032OEC’s This Week in Trees

This week we have 34 stories about trees from: Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona Montana, Wyoming, Virginia, Kentucky, Gulf States, Canada, Mexico, China, Cambodia, Vietnam, India, Thailand, Australia, and World-Wide.


1) Les Kinnear never planned to start a farm and petting zoo inside the giant waste tanks left behind when the pulp mill closed down. He wanted to put bears in them. But the state told Kinnear that he had to prove he could raise some other animals before he could keep bears. He picked pigs. The pigs prospered and begat piglets. Kinnear thought it would be nice to have other animals too. Soon he started ordering chickens from a catalog. Then came goats, turkeys, sheep, rabbits, ducks, you name it. The Sitka pulp mill, long one of the state’s biggest industrial sites and most notorious polluters, was built by a Japanese consortium in that nation’s first U.S. investment of the postwar era. For 34 years, it turned Tongass National Forest trees into high-grade pulp used to make rayon for clothing and other products. The mill closed in 1993 in the face of sagging pulp markets, rising timber costs, and arguments about pollution and regulation. Former mill workers remember the waste tanks as particularly nasty, holding a foaming black chemical sludge. Acid and chlorine were used in turning trees into pulp. http://www.adn.com/front/picture_inset/story/7038978p-6942591c.html

British Columbia:

2) B.C.’s minister of environment agrees that something needs to be done about the parking situation in Cathedral Grove But Barry Penner says he’s not willing to jump to a conclusion immediately. After meeting with Alberni-Qualicum NDP MLA Scott Fraser last week, Penner says there is definitely a common concern between the province, residents, and environmental groups. – a common ground that could be the beginning of an agreement on how to solve the nearly two-decade old problem. “We both agreed that public safety is paramount,” says Penner. “To that end we’re talking about a chance for further community dialogue about what the options are. While Penner is hoping to hold those discussions soon, he says he won’t agree to eliminate one particular plan to appease environmental groups. “I think we should have a discussion about that in public,” says Penner when asked about an agreement suggested by the Friends of Cathedral Grove last week. The Friends of Cathedral Grove, who have been camping in the park and on platforms in the old-growth forest’s canopy for over a year-and-a-half, said last week they would be willing to remove the physical camp if the most controversial of the proposed plans was removed from the table. The plan that was most concerning to them was one which proposed a parking lot be placed on a flood plain just west of the current stop. Not only would it still be a dangerous situation, they said, but it would also be a risk for the environment. Penner says the B.C. Parks Service has been working on this issue for many years, and has around 11 parking options outlined for the area that would be presented at the public meeting. He did not want to eliminate any of them prior to that presentation. http://streetnewz.communitypipe.org

3) Few British Columbian cities depend more on the forest industry than Quesnel. With two pulp mills, six sizeable sawmills, a veneer, plywood and panel mill, the city in BC’s Central Interior is considered to be 45 percent dependent on the forest products sector, with 3,000 people directly employed in the industry. And now, because of that dependence, Quesnel is facing what could be described as a perfect storm. Years into what was already an unsustainable harvest rate, logging activities have rocketed even higher in response to the bugs. New and bigger sawmills are being built that churn through more wood with fewer people, again partly in response to all the additional “beetle-attacked” timber flowing in from the hinterland. The upshot is that logging rates in short order will fall drastically. Some estimates are by as much as 80 percent. There are only so many healthy trees to go around, and most of what the companies are unable to log in the next decade will remain on the landscape, dead and useless for conversion into lumber or pulp – products that currently underpin the economies of many interior communities. Jim Savage, executive director of Quesnel’s economic development commission, is blunt in his assessment of what this likely means: “A precipitous drop in employment and a jarring shock to the tax base. Quesnel is hardly alone in needing to brace itself for this coming economic blowdown. Many timber towns across BC, even in the middle of the current logging boom, already feel pressed to slash taxes and rain favours on timber firms so that their operations might be the ones to survive after the boom goes bust. For a sense of the pressures local politicians will face, Quesnel offers a prime example. There, a simmering dispute surrounds one of largest forest companies in BC and undisputed kingpin in Quesnel: West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd. In February, Quesnel’s city council asked its senior staff to leave the chambers while a closed-door session was held with members of the economic development commission. At issue was whether the City would support either the building of a new sawmill by West Fraser or the upgrading of an existing mill. http://www.thetyee.ca/News/2005/10/03/BugBCEconomy


4) Logging could begin any time on a disputed salvage timber sale in the Fischer Fire area of Wenatchee National Forest. The 645-acre project has been held up in court since late August when two conservation groups, Conservation Northwest and Cascadia Wildlands Project requested a stay based on their concerns about possible damage to what they termed “old growth” forest. The contentious project, known as “Rollin Rock,” was sold to Boise Building Solutions, a division of Boise Cascade, for some $160,000 earlier this year. About 9.6 million board feet could be taken out of the area and sent to one of the company’s plywood plants, in LaGrand, Oregon. But word got out that half of the project – 350 acres – would be in a Managed Late Successional Reserve Area. And an M.L.S.A. is defined as forest well on its way to becoming old growth, according to the Northwest Forest Plan, a regional document guiding U.S. Forest Service policy. “It’s essentially east side old growth,” said Regan Smith, with Conservation Northwest. The group noted trees that they believe violate provisions of the Fischer Environmental Analysis because although not dead or moribund they are marked for sale. On a field trip, Conservation Northwest members pointed out a number of large Doug fir and pines that appeared to have viable crown cover but were marked for cutting. Furthermore, “notice how the big trees, even though dead, are providing shade,” Smith said. That keeps the soil cool and helps the ground cover get re-established to hold down erosion, they said. And some wildlife species are already benefiting from the fire-damaged trees and resurgence of plants, noted group members. A rare black-backed woodpecker had been seen avidly feeding in the area and elk tracks were noted. “This sale is counterproductive from a fire- prevention and forest health standpoint,” they contend, because the very trees that should be left are instead being targeted for harvest. What we’re most concerned about is the promise [Boise] made to stay out of old growth,” said Brant Olson of Rainforest Action Network – RAN, referring to the company’s 2004 policy statement that “Boise will no longer harvest timber from old growth forests in the U.S.” RAN and a number of other national environmental groups have been pressuring Boise to back out of the sale. “It was a mistake for them to enter into this contract. It was an act of bad faith on their part. http://www.leavenworthecho.com/


