Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily Archives: November 14, 2017

Today’s Takeaway

New Report Asserts Softwood Lumber’s Economic Impacts

The Tree Frog Forestry News
November 14, 2017
Category: Today's Takeaway

A new report by Forest Economic Advisors—commissioned by the Softwood Lumber Board—says softwood lumber manufacturing and related downstream industries support 776,000 jobs in the US with a payroll of more than $46 billion.

In other Business news, the softwood dispute is a big worry for US apartment developers but high lumber prices are mitigating the impact in Burns Lake BC; two Saskatchewan companies report that they are doing ok and Business in Vancouver says forestry companies fared better than mining companies over the past five years.

In Forestry news: the mayor of Cochrane Ontario says northern families are being sacrificed for misplaced extremist ideals; a Nova Scotia journalist says the use of a wood coffin in the ‘forest funeral’ protest is not hypocritical; a Montreal professor says Canada should specialize in resource development [over manufacturing]; Canopy’s founder is winning converts with her gospel of deforestation; and Puff’s goes eco-friendly by earning FSC certification.

Finally, more than 150 wood pellet manufacturing mills operate across the US—the newest/greenest being in Pine Bluff Arkansas—providing the primary heating fuel for more than 2.2 million households, according to the US Department of Energy.

— Kelly McCloskey, Tree Frog Editor

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Business & Politics

Canada should specialize in resource development

By Stephen Gordon
National Post
November 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Canadian governments have long accepted that manufacturing jobs are better for the economy than resource exports. But what if it was wrong all along? …This question — asked by Simon Fraser University’s Nancy Olewiler in the lead article of the latest issue of the Canadian Journal of Economics — is more controversial than it sounds. …The standard staples thesis narrative has an obvious starting point: economies like Canada’s that are rich in natural wealth have a comparative advantage in resources, so commodities will form the bulk of our exports. But specialization in resources carries risks. For one thing, commodity prices are volatile, and result in destabilizing cycles of booms and busts. …Olewiler concludes that Harold Innis did get it wrong: resource wealth has contributed to Canada’s long-term economic growth. …This won’t settle the debate, of course; the manufacturing sector continues to have a powerful hold on the imaginations of non-economists — and of politicians.

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BC’s biggest forestry trade mission crosses the pond

By Matt Fetinko
My Prince George Now
November 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada

Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson leads over 30 senior executives into China and Japan this week for a forest sector delegation. Many of the delegates are from Northern B.C., much to the delight of Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad. “The largest production certainly comes from our area of the province, in the interior and up into the north,” says Rustad. “So having delegates from our area partaking in this is an important part of continuing to support what we have as an industry.” …The trade mission runs from November 12th – 17th.

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Quesnel man the go-to safety man for many years

Quesnel Cariboo Observer
November 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

West Fraser’s Kerry Douglas was one of the winners of the BC Forest Safety Council’s 2017 Safety Award Winners for lifetime achievement in safety. The Quesnel resident won the 2017 Cary White Memorial Lifetime Achievement Award for Commitment to Safety Excellence. Douglas, who is the safety manager, West Fraser Mills Ltd., started his career almost 47 years ago when he was 15 years old.  …His peers say: “Kerry is the go-to leader for industry in mill and combustible dust safety” and tribute his safety leadership as a key reason behind much of the safety success of the Manufacturing Advisory Group (MAG), an industry group that was honoured in 2013 with a Lieutenant Governor Safety Award for Excellence in Systems Safety (multi-technology).

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Most profitable companies earning less, growing more slowly

By Albert Van Santvoort
Business in Vancouver
November 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

B.C.’s 100 most profitable companies are earning less and growing slower than they did five years ago. They earned an average net income of $102.8 million in 2016. That’s 23% less than the 100 most profitable companies earned in 2012, according to Business in Vancouver’s Top 100 Most Profitable Companies list.  The top 100 also reported a significantly slower one-year earnings growth rate in 2016 than they did five years earlier.  Their average net income in 2016 versus 2015 grew 223.7% compared with 379.5% in 2012 versus 2011. Forestry industry companies moved up the most in list rankings over the five-year period and include CanWel Building Materials Group Ltd. , Canfor Pulp Products Inc. and Canfor Corp..

