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Froggy Foibles

Japan: Residents riled by smelly nuts

Categories: Froggy Foibles
Region: International
Nov 24, 2014
BBC News

The annual spectacle of Japanese gingko trees in autumn is being soured by the foul smell of fallen nuts, it's been reported. Some residents in Japanese cities are complaining about the stench of the fallen fruit, leading to local governments trying to find ways of solving the issue, the Mainichi Daily News Reports. When fresh, gingko nuts are considered a valuable part of Japan's food culture, but the butyric acid in the pulp surrounding the nut results in a smell that's said to resemble rancid butter, vomit or an extremely pungent cheese.

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Forestry

David Elstone hired as new Executive Director of the Truck Loggers Association

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 25, 2014
Truck Loggers Association

The Truck Loggers Association (TLA) is pleased to announce that David Elstone, RPF, has been appointed by the Board of Directors as the new Executive Director as of January 12, 2015. ...David brings a wealth of forestry experience with him. For the last decade, he worked as a Senior Analyst for ERA Forest Products Research focusing on global and local forest products markets. In that role, he was a frequent public speaker at industry conferences, a sought-out source by the media and a regular contributor to forestry publications such as Truck LoggerBC. His insights into the BC forest industry and its markets will be invaluable to the membership.

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Software tracks smoke from forest fires

Categories: Forestry
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 25, 2014
Great Lakes Echo

A team of researchers developed a system that predicts smoke direction from low-intensity forest fires. Researchers at the U.S Forest Service and Michigan State University developed the system to help fire managers control prescribed fires. These fires are used to manage vegetation and fuel, said Warren Heilman, a research meteorologist for the U.S. Forest Service... The system is a computer program called ARPS-CANOPY, which stands for Advanced Regional Prediction System.

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The Mountain Pine Beetle: a deadly artist

The Mountain Pine Beetle kills trees and paints them blue from Mexico to Canada

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States
Nov 24, 2014
scienceline.org

The mountain pine beetle chews up trees and spits them out in a trail of blue wood from Mexico to Canada. In Colorado, the tiny beast is eating itself out of house and home — effectively destroying its own habitat. And as the weather warms in places the beetle used to find inhospitable, it’s on the march in mountain forests all over North America. So how does a bug the size of a grain of rice manage to kill more trees than Paul Bunyan? Simple: it does what it does, with a big push from a changing environment. One of the most common bark beetles native to North America, the mountain pine beetle was first discovered in the Black Hills of Wyoming and South Dakota in the 1800s. 

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Another View: Logging still has a place in Oregon

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Nov 25, 2014
Oregon Mail Tribune

The New York Times ran a story in its Saturday editions about Sweet Home and the town's attempts to redefine itself now that federal forests don't produce nearly the level of timber that they have in the past. The story likely was of interest to the paper's readers, but it probably didn't tell Sweet Home residents or citizens of Linn County anything they didn't already know. ...Nationally, we have moved toward a sense that these lands needed to be managed for other uses in addition to timber — for watershed and habitat protection, for example. Regionally, the northern spotted owl — which requires old-growth forest to survive — forced diminished timber harvests in national forests. Today, the timber harvest on federal land in Oregon is about 10 percent what it was 15 years ago.

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Man pleads guilty to fraud over helicopter weights

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Nov 25, 2014
Lower Columbia Daily News

A former executive of a southern Oregon company whose helicopter crashed, killing nine people fighting a 2008 wildfire, has pleaded guilty to providing false aircraft weights to the U.S. Forest Service to win a firefighting contract. Steven Metheny, of Medford, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Medford to fraud and conspiracy, two of the 22 counts of the indictment against him. Metheny was vice president of Carson Helicopters outside Grants Pass when one of the company's helicopters crashed on takeoff while carrying a firefighting crew fighting the Iron 44 fire on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest near Weaverville, California. It was the deadliest helicopter crash involving working firefighters in U.S. history.

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Burned forests are 'recovering' from green

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US West
Nov 24, 2014
The Missoulian

Recently I was wandering through a burnt forest in the aftermath of a wildfire with a mixed group of people as part of a field trip with a forest collaborative. We were examining the burn severity pattern that a recent wildfire had carved through the forest. In many places, the fire had barely charred the ground, while in other places nearly all the trees had been killed. Standing among the black snags that were created in the aftermath of a particularly high-severity burn, someone asked how long it would take for the forest to “recover.” 

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Angoon trail crew’s work on footbridge links generations, cultures

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
Nov 25, 2014
US Forest Service - blog

Members of the Alaska native Angoon Tribe worked with the Tongass National Forest to build a bridge on Admiralty Island National Monument that is part of a tribe’s historical trail used to cross lakes to hunt and fish and trap furs to sell. Tribal members say it was the bears that created the trail, a story that predates their use of the land. 