5) Klamath Falls’ most prominent business is planning a new high-end subdivision on a thousand acres between Highway 140 and Lakeshore Drive. The door and window manufacturing company Jeld-Wen is building on the success of its Running Y Ranch Resort, to the north on Highway 140. The company hopes to sell roomy lots, many with stunning views of Upper Klamath Lake, to California retirees whose pockets are well-lined by Oregon standards. Much of the property for the new subdivision is on a hill thick with second-growth pine. Jeld-Wen bought it from a Bend-area developer in the 1980s. It has remained undeveloped, with some of its meadows used for grazing cattle. “We’re obviously pretty committed to Klamath Falls and its success,” he said. The southern end of the development will border the Southview subdivision, and the west side will abut parts of the Lynnewood area. http://www.heraldandnews.com/articles/2005/10/02/news/top_stories/top1.txt

6) Pattiann Rogers has an eye for detail. You’d expect that from a poet, of course, but Rogers’ vision goes beyond the broad sweep of landscape down to insect wings and lichen. She’s the kind of person to notice beetles “moving like shards of rotting woodbark with legs.” Rogers – who has published 10 books of poetry, won several awards and received several grants and fellowships for her work – will bring her attention to the Andrews Experimental Forest near Blue River this week. Part of the emerging Andrews Writers’ Residency project, Rogers will have the opportunity to visit towering old growth, cascading creeks and the welter of life – jumping spiders to northern spotted owls – that have drawn scientists’ attention for decades. The H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest was established in 1948 by the federal government on 16,000 acres of land 50 miles east of Eugene along Highway 126, not far from Blue River. The early focus of U.S. Forest Service researchers who worked there was on efficient logging methods, but by the 1960s, they also became concerned with the effects of logging on water quality. Now writers have been invited to bring their expertise to bear, an idea developed by OSU philosophy professor and writer Kathy Moore and fisheries and wildlife researcher Jim Sedell, director of the Pacific Southwest Research Station in Albany, Calif. “Writers can connect the public with science in many ways better than scientists can,” Sedell said. Writers often create the metaphors that shape the way we view the environment, so bringing them into the woods just seemed like a good idea, Sedell said. Prose writers and poets spend weeklong residencies in the spring and the fall. They are encouraged to visit the same sites where researchers do their work, meet with scientists and write about their encounters. Like researchers, Rogers starts with details – the flight of a chickadee, cast-off autumn leaves, moonset, moss. The details become images – fallen leaves turn into hands in her poem “Silva,” for example. It begins: After autumn and the casting-off, leaves and leaves and leaves-oak, hickory, sassafras, hazel-they cover the ground everywhere, looking like hands lying open in half-fists, old hands lying still and open … http://www.registerguard.com/news/2005/10/02/ol.forestpoet1.1002.p1.php?section=oregonlife

7) Behold the scraggly juniper. It is taking over Oregon. The prickly, pungent native tree has found a way to flourish across Eastern Oregon, changing the landscape and soaking up precious water as it goes. It has sunk its deep and tenacious roots into about 10 percent of the state so far and is gaining ground more quickly than anyone realized, a new survey by the U.S. Forest Service shows. That makes it Oregon’s most rapidly expanding forest, and soon the largest in Eastern Oregon — bigger even than ponderosa pine forests. About 75 years ago, western junipers occupied about 1.5 million acres in Oregon. The trees now have more than quadrupled their range, covering about 6.5 million acres, and they are spreading fast. They’re taking over grasslands, drying up springs and closing off the pastures ranches once grazed, though they also provides habitat for some birds. “Some juniper is a good thing,” said Rick Miller, a professor at Oregon State University. “But you can have too much of a good thing.” Junipers are rough-hewn survivors. They send their roots deep beneath the surface like a well, soaking up water before it reaches any other plants. They withstand Eastern Oregon’s blazing sun and frigid winters. Oregon’s oldest living tree is a 1,600-year-old juniper outside Bend that makes the centuries-old forests west of the Cascades look like youngsters. Wiry junipers are too small and gnarled to have much value as commercial timber, although there is growing interest in cutting and burning them to produce electricity. “After you cut it, springs start running,” said Steve Lent, a former fire management officer with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and now assistant director of the Bowman Museum in Prineville. “If you burn it, water starts showing up everywhere. All of a sudden you see grass growing.” It’s unlikely much of the juniper forest in Oregon will be cleared because that might cost up to $800 an acre with not much return. It also would likely require repeated clearing or burning to kill off later seedlings, Azuma said. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/news/1128164338276760.xml&coll=7&thispage=2


