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Opinion / Editorial

An Interview with FPInnovations’ new Executive VP

The Tree Frog News caught up with Dr. Trevor Stuthridge at his new office in Vancouver. 

Categories: Opinion / Editorial
Region: Canada
Nov 21, 2014
Tree Frog News

Tree Frog Daily Forestry News (Tree Frog): You’ve been on the job now for several months; what do you see at the key challenges facing the forest sector?

Dr. Trevor Stuthridge: I wouldn’t presume to know them all yet but the key challenge I see is also an opportunity. Typically, what happens after an economic downturn is that we panic and don’t spend any money, and when markets return we become complacent. In this regard, the major challenge for our sector is to avoid complacency and instead focus on how we can integrate our capabilities and take advantage of and embrace new, more innovative outcomes.

Tree Frog: What do you mean by “innovative outcomes”?

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Froggy Foibles

'Solar tree' to replace real tree in Bristol city centre

Categories: Froggy Foibles
Nov 21, 2014
BBC News

The steel tree, covered in 36 solar panel "leaves", will replace a real tree due to be removed due to old age in Millennium Square. Embedded with solar-powered phone charging points, the "wind blown" sculpture will also offer free wi-fi.

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Forestry

Watching the forest breathe: Movie inspired environmental monitoring innovation

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 19, 2014
News 1130

EDMONTON – Watching an old disaster movie gave a University of Alberta scientist an idea that could revolutionize environmental and climate change tracking. In the 1996 storm-chaser flick “Twister” one of the characters tosses a handful of sensors into the sky to be swept up by a menacing whirlwind... What “Twister” led to is a network of about 1,000 small sensors in six different countries that can monitor up to 64 different environmental parameters and transmit data to a central location where it can be studied in real time. Researchers can tell exactly what the temperature is, how moist the soil is, the content of the local airshed and myriad other factors. They can watch as a forest sucks in carbon dioxide during the day as it turns sunlight into sugar, then releases oxygen at night as the plants rest.

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Canada’s grandest old-growth rainforest at risk from logging, survey tape discovered

One of Canada’s most iconic rainforests is under threat as signs of logging have been discovered in the heart of the Upper Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island.

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 19, 2014
Vancouver Observer

One of Canada’s most iconic and grandest old-growth temperate rainforests is under threat as signs of potential logging have been discovered in the heart of the Upper Walbran Valley on Vancouver Island. Ancient Forest Alliance (AFA) activists TJ Watt and Jackie Korn recently documented survey tape marked “Falling Boundary” and “Road Location” in the Central Walbran Ancient Forest, one of the last, largely-intact sections of the unprotected portion of the valley. The Surrey-based logging company, the Teal Jones Group, has the logging rights to the area. 

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Logging in Skidegate Channel damaged viewscape

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 16, 2014
Haida Gwaii Observer

A Council of the Haida Nation complaint about the visual impacts of logging on Haida Gwaii was upheld in a Forest Practices Board report released earlier this month. The logging in question took place in 2009 on the north side of Skidegate Channel, west of Queen Charlotte, in a significant travel corridor for tourists, fishermen and residents of Haida Gwaii. "In the board's opinion, a failure to meet government objectives for visual quality arose due to the licensee's reliance on unsound professional assessments and refusal to engage in dialogue with government officials and forest professionals who expressed concerns on several occasions,'" said board chair Tim Ryan.

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Federal safety board to investigate causes of alarming number of fatal air-taxi crashes in Canada

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 19, 2014
Vancouver Sun

Federal safety board to investigate causes of alarming number of fatal air-taxi crashes in Canada. ...Bill Yearwood, the safety board’s regional manager in Richmond, said in an interview Wednesday there are numerous inherent risks in the air-taxi business, which often operates in remote areas without access to the same services, including weather information and air-traffic controllers, as larger passenger airplanes....Federal safety board to investigate causes of alarming number of fatal air-taxi crashes in Canada

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Biologist: Land access fee bad for hunting, wildlife

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Nov 20, 2014
Lower Columbia Daily News

For some sportsmen, the trend in America of paying a fee for access to good hunting spots is no big deal. ...Weyerhaeuser’s debut in 2014 of a $150 permit to hunt on 325,000 acres of its land in Southwest Washington marks a watershed event locally. Eric Holman, district wildlife biologist for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, says the change — charging fees and limiting access to vast areas of traditional hunting grounds — is ultimately bad for hunting and therefore bad for wildlife.“This change attacks the very premise of wildlife management in North America — that the wildlife belongs to everybody,’’ he said.

