437 – North American Tree News

437 – North American Tree News
–Today for you 31 news articles about earth’s trees! (437th edition) http://forestpolicyresearch.com
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Index:

–Canada: 1) Lots of really big chunks of ecosystem left, 2) Top scientists take on Boreal, 3) RONA greenwash, 4) Almost done logging Manitoba park,
–Wisconsin: 5) Depression-era CCC member tells his story, 6) Pine Martin delays logging on Chequamegon-Nicolet NF,
–Michigan: 7) A good forest is kinda like a good mortgage broker ;-)
–Minnesota: 8) Logging wetlands at night
–Illinois: 9) Gov. leads the global deforestation charge because of climate change, 10) Stop with all the junk email please!
–Ohio: 11) Prescribed burns are destroying everything but the timber crop they plan to cut, 12) Turkey restoration success,
–New York: 13) Logger caught stealing, 14) What if the Adirondacks are a living factory that suck carbon out of the air?
–New Jersey: 15) Forest conservaiton bill passes Senate,
–Pennsylvania: 16) Trails are the most important conservation issue, 17) A bugged tree, then a poisoned dead tree now a logged tree? 18) Lawsuit filed to protect parts of Allegheny NF,
–Massachusetts: 19) Public forest destroyed by unlicensed logger, 20) Save World Species List forest,
–Vermont: 21) Rare 27-acre scrap of Clayplain forest
–Virginia: 22) Road widening destroying forests
–West Virginia: 23) State’s very narrow “all-encompassing” view of where forests stand,
–Tennessee: 24) Save Devil’s Backbone State Natural Area
–Georgia: 25) Settlement agreement on Chattahoochee NF
–Maine: 26) Newbie marks trees for logging
–Northeast: 27) Northern Forest Strategic Economy Initiative
–USA: 28) Watershed Forestry Resource Guide, 29) Big drop in recreational visitors, 30) Beetlemania, 31) Tell Obama that forests are the answer!

Canada:

1) Bigger than the Amazon and better than almost anywhere else on the planet at keeping climate-warming carbon out of the atmosphere, the boreal forest stretches across 1.4 billion acres (566.6 million hectares) from Newfoundland to Alaska. More importantly, the boreal is in good condition, and the scientists’ plan aims to keep it that way. “There’s not a lot of these really big chunks of ecosystem left,” said Stuart Pimm, a conservation biologist at Duke University, said in a joint interview on Tuesday with several environmental experts. “So we understand that were we to destroy this, the consequences would be vast. The carbon implications alone are significant, especially at a time when 20 percent of global carbon emissions come from deforestation.” Pimm and 13 other environmental experts are part of an international team to be formally unveiled this week, which will monitor the protection of the boreal forest. This continent-wide swath, covered mostly with fir trees and wetlands, is the world’s largest carbon “bank” on land, storing almost twice the carbon per square yard (meter) as tropical forests because of the rich composition of its soil. The area now holds 186 billion tonnes of carbon, equivalent to 27 years worth of global carbon emissions. If all of the boreal carbon was released, it would theoretically accelerate global warming by 27 years. It also has huge reserves of fresh water and habitat for healthy populations of wildlife, including moose, caribou, songbirds and migratory waterfowl. http://africa.reuters.com/wire/news/usnN18292274.html

2) Toronto, Canada – On the heels of increasingly disturbing reports about ecosystem and species losses worldwide, an interdisciplinary team of some of North America’s top scientists have volunteered their time to form an advisory body to work with the Pew Environment Group’s campaign to protect Canada’s Boreal Forest, one of the largest, intact forest/wetland ecosystems left on the planet.. The new 14-member panel includes scientists ranging from renowned conservation ecologists Peter Raven and Stuart Pimm to IPCC global warming experts Terry Root and Andrew Weaver to Canada’s top aquatic ecologist David Schindler and award-winning ethnobotanist Nancy Turner. The panel’s membership is balanced between Canadian and international experts. Members of the Science Panel stress that many previous conservation strategies focused on small tropical “hotspots” of species diversity or heavily impacted habitats. This approach overlooks the equally important need to preserve the healthiest remaining strongholds of nature, like Canada’s Boreal Forest. Previous global goals to protect 10% of the world’s ecosystems, espoused by certain groups, increasingly appear inadequate to meet global conservation objectives. These scientists believe the comprehensive approach to conserving the whole ecosystem, outlined in the Boreal Framework, is better suited to areas that are not yet substantially degraded by development. Eight years ago the Pew Environment Group identified Canada’s Boreal as one of the world’s top conservation priorities and launched a broadly-based, large-scale initiative to protect it. Working with Canadian governments, First Nations (aboriginal governments in Canada), industries and conservation groups, Pew’s International Boreal Conservation Campaign has been promoting a comprehensive conservation and development plan, called the Canadian Boreal Conservation Framework (Boreal Framework). The new science panel is an outgrowth of an effort by 1500 scientists worldwide in 2007 supporting the Boreal Framework. In order to do more, the 14 scientists who make up the new panel will conduct an interdisciplinary assessment linking disparate sources of information into a larger whole. They also hope to counsel governments, aboriginal communities, industries, environmental groups and other stakeholders as critical planning and development decisions are made in coming years. http://www.kbsradio.ca/news/16/830612

3) “This is the strongest procurement policy for wood products in North America that we’ve seen,” said Richard Brooks, forest campaign coordinator for Greenpeace Canada. “RONA’s policy confirms their commitment to sustainable development and outlines the tools they will be using to demand that their suppliers embrace sustainable forest management.” Greenpeace say that RONA’s policy will lead to positive change on the ground in the forests of Canada and will hold their suppliers to a high standard. The policy gives purchasing preference to suppliers who work for the conservation of ecological and cultural values of forests. Other major strengths of the policy are a clear preference for Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)certified wood products and the adoption of a realistic timetable for increasing its purchases of FSC certified lumber. Additionally Rona’s approach supports the protection of high conservation value and endangered forests, and will result in restrictions on suppliers who have a negative impact on forest health. “The protection of intact forests must go hand in hand with adopting FSC certification. This is a strong policy because it deals with both pieces,” says Brooks. More than two thirds of Canada’s commercial Boreal Forest has already been fragmented and degraded by development. Intact forest areas store more carbon than fragmented areas and are best suited to mitigate the impacts of climate change. “Today we applaud RONA’s leadership,” said Brooks. “This policy will lead to change on the ground and better protection for the most ecologically important areas of Canada’s forests. Consumers want their retailers to be green and this is a major step in the right direction for RONA.” For further information: Richard Brooks, Forest Campaign Coordinator,
(416) 573-7209