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Softwood lumber duties decrease after final determination

BC Local News
November 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

The U.S. Department of Commerce has recently announced its final determination of duties of 20.83 per cent to be applied to the majority of Canadian softwood lumber shipments entering the U.S. …“It was good ato see the duty amounts reduced and the decision not to seek retroactive payments related to the countervailing duty,” said Steve Zika, Chief Executive Officer of Hampton Affiliates – company that owns Babine and Decker Lake Forest Products. …According to Zika, high lumber prices have helped to mitigate the impact of softwood lumber duties on Hampton Affiliates’ Burns Lake mills. He does not anticipate any layoffs in the near future. …Susan Yurkovich, president of the BC Lumber Trade Council, said “this trade action ultimately punishes American consumers who are now paying higher prices for Canadian lumber when they buy, build or renovate their homes.”

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Forestry companies doing well despite lack of softwood lumber deal

By Devan C. Tasa
Parkland Review
November 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite the lack of a softwood lumber agreement with the U.S. and uncertainty with NAFTA, the two forestry companies using the Pasquia Porcupine Forest Management Area are doing quite well this year. While lumber prices are high due to tariffs, there’s a large demand in the U.S. for the product, said Doug Braybrook, a woodland manager with Edgewood, which runs a sawmill in Carrot River. “We’re secure as a business so long as the U.S. economy stays strong, housing starts stay high, but we do have some risk if their economy cools and taxes stay high. Then it will be challenging for our business.” Mike LeBlanc, an operations manager for Weyerhaeuser, which runs an OSB plant in Hudson Bay, said prices are high for his product and are looking to stay high for next year.

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Construction Costs Rise for Apartment Projects

By Bendix Anderson
National Real Estate Investor
November 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States

The cost of construction is rising again. Trade disputes, hurricanes and rising demand from overseas are all pushing up the price of materials from gypsum wallboard to lumber and steel. …The price of wood is a big worry for apartment developers. After the Presidential election, the Trump administration threatened to add tariffs on Canadian lumber, on the grounds that the Canadian government illegally supports its timber industry. This disagreement has come up before—and the last time it did, the price of lumber more than doubled and stayed high for years. …Prices for lumber and plywood rose 6.8 percent over the year that ended in September. Most of those price increases came earlier this year. 

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China commerce ministry says ‘strong dissatisfaction’ on U.S. hardwood plywood ruling

Reuters
November 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, International

BEIJING – China’s commerce ministry said on Tuesday that it expresses “strong dissatisfaction” on a ruling by the United States over imported hardwood plywood products from China. Unreasonable U.S. actions and rulings will seriously impact China’s exports of hardwood plywood and damage the interests of Chinese firms, the ministry said in a statement posted on its website. The U.S. Commerce Department on Monday said it had made final determinations that hardwood plywood from China was being subsidized and dumped in U.S. markets. It set an anti-dumping duty of 183.6 percent and anti-subsidy duties ranging up to 194.9 percent.

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No foul play found in fire that destroyed Montana wood plant

Associated Press in the Idaho Statesman
November 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US West

Montana authorities have determined that there was no foul play involved with a fire that destroyed Libby’s last wood manufacturing plant. The Flathead Beacon reports that SK Fingerjoint, Inc. at the Kootenai Business Park burned to the ground on Nov. 5. Undersheriff Brandon Huff said his office has concluded its investigation into the fire, and at this time the insurance company and law enforcement believe the blaze was probably the result of an electrical issue.

