075OEC’s This Week in Trees

This week we have 32 items from British Columbia, Oregon, California, Texas, Illinois, Virginia, New Hampshire, Tennessee, USA, Germany, Finland, Turkmenistan, Portugal, Armenia, Zimbabwe, Ghana, Brazil, India, China, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia.

British Columbia:

1) There is a happy irony in naming this throughway the One-Spot Trail. The old One-Spot, a wood-burning locomotive, once pulled millions of dollars of timber out of this region. That was yesterday’s version of “rural economic development.” Today, the railway grade offers another type. The irony deepens. The undeveloped part of the trail, as a relatively “protected” strip of land running through the heart of one of the world’s great forest ecosystems, is today–in places–one of the few places within walking distance of Courtenay where it’s possible to go for a long walk in a big Douglas fir forest.We are slow on the uptake hereabouts. Maybe it’s living in the lap of so much natural wealth. It’s a commonplace, but three generations ago many people still believed that we’d never run out of first- growth forest. The wealth of timber seemed inexhaustible, and the wealth of work in the woods seemed unending. Now, relatively few people appreciate just how valuable our second-growth forests are becoming. Not in terms of timber, but as places where locals and tourists can get a sense of the former abundance of this place. It’s an aesthetic-spiritual experience, one that more and more people are valuing, as tourists, and as residents.Living with so much natural wealth, it’s easy to take it for granted. Even to downplay what we have as “only second growth,” a pale shadow of the much vaunted “ancient forest.” For many around the world our wealth is plain to see: clean air and water, great swaths of unpaved and undeveloped lands, an amazingly resilient forest, a hospitable and temperate climate. Even our still relatively small settlements have some charm left to them (though our land use planning and development practices are an example of how little we regard the qualities of “charm” or “aesthetic” experience when it comes to built forms, housing). People who visit want to come back. And they want to deepen their experience of the things we take for granted. Like a walk in the woods. http://cascadiascorecard.typepad.com/blog/2006/03/editors_note_gu.html

2) So, your question is whether I am opposed to log exports, and my answer is that I am opposed to value-subtraction! I am furious that value subtraction is made profitable in BC. I am angry that we force old growth forests to subsidize the BC forest value subtraction industry. In the past, I worked to bring japanese sawmills to BC to produce domestically the products that the japanese sawmills made in japan. The forest industry was threatened by the example of these value added sawmills and has starved them to death or bought them out and shut them down. Ever progressive example we have created of more effective social & environmental & respectful forest policy has been destroyed by the great powers of the forest industry who are not prepared to make the investments or take the risks unless they are massively subsidized by the government. Very similar to the GBR deal, when examples of value-added occur in BC, it happens only because they are being massively subsidized to create the short term PR appearance of examples of value added or sustainable forestry. Any large corporate forestry examples of value-added or EBM forestry are just potemkin villages, facades behind which the continuing waste and destruction of our forests is hidden from the sleep walking public. – Michael Michael Major [mbmajor@telus.net]

3) I thought you should know, if you don’t know already, about recent happenings in Port Alberni. I grew up there and trust me, to see loggers and environmentalists protesting logging in the Valley all together, cooperating in one place, is something I never thought I would see. Hell, I never thought I would see environmentalists in Port Alberni, period…at least not ones with a very long shelf life. I think this event can provide an example for other small communities throughout BC that are being undermined by outside multi-national resource extraction that is shutting down mills locally and shipping logs out, keeping the cash, and expecting the community to pay for the cleanup. On Tuesday (March 7, 2006) closer to 200 people began a protest and logging truck blockade on the Hump outside of Port Alberni. Loggers, human rights activists, watershed protectors, environmentalists and labour people united under the slogan “A healthy forest is a healthy watershed”. To say the least, this was a watershed event in Port Alberni. With so many different stakeholders, the protest stands to gain some great momentum. Great timing too as it is World Water Day on March 22nd. (Background Note: There have been several “boil water notices” in the valley recently connected to poor logging practices in the Beaufort Range & residents are also concerned by the fact that none of the dollars from the logs being removed are returning to the Valley). From: Cedar Morton


4) Seventeen percent of Oregon’s forestland is owned by an estimated 50,000 individuals, families, small private companies, communities, and other non-industrial owners. Out of this 17%, about 4.4 million acres, is broken up into 157,400 tracts. Non-industrial private forestlands contain a wide range of biologic, social, and economic diversity. The communities interspersed among these forestlands depend on this diversity to sustain their livelihood and lifestyle. Portions of the community rely on the land for their incomes, through primary and secondary wood product manufacture. Other portions of the community rely on the forested landscape to enhance their emotional well-being. The entire community needs a healthy watershed, of which the forests are a vital component. Many other benefits accrue to the community from a well-managed, healthy forest landscape of which private forestlands are often a major component. Sustainable management of these lands depends on a long-term, interdependent, and equitable relationship between the private landowners and the general community. Community forestry is not necessarily an approach that will work everywhere – it requires a good “soil” – community and private forestland owners who see that their mutual interests can be achieved through cooperation – in order for to flourish. Building this “soil” may take years of building relationships. A “seed” – a catalyst that will initiate the growth of interest in a cooperative, such as a economic, social, or environmental event or situation, may be needed to start the growth of a cooperative. The declining timber industry in the state, tax law changes, increased regulatory pressure, greater competition from foreign sources, and other situations are leading private forestland owners to seek greater cooperation among themselves, and with their surrounding communities. Market competitiveness, as well as a desire among landowners to achieve recognition for their good stewardship, is causing increased interest in some form of sustainability certification for their forestlands. Certification offers an opportunity to demonstrate both good land stewardship, and interest in maintaining private land values for public good, in the community. http://www.sustainableoregon.net/forestry/comm_stewardship.cfm

