“Coastal properties of this size in California are few and far between,” said Amy Chesnut, the acquisitions director and manager of the project for the Sonoma Land Trust. “It is biologically rich, and scenically and visually very important.”
The old ranch site, east of Highway 1 near the spot where the Russian River meets the Pacific Ocean, is adjacent to more than 13,000 acres of the Sonoma Coast State Park and other open space, creating an almost unbroken 30-mile stretch of preserved land from Bodega Head to Fort Ross. It includes 1,500 acres of coastal prairie, 3,100 acres of forest containing redwood and Douglas fir, and three spawning streams for steelhead trout.
It means 2 1/2 miles of coastline with spectacular views of the rugged bluffs and ocean will be open for future recreation, including a new segment of the California Coastal Trail.
A Sonoma County conservation group completed the long-sought purchase of 5,630 acres of coastal grasslands and redwood forest Thursday, permanently opening to the public a stunning landscape teeming with wildlife. The Sonoma Land Trust bought the sprawling site known as the Jenner Headlands for $36 million, making it the largest land acquisition for conservation in Sonoma County history.
Endangered northern spotted owl chicks make Jenner their home. Photo courtesy of USFWS.
Tualatin Riverkeepers is working with various partners to initiate a program to plant trees in parking lots for stormwater mitigation.The Tualatin River basin has more than 5000 acres in parking lots that cause runoff that erodes and pollutes streams.One of the goals of this project is to retrofit parking lots without losing parking capacity.Structural soils and linear tree wells designed by Maria Cahill of Green Girl Land Development Solutions a primary feature of the first two proposed project sites.
When it rains on asphalt or concrete, water runs off rather than soaking into the ground.This runoff carries pollutants from brake linings, tires, and automobile fluids, as well as other pollutants from the urban landscape.Nat Scholz at NOAA Fisheries has shown that copper from brake linings is very toxic to our native salmonids.Approximately 20% of impervious area in urban watersheds comes from parking lots.
Storm drains from parking lots are generally connected to a storm sewer system.In many areas, storm sewers dump into the nearest stream.Besides carrying pollutants to these streams, the runoff causes streams to rise quickly during storm events, eroding banks and stirring up sediments and legacy pollutants from the stream bed.
In many larger cities, including Portland, storm sewers connect to the sanitary sewers and go to a wastewater treatment plants.During storms, the combination of sewage and runoff is greater than the capacity of the system and a “combined sewer overflow” occurs, dumping into the nearest river. Text From: http://oregoncommunitytrees.blogspot.com/
The Forest Jobs and Recreation Act (FJRA) [bill text • map] was introduced in the U.S. Senate by Senator Jon Tester (D-MT) and assigned bill number S. 1470.
A line-by-line analysis of S.1470 has been commissioned by the Last Best Place Wildlands Campaign – a coalition of conservation organizations and citizens dedicated to wildlands protection, Wilderness preservation, and the sound long-term management of our federal public lands legacy.
The Last Best Place Wildlands Campaign is a coalition of conservation organizations and citizens dedicated to wildlands protection, Wilderness preservation, and the sound long-term management of our federal public lands legacy. Our coalition includes small-business owners, scientists, educators and teachers, 4th and 5th generation Montanans, hikers and backpackers, hunters and anglers, wildlife viewers, outfitters and guides, veterans, retired Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management officials, ranchers and farmers, former loggers and mill workers, health care practitioners, craftspersons, and community leaders – all stakeholders committed to America’s public wildlands legacy.
But is a Colorado senator trying to breathe new life into a bad idea? On November 5, 2009, something happened in Colorado that hasn’t happened in a long, long time: the U.S. Forest Service rejected a proposal to turn a natural area into ski runs and a magnet for private land development. The natural area is Snodgrass Mountain, which includes inventoried roadless lands, beautiful aspen stands, raptor habitat, and open space. Snodgrass rises just north of Mount Crested Butte, the company town whose reason for being is the Crested Butte ski resort to the south. (The old mining-turned-tourist town of Crested Butte is a few miles further down the road.)
The resort has had its eye on Snodgrass for years. And for just as long, local conservationists have been trying to protect America’s public lands on Snodgrass from being turned into a site for clearcut runs and lift towers. Snodgrass is beloved as open space on the edge of development, as a place to hike, mountain bike and ride horses, and as wildlife habitat. At the center of the battle is the Forest Service, which owns and manages the land, and has, for years, rarely seen a ski area expansion it couldn’t approve.
So it was a pleasant surprise when GMUG National Forest Supervisor Charlie Richmond said “thanks, but no thanks” to the resort’s expansion. Supervisor Richmond found the proposal to develop Snodgrass was not in the public interest, since it lacked community support, would spur development of ranchland, and would build lift towers and log in a roadless area and lynx habitat.
Metallica frontman James Hetfield is donating 330 acres overlooking California’s Lucas Valley for preservation as farmland. The Marin County Board of Supervisors unanimously accepted the donation Tuesday. It follows Hetfield’s earlier gift to the county of more than 400 acres for open space. Both plots of land are around Hetfield’s home. Hetfield’s land use consultant, Scott Hochstrasser, says the donations reflect the singer’s desire to maintain privacy and preserve open space.
Meanwhile, county officials say they are close to a deal with Hetfield that would reroute a hiking trail that crosses his property. The project is expected to cost the county more than $200,000. Hetfield recently constructed a fence to block use of the trail.
“Nobody wants to have problems with the environment. And we have a cast of farmers who want to solve their problems and sleep soundly at night,” Bertinatto Copetti says.
Darci Eichelt cleared and plowed as much land as he could when he first arrived in Lucas do Rio Verde in central Mato Grosso state more than 20 years ago. Now, a sea of soybeans covers his 6,000 acres, as in all the surrounding farms in Lucas. Eichelt says people like him are proud of being pioneers who built a tiny outpost in the middle of an oven-hot mosaic of savannas and forests. Today, Lucas is a far different place, one that’s a lot like Iowa. The town is filled with mom-and-pop stores, grain silos and a dealership selling John Deere and Casey tractors. The fields beyond are plowed with cash crops as far as the eye can see. It’s one of the most prosperous farm towns in a big, booming country. It’s also the epicenter of what could be an environmental revolution. On a recent day, Eichelt walks to the edge of his farm, toward a clump of trees. They are trees he is now planting, where he could be growing soybeans. In fact, Eichelt is setting aside one-third of his farm for native vegetation. “Can you imagine all this in 10 years? It’s going to be beautiful. All these trees growing, and fruits and seeds will turn into a very attractive place for birds,” he says. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=121095308&ft=1&f=1025
Stay tuned to this Forest Policy Research Website to learn how to become part of a global online forest defense movement. Here’s a hint as to what’s in store:
Google’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, has launched a new way to monitor deforestation. The tool was demonstrated at the Copenhagen talks yesterday, which will enable online, global-scale observation and measurement of changes in the earth’s forests. The hope is that the tool will prove itself to be a way to eventually end deforestation. It seems impossible, but Google Earth has enabled other feats that might have been thought impossible too.
Now, the new tool will, with luck and diligent use, help to stop the destruction of the world’s forests.
Google’s blog notes, “According to the Stern Review, protecting the world’s standing forests is a highly cost-effective way to cut carbon emissions and mitigate climate change. The United Nations has proposed a framework known as REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries) that would provide financial incentives to rainforest nations to protect their forests, in an effort to make forests worth “more alive than dead.”
