103OEC’s This Week in Trees

This week we have 39 messages from trees in: British Columbia, Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, South East US, Arkansas, Louisiana, New York, USA, Canada, Czechoslovakia, Russia, Nigeria, Guyana, Cameroon, Sierra Leone, Uganda, Jamaica, Nicaragua, India, South East Asia, and Australia.

British Columbia:

1) VANCOUVER — The story of how the watersheds holding British Columbia’s drinking water came to be logged is a deep and murky one. It involves layers of bureaucracy, convoluted policies, successive governments and an insatiable thirst for profit. As B.C. developed and the supply of old-growth timber dwindled, pressure increased on provincial and regional governments to open up for logging watersheds meant to be protected forever. That pressure increased about 20 years ago when an inventory of the province’s forests determined the supply of timber was less than had been anticipated. Over the years, logging incursions were increasingly made into the drinking watersheds around the province, including those holding the lakes supplying Greater Vancouver. When the public protested, armies of bureaucrats confused the issue with a flood of paperwork and policy shifts. Will Koop, an environmental activist who became embroiled in a battle that eventually stopped logging in Vancouver’s watershed, at first found the paperwork bewildering. But after poring through government files for more than two years, he has emerged with a scathing report that concludes the government acted in bad faith on the issue of watershed logging. Mr. Koop’s exhaustively researched report, to be released this week under the title From Wisdom to Tyranny, chronicles what he considers to be “one of the greatest public resources scandals in this province.” Reducing such a detailed report to a simple equation is not easy, but in essence Mr. Koop claims to have found records showing how the provincial Ministry of Forests manoeuvred to make it appear that watershed reserves either didn’t exist, or didn’t have a status that protected them from logging. “We believe they acted illegally,” Linda Williams, director of the B.C. Tap Water Alliance, said of government actions that opened watersheds to logging. Ms. Williams, who helped edit Mr. Koop’s report, said the alliance hopes to find the funds in the not-too-distant future to bring the issue to court. “The Reserves were outlined in early provincial memos and reports, and enshrined on departmental reference maps with bold-blue lined boundaries, file numbers and notations, and restrictive markings that said . . . ‘No Timber Sales,’ [or] ‘Health District,’ ” writes Mr. Koop, who dug through stacks of dusty files to unearth the original documents.In 1908, a 999-year lease was inscribed, to protect drinking watersheds until 2907. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20060612.BCHUME12/TPStory/Sports

2) Pan Pacific Aggregates, a subsidiary of a British company, incorporated itself in B.C. just 18 months ago and wants to mine a 750-million-tonne deposit of industrial minerals and construction materials right in the heart of the Sunshine Coast. How much is 750 million tonnes? Load it into standard pickup trucks a tonne at a time and the string would reach to the moon and back more than 10 times — or around the world 100 times. Let’s put the scale of this proposal in perspective. Windy Craggy Mine, which generated a world class fuss up in the Tatshenshini, would have been about half the size of the “world class super quarry” that proposes to capitalize on U.S. construction demand for the next 25 years. Why not mine aggregates in, say, California, close to the market? Umm, “difficulties in obtaining site approvals,” says the province’s market analysis. Gee, now why would that be? Save Our Sunshine Coast, a grassroots community resistance, thinks it knows. It complains that the mine would be located in the Caren Range, a magical place behind Sechelt, where the oldest stands of coastal old growth rainforest are found. However, to move the proposed volumes of ore to tidewater, the mine would have to ship it at more than 10 tonnes per minute using a gigantic conveyor 10 kilometres long and the width of about four RVs side by side. The belt would carry ore to freighters close to the size of two football fields laid end to end. They would dock at a deep-water port to be built near the peaceful residential communities of Halfmoon Bay, Pender Harbour and Madeira Park. What about jobs? According to Pan Pacific’s on-line prospectus, the project would create 80 to 100 jobs in the local economy. In other words, shareholders get most of the money, California gets the amenities and none of the bother and Sunshine Coast residents get the hole, the noise and the esthetic wreckage. –Vancouver Sun

3) Cameron Ward is filing over 190 pages of documents for Betty & friends appeal in the Supreme Court of Canada tomorrow. Anyone who wishes to help defray the costs of mounting this defence of the environment and our right to oppose the corporate destruction of our common legacies can send donations to: Cameron Ward #1205 207 West Hastings, Vancouver, BC, V6B 1H7 Please make any cheques payable to: Cameron Ward, In Trust. Note on the cheque that the money is to help with expenses for Betty Krawczyk. Or the Eagleridge Bluffs, or the Darcy blockade, or any of the other causes that Mr. Ward has taken on. Copying costs are huge. Court transcripts cost a kings ransom. We need to do all we can to help Cameron Ward support our dear, brave friends of the environment. –BCEN News network@bcen.bc.ca


4) “Some of my colleagues in the forest-products associations said, ‘You’ve gone to the dark side, David,'” Ford said. “I learned that the conflict wasn’t getting us where we wanted to be.” Improving their public image and their bottom line, major corporations are moving from using less paper to demanding that the paper they use comes from environmentally sustainable sources and letting stockholders and customers know they are doing it. Last month, the Metafore Forest Leadership Forum drew 400 representatives from corporations such as Bank of America, Starbucks, Nike, Staples and Time to talk paper with environmental organizations such as the World Wildlife Fund, Forest Ethics and the Dogwood Alliance. “Climate change is becoming THE issue,” said David Refkin, director of sustainability for Time, the world’s largest magazine publisher and largest direct buyer of coated paper in the United States. “Increasingly, businesses will look to do business with businesses that are leaders in sustainability.” Aaron Sanger, corporate-program director of Forest Ethics, which keeps a “naughty and nice” list on catalog merchandisers, sees the marketplace producing faster results than the old venues of courts, Congress and campaigns. “I never thought our group would end up working with big companies to help them sell paper products,” Sanger said. “We are realizing that if good products don’t make money, then we don’t win.” Patrick Parenteau, a professor of environmental law at Vermont Law School, said the question arises whether corporations embracing sustainability is “really true or is it ‘greenwash’?” To that end, Time publishes an annual sustainability report that lists its paper suppliers and printers. It also plans to switch from using its own questionnaires to rank paper suppliers to using the Environmental Paper Assessment Tool, a computer database that Metafore is rolling out this year. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2003059783_greenpaper14.html