5) Environmental and Animal Rights activists say the true ecoterrorists are the corporations that are destroying the Earth with global warming, logging and other “atrocities,” and who are unnecessarily torturing thousands of animals for profit. Of course, the Bush administration has a different definition, but even it’s not consistent. The State Department terrorism definition focuses on violence against people, but the very broad FBI definition of domestic terrorism includes any politically motivated crime, including property sabotage. Even protest acts as small as clogging a toilet or graffiti are included in the FBI’s lists of domestic terrorism incidents by animal rights and environmental groups. The FBI describes such political property damage as “violent.” That contradicts the rules in the FBI’s national Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) system. In the UCR, the leading source of U.S. crime statistics, the FBI defines “violent crime” as murder, rape, robbery and assault. While law enforcement has focused on property destruction by environmental and animal rights activists, it has largely ignored a long list of alleged violent crimes by anti-environmentalists. Ignored anti-environmental crimes include: a car bomb directed at protesters against redwood logging that seriously injured two activists in 1990; Eugene police dousing non-violent tree sitters with pepper spray, and northern California deputies using Q-tips to apply the burning spray directly to protesters’ eyes in 1997; a logger who allegedly intentionally fell a tree on a forest protester, killing him in 1998; and complaints by tree-sitters last year that they had been shot at with bullets and a hunting arrow in the McKenzie River headwaters. Anti-environmentalists have also largely gotten away with targeting government workers with violence. Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility documented a three-year string of serious incidents from 1995 to 1998 including: an anti-government landowner who ran over a park service ranger in Arizona; shootings and attacks against Vermont National Parks Service Employees; the beating of an EPA employee in Missouri by suspected pro-mining activists; a car bomb that seriously injured a federal mine inspector and his wife in California; and a Forest Service Ranger beaten by cattle ranchers. These violent incidents don’t include the many incidents of property destruction anti environmental groups have also engaged in without facing prosecution or labeling as terrorists. http://eugeneweekly.com/2006/03/09/coverstory.html

6) Public opposition to the Biscuit Timber Sales has circled over a year, and a commemoration of the late Joan Norman’s civil disobedience and leadership is being celebrated with a three-day walk from the Green Bridge over the Illinois River to Federal agency offices in Grant’s Pass. Dawn broke upon the Green Bridge and revealed several inches of snow the fell during the night, with a mist that obscured the nearby mountains. We had camped there the night before in honor of Joan Norman, who was a dynamic keystone in the popular protests of the Biscuit timber sales last spring. She died last summer in a tragic car wreck, and some of us felt it was important to celebrate the last and greatest stand she took in a long life of principled social and ecological activism. Geese honked and flew past in small groups over the Illinois River before us, while we warmed ourselves in front of a huge radiant fire that had burned since afternoon of the previous day. We were preparing to begin a long walk to Grant’s Pass. Joan’s work is not done, and neither is ours. The Josephine County Sheriff’s Department is still aggressively prosecuting dozens of activists and community members, while 5 different BLM timber sales are forcing their way into the backyards of every community within this narrow Illinois Valley. While concerned citizens are dealing with threats close to home, two new Biscuit sales are about to be auctioned for logging, this time in Inventoried Roadless Areas, and surely at a financial loss, as all the other sales have been. http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2006/03/335677.shtml


7) If a tree falls in San Francisco, one way or another Mike Sullivan will hear about it. And don’t let the fancy business suit fool you. Because while the short-haired and clean-shaven Sullivan spends much of the workday as a venture capitalist and Financial District lawyer, he also happens to be the biggest tree hugger in town. Proving that you don’t need an acoustic guitar or bad poetry to express a love of our coniferous compadres, Sullivan instead wrote a book about them. Called “The Trees of San Francisco,” it’s a 160-page encyclopedia and tour guide on the urban forest that is our city. “I’m from upstate New York, where trees are, well … they’re kind of dull,” says Sullivan, 46. “They all have nice green leaves that all fall during the winter. But here in San Francisco, the trees have so many different shapes, sizes and smells — like the Victorian box, which has a blossom scent so strong you can smell it from a block away.” Don’t bother trying to stump the tree guy. On a recent tour through Cole Valley, Sullivan passed a pop quiz with a perfect score — pointing out 10 trees from as many countries on just two blocks of 17th Street. There’s the Canary Island palm, the Brazilian pepper tree and the loquat from China. Like so many immigrant citizens of the city, they come from all corners of the earth looking to establish roots in San Francisco. And the truth is that it’s a tough town for trees. “To be a successful street tree in San Francisco, you have to be unusually adaptable and self-selecting,” says Sullivan Sullivan’s “Only in San Francisco” tree award goes to a gigantic Monterey cypress that was nearly destroyed in a 1997 storm. Just outside 1401 Shrader St., the former home of socialite Pat Montandon, is the leftover trunk of the tree, which Montandon commissioned to be sculptured into a nearly 10-foot-tall angel. “Urban legend has it,” Sullivan says, “that the sculptor was nearly fired when Montandon noticed that the angel’s face was strikingly similar to that of his girlfriend.” Up above both his favorite trees, atop Tank Hill near Cole Valley, Sullivan smiles as he surveys the landscape. He examines it like a family tree of trees. “See that tree over there,” he says pointing to a red flowering gum tree as if he and the tree have a lot in common. “It’s a native of Perth, Australia, and it loves coastal cool and windy weather. That tree right there loves San Francisco.” http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2006/03/12/PKG0FHK4OD1.DTL