Eight vacancies are expected on the 11-member panel in July 2010, including specific positions that represent different areas of both motorized and non-motorized recreation, such as snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, backpacking and horseback riding. Other seats are reserved for environmental groups, guides, tourism agencies and Indian tribes. Each seat has a three-year term.
The deadline to apply has been extended to Jan. 9. Individuals may apply or be nominated. For information, including a nomination packet, contact Michael Ayers at (916) 978- 4644 or visit the Forest Service Web site.
A Tag at Forest Policy Research called: Infestation fanaticism focuses on all the excitement related to diseases that threatens trees. Too often the trees are not as vulnerable to disease as they are to people who claim logging of diseased trees is the solution.
SOD, or Sudden Oak Death was first found in coastal Northern California over a decade ago continues to spread. This disease is not destroying vast landscapes yet. But it’s been portrayed that way in the UK recently:
Phytophthora ramorum, first noticed in an oak tree in England six years ago, is now attacking Japanese larch, beech, birch and sweet chestnut. It has also spread to woodlands many miles apart without apparent explanation. The discovery was made this autumn by Forestry Commission workers who noticed unusual dieback and brown leaves on trees during the summer. The disease was first known in the US where it has killed many trees in California and Oregon. It is thought to have arrived in Britain on saplings imported from the Continent and has particularly affected red and turkey oaks. English native white oaks have been unscathed. Rhododendrons and the heathland bilberry have also been affected and diseased plants have infected some adjacent trees. But what has horrified tree specialists is that the affected trees are not linked to other infected sites and the disease has spread to woodlands more than 60 miles apart. So far it is confined to the South West: hundreds of trees in public forests and private woodlands in Cornwall, Devon and Somerset have died or are in decline. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6954049.ece
Among the infected sites are Plym Woods, east of Plymouth; Largin Wood, in Cornwall; and Canonteign Woods, near Exeter. Landowners have been alerted. Urgent surveillance is under way to check the spread of the disease to other areas. Those believed to be most at risk are the Forest of Dean, the Marches on the English-Welsh border, the Forest of Bowland in Lanacashire, the Lake District and forestry in Wales. Teams of forestry workers are inspecting trees for other disease hotspots. Plant health experts at the Food and Environment Research Agency and Forest Research are also investigating. Chris Marrow, the Forestry Commission’s forestry director in the South West, said it was alarming that the disease had jumped species. “We have seen beech and birch trees infected before but only when in contact with infected rhododendrons, but this disease outbreak is very different.” Mr Marrow said he was concerned at the speed at which trees had been killed. “If other hotspots are identified, we will have to do some preventative felling to stop spread of the disease. We have put up notices in infected forests urging people to stick to footpaths and keep dogs on a short lead.” http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6954049.ece
“This is bringing us back up to more modern times,” Kulesha said Friday. “This is what the islands are named; they’re Haida Gwaii. The confusion is the fact that some maps say one thing, and other maps say another. So now, it’s official, and that’s great.
“B.C.’s Queen Charlotte Islands have officially been renamed Haida Gwaii as part of a historic reconciliation agreement between the province and the Haida Nation, Premier Gordon Campbell announced Friday in Vancouver.
The modern native name for the group of more than 150 rugged islands off the province’s north coast will appear on revised provincial maps and all other official provincial documents and presentations, the premier said.
The archipelago was first named after one of the ships of British Captain George Dixon in 1778, who called his vessel Queen Charlotte after the wife of King George III.
The agreement builds on the success of the Strategic Land Use Agreement signed between B.C. and the Haida in 2007. “We have already agreed to the care and protection of the land; and now, we develop processes for more responsible management,” Guujaaw said. “This marks an opportunity to build a relationship on mutual trust and to design a model for a sustainable economy.”
The deal will create a unique joint management council that will make development decisions along with a process to resolve disputes between Haida and Crown title. It also includes $10 million for the Haida to buy out forest tenures on the islands and revenue-sharing on future resource development in the region. The pristine islands are in the centre of B.C.’s vast offshore oil and gas fields, but development of those reserves remains under a federal moratorium. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2009/12/11/bc-queen-charlottle-islands-renamed-haida-gwaii.html
Did you know the fossil record indicates that before the last ice age Redwoods once grew all over the Northern Hemisphere of our planet? And guess what? They’re using humans to reclaim their territory!
–The timber industry in Central-Western Oregon are taking a newfound liking to planting Redwood trees. Lane County in Oregon is the biggest timber producing county in the US and even though Redwoods don’t naturally grow there, they do now.
–The timber industry in New Zeland has been growing non-native redwood plantations for over 100 years.
–In the UK there is an entire website dedicated to finding and documenting non-native Redwoods trees, as well as whole forests.
Redwoods in Central-Western Oregon:
They’re planting at least 20,000 coastal redwood trees a year in Lane and Douglas counties, according to the Cottage Grove seedling grower Plum Creek. They’re driven less by fancy, or the awe the big trees inspire in many people, than by what they see as the best return on their investment in 30 or 40 years, when the trees are harvested. Coastal redwoods put on volume three or four times as fast as Douglas fir, said Doug Wolf, a Douglas County forester.
They can produce a “phenomenal” 5,000 board feet per acre per year. Plant them in blackberries, they shoot up through the fir-killing shade. Cut one down, and the stump will sprout a half dozen new trees. Let a deer or elk eat the tender tops, it can still grow up to 350 feet tall. “They are quite the rejuvenator,” forester Dick Rohl said. “If you got any mass there, they’ll just take off like the dickens. Like a weed practically,” Wolf added.
But the most compelling fact for those tree farmers planting coastal redwoods this year: Redwood logs are selling for $800 to $1,300 per thousand board feet compared with less than $250 for Douglas fir, according to Random Lengths, a wood products trade publication based in Eugene. The Lane and Douglas tree farmers planting coastal redwoods are betting that time will only widen that price gap. Blaine Werner, a Eugene financial services expert and amateur tree farmer, is planting 17,000 redwoods this coming December on 60 acres he owns between Noti and Veneta. http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/business/21581343-41/story.csp
Redwoods in Hawaii:
On the slopes of Haleakala Crater at 6,2000 feet is the Polipoli State Park recreational area. Bordering the Kula Forest Reserve, the 10 acre park is a protected bird sanctuary. The Hawaiian word “polipoli” translates to “bosom.” The forest is a delight of exotic trees, cypress, sugi, ash, plum, cedar and pine. The redwoods are quite impressive. They tower over the other trees, with a seemingly strong root system. Many of the trees have toppled, leaving large exposed root balls. There is even a new sign posted that warns hikers of the danger of falling trees.
Two years ago there was a devastating forest fire on the slopes of Haleakala at the 6,000 foot level. Many trees were torched, and a lot of dead trees are still standing. A reforestation effort is under way. The koa tree, ( an acaia) a Hawaii native that is listed as endangered, is now being planted on the slopes. Large boars roam these forests and hill sides, and tend to root around the newly planted koa trees. Luckily, the koa trees are rather quick growing. The park has several forested trails. One of my favorite trails winds through the redwoods and passes through an area of very, very tall flowering blue and purple hydrangeas. and, pink and red fuchsias. From: http://hawaii-bed-and-breakfast.blogspot.com/2008/11/polipoli-state-park.html
Redwoods in England:
You will see a variety of examples, some in the middle of towns, towering over homes, shops and churches, others in the countryside, again towering over their neighbouring trees. You will see Giant Redwood and Coast Redwood trees of varying ages, but in the main they will be around a hundred to a hundred and fifty years old. Very young by their own standard, since they live for thousands of years, but they were only discovered and introduced to England in the 1850’s (1940’s for the Dawn Redwood).
