Today for you 39 news items about Mama Earth’s trees. Location, number and subject listed below. Condensed / abbreviated article is listed further below.

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–British Columbia: 1) studying reproductive secretions in conifers, 2) Alder’s don’t suppress conifers in the long run, 3) people battling bugs destroy old forests, 4) birds affected by ponderosa and lodgepole pine loss, 5) yellow cedar marketing project, 6) old growth areas need to be logged because of bugs? 7) Crown land sell off on southeastern Vancouver Island, 8) BC Supreme Court decides if ‘professional reliance’ can ignore public concerns and log anyways, 9) Great Bear agreement not based on science,
–Montana: 10) Middle East Fork court proceeding continue, 11) Logging rec. areas,
–Ohio: 12) Coal miners take land and clearcut around seeps and springs
–USA: 13) Western governors endorse plan to step up thinning, 14) Wilderness acres protected by congress, 15) 109th congress ends and so do many bad bills,
–Canada: 16) Grassy Narrow logging to increase, 17) 300 GE trees to be destroyed, 18) Save the Caribou, 19) Native people have the right to log crown land, 20) Aroland First Nation object to logging, 21) 800 hectares of Crown land for sustainable forestry project,
–Nigeria: 22) Forest reserves and logging plans, 23) 25% of land ought to be forest,
–Ghana: 24) Forest reserves are established to generally conserve the flora and fauna
–Liberia: 25) French-based timber company zeroing in on forests
–Uganda: 26) Banana waste for paper instead of trees
–Congo: 27) The battle to stop Elephant poaching in the forest
–India: 28) Evicting tribes from their native land, 29) 4 million living in National Parks,
–China 30) Fast becoming the largest log importer in the world
–Thailand: 31) Krabi Governor to enforce deforestation laws,
–New Zealand: 32) $3,000 for for using an unregistered sawmill
–Indonesia: 33) Greenpeace protest of Kayu Lapis, 34) New forest patrol technology, 35) forest destruction has downgraded international confidence,
–Australia: 36) Pat protests Gunns, 37) How much damage does Gunns cause? 38) Plantations are not forests,
–World-wide: 39) Some unique features of trees

British Columbia:

1) Poulis is a biologist with the Centre for Forest Biology at UVic, where most of the award-winning research was done. “We were studying reproductive secretions in conifers that are basically involved with protecting the tree when they’re being pollinated,” he explains. “When the pollen comes in, it’s totally coated with bacteria, viruses and fungi, so we were studying defensive compounds in these ancient trees.” A tree has to remain “receptive” to pollen for reproduction to be successful, but that means it also gets exposed to lots of microbial agents that could potentially cause disease. The secretions that Poulis is studying help protect the tree from those “foreign invaders.” Although the substances are produced by fir trees, Poulis postulates that their germ-fighting characteristics may offer benefits to people as well. “When you study things that are anti-viral, anti-bacterial or anti-fungal, they have certain traits that are applicable across all different types of viruses, fungi and bacteria,” he explains. “If you can find some broad-spectrum anti-microbials, then there’s definitely an application to human health – for pathogens that affect us… “We found some anti-microbial compounds that definitely show some potential for protecting (people) from certain disease pathogens. We’re also developing a method to make them on a commercial relevant scale.” Poulis recently teamed up with his former PhD advisor (Patrick von Aderkas) to form a new company called FloraPure BioSciences Inc., in order to take advantage of the commercial potential of his findings.

