As the sun sets on an $11.4 million federal effort to boost Maine’s wood pellet industry, early returns seem to indicate that the investment was a sound one. The U.S. Department of Forestry spent the money in the Fuels for Public Buildings grant to help bring 24 biomass conversion projects to fruition in schools, hospitals and public buildings across the state.
TheAmerican Tree Farm System® (ATFS), a program of the American Forest Foundation, has announced the 2013 Regional Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year, an annual sustainable forestry honor. Every year, ATFS inspecting foresters and state committees nominate certified Tree Farmers whose conservation efforts, outreach efforts to their community, and advocacy for sustainable forest management exceed expectations.
This month, the Georgia Forestry Association's Emerging Leaders and the Georgia SFI Implementation Committee, along with the Georgia Forestry Commission, Georgia Forestry Foundation and other organizations in the forestry community, launched a new public information program.
The U.K. Department of Energy and Climate Change proposed new sustainability criteria for biomass sourcing last September and a comment period wrapped up at the end of November, but the official standards are yet to be released. As proposed, a biomass power facility would have to demonstrate that 70 percent of the wood used to manufacture the pellets it procures has chain-of-custody (COC) certification, from the forest of origin to the final user.
A recent state-by-state study finds that U.S. urban trees store carbon and provide billions in economic value. America's urban forests store an estimated 708 million tons of carbon, an environmental service with an estimated value of $50 billion, according to a recent Forest Service study. The annual net carbon uptake by these trees is estimated at 21 million tons and $1.5 billion in economic benefit.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear has decided to fully rebuild a state tree nursery in eastern Kentucky that was devastated by a tornado last year. The state had been planning to divert insurance claim money to fill a budget gap.
Woodland owners and the Kentucky timber industry have been asking the governor to rebuild, saying the seedlings grown there are vital for the environment and the economy.
SFI has opened registration for their 2013 Annual Conference. The conference will provide attendees the opportunity to learn about emerging issues and network with the SFI community including forest managers, customers, landowners, manufacturers, printers, researchers, conservation and community organizations, retailers, sustainability coalitions, and government agencies.
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) has launched a new website to explain certification and the impact of the buying decisions we make every day. It has great information and includes some interesting infographics to tell the story of sustainability. The site is a great way to find out the basics about SFI, their process and how buying products made from sustainably sourced wood helps keep forests healthy.
Last week the Maryland General Assembly passed HB 706, more commonly referred to as the Forest Preservation Act of 2013. State Forester Steve Koehn was integral facilitating the process that provided the General Assembly with the background and information to support the passage of the Forest Preservation Act of 2013.
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