Although they were largely forgotten for a century or so, it seems that there is something of a revival in popularity, for there are now a small but growing number of very young examples planted over the last decade or so by enterprising organisations and councils in the UK.
Redwoods in New Zealand:
Redwood has been grown in New Zealand plantations for over 100 years, and Redwoods planted in New Zealand have higher growth rates than those in California. This is due mainly to even rainfall distribution through the year and in many cases, redwood stands on favourable sites are producing as much wood volume as radiata pine stands of the same age. NZRC has co-developed a growth model based on measurements over time of redwood stands from sites around New Zealand, and this model enables us to better predict future harvest yields for stands in New Zealand.http://www.nzredwood.co.nz/redwood-history/
Heading out after a family together of traditions
A family hearing of the taproot of world suffering
the need for a cure at the center of the world
the psychic center of all life’s center, the holy land.
A desert soon to be gardens for all peoples and all life
Wanting to say hello
our hands out to each other
reaching our hands together
feeling warmth in each other
no eyes meet
yet that brief greeting amidst heading out
through a crowd of quiet listening
That brief greeting is an antidote
that defies all facts and figures
defies all suffering of even the bloodiest of oppressions
defies all loss and terror, all imprisonments, all starvations
A found solution
Think only of the warmth between those hands
Think of how this warmth, this living sharing… Essential
Think Hands sharing the silent singing of their voices
Hands sending warmth and circulation
Hands as the strongest note of the lowest and hieghest range
These songs are strong
Steady roots connected
branch tips swaying closer and further
hands touching, sending, recieving
hands as inner walls fading from need
past barriers of hurt, loss and rage.
Maybe we learn to let go enough someday?
Maybe see the whole forest…
then foreget what your looking at
then remember that you forget
then find yourself
in the bark pattern
of specific space
on a specific treee
amongst so many tree.
This is song for fallen one’s song
now recited by now new Elders…
Hands In time…
centuries of rain
Quiet calm in trees
we are here to soothe
to end the harm and remedy the hurt at the center of the world…
remedy the hurt and center the world…
Have you ever seen the giant old trees in story books? You know the
ones with the big gnarled trunks and a tiny tree canopy overhead?
Well that same effect can be created with trees that are too old and
too damaged than what most tree pruners will want to save…
Sometimes this process is seen as an eyesore and the trees are removed
entirely after five or six years. An example of this are the first two
But sometimes as in the case of the 170 year old Walnut tree below,
the sprout branches are regularly pruned and an important landmark in
Downtown Santa Cruz is still alive and well…
Back in 1994 when myself and others convinced the city to practice
this style of pruning the city’s arborist was furious. He promised us
that the tree would die in a few years and it would never produce
Yet here we are 15 years later and this tree is still alive and still
This technique tends to work better with slower growing trees in drier
climates, such as this oak tree that grow in the San Francisco Bay
A new style rapidly gaining popularity is carving dead trees into art. This process begins first by removing as much of the hazardous parts of the tree as possible. That way even once the tree ultimately rots, it will still be a relatively safe to be around. Once this is accomplished an artist is found to sculpt the remaining wood…
This particular Walnut tree in Eugene, Oregon was carved by two local artists and even after more than a decade the remaining structure of this tree has yet to significantly rot or decay.
Better yet, preserving the stump of this tree maintains the soil ecosystem that grew in complextity as the tree grew older. This means that the soils surrounding the dead tree are more complex and more healthy, which means appropriate new trees planted in the area will grow better, as well as be more resistant to drought and disease.
Many trees once topped or chainsawed in overly agressive ways lose their natural healthy shape and instead send up stump sprouts / suckers which makes the tree vulnerable to being damaged in windstorms.
Too often tree pruners recommend removing these trees entirely, yet over the course of several years these trees can be trained back to a healthy shape.
The photos of this Russian Wing Nut tree were taken in the second year of rehabilitation just before the last of the tall stump sprouts were cut.
The first year 1/3 of the tallest stump sprouts / suckers were removed at their base, as well as topped at varying heights.
In the second year the remaining stump sprouts / suckers were removed at their base, as well as topped at varying heights.
By the third year only a light pruning of sprout growth was neccesary as a more natural shaped canopy is now mostly shading out the trees ability to grow aggressive stump sprouts / suckers.
Originally nearly every sprout on every branch was a sucker sprout that reached up to a structurally challenged height of sixty feet… Now the tree at it’s center reaches 50 feet while all the surrounding branches reach up to a range form 45-20 feet in height.
This pruning job is about as aggressive as I’m willing to get… The client has a vegatble garden, as well as a house that’s heavily shaded by this tree, so 35% of the branches were pruned away to create more light…
This pruning style is also a valuable way to protect trees from being blown over by storm winds…
Look carefully and notice that the entire length of the tree still has green branches… It’s just that only the branches that least blocked the sunlight were kept.
I’ve spent time examining your tree and can report to you that it is in good health with no signs of decay or weakness!
The Photo below is of the part of the tree that is probably most visually concerning to you. How the tree got this way is that approximately 38 years ago when the tree was much, much smaller it’s top was broken or cut off.
It appears that the tree rapidly recovered from this mishap by continuing to grow from a secondary top, which is what gives the trunk a bent look.
This injury would be a concern if there was any presence of a rotting stump from where it was topped. It would also be a concern if the living outside layer of the tree failed to grow over the wound where the trunk broke off / was topped. Your tree does not have these problems.
What also indicates that this part of the tree is live, healthy strong wood is the presence of three major branches growing out of the trunk from where it was injured. If at any point these branches die-off that indicates there may be a safety concern.
Also due to recent construction in the area I’m happy to report that your tree is more protected from storm winds than before the construction.
Enclosed below are two photos of the part of your tree that is most affected by storm winds. The second photo is a rough photoshop edit of what thinning would do to protect your tree from storm winds.
The photo is taken from the direction that the strongest storm gusts would hit the tree and the second edited picture is to help you better understand how storm winds would better flow around and thru the tree after the tree is properly pruned. I recommend doing this work in late November or December of next year.
For this work I’d charge XXX plus additional costs for slash disposal… I can also put you in touch with other talented Arborists for additional bids that will likely be higher than mine ($400-$800)
When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after saftey.
When great trees fall
small things recoil into silence,
eroded beyond fear.
When grest souls die,
the air around us becomes
light, rare, sterile.
We breathe, briefly.
Our eyes, briefly,
a hurtful clarity.
Our memory, suddenly sharpened,
gnaws on kind words
Great souls die and
our reality, bound to
them, takes leave of us.
dependent upon their
now shrink, wizened.
Our minds, formed
and informed by their
We are not so much maddened
as reduced to the unutterable ignorance
of dark, cold
And when great souls die,
after a period of blooms,
slowly and always
irregularly. Spaces fill
with a kind of
soothing electric vibration.