5) FLOW will join with a host of Oregonians from North Bend to Klamath Falls in opposing an intrusive, destructive, and unnecessary energy project. PG&E, Williams Pipeline, and Fort Chicago (Canada) will partner to build a pipeline from a Fort Chicago-owned import terminal near North Bend to the California border in Malin, OR. The “Pacific Connector” pipeline will deliver gas to the PG&E pipeline system in California as well as other markets in the Northwest and Nevada. The LNG project has been in planning stages for over a year, but now both it and the associated pipeline have initiated the siting process with FERC. FLOW and others have noted several major problems with the North Spit LNG project, such as its close proximity to the North Bend airport, the impact of dredging Coos Bay for large LNG tankers, and the impact on recreational use of the area of LNG-related security zones. The LNG terminal and the pipeline terminal are inextricably linked, with the terminal bringing in the1 billion cubic feet that will be transmitted through the pipeline to California. Some of the landowners facing eminent domain claims for the pipeline were in attendance, and many have already vowed to deny access to their property. Particularly considering the concentrated negative impact in SW Oregon and the need for the energy in California (not Oregon), FLOW and others see little justification for the projects. While the temporary infusion of construction-related economic activity will rapidly dissipate, the long-term damage of the 100-foot wide, 230 mile-long right-of-way will persist for generations and damage the watersheds of four major Oregon rivers. FLOW will continue to support landowners, research the specifics of the Jordan Cove LNG proposal, challenge the use of public lands and public funds to support the project, and continue to expose the extreme public safety, environmental and economic impacts of this California-driven energy proposal. FLOW flow@oregonwaters.org

5) The Portland-based timber firm was brought down by debt and falling prices for the trees on its land. As of early July, investors had lost 96% of the money they’d put into the company, and its employees face an uncertain future. Why? Crown Pacific owns its land and the trees growing on it. Crown was crushed when the value of its trees fell so far that it could not sell them for enough money to meet its obligations to its creditors. Oregon press reports indicate that, throughout the Pacific Northwest, timber companies that own their land and trees are in trouble because of oversupply and low prices. Oversupply and low prices are actually two sides of one problem. When there is a glut of timber on the market, prices fall. Investment portfolios and jobs fall next. But why has the market value of trees fallen hard enough to drive Crown Pacific into bankruptcy? Federal timber policy handed down from Washington is part of the problem, and the US Forest Service has
known it at least since 2001. In an article for Forest Ecology and Management, Forest Service experts Lisa K. Crone and Richard W. Haynes reported that, “In eastern Oregon and Washington, each increase of 100 million board feet of federal harvest reduces stumpage prices 25% for private landowners.” One cruel twist here is that Crown’s ownership of its timber qualifies it for the label of capitalism, wherein ownership of the means of production is basic. When federal timber sales endanger such companies, they put the government in a strangely anti-capitalist mode of operation. But that’s not the only cruel twist in timber country today. Crone and Haynes mentioned that it is not only publicly traded timber companies that take hits. For example, Indian reservations also face dropping value of their timber assets when federal sales help flood the market with wood. The two Forest Service experts cautioned that the agency should consider economic justice when planning to sell more trees. But a third cruel twist comes from within the timber industry itself. By and large, the industry and its allies in Washington claim that federal timber sales are too little, and too slow in coming. For the past quarter century, they have lobbied hard to curb appeals by environmental groups who say that the government’s timber sales are too many and too quick to proceed without careful analysis of their consequences. http://www.populist.com/03.16.olsen.html


6) STAND UP FOR SALMON AND WILDLANDS – Support Road Decommissioning When the Forest Service tries to do the right thing, we like to encourage them. Recently the Orleans District of the Six Rivers National Forest proposed decommissioning about 263 miles of logging roads in sensitive watersheds in the northwest corner of California. The proposed restoration work would provide local jobs, protect important salmon producing watersheds, and reduce maintenance costs from the bloated maze of logging roads on these public lands. The Forest Service has far more system roads than it can properly maintain, and these roads continue to degarde water quality, watershed health, and wildlife habitat. Many roads have outlived their usefulness and pose a significant threat to the environment. A reduction in overall road mileage is needed to improve habitat quality and watershed health, and to bring agency infrastructure into alignment with its current budget. This is a great opportunity to support road decommissioning and encourage a Forest Service proposal that makes ecological and economic sense. Please take a moment to let the Forest Service know that you support road decommissioning. Comments are due June 13th. The Forest Service Road Analysis and Off-Highway Vehicle Strategy can be viewed at: http://www.fs.fed.us/r5/sixrivers/projects/ea/orleans-rap/ for more info and talking points see: http://kswild.org/KSNews/orleansroads

7) Your organization is invited to sign on to the comments of the Klamath Siskiyou Wildlands Center on the Little Dow Old Growth Timber Sale. If you are not in an organization please take the time to write a letter. Tips are on the website below. This 923 acre timber sale is located on the Upper Mad River and promises to log hundreds of acres of old growth and native forests, yet it does little to protect communities from large fires. The Six Rivers has generally been willing to work with communities on timber sales, yet currently they are under extreme pressure to get the large trees out from Region 5, whom are their superiors. Therefore, we are asking for a change of focus from logging older diverse forests to ecological small diameter thinning, which can also provide some volume of timber. This type of thinning has been proven to slow fires and protect communities, while protecting the environment. If your organization would like to sign on to KS Wild’s comments please contact George at KS Wild at 541-488-5789 or email gs@kswild.org. Please provide your name, your organization name, and your address. Comments can not be changed from current form. For more information on this sale or to write a personal letter check out: http://kswild.org/KSNews/madriver

