SFI takes Vancouver

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There’s been a lot of attention lately on the EPA’s proposed biomass rules and the new proposed spotted owl plan, but one issue that is also still going strong is the fight to get the U.S. Green Building Council to consider other forest product certifications. Right now the USGBC only considers the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification for the popular … Read More

EPA rule has high stakes

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The Oregonian had a good story recently about how the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed changes in its greenhouse gas emissions rules could threaten the burgeoning biomass industry. The EPA’s “tailoring rule” is something we’ve written about several times before, and the Oregonian does a solid job of outlining why the stakes are so high. Biomass, or using vegetation for … Read More

Draft spotted owl plan released

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As we wrote last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was expected to release a revised spotted owl plan very soon, and just this week, it did. One of the key points to make is the 181-page revised plan is a draft, and the government is taking comments for the next 60 days. Here is where you can send … Read More

Spotted owl: the next chapter

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In June we wrote about the 20th anniversary of the spotted owl’s listing as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act (see our posts here and here). The owl’s listing decimated the Northwest timber industry, and yet today, the spotted owl is actually worse off than it was 20 years ago. What happened is a larger, more efficient species called … Read More

Strong viewpoints out of Oregon

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Two op-eds were published recently in the Oregonian that bring up some important issues about the future of the timber industry. The two pieces discuss Oregon, but they may as well be talking about any state with an active timber industry. The first opinion piece is from Marvin Brown, the Oregon State Forester and Chair of the the Sustainable Forestry … Read More

The EPA Threat

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is still considering whether to pull its exemption for biomass plants when it comes to obtaining greenhouse-gas emissions permits. These proposed changes to what’s called the “Tailoring Rule” are critical to the future of the timber industry and many rural communities across the country. If the EPA’s proposed changes go into effect, biomass plants would … Read More

New site delves deeply into SFI vs. FSC

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The Tyee, a Canadian online news magazine, ran a 5-part series this week on the SFI vs. FSC forestry certification debate. The series provides a lot of detail about the claims by both sides, as well as what the debate may mean for the future of the forestry and green building industries. To recap, most of the fighting lately has … Read More

The Biochar Moment

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Is biochar the world’s most promising solution to climate change? That seems to be the news coming out of a multiyear study published in Nature Communication this week. From WalesOnline: A substance invented thousands of years ago by Amazonian Indians could hold the key to defeating man-made global warming, Welsh scientists believe. Here’s the headline from The New Republic, not … Read More

Why the federal biomass rule matters

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is now considering  whether to pull its exemption for biomass plants when it comes to obtaining greenhouse-gas emissions permits. These proposed changes to what’s called the “Tailoring Rule” would mean that biomass plants would no longer be considered carbon-neutral by the EPA, and it would make it more difficult for the plants to pencil out … Read More

Opinion of timber on the rise

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As we recently wrote, the timber industry has been in the green business for decades, and people in Washington state are noticing. According to a new poll by Moore Information, 76 percent of likely voters in Washington say that the forest products industry is green. On top of that, Washington residents think very highly of the state’s timber industry, and … Read More