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Tongass Advisory Committee meets in Sitka

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Nov 20, 2014
KCAW

Representatives from across Southeast and the country will meet in Sitka this week to hash out timber issues on the Tongass. It’s the fourth meeting of the Tongass Advisory Committee, which is working with the U.S. Forest Service as it tries to switch its focus from old-growth logging to harvesting smaller, younger trees. In 2010, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced the “transition” on the Tongass, to phase out old-growth timber sales in the nation’s largest national forest. The goal is to build a timber industry focused on second-growth trees, and provide an economic boost for the region.

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Oregon environment roundup: Compromise spares Vista Ridge from logging, feds devote $1 million to Willamette Valley wetlands

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Nov 20, 2014
OregonLive.com

The U.S. Forest Service is set to announce a compromise that would allow for a timber sale at Mount Hood while protecting the area around the popular Vista Ridge trail from logging. The agency spent years negotiating with activists and residents who argued the original plan to thin 48 sites in the Mount Hood National Forest would deface wilderness around Vista Ridge’s stunning wildflower fields. Rep. Ann Lininger, D-Lake Oswego, helped broker a compromise by which the trailhead will be spared in exchange for logging in a less-popular area. In a release Monday, Lininger said the compromise “shows that Oregonians can work together to solve tough forestry issues.”

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Timber industry in Tongass no longer relevant, environmentalists say

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Nov 19, 2014
Alaska Dispatch News

JUNEAU - Environmental groups that have stopped most logging on the Tongass National Forest with decades of opposition and lawsuits are now saying most of what remains could easily be done away with as well. They're urging the U.S. Forest Service to stop spending its money on timber sales, and instead devote its limited budget to promoting tourism, fishing and other growth industries. "These resources could be put to better use by investing in programs and projects that support larger and more vibrant industries," said Ben Alexander of Headwaters Economics at a Tuesday press conference hosted by Trout Unlimited.

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Lolo Forest seeks public's advice on road inventory

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Nov 20, 2014
The Missoulian

The Lolo National Forest wants to know what roads people like or would like to lose in the forests around Missoula. Forest planners have started a travel analysis to identify the minimum number of roads needed for safe and efficient travel. But the study only gathers information – plans for keeping or closing roads will have a separate public process several years down the road. “Whenever you start talking about the road system, people think you’re going to start making decisions on roads,” Lolo planning staff officer Greg Gustina said Wednesday. “This is really just to see what we have.”

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Va. growers prepping trees for holiday season

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
Nov 21, 2014
The Washington Post

Virginia growers are preparing an abundance of fresh Christmas trees for the holiday season. The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says the state has more than 500 Christmas tree farms located throughout the state. And to encourage the purchase a tree from the state, Gov. Terry McAuliffe has proclaimed December as “Virginia Christmas Tree Month.” Officials say that choosing a Virginia-grown tree means purchasing a renewable, recyclable product that supports local economies and the state’s largest industry — agriculture.

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Slide Show - Deforestation vs. daily life: The logging industry in Nigeria is fueling both

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Nov 21, 2014
Washington Post

Mass land clearings and logging — both legal and illegal — in Nigeria have contributed to the significant deforestation of rainforests and woodlands across the country and the African continent as a whole. And yet wood logging remains one of the most important tools for providing fuel and power to the over 120 million Nigerians who rely on its practice for firewood and cooking... Reuters photographer Akintunde Akinleye beautifully documents several of the laborers who rely on logging as a source of income as well as a means for heating homes, cooking meals and carrying out everyday tasks.