8) Famed photographer Julius Shulman looks out from his Hollywood Hills studio and doesn’t see a Los Angeles planted with palms, but a city cloaked in coast redwoods, the world’s tallest trees. “We can do it,” Shulman, 95, titan of Modernist architectural photogs, told a delegation from the Save-the-Redwoods League, who’d come down from San Francisco to hear his sequoia-size scheme. “All we need is enough water. The seeds for Shulman’s plan: His own coast redwood grotto, which he planted 47 years ago behind his glass-sided house, one of the first to sport the sleek Modern style. Generations of Angelenos have also looked up to redwoods in such locations as Griffith Park, along Cedros Avenue in Van Nuys and at Canoga Park High School, once home to the largest redwood forest in Los Angeles. “There’s no other tree like it,” said Shulman, who first encountered the majestic trees on a trip with his late wife more than 75 years ago to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. “I stood in awe of those beautiful trees.” Today, his excitement hasn’t diminished. Each morning, the man known for publicizing the bold designs of such architects as Pierre Koenig and Richard Neutra awakens to the sight of sunlight filtering through at least one of seven redwoods towering as high as 85 feet outside. Members working to preserve 2 million acres of redwood forests from Big Sur to Oregon were impressed with Shulman’s grove – and enchanted by the notion of a thirsty Los Angeles transformed by equally thirsty redwoods. Some arborists, however, say that planting redwoods in Los Angeles is like putting an elephant on your patio – there’s just not enough room. Not enough water. And not enough humidity. In Los Angeles, the stately trees never achieve their heavenly heights. Perhaps the forestry teacher at Canoga Park High School wasn’t aware of that in 1936, when he planted a grove of 58 redwoods north of Breniman Field. Today, most of what was known as Senior Grove – reported to be the largest grove of redwoods in Southern California – has been cut down to make way for the Los Angeles River channel. But 17 somewhat frowsy specimens planted by E. Yale Waterman still stand, providing a popular gathering spot for Canoga Park High alumni. A dozen more redwoods fill the school’s quad. http://dailynews.com/ci_3595997


9) The White Rock Hills area has formed an erosion control effort that includes the Casa Linda Forest Neighborhood Association, Claremont Addition Neighborhood Association and Lakeland Hills. Four streams flow through the neighborhoods before spilling into White Rock Lake. Steve Parker, program manager of the flood plain management section in Dallas Public Works, keeps a list of the most affected homes and sections of streams in Dallas. About 100 high-priority erosion projects are on the list. “There is erosion on almost all of the creeks in Dallas,” he said. Erosion is natural, but urbanization increases its speed. “All the concrete washes storm water into streams at a higher velocity, and that eats the banks Other factors that accelerate erosion include a lack of vegetation around creek banks and high winds that carry dirt away or break it off so that it falls into creeks. Among tactics to slow erosion, Eastwood volunteers have staked more than 100 old Christmas trees along the worst sections of the banks. Before long those trees turn brown and meld into the creek bank, adding support. Residents regularly plant native blue stem and Indian grasses as well as trees such as oaks, cherry laurels, pecans and Shumard oaks. The group has planted 250 trees and seeded 4 acres with native grasses and wildflowers. They have also talked the city into not mowing near the creek banks so that tall grasses and plants could slow rainwater. Ginger Travis, who has lived along the creek for four decades, pointed at a massive oak tree that had fallen into the creek as she watered new saplings. “Those poor trees are hanging on by their teeth,” she said. “This won’t be solved in our lifetime, but we have to do something.” The White Rock Hills group is trying to have money placed in the city’s billion-dollar bond proposal to pay for creek erosion control. Pam Egert, chairwoman of the White Rock Hills effort, has a personal stake in the matter. Her house sits 11 feet from an 18-foot drop into a creek bed. “We have many homes on the creeks in danger because of erosion from the development upstream,” she said. http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/031306dnmetcreeks.7c9a679.html


10) PEORIA — Mike Miller hikes miles every week, always peering into the canopy of mature trees in the nature preserves and river bluffs around Peoria. He’s searching for the characteristic signs of a nest of an American bald eagle, not seen in this county in 100 years. “I’ve been looking for years and years,” said the chief naturalist at Forest Park Nature Center. “Really, I’ve been looking my whole life.” Few birds convey the majesty of the American bald eagle, iconic symbol of American democracy, strength and endurance. The birds were virtually driven out of Illinois and much of the United States by environmental degradation. But during the past decade, nesting pairs of eagles have been sighted in counties throughout Illinois, but not in Peoria County. Then, in January, a bald eagle was sighted flying north of the McClugage Bridge along the river bluff with a 2 1/2-foot branch in its talons. Searching in roughly a two-mile radius of that sighting, the nest was located in a red oak tree in an inaccessible spot along Upper Peoria Lake. “By my guess, it could be 100 years since we had a nest constructed in the county,” Miller said. He alerted the Peoria Park District and utility companies to stay clear of the area, and he is cautious during his weekly checks of the nest. Over the past weeks of observa-tion, Miller concluded the pair probably nested together before. Bald eagles remain with one mate for life. “This pair is comfortable together. They seem like they know each other. They may have built a nest someplace else before and have ended up here,” Miller said. “This is a good, tight nest with a lot of bent sticks to hold together. The nests of young eagles tend to have old willow sticks and straight twigs. This pair knows how to look for good material.” http://www.pjstar.com/stories/031306/TRI_B97T9EOC.045.shtml


11) CHESAPEAKE – The Navy is planning to cut down and sell as timber 293 acres of mature forest within its Northwest Annex in Chesapeake, mostly because the trees have grown so tall and dense that they interfere with a strategic radar system on the base. The annex, an isolated facility near the Great Dismal Swamp and the Virginia-North Carolina line, is home to the Relocatable Over-The -Horizon Radar receiver, which warns of surface and air threats at an extended range. The system runs mostly along the ground. Because surrounding woodlands have not been thinned since the 1970s , trees are “degrading the efficiency of the antennae” by blocking incoming signals, said Charles Wilson , the Navy’s regional forester overseeing the proposed timber harvest. The Navy is conducting an environmental assessment of the project, which would take down a mixture of mature loblolly pines, bald cypresses, yellow poplars, white oaks, red oaks and sweet gums, and sell them to the highest bidder. The project also might require the Navy to relocate a number of canebrake rattlesnakes , a protected species in Virginia. Researchers from Old Dominion University have installed radio transmitters in certain rattlesnakes as part of a study of their behavior within the Navy’s Chesapeake annex. The Navy expects to make about $250,000 , a portion of which will help pay for experts such as Wilson to manage other military-owned forests and timberlands in Hampton Roads. Within the region, the Navy oversees 13,300 acres of forests, worth about $17 million in timber. The service last cut trees for money in 2004 , at the Navy’s Auxiliary Landing Field at Fentress, also in Chesapeake. It conducted a salvage harvest at Yorktown Naval Weapons Station after Hurricane Isabel felled whole swaths of trees in 2003 , Wilson said. The Northwest Annex sprawls across 5,500 acres in southern Chesapeake, about 2,400 acres of which is timberland. Removing 293 acres , then, means felling about 12 percent of the forests there. It was unclear how much trouble the trees are causing at the annex. Wilson and other Navy officials said “no hard numbers” exist on the interference problem, only that harvesting is needed to “restore the operational efficiency” of the radar. http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories/story.cfm?story=101041&ran=70674