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New home deemed too toxic to live in

By Alex Chhith
Chaska Herald
November 9, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

Tyren, and Travis Lambert

CHASKA — A family has been staying in a hotel for nearly three months, after they could no longer live in their brand-new home, worth about $500,000 and located in one of Chaska’s newest neighborhoods. In July, the company that built the home, Lennar Builders, gave the family a notice it may have had joists that were emitting high levels of formaldehyde. …In fact, four people, who own new homes in Carver, Shakopee and Savage, filed a class-action lawsuit against Weyerhaeuser Co., the firm responsible for producing the lumber, according to a complaint filed in U.S. Federal District court. The plaintiffs, who do not include the Lamberts, are suing for $5 million. “Weyerhaeuser is paying for remediation,” according to Andrew Siegel, a public relations representative for the company in a phone call.

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Economic impact touted at Enviva groundbreaking

By Gavin Stone
Richmond County Daily Journal
November 13, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: US East, United States

HAMLET — Richmond County officials and Enviva Biomass leadership held a triumphant groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning to welcome the new wood pellet-processing plant that represents a $100 million investment in the county and promises to bring as many as 80 jobs….The Richmond County plant will be the fourth in the state. … The other two plants are in Ahoskie and Garysburg. Enviva also has facilities in Virginia, Mississppi and Florida. …Royal Smith, executive vice president for Enviva, highlighted the benefits the company has brought to North Carolina and what it promises to bring to the county in his speech before the ceremony. “We’ve built a sustainable supply chain that takes wood fiber that land owners in North Carolina want to sell, makes that fiber transportable, and gets it to customers who want it around the world,” Smith said

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British sawmills increased lumber production by 5%

EUWID
November 14, 2017
Category: Business & Politics
Region: International

In 2016 British sawmills produced a total of 3.624m m³ softwood lumber. By comparison with the preceding year, in which production of home-grown timber amounted to 3.449m m³, this corresponds to an increase of 5%. According to the latest Forestry Statistics published by Forestry Commission production in Scotland also increased by 5% to 1.871m m³. In England and Northern Ireland production volumes increased at a similar rate to 1.093m m³ and 294,000m³ respectively. Production increased most significantly in Wales by 13% to 366,000m³.  This increase in 2016 only partially compensated the decline of 7% recorded in 2015 by comparison with 2014. In 2014 British sawmills produced 3.716m m³ softwood lumber and thus reached the highest production volume ever recorded by the Forestry Commission.

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Wood, Paper & Green Building

Whistler Community Services Society’s new building on schedule, despite setbacks

By Megan Lalonde
Whistler Question
November 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, Canada West

Despite facing a few setbacks earlier this year, Whistler Community Services Society’s (WCSS) new building is still on track to open on schedule in April or May of next year. The first hiccup came this past spring when the concrete that had been chosen for the building couldn’t be delivered, explained WCSS executive director Cheryl Skribe. However, the organization was able to switch gears quickly. The cross-laminated timber panels selected to replace the concrete are now currently being installed at the Nesters construction site. “I think that was very fortuitous that our luck changed in a good direction, based on the cement not being able to deliver. I think it’s a beautiful building; I think it’s more in keeping with the Whistler way,” Skribe said of the design’s aesthetic. “It’s creating quite a bit of attention in the lumber industry… and it’s the first of its kind in Whistler.”

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The Weird, Wooden Future of Skyscrapers

By Amanda Kolson Hurley
The Atlantic
November 13, 2017
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: United States, US West

Thomas Robinson

The first thing you notice when you walk into the office of Lever Architecture, in Portland, Oregon, is the smell: fresh, sweet, and vaguely Christmassy. That’s because Albina Yard, the year-old building that houses the office, was built out of fragrant Douglas fir. “It’s a space people immediately respond to on an emotional level,” says Thomas Robinson, Lever’s founder and the building’s architect. Robinson is a pioneer in designing tall buildings that use wood, not concrete or steel, to bear their weight. Albina Yard is only four stories, but it’s the prelude to a more ambitious project: Framework, a 12-story mixed-use tower that will soon rise in Portland’s Pearl District. When it’s finished (likely in 2019), it will be the country’s tallest human-occupied all-wooden structure.