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Mountain Pine Beetle could threaten Majestic Pines of Minnesota: Study

Categories: Forestry
Region: United States; US East
Nov 24, 2014
New Hampshire Voice

A research project by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture unveiled initial results as per which, the mountain pine beetle has destroyed big areas of forests in the Rockies. The way large swaths have been damaged, scientists are concerned that insects may damage the pines of Minnesota and states farther east in the coming time. For now, the researchers have no idea whether insects have entered in a beachhead. The researchers said the insects are established in the Black Hills of South Dakota. 

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State of sustainability: For three forest-based commodities, ‘a long way to go’

Categories: Forestry
Region: International
Nov 24, 2014
Center for International Forestry Research

BOGOR, Indonesia—With climate changing and populations growing, the demand for forest-based commodities has never been greater. Ensuring the sustainability of products from palm oil to timber and everything in between looms as one of humanity’s biggest challenges... CIFOR’s Forests News recently asked three experts for their thoughts on the present, and future, of three tropical forest-based commodities: palm oil, shea nut oil and timber.

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Company & Business News

FPInnovations Wins Two Awards at the 2014 Contech Building Exposition

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada
Nov 24, 2014
FPInnovations

FPInnovations is honoured to have won two awards from the Innovation and Sustainable Development Trophies recognition program, organized within the 30th edition of the Contech Building Exposition. The award winners were revealed at a networking lunch held at the opening of the event, which took place in Montréal on November 13 at the Palais des congrès. The panel of judges presented a Lauréat award - Category Winner - as well as a Reconnaissance 3RV – Recognition for Sustainability - award to FPInnovations in the Housing - Innovative Practices category, for the Technical Guide for the Design and Construction of Tall Wood Buildings in Canada. 

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Conifex Reviews New AAC for Mackenzie

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 25, 2014
250 News

Mackenzie, B.C. – The recent announcement of the boost to the annual allowable cut in the Mackenzie region is being analyzed by Conifex as the company looks at making a decision on its Mackenzie sawmill. The Deputy Chief Forester, Diane Nicholls, announced the annual allowable cut in the Mackenzie timber supply area has been increased by 47.5% to 4.5 million cubic metres. While the increase is being welcomed, Conifex Vice President Pat Bell says there are restrictions in that cut “There are restrictions on species, and in geographical areas, so we have our team doing a detailed analysis to see just exactly what it could mean for our operations.”

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B.C. manufacturing gets lift from forestry in September

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 25, 2014
Business in Vancouver

B.C. factories were busy in September as manufacturing sales surged to heights last seen in 2007. Dollar-volume shipments rose 1.9% from August to a seasonally adjusted $3.66 billion, the third straight gain and the fifth over a six-month period. While data is unavailable for many sub-sectors, there was a clear upshift in forestry-related output. Wood product manufacturing rose 2.9% and paper manufacturing grew 3.4%. Combined, these sectors contributed to about 50% of the net monthly gain. In addition, food (1.7%) and machinery (3%) were also significant contributors to growth.

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Low dollar, oil prices benefit, but not a silver bullet for newsprint

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 25, 2014
The Western Star

Experts agree lower oil prices and a lower Canadian dollar are going to be around for a while, but what that means for exporting manufacturers like Corner Brook Pulp and Paper is less clear. Gabriella Sabau, an economics professor at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University, said the Corner Brook mill should be able to export more profitably because of the devalued Canadian currency and incur lower production costs because of the dramatic drops in oil prices. She said there are other evolutions in the industry that give it more hope. ...Kevin Mason, managing director of forest products research with Equity Research Associates in British Columbia, said there are factors that offset the benefits of the low dollar and oil prices.

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Maintaining market position still difficult for Corner Brook Pulp and Paper

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: Canada; Canada East
Nov 25, 2014
The Western Star

Sure, it’s great news for Ric Tull to see the Canadian dollar dropping and oil prices plummeting, but there are still major factors that continue to make the newsprint industry a gruelling place to do business. Tull is nearing the completion of his third year as vice-president and general manager of Corner Brook Pulp and Paper. It has been a tumultuous stint, to say the least, with production cuts and difficult labour contract negotiations worked out amid some of the worst times the industry has ever seen. ...To maintain its position in the marketplace, Tull said all the paper mill and its employees can do is keep working towards making better paper at a lower cost than their competitors.

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Domtar is Among the Companies in the Paper Products Industry With the Lowest Price to Sales Ratio

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States
Nov 25, 2014
My Smart Trend.com

Below are the three companies in the Paper Products industry with the lowest price to sales per share ratios. Often companies with the lowest ratio present the greatest value to investors. Domtar ranks lowest with a a price to sales ratio of 0.49. Glatfelter is next with a a price to sales ratio of 0.61. Clearwater Paper ranks third lowest with a a price to sales ratio of 0.70. International Paper follows with a a price to sales ratio of 0.85, and Neenah Paper rounds out the bottom five with a a price to sales ratio of 1.04.