Our senses, restored, never
to be the same, whisper to us.
They existed. They existed.
We can be. Be and be
better. For they existed.
The Calls From the Earth
By Tre Arrow (while in Prison)
Download Here:http://forestpolicyresearch.com/audio/Tre Arrow – Deane
TR – June29th2009.mp3
Beyond these walls and razorwire fences, there is a greater world;
beyond the concrete and steel, the polluting cars and chemical plants,
beyond the humyn (sic) -made buildings and machines, there is another
world. It is a place where time and age melt together and become
meaningless; a place where wisdom, truth, solace and beauty weave
their magic through all life; a place where the ancient wisdom of the
universe flows through the water’s currents, seeps from the tree’s
exhale, pours forth from the dancing of animals, pulsates from the
rocks and the dirt.
Take a walk outside the world of lights, cars, roads and buildings,
and find yourself sitting quietly among the flora and fauna. Here you
will find peace and beauty which is beyond humyn creation, which is
the source of all life on the planet, which flows through every living
thing and binds us together as family, and which brings certainty that
there is more at work than the busy-ness of capitalism, consumerism,
and material acquisition. This peace and beauty is worth protecting;
it is worth saving. It is from the womb of our Mother that we all
emerge, and She is being attacked and assaulted. We have an
obligation and responsibility to protect Her, as we would
instinctually protect our biological mother.
Will you join in; will you listen to the calls for help; will you
stand up and oppose the crimes against life, against all life? We are
all inextricably interconnected, and an injustice to one, humyn or
non-humyn, is an injustice to all life on this sacred planet.
If not now, then when? If not you and I, then who?
McCoy – Buffalo Time
Meliors Simms – Firehorse Michael Fried – Summer Night
The universe has reached the limit of its expansion and time is in a
state of collapse. By noon, it’s the 1870s and steam locomotives pull
into town loaded down with buffalo hides. Believing that by morning
we’ll be experiencing the fourth Ice Age, the old man next door buys
500 hides and spends his early adulthood nailing them to his house. http://www.ahapoetry.com/bvl/mccoy.html
What is this firehorse to make of this fire forest,
smouldering into stark beauty?
What a long line of sight between the trees:
it is a place to aim far.
Aim big, this place tells me, and don’t act alone.
I bring my arid heart
to this arid land
and set fire to my feelings.
To look through the fire forest
is to see myself from afar:
the undergrowth flared off,
scorching my stiff scars
setting off my untamed heart again
thump thump thump
leaping across the landscape like a kangaroo
There is such sweetness here in the regenerating green
life comes bursting out of the ashes
like water sparkling between rocks.
Alone confused dyslexic
I sit down where I find myself
in the middle of a field.
Around me the night expands
in concentric circles each
a different color: green, red, purple.
In a nearby ditch frogs
chant their sacred literature
at the bottoms of their voices.
I look up but the stars
are nowhere to be seen. Clouds
churn from skyline to skyline.
It takes a while but my breathing
returns to normal, the colors
contract to a single stone.
As I reenter the barn
my daughter standing at her easel
completes the letter A
triumphantly. The conclusive brushstroke
ploughs from left to right
with the force of the sun.
The Next Bend in the Road
The University of Chicago Press
Mary Oliver – Bone
Mary Oliver – Yes
Listen Here:Play here:[Audio:Mary Oliver – Bone – Yes! No!.mp3]
Understand, I am always trying to figure out
what the soul is,
and where hidden,
and what shape –
and so, last week,
when I found on the beach
the ear bone
of a pilot whale that may have died
hundreds of years ago, I thought
maybe I was close
to discovering something –
for the ear bone
is the portion that lasts longest
in any of us, man or whale; shaped
like a squat spoon
with a pink scoop where
once, in the lively swimmer’s head,
it joined its two sisters
in the house of hearing,
it was only
two inches long –
and thought: the soul
might be like this –
so hard, so necessary –
yet almost nothing.
the gray sea
was opening and shutting its wave-doors,
unfolding over and over
its time-ridiculing roar;
I looked but I couldn’t see anything
through its dark-knit glare;
yet don’t we all know, the golden sand
is there at the bottom,
though our eyes have never seen it,
nor can our hands ever catch it
lest we would sift it down
into fractions, and facts –
and what the soul is, also
I believe I will never quite know.
Though I play at the edges of knowing,
truly I know
our part is not knowing,
but looking, and touching, and loving,
which is the way I walked on,
through the pale-pink morning light.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(Why I Wake Early, 2004)
How necessary it is to have opinions! I think the spotted trout
lilies are satisfied, standing a few inches above the earth. I
think serenity is not something you just find in the world,
like a plum tree, holding up its white petals.
The violets, along the river, are opening their blue faces, like
small dark lanterns.
The green mosses, being so many, are as good as brawny.
How important it is to walk along, not in haste but slowly,
looking at everything and calling out
Yes! No! The
swan, for all his pomp, his robes of grass and petals, wants
only to be allowed to live on the nameless pond. The catbrier
is without fault. The water thrushes, down among the sloppy
rocks, are going crazy with happiness. Imagination is better
than a sharp instrument. To pay attention, this is our endless
and proper work.
~ Mary Oliver ~
Download Here:http://forestpolicyresearch.com/audio/DeaneTR – Ocean
Poem – Rescue.mp3
Many birds lined along a phone line
In Perch watch listen say to all of us
Feet grip wire send signals to us
A flying tribe hidden voice sending
talon song mixed and disguised amidst
all phone line phone calls
we’re hearing-speaking on…
Dolphins play round sunken buoys
Swimming and jumping first under then
out into air above flotsam
then back under…
Those of wings wonder
Who are the loser
of so much bright plastic?
Who lost all the hard to
hear and see
nets lines and hooks*
No ocean free
of plastic scattered surface and sunken tangle
No ocean free of fooling
us into drawing
us close the way food does?
Albatross diving into meal and
swallowing before it knows
this plastic is not meal but death…
And we really want to learn to live together?
Lines wires webs nets cables towers
in every direction
humans tangled in linear purpose
tangled non-humans even spiders
need more clear space for a new web**
More space to fly or swim
More self-owned lines as
circles of their own food and feed
Linear neo-mind tangle trap of
Too much thinking
Too tangled in wires gone astray
Too tangled to fly or swim
Too close to snare
Too unwanting in tangle-mind
to hear our cry for rescue
Our objection to decline…
In science they track the deaths
Oceanography as wings on a wire
Birds on our phone lines gripping our signal
Infiltrate our every phone word from above…
They know ocean-science-data
Amidst our phone ears and voices
They want freedom from our abandoned waste
From our means of production
From our undoing of mama’s plenty…
They announce beneath our words
A truth of birds and renewal…
A shift of life affirming from here
on out and forever into flight
Where are you in forever resprouting?
A forever attempt at covering
The land’s clearing in green again
Where are you as this?
Where are as you gone
as limitless changing
as living forever?
Imagine a time of Sahara as Amazon
Imagine a time of our tree-planet
So branch-vast and moss-rich that its
More than even imagination…
Now a world of you as world young
As world growing quiet calm amid
most noise ever…
Where are you as this?
Are you feeling dried up magic gone?
