053OEC’s This Week in Trees

This week we have 37 stories from: Washington, Oregon, California, Montana, Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, Delaware, New York, Maine, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina, Canada, Italy, Israel, Swaziland, India, Japan, Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia and Australia.

Washington:

1) Expansion proposed for the Summit at Snoqualmie, with its four adjacent ski areas, could accommodate a third more visitors and make it easier for skiers and snowboarders to traverse the resort, according to plans that have been endorsed by the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. They’re proposing two new chairlifts through a heavily wooded section of the Central and East summits. They also want to connect the two areas with steeper cat trails so snowboarders, who tend to avoid traversing flat ground, can better access both summits. Because that section is thick with old-growth, the Forest Service has “urged them to reduce development to gladed runs, which are more difficult to groom, but leaves more trees standing,” said Larry Donovan, who led the review for the Forest Service. No northern spotted owls — now protected under the Endangered Species Act — have been spotted in that area in years, but Paz said he still thinks the birds may hunt there. The resort already has made arrangements with Plum Creek Timber to buy and donate forestland near the resort to replace the loss of those trees if plans are approved, he said. The Summit also would consolidate facilities at the bases of the Central and West summits, offering an additional 10 acres of parking and 2,800 more restaurant seats, and making 140 more acres available for night skiing. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002707550_snoqualmie28m.html

2) The order signed by U.S. District Judge Robert Whaley comes as a preliminary injunction as part of a lawsuit brought by conservation groups to close the 450,000-acre recovery zone completely to snowmobile use. Woodland caribou is often described as the most threatened large mammal in North America. “The woodland caribou is a magnificent indicator of the health of the northern Rockies environment,” said Mark Sprengel of the Selkirk Conservation Alliance. “Their precipitous decline says a lot about how we have abused the northern Rockies over the years. Sometimes we as a people need to restrain ourselves in certain ways for the benefit of other species.” Other plaintiffs in the lawsuit include Defenders of Wildlife, Idaho Conservation League and the Lands Council of Spokane. The last remaining woodland caribou in the lower 48 states are part of a small herd that migrates between Idaho, Washington and British Columbia. In each of the last five years, from zero to three caribou have been sighted in the U.S. portion of the official Woodland Caribou Recovery Zone. The groups contend caribou are completely dependent on large tracts of undisturbed old-growth forests and high elevation habitat. “The Forest Service should have addressed the impacts of snowmobiles on caribou a long time ago,” said Mike Leahy, staff attorney with Defenders of Wildlife. “Since they did not, emergency protective measures are necessary in the absence of a long-term solution.” http://www.bonnercountydailybee.com/articles/2005/12/22/news/news02.txt

3) NRDC calculates that if every U.S. household replaced just one roll of virgin toilet paper with one roll of 100 percent recycled paper, it would save nearly 424,000 trees. “As we understand consumers, they want tissue products that are soft, that are strong, and you cannot do that with recycled fiber,” says Dave Dickson, director of corporate communications for Kimberly-Clark. “It’s impossible to do that.” With flu and cold season kicking in, environmentalists are rolling out a new wallet-sized card that they hope will guide consumers to buy environmentally responsible tissues to soothe their stuffy noses. The Natural Resources Defense Council and other groups are protesting Kimberly-Clark’s use of trees cut in Canada’s boreal forest, home to bears and wolves and endangered caribou. Stretching from the Yukon to Newfoundland, the forest is one of the largest mostly intact ecosystems on Earth and serves as a major hedge against climate change. Activists want consumers to pressure Kimberly-Clark to use more recycled fiber. Many of the targeted products come out of the company’s mill in Everett. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/253971_paper30.html

California:

4) Today, I received a call from the ‘Spooner’ treesit in the Nanning Creek Old Growth Grove. (Treesit in a 15+ft. diameter Redwood tree). The sitters had just heard a huge, ancient tree fall. Now, the weather has been pretty rainy, windy, and stormy here, so I don’t think logging has been going on in Nanning for a couple of days, however I guess today, the weather didn’t stop the cutting… A few folks were already planning to go to the gate or gates (if enough people) tomorrow-Friday, December 30- to again be a presence of community DISAPPROVAL of the cutting in Nanning and in support of the people defending the trees in the woods. So, you’re invited (I know this realistically only pertains to people who live in The area). Sometimes, important dialogue occurs at the gates, both amongst ‘demonstrators’ and with timber employees. Please come to Scotia—Friday morning, 5:45AM… Also, on Sunday January 8th, there will be Non-Violent Direct Action Training, including Legal Training in Northern Humboldt. Hoping a good-sized group shows up of people who are curious, active, and/or want to play an increasingly effective and conscious role on this Earth. Any questions, email me back or call Verbena: (707) 618-9185. Hummingbird Lou hummingbird_lou@yahoo.com

Oregon:

5) “Changing the Way We Look at Trees” is a collection of 56 stunning photographs ranging from colorful closeups of leaves to beautiful panoramic landscapes. The photos on exhibit at the World Forestry Center beautifully capture the flora and fauna of the forest, as well as trees accented by rainbows, dew drops and rustic old barns. Terrill’s photography not only captures a moment in time, but his work takes the viewer on a visual journey to the photo’s location. Most of the photos were taken in Oregon Selftaught photographer Steve Terrill is a native of Portland, Oregon, and has been trekking throughout the United States since 1980 with a goal to preserve on film the grandeur of the great Northwest. His career literally exploded in May 1980 when he captured the eruption of Mt. St. Helens on the morning of May 18. Later that same year,one of Terrill’s photographs of the eruption was presented to President Jimmy Carter while he was in the Northwest to view the destruction caused by the volcano. http://www.medfordnews.com/articles/index.cfm?artOID=324368&cp=10997

