374 BC-Canada

Index:

–British Columbia: 1) Forest minister: Mission accomplished 2) Beetle invasion affects tribal culture, 3) Mount Work Regional Park expands, 4) Placating citizen’s on behalf of corporations, 5) Cont. 6) Take regulations away we’ll invest: Suckers! 7) Conifex sees opportunity in buying up crippled industry, 8) Vancouver Island Forests hectares being clearcut faster than ever before, 9) Rapid devastation of landscape even apparent to former loggers, 10) Liberals at work privatizing parks, 11) Karmic payback: Digging for Toxic waste plume dig slowly destroying loggers’ beloved home / garden, 12) Conifex cont. 13) Suzuki foundation report: Dire picture for wildlife,

–Canada: 14) Endangered Communities Tour, 15) Big Swath of Ontario’s forest “protected” in trade for letting the rest be destroyed, 16) Southeastern Ontario loves to clearcut to build houses, 17) Saskatoon’s urban forest applies monetary value to every tree so they can fine / stop overzealous developers, 18) College of New Caledonia given more forestland to destroy in order to pay bills / educate students on how to destroy,

Articles:

BC:
1) Returning to the days of log harvest licences linked to local mills isn’t the solution for the struggling B.C. logging industry, says Forests Minister Pat Bell. Bell, who took over from Rich Coleman in Premier Gordon Campbell’s June cabinet shuffle, faced callers angry about the collapse of the B.C. industry on CKNW’s Bill Good Show on Wednesday. He rejected suggestions that the B.C. Liberal government made a mistake in freeing companies from the obligation to process logs locally, known as appurtenancy. “Some people want to go backwards to a dream world that they thought maybe existed at one point in time, but that clearly wasn’t the case,” Bell said. “I logged through the 1990s, I saw what appurtenancy did back then and I saw lots of mills close during that period of time as well, with appurtenency clauses attached to them.” He said his priorities today are to promote wood construction beyond residential housing, market B.C. wood abroad and develop new uses such as bioenergy. Bell also rejected claims that allowing Vancouver Island logging companies to remove private lands from provincial tree farm licences has resulted in poorly regulated timber cutting and increased log exports. Logging rules on private land are the responsibility of his former ministry, Agriculture and Lands, he said, and the restrictions are similar to those on public timber land. http://forestaction.wordpress.com/2008/07/15/bc-forest-minister-defends-forest-policy/

2) The mountain pine beetle infestation in British Columbia is changing the lives of rural First Nations on a scale not seen for generations of native elders. The safety of more than 100 bands is threatened by fire because the dry, red trees surround their communities, aboriginal leaders say. Animals that natives have hunted for generations no longer take the same paths and berries and medicinal herbs don’t grow where they once did beneath the thousands upon thousands of hectares of dead pine forest. Chief Leonard Thomas of the Nak’azdli Band, near Fort St. James in north-central B.C., is also worried about retaining jobs and keeping communities together once the infested trees are removed. “It is a huge cultural impact on First Nations people, simply because now we have to hunt a little harder to try and get the animals we used to sustain ourselves,” Thomas said. “A lot of these patterns are going to change because of the mountain pine beetle.” Thomas, who is also the president of the First Nations Forestry Council, said many bands know where trees that were modified generations ago by their ancestors stand to mark their territories or traditional camping sites along the well-worn trails. But the beetle, and the subsequent clear-cut of the infected wood, could destroy archeological sites and trails that First Nations have been using through B.C.’s once-thriving forests for thousands of years. Greg Halseth, a geography professor at the University of Northern B.C., said enhanced harvesting through beetle destruction or the elevated fire threat could be very damaging for native culture. “There are very important cultural impacts for First Nations. In Northern B.C., culturally modified trees are an important way in which heritage and structure on landscape is maintained. It’s a way that territories are marked, clans identify areas and that sort of thing.” The pine-beetle devastation also comes at a time when First Nations have been increasing their engagement with the land, where bands are linking youth with elders to learn about traditional native activities. “So traditional areas where generations of people have gone for berries or for mushrooms, or have been good areas for moose or deer or rabbit, that kind of thing, these are just changing fundamentally so it’s coming at a difficult time when we have our First Nations communities becoming more … with culture,” Halseth said. http://canadianpress.google.com/article/ALeqM5iv_AqQ-r8_cuuh4Ya4yYySPSlVyA