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Forestry serious about certifying contractors

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Nov 21, 2014
Otago Daily Times

The recommendations in the Independent Forestry Safety Review, including contractor certification, were topics of conversation during the Forestry Industry Contractors Association (Fica) conference in Napier earlier this month. Fica secretary John Stulen said they were still trying to come to terms with what the report meant for the wider industry and they would be meeting organisations such as WorkSafe New Zealand (WSNZ) and the industry training organisation Competenz to put together a contractor certification scheme.

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Diverse ways to use forests in future

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Nov 19, 2014
radionz.co.nz

Farmer representatives meeting in Wellington this week have heard a plea for the trees as a demand for more food by 2050 might require 400 to 600 percent more wood, a research institute says. The chief executive of forest research institute Scion told Federated Farmers' national council that forestry would be one of the game-changers. Warren Parker said there is a fixation with feeding a hungry world, with an estimated 70 percent more food required by 2050. But Dr Parker says there was also an estimate that the world would require 400 to 600 percent more wood. Unfortunately, New Zealand's supply would start to decline in a decade. 

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Company & Business News

Celebrating Aboriginal Participation in a Revitalized Forest Sector

By JP Gladu, President and CEO, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
Nov 19, 2014
FPAC Blog

I’m proud to say that I have always had a deep connection to the forest. Growing up in northwestern Ontario I always wanted to be a conservation officer. Both my father and my grandfather were loggers. My passion was playing hockey, hunting and fishing and just being in the bush. These fond memories remind me of the need to encourage our young people to embrace their passion early in life on the road to finding rewarding careers.  As President and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB) I understand the importance of the forestry industry and the valuable jobs and fulfilling lives they continue to create for our people. 

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Supply may not meet demand for B.C. lumber exports

Pine beetle-ravaged forests may have trouble supplying growth in U.S. home construction

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 20, 2014
Vancouver Sun

British Columbia’s forest sector is going to lead growth in the province’s exports next year to feed burgeoning new-home construction in the U.S., but lumber makers will also start running up against constraints in timber supplies, according to Export Development Canada. The value of B.C.’s export trade in lumber and wood products, worth $11.6 billion in 2013, will increase 11 per cent this year and another 12 per cent next year as American homebuilders continue increasing the number of units they build as part of the U.S. economic recovery, said Peter Hall, EDC’s chief economist.

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Lake Babine Nation benefits from biomass jobs partnership

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 20, 2014
Government of BC

BURNS LAKE - Eight local people are getting work experience in forestry practices and the Lake Babine Nation is taking another step toward energy self-sufficiency, thanks to a partnership with the Government of B.C. worth more than $110,000 in funding. Over the course of a 47-week Job Creation partnership, workers are getting experience in building two timber bridges and 66 firewood storage units for band members, so they can heat their homes in Tachet and Fort Babine. Workers are also learning about safety practices and how to operate heavy equipment used in forestry. This is in preparation for the eventual construction of a biomass plant that will allow people to heat their homes with wood chips.

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EDC: Forestry Is Powering BC Exports With a Third Year of Double Digit Growth

EDC Press Release

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 20, 2014
Market Wired

VANCOUVER - British Columbia's forestry industry is booming, boasting 11 per cent export growth this year. A new forecast by Export Development Canada (EDC) sees the revival of the US economy extending that trend with 12 per cent growth in 2015. EDC's new forecast predicts BC overall export growth to be 10 per cent in 2014 and 8 per cent in 2015, making it one of Canada's top performers. "The days of America's housing surplus are over," says Peter Hall, Chief Economist, EDC. "We're seeing a growing housing deficit in the US right now. That, coupled with a lower Canadian dollar, will further boost demand for BC lumber in 2015." "The mountain pine beetle infestation continues to be a challenge for forestry in BC," says Hall. "That being said, there is enough demand for Canadian quality pine that higher prices should offset the lower volume production."

