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Bioenergy could bring new life to shuttered mill

Bioenergy could bring new life to shuttered mill | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

There may be hope for the shuttered Ainsworth lumber mill in Grand Rapids, which closed three years ago, a victim of the housing market crash and the Great Recession.


The J.M. Longyear company of Marquette, Mich., has signed a purchase agreement for the 120-acre site, and will take control of the mill in 2014. Company officials have been tight-lipped about their intentions, but some wood and timber experts predict it could become part of an emerging bioenergy industry.

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US real estate recovery to continue, spreading nationally

US real estate recovery to continue, spreading nationally | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The US real estate recovery is set to continue, spreading nationally, while the mood among industry insiders is one of cautious optimism, according to the 2013 Emerging Trends in Real Estate, released by PwC US and the Urban Land Institute.


More than 70% of respondents expect good to excellent prospects for profitability in 2013, with a rising real estate market helping them to overcome concerns about rising interest rates over the next five years.


Byron Carlock, US real estate practice leader at PwC, said: "The surprise to us is that there is not more optimism. The market is proceeding at a pleasant pace in the right direction."

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Pellet plant breaks ground in Va., brings economic growth

Pellet plant breaks ground in Va., brings economic growth | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Maryland-based Enviva LP broke ground on a new 500,000 ton per year pellet production facility in Southampton County, Va. The plant represents the biggest economic development opportunity in the county over the past 20 years.

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Most of the woody biomass will be sourced within a 50-75 mile radius of the facility, and on average, roughly 200 trucks will enter or leave the facility per day when the plant is operating at full capacity. According to Woodworth, the company plans to export most of the pellets produced at the Southampton facility to Europe.

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Forestry-Related Industry Performance–March 2012

Forestry-Related Industry Performance–March 2012 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Industrial production at the total manufacturing level rose by 0.3 percent in February; Wood Products followed suit with a 0.1 percent increase, while Paper jumped by 0.7 percent.

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OSU Study: Gas prices triggered 2007 housing crisis

OSU Study: Gas prices triggered 2007 housing crisis | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

A new study by economists at the University of California, Berkeley, and Oregon State University suggests that the U.S. housing crisis that started in 2007 and eventually led to a worldwide financial crisis was triggered by rapidly rising gas prices.

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“The key word is, ‘triggered,’” said JunJie Wu, an OSU economist and one of the authors of the paper. “This theory recognizes the role of subprime mortgages and lax lending practices as inflating the housing bubble, but high gasoline prices provided the trigger that burst the bubble.”

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In their study, the authors show how low gas prices during the housing boom, in combination with easy access to credit and new mortgage products, made suburban houses affordable to a new class of homeowners characterized by low incomes, high leverage, low credit worthiness and long work commutes.

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Economic Outlook Bodes Well for Real Estate Assets: ULI

Economic Outlook Bodes Well for Real Estate Assets: ULI | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Real estate fundamentals over the next three years are expected to improve, with housing starts predicted to nearly double from 2011 levels and home prices forecast to increase by 3.5 percent in 2014, according to the Urban Land Institute Real Estate Consensus Forecast released March 28. The ULI survey, which tallied responses from 38 economists and market analysts, showed that single-family housing starts are expected to increase from 428,600 units in 2011 to 500,000 units in 2012, 660,000 units in 2013 and 800,000 units in 2014.

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Oregon: Timber enduring four years of slow, painful progress

Oregon: Timber enduring four years of slow, painful progress | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Prices of lumber, logs, housing, and mortgage statistics show the four-year dilemma of painfully slow progress out of this deep depression in lumber and housing.

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Home-Builder Sentiment Hits Highest Level Since Mid-2007

Home-Builder Sentiment Hits Highest Level Since Mid-2007 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
U.S.home builders' sentiment rose in January to the highest level in 4 1/2 years, the latest in a series of signs that the housing market is finally beginning to recover.

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Private equity's choice: Obama or Romney

Private equity's choice: Obama or Romney | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

In 36 hours or so, we should know if America has elected its first-ever private equity president. Or if it's reelected the guy who campaigned, in part, by criticizing some of private equity's more controversial practices.


