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 Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?

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PostSubject: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sat Apr 26, 2008 11:51 am

I missed the seminar in Ennis yesterday referenced in this blogspot on why Ireland could do with using wood as a source of energy.
http://theclareherald.blogspot.com/2008/04/wood-chip-to-fuel-irelands-energy.html


What do ye think? Are we vastly underutilising our lands which could be forested more both for leisure and energy and if so, how do we get more forestry to be put in?


Last edited by Auditor #9 on Tue Sep 16, 2008 3:18 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:00 pm

The Clare Weekender had a bit on this seminar held on Friday by the County Clare Wood Energy Project - http://www.ccwep.ie/ . The sector has the potential to create hundreds of jobs in the county in the next 12 years it said and "close to 200 additional jobs should be generated in the county by the end of the decade". Those figures are a bit muddled but the intentions are good as long as such an industry is sustainable of course.

According to Doirin Graham CEO of RRD and the CCWEP "the total contribution of wood energy to the Clare economy by 2020 is estimated at €9.8 million per annum, if we meet the 95MW government target for biomass heat production".

According to the paper,
Over 15% of Clare is forested, making it the fourth most afforested county in Ireland. It also contains 6.8% of Ireland's total forestry resource, 45,000 hectares in total, about half of which is privately owned and half in state ownership.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Mon Apr 28, 2008 4:27 pm

There were huge forestry programmes a number of years ago with generous grants offered. Perhaps more people would get into it if the laws restricting future use of forestry land weren't as restrictive.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Mon Apr 28, 2008 5:38 pm

I'm at a conflict on this.

The green in me thinks it's perfectly wonderful to restablish the natural environmental geography of this country but restoring wetlands and forests, which can both have economical benefits in regards to the provision of natural resources, such as wood.

However, the pragmatist in me sees a lot of arable useable land being taken over, when there seems to be a developing food crisis. With the expansion of the world population, is it really feasible to use arable land for anything other than food production?

I'm sure I'm misguided at certain points here, anyone care to point me in the right direction and settle my confused little mind?
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:33 pm

riadach wrote:
I'm at a conflict on this.

The green in me thinks it's perfectly wonderful to restablish the natural environmental geography of this country but restoring wetlands and forests, which can both have economical benefits in regards to the provision of natural resources, such as wood.

However, the pragmatist in me sees a lot of arable useable land being taken over, when there seems to be a developing food crisis. With the expansion of the world population, is it really feasible to use arable land for anything other than food production?

I'm sure I'm misguided at certain points here, anyone care to point me in the right direction and settle my confused little mind?

If you read Collapse, Riadach you will find it is dealing with exactly that conundrum. We are only on Part One so there is still time to join us.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:42 pm

I smell an ambush :-)
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Mon Apr 28, 2008 10:59 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:31 pm

That's a bit too relevant to our conversation. Did you just stage that?:-)
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:06 am

riadach wrote:
That's a bit too relevant to our conversation. Did you just stage that?:-)

Off topic Riadach. Back to the woods !
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:20 am

Is there not alot of carbon put out when you burn wood? Trees suck it in all their lives....
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Tue Apr 29, 2008 11:50 am

johnfás wrote:
Is there not alot of carbon put out when you burn wood? Trees suck it in all their lives....
But they consume it during respiration/photosynthesis (delete as appropriate), rather than storing it up. And the carbon that is released is then consumed by future generations of trees. Apparently, as long as the wood is relatively local, wood burning is carbon neutral.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:12 pm

I have serious doubts about the rush to wood chip burners. Ireland's forest cover is only 17%, most of which is single species sitka spruce plantation that has reduced the bio-diversity of the land. We still have the lowest cover in Europe with Scandinavian and Eastern European countries that have used wood chip for years having over 60%. Japan, Diamond says in Collapse, has 75%.

Ireland has the fastest growing conditions in Europe, being warm and moist. On maturity the sitka spruce is clear felled and hauled out, which removes nutrients from the soil and takes them away from the site. The soil is then exposed to erosion from wind and rain.

The practice by Coillte of spraying insecticides and fertilisers from aircraft has contributed to water pollution of streams and rivers. There have been a number of devastating critiques of the Irish forestry practice.

Sitka is an alien species that does not mesh with native Irish ecology - undergrowth vegetation, insects, birds and mammals. It has a dense, dark forest cover that does not allow understory growth.

Ian Wright of the Irish National Forestry Foundation in an IT arcticle says "the 1996 Strategic Plan recommended planting 20,000 hectares a year of predominantly Sitka spruce on unproductive land to achieve 17 per cent forest cover by 2035. Many plantations were on old woodland sites. Recent research has found that if conifers on ancient woodland sites are felled and replaced with more conifers, then the wildlife dependent on ancient woodlands will not survive.

Coillte clearfell and reforest over 10,000 hectares a year in a manner that reinforces the mistakes of the past. Despite the Heritage Council recommending a 50/50 broadleaves and conifers planting policy, Coillte's long-term broadleaf target is a mere 10 per cent. Last year they planted only eight per cent. This target makes a mockery of Coillte's much acclaimed Forest Stewardship Council certification, given for supposedly sustainable forest management.


http://www.ireland.com/timeseye/trees/alien.htm

The assumption that wood chip burners are Green is presumably based on the idea that forests are a renewable product that hold carbon and that the burned timber will be replaced by newly planted forest. This ignores the problem of the first generation of use of wood stoves. The Irish forestry resource will be depleted quickly while the replacement forest, planted on lands that have to be artificially fertilised to replace lost nutrients, will grow slowly. There will clearly be a dip in forest cover.
Carbon sequestration by forest only works when that trees are left standing.