8) Catastrophic. Devastating. Interminable. Those were the words used to describe one of the Bay Area’s biggest disasters of 1995: a conflagration at Point Reyes National Seashore that began on Oct. 3 and wasn’t fully contained until Oct. 16. It burned more than 12,000 acres, destroyed 45 homes and cost $6.2 million to suppress. Now, on the fire’s 10th anniversary, different images are being evoked: Regeneration. Transformation. Rebirth. The legacy of the blaze is easy to find. Bishop pine snags, scattered and ghostly, stick out like utility poles among their prolific young offspring. Some Douglas firs are marked with fire scars. Here and there, pieces of charcoal, fallen trees and dead branches can be glimpsed. Laurel Collins, who as a geomorphologist studies landforms, found a lot of erosion initially in the Muddy Hollow watershed and high runoff in the first wet season after the fire. As it turns out, the wax deposited in the soil by the leaves of burnt plants had created a water-repellent layer. Biologist Tom Gardali of the Point Reyes Bird Observatory reported that the fire was not catastrophic for the local bird population, as some had feared, and the nesting success of songbirds in the fire zone was greater than elsewhere in the park. Insect biologist Jerry Powell said rush-rose plants appeared in the park for the first time after the fire and attracted a new moth species, still unnamed. On the downside, U.S. Geological Survey biologist Gary Fellers said the fire killed 98 percent of the mountain beavers living in the burn area and that it will take up to two decades for them to recover. On the other hand, the blaze exposed the openings of their burrows, permitting a more accurate census. She gestured to a sturdy Douglas fir, surrounded by its dead brethren. “That tree made it,” she said. “Who knows why? It’s amazing how some of them make it and some of them don’t.” http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/10/02/MNG5IF1DTH1.DTL


9) Defend Sacred Ground! Join us in Prescott, AZ Oct. 4th thru 15th as we protest the proposed ski resort expansion. The US Forest Service has allowed the ski area on the San Fran. Peaks to expand despite strong opposition from environmental groups and Native American tribes. A lawsuit to stop the project will be heard in federal court in Prescott. Representatives from various First Nations will be here and are asking for your support. “The ski area that exists on the mountain now is something we have been forced to accept after decades of attempts to be heard. Only if there is no new development will the reopening of old wounds and further alienation of our people be avoided.” — Robert ToheSee also: Documentary Film “The Snowbowl Effect” http://www.flagstaffactivist.org/fan/home.phtml


10) Beetle-killed trees around the Basin Creek watershed will start coming down next week. In a 22-page order issued Thursday, Chief U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy took the side of the U.S. Forest Service and Butte-Silver Bow by denying a request from environmental groups for a preliminary injunction. “The Forest Service has demonstrated a threat to public health and safety due to increased potential for wildfire,” the judge wrote. “The threat affects rural property owners, firefighters, and the municipal watershed housing 40 percent of the area’s drinking water.” “We will be cutting trees on Monday,” Regan said. “We’ll probably get half the sale out this winter.” The company gave its required notice to start a few weeks ago, and this ruling provides assurance that crews can begin. In a brief phone interview Friday afternoon, the Ecology Center’s Jeff Juel had this to say about the order: “It seems like it sets the standard that it’s OK to do anything in opposition to ecological standards as long as the Forest Service can yell, ‘Fire!’ or, ‘Insect infestation!’ and justify their actions that way.” The two other groups suing are the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and the Native Ecosystems Council. Juel said they are considering an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals but hadn’t yet made a decision. He added that there’s no way they can act quickly enough to prevent logging from starting on Monday. http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/10/02/build/state/75-.inc

11) The South Fork of the Madison River is a pretty little stream. It sparkles and babbles, and parts of it look awfully fishy. Look a little closer and you see where people have squeezed it hard over the years. Long reaches of it run straight and fast, like a ditch, with an old railroad bed on one side and a Forest Service road and the clear-cuts it serviced on the other. “This stream has a few obvious things missing,” said Scott Barndt, who runs fisheries programs for the Gallatin National Forest. “It’s kind of like a desert really,” Barndt said. “There aren’t any large logs in the stream.” The Forest Service is trying to improve the situation, largely through the services of a St. Ignatius horse logger who recently spent a week here, falling logs and planting them carefully in the stream. Nature has been putting what biologists like to call “large woody debris” in streams for as long as there has been water and trees. It will do so again here, but it could be a few decades, given the altered landscape. Barndt, along with Clint Sestrich, another Forest Service biologist, are trying to create spawning and rearing habitat for rainbow trout that swim from Hebgen Reservoir, about seven miles downstream. At first glance, their project looks kind of messy: just logs jumbled in the creek. But look closely and you see some careful planning. The logs are stacked precisely, and logger David Sturman’s team of Belgians does good work, weaving sizable logs together in a way that they stand a good chance of holding up to next spring’s runoff. “We expect to see a greater range of water velocities,” Sestrich said. Pools give fish someplace to rest. Debris gives them a place to hide. Putting variation in the water velocity allows the stream to sort gravel, providing spawning areas. http://www.billingsgazette.com/index.php?id=1&display=rednews/2005/10/02/build/state/65-madison.inc

