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Featured Article

Can a small, family forest help save the planet?

Can a small, family forest help save the planet?

Eve Lonnquist’s family has owned a forest in the mountains of northwest Oregon since her grandmother bought the land in 1919. Her 95-year-old father still lives on the 157-acre property. And she and her wife often drive up from their home just outside Portland.

But lately, Ms. Lonnquist, 59 and recently retired, has been thinking about the future of her family’s land. Like many small-forest owners, they draw some income from logging and would like to keep doing so. But they would also like to see the forest, with its stands of Douglas fir, alder and cherry, protected from clear-cutting or being sold off to developers.

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Stronger than concrete? Why this new material could define our age

Stronger than concrete? Why this new material could define our age

If the 19th century belonged to iron and steel and the 20th century belonged to concrete, could timber be the building material of our age? That is the question posed by architect Alison Brooks’ “The Smile,” currently on display at the Chelsea College of Art and Design as part of this year’s London Design Festival.

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The bidders in Maine’s biomass bailout remain secret. But one stands out

The bidders in Maine’s biomass bailout remain secret. But one stands out

Maine regulators are considering whether to hand out up to $13.4 million in tax dollars to prop up the state’s biomass generators. The plants, which generate electricity by burning low-grade wood, have buoyed the logging industry but struggle to compete in the face of falling oil prices. Regulators have refused to say which generators want the bailout while negotiations continue.

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Boardman, OR coal plant to try full day of forest biomass

Cleaning up forest clutter might be good for more than just curtailing large wildfires in Oregon. It might just be the answer Portland General Electric is looking for to convert the Boardman Coal Plant to 100 percent biomass. Later this year, PGE will use nothing but woody debris to power the station for one full day as the utility continues to test alternative fuels at the 550-megawatt facility. A successful test burn was conducted last year at Boardman using a 10-to-1 mix of coal and biomass, which has project leaders feeling optimistic.

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