12) Gov. Timothy Kaine has made it clear to the federal government what Virginia wants to do with its roadless areas in the state’s national forests. He – and more than 80,000 Virginians who have commented on the subject – want them to continue to be protected. It’s an urgently needed step to protect the remote wilderness that the forests offer to future generations of Virginians – and Americans. As reported by Bob Gibson of Media General News Service, Kaine has written U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns and the chief of the U.S. Forest Service in support of full protection for roadless areas in the state’s national forests. Dropping the rule has the potential to remove some 383,000 roadless acres in the Jefferson and George Washington national forests, the most of any state in the East. The “roadless rule” prohibited construction of roads into the remote areas. The idea – and it is a good one – is to leave those areas of the national forests remote for future generations. David Carr, public lands director at the Charlottesville-based Southern Environmental Law Center, pointed out that Kaine’s support for protection of roadless areas reflects the policy established by former Gov. Mark Warner. “Public support for this is not going away, and the (Bush) administration is going to have to deal with it,” he told Gibson. Meanwhile, a bill has been introduced by two senators from the West that would embody the 2001 roadless rule as a part of federal law. The measure is sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Jeff Bingaman, D-N.M. Let’s hope that Kaine’s message will help other governors and the U.S. Forest Service see the merit of leaving the roadless areas of all the national forests in that condition – roadless to give future generations of Americans an appreciation of the vast, remote wilderness that should remain a legacy for well into the future. http://www.newsadvance.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=LNA%2FMGArticle%2FLNA_BasicArticle&c=MGArticle&cid=1

New Hampshire:

13) Nottingham – The largest block of privately-held woodland left unprotected in Rockingham County is up for permanent conservation at town meeting March 18. The 2,036-acre Mulligan Forest is a rare expanse set amid one of the state’s most intense growth corridors. Managed for timber for more than a century by the Fernald family, the tract has rare black gum swamps with trees that can grow to be 600 years old, said Dave Anderson, education director, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. “You might be looking right now at the oldest living things in North America,” he said on March 3 as he bushwhacked through the frozen landscape and came upon a stand of more than 75 ancient trees. “This place is amazing,” he said, smoothing his hand over the rough black bark of the gnarly trees, which grow only in trapped swamp areas. Though there had been documentation the swamp existed, it was the first time a staff member of the society had documented its presence. A further analysis this past week found that the trees are likely in the 300-year-old category and may be older. “Barring any natural disturbances these trees could grow for several more centuries. The hope is to raise $500,000 privately for the purchase by December. It is also on a short list for consideration for funding from the state Land and Community Heritage Investment Program. This is in addition to a $850,000 bond article before the town. The total purchase of the easement is $1.4 million. The appraised value is $1.7 million. The forest sits between the 5,900-acre Pawtuckaway State Park and the state-owned Lamontagne Wildlife Management Area, about 1,500 acres in size. It offers more than five miles of woods roads and has six miles of frontage on the North and Bean rivers that drain to the Lamprey River.There were signs of moose, deer, coyote, and fisher on the property during the March 3 walk, in addition to some old growth trees. Anderson said the habitat was viable as well for the state threatened Blanding’s turtle and could be a great teaching forest. “This is the last big stand of unprotected, privately-owned land left in Rockingham County,” he said. http://www.unionleader.com/article.aspx?headline=Group+works+to+save+ancient+trees+in+Rockingham+County&art


14) Since the beginning of the year, 151 fires have burned more than 5,800 acres in the district, mostly in rugged mountain areas that are hard to reach. Dailey pointed to several factors: fallen trees killed by a pine beetle epidemic a few years ago provide fuel, unusually low humidity and a shortage of rain — 13.5 inches below normal since last summer. But the spark has most frequently been manmade. “We have had really about a two-week run of extremely high numbers and acres burned, and they have predominantly been arson-caused fires,” he said. While most residents “have been very careful with debris burning,” he said, the problem has been with people “going out and intentionally setting forest fires … (so they can) watch the big smoke plumes and a scurry of activity as we try to put those fires out without getting hurt or killed.” `The arsonists have really kept us busy,” Ted Dailey, the state’s district forester for the 12-county Knoxville region, said Tuesday. “It is time now for our Ag crime unit to try to identify some those individuals, and we will prosecute them.” Fires in Anderson, Campbell, Morgan, Monroe, Scott, Claiborne and Sevier counties were suppressed before heavy rain fell Monday night. “The rains pretty well knocked them down,” Dailey said. “We hope that our containment lines will hold if they rekindle.” http://www.thedailytimes.com/sited/story/html/232592


15) Like an army attacking from all sides, the Bush administration continues to wage war on national forests. The administration appears unwilling to let public opinion impede the assault, so it’s up to Congress to fight back on behalf of the American people and their natural heritage. It would be a popular effort. Congress must beat back an effort by the Bush administration that could turn more than two-thirds of the agency’s jobs over to private contractors. The Department of Agriculture, which is the lead agency for the Forest Service, will study the possibility of eliminating 21,350 full-time jobs. Among the positions that could be cut are those of 1,100 biologists and 500 geologists who study the potential impacts of logging and oil and gas exploration. Hiring private contractors, rather than career public servants, doesn’t sound like the best way to protect national forests. Also about 1.7 million Americans responded during a public-comment period in which they urged the administration to retain the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule, which protected wilderness areas from logging and drilling. But the rule was fundamentally altered to let governors decide whether to allow logging and drilling in national forests in their states. More recently, a petition with 250,000 signatures was sent to the Forest Service by the Heritage Forests Campaign (an alliance of conservation groups), scientists and others), asking that drilling and logging be forbidden in areas that were protected by the rule. While the petition isn’t likely to sway the administration, the number of signatures indicates that many voters deeply care about the national forests. http://www.heraldtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060313/OPINION/603130308/1030