12) How best to manage forests often comes down to judgment calls. Rarely will such forest management decisions be all right or all wrong. Many of the trees up the East Fork are older than the United States. The relatively long lifespan of forests relative to humans means the pace of learning is slow. Rather than do nothing while the Forest Service and public attempts to settle on what’s the absolutely best thing to do, we’re comfortable using this standard: Will the effects of what the Forest Service proposes make thing better or worse? Logging for logging’s sake – a practice of the past – isn’t a good idea. Forests aren’t cornfields and trees aren’t just a crop waiting to be harvested. Timber is one resource we obtain from our public forests, but it’s hardly the only one – or even the most important one. We depend on our forests for water, wildlife and recreation, among other things. We don’t want our forest managed strictly for the trees – that is, just for logging. But that’s not to say we should exclude logging altogether, either. …the agency deserves a demerit on style for the scene created when vocal opponents of its plans were excluded from a Sept. 22 press conference. While it’s sometimes necessary to bar people from a public gathering for being disruptive, it’s actually necessary for someone to be disruptive before such treatment is justified. The ruckus sprang from officials efforts to foster a positive aura around the finished environmental document. Commendably, Bitterroot National Forest Supervisor Dave Bull explained his intentions and apologized in the Sept. 30 Missoulian. http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2005/10/04/opinion/opinion3.txt


13) Local Forest Service officials finalized plans Friday to remove trees on 2,600 acres in northwestern Boulder County to reduce wildfire danger. The work, outlined in the St. Vrain Fuels Reduction Plan, will thin forests of ponderosa pine trees and mixed conifer stands prone to a catastrophic wildfire. It will occur within a 30,000-acre project area around Allenspark, Johnny Park and the St. Vrain drainage, said Mark Martin, fuels planning team leader for Boulder Ranger District of the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests. Martin said private land, with several homes, makes up nearly 10,000 acres within the project area. “We focused on areas surrounding communities,” Martin said. The project will cost an estimated $2.5 million, he said, and primarily involves removing trees and debris and burning them in piles. A very small percentage of the wood could be sold for posts, poles and firewood, depending on the market demand, Martin said. Workers will clear-cut about 170 acres in patches of a half-acre and smaller. They’ll thin the remainder of the forest acreage by removing 30 percent of the trees in a stand, Martin said. Cutting probably won’t begin until 2007 and will take three to five years to complete, as long as federal funding remains available, Martin said. http://www.longmontfyi.com/Local-Story.asp?id=3929

14 ) Born of conflict, saddled with an impossible task of balancing demands, and apparently fated to an existence of controversy, the U.S. Forest Service celebrated its 100th year this summer while sizing up its toughest challenges ever. “I’m still optimistic and still believe that this experiment can be successful,” Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth told The Denver Post. “The question is whether or not you can manage public lands for multiple uses in a way where people will try to come together and develop a consensus over how they want those lands to be managed, as opposed to fighting over it.” To be certain, it is an agency that has made its fair share of mistakes. The expense of building roads for logging often has cost the Forest Service much more than timber sales have generated, and left a spider’s web of 445,000 miles of routes that have become a budget-busting maintenance nightmare. And failures to protect wildlife habitat or follow other environmental laws have resulted in numerous costly losses in federal court – 44 in the past two years, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility. A controversial 10-year management plan for Colorado’s White River National Forest, for example, was heavily revised after then-Colorado Rep. Scott McInnis, the chairman of the House subcommittee on forests and forest health, objected to the dramatic increase in habitat protection. He drafted his own version that encouraged less wilderness protection and more recreation through ski-area expansions and fewer restrictions for off-road vehicles. Adding to environmental criticism of such management, the agency acknowledged that it has lost as much as $1 billion annually administering the logging program because of management and road-building expenses, according to 2001 report by the congressional General Accounting Office, now the Government Accountability Office. Since reaching a high-water mark of 12.6 billion board-feet of timber cut in 1989 – a level that even then-Forest Chief Dale Robertson acknowledged was “clearly unsustainable” – the annual yield has dropped to about 2 billion board-feet. “My biggest fear has been that the popular issues of the moment – like whether or not we’re producing too much timber or not enough timber … (will) absorb so much of our energy that important things tend to fall by the wayside,” Bosworth said. http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_3077438


15) Wanting her students to learn first-hand about public lands management, University of Wyoming law professor Deb Donahue decided it was time for a field trip. She arranged a 150-mile circle tour of the Medicine Bow National Forest that included talks with forest supervisors, tree specialists, legal experts and recreation planners. “In the classroom, everything is so sterile,” she said as she drove five students on a winding highway through the Snowy Range in a large UW sport-utility vehicle. “You can’t really explain it if you can’t show it with pictures, or see it up close or have people talk about it,” Donahue said. She wanted her public lands law class, comprising mostly second-year law students, to visit with the people who deal daily with the myriad laws and regulations within the federal government, and learn how those people think about the laws. The group visited a 200-acre logging site in Holroyd Park in the Sierra Madre, walked along a pile of burned waste timber, and saw up-close dead and dying trees, some about 400 years old. Later, they drove past a sagebrush area that was intentionally burned to promote new growth. The trip wrapped up with a tour of Silver Lake Campground, which has been closed due to the danger of falling trees — killed by disease and beetles. Scott Mullins of Chicago said he has a greater appreciation for the working environment of Forest Service employees. “There are a lot of laws,” he said. “If you had to work in that framework, I think it would be kind of hard, but that’s what Congress wants.” Ken Steinken, a Rapid City, S.D., a fine arts student, said he was impressed by the knowledge of the forest officials.”Sometimes the public thinks the government doesn’t know what they’re doing,” he said. “It’s reassuring to know they’re not as ignorant as the public might think they are. “If they kill the forest, they don’t have a job. They do have a vested interest in it.” http://www.jacksonholestartrib.com/articles/2005/10/03/news/wyoming/374f7b74ef0d1ca58725708e00210158.txt