2) Mr Disney’s hare-brained scheme has been the butt of scorn among those people on the Charlottes who are knowledgeable about Forestry ever since he first began dreaming it up a couple of years ago. The first critique is that removing ANY forest cover, deciduous or coniferous, means adding CO2 in the short term, and is at best CO2 neutral in the most optimistic long term. Planting trees is CO2 positive only in the case of NSR areas, disused farms, and urban areas. And since it will be only a matter of time before our Alder – which here has a 40 – 120 year lifespan – is commercially valuable, wasting them today is economically unsound, justifying bad forest practice. In this instance, removing established Alder stands only means interfering with the normal successional cycle, since those areas would now be naturally stocked with conifers if conditions were correct, and Alder’s role in “reconditioning” the soil is well-known and scientifically proven. Mr. Disney’s claim that Alder defeats conifer regeneration is simply wrong. Studies done (quite a while ago, in fact) in the US have shown that though conifers in Alder stands may be delayed in growth by ca 20 yrs or more, once they overtop the Alder, they quickly regain the lost volumes and more, plus being far healthier (and with no “leader whiplash” effects. The primary forestry problem we have on the Charlottes is with deer browsing – not Alder. Reports assembled by the Research Group on Introduced Species (RGIS), note that where hunting pressure on these deer is heavy, the majority of the problems which originate with deer browsing on conifer seedlings and brush disappear. Therefore, if Mr Disney wishes support for a Haida initiative to control deer (such as through a commercial hunt), I’ll be among the first to support him. OTOH, if he finds further support for his present environmentally destructive scheme, I will be among the many who will vigorously oppose it. –Jack Miller

3) It’s not the few fir trees he finds attacked by beetles in his woodlot that has him concerned. Blake says he can take care of those himself. But if beetle-attacked Douglas fir trees in old growth management areas (OGMAs) next to his woodlot are not addressed, he says the infestation could escalate beyond his ability to control it. “With the pine all dead, all we have left are fir and spruce,” Blake says. “It’ll be a shame if we lose them as well.” He says there are three OGMAs in the crown forest near his woodlot where the fir beetles are getting a foothold. “I know they are not being dealt with. The ministries are supposed to be managing the resource. If they are not doing it then the public needs to push them a bit.” Like the salvage loggers, Blake is concerned that no one in government is taking responsibility. “There’s a lot of buck passing between ministries. If they don’t clean up the OGMAs we’re in trouble. If I get two green-attack trees in my woodlot and don’t deal with them, I’ve got 10 green-attack trees next year.” Put plainly, he says the government ministries are not using best practices to manage the forest.

4) The loss of so many ponderosa and lodgepole pine trees around the city [of Kamloops] isn’t only devastating for homeowners and park users, it could mean drastically reduced numbers of some overwintering birds. Clark’s Nutcrackers rely on the seeds of ponderosa pines almost exclusively, and help in the regeneration of stands by burying seeds in the fall, but then not eating them all during the winter. The Pygmy Nuthatch may be one of the bird species that will be most dramatically affected by the absence of a large seed crop. This is because the entire life history of these nuthatches seems geared to the availability of a Ponderosa seed crop. Indirect evidence of this dependence comes from the absolute spatial congruence of the nuthatch with that of long-needled pines–in BC the range does not extend at al beyond the distribution of Ponderosa Pines. It is possible that the population of Pygmy Nuthatches could decline by a huge percentage (80%) in the winter of 2007-2008. A careful monitoring program for these species should begin almost immediately. Now is the time to start keeping track of the numbers of birds we see in our pine forests and trying to document changes in population. For those with a backyard feeder, a great way to do this is by joining Project FeederWatch. Just note the birds at your feeders on two days each week then compile them on the Project FeederWatch website. Everything you need to know about this continent-wide project is at:

5) “Vancouver Island Association of Wood Processors (VIAWP) is requesting your support for its yellow cedar marketing project in New Orleans and the southern U.S.,” wrote VIAWP director George Cousineau in a letter to the regional board. The project would develop a business that would encourage small independent sawmills, shingle mills, dry kilns and remanufacturing facilities to use low grade yellow cedar and blue stained wood that would be snapped up in a southern U.S. market expected to boom next spring, says Cousineau. “This yellow cedar marketing initiative is very important to all forestry dependent communities on Vancouver Island, the Mid Coast and North Coast, as it creates an employment opportunity for loggers, salvagers and wood processors to utilize a species that is often left in logging slash or yarded roadside and burnt,” said Cousineau. Based in Nanaimo, the association started the yellow cedar project with Forest Renewal BC funding. The association proved yellow cedar is resistant to Formosan termites that infest the southern U.S., and is ideal for wet conditions in places like New Orleans, and started an American company called Island Cypress to market the product, says Cousineau.