8) The California Coastal Commission had been set to vote Wednesday on plans submitted by Pebble Beach Co. for an 18-hole golf course, a driving range, an equestrian center, 160 new hotel rooms, a conference center and underground parking in Monterey County. But the county’s Board of Supervisors, which had submitted the proposal to the commission, voted Tuesday to officially withdraw it after the company said it wanted to revise the plan to address environmental concerns raised by the Coastal Commission. Commission biologists said in a report earlier this month that a proposed golf course would destroy rare pine trees and hurt an endangered orchid species in the Del Monte Forest. “If this signals that they’re going to go back and redesign it and address our concerns, that’s a good thing,” said Peter Douglas, the Coastal Commission’s executive director. Douglas said the commission would not vote on the project at Wednesday’s meeting. The project has been the focus of controversy since 2000, when Monterey County voters approved a ballot measure, known as Measure A, to rezone 600 acres to allow for the development. Eastwood, along with retired golfer Arnold Palmer and former Major League Baseball Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, are co-owners of Pebble Beach Co. The Sierra Club and other environmental organizations have long opposed the project, saying it threatens scarce Monterey pine habitat. The Coastal Commission itself came under scrutiny last week after Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez appointed four people as alternates to the panel, leading to allegations that Nunez was trying to influence the vote. http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/local/states/california/northern_california/1

9) But it also begs a question: In a city so full of green sentiment, why is our urban forest so ratty, with our 12-percent coverage just half that of most large American cities? How is it that even Los Angeles has more trees per person than San Francisco? As with so much else, San Francisco is just different. But this time not in such a great way. First, there is our natural environment: It’s sandy and windy, with a six-month dry season. Few trees grew here naturally — take a look at the Marin Headlands for a sense of what San Francisco once looked like — and most familiar North American trees just can’t hack it. But with the right trees and a little TLC, even San Francisco can be leafy. So if the urban forest seems haphazard, it’s a reflection of the way we go about planting trees in this city. “One of the big problems with urban forestry in San Francisco,” says Alexis Harte, coordinator of the city’s Urban Forestry Council, “is not only do you have about a dozen agencies that have some role in managing trees, but they don’t know what each other are doing.” The first major tree-planting efforts in San Francisco took place in the 1870s in Golden Gate Park, but almost a century later streets throughout the city were still barren. Starting in the 1950s, the Department of Public Works took on the task of greatly expanding the urban forest. San Francisco was greening, but it all came to a screeching halt in 1981, when a budget crisis led to the cancellation of the tree-planting program. It was a crucial moment for the city. A nonprofit group — Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) — was hastily organized to pick up the slack, and San Francisco set off on its own, quirky path through the urban forest. This year FUF is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The first trees the group planted — including a privet still standing at the corner of 24th and Sanchez streets in Noe Valley — remain today as living testament to what neighbors can accomplish when government fails them. They’re the standard-bearers for the other 40,000 trees FUF has planted in the past quarter century. http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2006/06/14/gree.DTL


10) A series of land swaps involving a private landowner, two federal agencies, the state and Ada County, could bring the privately owned Stack Rock under federal ownership and make Hubbard Reservoir a county-owned park. If all the land swaps are approved, the Terteling family will end up with two parcels: 80 acres off Bogus Basin Road near the new 36th Street extension site and the 35-acre county-owned Glyder Park off Idaho 55. Hikers, rock climbers and mountain bikers eyes light up at the sight and its surrounding terrain, only to be deflated when they encounter no trespassing signs in route to the coveted play area. The landowners have allowed some public access via mountain bike trails, but many people, unintentionally or intentionally, trespass when recreating in the area. The Terteling family has agreed to exchange its 1,440-acre Stack Rock parcel for three state-owned parcels in Ada County: 80 acres off Bogus Basin Road, the 377-acre Hubbard Reservoir near Kuna and the 528-acre Thomas Flats along the Snake River. The U.S. Forest Service would receive Stack Rock, which is in Boise County and adjacent to Boise National Forest land. A fourth parcel, 20 acres off commercial property along Idaho 21 owned by the Bureau of Land Management, would become state endowment land and be used to generate funds for Idaho schools. Once the Tertelings officially own the Hubbard Reservoir and Thomas Flats parcels, they will work with the county to exchange Hubbard Reservoir, which Ada County has long coveted for a park, with 35 acres the county owns between Idaho 55 and Hidden Hollow landfill. The site, called Glyder Park, is leased to a law-enforcement training company. In addition, the Tertelings will enter a management agreement with The Peregrine Fund/World Center for Birds of Prey, a nonprofit organization, for the Thomas Flat parcel, which is in the heart of the Snake River Birds of Prey area. The Tertelings will keep the Bogus Basin parcel in the vicinity of where the 36th Street extension will meet Bogus Basin Road. With the new road connection, this could become a prime development parcel. http://www.idahostatesman.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060614/NEWS01/606140355


11) BUTTE — A federal judge has granted environmental groups an injunction in the battle over logging of beetle-damaged trees south of here. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy wrote Friday that he was “reluctantly compelled” to find that the U.S. Forest Service ran afoul of federal environmental laws when it approved the Basin Creek Hazardous Fuels Reduction Project. The agency failed to produce adequate analysis of soil productivity, and must stop logging near Basin Creek Reservoir until it complies with the law, Molloy said. R-Y Timber Inc. of Townsend started work on the 2,600-acre project, aimed at reducing wildfire risk, last fall. Work stopped pending an appeal by the Ecology Center, the Native Ecosystems Council and the Alliance for the Wild Rockies of an earlier decision by Molloy. The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals returned the case to Molloy in February. The environmental groups argued that the work in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest would jeopardize habitat of the black-eyed woodpecker. They wanted the Forest Service to produce a plan to protect that habitat.Butte-Silver Bow County formally intervened in the suit, saying it was obligated to do what it could to protect houses and Butte’s watershed from wildfires. http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2006/06/13/news/state/48-logging-lawsuit.txt