16) The morning is dreary and overcast on this day, Oct. 19, 1989 but our spirits are not dampened. We are only 26 kilometers from Huldange, Luxembourg and I feel like smiling. Why do I feel so warm and tingly? Why does my husband Chuck have this apprehensive expression in his eyes? Will there be any family members that can speak English to us? Are we chasing a furtive ghost called the past? The birds that are chirping are telling us a story. See! See! The forest has resounded with gunfire. The trees and the birds know that men were marched into these splendid rich woods and were shot down. Even the trees ached with the blood spurting over their bodies, staining it to a deepish crimson. The acrid stench in the forest drew vulture-like birds. War kills every form of life. The mist that is falling reminds me of all the tears that have fallen for the 76,890 Americans that were slaughtered by the Germans in the Battle of the Bulge in 1944-45. The Ardennes Forest has witnessed other battles: World War I saw fighting in the Belgian and French Ardennes. These stately oak and beech trees date back to the Roman times and were known as the Arduenna. In 1989, the land is oblivious to the past. Two mottled cows are languidly chewing their emerald green clover. They are representative of the way nature is. Disasters occur; life continues to rejuvenate itself. http://www.napavalleyregister.com/articles/2006/03/13/features/community/iq_3338125.txt


17) Uronen has worked at Voikkaa for 19 years. UPM’s announcement that the Voikkaa mill would close next autumn makes her one of the 670 people who are left without work. Mayor Reijo Huttunen sits in his office after a meeting, mulling over Kuusankoski’s marketing slogan: “Paper City of Finland”. Huttunen is wearing a sweat shirt, instead of a suit, because he is actually on his winter holiday. The holiday in nearby Luumäki was interrupted early Wednesday morning by a phone call: a city official told him that UPM would be making an announcement. The city leaders have just completed a crisis meeting involving key city officials. Sentiments are downcast and the people were quiet. “It was not actually a surprise, but we did not guess that the cutbacks would be so severe. When things go bad in the forest industry, it hits us at the grass-roots level”, Huttunen says. “A big and a bad thing. I wonder if the whole town will die now?” This thought will be a cause of anguish for a long time at City Hall, which has a coat-of-arms on its wall: on a red field stands a silver fir tree as a symbol of the raw material of the forest industry. Three cones symbolise the three population centres of the city: Kuusankoski, Voikkaa, and the Kymi factory. http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Paper+mill+closure+major+blow+to+Kuusankoski/1135219141423


18) ASHGABAT– Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov ordered a forest planted to change his desert nation’s climate _ the latest of the autocratic leader’s elaborate projects that include an artificial lake and an ice palace. Niyazov said that the new “millennial” cypress forest will cover an area of 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles). “The climate will improve considerably if we do that,” Niyazov told a Cabinet meeting that was televised Tuesday. “The archa, a kind of cypress tree, lives a thousand years. This will be a millennial forest.” He said that each ministry will have an allocated area where it will have to plant a certain number of trees within three years. The 20-kilometer (12-mile) -wide and 50-kilometer (31-mile) -long forest outside the capital Ashgabat must grow by 2015, Niyazov said. Niyazov also ordered that the construction of an artificial lake in the middle of the Kara Kum desert that began in 2001 be sped up. “We need to finish the construction of the Turkmen lake and start filling it with water. This will change the flora, nature and boost livestock breeding,” he said. Desert covers 80 percent of Turkmenistan’s territory and summer temperatures reach 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). An ice palace is being built near the capital under Niyazov’s orders. Last year he expressed an interest in building a ski resort. Niyazov, who has led Turkmenistan since 1985, has established a cult of personality around himself. http://planetsave.com/ps_mambo/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=6834&Itemid=68


19) Within the scope of the International Forest Day on 21st March, the local authority of Loulé will promote various actions which aim to create awareness amongst the population of environmental preservation. Highlighted is the planting of trees in the Environmental Centre of Pena, with children from schools in the municipality. Operating in an old primary school in the village of Pena, Salir, since 1992, the Environmental Centre was created to respond to local necessities in relation to environmental education, integrated development, promotion and valorisation of the cultural and environmental heritage of the municipality. Throughout the day, the Council will also distribute amongst the population some species of trees, namely pines, carob, holm-oaks, cork-oaks and cypress. The initiative will take place in Loulé, in the Cerca do Convento Espírito Santo and in Quarteira, in the Rua Vasco da Gama. http://regiao-sul.pt/en/news/news.php?id=997


20) “The woods cut in the territory of Azerbaijani reserve in Zangelan District, which is under occupation of Armenia, is exported to Italy, France, Greece and Iran,” Arif Isgandarov, the head of the Ecology and Nature Protection Policy Department of the Azerbaijani Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, told Trend in an exclusive interview. The woods are used in different purposes, including manufacturing of furniture and ship-building. At present the price of wood material is $1,000 per 1000 cu m. Isgandarov also heads the Operative Center on Definition (observation) of Destructive According to the Director of the Reserve, Khudush Isgandarov, at present the Armenian side opened a wood processing workshop, which operates all day. The place of cut trees is fired and frequently blasted to conceal the traces. The new trees are planted in these areas. The Ministry obtained the information from Iran, which borders with Zangilan District and Azerbaijani citizens who were in Armenian captivity earlier. Moreover, the Ministry has photos and video materials on then occupied territory of Azerbaijan. The Director of the Reserve noted that reserves and platans that are in this forest were included in the Red Book. They are also included in the Red Book of Armenia. Some platans existing in the territory of Armenia are preserved, whereas they are cut predatorily in the occupied territory of Azerbaijan. The trees that grow in this territory age 1500 years. The area of the reserve was 117h when it was founded in 1974. However, further it was reduced to 107h. According to officials of the Ministry, the statement on facts of termination of relict forest has been repeatedly made at international conferences. However, no step had been taken against such ‘ecological terror’. To solve the problem Azerbaijan suggest to establish an international expert group which will pay an expedition to the region, hold monitoring and assert the facts submitted by Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is a member of a Convention on bio-variety and maintenance of genetic fund of plantings, which it strictly observes in difference to Armenia, another member of the convention. http://www.trend.az/?mod=shownews&news=16864&lang=en