6) Zirnhelt and Carlson have been hired by the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition (CCBAC) to study impacts of the mountain pine beetle on the people and economy of the region. Eric Brigden, Leonard Teppema and Jim Dickie of the Small Scale Salvage Loggers Association say there’s been a startling expansion of Douglas fir bark beetles infesting trees in the Williams Lake area. Yet they say they can’t get access to log most of the affected trees because they lie in old growth management areas (OGMAs) where logging is prohibited. Special permission has to be granted to take infected trees out of these protected old growth areas, but the salvage loggers say the government isn’t acting fast enough. They say if something isn’t done soon, all the trees inside the OGMAs will be dead. Leonard Teppema, chair of the salvage loggers association, says OGMAs are managed by the local biodiversity committee. “They (the biodiversity committee) are more interested in keeping us out of the OGMAs than getting the beetles out,” he says. He warns the infestation is getting so big it could become an epidemic on the scale of the mountain pine beetle infestation if something isn’t done quickly.

7) Since 2001 the provincial government has tried to sell off Crown land on southeastern Vancouver Island to an odd assortment of hockey players and political friends wanting to get rich on a rising wave of golf course developments. Rare ecosystems have been turned into a lawn fertilizer salesman’s dream. But the golf wave flattened, concerned citizens exposed questionable deals, and now the government may be about to announce the sell-off-and the secret deals that went with it-are over. This is one of those good news-bad news stories. The bad news is that the provincial Liberal government’s policy, in place since 2001, of creating a revenue stream by disposing of Crown landsoften with little or no public input in the process-has resulted in further erosion of endangered ecosystems on southeastern Vancouver Island. The good news is that as a result of the continued engagement of thousands of Vancouver Island citizens in community by community battles with politicians and bureaucrats over the privatization of these public lands, the provincial government may soon announce a significant shift in policy.

8) In July 2003, the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association (SCCA) filed a complaint to the Association of BC Forest Professionals (ABCFP) about the ethics and professional practices, primarily in regard to issues of environmental stewardship, of a Registered Professional Forester working in the Jervis Inlet area of the Sunshine Coast Forest District. The registrar of the ABCFP refused to allow the complaint to be referred into the legislatively mandated complaint process. Two subsequent appeals to the registrar to have the complaint heard failed. In May 2005 a judicial review was convened in the BC Supreme Court to determine if the registrar erred in his decision not to allow the complaint to be referred for investigation. In August 2005 the court determined that the registrar had erred by making his determination under the old Foresters Act. The decision of the registrar was quashed and the registrar was ordered to make a new determination under the current Forester’s Act. In this re-determination, the registrar again decided not to allow the SCCA’s complaint to proceed. On December 8, 2006, the registrar’s decision will once again come under scrutiny in the BC Supreme Court. At stake in this proceeding is the right of the public to make complaints to the foresters’ professional association about stewardship practices on public lands and the right to see these complaints dealt with fairly and appropriately. The findings of the court may add clarity to government’s new regulatory regime of “professional reliance” and may determine whether foresters can or can not be held accountable for their stewardship ethics and professional practices. The original complaint to the ABCFP involved four examples of alleged failure to comply with then Bylaws 14 (professional ethics) and 17 (standards of professional practice). These examples all involve stewardship of environmental resources, i.e., an alleged failure to adequately manage and conserve: Marbled Murrelet nesting habitat, Mountain Goat winter range, Old growth resources, and Land protecting the Ambrose Lake Ecological Reserve.

9) As an ecologist working in the Great Bear Rainforest, I am compelled to respond to claims that “science formed the basis for negotiations” leading to the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement. Contrary to assertions by representatives of Greenpeace Canada and ForestEthics, virtually no intersection exists between the political strategy they negotiated and what science is saying needs to happen to conserve B.C.’s old-growth temperate rainforests and associated biological diversity. The dilemma in the conservation community is that there is a huge gap between what these neo-environmentalists say is the best we can do and what scientists say we must do. The guiding principles expressed by Greenpeace and ForestEthics are laudable but have nothing to do with the use of ecological science to ensure an environmentally sustainable global or regional economy that might support those ideals. The disconnect between science and policy reflects the ignorance and hubris that influenced the secretive negotiation of this ecologically untenable agreement. Many policies outlined by the agreement seem little more than impromptu experiments in faith-based conservation. From a scientific perspective, the agreement fails profoundly as a conservation strategy for coastal British Columbia. Marketing hyperbole, exaggerated claims and putatively sustainable industrial forestry cannot salvage the negotiated destruction and loss of a substantial portion of the world’s last remaining intact temperate rainforest. —University of Calgary © The Ottawa Citizen 2006