First find out by knowing
Where to find heart-of-forest**
Where to find where no harm will ever come
Where no one tree ever knows less than free
Where you know you’ll soon know a way
That will help you find your way
As all our universe first saw it
As it all first saw you
As unending forest of land
As feeder of cloud back to ocean-salmon
As feeder of floating ocean-wood adrift as ribbons
Adrift as currents of enormous archs
As floating log forest shade over ocean
As ecology parading on currents of wild seas
It seems next to nothing now
Yet you still feed these giant waters you
Still are heart-of-forest
Still are plans to regrow all earth
Still are a new life growing on barren land
Still always a past that no longer is
Still to remember that you were born to be who you
Planned and wanted to be
Or else your asleep at wanting to be.
Amidst so much success of the past now all
Seems lost in this thirst
As no need to reach for light out from under shade
As sun-hunched in desert-sky
Yet always movement-growing
Layer on layer it’s as if it’s you as all life
Breath constantly reshowing reappearing…
It’s you as you seek yourself as
clear free tall sun shade regrowing!
Say out loud: “Yes, it will be that which I planned
And I am that I am and world leaps to green me .”
Thank you for being…
Listen Here:Play here:[Audio:Deane Tom end of July 09.mp3]
Download Here:http://forestpolicyresearch.com/audio/Deane Tom end of July 09.mp3
By Reg Sager
For Six Navaho Smoke Jumpers: Monument Forest, New Mexico
Listen Here:Play here:[Audio:Reg Saner – Six Navajo Smoke Jumpers.mp3]
Download Here: http://forestpolicyresearch.com/audio/Reg Saner – Six
Navajo Smoke Jumpers.mp3
Around its small lake
the field chokes
where six black-haired men stare
at the emotional problems of fire.
It circles their last rock,
which is nothing but water. Near them
the branches slobber
and weep as their clothes
begin to steam like boughs,
while high over fir
and lodge-pole the last of the magpies
flying hard against updraft
can do nothing about it. Tree
after tree bursts
and the wide eyes of the men
understand. In this thick breath
of nails, they wear skins
already captive. Their teeth
will become black
as early rings of stones
in caves. With the next gust
their body hair will curl,
then flash in tongues
teaching them all there is to learn
about seasons. As the forest cools
they will blow like autumn
from Climbing Into the Roots
You desert, whose ever-shifting sands reflect the
constant changing in our own lives,
Whose dry heat brings interludes of repose,
Show us the beauty that comes with purity
and teach us how to simplify our lives.
You mountains, with stone peaks reaching for the heavens,
who stood here even when the earth was formed,
You, of dizzying heights and ancient age,
Lend us your perspective,
For our actions now may yet impact the ages to come.
You meadows and grassy hills,
Whose bright fields of wildflowers
provide unparalleled beauty in our lives,
Provide us with the time to pause and reflect
on God’s artistry and playfulness.
You forests of sturdy oak, hued maple, and ever green,
You home of deer and bear and rabbit and eagle,
shelter in our play and hostage to our ambitions,
Grant us your maturity,
and the wisdom to truly know what we do to ourselves.
You age-old rainforest, rampant with life’s creativity:
Your tangled masses of trees and vines
embody our interdependent web.
You are diversity incarnate.
Bestow upon us the ability
to appreciate the interconnectedness of all being.
You ocean of the deep, keeper of earth’s last mysteries.
Beneath your ceaseless waves,
in your quiet and dark womb did life first begin.
Remind us of our beginnings,
keep us humble against your vastness,
And know that you are truly the water of life.
Play here:[Audio:Anna Ruiz – There is a River.mp3]
There is a river of no return
flowing freely, consummately
down a mountain path,
glacier worlds of pristine solidarity
meander along with multi-million national
group investment accounts, unaccounted
for conflicts with natives indigenous to local
Patagonia flora and fauna, I wonder if
Julius Popper would disappear into the wild
and still be king, lead modern expropriation
of natural resources,
(Is the hole in the ozone large enough
for a rocket ship of 6.7 billion to pass through?)
If all men were giants, would there be room
enough on one small planet?
Would sheep be blind?
God save the world from human ignorance
let us break the binds to deep pockets of
a filthy currency that would cover our eyes, speak
not for our precious earthly home, the
guanaco, the centolla,
where should the penguins at Punta Tombo
who will hear the cries of dying rivers
forests and moors, southern beech
who will mourn
the Alerce the carancho
if Gaia’s song were to end?
…when the calafate withers without berry…
Anonymous – Crabby Old Woman
Play here:[Audio:Anonymous – Crabby Old Women.mp3]
When an old lady died in the geriatric ward of a small hospital near
Dundee, Scotland, it was believed that she had nothing left of any value.
Later, when the nurses were going through her meager possessions, they
found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies
were made and distributed to every nurse in the hospital.
One nurse took her copy to Ireland. The old lady’s sole bequest to posterity
has since appeared in the Christmas edition of the News Magazine of the
North Ireland Assn. for Mental Health. A slide presentation has also been
made based on her simple, but eloquent, poem.
And this little old Scottish lady, with nothing left to give to the world,
is now the author of this “anonymous” poem winging across the Internet:
What do you see, nurses?
What do you see?
What are you thinking,
When you’re looking at me?
A crabby old woman,
Not very wise,
Uncertain of habit,
With faraway eye.
Who dribbles her food,
And makes no reply,
When you say in a loud voice,
“I do wish you’d try!”
Who seems not to notice,
The things that you do,
And forever is losing,
A stocking or shoe?
Who, resisting or not,
Lets you do as you will,
With bathing and feeding,
The long day to fill?
Is that what you’re thinking?
Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, nurse,
You’re not looking at me.
I’ll tell you who I am nurse,
As I sit here so still,
As I do at your bidding,
As I eat at your will.
I’m a small child of ten,
With a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters,
Who love one another.
A young girl of sixteen,
With wings on her feet,
Dreaming that soon now,
A lover she’ll meet.
A bride soon at twenty,
My heart gives a leap,
Rememb ering the vows,
That I promised to keep.
At twenty-five now,
I have young of my own,
Who need me to guide,
And a secure happy home.
A woman of thirty,
My young now grown fast,
Bound to each other,
With ties that should last.
At forty, my young sons,
Have grown and are gone,
But my man’s beside me,
To see I don’t mourn.
At fifty once more,
Babies play round my knee,
Again we know children,
My loved one and me.
Dark days are upon me,
My husband is dead,
I look at the future,
I shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing,
Young of their own,
And I think of the years,
And the love that I’ve known
I’m now an old woman,
And nature is cruel,
‘Tis jest to make old age,
Look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles,
Grace and vigor depart,
There is now a stone,
Where I once had a heart.
But inside this old carcass,
A young girl still dwells,
And now and again,
My battered heart swells.
I remember the joys,
I remember the pain,
And I’m loving and living,
Life over again.
I think of the years,
All too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact,
That nothing can last.
So open your eyes, nurse,
Open and see,
Not a crabby old woman;
Look closer – see ME!!
Remember this poem when you next meet an old person who you might brush
aside without looking at the young soul within. We will all, one day, be
there, too! (If we’re lucky)
No, no, there is no going back.
Less and less you are
that possibility you were.
More and more you have become
those lives and deaths
that have belonged to you.
You have become a sort of grave
containing much that was
and is no more in time, beloved
then, now, and always.
And so you have become a sort of tree
standing over the grave.