4) By April 1, commercial logging will no longer be taking in Manitoba’s provincial parks — except for one. Following up on an announcement made in Thursday’s throne speech, provincial Conservation Minister Stan Struthers revealed details yesterday about the government’s plan to cease allowing commercial logging in four of the five provincial parks where it still takes place. The move will make the Duck Mountain Provincial Park northwest of Dauphin the only one of Manitoba’s 80 provincial parks where logging will be permitted. Quota holders in the Whiteshell, Nopiming, Grass River and Clearwater Lake provincial parks have agreed to cease logging by April and move to plots of forest outside the parks. The government is spending more than $3 million to compensate the two largest companies operating in those parks, Tembec and Tolko, because they are abandoning infrastructure such as roads and bridges and will need to spend more in transportation. http://www.winnipegsun.com/News/Manitoba/2008/11/22/7496531-sun.html

Wisconsin:

5) “We’d take a step and a half and plant, a step and a half and plant. You can tell because the trees are all growing so uniformly,” Wisniewski said. During the nine years of the CCC in Wisconsin, thousands of men built parks and dams, fought forest fires, constructed bridges and roads and transformed quite a bit of the state’s landscape. The men worked eight hours a day in return for a barracks cot, three meals and uniforms, plus monthly wages that averaged $30: $5 for them and $25 sent home to their families. At the 75th anniversary celebration, members of a CCC offspring, the Milwaukee Community Service Corps, sat at tables listening to stories from men who did much the same work they’re doing. “I would take my ax and chop off the branches and take off the acorns,” Ervin Dziengielewski, 86, told Kevin Jones, 23, of Milwaukee. “But then a guy told me to look for the squirrels. The squirrels had done most of the work.” The men each had a quota of 100 pounds of acorns per day that were used to grow seedlings at tree nurseries. They looked for piles of the seeds stored by squirrels, saving themselves hours of work, Dziengielewski told Jones. After his father lost the family farm near Birnamwood, Dziengielewski joined the CCC in 1940, working at Camp Brule in northern Wisconsin and the camp that’s now Estabrook Park in Milwaukee. A month ago, Jones joined the nonprofit organization that provides paid crew-based work experience and classroom instruction to about 100 young people a year. http://www.jsonline.com/news/milwaukee/34856669.html

6) The U.S. Forest Service has proposed logging 3,112 acres in the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest near Clam Lake in northwestern Wisconsin, but it would delay cutting an additional 2,130 acres for four years to give time for a small population of pine marten to recover. The pine marten, or the American marten, is the only mammal on Wisconsin’s endangered species list. It is estimated that fewer than 1,000 inhabit the state. In the Cayuga project where the logging is planned, less than 60 pine marten are known to exist. This includes 26 that were released by biologists from Minnesota this fall. Henry Schienebeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association, welcomed the decision, saying loggers and the state’s forest products industry need greater access to timber in the national forest. But environmentalist Dave Zaber of the Madison-based Habitat Education Center, who monitors logging on the forest, said the decision is “too much, too soon, too often and in the wrong places.” A spokesman for the Chicago-based Environmental Law and Policy Center said the group will challenge the decision through administrative channels and might try to block the logging in court as it has in other cases. One concern of the two environmental groups is that the logging would take place in relative close proximity to the pine marten. They said two neighboring logging projects totaling more than 20,000 acres should be considered when evaluating the welfare of the pine marten. The Forest Service said its proposal, affecting predominantly hardwoods, was an attempt to balance competing agendas. The four-year delay will help efforts by the state Department of Natural Resources to reintroduce about 60 more pine marten over the next two years, said Connie Chaney, district ranger for the western portion of the forest. http://www.jsonline.com/news/wisconsin/35108069.html

Michigan:

7) Ever thought about a timber sale on your property and then decided against it? Or, maybe you remain unsure for any number of reasons? Perhaps, you harbor a fear of getting ripped-off or are concerned about the potential for a post-harvest wasteland? You’re not alone and the concerns are legitimate. In reality, most loggers are good businessmen that do a good job in the forest. How can you be more certain of selling your trees to one of the quality loggers, versus one of the few bad ones? First, it helps to recognize your forest as a high-value asset, and not just in terms of dollars. Chances are that you don’t own your forest just for revenue generation. Most forest owners assign other reasons to the top of their priority list. Connecting those values to timber harvesting is a leap for many people. But in most cases, timber harvest and other forestry practices will enhance almost all other values, as well as provide more income than you might first think. The hard part is putting your values in concrete terms so that you better understand them. No small task, but armed with that knowledge, the next hurdle is learning how to maximize those values. That hurdle can be jumped with more insight into forest ecology, forest management, and the conditions of your specific piece of forest. This is where the services of a professional forester come in handy. A forester is not the same as a logger. The two provide different services, even though those services are related to each other. Now, lots of good information can be obtained from the Internet, public agencies, and forest organizations. Yet, little can replace a conversation with a forester while walking through your woods. That’s where information gets specific and personal. In a way, it’s sort of like managing retirement accounts. Most of us are not experts about stock markets, investment corporations, mutual funds, and the like. So, we talk to folks who are experts. We get to know a person and they get to know us and what we expect. The relationship between you and a professional forester is much the same. Properly managing a forest can reap tremendous personal rewards, as well as leaving a positive legacy for the next generation and contributing to a more sustainable society. It’s one of the few situations with winners all around. Where to begin? Deciding to learn more about your woodland and working with a professional starts the process. It will take some time. Don’t expect immediate gratification. Shop around. Speak with your friends and neighbors. Are they doing anything? Visit the Michigan Forest Pathways web site http://MIforestpathways.net for some contact ideas . http://www.gtherald.com/columns/local_story_323182344.html?keyword=secondarystory