3) Some 65 hectares of older, second-growth Douglas fir forest, large red cedar, open bluffs and wetlands have been donated to the Capital Regional District by the Land Conservancy. The land, adjacent to Mount Work Regional Park in the Highlands, is valued at $2.2 million. “It’s a fabulous piece of property,” said environmentalist and Highlands resident Vicky Husband. “There’s older second-growth Douglas fir and the Douglas fir ecosystem was announced today as one of the most endangered ecosystems in the province out of four endangered ones.” The parcel is extremely important to the Highlands — especially to those living around Fork Lake, because it’s part of their watershed, Husband said. The CRD plans to create a system of trails throughout the land which will connect with Mount Work Regional Park from Munn Road. Land Conservancy executive director Bill Turner received a round of applause from directors at the board meeting. Turner said the process of handing the parcel over to the CRD has been underway for about a year. It makes sense, he said, that the CRD manage it as a park because the parcel complements Mount Work so well. TLC is a charity and land trust which protects wilderness areas, cultural landmarks and agricultural lands. Its partnerships with the CRD in the past have included the Sooke Potholes Regional Park and Sooke Hills Wilderness acquisitions. http://forestaction.wordpress.com/2008/07/10/land-conservancy-donates-65-hectares-to-crd/

4) The Highways Ministry’s provincial approving officer has offered to attend a mediated public meeting to hear from people opposed to Western Forest Products subdivision plans on the southwest corner of Vancouver Island. But, so far, that has failed to appease groups calling for a full public hearing into the plan for 319 acreages on former tree farm licence land around Jordan River, Otter Point and Shirley. Also, the idea has not received support from the Capital Regional District — which has called for approving officer Bob Wylie to hold a public hearing. Environmentalist Vicki Husband leads a protest calling for public hearings into Western Forest Products’ plans to build acreages on former tree-farm land yesterday at the downtown library branch.View Larger Image View Larger Image Environmentalist Vicki Husband leads a protest calling for public hearings into Western Forest Products’ plans to build acreages on former tree-farm land yesterday at the downtown library branch. “Our approving officer has had discussions with the CRD and offered to attend and listen at a moderated public meeting if the CRD wants to host one,” said Highways Ministry spokesman Jeff Knight. “He has also met with leaders of groups opposing the applications and tried to answer some of their questions.” http://forestaction.wordpress.com/2008/07/11/mediated-meeting-offered-on-tfl-plans/

5) Another Government-created (did you say Astroturf???) organization purporting to advocate sustainability http://www.freshoutlookfoundation.com/aboutus/directors.asp The BC Government – in an attempt to diminish the vocal opposition to its policies – has created/financed a number of groups. Here’s the latest. Not one credible environmental voice on the Board of Directors. Sustainability with this group undoubtedly means privatization of BC power, destruction of our critical habitat, promotion of farm fish, etc. What’s interesting is that I ended up their email list without asking to be… As Campbell fails to gain any traction with genuinely environmentally-concerned citizens he continues to pour money into groups like this… Other great government initiatives are the Fraser Basin Council, which just partnered with the Trucking Industry and Ministry of Transportation on an Enviro-trucks initiative. Cause hey, all you Delta and Surrey parents don’t really need to worry about the diesel particulate of 10,000 trucks/day poisoning your children… They are going to put 100 low-emission trucks on the road every two years, so by the time your children are 30, the fleet will be much cleaner. Gordon Campbell insults the people of this region. Donna Passmore, Gateway 40 Citizens Network Farmland Defense League of BC And Fraser Valley Conservation Coalition. donna8@telus.net