Now more than ever you can be
generous toward each day
that comes, young, to disappear
forever, and yet remain
unaging in the mind.
Every day you have less reason
not to give yourself away.
Wendell Berry – Do Not Be Ashamed
You will be walking some night
in the comfortable dark of your yard
and suddenly a great light will shine
round about you, and behind you
will be a wall you never saw before.
It will be clear to you suddenly
that you were about to escape,
and that you are guilty: you misread
the complex instructions, you are not
a member, you lost your card
or never had one. And you will know
that they have been there all along,
their eyes on your letters and books,
their hands in your pockets,
their ears wired to your bed.
Though you have done nothing shameful,
they will want you to be ashamed.
They will want you to kneel and weep
and say you should have been like them.
And once you say you are ashamed,
reading the page they hold out to you,
then such light as you have made
in your history will leave you.
They will no longer need to pursue you.
You will pursue them, begging forgiveness.
They will not forgive you.
There is no power against them.
It is only candor that is aloof from them,
only an inward clarity, unashamed,
that they cannot reach. Be ready.
When their light has picked you out
and their questions are asked, say to them:
“I am not ashamed.” A sure horizon
will come around you. The heron will begin
his evening flight from the hilltop.
The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is pleased to announce its latest
FOREST related publications.
Incentives to sustain forest ecosystem services: A review and lessons for REDD
Paying people to protect forests can be an effective way to tackle deforestation and climate change but only if there is good governance of natural resources, claims this study funded by Norway’s Government. IIED, the World Resources Institute and the Center for International Forestry Research looked at existing efforts to pay people in developing nations to protect ecosystems in return for the services — such as fresh water, wild foods and climate control — they provide. It aimed to see if such payments could be used to help tackle climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD). A review of 13 schemes that make payments for ecosystems services in Africa, South-East Asia and Latin America concluded that performance-based payments can be part of REDD but only if important preconditions are met.http://www.iied.org/pubs/display.php?o=13555IIED
Roots of success: cultivating viable community forestry
Small forestry was for years half-lost in the shadow of industrial logging. Now, as forests become flashpoints for conflict and a focus for climate concerns, community forestry could be coming into its own. Collective ownership and strategic alliances, for instance, make for sustainability and cooperation. The second in IIED’s ‘business models for sustainable development’ series, this briefing reveals how forest communities round the world are creating a new business model that works.http://www.iied.org/pubs/display.php?o=17057IIED
Small and medium forest enterprises in Ethiopia
The annual value of small and medium forest enterprises (SMFEs) in Ethiopia amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars. SMFEs have great potential to reduce poverty in Ethiopia, but in their present unregulated state also represent a threat to the country’s declining forest resources. This report consolidates information about Ethiopia’s SMFEs and suggests a practical way forward for those wishing to provide support. http://www.iied.org/pubs/display.php?o=17057IIED
Cattle ranching is the biggest cause of deforestation, not only in the Amazon, but worldwide. The report reveals that the Brazilian government is a silent partner in these crimes by providing loans to and holding shares in the three biggest players – Bertin, JBS and Marfrig – that are driving expansion into the Amazon rainforest.
Greenpeace is now about to enter into negotiations with many of the companies that have either found their supply chain and products contaminated with Amazon leather and beef or who are buying from companies implicated in Amazon deforestation – big brands such as Adidas, Clarks, Nike, Timberland and most of the major UK supermarkets. Meanwhile, back in Brazil, the federal prosecutor in Para state has announced legal action against farms and slaughterhouses that have acted outside of the law. It has sent warning letters to Brazilian companies buying and profiting from the destruction. Bertin and JBS are in the firing line – companies part-owned by the Brazilian government.
Lula’s decision to fund the cattle ranching industry with public money makes no sense when its expansion threatens the very deforestation reduction targets that Lula champions. The laws now waiting for his approval will represent a free ride for illegal loggers and cattle ranchers. It is clear that Brazil now faces a choice about what sort of world leader it wants to be – part of the problem or part of the solution.
Former Environment Minister Marina Silva said the Senate’s passage of HB 458 was the third worst day of her life, following the death of year father and the assassination of her mentor Chico Mendes, a leader of a rubber tapper union based in the Brazilian state of Acre. She added the law would undermine Brazil’s progress in formulating and implementing environmental protections, including the setting aside of 523,592 square kilometers of protected areas between 2003 and 2009, an amount accounting for three-quarters of global protected areas established during that period. HB 458 would grant land title to 300,000 properties illegally established across some 600,000 square kilometers (230,000 square miles) of protected Amazon forest, more than offsetting the conservation gains of the past six years.
Read about all forest issues in: http://forestpolicyresearch.com/category/latin-american-tree-news-2/brazil/ Development interests — including large-scale agroindustrial firms, cattle ranchers, loggers, and plantation forestry companies — have lobbied intensely to get HB 458 passed. Supporters of the legislation say that while it will legitimize land-grabs prior to December 2004, HB 458 move may improve governance in an otherwise lawless region where conflict over land and complete disregard of environmental regulations is widespread.
The argument for deforestation has always been that the economic benefits to local communities are too great to overlook. But now a new study in the current issue of Science suggests that’s not true. A team of researchers from Portugal, France and Britain studied nearly 300 Brazilian municipalities on the frontier of the Amazonian rain forest, assessing their development levels — based on income, life expectancy and literary rates — before deforestation and afterward. Researchers found that logging forests and converting the land to pasture and agriculture initially raised development levels in a burst of prosperity. But in the years that followed deforestation, that bubble of prosperity popped, and development levels declined until on average the communities were no better off than they had been before the trees were destroyed. (Read “The Amazon Gets Less and Less Green.”)
It’s not hard to see why deforestation pays off, at least initially. As trees are cleared, they can be sold for timber — and the buzz of activity surrounding deforestation attracts migrants who capitalize on newly available land, timber and minerals. As the human population increases, so does the demand for roads and other transportation that can connect once isolated communities with valuable markets, and vice versa. That also leads to better access to education and health care, which helps boost literacy rates and life-expectancy levels. Eventually, development levels in newly deforested communities can match and even exceed the Brazilian average.
But those improvements are transitory. The denser population quickly uses up the new natural resources, as timber is sold, and the Amazonian soil, never rich to begin with, is rapidly exhausted. (The researchers note that by the early 1990s, more than 75% of the land that had been deforested up to then had been converted to pasture — and that one-third of that territory had already been abandoned.) Per-capita income, life expectancy and literacy rates all drop, as jobs disappear and the better-educated, better-off migrants move onto the next frontier. “In net terms,” the authors write, “people in municipalities that have cleared their forests are not better off than those in municipalities who have not.” (See a graphic of the effects of climate change on the world by 2020.)Please value the writer & producer of these words by paying a visit to: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1904174,00.html?iid=tsmodule
To the evil. Never like today have I turned,
And headed my whole journey to the ways where I am alone.