Based on the rhetoric, it seems obvious that Mitt Romney should be the choice of private equity professionals who vote their business interests. But I'm not so sure that it's quite so clear-cut.
For starters, future private equity success will depend more on a vibrant economy than on any industry-specific policy. Not only because a rising tide lifts portfolio company financials (and, in turn, sale prices), but also because private equity relies on capital commitments from a wide swath of institutional investors (public pensions, college endowments, corporations, family offices, nonprofit foundations, etc.).


So if a private equity voter is convinced that Romney's economic policies are best for broad-based prosperity -- both in America and worldwide -- then he should be the pick. Same goes for Obama.
And before calling this a cop-out, two opposing pieces of data: Romney has raised far more money from private equity execs than has Obama, and also seems to have their ballot box support. At the same time, Cambridge Associates reports that private equity has generated 16.62% benchmark returns in the three years between June 30, 2009 and June 30, 2012. That's better than the private equity benchmark for any other time period that CA measures, and was based largely on a public equities market that has thrived under Obama's watch.


Again, not clear-cut. And macro economic prognostication is an educated guessing game, at best.

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NY State’s 69,000-acre buy likely to boost tourism

NY State’s 69,000-acre buy likely to boost tourism | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

The state of New York is acquiring the biggest chunk of land in the Adirondacks in more than a century, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.


Cuomo said the $49.8 million acquisition of 69,000 acres of land would preserve a significant portion of the Upper Hudson River watershed.


“Today’s agreement will make the Adirondack Park one of the most sought after destinations for paddlers, hikers, hunters, sportspeople and snowmobilers,” he said in a release. “Opening these lands to public use and enjoyment for the first time in 150 years will provide extraordinary new outdoor recreational opportunities, increase the number of visitors to the North Country and generate additional tourism revenue.”

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Mill explosions ‘new territory’ for B.C.’s beetle-ravaged forest industry

Mill explosions ‘new territory’ for B.C.’s beetle-ravaged forest industry | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

Sawmill explosions in the B.C. Interior have thrown the province’s forest industry into turmoil, raising concerns that the mountain pine beetle’s damage to the sector may be entering a new and more deadly phase.


The potential for dry beetle-killed wood to pose a safety hazard comes at a time when the industry is struggling to cope with pine beetle impact.


A report released Thursday, prepared before the explosive dust became an issue, shows that more sawmill closures and curtailments are on the way as the wood deteriorates in quality, leading to higher operating costs

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The Pending Subsidy Cliff, And the Way Out

The Pending Subsidy Cliff, And the Way Out | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

It's a daunting reality, yet one that's been years in the making... The renewables industries — all of them — are not only approaching a subsidy cliff. They already have one foot dangling over the edge.

These cliffs are seen as a part of the renewables landscape, and the hope has been that the perceived drop would be too steep for lawmakers to ignore. In the past, that’s been a successful strategy, but the new state of politics dictates that subsidies will be phased out. Though some may yet be extended for at least the short-term, we’re likely entering a new era of energy policy in the United States.

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Univ Oregon study: Renewable energy output must more than quadruple to replace fossil fuel

Univ Oregon study: Renewable energy output must more than quadruple to replace fossil fuel | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
A study from the University of Oregon and published in the journal "Nature Climate Change" is challenging conventional thinking that renewable energy sources may one day replace fossil fuels.


Sociologist Richard York studied the use of electricity from fossil fuels and alternative sources in 130 countries during the past half century. He discovered that rather than replacing fossil fuels, the alternative energy sources barely outpaced rising demand in the past 50 years.

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24 ways forestry improves our lives

24 ways forestry improves our lives | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

"In honor of World Forestry Day, our partner ShadeFund, along with The Conservation Fund, U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities, Forest Guild, Dovetail Partners, and the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, have put together this rather awesome list of 24 ways that forestry improves our lives."

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Number of the Week: Dismal New Home Sales in 2011

Number of the Week: Dismal New Home Sales in 2011 | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it
New home sales in 2011 hit their lowest level on record, but it's difficult to express just how bad that is.

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Buy a 2-by-4, help the economy

Buy a 2-by-4, help the economy | Timberland Investment | Scoop.it

"It has taken only six years to lose 294,000 jobs in the timber industry. From Portland, Maine, to Portland, Ore., more than 1,000 sawmills have closed permanently with a loss of $7 billion in wages."

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