6) This Liberal government had the plan in 2003 when the promise from the big three in industry — Weyerhaeuser, Interfor, and Timberwest — at the time said, “Take regulations away and we will invest.” The regulations are gone, and so is the money for investment. Where? To the U.S. in mills there. Last week, Weyerhaeuser just opened another saw mill in Washington. That’s two in the past three months. Interfor bought three mills and has closed as many here since 2003. And Timberwest just closed the last one of theirs and will develop land rather than log it. Are the rules loose enough? Well, say the companies, could you just do one more thing, Gordon Campbell? How about privatizing all the land, then we could all be land developers, and forget about forestry altogether? The First Nations also want the same land the forest industry wants. I believe this will be the final bit of change this industry will get before they will invest. When will that come? Ask Campbell and this positive government. Until secure tenure is part of this forest industry, there will be no investment, and more mills will close. Would you invest if the forest could be taken away for parks, or First Nations land treaties, or whatever the government at the time wanted? http://www.canada.com/nanaimodailynews/news/upfront/story.html?id=ea351b5c-5678-426f-8fc1-fc36
1cd8209d

7) Conifex is entering the lumber sector at a time when companies are bleeding red ink in an severe downturn led by a collapse in the U.S. housing sector. Thousands of jobs have been shed in northern B.C. through mill closures, shift reductions and reduced work weeks. But Shields says the sponsors of Conifex are taking a strategic approach to the sector, banking on a tightened timber supply and an eventual turn-around in the market that will spell higher prices. The thinking, he says, involves the forecast drop in B.C.’s timber supply from the pine beetle epidemic, a reduction in the timber harvest in Eastern Canada and more far-reaching implications like Russia’s recent introduction of a log export tax which will restrict the outflow of raw logs. “You’re going to see much higher prices than today,” said Shields, who went to Fort St. James this week to set the stage for restarting the sawmill which has been down for nine months. “You have to take action when an opportunity presents itself,” he stressed. Shields says the company expects to double its investment with capital upgrades to the mill and its short-term losses, but that is still less than the $39 million Pope and Talbot paid for the mill in 2004. Not surprisingly, the purchase of the shuttered sawmill has been welcomed in Fort St. James, where the mill, with about 280 workers, was the one of the main employers in the community of 2,400. http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/20080710140391/local/news/the-cavalry.html

8) The Douglas fir forests of southern Vancouver Island are being logged at a faster rate than they were as recently as five years ago, according to a report on private-land logging by resource researcher Ben Parfitt. The report examines for the first time the harvesting rates on the swath of private forestland on the Island’s eastern slopes from Sooke to Campbell River. It shows that 2007 logging rates are up more than 20 per cent over 2003, when much of the private land was in government-regulated tree farm licences. The report, titled Restoring the Public Good on Private Forestlands, comes at a time when public interest in private forest lands is at an all-time high. On Vancouver Island, more than 600,000 hectares – one-sixth of the Island – is owned by three major forest companies, an anomaly in a province where 94 per cent of the land is publicly owned. But there’s a sound reason the harvest levels have gone up, said Darshan Sihota, president of Island Timberlands, the province’s second-largest landowner. He said Island Timberlands has stepped up harvesting deliberately to restore a more healthy age balance to the forest. The private lands were clearcut extensively 50 to 80 years ago and are now dominated by trees in that age class. Most of the forests are in a belt of private lands 200 kilometres long by 40 kilometres wide in a long strip on the Island’s relatively flat eastern coast, stretching west from towns like Duncan, Nanaimo and Comox into the chain of mountains running down the Island’s central spine. The region is renowned for having Canada’s mildest climate. It is also one of B.C.’s most productive timber-growing sites, making the lands a lightning rod for controversy. They have regenerated magnificently since being logged in the first half of the 20th century, and now logging companies and resident interest groups view them as a rare patch in the coastal forest that is exempt from the government controls in place on adjacent Crown lands. For companies, it’s an advantage that provides the flexibility to match logging with markets, whether here or offshore. For activists, it creates two classes of logging, one that is subject to public oversight and one that isn’t. At the root of the conflict are the changes that have taken place since loggers last felled the Island’s east-coast forests. Vancouver Island has become more urban. Development pressure has increased, pushing up the value of forest lands near communities. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/business/story.html?id=53e7be40-49a2-41d5-80b1-02437418
d0de