10) After nearly eight months of debate, the fate of Montana’s first Healthy Forests Restoration Act timber sale rests in the hands of U.S. District Court Judge Donald Molloy of Missoula. On Friday, Molloy heard a last hour of arguments over the Bitterroot National Forest’s Middle East Fork Hazardous Fuel Reduction Project. He promised a prompt decision. Missoula’s WildWest Institute and Friends of the Bitterroot sued the U.S. Forest Service last April over the agency’s proposal to reduce fuels on a little over 4,000 acres in the Middle East Fork of the Bitterroot. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that Molloy didn’t abuse his discretion in turning down the preliminary injunction. The two environmental groups want the court to set aside the Forest Service’s decision and grant a permanent injunction. On Friday, the environmental groups’ attorney, Thomas Woodbury, argued the agency had neither properly addressed the cumulative impacts of historical logging in the area nor properly assessed the remaining old-growth timber. At the core of the group’s complaint, Woodbury said the agency failed to address a federal requirement that says management actions can’t create irreversible damage to soils. The agency’s threshold for irreversible damage to the soil is 15 percent, Woodbury said. Since the area was logged heavily in the 1960s – a time when logging technology was heavier on the land – Woodbury contends that threshold has already been met in the watersheds. The Forest Service calculated its soil measurements inside the units planned for thinning. “That’s cherry picking,” he said. “It doesn’t address the cumulative impacts basinwide.” Woodbury said the agency also used a subjective technique to decide which trees were alive and which had been killed by bark beetles. Woodbury said the agency guessed which of the infected trees would survive and that decision skewed which acres were considered as old-growth habitat. “It’s all guess work,” he said. “We’d like to know how many live trees were called dead. We’d like to see surveys and data sheets that indicate how many trees were imminently dead, dead and alive.”

11) We want them to stop, look, listen and yield,” he said. “People are paying attention. They’ve really co-existed much better than we thought they would.” The signs let people know that logging is under way and where it’s occurring. Most importantly, it reminds them to be aware. This winter, cross-country skiers looking for freshly groomed tracks will need to look elsewhere. None of the steady stream of skiers, hikers and dog walkers seems to pay the racket any notice. Two weeks ago, after the ground froze solid, crews from Missoula’s Johnson Bros. Contracting moved into the area just across the road from Crazy Canyon to start thinning the last 80 acres of a 1,000-acre contract. As the equipment rolled in, Ronck gathered up a pair of maps and an orange crayon. He drew an outline around the area where the work will occur and posted the maps at popular trailheads.Over the past few years, loggers have thinned national forest lands in both Pattee Canyon and Blue Mountain recreation areas. “We ask them to stay at least one football field length away from the work area. Hopes are the logging portion of the fuels reduction project at Pattee Canyon will wrap up this winter. Cleanup work will probably continue through a portion of the summer.


12) We have a coal company coming through Meigs doing a lot of underhanded land-buying in preparation for filing permits to mine, build coal processing facilities etc. We hadn’t seen this kind of stuff for a long time, the last people who came in to do this kind of coal rights acquisition was in the 1890’s. Gatling is telling people here that they own all the coal rights in the county (not true) and they are going to long wall under us whether we sell or not, and that it’s up to the owner of surface rights to prove that a company that may or may not have coal rights DOESN’T have the right to mine under them. One of the things they are doing on land that industry has already gotten people to sell out is clear cutting in advance of filing mining permits. It’s pre-permit work, but because they haven’t filed the mining permit and logging is not regulated we appear to have no recourse to get this stopped. We do have known endangered species here – Indiana bat, spayed-toed frog, etc., and when I got in touch with DNR about this they said since AEP owned the piece of land in question where Gatling wants to put the coal processor, it is not state owned land and they have no jurisdiction. Is this true? Is there no protection of endangered species habitat if it is privately (industry) owned land? It seems obvious to me that they are removing the habitat, and thus the species (including us – they want people out by the first of the year and then file their permits) so that there will be nothing left to stand in the way of the mining and construction permits. Endangered species and forests – now you see it, now you don’t. We need some advice on how to protect this. I’ll send a photo on a flyer for the community group I’ve started here that shows a small piece of the clear cut. They are getting ready to start clear cutting Sue Rice’s old place next week. There are also springs on this land – one woman had 23 (twenty-three) on her place. We are trying to get people’s contacts that are being forced off before they go, so that there will be local people who can help us go over the hydrology maps and challenge them. On the piece of clear cut land where I took the picture for the flyer, there was water bubbling up in the tire tracks of the logging equipment – huge – where there had been springs on the hillsides. — Elisa Young —


