Saturday, July 26, 2014

Dovetail Partners has updated its 2005 report questioning claims implicit in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED building standard about the supposedly favorable environmental impacts of using bamboo-derived products as substitutes for forest-based building materials such as hardwood flooring.

The Forest Climate Working Group, a coalition of 19 advocacy organizations, submitted six recommendations to the Obama Administration’s Climate Change Initiative, advocating a leading role for privately owned forests.

On March 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed “Waters of the United States” rule, intended—the Agency explains—to clarify questions surrounding the definition of jurisdictional wetlands that arose following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006.

The main theme of House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-Michigan) Tax Reform Act of 2014 is “simplifying and flattening” the federal tax code. Although the concept of “simplifying” the extremely complex current code has a basic appeal to business, many—including forestry interests—question whether “simplification” in all cases equates to “fairness.” The National Alliance of Forest Owners is especially concerned about some provisions proposed for elimination or revision:
The March 7 Wall Street Journal profiles some unexpected consequences of the world’s conversion to living on-line. The burst of demand for packaging materials, as a consequence of e-commerce, is a story that has been told before, but the Journal also notes that fine paper is also experiencing some sort of revival, at least in niche markets, as Americans are “buying more expensive stock for personalized holiday cards, announcements, and photobooks,” empowered by on-line vendors of the relevant technologies, such as Shutterfly, proposing a transformation of fine paper “from commodity to keepsake.”
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