9) As a teenager in the 1950s, Klock went to work on those lands in Port Alberni’s Ash River Valley. He was a whistle punk on a high-lead show that featured a wooden spar tree. Now, he sees mechanized feller bunchers – large mobile logging machines – marching down the valley at a pace that astounds him. A cougar hunter and self-described environmentalist, Klock said he’s concerned that the return of logging on such a scale has affected wildlife and water quality. “All the indicators of damage are there. You can’t find the frogs. The land is exposed more to the sun. The turtles are disappearing and the game is disappearing. It only takes a change in water temperature of one or two degrees and you can wipe out an entire fishery. This is not rocket science,” he said in an interview. The rebirth of the sawmilling industry in the U.S. Pacific Northwest has created a ready market for the prime Douglas fir logs from private lands. Log exports, always a volatile B.C. issue, have increased. No sawmills are being built to manufacture the harvest this time around and most of the original mills have closed. Woodworkers have equated the export of logs to the loss of jobs. With fewer people dependent on forestry for a livelihood, the return of logging has led to protests. Unemployed workers blockaded trucks loaded with export logs in Port Alberni, Sooke residents fought against subdivision developments replacing the private forests outside their community, and Shawnigan Lake residents told a forest company seeking their input that development plans were not welcome. Retired Port Alberni forest worker Jack Klock said lands that took MacMillan Bloedel more than 30 years to log the first time around, have been harvested the second time in five or six years. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/business/story.html?id=53e7be40-49a2-41d5-80b1-02437418
d0de

10) BC LIBERALS CONTINUE TO PRIVATIZE PARKS: “Strathcona Park was established in 1911 as the first provincial park in British Columbia; to this day it is the flagship for the entire park system. What happens in Strathcona usually sets precedent for parks throughout the province.Clayoquot Wilderness Resort (CWR) has requested that BC Parks amend the Master Plan for Strathcona Park to allow horses into the protected lands. CWR would like to build a horse trail 14km into Strathcona Park through the pristine Bedwell Valley to You Creek. There they plan to build tent platforms, corrals, and toilets for their exclusive clients. This camp will be located to provide easy access to Cream Lake and Bedwell Lake. The trail would start at their main resort on Bedwell River at the head of Bedwell Inlet, which is in the heart of Clayoquot Sound. The general public will not benefit from this deal, since the resort is only accessible at great costs and the price for a stay there is very expensive. 3 Nights=$4,750 or?7 Nights=$9,450. The cost of barging horses from Tofino to the mouth of the Bedwell River, where CWR is located, is $3000 and rising with fuel prices. Last fall a group of hikers from Friends of Strathcona Park paid $500 for a water taxi so that they could hike into the Bedwell Valley. As a result of these costs the proposed horse trail would be for the exclusive use of CWR guests. BC Parks creates Master Plans for all provincial parks after consultation with the general public as well as groups that represent park users. The policies established in these plans are then upheld by government staff and reviewed publicly every few years. Today the policy from the Master Plan for Strathcona Park clearly states that no horses are allowed in the Bedwell Valley. One of the main reasons for not allowing horses onto parklands is that they eat hay, which often contains seeds from invasive species resulting in the spread of noxious and exotic plants. Horses can spread the seeds from foreign grasses, thistles, genetically modified canola, alfalfa, clovers, and other non-native plants which then grow into seeding plants. In this way an entire ecosystem can be destroyed because rare native plants can no longer compete with newly introduced species, which spread like wildfire. rcboyce@shaw.ca