Has anyone calculated how many homes can be heated sustainably from the available Irish supply? If there is not enough mature timber to supply the market it will have to be imported, with transport pressures on the environment.

The Irish Natural Forestry Foundation and groups like CRANN are trying to introduce far more sustainable forestry, of much higher quality and biodiversity, but not aimed at filling wood chip burners and going up in smoke.

Which brings me to another issue: one good thing Mary Harney did was clean the air in towns by barring use of coal. The air quality in a housing estate full of wood chip burners is not something that I would want to live with.

My vote would be for introducing sustainable forestry management practices and much increasing our tree coverage, maximising wind and solar energy use, and insulating our homes properly, getting as close as possible to passive home standard, which does not require any form of central heating.
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PostSubject: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Wed May 07, 2008 12:40 pm

I see there's a discussion of forestry in the 'ole climate change debate. It seems that forestry is quite expensive.

I was under the impression that half of the US was covered in forests. A lot of the area along the east coast was farmland till around a century ago; when it was abandoned for various reasons the forest just moved back in, uninvited but welcome in the environmental scheme of things.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Wed May 07, 2008 12:47 pm

It is quite profitable as well, isn't it? I think I read in the last few weeks that Coillte have made record profits. Anyone who has seen the amount of trees chopped on the path up Three Rock Mountain will understand why.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sun May 18, 2008 12:41 am

http://www.inff.ie/index.php?id=2

The INFSS's Nora Dalton has emailed me to let me know that there is a biodiversity event on tomorrow at the Manch Estate, Ballineen, County Cork

Quote :
Biodiversity
It’s the Variety in Nature
that gives us Life
Biodiversity, or Biological diversity, refers to
the variety of all life forms on Earth, from the
butterflies in your garden and the plants they
feed from to predatory eagles and the biggest
whales in the sea. Biodiversity is also
the basis of human existence, our life support
system. Come along to celebrate International
Day for Biological Diversity, have
fun and find out more, with a day of arts and
crafts, talks, walks, and hands on workshops,
food stalls and a farmers’ market.
All events are free of charge and are sure to
make for a fun and valuable day out for all
the family. Contributions to support INFF's
work would be greatly appreciated. See
www.inff.ie and www.noticenature.ie for further details
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sun May 18, 2008 3:50 pm

johnfás wrote:
It is quite profitable as well, isn't it? I think I read in the last few weeks that Coillte have made record profits. Anyone who has seen the amount of trees chopped on the path up Three Rock Mountain will understand why.

I think it's one of the largest imports into the EU. Which highlights the importance of native forestry in terms of carbon sinks. Demand can only increase over the next century with those wood burners and house building etc.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sun May 18, 2008 3:55 pm

Japan is 74% forested - it's a bit of a disgrace how we're dealing with it here I feel - poor incentives for broadleaf etc. There must be plenty of bog for those good trees; more carbon taxes might incentivise us to plant them for offsetting but also for leisure.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sun May 18, 2008 3:56 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
Japan is 74% forested - it's a bit of a disgrace how we're dealing with it here I feel - poor incentives for broadleaf etc. There must be plenty of bog for those good trees; more carbon taxes might incentivise us to plant them for offsetting but also for leisure.

As people have pointed out to me in the past, they export their deforestation.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sun May 18, 2008 3:57 pm

How?
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sun May 18, 2008 4:28 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
How?

They buy in wood from the Phillippines and the rest of South-East Asia rather than cut down their own. They're a leading cause of deforestation in South-East Asia, because they do use vast amounts of wood.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sun May 18, 2008 4:43 pm

They use it faster than it is replenished - are they a net deforester do you know? Otherwise they might be encouraging forestry in other countries... Is their usage of it net destructive or do they have the inclination to maintain sustainable imports?
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sun May 18, 2008 4:46 pm

Auditor #9 wrote:
They use it faster than it is replenished - are they a net deforester do you know? Otherwise they might be encouraging forestry in other countries... Is their usage of it net destructive or do they have the inclination to maintain sustainable imports?

That's a good question - I don't know whether Japan makes any effort to assure the sustainability of the wood it imports.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Sun May 18, 2008 4:55 pm

There's this worldmapper page but it's not very helpful.
http://www.worldmapper.org/textindex/text_resources.html

Some stats to keep an eye out for then - world forestry resource management and monitoring.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Mon May 19, 2008 4:19 pm

ibis wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Japan is 74% forested - it's a bit of a disgrace how we're dealing with it here I feel - poor incentives for broadleaf etc. There must be plenty of bog for those good trees; more carbon taxes might incentivise us to plant them for offsetting but also for leisure.

As people have pointed out to me in the past, they export their deforestation.
It's all in Jared Diamond's 'Collapse'. He devoted a good chunk to Japan's reforestation, but I don't think he mention's their importing wood till much later in the book.
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PostSubject: Re: Did someone say 'Forestry Thread'?   Mon May 19, 2008 4:30 pm

905 wrote:
ibis wrote:
Auditor #9 wrote:
Japan is 74% forested - it's a bit of a disgrace how we're dealing with it here I feel - poor incentives for broadleaf etc. There must be plenty of bog for those good trees; more carbon taxes might incentivise us to plant them for offsetting but also for leisure.

As people have pointed out to me in the past, they export their deforestation.
It's all in Jared Diamond's 'Collapse'. He devoted a good chunk to Japan's reforestation, but I don't think he mention's their importing wood till much later in the book.

Speaking of Collapse. New Scientist had a piece a few weeks ago about increasing complexity in civilisations, their downfall and how the requirement for complex solutions is a part. But at the same time the problem of diminishing returns on investment into research and the dangers of not being willing to invest and to do away with older systems. I can't remember all of it, but I might add it to the Collapse thread if I find it.
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