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Lamphier: While energy slumps, forest products sector booms

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 19, 2014
Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - The dead tree biz is far from dead, even if it seldom enjoys the spotlight in a province dominated by Big Oil. Consider Exhibit A: The latest quarterly numbers from the Alberta Forest Products Association (AFPA), which show robust demand for lumber, pulp and paper. Overall, second-quarter sales for the sector jumped 10 per cent compared to the second quarter of 2013, to $728 million. Lumber sales rose nearly 10 per cent to $318.2 million, while pulp and paper sales surged almost 15 per cent to $318.6 million. Panelboard was the only soft spot, as sales slid about two per cent to $91.2 million.

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Tembec on brink of a strike

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 21, 2014
BayToday.ca

About 600 employees of Tembec in Temiscaming are poised for strike action. A vote Wednesday saw 94% reject the latest company offer. Unifor has taken that as a strike mandate. The company manufactures lumber lumber products like, pulp, paper and specialty cellulose. Local 23 President Roger Gauthier told BayToday that there are four main issues for his members... discipline, grievance procedures, clawing back previous concessions and following agreement patterns established by other companies. More talks are scheduled for this weekend.


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Tembec workers in Quebec reject final offer in Canadian Manufacturing

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Tembec says strong lumber prices helped offset soft pulp, flat paper earnings

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 20, 2014
The Canadian Press

MONTREAL - Tembec Inc. ended its 2014 financial year with a lower fourth-quarter net profit, but higher sales and adjusted earnings compared with the same time last year. The Quebec-based pulp, paper and lumber producer said Thursday it earned a net profit of $5 million or five cents per share in the quarter ended Sept. 27, down from $14 million or 14 cents per share a year earlier. However, the company said its operating earnings rose to $29 million from $24 million a year earlier. Revenue increased to $371 million from $352 million in the fourth quarter of its 2013 financial year.

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Tembec reports financial results for its fourth quarter ended September 27, 2014

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 20, 2014
iStock Analyst

MONTREAL - Consolidated sales for the three-month period ended September 27, 2014, were $371 million, as compared to $352 million in the same quarter a year ago. The Company generated net earnings of $5 million or $0.05 per share in the September 2014 quarter compared to net earnings of $14 million or $0.14 per share in the September 2013 quarter. Operating earnings before depreciation, amortization and other items (adjusted EBITDA) was $29 million for the three-month period ended September 27, 2014, as compared to adjusted EBITDA of $24 million a year ago and adjusted EBITDA of $30 million in the prior quarter.

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Tembec forest plant workers in Quebec reject last company offer

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 20, 2014
The Province

TEMISCAMING, Que. - Unionized workers at the Tembec forest products facility in Temiscaming, Quebec have rejected the employer's last offer. Unifor says the vote by members of Local 233 was 94 per cent against and that the result also serves as a strike mandate for the union. Unifor says its wants a solution at the bargaining table, but warns the vote shows the commitment of members to act if the employer remains "intransigent."

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Burgeoning local forest products market wants people to ask, 'Where does my wood come from?'

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States
Nov 21, 2014
Oregon Live

More and more people are asking, "Where does my food come from?" But OSU Extension Agent Glenn Ahrens hopes consumers also wonder, "Where does my wood come from?" He's trying to determine if there's a market among contractors, artists or home-owners who would pay a little more for wood products from local forest owners and small-scale mills. ...There are about 15,000 local forest owners in the region and hundreds of small saw mills throughout Oregon, Ahrens said. The commodity forestry market tends to focus on 40- to 50-year-old Douglas fir. But many small producers are looking for places to sell older-aged, specialty wood in more limited quantities.

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Reduction in US imports of lumber from Europe

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States
Nov 21, 2014
EUWID Wood Products and Panels

Although US softwood lumber imports from Europe in the third quarter of 2014 were only slightly lower (-0.3%) than a year earlier at 54,521 m³, the volumes obtained from Europe in all three quarters of this year were lower than the respective figures for last year. The main supplier in Europe was Sweden, which, contrary to the general trend, managed to increase its deliveries by almost 56% to 32,710 m³. Considerably more lumber was imported from Austria as well at a total of 3,767 m³, though from a very low level. 