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Forestry

International forest technology experts coming to Vancouver conference

forestTECHX
November 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Vancouver, BC – A new international forest management technology conference is set to bring all of the latest inventory and harvest planning technologies from around the world to Canada’s premier forestry city in March 2018. “We’re bringing together the world’s leading technology experts in forestry metrics for our new conference, ForestTECHX in March 2018″ says conference organizer, Anthony Robinson, associate publisher of Logging & Sawmilling Journal. “From Europe and across the Asia Pacific, emerging technologies in forest measurement and management are bringing big advantages to early adopters,” says Robinson, “and our focus groups here in Canada indicated to us the time was right to bring the world’s experts here to showcase the leading edge innovation and technology.” In partnership with long-time tech transfer specialists from New Zealand and Australia the ForestTECHX conference coming to Vancouver next March builds on a great track record in the Pacific basin.

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A rational response

Letter by Ross Muirhead, Elphinstone Logging Focus
Coast Reporter
November 9, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Ross Muirhead

In the Nov. 3 editorial, “Paths of rational resistance,” John Gleeson was referring to news that the Community Forest (SCCF) was set to resume logging in the contentious Wilson Watershed. His plea was to find a rational solution to a pending crisis where no one wins. If an editorial represents the “spirit of the community,” then his words and suggestions should be thoughtfully considered. ELF agrees that a solution must be found to create a shared path – however, that requires compromise. …A rational planning approach would dictate that the Forest District not approve further cutblocks until elk winter ranges are mapped, respecting the precautionary principle until all evidence is gathered.

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Northern families sacrificed for misplaced ideals

By Peter Politis, mayor of Cochrane
North Bay Nugget
November 10, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Peter Politis

Regrettably, I read an opinion piece dated Oct. 28 written by Steve May titled Political games bad for Northern Ontario reputation, which provided the usual misinformed, guilt-ridden, fear mongering we as Northerners tend to hear from extremists driving a seemingly narrow, self-righteous agenda. …Our whole foundation of who we are, our way of life and our viability as a region is directly linked to the very natural resources Mr. May seems to preclude need to be protected from us. …To suggest the sustainability of forests in Northern Ontario is even an issue, let alone being questioned by “industry experts,” has no factual basis and is a great example of the extremist approach I speak to here. …The company Mr. May irresponsibly inferred was somehow problematic to this, Resolute Forest Products, actually has 100 per cent of all forests it manages certified, representing the lion’s share of these sustainable forests in Canada.

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Discussing a sustainable, profitable lumber industry in Nova Scotia

By Zack MetCalfe, environmental journalist
The Chronicle Herald
November 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada East, Canada

Zack Metcalfe

Since the forest funeral held in Halifax Grand Parade, Thursday, Oct. 19, I’ve heard quite a bit of criticism, some directed at the character of the people who participated and others at myself for having written favourably about the event. These comments, rarely constructive, painted with a wide brush a considerable number of Nova Scotians who have extremely valid concerns over the state and treatment of our forests, thus the struggling wildlife so often featured in this column. …There are very few Nova Scotians, even among the marchers of Oct. 19, who believe forestry as a whole should come to a halt or that we should abstain from its products. Much like those driving gasoline cars or riding diesel buses, myself among them, to abstain from these omnipresent products would mean no longer participating in Canadian society. That, obviously, is no solution.

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Speaker: ‘Megafires’ increase due to past practices

By Caitlin Fowlkes
Ashland Daily Tidings
November 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

Paul Hessburg and Chris Chambers

Wildfires have burned more than 100 million acres and rangeland since 2000, and most of those fires were “megafires,” according to Paul Hessburg, a research landscape ecologist who at an Ashland talk Wednesday defined megafires as wildfires burning more than 100,000 acres. …His research, coupled with the short documentary-style clips created by North 40 Productions, shaped an invigorating multi-media presentation. …By suppressing fires and eliminating this natural cycle, the forests are facing an epidemic of too many trees, according to Hessburg. …Through his presentation, he proved prescribed burning to be one of the most beneficial ways of keeping wildfires away from our residential areas. …However, prescribed burning isn’t accepted as it should be, he said.