16) Rusty Rhea sighs wistfully as he talks about the beauty and peace of standing amid a grove of deep green hemlocks in Appalachia, some of them up to 160 feet (50 meters) tall and more than 500 years old. “This is a very special tree,” said Rhea, an entomologist for the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Health Protection program in Asheville, North Carolina. “I was brought up here, and I don’t want to see another species go by the wayside.” The evergreen trees, a hallmark of southern Appalachia’s national parks, are under attack by an invasive insect barely visible to the eye but potent enough to fell the giants of the eastern United States’ old-growth forests. Already the tiny bug from Japan, known as the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), has killed upward of 95 percent of the hemlocks in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Now they are making their way through the half-million-plus-acre (200,000-plus-hectare) Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina and Tennessee. The hemlocks shade streams, keeping water temperatures just right for brook trout and other fish. They also house birds such as the black-throated green warbler, solitary vireo, and northern goshawk, all three of which mainly shelter in stands of hemlock trees. http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2005/10/1004_051004_beetles.html


17) Can commercial loggers help save the Daniel Boone National Forest in Eastern Kentucky from the ravages of gypsy moths and a decline in its 100-year-old oaks? The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a battery of tests that would use different combinations of cutting, burning or pesticide spraying in hopes of identifying strategies that can preserve Kentucky’s extraordinary forest of hardwoods and wildlife. Some environmentalists denounce the plan as another ploy to reward commercial loggers and exploit Appalachia. They may appeal. The federal public comment period ends Oct. 14. Given the Forest Service’s mixed history of opening public lands to industry and the speculative nature of this test, the U.S. scientific community ought to be given every opportunity to offer guidance. Forest Service officials say the study will be one of the first on gypsy moths and oaks under the Healthy Forest Restoration Act of 2003. But as environmentalists from the nonprofit organization Kentucky Heartwood note, the test at least initially won’t even involve gypsy moths, since they aren’t expected to make their dreaded, leaf-eating appearance in the Boone for another 10 to 20 years. They’ve already hit Ohio and West Virginia. The logging would be done on subdivided plots totaling about 600 acres. It would be put out to commercial bid, and timber sales would help pay for the study. Forest Service research scientists think thinning the Boone’s crowded forest may boost nutrients for the old-growth trees, and part of the study will enlist economists to advise on whether the costs of the different strategies can be justified if applied later to such vast expanses as Boone’s 700,000 acres. http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051004/EDIT01/510040302

Gulf States:

18) Winds and storm-surge water knocked down billions of board feet of hardwoods, pine and other species used for building homes and making paper. Estimated timber losses from Katrina total 15 billion to 19 billion board feet from 5 million acres of damaged forestland in Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana, according to data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. Katrina’s high winds damaged an average of 20 percent of the timber that was standing before the storm. Near coastal areas, damage rates reached as high as 40 percent, the USDA said. Timber losses in Louisiana, from damage done by Katrina, are estimated at $1 billion, said Janet Tompkins, editor of the Louisiana Forestry Association’s Forests & People magazine, citing the Louisiana State University AgCenter and the state Department of Agriculture and Forestry. Another $226 million in losses are estimated from Hurricane Rita. The Mississippi Forestry Commission estimated a loss of $1.3 billion in commercial timber. The state produces about $1.1 billion worth of commercial timber every year. http://www.myrtlebeachonline.com/mld/myrtlebeachonline/business/12811998.htm

19) After Hurricane Rita made landfall on Sept. 24, she made her way up through East Texas into Northeast Texas, cutting a wide swath – 771,000 acres – through the heart of Texas’ timber country. The estimated dollar amount of timber impacted in the hurricane is set at $833 million, Texas Forest Service officials an-nounced in a report titled “Hurr-icane Rita Timber Damage As-sessment.” “The total damaged and affected trees by Hurricane Rita are estimated at 967 million cubic feet, or about 6 percent of the total East Texas timber growing stock,” said Jim Hull, State Forester and Texas Forest Service Director. Damaged trees are those that are likely to die within 12 months. Affected trees, while not likely to die in 12 months, are those whose growth will likely be impaired. In 2004, 645 million cubic feet of timber was harvested in East Texas. The total damaged timber from Rita was slightly less than that at 533 million, but the total damaged plus affected was more. Texas Forest Service launched two days of aerial surveys that refined the damage boundaries projected by a Southern Re-search Station of the USDA Forest Service preliminary map. Then, Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) field crews from Texas Forest Service and SRS collected ground-truthing data on 222 points in the impacted area. This led to the creation of a Timber Damage Assessment Map that shows four zones of severity. “The worst damage the crews found was in southern Newton and Jasper counties,” said Burl Carraway, Assistant Department Head of the Texas Forest Service Forest Sustainability and Ec-onomic Development Depart-ment. Dr. Weihuan Xu, Texas Forest Service Principal Economist, calculated the damage and affected numbers based on timber volume data from the state’s recent forest inventory announced last October by Hull. “Now that we know the extent of timber damage, we are looking at both short- and long-term ways to address the problem,” said Carraway. “We are in the process of establishing a task force to explore ways we can help the landowners and affected industry begin the process of salvaging the timber.” http://www.sweetwaterreporter.com/articles/2005/10/04/news/news4.txt


20) New Democrat Leader Howard Hampton accused the Liberal government of failing to offer any real help to logging companies, despite a $330-million aid package unveiled last week. Hampton said forest companies wanted help to deal with rising electricity costs, and a tax break on the fuel they burn hauling trees from the forest to mills. Ramsay said the Liberals were seeking to reverse a trend he said began in the 1990s under former NDP premier Bob Rae’s government, which forced companies to pay for logging roads and forest inventories. http://www.canada.com/national/nationalpost/news/toronto/story.html?id=f4dd8442-5459-4dd0-a224-cf4137904cb

21) Blaming “poor market conditions,” U.S. forestry giant Weyerhaeuser Co. is closing a pulp and paper mill in Prince Albert, Sask. in a devastating blow to the provincial economy that will cost 690 jobs. It’s a major cut to resource-based economies of both the city and the province in general, which billboards its good relationship with the U.S.-based forestry products firm as a symbol of the region’s success in the industry. Saskatchewan Premier Lorne Calvert moved swiftly after Tuesday’s announcement to set up a task force that will examine issues surrounding the closure, while Prince Albert Mayor Jim Stiglitz was left to reassure his citizens that their community of 30,000 will endure. “It was very much of a shock when I got the call first thing in the morning – just like a dream almost, you don’t know it’s real,” Stiglitz said.