21) The ruling Zanu PF party has entered a secretive deal with the Democratic Republic of Congo’s ruling party to supply them with cotton to make campaign material ahead of elections in exchange for exclusive rights to log 33 million hectares of prime rainforest. The deal, hammered out at the ruling People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) congress held in Kinshasa recently and also attended by Zanu PF officials, involves the supply of 50 tonnes of cotton each week to the war-torn country’s ruling elite from Zimbabwe. Zimdaily understands the DRC ruling party wants to make party campaign material with the cotton ahead of crunch legislative and presidential polls. DRC is expected to hold its democratic elections, the first in three decades, in June, after it adopted a new constitution earlier this year. Until recently, the country had known little peace since its independence from Belgium in 1960, witnessing sporadic uprisings and assassinations of its leaders. The People’s Party for Reconstruction and Democracy (PPRD) is run by warlords-cum-politicians. Zanu PF secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa handed over the first 50 tonne batch of cotton to the DRC ambassador to Zimbabwe Mwanananga Mwawampanga in Harare last week. Confidential documents seen by Zimdaily reveal that the deal is being executed through a company called the Congolese Society for the Exploitation of Timber (SOCEBO) which is part of a complex web of businesses set up by Zanu PF, which is an empire controlled by Zimbabwe’s political and military elite. SOCEBO is a subsidiary of COSLEG, which was established to supply Zimbabwean troops to fight for Kabila’s Government in exchange for rights to mine diamonds, cobalt and now to harvest timber. The deal is tied to among other conditions, assurances that when the ruling party comes to power it will not renege on assurances made the late Kabila to cede 15% of DRC to Zanu PF fat cats. Zimdaily understands that before Kabila’s death, 15% of the country’s land area has been signed over to Zimbabwe’s army – not notably skilled loggers. Zimbabwe is under increasing pressure to make the DRC pay over its disastrous military adventure in the vast central African country in the late 90s. http://zimdaily.com/news2/article.php/20060312122308921


22) Fumesua (Ash), March 11, GNA – It has been established that the annual cost of forest depletion to the country stands at 300 dollars, Dr. Joseph Cobbinah, Director of the Forestry Research Institute of Ghana (FORIG), has stated. He, however, expressed worry that the depletion rate far out-weighed the revenue declared by the timber industry, which is pegged at between 170 and 200 million dollars annually. Dr. Cobbinah made these known in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, (GNA) at Fumesua near Kumasi on Friday on the state of depletion of the country’s forests and steps being taken by FORIG to ensure regeneration of the forest. He attributed the ascending rate of depletion of the forest and the low revenue generated from the industry mostly to illegal loggers. The FORIG Director regretted that even though the forest resources were being depleted at a faster rate, the non-timber tree species “were more of victims of the depletion than the timber trees”. http://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/artikel.php?ID=100830

23) So, the next phase of colonisation has begun. The industrialised countries are looking to the Third World to feed their addiction: the land is there for the taking as is cheap labour, and the environmental damages of large plantations, biofuels extraction and refining can all be outsourced, exactly as they were in the extraction of crude oil. Brazil is already currently the main supplier of bioethanol to the United Kingdom, and is looking to greatly increasing its exports elsewhere. Brazil’s national ethanol programme (ProAlcool) began in response to the oil crisis of the 1970s, and ethanol now accounts for 40 percent of Brazil’s driving fuel. The country’s ‘flex fuel’ car fleet is the only one in the world that can use 100 percent of either ethanol or gasoline. Brazil’s ethanol production was 15.9 billion litres in 2005, second only to the United States, and more than a third of the global production. UK-based DI Oils predicted in 2004 that the world market for biodiesel would grow by 14.5 percent annually to 2.79 million tonnes by 2010. The Asia Pacific operations of the company, based in Manila, will provide the Philippine Coconut Authority with the opportunity to meet the surge in biodiesel demand from Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan and Australia. DI Oils has fastened on jatropha, a fast-growing, high-yielding tree that can be planted in semi-tropical areas on “wasteland and irrigated with sewerage water”. According to its CEO, the company already has plantations totalling 267 000 Ha in Ghana, Madagascar, South Africa, India and the Philippines, and intends to expand to 9 million ha. The predictions for Brazil are alarming, as this country could become the world leader in the substitution of fossil fuels with biofuels, with all the impacts this entails. In Brazil, ethanol has been obtained so far from sugarcane, but the expansion of soya is happening as Brazil is experiencing a boom in exporting sugarcane ethanol. Sugarcane and soya plantations may well compete for land, making it almost inevitable that more forests will be cut down to accommodate the growth in both. http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1589934.htm


24) Stating that Tamil Nadu has always been a forerunner in research, deputy conservator of forests, Forest Genetics Division, Nihar Ranjan, cited biotic pressure as one of the main reasons for the degeneration of the sholas and added that research would help restore the evergreen forests in the Nilgiris. Shola forests have an upper storey of small trees, a low understorey and a dense shrub layer interspersed with grasslands. The endangered shola grasslands are home to the Nilgiri Tahr and also the main source of all water courses uphill. In Aliyar, research into a medicinal plant nursery is under way. Experiments are also under way in the Pethikuttai Forest Research Centre on forest species, including Albizzia Odorotissima and Acacia Procera, important fodder species and dry and deciduous species. It will take at least five to 10 years for completion of research before the technology can be transferred to farmers. http://www.newindpress.com/NewsItems.asp?ID=IET20060310003859&Topic=0&Title=Southern%20News%20-%20Tamil%