César Vallejo is dead. They struck him,
All of them, though he did nothing to them,
They hit him hard with a stick and hard also
With the end of a rope. Witnesses are: the Thursdays,
The shoulder bones, the loneliness, the rain, and the roads…
—Black Stone on Top of a White Stone by Cesar Vallejo
“Over 600 police attacked peaceful protesters this last Friday in the Bagua region of Peru. They surrounded them around 2:00 a.m. in the morning, and then around 5:00 a.m., they opened fire on them. The ones that—there was peaceful protesters. They surrendered. They were shot multiple times, even after being shot once. There was families. There was women. There was children. They opened fire from helicopters. They were throwing tear gas. And Alan Garcia ordered the attack and ordered this massacre on his people. And it was so appalling to see that, because for over fifty-six days, there was a peaceful protest. And then things just switched. Alan Garcia gave the order to attack, gave the order to clear out the blockades that these indigenous peoples were peacefully protesting and blocking, and named the indigenous peoples as terrorists, therefore allowing this massacre on them.
…And can I just say that it’s really horrible there. They are dumping bodies to hide the actual count of how many are dead. They’re dumping bodies in plastic bags from helicopters into canyons and rivers. They’re just discarding them.” …Just know that we cannot eat, drink or breathe money or profit, and some things don’t have a price. They really have value, though. So, thank you so much.
AMY GOODMAN: Thank you. Q’orianka Kilcher is a Hollywood actress, outspoken activist on indigenous Peruvian issues and indigenous issues around the world. She was shortlisted for the Academy Award for her role as Pocahontas in the 2005 film The New World.
Update: Peruvian indigenous leader Alberto Pizango has been granted asylum in Nicaragua after an arrest warrant was issued in his name on charges of sedition, conspiracy and rebellion following clashes between Amazonian Indians and Peruvian riot police this weekend. He had sought refuge in the Nicaraguan embassy in the Peruvian capital of Lima Tuesday.
Pizango’s organization, AIDESEP, or the Inter-Ethnic Development Association of the Peruvian Amazon, brings together Amazonian Indian interests from across the country and has fought peacefully to preserve the forests for several years. New laws pushed through by the Peruvian president, Alan Garcia, would parcel up the Amazon rainforest into blocks for commercial exploitation by oil, logging and mining interests.
We, the undersigned organizations, condemn the violence against peaceful indigenous protesters and police in Peru that has already resulted in at least 30 deaths.
We call on both the Government of Peru and the Interethnic Association for the Development of the Peruvian Amazon (AIDESEP) to engage in a good faith dialogue to prevent further escalation. We urge the international community to send a clear message to Peru that military repression is not an acceptable form of conflict resolution.
The current violent human rights crisis is a vivid illustration of the consequences of a systematic failure in the basic governance processes related to consultation, land tenure and access to resources.
The indigenous mobilization that ended in violence on Friday began in April as a reaction to a series of laws promulgated by President Alan Garcia’s government over the past year. The laws contain provisions that indigenous organizations believe threaten their fundamental rights to access and decision-making over their forests, resources and territories. They were written and passed into law without any formal or informal consultation with indigenous peoples, in violation of Peru’s obligations under ILO 169.
This is the second time in less than a year that Peru’s indigenous peoples in the Amazon have resorted to organizing massive and prolonged blockades of roads, rivers and extractive industry infrastructure, as their increasingly frequent calls for consultation and dialogue have gone unheard in Lima.
The tragic unfolding incident illustrates how ignoring peoples’ rights and meaningful participation in processes that affect their lands and livelihoods can lead to serious social conflict and failed policies. As the world’s climate negotiators gather in Bonn, we must heed these lessons and guarantee that indigenous peoples’ rights are considered an integral part of any final agreement to save forests and the climate.
Asian Indigenous Women’s Network (AIWN).
COICA (Coordinadora de las Organizaciones Indígenas de la Cuenca Amazónica)
Consumers Association of Penang, Malaysia
Ecologistas en Acción, Spain
Ecological Society of the Philippines
Environmental Investigation Agency, US & UK
Friends of the Earth International
Global Exchange, United States
Global Social Justice, Belgium
Global Witness, UK
Humane Society International, Australia
Indigenous Environmental Network (IEN)
International Accountability Project, US
International Youth Caucus, Bonn
North East Peoples Alliance on Trade, Finance and Development, India
Rainforest Action Network, United States
Rainforest Foundation UK
Salva le Foreste, Italy
Sierra Club, United States
Sustainability Watch Network, Central America
Tebtebba (Indigenous Peoples’ International Centre for Policy Research and Education)
Third World Network
Wetlands International, Netherlands
World Rainforest Movement, Uruguay
The Wilderness Society, Australia
At the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in May in New York City, Anne Petermann, Executive Director of Global Justice Ecology Project and North American Focal Point for Global Forest Coalition, spoke with host Bruce Gellerman of National Public Radio’s Living on Earth about the negative impacts of Genetically Engineered (GE) Trees (also called Genetically Modified trees) and monoculture tree plantations.
Betty Krawczyk is proud to call herself a “fanatic.” Krawczyk has been in and out of jail so often that she could probably be labelled a “habitual offender.” She did her first jail stint in 1993. She was 65 years old. Her crime — blockading logging trucks. Last Tuesday she appealed both the judgment and sentencing she received (10 months in prison) for her part in the Eagleridge Bluff protests.
“Although I have already served my time, I am asking the court for a new trial on the grounds of abuse of process in the way civil contempt was raised to criminal contempt in my case, and judicial bias,” Krawczyk told The Tyee. She represented herself. On Friday, the panel of Appeal Court judges rejected her appeal but Krawczyk isn’t ruling out taking her case all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court.
Krawczyk credits her birth in Southern Louisiana for her passion. “All southerners are too passionate for their own good.” Her first protest — an anti-segregation rally in the early ’60s — changed her life. “I joined a small group of white people called SOS, Save Our Schools. We went down to the same elementary school my children were going to and we picketed the school with signs that said ‘Don’t close, integrate. Let’s be civilized, integrate our schools. Don’t close. Closing is defeat.’ There were only seven of us. It was the first time I’d ever been spit on by anybody.”
After that, Krawczyk split with her church — because they sat out the segregation fight — and protested the Vietnam War, before moving to Canada and discovering her new cause, saving the forests around her new home, Clayoquot Sound. Krawczyk’s east-end apartment is cluttered with papers and boxes full of papers from dozens of battles, including running for mayor of Vancouver with the Work Less Party.
Krawczyk shares her adventures, experiences and opinions on her blog at www.bettyk.org, and in three memoirs Clayoquot: The Sound Of My Heart, Lock Me Up or Let Me Go: The Protests, Arrest and Trial of an Environmental Activist and Grandmother and Open Living Confidential: From Inside the Joint. I talked to Krawczyk about her adventures in activism, life in prison, why the world needs more fanatics and her accidental discovery of environmentalism after she moved to B.C. and all her children had left home.
We know what The Nature Conservancy (TNC) thinks about forest offsets. It loves them. It loves them so much that it has got into bed with the biggest coal-burner in the US, American Electric Power. Meanwhile, TNC has developed a “global mechanism proposal”, which includes a goal of 3 billion tons of “emissions reductions from REDD” by 2020. These would be “fully fungible with emissions reductions from other sectors”. This is precisely what carbon traders, the timber industry and polluting companies like AEP want: forest carbon offsets.
At a side event at the UN Climate negotiations in Bonn earlier this week, TNC inadvertently let slip that meaningful emissions reduction targets are not so important to them after all. In response to a question from Greenpeace’s Roman Czebiniak, TNC’s Duncan Marsh stated that TNC believes that a reduction of between 25 and 40% below 1990 levels is needed. So why on earth is TNC now so enthusiastic about the American Clean Energy and Security Act (formerly known as Waxman-Markey) when it contains an emissions reduction target that is a pitiful 4% below 1990 levels?