11) The immaculate garden that Luanne and Don Palmer spent 40 years creating was so picturesque that tour buses often stopped outside their home, in the village of Lake Cowichan on Vancouver Island, so tourists could take snapshots. But when Mrs. Palmer looked out her window yesterday, it wasn’t to admire the sweeping green lawn her husband manicured, or the carefully pruned row of 20 poplars that in bloom seemed like giant white ice cream cones. Instead, she was looking at a wasteland of deep craters and piles of stinking, contaminated soil. The show garden of Lake Cowichan is gone – and the Palmer house may be next – as environmental engineers pursue an underground pool of diesel fuel that has leaked out of a gas station adjacent to the property. “It’s a horror show,” said Mrs. Palmer, a retiree who for 25 years worked for the B.C. Forest Service, grafting trees and honing the horticultural skills she used to perfect her one-acre garden. The garden, framed by cedar hedges, featured big, colourful rhododendrons, azaleas and California lilacs, set off against dainty candytuft – a low-growing plant with clusters of pure white flowers – and shade-loving hosta, a plant with leaves that emerge white, then mature green. In one corner of the property is a huge clematis twisting around a cedar trunk. In the backyard, as yet untouched, is a vegetable garden with raspberries, strawberries and blueberries surrounded by fruit trees. “There are big craters 10 to 15 feet deep in my lawn. It’s unbelievable,” Mrs. Palmer said yesterday. “This morning they took this big digger and went right up to the edge of my patio. The fumes that came up were terrible.” Mrs. Palmer said the environmental consultants working to clean up the diesel spill for the Gas and Go service station have warned her that the contamination appears to have percolated through the soil under her home. “They are trying to get people to come and see if they can lift the house … they’ve already dug up the front yard, now they are going down the side. … It is just a nightmare,” she said. “We had poplar trees … they had to rip a lot of those out and they were 50 years old. They tore out a weeping willow that was older than that. I cried that day because I can remember my kids playing there. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080704.BCLEAK04/TPStory/National

12) Conifex Inc. is the successful bidder for the bankrupt Pope & Talbot’s Fort St. James sawmill, beating out Asia Pulp & Paper. Conifex is paying $12.8 million for the sawmill. Conifex also assumes about $3 million in liabilities, mostly reforestation obligations, and expects to spend another $12 million on upgrading equipment at the mill, bringing its total investment up to about $28 million. The Fort St. James mill has a capacity of 250,000 board feet and employs 238 workers. It shut down last fall when Pope & Talbot sought bankruptcy protection, throwing not only sawmill workers but contract loggers out of work. The deal is expected to close by the end of this month (July), opening the way for loggers to return to work in early August. Once enough logs are in the yard, the sawmill will start up. http://foresttalk.com/index.php/2008/07/08/conifex_buys_fort_st_james_sawmill

13) A “groundbreaking” report on the state of B.C. wildlife and wilderness to be released Wednesday by the provincial government paints a dire picture, according to a scientist with the David Suzuki Foundation. “Sadly, it’s going to show that, despite the assumption that most of us have that live here that we have a bounty and a richness of biodiversity — and that’s true — in fact, much of that is at serious risk of disappearing because of human threats,” said Faisal Moola, the foundation’s director of science, who has seen a preview of the report.Called Taking Nature’s Pulse, the 300-plus page report is the result of collaboration between the provincial government and several conservation organizations under a body called Biodiversity B.C.Of the plants and animals reviewed by scientists for the report, 43 per cent — or 1,400 species — are deemed to be at risk, Moola said. Reptiles, turtles, fish, frogs and plants are the hardest hit, he added. Whole swaths of the province are “in big trouble,” Moola said. These include the grasslands in the Okanagan, wetlands in the Lower Mainland, and some forests on the east coast of Vancouver Island. Scientists who worked on the report were more cautious in their assessment. “Our biodiversity in British Columbia is in relatively good shape, compared to worldwide,” Biodiversity B.C. executive director Stuart Gale said in an interview Monday. Marian Adair, co-chair of the Biodiversity B.C. steering committee and a habitat ecologist with the Nature Trust of B.C., added that although “there are threats for sure to our biodiversity,” the report can serve as a way to “recognize and understand how we can maintain the healthy system that we’ve got.” She said what makes it a “watershed” report is that it represents the collective thinking of more than 50 scientists about B.C.’s biodiversity — from ecosystems to species to genetic diversity. Gale said the statistic of 43 per cent of species being at risk isn’t news to scientists. Of an estimated 50,000 species thought to exist in B.C., only 3,800 have been scrutinized for their level of risk. But what is certain is the impact of humans on the B.C. environment. “What we can determine from the report is that the species and ecosystems that are at risk occur largely in areas where there’s the highest concentration of population of people,” Gale said. “So what that tells us of course, is that as we’re looking at expanding human footprints — settlements and other forms of resource development — we have to do it in a way that is compatible with ecological values.” http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=b9603a47-080e-4996-a9fe-e4889431201c

Canada:

14) The battle for the virgin forests of the Northwest has been escalated as both the Ontario Forestry Coalition and environmental agencies recently forwarded petitions to Premier Dalton McGuinty’s office concerning the Endangered Species Act. The coalition collected 545 signatures on their “Endangered Communities Tour” which visited 12 communities in Northwestern Ontario including Kenora over only five days. “We are seeing the breadth and depth of concern that is felt by people across this province. Some of the signatories of this letter are doing so on behalf of thousands of people,” said coalition chairman Iain Angus. At issue is section 55 of the act, which requires a permitting process for logging. Industry has been vocal not only that permitting will replicate actions they already take but that environmental organizations eager to halt provincial forestry entirely will take advantage of the process to stall operations in the courts and make an already failing industry not feasible. They use the state of Oregon as a case study, where they say the protection of the Northern Spotted Owl occupied 50 per cent of state expenditures of the protection of 0.7 per cent of species, ultimately not improving the plight of endangered species, but costing the industry tens of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in the process. Following a unanimous vote by city council to condemn permitting, Kenora Mayor Len Compton wrote personally advising that in his opinion, “permitting will shut down the industry almost immediately and the courts will be attempting to manage our forests rather than the province of Ontario.” Compton will be raising the issue in a meeting with Minister of Natural Resources Donna Cansfield on Wednesday morning. Conversely, a list of 43 executives comprising the brass of Ontarian and North American environmental organizations defended the new legislation, pressing McGuinty to apply its parameters to the forestry industry. http://www.kenoradailyminerandnews.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?e=1105663

15) A massive swath of northern Ontario boreal forest, considered the world´s largest carbon storehouse, will be off-limits to forestry and mining activities under a plan that will also guarantee First Nations a share of resource revenues, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Monday. McGuinty offered few details, but said the government would consult industry, environmentalists, aboriginal communities and other local residents to develop a plan over 10 to 15 years that would protect half of the province´s pristine boreal forest from commercial activities. “It´s home to the largest untouched forest in Canada and the third largest wetland in the world,” McGuinty said of Ontario´s boreal forest. The area in question, north of the 51st parallel, measures 225,000 square kilometres _ about the size of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island combined. Home to just 24,000 people, it comprises a whopping 43 per cent of the province´s entire land mass. “It´s twice the size of the British Isles,” McGuinty said. “It is, in a word, immense. It´s also unique and precious.” The new plan would also require that mining and forestry companies consult early with aboriginal communities before starting any projects in the other half of the boreal forest, and give First Nations a share of revenues from new projects on their traditional lands anywhere in Ontario. “We´ll make a down payment on that this fall and put some money in the bank (for First Nations),” McGuinty said. “We get to say to our aboriginal communities: if there is some mining exploration here, and you permit that, you get a piece of the action.” Nishnawbe-Aski Nation Grand Chief Stan Beardy said Monday he was encouraged that the boreal forest would be mapped to determine what areas need to be protected and developed, but wanted to ensure resource revenue sharing with aboriginal communities finally takes place. “We´ve had a treaty with the Crown for about 100 years and we have not benefited whatsoever from resource revenues,” Beardy said in an interview. “It´s absolutely essential that legislation, policy and practices change to make sure that we benefit from resource development as well.” Mining generated about $11 billion in Ontario in 2007, and McGuinty said he was confident the consultations on the new protected area of the forest won´t cause any damage to the growing sector. “We don´t want to compromise that, but we do want to ensure that our mining efforts in the province of Ontario are respectful of Ontarians, aboriginal and non-aboriginal alike.” http://www.oilweek.com/news.asp?ID=17391

16) John Gagnon has taken his last walk in the old forest behind his house. “I came home two weeks ago to a pretty sad scene,” he says. The woodland of mature trees behind his home has been cleared to make way for one of the rapidly-spreading new subdivisions that are springing up in the area amid an ongoing boom in the residential construction sector. The site was zoned for residential development last time Brighton prepared an official plan on land use. Back then, consideration was given to preserving prime agricultural land and resources like gravel, but not woodlands, says Ken Hurford, the municipality’s chief planner. “The current official plans don’t really have any special plans in that regard. The new one may,” he says. That is because as municipalities like Brighton prepare new official plans, they are finding forests have moved up the province’s list of priorities. Heather Watson, a planner with Ecovue Consulting, says the province’s policy directive in 2005 placed special emphasis on significant woodlands, though definitions of “significant” vary widely. This new emphasis is being gradually picked up by municipal planners and integrated into their local plans. “In southwestern Ontario most of the forest has been lost. The forests have come down and the wetlands have been drained, so they are more aware about the need to weigh removal of habitat,” says the consultant. This has prompted many municipalities in the southwest to enact tree-cutting bylaws. “But in southeastern Ontario, because we still have it we are less likely to protect it,” she says. Even where awareness is high, the systems for divining a balanced approach to development are limited. http://www.indynews.ca/article.php?id=2227