12) The state of Minnesota and private conservation groups are joining to buy development rights on up to 50,000 acres of former Boise Cascade forest in Itasca and Koochiching counties. The Department of Natural Resources and Trust for Public Land will provide the cash to buy the easements in and around the remote George Washington and Koochiching state forests. The deal, the largest of its kind in Minnesota, will be announced today and will secure legally binding conservation easements to keep the land from being parceled off and developed. The landowner, Forest Capital Partners, will continue to hold title on the land and pay property taxes. The land also remains open to logging and to public access for camping, hiking and hunting. A purchase agreement has been signed by the owners and the Trust for Public Land conservation group. “We’re taking this concept of conservation easements to reality on a large scale now,” said Susan Schmidt, state director of the Trust for Public Land. The price tag probably will hit about $15 million, split between private and state money, said Ron Nargang, state director of the Nature Conservancy. “This is a huge step toward our goal. It’s phenomenally productive timber land with trout streams and small lakes,” Nargang said. “It’s exactly the kind of largest tracts we need to keep from being developed. And it’s right in the middle of public land that would have been fragmented forever.” Minnesota lawmakers last month earmarked $7 million in bonding money and another $500,000 from the state’s environmental trust fund to buy forest conservation easements. The Blandin Foundation also has contributed to the cause, part of an Itasca County coalition that hopes to raise $26 million to preserve forest land. While the state holds huge tracts of federal, state and county land, nearly half of Minnesota’s forests are privately owned — and that private land is being sold and developed at an unprecedented rate as big companies are pressured to turn bigger profits on investments. The price of raw forest land has more than quadrupled in that time as more Minnesotans try to secure their own piece of the northwoods pie. Forested land prices are rising by 10 percent or more each year. Experts say the rapid building of retirement homes and recreational cabins is breaking up and destroying key wildlife and bird habitat. http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/14814186.htm

13) Unspoiled hardwood forests covering rolling hills. Deer tracks running past a trout stream and a small, pristine lake. Popular Sugar and Pokegama lakes over the hill. And all just a few miles from Grand Rapids and its amenities. The thought of dozens of retirement and recreational homes, condominiums or townhomes here comes with dollar signs aplenty. But John Rajala sees something different on this 1,670 acres his company owns. Rajala sees big maple trees that provide wood for his company’s sawmills. He sees a 28-kilometer cross-country ski trail, a favorite of local families, tourists and high school athletes. He sees unbroken habitat for birds, animals and trout. “This would sell in a minute,” Rajala said. “But that doesn’t mean it should. There are values to our community, to our business, to the forest that outweigh the value on paper.” Thanks to a new partnership aimed at preserving Minnesota’s remaining big tracts of private forest, Rajala’s vision of this land may be about to win out. This tract of trees, formerly part of the now-defunct Sugar Hills ski area, has been rated at the top of Minnesota’s list of private forestland that should be preserved. A new partnership between conservation groups like the Trust for Public land and Nature Conservancy, nonprofit foundations, private landowners and the state and federal governments is taking shape to buy conservation easements for private forests just like this. In coming months, the partnership hopes to use $750,000 from Congress’ Forest Legacy Program and another $375,000 each from the Minnesota Legislature and the Blandin Foundation to pay for the easement. The deal, paying Rajala about $1.5 million for development rights to this land, could be sealed within a year. Rajala will continue to own the land and pay property taxes. But the legally binding, state-held easements guarantee it won’t be broken up. The easements also would mandate that the land be managed in a sustainable manner and that it be left open to the public for hunting, skiing and other recreation. “It’s a beautiful, unique piece of northern hardwood forest that people have been talking about preserving for years. Now we can do it,” said Becca Nash, field representative for the Minnesota office of the Trust for Public Land. The conservation group is acting as the project manager. http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/news/local/14815900.htm


14) WILL COUNTY — The Forest Preserve District is moving ahead with plans for a new preserve intended to protect a watershed, rather than trees, south of University Park. The proposed 285-acre Black Walnut Preserve will safeguard the headwaters of the Black Walnut Creek, which meanders several miles southwest through Will County into Kankakee County, almost to Manteno. The preserve’s first component is the 68-acre former Koelling Farm, northeast of the intersection of Western Avenue and Crete-Monee Road. Forest district commissioners last week approved buying the property, which includes a floodplain, according to a forest district analysis. The property previously served as a school bus parking area. The Black Walnut Creek Preserve reflects the district’s orientation toward protecting properties “with special attributes,” according to district spokesman Bruce Hodgdon. Hodgdon said the district has a long history of protecting waterways, but has stepped up its efforts in response to increasing residential and commercial development in Will County. Recently the forest district bought land to protect Jackson Creek south-southeast of Joliet and Forked Creek in southern Will County. It also previously obtained land along Spring Creek and Hickory Creek, the largest creek in the county. Under the terms of the agreement, the district will pay the Amelia Koelling Living Trust $822,800 or $12,100 per acre. Trust information lists Amelia Koelling and Carol Kopman as beneficiaries. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/southsouthwest/chi-0606140285jun14,1,6296119.story?c


15) Iowa’s state tree, the oak, is hurting. Part of the problem is a group of diseases and conditions with names like oak wilt and oak tatters that cause damage residents should watch for, experts say. Much of the situation is just nature. Without the benefit of fires that kept species in balance before widespread farming and development, Iowa’s landscape is heavy on shady maples and basswoods and increasingly light on hardy, acorn-producing oaks. Oaks need light – preferably from three directions – to grow. Without help, oaks could disappear from the state. At the current rate of loss, the trees would be gone in 150 years. “It would be sad to think that there may not be another generation of them,” said Anita O’Gara, spokeswoman for the nonprofit Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation, a preservation group whose logo is an oak tree outline inside an acorn. “You know what they say, ‘The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The next best time is today.’ ” This is an environmental issue – and an economic one. More than 70 species of animals eat acorns in Iowa. And the oak wood, a renewable resource, feeds 50 Iowa sawmills and businesses that employ 10,000 to 15,000 Iowans who make cabinets and other wood products. So the Iowa Department of Natural Resources is coming up with a new plan to encourage landowners to open areas in forests where oaks have a fighting chance, said state forester John Walkowiak. Iowa’s forest actually is coming back, covering more acres now than in 1954 – 2.8 million versus 2.6 million. Oaks, though, are showing signs of trouble. Last year, a flyover survey found that 1,422 acres of Iowa’s 933,000 acres of oak forest had oak wilt or other potentially fatal problems. Iowa has lost 7,175 acres of oaks a year since 1954. A variety of oak species – pin, white and bur, among others – are found in 46 percent of the state’s forest land. About 90 percent of that land is privately owned. Federal aid through the Conservation Reserve Program and the work of Iowa State University and Department of Natural Resources have encouraged many people to act. Walkowiak, the state forester, said federal programs often fight for money, yet the number of forest owners in Iowa has risen to 138,000 from 55,000 in 1994. That means more people owning smaller chunks of the forest, which doubles as habitat for all kinds of animals and birds. And a prime spot for the state tree, which is struggling to stay on the landscape. http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060614/NEWS03/606140372/1001/archive