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Forest Service considers harvesting, selling timber burned in Brian Head Fire

By Joseph Witham
St. George News
November 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ST. GEORGEMuch of the wood from the trees burned in this summer’s devastating Brian Head Fire is still useful, and the U.S. Forest Service is proposing a timber salvage along roads in the burn area. Officials from the Cedar City Ranger District say standing dead trees comprising mostly ponderosa pine and incidental amounts of spruce, fir and aspen have merchantable value if they are harvested before succumbing to insects and disease. The project proposal also cites public health and safety concerns, as some of the trees are along highly traveled routes and may produce road hazards. ……So far, comments have indicated support for the proposal, Jaros said, adding that some concerns were expressed regarding possible effects on the environment, including the impact on wildlife and hydrology.

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For the love of big trees

By Michelle McConnaha
The Missoulian
November 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

STEVENSVILLE — Mark Lewing has lived in Stevensville 40 years and loved big trees all his life. He worked for the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation (DNRC) for 29 years and retired as the Hamilton Unit manager. “When I was working they used to circulate the Big Tree Register and I’d say, ‘That’s nice.’ But I’d think, ‘I know a cottonwood that is bigger,’ ” Lewing said. That launched his investigation. “The first biggest champion I got was an American elm in Hamilton,” Lewing said. “That got elm disease and died. Then I found the current champion at the school in Stevensville and the co-champion up the street from it.” While he was working, he had seven champion trees. He retired in 2003 and realized searching for big trees was an interesting hobby.

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Girls can enjoy forestry just like the guys

By Dr. Heidi Adams
Louisiana Forestry Association
November 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

Heidi Adams

In 1913, the U.S. Forest Service was still feeling the burn of the destructive fires that consumed nearly 3 million acres of timberland in Montana and Idaho three years earlier. … In California’s Klamath National Forest, one of these new hires was unlike any that occurred before. Her name was Hallie Morse Daggett and she was the first female USFS fire lookout. …Many women have followed in Daggett’s pioneering footsteps, pursuing a career in forestry that allows them to get away from the desk and into the woods. …There’s never been a better time than now to pursue a career in forestry. The Louisiana Tech Forestry Program, for instance, has a rigorous curriculum that teaches students ecological, economical, and social aspects of forestry, and provides them with “in the field” experiences that will be invaluable to them in their future careers.

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‘Super invader’ tree hits South, but flea beetle may be hero

By Stacey Plaisance 
Associated Press in the Washington Post
November 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

NEW ORLEANS — The tallow tree, a “super invader” with toxic leaves and no natural enemies in North America, is conquering the South. Overtaking forests from Texas to Florida, tallows grow three times faster than most native hardwoods, and each one casts off 100,000 seeds a year. Controlled burns haven’t stopped their spread, nor have herbicide sprays from helicopters. Cutting them down works only when each stump is immediately doused with chemicals. Harvesting them for biofuel remains more a promise than a practical solution. Some scientists say introducing a flea beetle from the tallow’s native habitat in eastern China may be the best alternative. Yes, they’re aware of “nightmare scenarios” with other non-native plants and bugs, environmental scientist Michael Massimi said.

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Puff’s goes eco-friendly by earning Forest Stewardship Council certification

By Gisselle Gaitan
Drug Store News
November 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

CINCINNATI — Procter & Gambled owned Puffs, is doing its part to ensure customers are choosing responsibly sourced facial tissue products. The company has strengthened its commitment to responsible forestry management by earning the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. The company also has partnered with the Rainforest Alliance, and will begin using this certified labeling on all tissue products. …Our partnerships with Forest Stewardship Council and the Rainforest Alliance ensure that the tree fibers used in our products, like Puffs and Charmin, come from responsibly managed forests while still delivering the superior product experience our consumers expect,” Tonia Elrod, director, Family Care Communications & Sustainability, said. “By adding Puffs products to our roster of certified paper products alongside Charmin, it is our goal to continue to deliver on our commitments to responsible forestry.”

