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Burning wood for energy ignites fierce academic row

Burning wood for energy ignites fierce academic row

Scientists on both sides of the Atlantic have become embroiled in a war of words over energy from trees. A recent Chatham House report claimed that burning wood for electricity is worse for the climate than using coal. It sparked a backlash from a group of 125 academics in the field who said the research was deeply flawed.

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Pine beetles could devastate Alabama’s $11B forest industry this year

A full-grown Southern pine beetle is still about half the length of a grain of rice, but state and federal forestry officials worry this tiny bug could have a monster impact this year on the state of Alabama’s $11 billion wood products industry. “With Southern pine beetles, the Latin name (Dendroctonus frontalis) actually means tree killer, and it is,” said Edward Loewenstein, associate professor of silviculture at Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. “It is well-suited to take trees out.”

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Japan prepares for biomass power plant surge and increases imports of wood chips 

Japanese trading houses and electricity retailers are increasing their imports of wood chips and palm shells, with demand expected to surge amid a rush of construction of biomass power plants, according to a report from the Nikkei Asian Review. The government is revising its fixed-price power purchase scheme so that the price for biomass-generated power falls to 21 yen (19 cents) from 24 yen per kilowatt-hour, effective October, according to the news channel.

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Federal lands in the West: liability or asset?

This update of research from last year finds that from the early 1970s to the early 2010s, population, employment, and personal income on average all grew significantly faster—two times faster or more—in western rural counties with the highest share of federal lands compared to counties with the lowest share of federal lands. Per capita income growth was slightly higher in counties with more federal land.

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Report: Oregon leading mass timber movement

Oregon is setting the pace for the nation in mass timber manufacturing, design and construction. A new report by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute offers insights from the architecture, engineering and construction communities on this burgeoning trend. Forest to Frame showcases the public and private partnerships contributing to a growing movement that’s redefining how apartments, hotels and offices are constructed. The 20-page report profiles Oregon developers, architects and contractors who are at the forefront of using advanced wood products such as cross-laminated timber (CLT) to build multistory structures –even skyscrapers – almost entirely out of wood.

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