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US hardwood lumber exports to Middle East and North Africa hit $56m

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States
Nov 20, 2014
Trade Arabia

The total exports of US hardwood lumber to the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region reached a value of $56.3 million and a volume of 71,761 cu m during the first three quarters of the year, according to recent figures. The statistics which were complied by the American Hardwood Export Council (Ahec), a leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, from the latest data released from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA), revealed an increase in value of 19.5 per cent over the same period last year and an increase in volume of 6.4 per cent.

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Latvian forest industry's export increased by 11.3% in 9 months

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
Nov 21, 2014
The Baltic Course

During the first nine months of 2014, Latvian forest industry's export increased by 11.3%, reaching EUR 1.53 billion, compared to EUR 1.38 billion in the same period in 2013, reports LETA, referring to data provided by the Forest Department of the Ministry of Agriculture. The value of wood and wood articles exported in the first eight months of 2014 was EUR 1.32 billion, which is 11.2% more than in 2013. The largest export markets were Great Britain, Sweden and Germany.

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Canada–United States softwood lumber dispute

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
Nov 21, 2014
Tasmanian Blackwood Growers Cooperative

Isn’t it amazing. Here’s a forest industry story that has strong echoes here in Tasmania. It seems the forest industry has the same problems around the world. So what’s the issue? Well the Canadian lumber industry is unfairly subsidized by federal and provincial governments (just like here in Tassie), as most timber in Canada is owned by the provincial governments (just like here in Tassie). The prices charged to harvest the timber (stumpage fee) are set administratively (just like here in Tassie), rather than through the competitive marketplace, the norm in the United States. ...And the National and Provincial Governments in Canada refuse to reform their forest industry and open it up to competitive pricing, just like the Tasmanian Government.

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German beech lumber exports to India in danger

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
Nov 20, 2014
IHB The Timber Network

A change in hardwood import regulations in India is considered a de facto export ban by the German Sawmill and Wood Industry Association (DeSH). The main reason seems to be the Indian import regulations, which make a difference between American and European beech. DeSH says that the German hardwood industry now faces massive losses.  "For more than ten years German sawmills exported beech to India without any incident," says Steffen Rathke, President of DeSH. Starting from November 2014, it is however no longer possible to receive the phytosanitary certification necessary for beech lumber. "With it actually an export prohibition was issued,“ explains Rathke.

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Limited benefits for wood products in Korean FTA

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
Nov 20, 2014
New Zealand Scoop

At its meeting today the Wood Council of NZ (Woodco) said tariffs will continue to restrict trade in processed wood products despite the signing of a FTA with South Korea.Limited benefits for wood products in Korean FTA. At its meeting today the Wood Council of NZ (Woodco) said tariffs will continue to restrict trade in processed wood products despite the signing of a FTA with South Korea. ...New Zealand exported NZ$503 million of forestry products to Korea in the year ending June 2014. Under the FTA more than 99 percent of New Zealand’s current export wood product lines will be duty-free within 10 years.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

EPA Proposes Final Guidance for Counting Carbon Emissions from Wood-burning Power Plants: Admits They Degrade Climate, Then Ignores Science

Statement on EPA's carbon accounting framework by Mary Booth, Director, PFPI

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Nov 20, 2014
Partnership for Policy Integrity

Today EPA released a revised draft framework for counting greenhouse gas emissions from biomass energy. While power plants that burn wood and other biological materials instead of fossil fuels actually emit more CO2 than coal-fired plants on a day-to-day basis, treatment of biomass energy as renewable energy has been based on the idea that these CO2 emissions can be ignored as not contributing to climate change. No more. EPA’s proposed framework clearly acknowledges biomass energy emits greenhouse gases, and that accounting for bioenergy emissions requires assessing all the impacts that biomass harvesting can have on ecosystems, including the length of time it takes to grow back trees that have been harvested for fuel. 

