Protecting the future of forests

bryanBLOG

Comments on the latest draft of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system are being taken until 5 p.m. Pacific time July 4th, so if you have time between now and then, please leave a comment here. As we’ve discussed before, the updates to the LEED rating system will have a profound impact on the timber industry’s future. If … Read More

What spotted owl?

bryanBLOG

It was 20 years ago — June 26, 1990 — that the spotted owl was listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. The Oregonian has taken an in-depth look at what that decision has meant for the timber industry and the spotted owl itself. The results, especially for the industry, are not pretty, and environmental groups might have … Read More

Fight the FSC monopoly

bryanBLOG

The debate over forest certification is one of the most important stories for today’s timber industry.  As we’ve followed closely the last few months, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is in the process of updating its widely accepted LEED green building standard. As it is now, LEED only accepts forest products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), and … Read More

New York Times backtracks on biomass

bryanBLOG

The biomass news just keeps coming. It’s been more than a week now since a fundamentally flawed study was released in Massachusetts, and in the days since, the study has been soundly refuted by the Biomass Power Association and the National Alliance of Forest Owners, and one of the report’s authors, the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, even backtracked from public … Read More

Biomass study cracking under pressure

bryanBLOG

One of the authors of a fundamentally flawed biomass study released last week now says that the study’s conclusions were reported incorrectly in the press. Most media outlets reported that the Massachusetts study showed that biomass plants are worse for the environment, or “dirtier,” than coal, but actually that “couldn’t be farther from the truth,” said Al Sample, president of … Read More

The truth about biomass

bryanBLOG

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

bryanBLOG

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

bryanBLOG

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

bryanBLOG

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

bryanBLOG

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