6) The roar of farm tractors, chainsaws and crashing timber that drove Jackson County’s economy for decades has been replaced by the softer sounds of hospitals and doctors’ offices. Since the 1970s, the number of jobs in the health care industry has nearly tripled in Jackson County as the population has grown, especially among retirees. The health care industry now provides the most jobs to the county’s economy, and it needs more workers than it can get. “More people are moving here because this is a desirable place to live, which has boosted the demand for the service and health care industry,” said Guy Tauer, Oregon Employment Department regional economist. However the growing service and retail industry tends to pay less than jobs in the timber industry did, said Bob Smith, human resources manager at Boise Cascade Corp. A decrease in federal timber land available for harvest and a shrinking labor pool due to the high cost of housing have played larger roles in diminishing the industry, he said. The additional demand for housing has driven up real estate prices. “The additional demand for housing has driven up real estate, which makes it difficult for young people to buy homes,” Smith said. “It drives away the workers we would attempt to attract.” Since 1969, half of the county’s agricultural acres have been converted to other use. “Farming is a dying trade around here,” said farmer Dave Westerberg of Ashland. http://www.registerguard.com/news/2005/12/28/e5.bz.or.health.1228.p1.php?section=business

7) Portlanders love trees – Greg Schifsky, a professional landscaper who lives in Bridlemile, and Margot Barnett, a public health consultant from the Marshall Part neighborhood, were the key players. Q: Why did you get started? Schifsky: I’ve been in the landscape business for 32 years. All over town I’ve noticed tree canopy disappearing. We’re losing them to people and to codes and regulations. We’re also losing it because people are not educated about the value of trees. That’s probably the single most important piece of the puzzle. Barnett: Partly it was a call from Greg. But over the last 10 years looking at what’s gone on in my own neighborhood — seeing how many trees, especially mature trees, have been taken out by development. Q: So what do you see as problems with the city’s tree regulations? Barnett: We have an urban forestry management plan that has a lot of good policy in it, but our code doesn’t completely implement it. I don’t think we’re requiring significant trees to be protected. The option that most developers choose doesn’t protect mature trees. Schifsky: Developers . . . need a tree preservation plan to do a subdivision. There are about five options under the code for a tree preservation plan. Option one lets them cut most of the trees as long as they leave a certain percentage of total canopy. When other trees are not protected, they often die in three to five years. There also can be an appeal or variance request from the developer to cut down more trees after the development plan is in place. Then they replace mature trees with 6-foot trees. There’s no guarantee for survivability of that tree. It can’t possibly take the place of a 60- or 70-foot conifer. The neighborhood is steadily losing big conifers to infill development or to people who want sunlight. http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/portland_news/1135040131323500.xml&coll=7

California:

8) The Pacific Lumber Co. is logging some of the last old-growth trees it will be allowed to cut under a 1999 federal plan, beginning a test of the plan’s assumptions about marbled murrelets in decades to come. Since November, Palco has been cutting in a grove of trees along Nanning Creek. The trees, some of which are 12 to 15 feet in diameter, are considered high-quality habitat for the sea bird that nests on big branches of old redwoods and Douglas fir. The murrelet is endangered in California, Oregon and Washington, with a population of about 21,000 birds, though another population thrives in Alaska at nearly 1 million. As part of its habitat conservation plan crafted during the 1999 Headwaters Forest negotiations, Palco and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service anticipated that the southern population of murrelets would decline for several decades. ”Right now we’re going through a kind of bottleneck period,” said Mike Long, field supervisor for Fish and Wildlife. The plan also set aside about 8,000 of Palco’s 210,000 acres for murrelets, much of which is old-growth, and some of which are second-growth stands expected to eventually be suitable for nesting murrelets. About 10,000 acres of varying quality for murrelets has been harvested by Palco under the plan. Even though Palco has been cutting in Nanning Creek for more than a month, said activist Kim Starr, she believes it would be worth it for the company to stop. ”We’re just humans trying to guess when we’re bringing a species to extinction,” she said. http://www.times-standard.com/local/ci_3356901

9) A woman named phoenix and I stood on top of a one-tree logging truck at the Nanning creek gates a few weeks ago and sang goddess chants until the police came and forcibly took us down. We successfully stopped business-as-usual for about an hour and a half, but mostly we were honoring and acknowledging the long life of that ancient tree, the loss of habitat for endangered species and the general deforestation that tree represents in a world of rampant environmental destruction. I had come to the demonstration prepared to get arrested. Anne Feeny’s song “have you gone to jail for justice?” was fresh in my mind along with the voices of the brave womyn who inspired me that I heard on the community radio station. They kept us in jail for five days. It was so boring and grey and dull and depressing in there! you have to sit or lie down on your bunk for 4-6 hours a day without talking and you can’t use your blankets to keep warm unless it is after 9:30 p.m. and before 6:00 a.m. Phoenix and I sang songs in the cement courtyard, did yoga and continued practicing our goddess-centered religion as we walked in circles around the big gym-like room they stashed us all in. I had my period and painted a red heart on one of the dingy walls in there. I’m glad I didn’t get caught. in that type of environment, female blood on the wall could be interpreted as an act of bio-terrorism. I’m mostly a city girl, but little by little, the solitude and quiet of the woods is becoming more and more appealing and even necessary to my personal growth and development. Con mucho amor, paz y solidaridad, Teeslay
http://www.wesavetrees.org

