. The hope is that over time we can limit the spread of devastation caused by wildfires — something our state and Western region have struggled to deal with over several summers. Now it’s time for federal lawmakers to do their part. …Whatever the differences, the goal of both the House and Senate proposals is the same: to make our forests healthy once again, and to prevent them from burning up year after year. Federal lawmakers on both sides of the aisle need to find a way to compromise.

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A plea to DC: Save the Tongass plan

By Liz Ruskin
Alaska Public Media
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Congress recently learned it has the power to overturn the amended Tongass Land Management Plan, a document that was years in the making.  A Juneau business owner flew to Washington, D.C. with a message for the Alaska Congressional delegation: “Don’t.” The plan for the Tongass National Forest was completed in the final weeks of the Obama administration, and Keegan McCarthy likes it. He’s a commercial fisherman and operates a small cruise company. McCarthy says the delegation seems to have an outsized focus on the timber industry and his mission is to remind them other Tongass-dependent businesses are providing jobs and economic stimulus.“The timber industry did bring a lot to Southeast Alaska in its heyday. Some good. Some bad,” Keegan said. “But Southeast Alaska has evolved.

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The forest condundrum

By Peter Aleshire
The White Mountain Independent
November 7, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Four years ago, 19 firefighters died in terror and agony trying to save Yarnell. …We resolved that we would finally learn the lessons their deaths contained. …So the Roundup and the White Mountain Independent… resolved to document the problem and the solutions in this unprecedented five-month effort involving both newspaper staffs. So here’s what we gleaned: We created the current crisis through a century of mismanagement; projections of rising temperatures and deeper droughts almost guarantee the problem will get much worse in coming decades; firefighters can’t stop the big fires; only massive forest restoration can help in the long term; we probably can’t afford to thin more than a fraction of the necessary land without help from a reinvented timber industry. So where does this leave us? …We have to adapt our communities to wildfire, just as evolution adapted the ponderosa pine forest to fire.

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Greens promise logging ‘no go’ zone in bid to win Melbourne poll

By Samantha Hutchinson
The Australian
November 8, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Lidia Thorpe

The Victorian Greens have pledged to protect more than 355,000ha of old-growth forest from logging in an attempt to wedge Labor and woo undecided voters ahead of a by-election in inner-Melbourne’s Northcote. The state Greens will submit a bill next week proposing to zone off land near Kinglake to create the Great Forest National Park. The plan protects much of Victoria’s old-growth forests and logging zones depleted during the Black Saturday bushfires. … Australian Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the plan represented a clear distinction between Greens candidate Lidia Thorpe and Labor at a time when Labor had emulated Greens policies.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

California tree die-off could help bring new life to rural economies

By Nadine Ono
California Economic Summit
November 7, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States, US West

Trees in California’s forests are dying at alarming rates, creating both problems and opportunities for rural communities and local economies with deep roots in the timber industry. The California Natural Resources Agency in mid-October issued a set of recommendations on how to make better use of dead or dying trees, while promoting long-term forest health, carbon sequestration and rural economic development. The agency’s report is the latest in a growing effort to define and promote a new generation of forest-products that goes beyond traditional lumber to capture and emerging “biomass” industry.The report, “Recommendations to Expand Wood Products Markets in California” outlines actions, policies and pilot programs to encourage the use of biomass. …“There is a critical need to bolster our biomass processing capacity and expand uses for wood products…” California Secretary for Natural Resources John Laird said.

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