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Falling lumber prices in US

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States
Nov 25, 2014
IHB The Timber Network

In a very sluggish European context, softwood sawmills in the Euro zone would have liked to see in the US market a few glimmers of hope. Unfortunately, the latest figures are not so good, showing a falling US lumber market... But since the beginning of autumn, it seems that we are witnessing an overseas economic downturn. First, because sawyers have anticipated a rise in construction much stronger than it actually is. Then, because construction is now changing patterns in the US: wood frame houses leave more and more room for family or collective housing programs which consume less wood. Therefore, an excess of stocks is now set to reappear, leading to a very significant price fall since September 2014, averaged -12.5% for the benchmark composite index.

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Timber! Why the rich are buying trees

Rich families have worked tirelessly to diversify their investments beyond traditional stocks and bonds

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States
Nov 24, 2014
CNNMoney

In the rarefied world of the wealthy, timber is the hot new commodity. That's according to Dennis Moon, head of Specialty Asset Management at U.S. Trust, a division of Bank of America, whose job it is to find, manage, and log plots of trees for the firm's well-healed clients. Ever since the financial crisis, business is booming, as rich families have worked tirelessly to diversify their investments beyond traditional stocks and bonds. Here's why the 1 percent are loving lumber, and all the green that comes with it. 

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Georgia Lumber Mill Gets Multi-Million Dollar Upgrade

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: United States; US East
Nov 25, 2014
Building Products.com

In an attempt to be more efficient, a lumber mill in Augusta, Ga., is getting a $25 million equipment upgrade. Canadian firm West Fraser Timber Co. has paved the way by filing a commercial building permit this month for two replacement dry kilns at the mill, which will use roughly 30% less energy to dry the same amount of wood on a daily basis. Reducing the amount of waste in the lumber that is being used, the kilns offer better options for use of natural resources... The mill, which hasn’t seen a major investment on the site in over a decade, is expected to begin work in January 2015. 

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State election 2014: Labor's environment policies revealed

Categories: Company & Business News
Region: International
Nov 25, 2014
The Age.com Australia

Australia -- Labor will hand the fate of the state's endangered animal emblem, the Leadbeater's possum, and a proposed new national park to protect it, to a panel of unionists, the timber industry and conservationists. Labor's full environmental election pledge also reveals plans to scrap the Napthine Government's cattle grazing trial in the Alpine National Park if it wins office, and also includes a promise to review legislation and programs "to commit to an achievable carbon emissions reduction target". The quiet release of Labor's full environment plan comes less than four days before Victorians take to the polls.

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Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy

Peter Foster: The Trudeau Foundation’s one-way climate conversation

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: Canada
Nov 25, 2014
National Post

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau Foundation last week held a conference titled “Weathering Change: Pathways to Sustainability in Canada.” It confirmed that the pathway to serfdom now makes its way through the thickets of climate hysteria, past social-mediated mobs, and via smokeless backrooms filled with radical NGOs... Ms. Berman... presented the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement, CBFA, as a great achievement of industry/NGO “collaboration,” when in fact it was rooted in naked intimidation, and excluded local communities and aboriginal groups. Moreover, it had effectively exploded when NGO signatory Greenpeace withdrew to attack industry signatory Resolute Forest Products, which then took the unprecedented step of suing Greenpeace. Resolute was one of the sponsors of the conference. Go figure.

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Characterization of fractions obtained from two industrial softwood Kraft lignins

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States
Nov 25, 2014
Chemistry & Engineering

With the increasing interest in using lignin as an alternative material to petroleum-based chemicals (e.g. in the manufacture of carbon fibers or adhesives), it is becoming important to understand what properties of lignin are required to impart key features in the final product. Commercial lignins are complex, heterogeneous, macromolecular mixtures. To obtain maximum value, lignins will require classification and, possibly, fractionation or modification to improve properties and enable their utilization in high-value applications. 

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EPA memo is good news for biomass, forest thinning

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: United States; US West
Nov 25, 2014
Bend Bulletin

A new approach to measuring some carbon emissions is good news for Oregon’s forests and biomass industry. An Environmental Protection Agency memo revealed last week that the agency is taking a more thorough look at the carbon emissions that come from forest products. If the new calculations survive into a final ruling, forest and biomass industry jobs could follow, along with better ways to thin forests and cut wildfire risk. ...Waste products from logging are often burned on site if no good alternative exists, producing the same amount of carbon emission as if they were taken to a mill and turned into wood pellets. Making the pellets, however, has other benefits in energy production and job creation.