10) The first forest projects in California designed specifically to fight global warming were recently announced at the United Nations conference on climate change in Montreal. By registering in the California Climate Action Registry, the Garcia River Forest in Sonoma County and the Van Eck property in Humboldt show a new model for protecting natural resources. The projects will reduce greenhouse gases, restore streams and roads, all while working to produce timber. Perhaps most surprising is that well-known environmental groups, including the Conservation Fund, the Pacific Forest Trust, the Nature Conservancy and the State Coastal Conservancy, will actually manage logging on these lands to save them and better the environment. Why do these respected environmental groups endorse cutting down trees? They see that a quiet revolution going on in our forests. Despite the fact that today’s timber industry is more committed to sustainability and efficiency than ever before, landowners who once supplied mills with timber are being driven out of business by convoluted regulations and skyrocketing real estate prices. And just when forest owners face great obstacles to harvesting, they are confronting unrelenting pressure to sell their land to developers. All of this means that the broad expanses of private forests so critical to California’s water supply, wildlife and sustainable wood production are being chopped up for legions of baby boomers looking to retire and move out of the city. The wild lands we love are morphing into suburbia. To earn a “carbon credit,” forest landowners must show that they remove more carbon from the atmosphere than they would under business as usual. And one key way to earn credits is by committing to keep the land in forest use, instead of converting to asphalt and shopping malls. http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/opinion/13499301.htm

11) Over the past couple of months the Sierra Sun has promoted more active participation by residents of our community in the development, design and planning of our community. Some residents have responded by saying that if the Town of Truckee and the power brokers of our community want it, a thousand residents could fill council chambers and oppose a project and it would still be built. At last Thursday’s council meeting it was most apparent that if certain members of the town staff want a project, the “yes bobble-head dolls” of the town council will approve it. The town’s corporation yard project will be built at the Forest Service site, and any meetings held regarding it will be only a dog-and-pony show. Three government agencies are collaborating on a project that will be called a corporation yard, with a large amount of vehicles and buildings for personnel and vehicle repair facilities. If three local excavating companies were to try and developed a sight there, it would be called an industrial site and they would be turned down. The other issue with this site is the Forest Service. At the council meeting I spoke about the large number of trees marked for removal. I guessed about 80 percent were marked. The Forest Service is not doing forest management of this site. It was treeless 120 years ago, Mother Nature has done an awesome job of reforesting and management, the Forest Service is using the tree removal to finance their project – not forest management. We do not need such a large number of trees removed and land paved over so the town corporation yard can be centrally located. Bryan E. DeVoe, Truckee http://www.sierrasun.com/article/20051227/Opinion/112270002/-1/OPINION

Montana:

12) “They’re saying (the Lincoln parcel) is prime habitat for grizzlies, lynx and bull trout,” Corn said. “How are they going to do any logging on it if they’re managing it for endangered species? Don’t say you’re going to use it for timber sales, then turn around and tell us it’s for endangered species.” At issue is a plan where the state of Montana would give up 800 acres near Sula to the J.R. Miller ranches in exchange for 1,458 acres near Lincoln. Miller is buying the Lincoln land from the Nature Conservancy so he can trade it to the state. The Department of Natural Resources and Conservation urged the five-member Land Board, headed by Gov. Brian Schweitzer, to approve the exchange a few days before Christmas. But Schweitzer and fellow board members John Morrison, the state auditor, and Secretary of State Brad Johnson delayed the decision after hearing protests from the Bitterroot group. We should be getting more land set aside down here, not losing it.” State Sens. Jim Shockley and Rick Laible, both Republicans representing the Bitterroot Valley, assailed the land swap that originally put the value of the Sula land at $1,331 an acre. “I took one look at it and said, ‘It’s got to be worth at least $5,000,’ ” Shockley said. With a new appraisal of about $4,300, Laible said the state would be losing between $357,000 and $1.1 million on the deal, in violation of Montana statutes that say state land may be exchanged only if the land being acquired “is of equal or greater value.” “I say we borrow from Fish, Wildlife and Parks, buy the land at Lincoln, leave the Sula land alone so it remains in the public domain, and pay Habitat Montana back when these deals go through. I think the governor will be receptive to it. He doesn’t like to see public lands broken up either.” http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2005/12/28/news/mtregional/news03.txt

Colorado:

13) DELTA – It had all the makings of good old-fashioned American-style democracy: supporters bused in from far away, a meeting room packed beyond capacity with citizens ready to speak their minds, and – in a move that carried a faint whiff of the days of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall – a free barbecue. But it didn’t quite come together. “The barbecue guy crapped out on us,” says Brian Hawthorne. “We had to go get Kentucky Fried Chicken.” Hawthorne, who works for the Pocatello, Idaho-based BlueRibbon Coalition, was in Delta on Nov. 2 to rally Coloradans to fight for motorized-vehicle access in national forests. Local conservation groups had their own tactics for turning out people who want roadless areas protected: The Western Colorado Congress organized carpools and bused supporters from surrounding towns. It was all part of the latest chapter in a more than 30-year-old debate about how to protect the nation’s roadless national forest lands http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20051228/NEWS/112280041

Wisconsin:

14) FAIRFIELD — One by one they were cut down, stripped of their branches and chopped into pieces on the forest floor — white and red pines painstakingly planted by legendary conservationist Aldo Leopold and his family some 60 years ago. And all the while, Aldo Leopold Foundation ecologist Steve Swenson and other nature-lovers stood by with smiles, watching with approval. Workers will remove about 225 white pine, 225 red pine, 50 oaks and aspens near the shack, and another 500 hardwoods east of the shack where the center will sit. The lumber will be used to build the Aldo Leopold Legacy Center, designed as an educational and interpretive center with displays, information and archive storage. Groundbreaking is scheduled for March. Pulp from smaller scraps will be used to make copies of “A Sand County Almanac,” Leopold’s seminal work published in 1949, the year after he died fighting a grass fire on his Levee Road property. Leopold and his family started planting trees in 1936, eventually placing about 40,000 in the area. “There were certain sections of pines where trees have grown very tall and spindly because they have been competing with each other,” Swenson said. “They get very tall, just go straight up, pencil-thin, and they become susceptible to wind flow or stressors that would not affect a healthy tree.” He said the bottom line for foundation workers is to make sure that the healthiest trees are given the best chance to survive and thrive. “What is fun to think about is the timelessness of the land ethic message, and how can we take down a tree and make it timeless,” Swenson said. “And putting it in a building where it’s going to have a roof over it, and literally hold the roof over his message of land ethic, is a wonderful image.” http://www.wiscnews.com/pdr/news/index.php?ntid=66633

Ohio:

15) DAYTON – A group of private investors has purchased for an undisclosed sum 150,000 acres of Ohio forest land that’s been for sale with the reorganization of the former MeadWestvaco paper group. Dayton-based Escanaba Timber on Wednesday said it sold the acreage on Dec. 16. The buyer is Scioto Land Company, represented by Robert G. Chambers, a timber manager who also works for Kentucky-based Tolleson-Knox Land Management Company. The deal makes Scioto the largest private owner of timber land in Ohio. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources wants to speak soon with Chambers on its desire to acquire a special tract now in Scioto’s holdings — the 16,000-acre Raccoon Ecological Management Area, a place of widely recognized federal research on oak growth that was once a state forest. It is strategically located in Vinton County near Zaleski State Forest. It could be the state’s biggest land buy in a generation or more. Combining the Raccoon tract with Zaleski would create an area of more than 40,000 acres. http://www.daytondailynews.com/localnews/content/localnews/daily/1230forestsale.html

Delaware:

16) Amid the million-dollar beach homes, Rehoboth has pockets of maritime forests. The residential streets are shaded with trees and the lots are, too. “No other town in this region has anything close to that,” said Kyle Gulbronson, project manager with the city’s land planning consultant, URS Corp. But in a world of rising real estate prices, tear-downs of cozy beach cottages and redevelopment on 5,000-square-foot building lots, the trees are often the first things to go. City officials, worried the loss of trees is yet another chink in what makes Rehoboth unique, are proposing a new ordinance aimed at saving the big trees. The ordinance would require permits if landowners want to remove new trees when old ones are removed. http://www.delawareonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051230/NEWS/512300330/-1/NEWS01

Maine:

17) The Nature Conservancy said this week that it paid $2.2 million to preserve nearly 10,000 acres of forestland in Hancock County, Maine, capping a busy year for groups working to conserve open spaces around the state. The land, called the Spring River block, sits next to state-owned conservation property northeast of Ellsworth and includes land along two rivers that are considered critical habitat for endangered Atlantic salmon. “Sprawl never takes a day off,” Kidman said. But Mainers continue to support preservation, too, he said. “There are people who really want to see a conservation balance continue in the state.” The Nature Conservancy finalized numerous smaller deals throughout the state this year, he said, including a 1,400-acre conservation easement on Pleasant Mountain in Bridgton and four smaller pieces of conservation land in the Mount Agamenticus region of York. One of the largest conservation projects ever in Maine — and the nation — took a major step forward earlier this year when the Downeast Lakes Forestry Partnership closed on deals to conserve about 330,000 acres in Washington County. Conservation groups are still raising money to finance that deal. Another high-profile deal was announced in October, when a logging company agreed to a land swap that would preserve more than 10,000 acres of remote forestland east of Baxter State Park. The Maine Coast Heritage Trust announced this week that it expects to complete nearly 30 land conservation projects in 2005, including the protection of 10 coastal islands. http://enn.com/today.html?id=9569

New York:

18) Just before he died, Calvert Vaux, in 1894, laid out plans for another New York masterpiece, the 250 acre Botanical Garden in the Bronx. During the holidays it is jam-packed with families winding through the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, past the humid rain forest and the menacing desert plants, to see the annual toy train show, with its miniature city landmarks made out of mushrooms, roots, leaves, bark, pine cones and other unlikely vegetative materials. Call the garden a museum of plants. More than one million of them. The New York Botanical Garden is a little like the Louvre in that it is a museum housed within a historic site that had had another purpose. This was once farmland. It was chosen by the city in the 1890’s for its graceful hills and glacial landscape, with a 1790’s manmade waterfall, an old mill, rocky outcroppings and uncut native forest, the freshwater Bronx River flowing through the middle of it. We drove a few hundred yards upriver to the Hester Bridge, a stone, camelback span perched high above the water, and peered down at the rocky gorge. The native forest on the far side, 50 acres of it, is the largest surviving tract in the city, with an ancient hemlock grove that is one of the glories of the garden. The whole forest, it occurred to me, is a little like the antiquity department of a great museum, a time capsule, a fragment of the distant past.
http://www.thedailyjournalonline.com/article.asp?ArticleId=215072&CategoryId=13003

Texas:

19) “We’ve got fires everywhere,” Texas Forest Service spokeswoman Traci Weaver said. “We’re losing homes in Hood County. Wise County has had three today. Cooke County’s got a large one burning.” The governor’s office said 73 fires were burning around the state, mostly in North and Central Texas. One state official said the outbreak was the state’s worst in nearly a decade. Perry ordered the deployment of the Texas Army National Guard and requested assistance from the U.S. Forest Service. One of the largest fires was in Tarrant County in Kennedale along the city’s border with Arlington. Plumes of white smoke rose above the town, flames leapt 40 feet into the air and residents wielded garden hoses to try to save their homes. North Texas was under a National Weather Service “red flag warning,” meaning unusually warm and windy conditions could cause blazes to spread rapidly. The warning was issued because of strong winds, low humidity and extremely dry conditions. The warning was not expected to be in effect Wednesday, but fire officials warned that the dry conditions likely will continue for the next 30 days. Despite the repeated burn warnings, people are still being careless, Weaver said. “They think, `I’ve burned my trash for years; it won’t get away from me,'” she said. “They don’t realize how dire the conditions are right now.” http://www.ledger-enquirer.com/mld/ledgerenquirer/news/nation/13496244.htm

Tennessee

20) A stand of white oaks near Dickson that are older than the nation and were briefly destined for the veneer factory have been snatched from the saw blade and could open to the public within a year. “You can almost hear those trees talk,” said John Noel, a businessman and environmentalist instrumental in saving the stand. ” Defenders of the trees say that the value that has drawn interest to the property is bound up not just in the scores of slow-growing oaks but in a cave, sulfur springs nearby and the Bon Aqua area’s history. Investors had bought 35 acres covered with the old trees at auction in September and were in the process of selling the timber when Noel stepped in. “We made a handshake deal in the middle of that forest, and they kept it,” said Noel, who, as a real estate investor himself, could talk the language. Noel is paying about $270,000, calculated by taking the land’s value plus the profit investors would have made from the timber sale. The state hopes to pay him back. The price was about double the standard cost of acreage in the area, but the trees bump up the value considerably, an expert said. Some of the trees are more than 120 feet tall. The sight of them, with their wide canopies and straight trunks, staggered Little when he walked the land with Noel and state officials. “I didn’t think there was any such piece of property in Tennessee, or the Southeast for that matter,” Little said. http://www.rctimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051228/COUNTY03/512280395/1006/MTCN0301

North Carolina:

21) Going to work every day in a place where Air Force fighter planes fly directly above the tree-line at speeds of 600 mph, while dropping bombs only a few hundred yards from your office, takes some getting used to, especially for someone in the forestry profession. “It took me about six months before I could get to where I didn’t spill my coffee every time a plane came flying directly overhead,” said Scott Smith, Air Force installation forester assigned to the Dare County Bombing Range. Part of his professional focus is on Atlantic White Cedar, one of the strongest and rarest trees found on the East Coast, which still can be found growing on the bombing range the adjacent Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge. The bombing range and refuge combined are thought to play host to the largest existing population of the tree in the US. Forestry experts have been patiently working since 1992 to restore the Atlantic White Cedar populations to a healthy state. Despite the historical accounts of over-harvesting, it has been estimated by some scientists that Dare County has the largest population of the rare species of cedars left in the world. Locally, the species is called juniper. Today, due to intense logging, drainage, wildfire and lack of forest management, less than 10,000 acres of juniper remain in North Carolina, with more than half in Dare County, according to a 2002 NC State University study. In North Carolina, which probably had more than half of the original cedar on the East Coast, the greatest population was in the Great Dismal Swamp, with large acreage also in Dare, Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties. Much of the Great Dismal Swamp and the lands along the Alligator River were drained for agriculture beginning in the late 18th century. Currently, the bombing range is working with Gates Custom Milling for logging operations. Juniper is a niche species and in the future it will be imperative that mills try and establish a niche market. Loggers need that incentive to come in and harvest the tree, which in turn pays banks for loans on extremely expensive and complex logging equipment. “There are many factors that fall into play,” said Smith. http://obsentinel.womacknewspapers.com/articles/2005/12/28/features/feats004101.txt

Canada:

22) Crowsnest – It’s amazing how quickly a forest blackened by blistering fires can re-grow. In fact, many parts of the forest hit by the Lost Creek Fire, which torched large areas of land throughout August of 2003, are bursting with new growth. The areas originally covered in mature pine stands are regenerating quickly with seedlings thickly blanketing the forest floor. Even some parts of the slower to recover spruce areas have produced new seedlings. Tim Juhlin, the forest management planner of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development estimates that “pine trees will be one to three metres within the next 10 years… you won’t be able to tell it was a burnt area”. Juhlin says he believes that the next stages of re-growth will provide a perfect habitat for game, especially bears. The younger trees will allow more space and sunlight for berries and other underbrush to grow, this will make it much more hospitable to animals than the thick, mature trees present before the fire. It is expected to take another 80 years before the forest reaches the mature, harvestable stage that it was before. http://www.crowsnestpasspromoter.com/story.php?id=204476

23) The Boreal Forest Region: North America’s Bird Nursery, shows that nearly 50% of all bird species in the US and Canada rely on the Boreal Forest Region for survival. The report finds that the Boreal Forest Region is more important to landbirds, shorebirds, waterbirds and waterfowl than anyone had previously realized… “I don’t know if I can do this,” said a tense voice from the back of the plane. It was a small plane—a Cessna 207 for those who know something about such things—with just enough room for the five of us plus the pilot. As the plane made a wide arc and began to descend toward the island, the pilot turned toward us again. “When we get down low it may get a little bumpy and it may look as if I am trying to commit suicide by running us into a barn,” he said. “The barn is right in front of the runway so we have to go over it to land. Don’t worry.” We were on the ground in no time with nary a scream from any of us. We did see some birds. Forty-eight species to be exact. Forty-four of those were Boreal birds including 26 that have at least 25% of their breeding population in the Boreal. http://www.borealbirds.org/

Italy:

24) The Forestry Corps, engaged in a systematic census of Italian trees and woodland since 1982, has now published a book of photos featuring some of the country’s most memorable examples . In total, the forest guards have examined and recorded 22,000 trees across the country, singling out 1,235 as being of “particular environmental and cultural interest” The biggest tree is the “Chestnut of the 20 Horses” in the Sicilian province of Catania, which has a 20-metre circumference trunk . There are two contestants for the label of tallest tree, both clocking in at 50 metres high: a yellow poplar or tulip-tree, growing in the Park of Besana, near Milan, and an evergreen sequoia in the northern province of Vincenza . Italy’s oldest example is an olive tree in Luras on the island of Sardinia. It has taken over 2,000 years to grow to its current size, with a 15-metre high trunk spanning 11.8 metres in circumference. On average, there are 100,000 more hectares of forest in Italy every year, said the FAO report, which looked at the period from 1990 to 2005. In total, around a third of Italian land is now covered by forest, amounting to nearly 10 million hectares. The boom in forest land is mainly the result of deep-seated changes in Italian society, which continues to shift from agrarian patterns to an industrial model, according to Mariano . “The abandonment of farmland has meant these areas gradually revert to trees,” he said . But he also attributed the development to a growing awareness of the importance of trees, resulting in conscious reforestation policies http://ansa.it/main/notizie/awnplus/english/news/2005-12-30_2242283.html

Israel:

25) The UN has declared 2006 the “International Year of Deserts and Desertification”. The 700 dunam Ambassadors Forest will therefore be planted in the Negev. The Ambassadors Forest will be planted in a green zone that the Jewish National Fund is developing around the city of Beer Sheva. The scarce water resources in the area will be harnessed by a unique approach, enabling the planting of diverse trees, including acacia, carob and date trees in the semi-arid region. Ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions from Europe, America, Asia and Africa serving in Israel will attend the inauguration ceremony, and will plant trees at the site. They will also participate in a tour of the western Negev, visiting the communities of Nitzan and Mavki’im, and they will meet with former residents of Gush Katif. http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/About+the+Ministry/MFA+Spokesman/2005/Inauguration+of+Ambassadors+Forest+in+the+N
egev+28-Dec-2005.htm

Swaziland:

26) A publication by the Swazi review of commerce and industry states that Swaziland has a clear advantage in wood and its products, with ideal soil and climatic conditions contributing to a faster growth rate for trees than in most parts of the world. Comparatively It further reads that the comparatively short time for growing wood places Swaziland among the lowest cost locations for pulp and timber production in the world. “The subsector has exeptional potential for expansion during the longer term. About 45 percent of the country’s land is covered with trees, with indigenous trees covering about 80 percent of this area, with the remainder consisting of planted forests,” partly explains the report. The report further suggests that the two main areas of timber production in the country, which are the Great Usuthu Forest and the region around Pigg’s Peak, are one of the largest in the world. http://www.observer.org.sz/main.asp?id=16027&Section=business

India:

27) A blind man has turned a five-kilometre stretch of barren land near his home in Orissa into lush greenery during the last 12 years. Sounds amazing but it’s true. Srinibas Jena of Bhagipur village in the coastal district of Cuttack, in eastern India, did not use any magical prowess to achieve the feat. Jena lost his eyesight when he was only five years of age. One day, he heard on radio a programme on the importance of forests and healthy environment. “The programme spoke of how one could be self-reliant by planting trees. That is how the mission started,” said Jena. “Initially, I planted a few cashew nut trees but now there are mango, guava and other fruit bearing trees as well,” Jena told IANS. The man, who walks with the help of a stick, rarely makes a mistake while identifying the trees. Bhagipur is home to about 1,500 people of different castes. Jena has become a celebrity among villagers with his tree plantation and conservation drive. His ‘forest territory’ begins from the backyard of his home and ends at a hill in government land. “When Jena lost his vision due to illness, we thought he would be a burden on us and would have to survive by begging. But he proved us wrong. He is better than many people with eyesight,” said Jena’s farmer-uncle Bagirathi. Jena watered the saplings and protected the trees from marauding elephants with the help of his wife Kuni, who married him to help in his mission. “He has the amazing power to predict elephants approaching our plantations,” Kuni said. “Each year, we earn our livelihood selling fruits from these trees. Sometimes we earn Rs.20,000 and sometimes it even goes up to Rs.30,000. Whatever we get we are happy,” she said. http://news.webindia123.com/news/showdetails.asp?id=204317&cat=India

28) Kerala — The Chandigarh Administration has planned to create additional water bodies in the city, which will give a fillip to eco-tourism and wildlife promotion. This was informed by Punjab Governor and Chandigarh Union Territory Administrator General S F Rodrigues while presiding over the first meeting of State Board for Wildlife of Union Territory here yesterday. He said a lake is coming up near Botanical Garden on the Sukhna Choe and a series of other lakes are in the pipeline. The process of preparation of Wildlife Management Plan of Sukhna wildlife Sanctuary and management of other reserved forests under the Union Territory has already been undertaken and the work has been assigned to the Forest Research Institute, Dehradoon. General Rodrigues constituted a Group of Experts for identifying and preserving the heritage-cum-historical trees in the Union Territory. He sought the participation of representatives of Panchayati Raj Institutions for protecting the landscape and the habitat of old trees. ” We should increase our efforts to encourage an active contribution from NGOs and experts, for assisting the local communities in this endeavour, by using traditional knowledge”, he said. The Administrator called for making the wildlife preservation and promotion a mass movement, with increased participation at all levels and emphasized the imperative need to generate awareness among the people, especially children about the role of wildlife. He asked the officers of the Administration to conduct a detailed survey to identify the violations and encroachment on Reserve Forest Areas in the Union Territory. http://www.newkerala.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=75613

29) As per the afforestation clause, the Forest Department is supposed to plant 10 times the number of trees felled. Divisional Forest Officer Mahanvir Singh, while giving details of the proposed felling, said the National Highways Authority had deposited Rs 1,000 each for the trees that were likely to face the axe. More than 25,000 trees along the GT Road face this axe to make way for a four-lane Wagah-Jalandhar road, work on which will start in February. According to official sources, the widening of the road will be undertaken by a private builder. An approval from the Ministry of Environment and Forest was expected shortly. http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20051230/main8.htm

30) With land getting sparse and building activity on the rise in Pondicherry, threat to vegetation has increased than ever before. Though tree cover constitutes a vital economic resource and needs to be managed properly, unfortunately no attention has been given to systematic management of tree resources in the Union Territory till now. Though most of the states have enacted legislations for regulation of tree felling in both private and Government lands, the Pondicherry Government is yet to take any action in this regard. The absence of a legislation to prevent tree felling both on government and private lands has resulted in wanton destruction of trees. Moreover, some of these forestlands had been given for fisheries and agricultural purposes to landless labourers. Moreover, around 103.7 hectares of mangrove swamps had been diverted for prawn farming, the committee has mentioned in its report. Even now, felling of trees continues. Reports that the Government is considering to set up a zoo at the Ousteri premises has led to felling of trees indiscriminately. D Siva, Secretary of Bharatha Rathna MGR Podhunala Samooga Peravai, who brought the matter to the notice of the Department of Forest, said nothing could be done to prevent the people from the wanton act. http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IET20051229221105&Page=T&Title=Southern+News+-+Tamil+Nadu&Topic
=0

Japan:

31) SAGA — A forest with about 3,500 trees is being moved a distance of about 30 kilometers from the site of a planned dam in Saga Prefecture, southwestern Japan, a governmental body in charge of the project said Wednesday. The ground surface of the 3,000-square-meter forest has been divided into about 550 sections of clod. The sections are being scooped up and moved by truck, to be rearranged like a jigsaw puzzle. The forest is located at the site of the planned Kasegawa dam in the city of Saga, and is being moved to the ancient forest zone of the Yoshinogari Historical Park in Mitagawa, Saga. http://www.crisscross.com/jp/news/359845

Philippines:

32) IILLEGAL poachers and the slash and burn farmers (kaingineros) are to be blamed for the serious flooding that swept, at least, six villages in the east coast during the heavy downpour last Friday night. Isabelo Mangayaay, officer-in-charge of the Office of the Regional Technical Director for Forestry, under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), yesterday reacted, stating that as far as their office is concerned, illegal logging has long been banned and that what caused the denudation of trees in the area is the clandestine activities of hard-core poachers who “continuously rape the remaining forests” in the city’s east coast. Mangayaay, however, assured that the 18,000-hectare Pasonanca watershed, where the water source of the city originates, is well protected and remains untouched by these unscrupulous timber cutters. The whole forest cover that extends from West to East of the city has a huge expanse of 30,000 to 35,000 hectares, which, he admitted, is difficult to thoroughly secure due to lack of manpower, albeit the protection support from the barangays. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/zam/2005/12/29/news/environment.agency.blames.slash.burn.farmers.for.wors
ening.flashfloods.html