Minnesota:

8) Near a large marsh in northwestern Minnesota, I recently stumbled upon a small, yet significant aspen clear-cut. Over the years I have often explored this area while hunting for ruffed grouse or deer. With its abundant quaking aspen trees, a few scattered bur oaks, hazel, cranberry, alder and willow, the wooded highland provides outstanding habitat for many species of wildlife, not just grouse and deer. It had been a year since I last visited the area and, much to my astonishment, I scarcely recognized part of it. Large diameter aspen trees had been cut down and were scattered about like matchsticks on the forest floor. Some trees were leaning against neighboring trees, unable to complete their fall. Other trees, which had been grounded and subsequently cut into manageable lengths, were known only to exist by the numerous, conspicuous and aromatic piles of wood chips spaced at three-or-so-foot evenly spaced intervals. And stumps, resembling freshly sharpened heads of giant pencils protruding out of the ground, were virtually everywhere. Well-worn skid trails leading to the marsh marked the paths that the pole timber and branches, one length at a time, were hauled over. Indeed, skilled lumberjacks, descending upon the woodland in the middle of the night – multiple nights, really – had laid claim to the chalky, slick-barked stand of popple trees. Only a major freeze-up, deep snows and cold would prevent them from finishing the job of felling the remaining standing trees. It is, after all, the way of the beaver, who as sawyer and engineer is one of only a few species of animals with the ability to change their environment in order to suit their own needs. The beaver is the largest rodent in North America. Adults average 35 pounds, with some individuals reaching as much as 65 pounds. Specimens of 90 pounds have also been found. Beavers can reach four to five feet in length from the nose to the tip of the tail. Prehistoric beavers were almost as large as today’s bears. Imagine the dams and lodges animals of that size would have constructed. One can easily imagine lakes, not ponds, being created by such creatures. http://www.bemidjipioneer.com/articles/index.cfm?id=19667&section=Columnists&columnist=Blane%20Klemek

Illinois:

9) Taking his commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the international stage, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich will today join California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and leaders from the U.S., Brazil and Indonesia to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to reduce deforestation, which accounts for around 20 percent of the world’s carbon emissions. “In Illinois we understand the potentially catastrophic consequences climate change could have on our environment and we are acting on a state level to find solutions to reduce emissions,” said Governor Blagojevich. “By signing this international agreement today, worldwide leaders are committing to combat deforestation and land degradation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions on a global scale.” Deforestation, particularly tropical deforestation leads to global warming, as trees are cut for logging, or to make way for cropland and development. Without adequate reforestation, habitat and biodiversity declines, and the resulting climate change can lead to disturbances in weather patterns, including hurricanes. Under the agreement, the states of Illinois, California and Wisconsin will pledge to work with the governors of six states and provinces within Indonesia and Brazil to help slow and stop tropical deforestation, the cutting and burning of trees to convert land to grow crops and raise livestock, and land degradation through joint projects and incentive programs. Included in the MOU to be signed are agreements to: 1) Focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and land degradation while promoting sequestration of additional carbon through restoration and reforestation and improved forest management practices; and, 2) Develop a Joint Action Plan by early 2009 to clearly outline progress. This progress will be discussed at the 2009 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. http://illinoischannel.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!B0DB128F5CD96151!5419.entry

10) Recently, ForestEthics’ Organizing Manager, Linda Wells, was in Chicago for an event we co-organized with renowned artist Barbara Hashimoto, who uses junk mail as her medium. The event had a great turnout! All in all, more than 100 people came out to see the exhibit. Not only did we receive many new petition signatures, but Channel 5 in Chicago (NBC) will be airing a segment on junk mail and the Do Not Mail campaign soon. Even more exciting–ForestEthics will be working with Hashimoto and our ally Randy Jewart from Austin Green Art to bring this junk mail art to major galleries across the U.S. Want to set up a junk mail event in your city or town? Join the campaign. Learn more about Barbara Hashimoto. http://www.barbarahashimoto.com/projects_jm_index2.htmlhttp://donotmail.org/article.php?id=113

Ohio:

11) This letter is in regards to the 400-acre Youngs Branch prescribed burn. The Buckeye Forest Council has long opposed these burns in our public forests. The U.S. Forest Service and Ohio Division Of Forestry continue using claims of burning debris and fallen trees as the reason for these destructive activities, as if we live in the west where there is real danger of massive forest fires and loss of lives and property. Here, they degrade our public forests with thousands of acres of burns and are now doing it so indiscriminatly that it appears nothing can stop them. The underlying reason these burns are being done is to force a mono-culture of oak trees which can feed the local lumbering industries. The burns however are the actual threat to human lives and the health and well being of Ohioans who live adjacent to our public forests being burnt. Many of the counties in which burns have occured or are planned are already in “non-attainment” status defined by USEPA. This means that the air in these counties is already dirtier than what is allowed by the EPA. Ohioans who suffer from respiratory ailments are routinely told to stay inside when the burns occur. Why in the world, in these days of recognition that our climate is changing as the result of human activity, such as the release of more carbon into the atmosphere, are we allowing our pubic employees to burn our forests? You can help. Local citizens should write to Gov. Strickland asking him to stop the burning in our state forests and your federal Congressperson asking him or her to stop these activities in our Wayne National Forest. Remember what Smokey says: “Only you can prevent forest fires.” For more info go to http://www.buckeyeforestcouncil.org http://www.irontontribune.com/news/2008/nov/20/prescribed-burns-help-lumber-industry-not-forests/