25) Wang and his wife Meng Xiuying, both about 80 years old, now live in an area that boasts a forest of more than 10,000 trees that have survived water shortages and harsh weather conditions in the desert area near the eastern rim of the Tengger Desert. As sturdy as their trees, Wang and his wife prefer staying at the Haosiburdu Township of Alxa Left Banner to keep watch over this oasis they built in the desert over the past decades. Born into a farming family in Minqin county of neighboring Gansu Province in 1926, Wang Daqing lived a very hard life from a young age. In search of a better way of life, Wang followed his father, traversing the Tengger Desert in a dozen days, to Alxa in 1933 at the age of eight. In the ensuing years, Wang made a living by doing some odd jobs and making handicraft in Alxa and elsewhere in Inner Mongolia. In 1960 Wang settled down in Bayanbur village of Haosiburdu township shortly after the village was established. At that time, the major task for locals was to plant trees and reclaim farmland from the desert. “Everybody responded to the government’s call to turn the motherland greener,” Wang recalled. In 1983, hectares of trees they had planted over the years were distributed to individuals under China’s policy of the household contract responsibility system then. The trees were soon cut down and Bayanbur village was reduced to barren land once again. Wang was distraught but did not give up his dream of turning the barren land back to forest. Using an artesian well abandoned by the former production brigade, Wang began planting trees in an area of over three hectares he had fenced off. He set a target to plant at least 0.06 hectares of trees each year. It is immensely difficult for a tree to survive in the Tengger Desert area which is haunted by dry spells with an annual rainfall of only 100 mm. Many people doubted Wang’s efforts and some advised him to abandon his plan. But Wang did not listen to them. He persuaded his wife to look after their dozens of sheep on her own and he has devoted himself wholeheartedly to tree planting ever since. It took him several days to buy seedlings from the Haoburdu township and he used bags of sheep manure to nurture his trees. Aswater flowed very slowly from the well, Wang had to work round the clock for days to irrigate his trees. Wang is contented when he saw the green land expanding day by day. Wang, 81, and his wife, 78, still look after their trees. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-03/12/content_4294263.htm

26) The Greenpeace flagship, Rainbow Warrior, sailed into the Indonesian province of Papua for the first time today as part of a global campaign to help protect the world’s last ancient forests. Greenpeace is on a mission to protect the Paradise Forests, the last ancient forests in Asia-Pacific, from illegal and destructive logging, and is launching an eco-forestry programme in Papua to offer community-based forest management as an alternative to large-scale, industrial logging. “The Paradise Forests of Asia Pacific are brimming with unimaginable diversity of life,” said Emmy Hafild, Executive Director of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “But these forests and the life they support are being
destroyed faster than any other on Earth, driven by demand for timber in Europe, US, Japan and China.” Scientists from Conservation International recently discovered a ‘Garden of Eden’ in Papua’s Foja Mountains, an area untouched by man and full of new species, including frogs, butterflies,plants and a new type of bird called the orange-faced honeyeater. Deforestation rates in Indonesia are among the highest in the world with at least 1.9 million hectares of forest destroyed every year for the last five years[ii] <#_edn2>, equivalent to five football fields a minute. In total, Indonesia has already lost more than 72% of its large intact ancient forest areas and 40% of its forest have been completely destroyed [iii] <#_edn3>. Much of the logging in Indonesia is illegal and, according to Indonesia Forest Minister, Malam Sambat Kaban, “defrauds” the country of USD$ 4 billion each year. http://www.greenpeace.org/international/campaigns/forests/asia-pacific


27) A 386-hectare reserve located 56 kilometres north of Chiang Mai, Elephant Nature Park is dedicated to the conservation and care of Thailand’s threatened population of domestic Asian elephants. Even though these majestic animals are revered in Thailand, their future here could be grim. There were 100,000 elephants a century ago, 25,000 a decade ago and today, only 5,000 elephants survive in Thailand, an overall decline of 95 per cent. Logging was banned in 1989, putting most of Thailand’s domestic elephants out of work. Tourism has now taken over as the main employer; at tourist trekking camps in northern Thailand, in circus-like shows, and panhandling in city streets where tourists pay to feed the elephants bananas. Elephant Nature Park offers a rare alternative to such tourist fare, giving visitors a more natural, humane experience, including feeding and bathing this growing family of “saved” domestic elephants. As well, there is the opportunity to interact with these amazing animals as they wander freely in open fields, through hilly jungle-like forests and splash along winding rivers. Elephant Nature Park’s founder and director Sangduen Chailert, known as “Lek” (which mean “little one” in Thai), leads the growing movement for more humane treatment of elephants in Thailand. “We need very quickly to educate people and do something to save these beautiful creatures,” says the country’s one-woman humane society. “Without elephants Thailand is like an empty country. I will work to help elephants until I die… I will never stop!” Recently voted Time magazine’s 2005 Asia Hero of the Year in the activist category, this petite Thai woman continues to fight big battles for the giant charges she has rescued over the past 10 years, bringing them to live in the natural sanctuary of Elephant Nature Park. http://www.thestar.com/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1141733


28) Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Committee Chairman for National Green Archipelgo, Ary Sudarsono said Indonesian forests were expected to disappear in 15 years to come if the government did not make serious efforts to preserve them. “With a destruction level of 2.8 million hectares annually, the Indonesian forests will become extinct in the next 15 years,” he said in a press statement made available to ANTARA News here on Sunday. He said that during the 2000-2005 period, of the 120.3 million hectares of forests in Indonesia, 59.2 million hectares were damaged. “If the country`s forests are all damaged, natural disasters such as floods, landslides and drought will take place everywhere,” he added. Sudarsono said that damages to forests could cause the extinction of 27,000 plant species in Indonesia, which account for 10 percent of the world`s plant species, 1,539 bird species (17 percent of the world`s), 515 species of mammals (12 percent) and 270 amphibious species (16 percent). Therefore, Sudarsono said, his committee would launch an environmental preservation campaign in any sports, arts and cultural events. On Friday, Environment Minister Rachmat Witoelar launched an environmental recovery program for an area at Merapi Mountain which was severely damaged by volcanic material mining. The Merapi Conservation Program was held in mountainside Kemiren village in Srumbung subdistrict in Magelang district. The Magelang district administration has distributed 20,000 fruit seedlings to villagers who are told to plant them on a total land of 50 hectares in six villages. Magelang district head Singgih Sanyoto said non-environmental friendly sand minings have seriously damaged reserved forests and farm lands in the mountainside. Illegal logging has also been attributed to forest damage. Illegal logging activities, for example, are rampant in the protected forest of Peleng Island, Banggai Kepulauan (Bangkep) district, Central Sulawesi. http://www.antara.co.id/en/seenws/?id=10012