New York:

16) ALBANY, N.Y. — Officials in a northeastern Adirondack town have lifted their objections and voted to support the state plan to open 21,400 acres of timberland to public recreation and leave it largely undeveloped. The Franklin Town Board had voted in October to veto the portion of Gov. George Pataki’s 104,400-acre open space project that fell within its boundaries. On Monday, after months of talks with state, lumber company and conservation officials, the board unanimously passed a resolution to support the plan. “Basically we wanted this access to be available to everyone, regardless of their age or capabilities or whatever,” Town Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith said Tuesday. “We’re very happy with it. … Both sides were willing to make it work. So I hope this is an example.” Under interim plans drafted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the Lyme Timber Co. land in Franklin will have ongoing logging, continued use by eight hunting clubs and new public access in various sections for hiking, fishing, canoeing, hunting, skiing and snowmobiling, with some logging roads open to ATVs. “This is going to require maintenance, which is going to require forest rangers, or whatever. It’ll have to be monitored,” Keith said. “ATV is a very questionable item up in this area, but there are those who like to do ATV traveling. They have proposed a route that will be used for ATV, and they’ll have to follow certain rules. We’ll monitor it. DEC will monitor it. And you’ll know from then whether this is a feasible thing to pursue or not.” Connie Prickett, spokeswoman for the Adirondack Nature Conservancy, which negotiated the deals to protect the large remote wildlife habitat from development, said all the planned ATV routes are existing dirt roads through forests that have had active logging for 60 years. She agreed it was a good solution in what may be “a kind of test case.” The Canadian lumber company Domtar Industries sold its 104,400-acre Adirondack holdings in Clinton and Franklin counties in late 2004 . The conservancy paid $6.26 million for 19,960 acres, while helping arrange the sale of the 84,448 acres to Lyme Timber of Hanover, N.H., for $17.47 million. Lyme agreed to keep providing pulpwood to Domtar mills for at least 20 years, sign state easements granting public recreation access, and continue “sustainable forestry” with regular harvests. The state is expected to buy the conservancy’s land and add it to New York’s forest preserve. http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny–adirondackland-fr0613jun13,0,298604

South East US:

17) When tamarisk was first brought to the United States from the shores of the Mediterranean in the 1800s, gardeners snapped up this ornamental tree for its feathery, needlelike leaves and dainty pink flowers. Its deep roots also made it a seemingly ideal plant for riverbank stabilization. Today, however, tamarisk, or salt cedar as it’s often called, is an ecological nightmare. It blankets 1.2 million acres of the arid Southwest, where it is sucking up excessive amounts of water, pushing out natives and altering riparian or streamside habitat. In one study along the lower Colorado River, for example, biologists discovered tamarisk groves supported less than ten percent of the winter bird life found in nearby stands of native trees. In the 1970s, biologists imported a native enemy of knapweed, the gall fly. The insect lays eggs inside the seed head, and the plant then forms a gall, or tumor, around the eggs. When the larva hatches, it eats the seeds. Dean Pearson, who works at the Rocky Mountain Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service, said the fly had not halted the spread of knapweed. http://www.nwf.org/nationalwildlife/article.cfm?issueID=76&articleID=1096


18) Today, thanks to efforts by the National Forest Service, the Red-Cockheaded Woodpecker is recuperating as a species. One of the primary areas of rehabilitation is Kisatchie National Forest. Two years ago, the forest service moved two female Red-Cockheaded Woodpeckers with males in Arkansas for a breeding program. The females were named Veronica and Louisa after their respective home parish and state. Once the breeding program began to produce larger numbers of Red-Cockheaded Woodpeckers, the slowly-repopulating species needed a place to dwell and form colonies. The basic rule for forming a Red-Cockheaded Woodpecker colony is that one must have a forest with plenty of old growth and longleaf pine trees as well as a healthy, though controlled, amount of prescribed burns to combat the development of underbrush. Kisatchie National Forest has an abundance of longleaf pines as well as plenty of old growth and the forest service conducts prescribed burns as needed. Thus, the Red-Cockheaded Woodpeckers were given a home in Kisatchie National Forest. They were also given a crew of forest technicians to provide for their protection. In fact, one of Boles’ main duties is to care for the young colony. Each day, Boles traveled to various locations in Kisatchie at which Red-Cockheaded woodpeckers are known to live. Sometimes, the Boles and his crew will create manmade dwellings, recruitment stands, in the sides of pine trees for the birds to inhabit. Once a Red-Cockheaded Woodpecker makes a nest in one of these recruitment stands, Boles and company mark the trees and begin to monitor the progress of the nest with the peeper scope. Currently Boles has 31 clusters of Red-Cockheaded Woodpecker in his district. These are colonies with eggs that have hatched. There are also 35 active groups of Red-Cockheaded Woodpecker. Even with all of the technology and the watchful eye of men like Boles, nature will still take its course. Hawks, snakes and other predators will find nests and clean them out. Sometimes the young ones simply don’t survive. http://www.leesvilledailyleader.com/articles/2006/06/14/news/news1.txt