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U of A’s ‘game-changing’ sensors revolutionize methods of monitoring climate science data

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 20, 2014
Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - About 300 cellphone-sized sensors installed in the forest north of Peace River are the front lines of a revolution in climate science set in motion by University of Alberta scientists. From his office on U of A campus, professor Arturo Sanchez can tell whether the forest soil is getting drier, whether spring is early or late, or whether lightning caused a forest fire — all from data streaming dozens of times a minute from the sensors. “It’s so cool,” says the upbeat professor in the department of earth and atmospheric science and project leader working with a team of Canadian and international scientists. 

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Biomass industry triumphs in EPA's biogenic emissions framework

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States
Nov 20, 2014
Biomass Magazine

The U.S. EPA has never before made such a clear and emphatic endorsement of biomass, commented Biomass Power Association President Bob Cleaves on release of the agency’s updated biogenic emissions framework. At least not for the 15 years that BPA has been in existence, according to Cleaves. The framework comes nearly four years after EPA’s initial assessment of biogenic emissions in the Tailoring Rule, which, back in 2010, set forth to regulate carbon emissions and did not exclude biomass. A result of a three-year study and convening a science advisory board to further study the issue, Cleaves said the framework appears to be far more exhaustive and more complex than original framework that EPA put out.

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EPA reconsidering biomass - May have minimal impact on climate change as energy source, agency says

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States
Nov 20, 2014
The Bend Bulletin

The Environmental Protection Agency signaled Wednesday that it may be more open to considering timber byproducts and other biomass as an energy source that fits within the Obama administration’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions. In a memo to all of the agency’s regional air directors, Janet G. McCabe, acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, wrote that the agency is developing a framework to evaluate the carbon dioxide emissions from biomass, with the expectation there will be climate policy benefits to using biomass to generate energy.

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Proposals Sought For Wood Heat Program In Windham County

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States; US East
Nov 21, 2014
Vermont's NPR

The Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund has allocated $1.6 million to develop a wood-pellet heating industry in Windham County... "We're looking at wood heat as a focus statewide as we stop our incentives for solar, because the market for solar doesn't need the same kind of state support from the Clean Energy Development Fund." - Andrew Perchlik, Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund... Perchlik says a locally sourced, low emission wood heat program would benefit the environment and the region’s economy.

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Georgia's Forests' Leftovers Becoming A Major Source Of Renewable Energy

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States; US East
Nov 19, 2014
Wabe.org

After a timber company makes its plywood or paper, there’s leftover sawdust and wood shavings. These leftovers are called woody biomass and in Georgia, they’re becoming a big source of renewable energy. A Pew study ranked Georgia third in the country for converting this “woody biomass” into electricity. Trees are a big deal here. “We lead the nation in the production of telephone polls. We have the largest hardwood sawmill in the United States. We have the largest recycled paper mill in North America. We have the largest wood pellet plant in the world," says Risher Willard with the Georgia Forestry Commission.

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Mexican Indigenous Community Road Tests Forest Carbon Offset Project, With Help From Disney

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International
Nov 21, 2014
Ecosystem Marketplace

When Climate Action Reserve (CAR) President Gary Gero started thinking about the perfect corporation to partner with the Chatina indigenous community of San Juan Lachao in Oaxaca, Mexico for the first forest carbon offset project under CAR’s Mexico protocol, he knew exactly who to call... The community of San Juan Lachao has launched the first pilot project under CAR’s Mexico forest protocol – approved in October 2013 – with the assistance of Mexican environmental nonprofit Pronatura and financial support from Disney to get the project off the ground. The project is currently estimated to generate 20,000 tonnes of offsets per year.

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Stobart in £110m Widnes biomass plant scheme

Renewable energy site will be one of the biggest in the UK

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International
Nov 21, 2014
Liverpool Echo

Transport and energy group Stobart has announced a £110m deal to build one of the biggest biomass plants in the UK at its Widnes multi-modal site. The combined heat and power plant is set to come onstream by December 2016... Stobart Energy will supply the scheme with 146,000 tonnes of waste wood each year, worth £108m over a 16-year contract. It will also use heat from the plant to use in a neighbouring wood drying facility which will dry 140,000 tonnes of virgin wood material a year for sale into the wood chip and pellet market.