Here is a transcript of the questions from Greenpeace and REDD-Monitor and Duncan Marsh’s replies. A video of the full side event is available on UNFCCC’s website:
Chris Lang (REDD-Monitor): My name is Chris Lang. I work on a website called REDD-Monitor. I have quite a simple question for you, which has a comment in brackets which may make it a little more complicated. The simple part of the question is: What is your opinion of the Waxman-Markey bill? And the slightly more complicated bit in brackets: Given that, for example, World Resources Institute has calculated that it has a domestic target of 4%, which is way under what the IPCC is recommending. So, are you happy with Waxman-Markey?
Marsh: I didn’t actually anticipate that question in this forum, but that’s OK. The Waxman-Markey bill is a positive development for the US. It’s the first time that a congressional committee has passed through a comprehensive climate change bill. It not only combines a cap and trade programme and a pretty fully developed one, it covers 85% of the sectors, economic sectors in the US emissions, but it also includes some pretty innovative and progressive energy policy along with that. It could even facilitate or allow the US emissions to do better that it would otherwise without those. That said, it’s not a perfect bill and we want to see bolder emissions targets than that bill has. We also want to see more international assistance for adaptation and technology transfer. I think the levels of assistance for forest carbon are pretty impressive in it. There’s a 5% set aside of the allowances through the US market which, as Greg pointed out, is quite a considerable number, running into the billions of dollars in some years time for international forest carbon, along with an offsets provision as well. So there’s some pretty important elements for the international forest side. But we want to see more assistance for technology transfer and adaptation which we also think are very critical to a Copenhagen deal. So those and stronger emissions targets are two areas we’re going to work to try to strengthen in the bill. Did you have a follow-on question or does that answer?
REDD-Monitor: I guess what was in the question was that the fact that there are so many offsets within the bill is one of the reasons that they could get away with such a low target.
Marsh: Marsh’s response to this was to shrug his shoulders and ask for the next question.
Dogwood Alliance, released a position paper on the potential environmental and economic impacts of the cellulosic ethanol industry in the Southern United States, exposing the false environmental and economic benefits of tree-based biofuels. Over the last couple of years, policy makers and investors have been quick to jump on the biofuel bandwagon in hopes of cashing in on the climate and energy crisis, though little to no research supports the positive benefits of this fuel. In fact evidence seems to be mounting to the contrary.
“Between the climate crisis and a growing dependence on foreign oil we are facing a grim future unless big ideas and bold policies are enacted. Unfortunately, tree-based biofuels are a short-sighted and false solution,” said Scot Quaranda, campaign director for Dogwood Alliance. “At best this is an economic boondoggle, and at worst, we are setting ourselves up for a disaster for our forests which will exacerbate global climate change rather than combat it.”
Key Findings from the position paper, include:
–Regions already known for their forest products are likely to dominate the market, increasing already unsustainable levels of clearcutting, conversion of natural forests to plantations, and use of toxic chemicals in forest management.
–Due to the vast amount of carbon released from Southern forest clearcuts, biofuel production could actually double the amount of greenhouse gas emissions.
–While it is clear we need to reduce fossil fuel consumption, research shows that we could reduce global warming pollution two to nine times more by conserving or restoring forests and grasslands than by razing them and turning them into biofuels plantations — even if we continue to use fossil fuels as our main source of energy.
–Total government support for all biofuels in the United States reached approximately $ 6.3″$ 7.7 billion in 2006. Total support is projected to reach around $ 13 billion in 2008 and almost $ 16 billion by 2014. Money that could instead fund critical research into conservation and efficiency and proven solutions.
What could a Scott Russell Sanders book say that so many before it—Aldo’s Almanac, John Hay’s In Defense of Nature, any number of modern eco-shrieks—have not already said? Would there, could there be anything new here? Sanders begins with a compelling story: the spirited local defense of a threatened woodland in his town. This way, as in all his books, he draws the reader right in there with him. The fact that the story is ultimately a downer just reinforces his premise, which does not vary throughout the book: “Ultimately, there will be no security for life on Earth unless we see the whole planet as an ark,” one on which “we are common passengers.”
In “Building Arks,” he gives as good an accounting of the current predicament and the resistance to it. Here, and all the way through, he delivers the precise and elegant writing I expected: “As I walk, spider webs catch on my forehead like stray thoughts.” Scott Sanders is simply a virtuoso among essayists. As for the part about being a good read, you’ll be no more disappointed than I was.
The book is organized into three parts: “Caring for Earth,” “Caring for Home Ground,” and “Caring for Generations to Come,” each containing five essays. These range from heartfelt lamentations of loss to spirited cheers for good work being done in a multiplicity of small and quiet places, as well as for large gestures and big-acre projects. One of the most intriguing chapters, “A Few Earthy Words,” deals with the history, etymology, and creative application of a number of common terms pertaining to conservation. While his litanies of loss, indictments of evils, and prescriptions for humble and large change all scan, the most compelling sections for me are the personal bits drawn from Sanders’s own life.
Much of the action takes place in and around his long-ago adopted hometown of Bloomington, Indiana, reprising and fleshing out stories introduced in his much-loved book, Staying Put. The most valuable chapter for most of us may be “Stillness,” in which he confronts and wrestles down the frenetic demons of modern life, guilt born of impossible duty, and shrill offenses to personal peace, during one late summer afternoon in his just-completed writing hut. After all the necessary but bitter pills he delivers, Scott’s final meditation, “For the Children,” feels just like what he wishes for them: that “the breeze will be sweet in your lungs and the rain will be innocent.” On the whole, this is a beautiful, right-minded, and reinforcing book for all who would be conservationists.
Less than 2 percent of Africa’s tropical forests are under community control, hindering efforts to slow deforestation and alleviate rural poverty, reports a new assessment from the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) and the Rights and Resources Initiative (RRI), a global coalition of non-governmental and community organizations.
Deforestation rates in tropical Africa are among the highest on the planet while the region’s people are among the world’s poorest. Forest communities are highly dependent on natural resources for subsistence but without title to the lands they traditionally use, they face loss of forests to developers, including loggers and agroindustrial interests. The report urges land reform to give forest dwellers better control over their land. At less than 2 percent, the proportion of land owned by or designated for use by the African forest communities and indigenous groups is but a fraction of the nearly one-third of all forests in Latin America, Asia, and the Pacific controlled by such groups. “The slowness of reform is suppressing a whole range of opportunities to reduce poverty and improve livelihoods,” said Emmanuel Ze Meka, ITTO’s Executive Director. “Africa’s forest communities already generate millions of jobs and dollars in domestic and regional trade, and in indigenous livelihoods, but current laws keep some of these activities illegal and also undermine opportunities to improve forest management.”
The report says the legal recognition of community land will facilitate sustainable development activities under proposed systems to compensate tropical countries for reducing deforestation rates. The concept — known as REDD for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation — is a climate change mitigation mechanism currently under discussion for the global climate framework to succeed the Kyoto Protocol. Deforestation and degradation accounts for at least one-third of emissions in most sub-Saharan African countries but without secure title to land, forest people could miss out on the potential benefits of a the carbon finance scheme.