13) Western governors endorsed a plan Thursday to step up thinning of U.S. forests and improve the accounting of those projects to better reduce wildfire risks while protecting homes and natural ecosystems. The proposal calls for better sharing of information and monitoring of accomplishments as well as forest conditions to make the most of scarce dollars and “improve transparency” in decisions about where and how to do the logging. “Governmental and non-governmental entities are collaborating and making significant progress on the ground and in management to address this nation’s fire and forest health needs,” four Western governors, federal and state officials said in a letter Thursday to congressional leaders. “Yet, despite our best efforts thus far, substantial work on our forest and rangeland remains,” they said. U.S. Agriculture Undersecretary Mark Rey said the proposal represented “a midcourse correction” to the association’s earlier document approved in 2002, “A Collaborative Approach for Reducing Wildland Fire Risks to Communities and the Environment: 10-Year Comprehensive Strategy Implementation Plan.”

14) The 109th Congress early this morning passed its sixth bill to protect wild public lands under the National Wilderness Preservation System. The White Pine County Conservation, Recreation and Development Act of 2006, designating more than a half million acres of new wilderness, was included in omnibus tax legislation that cleared the House and Senate in the final hours of the 109th Congress and heads next to the President’s desk for his signature. “What was shaping up to be a good year for wilderness turned into a great year, when Congress today designated 557,000 acres of public land in Nevada as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System,” said Mike Matz, executive director of the Campaign for America’s Wilderness. “As we head into the holidays, Congress has given future generations of Americans the very special gift of wilderness.” The Nevada bill is the sixth wilderness bill passed during the 109th Congress, which had already achieved an impressive bipartisan record of conserving public land. In the past two years, this Congress voted to safeguard in perpetuity more than 76,000 acres of forested hills and valleys in New Hampshire and Vermont (Wild River and Glastenbury Wilderness and others), some 275,000 acres of coastal forests in northwest California (King Range Wilderness and others), more than 100,000 acres of windswept peaks in Utah (Cedar Mountain Wilderness), 10,000 acres of tropical rainforest in Puerto Rico (El Toro Wilderness) and 11,000 acres of desert canyonlands in New Mexico (Ojito Wilderness). The Nevada wilderness bill passed as part of a larger package, H.R. 6111, the House and Senate overwhelming approved in the final hours of the 109th Congress. “The Campaign for America’s Wilderness wishes to extend our profound thanks to Nevada Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign and their staffs, who worked tirelessly to develop and guide this impressive legislation through Congress demonstrating the highest level of bipartisanship,” Matz said.

15) Members of Congress returned to Washington on December 4th for a short week of work which will undoubtedly result in the passage of a Continuing Resolution (CR). A Continuing Resolution is a mechanism that Congress uses to continue funding the government without passing the annual appropriations bills. The CR is scheduled to fund the government at 2006 funding levels until mid February, 2007. The outgoing Republican leadership has no plans for finishing the remaining nine “must-pass” spending bills. Republicans have been unable to agree on a strategy for handling the appropriations bills, with a rift between leadership and fiscal conservatives on spending, forcing Republican leaders to leave the bills for next year. Some pundits feel that this is a calculated strategy by the Republicans, designed to muddy the waters of the Democratic majority’s agenda when they come into power in January. By leaving so much unfinished business, the Republicans will be forcing the Democrats to clean up their mess. The incomplete fiscal 2007 spending bills cover all key energy and environmental agencies, including Interior (Forest Service and BLM), Agriculture, U.S. EPA, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the Department of Energy. To date, President Bush has signed only two spending bills into law: Defense and Homeland Security. Before the election, American Lands reported on what was at risk heading into the lame duck. Now that Congress is poised to sign a CR and go home, without taking any real legislative action, the risks outlined in our earlier report have been downgraded. The Walden Logging Bill (HR 4200) is dead. No poison pill on County Payments. Anti-public participation under NEPA proposal has expired. Threat to overturn the Roadless Rule Victory is dead. Bush’s Proposed “Healthy Forest Partnership Act” is motionless.


