Part 3: Carving a new future from Minnesota's trees: Textiles

  • Article by: ADAM BELZ , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 11, 2012 - 1:25 PM

An important part of Minnesota's economy depends on finding new uses for wood, and making rayon from trees could be one of those new uses.

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cartman40Dec. 10, 1211:44 PM

Seriously just stop cutting down trees. Hemp is so much better in every single way. It also has no psychoactive effects for those freaked out about weed. The first drafts of the constitution were written on hemp for crying out loud.

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mom2fourDec. 11, 12 5:44 AM

Trees are a tremendous resource for Minnesota's economy. I applaud the industry for innovation to cope with a changing marketplace. It can be done very well by private money and without the government. Let's allow our American spirit to blossom in Minnesota's forestry industry.

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timandtiaDec. 11, 12 7:27 AM

Dang, here I thought that we finally were able to save our trees, forests, enviroment, etc. when we went to a paperless society. Gosh, I was so happy to here that the companies were not cutting down so many trees. Now someone has found a new thing to do something with our trees. Sigh... Wish we could keep them all!!

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jmusielewiczDec. 11, 12 9:21 AM

This is the wrong area to 'consider' oneself a 'lumberjack'. That was 'old' way before my time.

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ruphinaDec. 11, 1210:00 AM

timandtia- the dramtic drop in cutting trees due to using less paper is a direct cause of the dramtic drop in the number of moose in Minnesota. Everything we do has unintended consequences. The less we cut, the fewer deer, the fewer snoeshoe hares, the more wolves switch to hunting moose, and eventually less wolves. Bill G.

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roysandstromDec. 11, 1210:01 AM

The last plywood I bought in MN had a 'made in china' sign on it!!!!!! Lets not rule out an end to paying farmers not to farm marginal land (CRP funds) and rather end prohibition and grow hemp (for fuel, fiber,food) on those marginal lands which is drought tolerant, grows well with minimum of farmer inputs and makes 4x the fiber per acre over trees plus doesn't take 30-50 years to grow a crop. Leave trees for lumber, plywood, thread?

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FrankLDec. 11, 1210:32 AM

A couple of years ago I heard a talk from the former head of Greenpeace. He said if you want to save the forest, logging is the best answer. The reason is that if trees are seen as a valuable resource, the local population becomes very protective of making sure the trees grow and that new ones are planted and protected.

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debnstpaulDec. 11, 1210:54 AM

Hmmm, a South African firm that owns Minnesota timber/paper company to make rayon from MN trees to send to Asia. Sounds like a lot of mileage going on here. Why not have a MN owned business making this product for other MN-owned businesses? We could then have truly sustainable forests, jobs and business growth.

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Windy_ButteDec. 11, 1211:32 AM

Have you hemp advocates seen the price of corn and beans lately? Where do you think hemp will get planted? You'll have to beat $9 corn to get your crop in the ground, or they'll convert forests to hemp fields. A forest harvested grows back to forest . . . think about that next time you play golf in Northen MN or walk across a parking lot to go shopping in your concrete jungle.

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amarklandDec. 11, 12 1:11 PM

The demands of the Forest Products industry are many and varied. From full logs to woodchips, www.Conveyorbelt.com has a belt for the job.

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