12) Conley craves wild turkey. Ohio wild turkey. About 25 years ago, the only place anyone could hunt the birds was in Vinton County in southeastern Ohio, a drive of more than two hours from his home in Sardinia. “I own 40 acres here in Brown County,” said Conley, a regional director for the National Wild Turkey Federation. “I’m tickled to death to say that I’m hunting (turkey) out my back door now.” That’s a big change for hunters and turkeys, which were wiped out by deforestation and over-hunting in the early 1900s. “I think the last one in Ohio may have been shot in 1904,” said Mike Reynolds, a state wildlife biologist in charge of the state’s wild-turkey research and management programs. But that was not the end of Meleagris gallopavo. Decades of work by state wildlife officials to transplant turkeys that were captured in other states have paid big dividends. Reynolds estimates that more than 200,000 live in Ohio now; the greatest concentration is in the state’s eastern and southeastern counties. Ohio’s numbers reflect a national trend. Wild turkeys were hunted nearly to extinction nationwide in the 1930s. Now, an estimated 7 million live in the United States. And they’ve been turning up in suburban backyards. “There are populations in every Ohio county,” said Dave Risley, director of wildlife management and research for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. They’re doing so well that the state ended its turkey-relocation program this year. Reynolds said the last transplants, 66 in all, were placed in woods in Erie, Putnam and Union counties by March. http://www.columbusdispatch.com/live/content/science/stories/2008/11/25/sci_turkey.ART_ART_11-25-08_B6_8SBUEGE.html?sid=101

New York:

13) STRATFORD, – A 33-year-old Fulton County man faces six felony counts and 45 misdemeanors after he was accused of cutting down about 140 trees worth $30,000. The timber was taken from three properties in the town of Stratford between May and September 2007. Jaime Cool faces up to seven years in prison if convicted on all charges. He was arraigned and sent to Fulton County Jail in lieu of bail. His wife, 32-year-old Jennifer Cool, also was charged with two counts of issuing bad checks related to the timber thefts. She was arraigned and released without bail. Earlier timber theft charges against Jaime Cool are still pending. The investigation was conducted by officials from the state Department of Environmental Conservation. http://www.rnntv.com/Global/story.asp?S=9397337&nav=menu566_2

14) What if we looked at the Adirondacks as more than just a 6-million-acre forest? What if we also viewed it as a kind of living factory in the fight against global warming, a mechanism capable of sucking up tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere every day? In an era increasingly defined by the search for ways to control carbon, how much is the Adirondack region worth to the state, the nation or even the planet? And could that value somehow turn into cash that both protects the forest and supports the people who live there? Those were among the questions raised at a conference last week on how climate change is altering the Adirondacks. More than 190 people crowded into The Wild Center, a natural history museum devoted to the region, to hear about both challenges and solutions. “It is easy to get gloomy. Our landscape is at risk,” said Jerry Jenkins, a Washington County botanist who co-authored an Adirondack climate report released by the center and the Wildlife Conservation Society. “The Adirondacks are warmer and wetter, with longer springs and falls and shorter winters. We have new birds, less snow, different seasons and colors, new diseases,” said Jenkins, who has studied climate change for more than 20 years. “Thus far, these are not threatening. If the climate models are right, the warning signs of larger changes could be very threatening.” The Adirondacks are the southernmost outpost of a colder boreal climate found in Canada, Jenkins said. It is winter that is receding most rapidly, with average winter temperature rinsing 5 degrees over the past century — more than double the rise in spring and summer temperatures. Frosts arriving a week later in the fall and departing a week earlier in the spring have added some two weeks to the growing season, said Tom Tucker, whose family has farmed since the 1860s in Gabriels, Franklin County, a hamlet about 20 miles north of Lake Placid. Even if CO2 emissions are brought down now, global temperatures will rise, up to another 6 degrees by the end of the century because of a lag in climatic systems. A hotter Adirondacks might not be helpful to Tucker’s signature potato crop, which prefers cool temperatures. Even the best scenario will bring the Adirondacks a climate more akin to the mountains of West Virginia, and lead to severe declines in classic Adirondack trees like hemlock, white pine, sugar maple and white ash, Jenkins said. During the winter, the number of days with snow cover will be cut by a third to a half. If emissions keep climbing unchecked, temperatures could jump by 8 to 11 degrees — moving the Adirondacks into the temperature zones currently found in the North Carolina mountains, or even the highlands of northern Georgia. http://www.timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=742906&category=REGION

New Jersey:

15) A bill sponsored by Senate Environment Committee Chair, Senator Bob Smith, which would establish a new forest stewardship program in the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to protect privately-owned forests in the Garden State was approved today by the Senate, receiving a vote of 35-3. “New Jersey has taken a bold step in pledging to drastically cut greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020,” said Senator Smith, D-Middlesex and Somerset. “However, if we’re going to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals in the next two decades, we need to protect our biggest weapon in the carbon-sequestering arsenal – our State’s lush forest land. Through this legislation, we’re extending support and incentives to good-faith forest stewards and ensuring that forestland will be preserved from overdevelopment and suburban sprawl.” The bill, S-713, would direct the DEP to establish a forest stewardship program for the owners of forest land who develop preservation and forest sustainability plans that meet national forest stewardship guidelines, subject to approval by the Department. The program would offer financial incentives, including cost-sharing for stewardship activities listed under DEP-approved plans if funding is available, and property tax breaks similar to the current farmland assessment program established by the Farmland Assessment Act of 1964. As amended, the bill would also provide that revenue generated from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auction that is dedicated to forest stewardship would go into a dedicated fund, to provide grants to people to assist in developing forest stewardship plans. “New Jersey is the most densely populated State in the nation, and the pressure to develop any open space for residential use is immense,” said Senator Smith. “As we reach potential build-out, acres and acres of forests are being cleared to make way for suburban sprawl. We need a concerted effort on the part of the State to fight efforts to pave over New Jersey’s forests and keep the green in the Garden State.” The bill now heads to the Assembly for consideration. http://www.politickernj.com/jbutkowski/25701/smith-measure-protect-state-forests-approved-senate

Pennsylvania:

16) Pennsylvania voters participating in a special conservation election have picked their favorite cause. By a seven percent margin, the “Elect to Conserve” campaign, part of the iConserve Pennsylvania initiative, chose the creation and protection of trails as their top conservation platform. Voters had the chance to cast ballots for one of five conservation causes or issues: native species; water; trees and forests; open spaces; and trails. More than 5,400 people voted in the online election between Oct. 1 and Nov. 4. Trails captured 27 percent of the votes; followed by water (20 percent); trees and forests (20 percent); natives species (18 percent); and land conservation (15 percent). Each cause was represented by an iConservePA iCon — five people who have been featured on the initiative’s Web site, www.iConservePA.org, for doing things in their everyday lives to help address alarming environmental trends. “All of these conservation issues are important to our quality of life, the vitality of our communities and our connection to the natural world,” Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Michael DiBerardinis said. “Trails represent the importance of natural features by connecting destinations, people to the outdoors, and economies to natural resources. “We congratulate Carl Lorence, who represented trails, on his win, and are happy to provide $5,000 to the Keystone Trail Association on his behalf for use on a conservation project,” DiBerardinis said. “We’re thrilled about Carl’s victory,” said Curt Ashenfelter, executive director of the association. “We’ll use the winnings to help provide, preserve, protect and promote recreational hiking trails and hiking opportunities in Pennsylvania.” The funds for the donation are being provided by a private foundation. Each of the four additional organizations represented in the campaign will receive a $1,000 donation, including the Wild Resource Conservation Fund, Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation and the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association. http://www.marketwatch.com/news/story/Trails-Win-Elect-Conserve-Campaign/story.aspx?guid={75C891E4-4C39-4ADE-9BE1-8F75FCD2E698}

17) MT. GRETNA — Despite impassioned pleas from several hikers and environmentalists, the six-member board of directors of Clarence Schock Memorial Park at Governor Dick voted unanimously yesterday to proceed with a plan to clear hundreds of trees killed by gypsy moths. Proceeds from the timbering project will go toward reforesting the park. The park covers 1,105 acres, but only 114.3 acres suffered severe damage. Director Charles Allwein, who presented a statement approved by the board, said the affected areas were sprayed with a moth-fighting agent in the spring. “No one really knows why (the spraying was ineffective),” he said. “I personally have been involved in numerous gypsy-moth spray programs during my 45 years of service to the Mt. Gretna community. I have never seen one fail until this year.” The reason for the failure may be uncertain, but what is clear is that gypsy moths left some 6,000 dead trees in the park. Board members in consultation with professionals broke the 114 acres down into three sections with different proposals for each. Bowing to the wishes of the park’s environmental committee, which opposes removing dead trees in the interior of the forest away from trails and roads, board members declared no dead trees will be cut in a 46.8-acre area. All dead trees in that area will decompose naturally. On 39.2 acres adjacent to trails, dead trees will be cut in 100-foot sections on both sides of trails in the affected areas as a safety measure. Trees deemed to have no monetary value will be cut and left. Of the estimated 2,156 trees in this area, 868 are considered saw logs. Of the remaining 28.3 acres of interior forest, dead trees with monetary value will be cut and removed. The remaining large, dead trees will be dropped to prevent them from falling and damaging other healthy trees. This area has about 1,556 dead trees, 739 of which are considered saw logs, Allwein said. In this area, a small percentage of live black birch trees will be dropped or removed to enhance the growth and regeneration of other species of trees. As part of a plan to encourage the forest to regenerate, part of the forest interior will be fenced to keep deer from newly planted areas. Also, invasive plants will be sprayed to prevent them from proliferating when more sunlight reaches the forest floor. Board members pledged that all proceeds gained from the sale of the timber, estimated at more than $50,000, will be put back into the land.b http://www.ldnews.com/news/ci_11041396

18) A coalition of environmental and recreation groups and federal forest employees has filed suit in U.S. District Court in Erie alleging the U.S. Forest Service approved several oil and gas drilling projects that will damage sensitive animal habitat without doing required environmental reviews. The lawsuit, filed yesterday by the Allegheny Defense Project, Sierra Club Pennsylvania Chapter, Tionesta Valley Snowmobile Club and Forest Service Employees for Environmental Ethics, said the well drilling permits adjacent to the popular Rimrock Overlook and the Longhouse National Scenic Byway pose a threat to endangered or threatened species, including the northern flying squirrel, eastern box turtle, wood turtle, timber rattlesnake, cerulean warbler, great blue heron and northern goshawk. Since the mid-1990s, oil and gas drilling in the Allegheny National Forest has increased significantly, from 100 new wells per year to nearly 1,500 new wells per year. In addition to the thousands of crude oil and gas wells, the 513,000-acre national forest has been fragmented by more than 2,000 miles of oil and gas roads built to provide access to drilling sites. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08326/929604-54.stm

Massachusetts:

19) In January, 2008, the beautiful forest that surrounded the Petersham Country Club in Petersham, Massachusetts was destroyed by an unlicensed logger. What was once one of the crown jewels of our little town has been devastated and it will take up to a century to recover. Numerous forestry and wetland laws were broken but the perpetrators of this forest crime still have not been brought to justice by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. How can we prevent another forest massacre like this from happening again? http://www.vimeo.com/2262642

20) The WSLF (World Species List Forest of Conway, Massachusetts) must be protected from the cultural influence of all abutters. We do not need to be protected from other natural landscapes. From our telephone conversation, I understand that the 74-acre NEFF forest in Conway, MA will be subject to the NEFF agenda of multiple use. We who strive to protect acres by returning those acres to the control of natural forces interpret multiple use as multiple abuse of the natural landscape. There are two issues that concern us. First, we would like the NEFF to return these 74 acres to the natural landscape and restore these acres. We do not wish to see the NEFF degrade this area by instituting artificial human controls and random intervention. You have it within your means to protect these acres from species extraction (e. g. hunting and logging) and you can decide not to be an owner/developer (trails, parking lots, etc.). These practices always upset the equilibrium that natural controls establishes. In terms of conservation, restoration and preservation, neglect is a good thing. These 74 acres probably have not seen logging nor domesticated animals under human control for several decades, and this area in this isolated north end of Conway, Massachusetts, New England, USA is currently well on its way to recovery from human influences following the American Civil War. Your practices will interrupt this healthy trend. The WSLF (your neighbor) acres also has had a history of logging prior to its becoming a jealously protected place. However, unlike the NEFF forest our forest, has a guaranteed future. http://wslfconwaymausa.blogspot.com/