16) Last month, the government of Ontario, Canada, proposed plans to increase clear-cut logging in the traditional territory of the Grassy Narrows First Nation. This week, the community needs your help to stop it. Please call Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty and tell him to stop the planned increase in logging in Grassy Narrows’ traditional territory. Your call matters. Without significant outside pressure, sources close to the negotiations expect the logging deal to close before the end of the year. If you live in Ontario, be sure to say so! The planned logging increase shocked Grassy Narrows community leaders. Following logging blockades by the community earlier this year, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs David Ramsay said that he was “certainly committed to deal with the issues that Grassy Narrows is bringing up.” Despite this commitment, provincial officials failed to consult the community regarding the logging increase. Call Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to demand that he honor Aboriginal rights and stop clear-cut logging in Grassy Narrows. While the province ignores Grassy Narrows’ concerns, industrial loggers appear to be calling the shots. According to the government’s own labor bulletin, logging companies proposing the deal “originally approached the Ministry in the fall of 2005.” With no apparent plans to consult the community regarding the expansion of logging within their traditional territory, the bulletin states that new mills are already planned to begin processing the increased volume. According to government documents, logging companies counting on the deal will “begin construction in the spring of 2007.”

17) QUEBEC CITY — When Christmas snows thaw this spring, Armand Seguin will cut down a stand of about 300 trees outside Quebec City. Although he spent years growing these spruce and poplars, he will take care to completely burn their trunks, branches, leaves and roots. And environmental groups such as Greenpeace can hardly wait for the chainsaws to rev up. That’s because these are Canada’s first and only genetically modified trees to be grown outdoors. While some scientists believe that they represent the future of our forests — and a forest-product industry that accounted for nearly 60 per cent of our $55.1-billion trade balance in 2005 — others fear the fallout from experimenting with “frankenpines.” These environmentalists say trees with novel traits could spell the end of tree biodiversity and threaten the larger ecosystem. They point to scientific studies suggesting that animals developed abnormalities after being fed crops genetically engineered by biotech giant Monsanto. In short, they cannot fathom Mr. Seguin’s argument that GM trees could be good for the environment. Mr. Seguin works for the Canadian Forest Service, a federal government agency, and is one of the country’s foremost experts in tree biotechnology. In 1997, he planted poplars engineered to contain a gene from an E. coli bacterium. These acted as a marker to show whether the trees could be successfully genetically altered. He then followed that experiment in 2000 by planting spruce trees that were genetically engineered to contain DNA from the insecticide Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis), a bacterium used to control plant pests. Mr. Seguin needed to know that when these genes were introduced, they would persist long enough to have the desired effect. But, now that he can confirm that genes were expressed throughout these trees’ lives, they must be destroyed. Still, Mr. Seguin has high hopes for his work going forward.

18) Environmental activists visited the Ontario legislature Thursday to raise awareness of a threat to the province’s population of woodland caribou. One activist dressed as Santa Claus passed out stuffed animals (caribou) – also known as reindeer – to members of provincial parliament. The CPAWS Wildlands League says woodland caribou are predicted to become extinct within the next 80 years. The group wants the Ontario government to protect the species by halting logging in their habitat and passing tougher endangered species legislation. The activist dressed as Santa says `Rudolph will be devastated if his Ontario cousins lose their home.’

