The truth about biomass

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A piece of news came out late last week that would seem to have a significant impact on the biomass industry that is fast growing across the country: a state-sponsored study out of Massachusetts said that biomass plants released more greenhouse gases over time than coal. Could this be possible? Biomass operators, as well as federal and state governments, have … Read More

“Designer” trees pop up in the South

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Could genetically altered trees be on the horizon? According to the Associated Press, the Southern paper industry is planning the country’s first ever large-scale planting of “designer” trees. The Australian eucalyptus trees, which usually only grow in very warm climates, have been genetically altered to survive freezing temperatures, according to the AP story. Three large paper companies started a biotech … Read More

Timber forecast: cautiously optimistic

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These are promising economic times for the timber industry, but it’s important to note how low timber sales have been the last few years, and that the latest numbers, while encouraging, are not yet reason to jump up for joy. That sentiment is on full display in some recent media coverage of the industry. The Kitsap Sun in Washington notes … Read More

SFI remains a market leader

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The debate over forest certification requires constant vigilance, and we are happy that the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is going strong. SFI is an independent wood-products certification that provides another valuable choice in the green building marketplace, and as many of you know, there is a passionate debate right now over what wood certifications should be included in the LEED … Read More

Keeping out illegal wood

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It’s always difficult to be part of the proud U.S. timber industry and see substandard or questionable wood flood the market from overseas. Not to say that all foreign wood is bad, but there is certainly a strong market, unfortunately, for wood that does not pass the strict legal and environmental standards of American timber. Voice of America, a news … Read More

Biomass on NPR

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The national media is starting to pay attention to the biomass phenomenon. Dozens of plants are being built across the country and the federal government is offering generous subsidies, but as this NPR story today notes, local opposition has also popped up in some cities. The NPR story focuses much of its attention on two proposed biomass plants in Shelton, … Read More

A troubling development in Canada

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More details have emerged about the historic deal reached in Canada between the forest industry and environmental groups, an agreement that we wrote about earlier this month. Just to recap, Canada’s timber companies, including members of the Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC), have promised to severely limit logging on 173 million acres of boreal forest, a massive area that … Read More

Montana comes together

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We try to highlight partnerships wherever we can on the One Voice blog because in the end, it’s inspiring to see all the stakeholders come together for a common solution. Of course that solution usually isn’t perfect, but it’s often better than deadlock. The news out of Montana this week is that a coalition made up of the Wilderness Society, … Read More

SFI pushes for LEED status

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The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is still considering changes to its LEED building standard that could allow wood products certified by other groups besides the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). As we’ve written about before, this is an issue of huge importance for the timber industry. If some environmental groups are successful in maintaining the FSC monopoly on USGBC standards, … Read More

Timber wars may be over – in Canada

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Are the timber wars over in Canada? That seems to be the gist of this story today from the Montreal Gazette. According to the article, the Canadian timber industry has brokered a deal with leading environmental groups, including Greenpeace, that may allow both parties to move forward without conflict. The deal goes like this: Canada’s timber companies promise to stop … Read More