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U.S. agents move against illegal timber imports from Amazon

U.S. agents move against illegal timber imports from Amazon | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
U.S. agents searched the offices of a California-based wood importer this week as part of a broadening government crackdown on imports of illegally harvested timber, according to a previously unreported federal search warrant seen by Reuters.

The Department of Homeland Security agents are probing whether privately held Global Plywood & Lumber Inc violated U.S. and Peruvian law by importing wood that officials say was taken from the Amazon without proper permits, according to the warrant filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California in San Diego on Monday and executed on Tuesday.

No charges have been brought against the company. A Homeland Security spokesman in Houston said the investigation was ongoing.

Kenneth Peabody, Global Plywood manager, declined to comment on the warrant, the latest sign of increased U.S. efforts to curb logging of rare forest species.

In February, wood flooring giant Lumber Liquidators Inc agreed to pay more than $13 million in criminal fines and forfeitures to resolve a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into the import of wood illegally logged in far eastern Russia, home to many endangered species.
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Amazonas Florestal expands land holdings by 25,000 acres and increases timber inventories

Amazonas Florestal expands land holdings by 25,000 acres and increases timber inventories | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Amazonas Florestal, Ltd. has purchased 5 rural properties in the municipality of Borba, State of Amazonas, Brazil. These 5 properties will add approximately 25,000 acres to Amazonas land holdings and will increase the Company's timber inventories by approximately 5%. The addition of these properties brings the Company's total land holdings to more than 100,000 acres, as Amazonas Florestal said in the press release received by Lesprom Network.


Mr. Bruce W. Barren, CEO, stated, " The acquisition in Borba represents an important addition in our sustainable management projects in that once licensed and approved for harvest in 2015, it can potentially add 440,000 cubic metres of tropical hardwood trees to our present inventory and supply upwards of 22,000 cubic metres yearly on a 20 year plan to local mills. We have signed an intent to lease a major production mill in the adjacent area next year that would have the capacity to process the full amount that could become available once the SFMP (Sustainable Forest Management Project) in these lands are approved which we anticipate to take place in the second quarter of next year."

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Carbon-storing Amazon forest is losing its touch

Carbon-storing Amazon forest is losing its touch | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The Amazon has long been seen as a life preserver of sorts in the global warming fight, its lush forest storing billions of tons of carbon.

But now a paper published in Nature Wednesday says that the Amazon is losing its capacity to serve as a carbon sink. In a 30-year study of the South American tropical forest, an international team found that the Amazon has gone from storing 2 billion tons of carbon dioxide each year in the 1990s to half that now.
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"Climate change models that include vegetation responses assume that as long as carbon dioxide levels keep increasing, then the Amazon will continue to accumulate carbon," he said. "Our study shows that this may not be the case and that tree mortality processes are critical in this system."

William R. L. Anderegg, a NOAA Climate & Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow at the Princeton Environmental Institute who did not take part in the study, said the findings were "big news" and showed the potential limits of forests as a solution for combating global warming.

"Scientists have known for a long time that eventually forests would saturate and their carbon uptake would decline to zero over time as mortality of trees caught up with the increased growth rates," Anderegg said. "But what's really stunning to me is that we thought this saturation would occur decades from now, even towards or beyond the end of the century. This study shows that it really seems to have started in the 2000s. That's decades before we expected. This is bad news, because forests are currently one of the most effective carbon sinks."

Sam Radcliffe's insight:

Of course carbon uptake will decline to zero if you let the forest progress to a steady state where growth = mortality. But if you are able to harvest mortality and fix that carbon in solid wood products, increased growth rates will accelerate carbon storage. Do the climate models assume unmanaged forests in the vegetation response? I don't know the answer but let's say I'm skeptical that these models are dynamic enough to incorporate a man-initiated feedback response.

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Severe climate jeopardizing Amazon forest, study finds

Severe climate jeopardizing Amazon forest, study finds | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
An area of the Amazon rainforest twice the size of California continues to suffer from the effects of a megadrought that began in 2005, finds a new NASA-led study.
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