19) Last Week, Kisatchie National Forest and other forestry-industry entities welcomed a group of 35 teachers from around the state in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service and Louisiana Forestry Service. Each teacher was sponsored by a timber company, paper mill or other forest industry and offered an all-expenses paid trip to some of the more noteworthy locations in Louisiana. Among the stops made throughout the week were trips to the Lemoyne Mill, Chopin, the T.L. James logging site, the Boise Mill in Sabine Parish and other historic timber-industry and forest locations. http://www.leesvilledailyleader.com/articles/2006/06/13/news/news1.txt


20) Do you ever wonder what would happen if the National Forest Protection Alliance did not exist? “I can’t tell you how important it is that the National Forest Protection Alliance is there to support grassroots forest protection groups like ours across the country. If we are to be effective in defending our public lands on the ground, we must have a strong network that keeps us informed, up to date on the latest organizing and fundraising tools, and united in our vision. Thank you for playing this very important role,” writes Tracy Davids, the Executive Director of Southern Appalachian Biodiversity Project. This is just one of many stories from across the country that has been told since our inception, thanks to the outstanding work of the National Forest Protection Alliance (NFPA). Collectively, NFPA’s 130 member organizations make up the most progressive forest protection movement in the country. Our vision is to permanently protect all 191 million acres of U.S. national forests for the clean air and water, wilderness, wildlife habitat, and compatible recreation for the public they provide. We support redirecting the wasteful billion-dollar timber sale subsidy to put rural communities to work restoring the damage to forests and watersheds through genuine ecologically based restoration projects. This would save taxpayers millions, reduce the deficit and help communities adapt to wildland fire. The National Forest Protection and Restoration Act is the only bill in Congress that would achieve this. We are writing to ask you to renew your support of our work to build our power at the grassroots by making a tax-deducible gift to NFPA in the amount of $100, $50 or $35 or more today. Donate here ~ https://secure.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/NFPA/shop/custom.jsp?donate_page_KEY=2


21) Environmentalists (Sarah Lind, Benjamin Ratner) protesting logging in a remote forest fight for their lives alongside loggers (Paul Campbell) when an experiment to grow trees faster turns out to have a nasty side effect: The tree sap turns humans into carnivorous zombies. One disturbing sequence involves anti-loggers who have chained themselves to trees but are in the path of hungry zombies. The romance between Campbell’s company boss and Lind’s radical environmentalist is a bit strained, coming as it does on the heels of her boyfriend’s death, but you gotta have a sense of humor about these things. Is there room on the zombie shelf for one more romp pitting a band of determined axe-wielding survivors against a brigade of stiff-legged walking dead? Oh, why not? Gorehounds will be tickled crimson at the makeup effects by Harlow MacFarlane, who seems to have had ample budget to achieve his ends. And the blisteringly paced action, much of it shot with a high-speed lens, will keep genre fans glued. http://www.videobusiness.com/article/CA6343447.html

22) OTTAWA – The International Council of Forest and Paper Associations (ICFPA) announced the signing of an historic agreement by its global member companies. A leadership statement on sustainability was signed by 59 company CEOs and association presidents, representing some of the largest pulp, paper and wood companies in the world, during the second meeting of the ICFPA Global CEO Roundtable. Through this leadership statement on sustainability, the global forest products industry has committed to continuously improve its sustainability performance through action in the following core areas: 1) Promoting sustainable forest management world-wide. 2) Combat illegal logging 3) Fibre use and recovery 4) Ensuring that its activities respect the environment. 5) Creating solutions to global climate change and energy supply 6) Investing in workers and communities. A full copy of the Leadership Statement on Sustainability and the signatories to the Statement is available from ideschenes(at)fpac.ca or on the ICFPA Web site at: http://www.icfpa.org


23) The new CEO of state-run forest management company Lesy ?eské republiky, which owns about half of all Czech forests, has called tenders for logging firms for its entire forest area, in line with the public procurement law. The winners could start work in July 2007, said František Koní?ek (pictured), who was acting director up until last week, but current contracts must first be terminated. Former CEO Vladimír Blahuta was removed in February after the European Commission and logging companies criticized tenders under his tenure as nontransparent. http://www.cbw.cz/phprs/2006061234.html


24) Timo Salomaa, communications manager at John Deer in Europe and Russia, said that Russia has the biggest potential out of all the markets where it sells forestry equipment. Salomaa estimated potential forest cuttings in Russia at 400 million cubic meters a year, while actual cutting at the moment accounts for only 170 million cubic meters. Around 85 percent of cuttings in Russia involve a ‘full-tree’ method and for the most part require Russian equipment. Foreign equipment is meant for the ‘cut-to-length’ method, which accounts for only 30 million cubic meters of cuttings in Russia, Salomaa said. “Another challenge in Russia is distribution over long distances,” he said. Salomaa estimated the potential demand for new equipment at 9,000 units a year, while currently only 1,000 new forestry machines are sold in Russia annually. “Forestry is topical because the government has not yet found the economic tools that will double GDP,” Interfax quoted Alexander Belyakov, chairman of the committee for forestry development at the Russian Chamber for Trade and Industry, as saying on Wednesday. “Today, with profit only derived from extraction and not hydrocarbon processing, the fuel and energy complex has exhausted its potential as the engine of the national economy. And forestry could really help us in this respect,” Belyakov said. By stimulating wood processing, Russia could double forestry’s contribution to GDP within five years, Belyakov said. At the moment Russia produces $10 billion worth of wood annually. Within 20 to 25 years the country could earn between $100 billion and $130 billion from forestry, which is “comparable with its revenue from oil and gas,” Belyakov said. http://www.sptimes.ru/index.php?action_id=2&story_id=17876


25) On the preservation of the environment, it will be difficult to control bush burning, which is mostly done to hunt for rodents and small animals for sale as ‘bush meat.’ Deforestation is mostly caused by the need for firewood, due to inability of the majority of citizens to afford more sustainable alternatives like kerosene and gas, which the country has in abundance. Deforestation, therefore, eventually leads to the gradual decline in arable land and underground water levels. This in-turn ultimately leads to desert encroachment. http://www.vanguardngr.com/articles/2002/viewpoints/vp213062006.html