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What we know: What’s next for logging of Yellowwood Forest and $150K offer to preserve it

By Sarah Bowman and Emily Hopkins
Indianapolis Star
November 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: US East, United States

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources sold the rights last Thursday to log on nearly 300 acres in Yellowwood State Forest as nearly 200 protesters looked on, calling on the state to save the trees.  The highest bidder: Hamilton Logging, Inc. out of Martinsville with a bid of roughly $109,000.  Although the timber sale is complete, there are still many questions about what this means going forward and how opponents are still trying to intervene before the first tree falls.  Here’s what we know about the timber sale and the efforts to stop it.  …Antes said the $150,000 offer to preserve the forest is still on the table. He and Bartlet are working to set up a meeting with Holcomb to see if he can negate the contract with Hamilton Logging, Inc. and accept the offer. 

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How Canopy’s founder is winning converts with her gospel of deforestation

By Heather Clancy
GreenBiz
November 14, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Nicole Rycroft

To Nicole Rycroft, founder and executive director of non-profit Canopy, ancient forests are the “cathedrals of the natural world.” . …Prior to launching her own organization, the Australian native worked in a rebel war zone in Burma, where she witnessed firsthand the link between forest ecosystem devastation and human rights abuses — and learned that effective campaigns can be grounded in hope and cooperation. When it comes to inspiring corporate forest strategies, however, Canopy’s influence is no joke. Even though its budget is just $1.4 million for fiscal 2017, the organization is allied with more than 750 companies — including the likes of H&M, Levi Strauss & Co., Penguin-Random House, Sprint and Zara — that have committed to changing business processes that could threaten ancient and endangered forests.

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Forestry: No beauty in the beast

By Ian Graham
The Gisborne Herald
November 13, 2017
Category: Forestry
Region: International

The geographically isolated Tairawhiti region has natural beauty with its hills, coastline and sunshine, and that brings with it a certain smugness for long-term residents. Because of our isolation, we need to protect our image to outsiders and a developing tourism industry. I refer now to the blanket planting of pinus radiata over 19 percent of this region, predominately owned by foreigners. With no comfort to those in the industry, it does come with a much less than flattering image in the eyes of most… If we reach a point where other New Zealanders’ image of the East Coast is of pine trees and they label us a forestry region, we have a problem. There is nothing aesthetically pleasing in pine plantations, let alone the visual obscenity post-harvest.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

US Energy Information Administration updates short-term bioenergy, wood heating forecasts

By Erin Voegele
Biomass Magazine
November 13, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has released its Short-Term Energy Outlook for November, providing updated bioenergy forecasts for 2017 and 2018, and updated wood heating forecasts for the 2017-’18 heating season. The EIA predicts wood biomass will be used to generate 112,000 MWh per day of electricity this year, falling to 111,000 MWh per day next year. Waste biomass is expected to be used to generate 58,000 MWh per day this year, increasing to 60,000 MWh per day next year. …The EIA predicts 2.229 million households will use wood as a primary heating fuel during the 2017-’18 heating season, down 1.7 percent from the 2016-’17 heating season.›

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New Arkansas Industrial Wood Pellet Mill Raises Green Stakes

By Jacqueline Froelich
Arkansas Public Radio
November 13, 2017
Category: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: US East, United States

…The largest mills, concentrated in the southeastern U.S., claim to sustainably harvest timber, from both hardwood and softwood forests. But a new mill, Highland Pellets in Pine Bluff, which harvests fast-growing Southern softwood pine claims to be among the greenest.  Still, the calculated ecological costs and benefits of forest biomass remain hazy. Highland Pellets, Arkansas’s first wood biomass factory, steams and rumbles in the autumn sunlight. A private railroad encircles the new 209-acre facility, packed with tilting aerial conveyors and curving metal chutes. Every 10 minutes a logging truck rolls into the plant, hauling a 28-ton load of tree trunks harvested from Southern pine stands within an 80-mile radius. At full capacity, the new mill will process more than a half-million metric tons of wood pellets a year.

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