22) Canada’s Environment Industry, a sector which Statistics Canada says employs 160,000 Canadians and generates $15.8 billion in annual revenue (2002 figures), seems to have been forgotten by Canada’s government. While he was Finance Minister, Paul Martin frequently reinforced the connection between the environment and the economy. For example, he said in 2001 “Quite simply, we must apply the same innovative thinking, the same spirit of enterprise, the same technological ingenuity, to protecting and enhancing our environment, as we have to becoming world leaders in the fields telecommunications, transportation and so many others.” He appointed Maurice Strong as an advisor. He said that his approach had been strongly influenced by Amory Lovins. Both of these people see a major role for the private sector in environmental protection and sustainable development. Yet for all the talk, the actions have only been backwards. bhttp://www.cialgroup.com/subscription


23) Felipe Arreaga is a Mexican peasant and defender of the forest. He never went to school and admits he is barely literate. As he says, he was born “crucified” by poverty. At 56, with an environmental award of international prestige in his hands, and recently released from prison, he tells Tierramérica that he could be killed, but he doesn’t fear
that fate. A member of the Organisation of Ecologist Peasants of the Sierra de Petatlán and Coyuca de Catalán, OCESP, in the Mexican state of Guerrero, Arreaga walked free on Sep. 15, after 10 months in prison and a legal process which finally concluded that he had nothing to do with the murder of the son of a logging boss. For environmental and human rights groups, Arreaga was a prisoner of conscience, like his fellow OCESP members Rodolfo Montiel and Teodoro Cabrera, also peasant farmers, who were tortured and arrested in 1999, but released in 2001 on the order of President Vicente Fox after an international outcry from human rights and environmental groups. Like his colleagues, Arreaga maintains that he was imprisoned for his opposition to the logging of the forests and the destruction of the environment in the impoverished mountains of Guerrero, where lumber mafias and bands of drug traffickers are active, and there is a continuous and growing military presence. For his “outstanding environmental heroism,” the Sierra Club, a U.S.-based environmental organisation, in August awarded him the Chico Mendes Prize, named for the Brazilian labour activist and environmentalist from the Amazon region who was assassinated in 1988. Tierramérica: You just got out of prison. Have your troubles ended? Or do you fear some sort of reprisal from the ones who are cutting down the forests? Arreaga: Fear always exists when you are affecting interests. I knew that defending the forests was not going to look good to the people who have always exploited the lumber. As a human, I have fear of being killed, but I always say that God is the one who holds my life in his hands, and not (those who threaten me). That is why I say I’m not afraid of what comes. http://www.tierramerica.net/2005/1001/index.shtml


24) Cathay Forest Products Corp. has acquired approximately 1,600 hectares of land in Jiangxi Province in central-eastern China. The property contains stands of poplar, as well as some pine and fir. Cathay will pay USD$1.2 million to the Forest Bureau of Jiangxi Province for harvesting rights to the standing timber as well as 45 years of land use rights. “The single biggest challenge in building a world-class forestry company is acquiring property,” said Anthony Ng, Cathay Forest’s President and CEO. “As part of our business plan, we are leveraging the relationship we have built with the Jiangxi Province, and this latest agreement brings us another step closer to our goal of becoming a world-class forestry company. Of particular interest with this property is the standing timber which we willharvest over the next four years for sale to the local wood markets.” Cathay plans on harvesting approximately 140,000 cubic metres of timber from the Jiangxi property before initiating a planting program. The company
will re-plant with poplar and other local species. Logging roads exist in the area, and as such the company does not anticipate the need to invest in such infrastructure. The Forest Bureau of Jiangxi Province controls all state-owned forestry activities under a mandate from the Central Government to improve the economic and environmental performance of the forest properties. http://www.newswire.ca/en/releases/archive/October2005/04/c7220.html

25) China’s great green wall of forest, which consists of billions of trees planted across the northern part of the country, has begun to be replaced with new trees, according to a Xinhua report on Monday. The State Administration of Forests announced in late September that the 30-year ban on harvesting trees in the man-made forests across northern China had been lifted in tandem with a new replacement plan. Zhu Lieke, deputy director of the national forestry administration, told a national forestry meeting in Changchun city, capital of Jilin Province, that the farmland protection forests in northern China needed to be replaced gradually with new trees so as to better protect the farmland into the future. China began planting trees across the 13 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities in the north of the country in 1978, covering 590 counties with a huge belt of trees. The man-made forest covers an area of more than four million square kilometers, taking up over 42 percent of the country’s total land, a vast project that has been noted in the 2003 Guinness Book of Records. Under the replacement scheme, 10 percent of the trees are to be replaced with new ones. Officials from the state forestry authority said that the made-made forestry project has helped to enhance the production of 15-20 percent of the grains grown in the protected regions. But some old and dead trees have proved a hazard to both humans and cattle, with casualties reported. A Ministry of Agriculture official noted also that the man-made forest in northern China is potentially a hugely significant timber source. http://en.chinabroadcast.cn/2238/2005-10-3/148@275032.htm