26) In addition to the unsealed indictment in his name from a United States Grand Jury for conspiring to smuggle cocaine into that country, embattled businessman Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan is going nowhere fast with the processing of an exploratory permit for his logging company Aurelius Inc. The US Department of State’s International Narcotics Strategy Report for 2006 stated: “In 2005, The Guyana Forestry Commission granted a State Forest Exploratory Permit for a large tract of land in Guyana’s interior to Aure-lius Inc, a company controlled by Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan.” Up to the end of March this year, Commissioner of Forests James Singh said that Cabinet had not approved a State Forest Exploratory Permit (SFEP) for Aurelius Inc even though the GFC Board had given its all clear. Observers had pointed out that once the board had given the green light it was automatic that the permit would be handed over. This was not the case however. Several weeks before he was murdered, Minister of Agriculture Satyadeow Sawh had said that the matter had to be investigated before the next move could be determined on the issuing of permit. Earlier in that same week, both Singh and Sawh indicated that the permitting process for the company was off the table. They both said that there had been no Cabinet response to the Board on the permit up to that time. Persons also alleged that drug interests now control up to 14% of the country’s productive timber resources and considerably more of the sector’s productive assets. They believe that by 2011 drug interests may control 20-25% of national forest sector output and 11% of GDP. http://www.stabroeknews.com/index.pl/article_general_news?id=56497111


27) The roads are unpaved, towns are not lighted, there are few schools, fewer teachers, potable water is scarce and a paucity of health centres, some neither have drugs nor doctors. This is the palpable reality for the people living in the Southeast of Cameroon. The misery of this region contrasts perplexingly with the huge sums of money – some FCFA 5 billion yearly – logging companies pay to the local councils as forest royalties. The impression visitors to Boumba et Ngoko Division, where exploitation is heaviest, get is that the money put at the disposal of councils every three months is not properly used. Someone, it seems, is putting a sticking hand into the put. Minister Egbe Achou fired the first salvo while addressing the people of Salapoumbe, a small town of about 13000 people, whose council has been benefiting from forest revenues. “I have come with the US Ambassador to see the reality on the ground and to see how revenue generated from the forest is being used,” Mr. Egbe said. He said forest revenue is not much but could be a point of departure. “This is time for the truth and you should be able to clean your house, I want to see the impact of the forest revenue trickling down to the people,” he said.The wildlife and Forestry Minister warned that he would be coming again with another team for evaluation. “I will not fail to take measures to ensure that the money is properly spent. This is not time for mere speeches,” he stated. The Minister was reacting to an earlier speech presented by the Mayor of Salapoumbe in which he said despite forest revenues, the council still faces financial problems. “We have a lot of problems created by debts inherited from the previous administration,” the Mayor said. He even called on the US Ambassador to help construct a dam in the town to enable the people generate electricity. http://allafrica.com/stories/200606121439.html

Sierra Leone:

28) General Manager of Guma Valley Water Company, Darrell Thompson Monday confirmed that with the massive deforestation and construction around the river catchments in the Freetown area, the water supply to the city would run out in the future.He said the continuous deforestation and erection of illegal structures in the Freetown area has become alarming and life threatening for people living in the city.”We supply water from the Guma dam and from other sources in the west and east of Freetown,” Thompson disclosed and added that the Guma dam alone cannot supply the city, therefore it is augmented by the smaller catchments at Hill station, Thunder Hill and at the Foot of Fourah Bay College.The General Manager revealed that serious damage has been caused to these catchments hence they decided to close down three of these water sources as a result of construction and deforestation. “The problem is more acute at Hill Station as the catchment that used to supply is no more, as such we are now pumping water from Spur Road,” he states and continued that Thunder Hill in the east is almost getting destroyed as it is being used for laundry that has polluted and defecated the water, blocked the pipes and brings debris into the water. http://allafrica.com/stories/200606130672.html


29) For the last two-years, the National Forestry Authority (NFA) has leased out 90,000 hectares of land out of 300,000 hectares to commercial forest developers, individuals and private firms. “We have a balance of 210,000 hectares and we encourage more people to apply. We have a grant scheme for a developer who plants 25 hectares and above,” said Samuel Matagi, coordinator, consultancies and management services, NFA.. “After three years of planting, we return half of the cost incurred. One hectare of land costs sh1.2m. In this case, we return sh600,000,” Matagi said, adding the land is leased for between seven to 30 years. Mpigi will be the first district to be planted in July. Among other targeted areas are the UBL barley growing areas such as Kapchorwa, Kasese and Kabarole. NFA helps EABL to identify areas outside Kampala district and advise them on which tree species to plant. “The foundation is part of the company’s’ corporate social responsibility programmes,” said Baker Magunda, UBL managing director. http://allafrica.com/stories/200606140548.html


30) Mr. Stanberry implored the attendees, which included more than 80 forestry interests from across the Caribbean and North America, to make a concerted effort to arrest the regional rates of deforestation. He also encouraged the audience, to team with their respective forestry departments to maximise the profit potential of forest cover. Mr. Stanberry argued that whilst governments provided legislative framework for natural resource management, the onus was not entirely on them. “The people who must do the real work is the private sector.we have to reinvent the concept of the private sector within agriculture to include more than subsistence farmers,” he said. He pointed out that the private sector, which owned two-thirds of the land in the island that was designated to forestry, had a crucial role to play in the process. In emphasising the importance of the forestry sector to national economic advancement, Mr. Stanberry said all the entities in the ministry were “operating in a new paradigm that appropriates forestry as a major contributor to the economy”. He assured that the ministry was prepared to supply interested farmers with fruit tree seedlings for planting on their own lands. The Permanent Secretary also stressed the role that the ministry’s new Squatter Management Unit would play in this venture, outlining that deforestation “is really the fault of some squatters upstream and remove forest cover”. http://www.jis.gov.jm/agriculture/html/20060612T100000-0500_9084_JIS_STANBERRY_URGES_REGIONA