Vermont:

21) Dairy farmer J.D. DeVos walked down a woods road through a scrubby stand of second-growth poplar toward an invisible line where poplar gave way to a profusion of tree species. Hemlock towered in the distance and leaves of red oak, bur oak and beech drifted on the ground. All around, red maple and white pine rubbed shoulders with young shagbark and bitternut hickories, with black cherry, gray birch, trembling aspen and green ash. DeVos owns a rare piece of Vermont: a 27-acre scrap of clayplain forest, a rich forest type known for its diversity of species. He values the woodlot for its quiet and its wildlife, but elsewhere in the Champlain Valley two centuries of human demand for tillable land and room for new homes has swept away a once-common forest type. Now, thanks to changes in a state property tax reduction program, landowners who wish to preserve sensitive natural areas like clayplain forest will have help doing so. “There is land that owners would love to designate as ‘no-touch’ areas, but they haven’t met the criteria for Vermont’s current use program,” conservation biologist Liz Thompson said. “Now they can.” The use-value appraisal or “current use” program slashes the property taxes on working farm and forest land by putting that land on the tax rolls at its value for agriculture or forestry, rather than its much higher market value. Current use is widely credited with limiting the subdivision and development of the state’s working landscape. By definition, land in current use must be worked. That means forest owners must have a management plan that calls for periodic logging. That requirement creates a barrier to enrolling pieces of forest that are more valuable for their natural features than for the logs they produce. Recognizing that concern, the 2008 Legislature directed the Forest, Parks and Recreation Department to “identify certain ecologically sensitive areas that will be allowed to be managed for other purposes than timber production.” http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/article/20081117/NEWS02/81116013

Virginia:

22) Motorists along the western flank of the Capital Beltway in Virginia this month have enjoyed one of the more spectacular fall foliage seasons in recent memory. It is likely to be their last. Construction has begun in earnest on four high-occupancy toll lanes from the Springfield interchange to just north of the Dulles Toll Road. And residents and drivers alike, local officials say, should prepare for a stark transformation of the Beltway from leafy thoroughfare to concrete canyon. “The Beltway is going to be a far different facility than what it is now, both in appearance and in operation,” said Fairfax County Supervisor Sharon S. Bulova (D-Braddock). Her district includes such on-the-Beltway communities as Ravensworth, North Springfield and Annandale Terrace. State officials agreed years ago to minimize the taking of private property by confining construction of HOT lanes to the state highway department’s existing property along each side of Interstate 495. The downside of that decision, critics said, is that there will no longer be a buffer of trees between residential neighborhoods and the lanes of a highway expected to accommodate 320,000 vehicles each day by 2020. In recent weeks, the plentiful rainfall of early 2008 yielded a particularly brilliant display of yellow, orange and red so close to the Beltway that the corridor’s hardwood canopy of oak, hickory and maple dumped piles of leaves into traffic. “We’ve had leaves, we’ve had a buffer,” said Norma Heck of the North Springfield neighborhood, which borders the southwestern corner of the inner loop between the Springfield Mixing Bowl and Braddock Road. Heck has lived in her home since 1956, before the Beltway was built. “We’ve had our compromises. When they put eight lanes in, we got our sound wall and a buffer. But this is crossing a line. It’s going to look terrible, and for what? So people driving in from Woodbridge and Fredericksburg can get to Tysons Corner 20 minutes faster?” Commuters, neighbors and conservationists have reacted with shock and dismay since the summer, when the partnership between Virginia, Fluor Corp. of Texas and the Australian company Transurban broke ground on the $2 billion, 14-mile widening project. Residents’ pique focused on staging areas being cleared to accommodate construction equipment near interchanges at Braddock Road, Interstate 66 and Georgetown Pike, among other spots. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/22/AR2008112202071.html

West Virginia:

23) By the time the new calendar is exhausted, state Forester Randy Dye hopes to have an all-encompassing view of where West Virginia’s massive forests stand. One month at a time, his staff and various entities plan to explore about dozen topics affecting the woodlands. Given West Virginia’s landscape, that is no small mission. Forests blanket fully 78 percent of the state, with 12 million acres, and the timber industry is one that feeds the economy by a whopping $4 billion a year, with, at last count, some 30,000 jobs. “We’re the third most forested state in the nation,” Dye told reporters, after speaking briefly Tuesday to the Forest Management Review Commission, in an interims meeting. “We’re looking at 12 million acres and that includes state, federal, private lands, industry lands. In one meeting, the next one, the topic will be an inventory. We’ll break down the ownership. The forest industry doesn’t own it all. Coal doesn’t own it all.” In fact, Dye said, the bulk of the forest acreage is in the hands of small, individual owners. “Grandma and grandpa,” he said. Dye faced an immediate challenge when he outlined groups taking part in the specific studies and there was no environmental one in the lineup. Don Garvin, representing the West Virginia Environmental Council, confronted Dye about this, after learning only the Nature Conservancy was included. “They’re not an advocacy group,” Garvin said. “We are.” “If you look at the list of industries, they’re foresters and foresters are environmentalists. They care for nature and the environment. That’s the reason they went into the profession. The sustainability effort indicates that it’s more than just cutting trees, sawing timber and making a dollar.” Besides, he said, the bigger profit a forester exacts, the more money that can be plowed back into conservation. http://www.register-herald.com/local/local_story_323211925.html

Tennessee:

24) The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is proposing to log, burn, and use herbicides to treat one of the most unique and sensitive areas on the LBL, the Devil’s Backbone State Natural Area. The goal, to purportedly perpetuate native shortleaf pine, is not proven, and will have adverse effects. Other alternatives, such as planting shortleaf pine seedlings in the understory, have not been considered. The area is designated as “core area” in the plan, which are not supposed to be subject to such heavy handed management activities. These core areas are in lieu of “roadless” areas, which LBL has refused to consider. There are legitimate, serious concerns about the project and the commentor hopes that it will be withdrawn. This area is a significant natural area and should not be subject to this kind of heavy-handed, industrial management disturbances. The EIS on this project should consider the ecosystem services that are provided by the undisturbed forest, and how the management activities will degrade these resources. These include but aren’t limited to clean water, clean air, aesthetic beauty, and carbon storage. Please help us stop this heavy handed management! The deadline is November 22, so act now! For more information: http://www.lbl.org/ADMIN/legalnotice102108.pdf Please fill out all blanks in the form and then press the “send comments” button at the bottom. If you have time, please modify this letter to reflect your personal concerns. Thanks! http://www.heartwood.org/action.html

Georgia:

25) Georgia ForestWatch, Southern Environmental Law Center and the U.S. Forest Service plus other concerned groups and citizens concluded an intensive, three-year public review process in August culminating in agreement in principle regarding a timber management project on the Chattahoochee National forest in Northwest Georgia over the next five to eight years. “All sides put a lot of effort into this process and had to ‘give a little’ to reach agreement,” said Wayne Jenkins, executive director, Georgia ForestWatch. “We support good, collaborative forestry and most of this project sounds like good forestry.” “We would like to see the Forest Service pursue more of this type of collaborative restoration work on other national forests in the Southern Appalachian mountains,” said Sarah Francisco, an attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. The bulk of the 6,200-acre timber project entails thinning pine plantations that have no place in the mountains of Southern Appalachia – a key factor in gaining agreement of the non-profit forest conservation organizations. This type of thinning is necessary, Jenkins said, to help prevent Southern Pine Beetle infestations on the thousands of acres of overcrowded pine stands on the Chattahoochee. And in time, with appropriate forestry, such stands will mature to a more natural native forest of mixed hardwood and pine species. “If the Forest Service does this project correctly – and we will be monitoring them closely on this – this could be a win-win scenario for the national forests in Georgia and the citizens who own them,” Jenkins said. http://news.mywebpal.com/news_tool_v2.cfm?pnpID=722&NewsID=937298&CategoryID=3388&show=localnews&om=0

Maine:

26) We have two main stands of white pine mixed with some very large balsam fir. Much of this pine is what is called field pine here and has been damaged repeatedly by pine weevils. Weevils kill the leading stem (apical meristem) of the tree creating jogs in the trunk where a side shoot has taken over and grown. In severe cases, the upper branches can look like a basket. Many of these trees are at the end of their lives, some have already died and fallen. Within this tangle of wood, there are some decent, straight young pine trees and it is these we hope to nurture. This winter, once the ground freezes, one of our neighbors who cuts trees for a living, will come and harvest those trees I have marked. He will use a tractor to remove the wood. Unfortunately, he has just sold his oxen which he used to use. I was looking for as low as an environmental impact as I could get for our harvest. In the hierarchy of choices we make, I can accept a tractor for skidding wood. I’m hoping to remove about 40% of the canopy, leaving an open floored forest for new pine trees to start. The wood will be sold for pulp or biomass. I will be the first to admit that I have no experience when it comes to marking trees for a harvest but I do have some “common sense” goals for harvesting our pine stands. I want to eliminate the most diseased trees that are slowly dying anyway. I also want to keep the straightest trees even if they have multiple trunks. This is for two reasons. The first is for potential lumber. The second is for forest canopy structure. By canopy structure I mean that I want the branches of these older trees around to support the younger trees as they grow. These two goals create my “marking” strategy. I’m also trying to leave “clumps” of trees within close proximity to each other, grouping as much as I can in three’s in a triangular pattern. My feeling is that if I were to harvest leaving trees somewhat more evenly spaced, they’d be more prone to being blown over in the wind. I have no evidence to support this but I feel this type of spacing is more natural both for the trees and also for animal habitat. http://thoughtsfromthewoods.blogspot.com/2008/11/getting-ready-for-our-first-timber.html

Northeast:

27) Northern Forest Strategic Economy Initiative – Concord, N.H.-based Northern Forest Center on Monday presented the findings of the initiative at a Rockefeller Institute forum in Albany. Afterward, panelists offered their thoughts. The region covers four states — Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York — that share similar challenges as they watch their old industries collapse and their young people flee. “These communities are in economic crisis and their very survival is at risk,” said Todd Shimkus, president and CEO of the Adirondack Regional Chambers of Commerce in Glens Falls. Another panelist, Brian Houseal, executive director of the Adirondack Council, a conservation group, described the 6 million-acre Adirondack Park as “the largest protected deciduous forest left on the planet,” and suggested the region could benefit by capitalizing on its natural resources. “We had 20 pulp and paper mills. We’re down to one,” he said. Meanwhile, “the kids in Ticonderoga schools write on paper imported from Indonesia.” He called for more smart growth in the region, economic metrics that would put value on the services provided by forests — such as absorbing carbon dioxide, providing clean water and controlling floods — and further development of local agriculture. Panelist Joe Short of the Northern Forest Center said the region might get itself heard in Washington if it spoke with one voice. While the group talked of the need for more advanced telecommunications — many areas have no cellular or broadband Internet service — there was little support for a proposed east-west highway that would connect Watertown, to Plattsburgh. “Most of our commerce runs north and south,” said the Adirondack Council’s Houseal. And the interstate highway connecting Albany to Montreal may have hurt as much as it helped. “The Northway sucked the life out of many of the towns on Route 9,” which runs parallel to the highway, he added. The chamber’s Shimkus criticized the Adirondack Park Agency, which regulates land use in the park. Of the APA’s 65 employees, just one works on economic development, he said. But Short questioned how culpable the APA was in the region’s economic stagnation. “The Adirondacks would have many of the same challenges they have today with or without the Adirondack Park Agency,” he said. http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=743554&category=ALBANY