26) The unidentified driver of an SUV filled with cut timber tried to run down a Radio Free Asia (RFA) reporter in northeastern Cambodia as he photographed a small illegal logging operation. Sok Ratha was taking photos in Rattanakiri Province early Oct. 1 as a police officer and five villagers tried to stop a small logging operation carried out by three men in civilian clothing. Sok Ratha photographed a sport utility vehicle (SUV) loaded with logs. One man wore a civilian shirt with military-issue trousers. The driver of the SUV steered his vehicle at Sok Ratha and drove toward him. Sok Ratha dodged the vehicle but lost his footing and grabbed onto on open window to avoid falling beneath it. The SUV then dragged him for approximately 100 meters, his right foot on the running board and left foot on the ground, before he was able to break away. “He was trying to hit me, or he would have stopped,” Sok Ratha said. Two motorcycle drivers then drove past Sok Ratha, with one firing shots into the air from a handgun, he said. Sok Ratha suffered injuries to his legs and one ankle but reported that he was otherwise unharmed. Police at another location said they later confiscated two vehicles and logs and arrested two of the loggers. The men arrested linked the logging to Cambodia’s co-defense minister and deputy premier, Army Gen. Tea Banh, sources said. Tea Banh, contacted by RFA’s Khmer service, denied any involvement in the operation. Cambodians report that numerous small illegal logging operations are occurring all over northeastern Cambodia. Most of the logs are believed to be heading to Vietnam. According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), three-quarters of Cambodian territory was covered in forest in 1990—but half of it had been harvested by 2000. http://www.rfa.org/english/news/2005/10/03/cambodia_reporter/


27) Viet Nam’s forestry sector registered an estimated production value of 4.72 trillion VND (over 298 million USD) in the first nine months of this year, representing a year-on-year increase of 0.8 percent, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MARD). From January to September, localities planted only 140,500 ha of concentrated forest, nearly equal to the same period last year. They also planted 170.6 million scattered trees, a year-on-year rise of 0.1 percent. Meanwhile, the country’s wood output, including wood for paper production, saw a 1.8-percent increase over the same period last year. In addition, wanton deforestation in northwestern provinces, the Central Highlands and the southeastern region damaged some 8,770 ha of forest, up by nearly 70 percent against last year’s figure. Forest fires destroyed 1,483 ha of forest in Kon Tum province in the Central Highlands and 877 ha in the northwestern province of Dien Bien.
The MARD reported that the total production value of the country’s agricultural, forestry and aquatic product sector attained around 125.87 trillion VND (more than 7.9 billion USD) in the nine-month period, up 5.3 percent against last year’s figure. http://www.vneconomy.com.vn/eng/index.php?param=article&catid=08&id=4a30d0d8cd41d7

28) Not only as a solid levee, the southern mangrove forest, is also a “sea of fish.” Birds in the forest are countless, let alone venomous snakes that are more precious than gold. This is a great potential to develop tourism in the region. Mangrove trees came into being when the southernmost Ca Mau was still a wild and muddy area. Annually, a large quantity of alluvium from the Cuu Long River build up the Ca Mau further out to the sea. The mangrove tree, with its scientific name as Rhizophora Mucronata of the Rhizophoraceae family, grows naturally. Mangrove fruit sticks straight up to the sky. Its leaves are thick and ever green. Mangrove is very friendly with the residents in the southernmost region. http://www.nhandan.com.vn/english/travel/300905/south.htm


29) ANGUL: Angul Legislator Rajanikanta Singh has stressed the need to protect wildlife, which in turn could save forests from smugglers. Singh was addressing a function organised by Satkosia Wildlife Sanctuary and Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS) in Angul on Sunday. Presiding over the function, Forest Conservator of Angul P K Mohapatra pointed out that due to poverty, rural people were forced to cut trees for a living. “If forest is to be protected, poverty should be eliminated,” he stressed.http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IEQ20051004013054&Page=Q&Title=ORISSA&Topic=0


30) I was traveling in southern Thailand, visiting several fishing communities, where fisherfolk, both men and women, told me their stories. One brave, young leader spoke quite openly about the shrimp farms that threatened the very lives and livelihoods of the fishing communities. He simply and poetically stated, “If there are no mangrove forests, then the sea will have no meaning. It is like having a tree with no roots, for the mangroves are the roots of the sea.” This statement inspired the formation of Mangrove Action Project, and set me on a new course from which I seriously doubt I will ever recover! MAP is dedicated to reversing the degradation of mangrove-forest ecosystems worldwide. We promote the rights of local coastal peoples, including fishers and farmers, and encourage community-based, sustainable management of coastal resources. We are based in the U.S., with regional offices in Thailand and Indonesia, and another office opening soon in Brazil. Mangrove forests are vital for healthy coastal ecosystems — their salt-tolerant trees and other plant species provide nutrients for the marine environment and support immense varieties of sea life in intricate food webs. Yet for too long, these vital wetlands have been undervalued, called mosquito-infested, muddy swamps, worthless and remote. They’re being lost to the charcoal and timber industries, shrimp farms, tourism, golf courses, and ill-planned urban expansion. The loss of these wetlands has made coastal regions vulnerable to tsunami waves and hurricane winds, resulting in the loss of thousands of lives and billions of dollars in property, as tragically evidenced in the tsunami of Dec. 26, 2004, in which more than 250,000 people were killed. Most recently, it is believed that loss of coastal wetlands along the Mississippi Delta contributed to the immense devastation from Hurricane Katrina. If mangrove forests and related coastal wetlands are kept in a healthy state, they can offer a protective greenbelt to buffer against such otherwise devastating tsunamis or storm surges. http://www.grist.org/comments/interactivist/2005/10/03/quarto/index.html?source=daily

