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By Staff Writer
Date Posted: 3/1/2001

Bush Puts the Brakes On New Clinton Regs

Former President Clinton unleashed a flurry of environmental initiatives his last days in office.

In one of his final acts as president, Clinton declared seven new national monuments just three days before the inauguration of George Bush. The new monuments cover more than 1 million acres of federal land in Arizona, California, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

President Bush has promised a quick review and possible reversal of some of Clintonís last-minute initiatives. One that is in the new administrationís cross-hairs: the roadless plan, which puts nearly 60 million acres of national forests off-limits.

In fact, within two hours of taking the oath of office, Bush issued his first executive order: he put a freeze on the publication of new regulations as well as new ones that already have been published but not yet implemented. The new regs will reviewed by the Bush White House, and those that donít pass muster will be rescinded. (Pallet Profile, Feb. 2, 2001)


IFCO to Recover Pallets For Wholesale Club Chain

IFCO Systems has landed a contract to provide pallet management services to BJís Wholesale Club. IFCO will service BJís distribution center in Bristol, Penn. plus 33 of BJís retail locations.

Massachusetts-based BJís is a leading wholesale club chain that operates in the Eastern U.S. with a member-based retail format. IFCO will recover large quantities of pallets at the distribution center and retail sites.

"This contract is a nice complement to our overall pallet management services program and leverages our broad infrastructure," said David Russell, IFCOís senior vice president for sales and marketing. (Pallet Profile, Jan. 26, 2001)


Canadian Lumber Producers Unite

Canadian lumber producers formed a new group to lobby for favorable changes to the U.S.-Canadian Softwood Lumber Agreement, which will expire in March. The new Canadian Lumber Trade Alliance said it will seek free trade in lumber when the pact is renegotiated.

"The Canadian industry has been a ripe victim for divide and conquer, and now we can speak with one voice," said David Emerson, chief executive of Canfor Corp. and a co-chairmen of the alliance.

The alliance will push for a new trade agreement with little or no trade restrictions instead of an extension of the existing pact. The latter strategy had been pushed by producers in Eastern Canada, who have faced only limited quota restrictions. (Pallet Profile, Jan. 19, 2001)


Virginia Tech Center Studies Composites

More than 90 companies and agencies are supporting research into composites at the Virginia Tech Center for Composite Materials and Structures. They support the center with total research expenditures of about $8 million per year.

An industrial affiliates program enhances industry-university relations. Affiliates receive reports about composite research, priority in accessing composites facilities, and have contact with students and faculty.

There is more research being done on composites involving Virginia Tech that focuses on wood fiber. The Wood-Based Composites Center is composed of faculty from the Virginia Tech Department of Wood Science and Forest Products, Oregon State University, Mississippi State University, and the University of Minnesota. (Pallet Profile, Jan. 26, 2001)


Beetles Taking Toll In Pines of South

We reported previously on southern pine beetle infestations reaching epidemic proportions in eastern Tennessee.

The insect has been inflicting heavy damage on other Southern states, too. In fact, southern pine beetles have destroyed about half the pines in the Appalachian Mountain regions of Tennessee, Kentucky, and North Carolina.

Heavy infestations also have been reported in the Deep South, and the financial impact is more severe because hardwoods are the dominant species in the Appalachians. In Alabama alone, for example, southern pine beetles have caused an estimated $40-50 million in damage.

Agriculture officials are pinning their hopes on two natural predators ó checkered beetles and tiny wasps. (Pallet Profile, Jan. 26, 2001)

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