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Wood & Paper Products & Green Building

Cross Laminated Timber Ideal For Urban Buildings

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada
Nov 21, 2014
Green Building Elements

Architect Michael Green of Vancouver is a strong advocate for using engineered wood products like cross laminated timber (CLT) to construct medium to high rise buildings. His mantra is “The Earth grows our food. The earth can grow our homes. It’s an ethical change that we have to go through.” He says wood sequesters carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – about 1 ton of CO2 per cubic meter – and holds it captive during its entire lifetime, even when used as a building material.

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Local craftsman builds acoustic guitar for Slash

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 21, 2014
Comox Valley Echo

After seven years of making longboards Comox resident Reuben Forsland, 41, decided to try his hand at making guitars. Earlier this year when he scored the opportunity to build a guitar for Slash, who made his name as the talented axe grinder from Guns N' Roses with long black hair and a top hat, he knew he was on the right track. ...While Forsland might sell a skateboard deck for around $100, his guitars can cost anywhere from $5,000 - $9,000. ...This certified 2,850-year-old ancient Sitka was unearthed from Alaska, and it's what set his bid for the project out ahead of the rest of the pack.

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Banff bridge wins engineering award

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 20, 2014
Rocky Mountain Outlook

The Bow River Pedestrian Bridge in Banff has won a prestigious, international award for structural engineering. The Institute of Structural Engineering announced Banff took first place in the pedestrian bridge category at a ceremony in London, England. In selecting Banff, the judges called the bridge dramatic, responding “elegantly and efficiently to its context ... a beautiful natural setting.” ...With its 113-metre length, including the 80-metre central span, the Banff pedestrian bridge is among the longest timber bridges in the world. The 130-foot glulam (laminated timber) beams are among the largest installed in North America. 

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Edmonton firm’s wood products give buildings strength and beauty

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 19, 2014
Edmonton Journal

EDMONTON - In your travels around Edmonton, you’ve likely seen glue-laminated trusses, beams, columns and arches made by Western Archrib. They’re visible, by design. Some of the Edmonton company’s recent high-profile projects include the Lois Hole Library and the southwest division police station. On Nov. 27, when the city’s new Meadows community recreation centre opens, visitors will enjoy the warm esthetic provided by thick, sturdy trusses and exposed roof decking. The company’s structural wood products have also been used in the MacEwan University and Kingsway/Royal Alexandra Hospital stations on the Metro LRT line, opening next year.

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Ontario breaks the timber ceiling

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 20, 2014
Northern Ontario Business

A silent cheer went up in John Stephenson’s office with the news in late September that six-storey wood-framed buildings will be permitted in Ontario starting in January. “We’ve been waiting for this with baited breath for quite a while,” said Stephenson, a partner with the award-winning FORM Architecture Engineering of Thunder Bay. “As a designer of wood buildings, I’m itching to roll up my sleeves.” Many architects, engineers and wood industry types were celebrating changes to the Ontario Building Code that go into effect Jan. 1.

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BuzzBuzzHome: How Mid-Rise Wood Buildings Could Make Toronto Housing Market More Affordable

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 20, 2014
Huffington Post

Vince Molinaro just got back from a trip to British Columbia, where he and about 40 other builders and developers from Ontario went with a mission: to find out how the province built and marketed its mid-rise wood sector. The height limit for residential wood construction in Ontario’s building code was recently upped from four to six-storeys, a change that comes into effect January 1 of next year, but has been part of the code in provinces including BC and Quebec for years... With Toronto’s red-hot real estate market not expected to cool any time soon, many Torontonians are left wondering if they’ll ever be able to afford a condo, let alone a single-detached home, in the future. Enter six-storey wood buildings.