31) The Nicaragua Network invites you to join a team of volunteers that will be traveling to Nicaragua August 26–September 4, 2006, to assist with a water restoration and reforestation project that is part of a campaign supported by the Nicaragua Network called “Let the Rivers Run” of FEDICAMP (Federation for the Integral Development of Peasant Farmers). FEDICAMP is a Nicaragua-based organization whose director, Elvin Castellon, recently toured the U.S. on a Nicaragua Network speaking tour to discuss the campaign. Members of the brigade will spend three days assisting with the planting of mango, avocado and banana trees along existing streams or with other aspects of the campaign. The trees will serve to prevent erosion and also provide and food and income for the local people. Decades of unsustainable farming methods have caused extensive deforestation followed by “desertification”. This leads to many other problems including loss of habitat for both wildlife and humans, displacing people from their land and livelihood. If you are unable to actually travel with us you can still support this important program by making a donation to the “Let the Rivers Run!” Campaign http://www.nicanet.org The trip will also include a visit to Miraflores Nature Reserve, a 206 square kilometer cloud forest and sanctuary for hundreds of bird and flower species as well as numerous other interesting fauna such as howler monkeys. In addition about 5,000 people live in the Reserve and use advanced sustainable farming methods including natural pest management, crop diversification and worm farming. This will be an excellent opportunity to learn about these methods and even help out with their ongoing work. Tours of the rain forest to see waterfalls, caves, beautiful vistas and birds and other wildlife are readily available. More details about the Reserve are available in the tour book: Moon Handbooks: Nicaragua http://www.vianica.com/activity/27/miraflor-natural-reserve


32) We have made it clear to developers, utility service providers, and the corporation, that we will not allow development at the cost of trees. We have laid down a rule that two trees will have to be planted per 100 sq metre before construction in open spaces, and five trees will have to be planted every 100 sq metres in recreational areas. The Tree Authority will not grant permission unless this rule is followed. The city has a sparse green cover, and even that is fast depleting. At the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, 104 sq km of forest land is being encroached upon. There is more pressure than ever before on Mumbai’s greenery. There are pockets in the city, particularly old Bombay, with a lot of trees. Places like Dadar Parsi colony, Navy Nagar, Colaba are lined with rows of trees. Planning standards say there should be four acres of open land for every 1,000 people. But the ratio for Mumbai is an abysmal 0.03 acres per 1,000 people. It is high time the authorities woke up to this fact. The city’s biggest green cover is the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, which now faces major encroachment. There is encroachment especially in Yeoor, where politicians themselves have built bungalows. We need green cover on roadsides. But planting saplings alongside roads has become difficult because of underground power, gas and telecom lines. http://www.dnaindia.com/report.asp?NewsID=1034675

South East Asia:

33) Deforestation remains a serious issue globally. In many countries, more trees are cut down than can be replaced. Scott Paul, forest campaign coordinator at Greenpeace, said, “Currently the archipelago of Southeast Asia is experiencing the highest deforestation rates of any country in the world. Brazil experienced the second highest rate of deforestation in its history just in 2004, so the problem is accelerating in many parts of the world.” Deforestation is a complex problem with no single cause or solution. Our planet essentially supports three forest zones, or belts, spread across the globe. Paul said, “The boreal belt…is the crown of the planet. You have got the temperate belt, and then you have the tropical belt.” Agricultural expansion is the most common explanation for deforestation given by those studying the issue. Vast hectares of the Amazon are being cleared for soya. Other leading causes of deforestation are logging, urban growth, and large developmental projects. Another driving force is poverty. http://www.voanews.com/english/2006-06-09-voa48.cfm


34) Forestry Tasmania has warned that moves to replace clear-felling in native forests with selective logging are at risk, after a High Court decision in favour of an injured tree-feller.The High Court has upheld a Tasmanian Supreme Court decision to hold Forestry Tasmania partially liable for injuries Graham Coote received while working in 1998. Mr Coote was selectively harvesting in a coupe in state forest at Roses Tier when a branch fell on him, leaving him a paraplegic. Under the Community Forest Agreement, Tasmania is committed to reducing clear-felling to less than 20 per cent of the harvest in old-growth forests. Forestry Tasmania says the High Court decision means “clear-felling now appears to be the safest legal way to harvest” and selective logging is now at risk. Forest Industries Association spokesman Terry Edwards says switching back to clear-felling would be sensible. “Scientifically it’s well established that clear-felling is the best silvicultural practice for the forests and this ruling is now saying that from a safety point of view, we should review the decision to move away from clear-felling,” he said. Currently, more than half of all forest operations on state land use selective methods. The case between Mr Coote and Forestry Tasmania will now go back to the full court of the Supreme Court in August. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200606/s1662278.htm

35) THE Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hearing into the proposal to log almost 100 hectares of forest in Thoneman’s Road, Beenak, got under way last week. The hearing, held at VCAT headquarters in King Street, Melbourne, commenced on 5 June, and was scheduled to resume this week and finish up on Thursday, 15 June. More than a dozen objectors appeared at the hearing last week to present their case against Moran Logging Company of Warburton, who have applied to log 99 hectares of forest in a rural conservation zone. http://www.starnewsgroup.com.au/story/16422

36) A row has erupted in south-west Western Australia over plans to log a forest that is home to a colony of quokkas. The quokkas live in the Arcadia Forest near Collie and are a rare example of the marsupial living on the Australian mainland. The Forest Products Commission wants to harvest about two thirds of the jarrah forest, but Peter Murphy from the Save Arcadia Forest Ecosystem group says that will destroy the quokka’s habitat. “Mammal experts have pointed to their extinction if their habitat’s not protected,” he said. The Forest Product Commission’s Kevin Haylock says the forest has been harvested before. “I can guarantee that the harvesting won’t wipe out the quokkas, and we know that the timber harvesting won’t have that impact,” he said.The local Member for Collie, Mick Murray, says he is meeting the Environment Minister to discuss the issue. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200606/s1661454.htm

Leave a comment

Your comment