17) If a tree falls in Saskatoon’s urban forest, someone’s going to pay. In a bid to protect its trees from developers who consider them nuisances, the city is assigning a monetary value to every tree in its 100,000-plus urban forest. The value is how much you’ll have to pay if you yield to the urge to play lumberjack. Bringing down one wide and towering American elm on a boulevard in the city’s Varsity View will set you back $46,412. The price per tree is based on factors including age, replacement cost, species, size, location and condition, said Ian Birse, superintendent of urban forestry for the City of Saskatoon. The city is concerned about trees in older neighbourhoods shrouded by decades-old leafy canopies. “People choose to live in those areas because of that canopy. I do,” said Birse. “But there are those who don’t want them around and we’re losing some, but we’re trying to do what we can to prevent it.” The city has a fight on its hands. Trees are quickly becoming endangered in the rush to capitalize on the economic prosperity that’s sweeping through the province. A development boom has spurred an expansion of roadways, residential areas and businesses in Saskatoon, where the soaring value of real estate continues to push rents and home prices into the stratosphere. City-owned trees in areas slated for construction have been labelled with bright yellow notices that declare them “protected.” If that’s not enough of a deterrent, the city is ready to branch out and take the matter to court. There are a couple of cases going through legal channels involving people who were found to be boring holes into trees and pouring in herbicide in an attempt to kill off a tree they didn’t want around, said Birse. The city is sensitive about its trees, partly because they didn’t come easy. In the early days of this once-barren prairie town, nurseries were established to conduct research and trials as to what types of trees were best suited to the climate. The result is a lush community teeming with varieties of ash and maple, birch, linden, oak, pine and spruce. The city also levies a charge against drivers found at fault for a motor-vehicle accident in which a tree is damaged. Even the hint of a possible construction project will bring out the tree cavalry to tag the timbers. Recently, Birse’s department marked eight elms lined up in an L-shape around a row house located on a corner lot near the trendy Broadway district. The total value of the trees was in the range of $200,000. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/national/story.html?id=d622a6c7-b5f2-4fc1-8459-715928f76531

18) The province is offering the College of New Caledonia a research forest that could help salvage its forestry program which has been suspended this fall because of low enrolment and budget constraints. The research forest is viewed as providing a way for students to get more hands-on experience, become involved in research but also, critically, provides the potential for $300,000 from logging revenues. The college is in the midst of revamping the forestry program that is hoped to attract students interested in the mining and oil and gas sector as well. The plan is to re-launch the program in the fall of 2009. Forests Minister Pat Bell said Friday the research forest will provide long-term stability to the college’s revamped forestry program. “We need to become world leaders in growing trees, we need to maximize the value from our existing resource, and with the growing global focus on environmental values and climate change, we can market our products based on the strength of our environmentally sustainable practices,” said Bell, MLA for Prince George North. “By supporting applied research and training of skilled forest managers and technicians, the proposed forest tenure for the College of New Caledonia will help ensure our industry’s continued success,” said Bell. The research forest is spread out over 11 parcels of land in the Prince George Forest District, comprising about 12,000 hectares of land. Bell said the province is consulting with First Nations on the parcels of land. CNC president John Bowman said while its not normal for colleges to have research forests attached to them, there is a push to increase this type of relationship. “The research forests will enhance students’ academic and practical experience and prepare them for successful careers in forestry and other natural resource management fields,” he said. Bowman also noted the logging revenues from the research forest will also help long term with the program’s costs. In suspending the program, the college had noted it was the most expensive to deliver per student. http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/20080711140589/local/news/cnc-offered-research-forest.html

Leave a comment

Your comment