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Winners of the Ontario Wood WORKS! 2014 Wood Design Awards announced

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 19, 2014
Canadian Architect

A select group of Ontario's leading architects, engineers, and project teams recently received Wood Design Awards at the 14th annual Wood WORKS! celebration. The awards program recognizes people and organizations that, through design excellence, advocacy and innovation, are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction. "The role of wood in commercial and institutional construction is growing," says Marianne Berube, executive director of the Ontario Wood WORKS! program. "Over the last 14 years, we've seen all kinds of wood buildings nominated for awards and this year is no exception."

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Stanford Engineers Build, Test Earthquake-Resistant House

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States
Nov 19, 2014
Cutting Edge Design Stories

Stanford engineers have built and tested an earthquake-resistant house that stayed staunchly upright even as it shook at three times the intensity of the destructive 1989 Loma Prieta temblor 25 years ago. The engineers outfitted their scaled-down, boxy two-story house with sliding "isolators" so it skated along the trembling ground instead of collapsing. They also including extra-strength walls, to create a home that might replace the need for residential earthquake insurance, said project leader Gregory Deierlein, Stanford's John A. Blume Professor in the School of Engineering.

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Hugh Withycombe and the art of making violins in Australia

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Nov 21, 2014
The Sydney Morning Herald

Customers are often surprised when Hugh Withycombe answers the door to his workshop. It's clear there are stereotypes associated with those engaged with violin-making as a profession. In fact, he is a very youthful 43, his Gorman House studio smells of wood shavings and freshly roasted coffee, and he is well aware of the anachronistic nature of his work... Australians, for example, are very patriotic about their timbers, and while violins are traditionally made from maple and spruce, he tries to source local wood wherever he can. It's here that Withycombe sees an opportunity to stand out in a tough, high-low market.

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World demand for decorative laminates to reach 10.7 billion square meters

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Nov 21, 2014
European Coatings

Global demand for decorative laminates is expected to rise 5.6 percent per year to 10.7 billion square meters in 2018, valued at EUR 32.49 billion. Furniture and cabinets were the largest markets for decorative laminates in 2013, accounting for nearly 70 percent of total demand. Demand will benefit from expected increases in the manufacture of products such as cabinets, ready-to-assemble (RTA) furniture, and flooring, which are often made from engineered wood and laminated. Gains will also be driven by increased market penetration at the expense of other surfacing materials (wood veneer and paint) due to cost and performance benefits.

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Australian Construction Code (NCC) could allow timber buildings up to 25 metres tall by 2016

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Nov 21, 2014
Architecture and Design

Australian developers and architects may soon be able to build with taller timber at lower costs than before if a proposal being developed by Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA) is approved by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). The proposal, developed by FWPA in conjunction with fire engineers and in consultation with various industry groups, aims to include a deemed-to-satisfy requirement in the National Construction Code (NCC) for the use of wood up to 25 metres. Current codes do not specifically restrict the use of wood in high buildings, but makes it difficult and costly to do so. One of the reasons is the need for extensive fire engineering.

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It looks like the world’s largest ice cube but what is it really?

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Nov 20, 2014
News.com.au

IS it the world’s largest ice cube? or maybe it’s a new version of the Rubik’s cube.
Wrong on both counts — it’s actually a mountain ski hut. The building, known as the Kezmarska Hut was designed by architecture group ATELIER 8000 from the Czech Republic as part of a design competition. ...Three sides of the facade are visible from any viewing point and the exterior is designed so that the glass surfaces of windows and photovoltaic panels along with metal plating make the building glimmer, much like the ice covered surface of a mountain lake.The exterior is made from aluminium but the inside is made from laminated timber beams made from larch wood.

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Kebony wins Architectural Product Innovation Award

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Nov 20, 2014
British Builder and Developer

Kebony, the provider of sustainable wood has won the Architectural Products award for product innovation. The awards honour innovation in the development and refinement of buildings-related products that range from cladding systems to interior finishes. Kebony won in the woods, plastics and composites category, recognised by the judges for the extraordinary innovation in the development of the Kebony technology. ...Kebony is created using furfuryl alcohol, a by-product of farming of sugar cane, to transform sustainable soft woods into durable woods with the performance and aesthetics of the best tropical hardwoods.

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