29) Illegal loggers have stripped bare at least 20 percent of the forest in Kerinci Seblat National Park in West Sumatra, and the losses will continue unless the authorities take action, an official says. Aman Zamora, an official with the 271,870-hectare national park, located in Pesisir Selatan regency, told The Jakarta Post that satellite images had pinpointed 11 large-scale illegal logging sites that are currently operating. “The most extensive damage has been done along the planned Kambang-Muara Labuh highway, construction of which has been halted by the forestry minister, where all of the trees 200 to 500 meters from both sides of the road have been cut down,” he said. Some 60 kilometers of the road were completed before the minister put a halt to the project. A 20-kilometer stretch of trees along the road from Kambang, and four kilometers from Muara Labuh, were affected. According to Aman, there are 11 illegal sawmills operating just outside the national park which are encouraging illegal logging in the park, particularly by residents. He said that though the sawmills were illegal, authorities had done nothing to restrict their operation. “I’m sure the level of illegal logging would dwindle if the sawmills were closed down, because that’s where residents sell their timber. To tell you the truth, we can’t stop the sawmills because they always know when we are coming and disappear,” he said. The group West Sumatra People Against Illegal Logging (MAIL), said the national park in Pesisir Selatan was one of the main victims of illegal logging in the province. “Indonesian Military and police personnel are believed to be involved in escorting timber trucks that are not carrying legal documents,” MAIL coordinator Vino Oktavia said Friday. http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailnational.asp?fileid=20060313.D02&irec=2


30) MANILA– On the eve the East Asia Forest Law Enforcement and Governance Process (FLEG Process) meeting in Manila, Greenpeace called on the Philippine government, current FLEG Task Force Chair, to immediately enforce serious measures to stop forest destruction. The call was made during a solemn ceremony at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City in remembrance of the thousands of victims of destructive logging in the Philippines. Participants, including League of Cities Environment Committee chair Mayor Edward Hagedorn, Dingaluhan, Quezon Mayor Marilyn Marquez, community representatives from Casiguran, Dingalan, and Baler towns also in Quezon, and representatives from local NGOs, lit 1,500 candles laid out on the ground to form the shape of a tree, and tied white ribbons around an acacia to symbolize their deep commitment to help end destructive logging. Photos and footage of floods and landslides were shown during the event and a solidarity statement opposing all forms of forest destruction and supporting total commercial logging ban was signed. “Tonight’s solemn ceremony is intended to memorialize the people—the mothers, fathers, daughters, and sons—all the precious lives that should not have perished in deadly calamities caused by the senseless destruction of our forests,” said Greenpeace Southeast Asia Campaigns Director Von Hernandez. “Their deaths should not be meaningless. The government must honor their memory by stopping destructive logging to ensure that no more lives will be lost in the same manner.” Experts estimate that close to 97% of the original forest cover of the country has been logged, above 50% of which is believed to have been felled illegally. Today, less than 3% of ancient forests remain in small, scattered patches. The Asian Development Bank, in its Key Indicators for 2005 reports that among Asian countries, the Philippines has the worst record of preserving its forests. http://www.samarnews.com/news2006/mar/f588.htm


31) Woods Point Police have sent out a short note to help trail riders in the Woods Point area of Victoria before the Easter holiday begins. Trails have been cleared of trees by the DSE recently and should be open. If you are coming up that way, once again be prepared with the appropriate equipment and communications. Logging Operations are in full swing in the Grants Track area near Mc Adams Gap; they will be transporting logs with double trailers to Maryville for at least the next 4 months. So along with the logging in the Oaks area there will be a lot of Semi Trailer traffic on our already difficult roads. It is very dry at the moment and this coming long weekend will be hot, with the amount of trees down and the fire season with us the danger of bushfire is real and all users of the parks and forest must be concerned with fire safety in the bush. As you can imagine that if a fire gets away up there it will go a long way and do a lot of damage. http://www.fullnoise.com.au/news/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_full&news_id=2060

32) Echoing across a clear-felled area that was until recently old growth forest, protesters yesterday screamed the word “stop” while spelling out the word in giant letters spanning 250 metres. The protest is part of a new thrust to save areas of Tasmania’s Weld Valley from old growth logging. Sitting with his two young children, first-time protester Cary Littleford says he’s shocked by the level of devastation in what environmentalists argue is a national treasure. CARY LITTLEFORD: “As we drove in we just couldn’t believe … I mean, you’d heard about it, but actually seeing it first hand you realise how much more outrageous it really is, and devastating.” Until now, such views have been at the background of this Tasmanian election campaign. Instead, it’s been dominated by the state of Tasmania’s health system and Premier Paul Lennon’s dealings with big business, in a campaign with its fair share of mud slinging. Some argue the reason forestry has been so low-key is a revamped State and Federal forestry agreement. The package was announced by the Prime Minister last May and included $250-million to restructure the forestry industry. LES ROCHESTER: “We estimate seven million tonne of chips getting chipped every year in Tasmania when this pulp mill gets up, compared to the four million tonnes it does now. It’s basically raping the north-east of Tasmania.” But those such as Barry Chipman argue the anti-pulp mill lobby is scaremongering. He’s also got a powerful new agreement to ensure the mill does go ahead. This comes with unions and industry getting signed support for the mill from all 52 Labor and Liberal candidates at this election. Mr Chipman is warning any backflips on that support after the election would be met with trouble. http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2006/s1589934.htm

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