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Carbon farmer sues MRP over $34.7 mln in ETS credits

Categories: Carbon, Climate & Bioenergy
Region: International
Nov 25, 2014
Scoop.co.nz

New Zealand Carbon Farming, the country’s largest supplier of post-1989 bulk carbon credits, is suing Mighty River Power for $34.7 million over liability for carbon credits the listed energy company was contracted to buy as part of its efforts to offset carbon emissions from electricity generation. The case, currently underway in the High Court at Auckland, centres on a change to the methodology for working out the amount of carbon credits produced by forests under the Emissions Trading Scheme... MRP is contesting the claim which would mean it would have to buy significantly more carbon units from the supplier than was originally forecast because the contract included a pro-rata scale up or down clause if the amount of carbon sinks produced by the forest was altered under new methodology.

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Wood & Paper Products & Green Building

Dumped wood products should be recycled

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 23, 2014
Lethbridge Herald

Mayor Spearman and some councillors want to involve taxpayers in curbside recycling, for the “greater public good.” Given that only 25 per cent of the current waste stream heading to our landfill facility is attributable to residential waste, would it not be more productive (and the effort pay larger dividends) if proportionate attention be directed towards the 75 per cent attributable to the industrial, institutional and commercial sector? The third largest industry in Alberta, generating $5.5 billion in revenues annually, is the forest industry. The wood in your home (on average 15,000 board feet) was not harvestable until it was decades old. 

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Good wood for a green building future

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: Canada; Canada West
Nov 24, 2014
Government-world


In an increasingly urban world, there is a demand for big buildings that can be built with greater concern for environmental and climate impact. This has seen wood emerge from the building archives as a possible material for the future. Canada-based architect, and perhaps appropriately-named Michael Green has been talking big about the potential of wood. Very big indeed, in fact his firm has drawn up plans for a 30-storey wood tower for Vancouver. So convinced is Green that he’s giving away his 200-page manual Tall Wood away for free in a hope to push things further and faster. It’s not necessarily about higher though, Carla Smith from Green’s practice MGA says:

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USGBC Announces 2015 Board of Directors

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States
Nov 25, 2014
USGBC

USGBC announced today the newly elected and appointed officers and directors to its 2015 Board of Directors. “USGBC’s Board of Directors provides invaluable direction and perspective, collectively bringing decades of experience to the table and using their individual expertise to shape the future of the organization, the community and the green building movement as a whole,” said Rick Fedrizzi, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. “Delivering on the promise of developing buildings that sustain and enhance the vitality of life within a generation is no small undertaking. Our Board of Directors is comprised of representatives from many different segments of the building industry and will undoubtedly make great strides in the coming year.”

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Cellulosic nanomaterials poised to transform forest industry

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: United States; US West
Nov 24, 2014
Idaho Statesman

Imagine the next generation of forest product industries who create and manufacture strong, stiff and lightweight products from cellulose manipulated at the molecular level. The development of commercial markets for cellulosic nanomaterials, tiny, naturally occurring structural building blocks, hold great promise for many products in electronics, construction, food, energy, health care, automotive, aerospace, and defense. These products could include jet fuel, aerogels, oil drilling additives, paints, coatings, adhesives, cement, food additives, lightweight packaging materials, paper, health care products, tissue scaffolding, lightweight vehicle armor, space technology, and automotive parts.

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Melbourne 5x4 project takes timber tip from Spain's Metropol Parasol

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Nov 25, 2014
The Age Australia

Tai Hollingsbee does not waste time wondering about timber's role in the future of prefabrication. "The future is here," said Mr Hollingsbee, the principal of sustainable and performative design at engineering giant GHD. The driving force in this progress is that more people are living in cities. "I see timber as one of the pathways where we can address resource efficiency, energy efficiency, and living better and healthier closer together," he said. ..."This is what we can do with computational tools. We can create all sorts of flows and curves out of timber. An intimate understanding of complex mathematics and engineering have enabled buildings like this to be built out of timber," he said. "Projects like this do not involve bent timber; discrete timber elements are flat but are connected in such a way to create multi-curvature forms."

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Mondi holds opening ceremony for its Euro 30 million pulp dryer at its Syktyvkar mill in Russia

Categories: Wood & Paper Products & Green Building
Region: International
Nov 24, 2014
PPI Magazine

SYKTYVKAR, Russia -Mondi Syktyvkar officially opened its €30 million pulp dryer with an event hosting 150 prominent attendees last week. The official ceremony was attended by representatives of Komi Republic Government and Mondi leaders. The estimated 150 visitors of the event included customers, partners and contractors who had been involved in the project implementation, as well as members of the project team and journalists from the Russian trade press and local media representatives. ..."Our mill keeps progressing and mastering new business activities, as demonstrated by this most recent investment into the installation of the new pulp dryer. This project also creates employment for about 30 people in the mill," said Klaus Peller, Mondi Syktyvkar Managing Director

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