USA:

28) The Center for Watershed Protection and the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area are pleased to announce the upcoming launch of the Watershed Forestry Resource Guide, a new online resource for all things related to forests and their role in watershed and stormwater management. This website contains pages specific to Forest Planning and Assessment; Reducing Stormwater Runoff; Forest-Friendly Development; and Planting and Maintaining Trees. Whether you are an engineer needing information on using forests to provide stormwater treatment, or an urban planner working towards an urban tree canopy goal, this site will equip you with all the fact sheets, slideshows, how-to videos, training exercises, research papers, reports and essential websites you will need. Key topics to be covered. 1) An introduction to basic concepts in watershed forestry, 2) A quick tour of the Watershed Forestry Resource Guide, 3) Time for questions and feedback on the site To REGISTER: http://tinyurl.com/62wmxl

29) Researchers are trying to determine why people are staying away from the prized public playgrounds, including the nearby Mount Hood, Gifford Pinchot and Deschutes national forests.Their ideas include high gas prices, rising visitor fees, youths glued to television and video games and a busy, urban society with little time for outdoor pursuits.They say the decline is troubling for rural economies that increasingly look to tourism and recreation to replace revenue lost when logging dried up. It also may leave fewer people who champion the value of public lands. “I think that there is cause for concern,” said Thomas More, a researcher at the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station in Vermont. “There’s some important consequences for rural communities and for people’s chance to get out and enjoy being in the outdoors.” The visitor decline turned up last month when the Forest Service released new figures from visitor monitoring in 2007. The numbers provided the first comparison against figures from 2004. The figures are estimates based on surveys and counts around each national forest. Total forest visits dropped from 204.8 million in 2004 to 178.6million in 2007, a 13 percent decline. Visits to Oregon and Washington national forests fell from 28.2 million in 2004 to 20.5 million in 2007, a 27 percent drop. That’s the sharpest percentage drop of any Forest Service region in the country. The next largest drop was 24.3 percent decline in the Forest Service’s Eastern Region, which encompasses several Midwest and northeastern states. Visits to undeveloped national forest wilderness areas also dropped, from 8.8 million in 2004 to 6.3 million in 2007. Wilderness visits typically involve longer hikes or backpacking. About two-thirds of wilderness visitors were men. Scott Silver of the Bend-based group Wild Wilderness, which fights commercialization of public lands, said it should be no surprise that visitation has declined over the years when public land fees have become more widespread. “As the prices rise, the demand decreases,” he said. “Why should anyone have not expected that?” http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/11/national_forests_see_fewer_vis.html

30) “Bark Beetles Kill Millions of Acres of Trees in West.” Great story, other than neglecting to mention climate change. It’d be like an article on an outbreak of avian flu that left out any discussion of birds. So we have the national “liberal” media, like the NYT and NBC blowing this story, while the local, conservative media get it right, see “conservative San Diego Union knows climate change is killing Western forests” and “Oldest Utah newspaper: Bark-beetle driven wildfires are a vicious climate cycle.” Of course, the journal Nature understands the science, as an April article made clear: “Mountain pine beetle and forest carbon feedback to climate change.” Montana has lost a million acres of trees to the beetles, and in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming the situation is worse. “We’re seeing exponential growth of the infestation,” said Clint Kyhl, director of a Forest Service incident management team in Laramie, Wyo., that was set up to deal with the threat of fire from dead forests. Increased construction of homes in forest areas over the last 20 years makes the problem worse. In Wyoming and Colorado in 2006 there were a million acres of dead trees. Last year it was 1.5 million. This year it is expected to total over two million. In the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, the problem is most severe. It is the largest known insect infestation in the history of North America, officials said. British Columbia has lost 33 million acres of lodgepole pine forest, and a freak wind event last year blew mountain pine beetles, a species of bark beetle, over the Continental Divide to Alberta. Experts fear that the beetles could travel all the way to the Great Lakes. If only we had a clue why this was all happening, and what it all means … Wildfire is the biggest threat. You won’t be surprised to learn that the NYT has repeatedly run stories on wildfires and droughts that never mention global warming. The end of this sad story is especially poignant: The West that depends on tourism, meanwhile, wonders what their customers will think about the dramatic change in scenery. Four million visitors a year come for sightseeing and recreation to Grand County in Colorado, where much of the forest is now dead. “What happens,” said Ray Jennings, director of emergency management for Grand County, “if this becomes an ugly place to be?” That could well be an epitaph for the whole damn country if Big Media continues to fail in what should be one of its central tasks today, explaining to the public that climate change is hitting this country hard right now — making droughts longer and stronger, spreading pests, destroying forests, driving the worst wildfire seasons in recorded history. I hope the new Obama administration recognizes that educating the public — and perhaps even educating the media — on the painful reality of global warming must be one of its top priorities. http://gristmill.grist.org/story/2008/11/20/121336/31

31) At American Forests, we know that forests play a critical part in protecting and restoring the earth’s climate, and in supporting healthy communities. By electing Barack Obama to be our next President, Americans have made it clear they want to see change in the way our country approaches a variety of issues, including natural resources and the environment. We want you to let us know why trees and forests are important, and what you would suggest the Obama administration do to support forest conservation, restoration, and solutions to global climate change and energy independence. All along the campaign trail, President-Elect Obama pledged to take swift steps to begin healing our planet and restoring our economy. We need to hold him to this pledge. In the coming weeks, we will send President-Elect Obama a memo laying out the key forest restoration issues we believe should be a part of the new Administration’s focus. Specifically, we want to ensure that: 1) Forests are part of any solution to climate change; 2) We restore healthy forest ecosystems by solving the wildfire funding crisis; 3) The development of a green economy includes opportunities for the forestry sector. — So where do you come in? You are part of the environment. What you have to say about it is important, and will bring added value to the suggestions and solutions we send to the new Administration. We will include ideas from your messages as we craft a message to President-Elect Obama posing thoughtful solutions and reflections on the ideas of the American Forests’ community. http://www.americanforests.org/

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