33) The Task Force Ilahas of Negros Occidental has been conferred an award by Department of Environment and Natural Resources as “2005 Environmental Champion” in the public sector category. DENR regional executive director Julian Amador cited the Task Force Ilahas for its valuable support in the preservation of the remaining forest resources of Negros Occidental. The TFI chaired by Governor Joseph Marañon, with Chief Inspector William Senoron as action officer, was reactivated in 2001 to help the anti-illegal logging campaign of the provincial government. Amador said the exceptional and laudable accomplishments of the TFI in the forest protection campaign has significantly reduced illegally-cut and transport of forest products in Negros Occidental. Among the noteworthy accomplishments of Task Force Ilahas was stopping the massive forest destruction within the Northern Negros Forest Reserve Area in 2002. The TFI enforcement unit headed by Señoron is composed of 12 policemen assigned at Camp Alfredo Montelibano Sr. in Bacolod City.*GPB http://www.visayandailystar.com/2005/December/29/topstory6.htm

Malaysia:

34) A healthy sandalwood tree does not produce gaharu, which requires inoculation with a certain micro-organism. It will then take another four to six years for the resins to develop. Some collectors cut trees in the wild hoping to find the resins, giving no chance for the mature tree to propagate and endangering its existence in the forest. “There simply isn’t enough time for the trees to propagate in the wild, and their scarcity only results in stronger demand and higher prices,” Na’aman said. The state Forestry Department has begun planting the tree, Aquilaria malaccensis, commonly known as sandalwood or gaharu, on a trial basis at its station in Merchang. A sandalwood tree measuring 60cm in diameter can fetch at least RM14,000. “The trees can be logged after the sixth year,” Na’aman said. “We have found a technique where all the trees can be used instead of just the heartwood or gaharu. Multiply this by 40,000 trees on a 44-hectare plot of land, and the income from the harvest in six to 10 years would be a staggering RM560 million. “The trees will be grounded to extract its resins, which will be processed for the perfume trade.” “The sandalwood tree is more precious than gold,” state Forestry director Na’aman Jaafar told the New Straits Times. “This is a new source of wealth for the State.” http://www.google.com/search?q=Hannah%27s+olympia&sourceid=mozilla-search&start=0&start=0&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-
8&client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official

Indonesia:

35) State Minister of the Environment Rachmat Witoelar told reporters here early this week that the prevalence of illegal Logging in Singkil has nothing to do with the process of reconstruction in Aceh as the illegal logs were sent out of the province, and investigation into the case is currently underway. The need of wood for reconstruction in the province, which was devastated by the huge tsunami on December 26, 2004, is fulfilled with wood sent by international donors as well as wood seized from illegal loggers outside Aceh, he explained. There are many ways to provide wood for reconstruction activities in Aceh without inciting forest exploitation, the minister pointed out. The Indonesian Forum of the Environment (Walhi) stated, previously, that illegal logging is still rife in Southeast Aceh and Singkil regencies, though the police have put a number of suspects under arrest and closed several woodworking units that received wood supply from illegal loggers. According to Walhi Executive Director Chalid Muhamad, those masterminding illegal logging have commanded the crime under the pretext of providing wood for reconstruction purposes, whereas in fact they have sent the logs out of Aceh.
http://www.antara.co.id/en/seenws/?id=7888

Australia:

36) Opponents of plans for a billion-dollar pulp mill in northern Tasmania have questioned the timing of the release of final guidelines for the project’s impact statement. Almost 90 submissions were considered by the Resource Planning and Development Commission (RPDC). The final guidelines outline the information that Gunns must provide about the mill’s environmental, health and economic impact at Longreach. The RPDC also wants Gunns to include a map of towns such as Launceston and Deloraine within a 55-kilometre radius of the proposed site. The company must measure air quality within a 12 kilometre radius of the mill and explain how it will source timber after 2017, if the Regional Forest Agreement (RFA) is not renewed. Forestry analyst Robert Eastment says the process has been thorough. “Those people who have been against it, there has been a process to enable them to have a comment,” he said. But Greens leader Peg Putt says the guidelines have been released when everyone is on holiday. “Anybody in the community wanting to appeal this final guidelines, will be severely disadvantaged,” she said. Gunns is expected to complete its impact statement within weeks. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200512/s1539558.htm

37) TASMANIAN tree farmer Forest Enterprises Australia plans to build a new $25 million state-of-the art sawmill and wood-fibre plant west of Ipswich to process its expanding eucalypt plantations in Queensland and northern NSW. FEA intends to increase hardwood plantations near Kingaroy from 2500ha to up to 15,000ha within five years and is targeting a similar operation over the border. CEO Andrew White said the company’s existing Queensland plantations were already five years old and would be ready for thinning in another four, necessitating investment in infrastructure and further plantings now to develop a sustainable business. “I think a reasonable size sawmill will involve an investment of $20-25 million and we’ve got that now in Tasmania and we’ve been inviting people from DPI Queensland to come down . . . so they can get a visual representation of what can be achieved,” he said. http://www.thecouriermail.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,17694533%255E3122,00.html

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