Papua NewGuinea:

31) Two foreign logging companies have promised up to K60 million in investment in the Pomio area of the East New Britain province. The companies are Tzen New Guinea Limited and PLW Limited. Representatives of the companies told a public forum in Kokopo on Friday that they would pump that amount of money into the area if they are granted the logging concessions in the area. They are after the Illi Agriculture TA and the Illi-Wawas Agriculture and Roadline TA in Pomio. The two projects cover a total area of 147,400 hectares of forest. Tzen New Guinea Limited forest manager Ray Lemo said as the proposed developer of huge Illi Wawas Timber resource, the company plans to spend between K50 to K60 million kina on this project. Mr Lemo said already 60% of machinery was on standby ready to be shipped to the project site once the company’s application is approved and finalised by the national government and other relevant authorities. He said Tzen has the experience and financial resources to do the project. PLW general manager Victor Eu said his company was interested in developing the resources in the Illi Agriculture Timber area because it wants to assist and participate in the national government Green Revolutionary Programme. http://www.thenational.com.pg/1003/nation5.htm


32) A conservation group that recently gave up its appeal against logging near St Mary’s believes Forestry Tasmania will now pursue it for legal costs. Save our Sisters group spokesman David Clement said that if costs were pursued it would be against the 11 applicants who were ordinary members of the community. Mr Clement said the application would be heard before the Resource Management and Planning Appeal Tribunal. He said no figures on costs were available. Save Our Sisters withdrew from the tribunal hearing about the logging of forest near St Marys this week. Save Our Sisters spokeswoman Frances Daily said that legislation placed a high burden of proof on applicants. “The current legislation created difficulties that in the face of last-minute evidence from Forestry Tasmania has proved to be a significant hurdle unable to be overcome,” she said. But Forestry Tasmania’s general manager operations Kim Creak said that scientific advice provided to the Save Our Sisters team had shown that they did not have a case. “They simply could not demonstrate that harvesting would be likely to result in environmental harm,” Mr Creak said. “Despite expert advice to the contrary, the SOS group continues to publicly claim that selective harvesting at South Sister will cause environmental harm. “The failure to present credible science from the SOS has meant they had no basis for delaying the timber harvesting and causing FT to incur additional costs.” Ms Daily said that despite Forestry’s comments, SOS remained concerned that risks to groundwater and the possibility of landslides remained. The Wilderness Society blamed legislation that was biased in favour of logging interests and the high costs of the legal system for the pullout. http://www.themercury.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,16816558%255E3462,00.html

33) The Victorian Government will today ask the state’s environment watchdog to investigate at least two logging blunders that felled protected trees in national and state parks, putting endangered species at risk. Environment Minister John Thwaites will instruct the Environment Protection Authority to audit breaches in the Barmah State Forest, near Echuca, and the Errinundra National Park in East Gippsland. The Department of Sustainability and Environment conceded it logged more than half of a protected habitat for the endangered superb parrot in the Barmah, and VicForests felled at least 250 square metres at Errinundra, home to threatened species including the long-footed potoroo. The minister’s intervention came after a coalition of environmentalists led by the Victorian National Parks Association called for the agencies to be prosecuted over four alleged logging breaches. The EPA is also expected to consider possible penalties. Victorian National Parks Association director Charlie Sherwin said he was pleased there would be analysis of why logging mistakes were being made. He said the agencies should be punished. “Fines or punitive measures can be an incredible motivator for agencies to do the right thing,” he said. “Why should State Government agencies be immune from action when if these breaches were by private companies they would be prosecuted to the hilt?” He called on the Government to act over two other alleged breaches: 1) The illegal sale to a timber mill of about 300 cubic metres of Snowy River National Park trees felled to create a firebreak during the 2003 bushfires. 2) The felling in August of about 12 trees from picnic grounds in a special protection zone of the Cobbobonee State Forest near Portland for safety reasons. Naturalists claimed the trees had hollows that were important for native wildlife, including the endangered spot-tailed quoll. Wilderness Society Victorian campaign manager Gavan McFadzean said the string of alleged breaches showed the agencies were not fit to manage old-growth forests. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/logging-blunders-to-be-investigated/2005/10/02/1128191610124.html


34) Forests play a vital role for rural as well as urban populations all over the world. They are an essential natural resource providing multiple benefits to people. Their conservation and sustainable management are closely linked with global issues such as food supply and environmental protection. Scientific knowledge is needed all over the world to effectively address these issues globally and regionally and provide the basis for political decisions. Close international cooperation in forest science and related disciplines is required to enable forests to satisfy the manifold human needs in a sustainable way. IUFRO is “the” global network for forest science cooperation. It unites more than 15,000 scientists in almost 700 Member Organizations in over 110 countries, and is a member of ICSU. Scientists cooperate in IUFRO on a voluntary basis. Our mission is to promote the coordination of and the international cooperation in scientific studies embracing the whole field of research related to forests and trees for the well-being of forests and the people that depend on them. IUFRO is open to all individuals and organizations dedicated to forest and forest products research and related disciplines. It is a non-profit, non-governmental and non-discriminatory organization with a long tradition dating back to 1892. http://www.iufro.org/discover/organization/

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