19) Native people have the right to log Crown lands for personal use, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a unanimous judgment on two New Brunswick cases. ‘A practice undertaken for survival purposes can be considered integral to an aboriginal community’s distinctive culture.’ -Supreme Court decision The high court judges decided three New Brunswick men who took Crown wood to make furniture, build a home and burn as firewood were exercising their treaty rights, not stealing. The ruling upholds the decision of the lower courts in New Brunswick, who also ruled in the men’s favour. “The respondents possessed an aboriginal right to harvest wood for domestic use,” the judges wrote in their summary. In 2005, the Supreme Court has ruled against aboriginal people’s rights to log Crown lands for commercial purposes — but these men were clearly logging for personal use, the court said. Darrell Gray, who is Mi’kmaq, was originally charged in 1999 for taking maple trees from Crown lands near three reserves. Clark Polchies and Dale Sappier, both Maliseet, were charged two years later for harvesting trees on Crown land without a licence. The Supreme Court judges ruled that both Mi’kmaq and Maliseet people logged wood on those lands long before Europeans arrived in North America. The judges said records show the wood was historically used for shelter, transportation, tools and fuel. It was key to native people’s survival.”A practice undertaken for survival purposes can be considered integral to an aboriginal community’s distinctive culture,” the judges wrote in their summary. The judges said the right to harvest the wood must be allowed to evolve with the times. Historically, natives used the wood to build temporary shelters, but now the right must be allowed to evolve to the construction of modern homes, they wrote. They stressed that the wood cannot be sold, traded or bartered for money, even if the money is used to build another home.

20) Buchanan Forest Products is facing more opposition to its logging efforts in the Kenogami Forest. Aroland First Nation issued a news release Friday and Band Chief Sam Kashkeesh threatened to shut down logging operations unless his people were given a role in talks with the MNR to transfer the forest licence for the region to Buchanan. Kashkeesh says while they don’t want to disrupt operations at the former Neenah Paper mill, his people also depend upon the forest industry for their livelihood. They believe they have a right to help make decisions about their traditional territory. Buchanan’s logging of the area is also being opposed by Neenah’s former woodland’s workers. The Steelworkers Union members say under their collective agreement, the company must employ them to conduct logging operations in the Kenogami Forest.

21) The government of P.E.I. has set aside about 800 hectares of Crown land for a sustainable forestry project, with an eye towards harvesting high-value trees instead of knocking down forests for pulp. Well-known Island environmentalist Gary Schneider has taken on the project. Schneider, who received a Canadian Environment Award in 2004 for his work managing a 60-hectare woodlot surrounding the MacPhail Homestead in Orwell, will attempt to apply lessons learned there to the piece of Crown land in Valley, in the southeast corner of the province. “They’re pretty beat-up woodlands,” Schneider told CBC News during a tour of the forest earlier this week. “They’ve been over-harvested and haven’t been treated that well.” Despite that, Schneider sees signs of hope. Typically weedy, less valuable species such as balsam fir can overwhelm more valuable trees as it regenerates. The regeneration of the forest is at an early stage, but Schneider said the forest is moving more toward the natural Acadian forest — the kind that existed before the Europeans arrived — than he would have expected. “I look around here, and even though there’s a lot of balsam fir, there’s more hemlock and white pine and red spruce than I’ll actually need growing up in these areas, so it saves us a lot of work,” said Schneider.


22) Speaking at a press briefing on the state of the Ministry of Forestry, the Commissioner for Forestry, Chief Dele Odulaja, noted that at the creation of the state in 1976, a total of nine forest reserves were inherited from the former western state, which covered about 16 per cent of the total land mass of Ogun State, but since the administration of Governor Daniel came on board, there had been broad policy objectives at the ministry. The objectives included, ensuring adequate and continuous supply of forest products through the development and orderly exploitation of the state’s forest resources in order to protect the environment and ecology; providing employment opportunities for youths, rural and urban dwellers through the encouragement and development of timber and non-timber related industries; protecting forest estates against any form of encroachment, damage or destruction, while also developing, managing and protecting wildlives in order to prevent the extinction of rare or endangered species. There had been the establishment of 1,200 hectares of forest reserves namely: Omo Forest Reserves (J1, J3, J4, J6), Olokemeji, Ilaro, Arakanja, Eggua, Ohunbe, Edun, Aworo and Abeokuta/Sagamu Express Road Forest Reserves. The ministry is looking beyond its present success, thereby focusing on sustained production of 2.5 million forest seedlings. It is also planning the establishment of additional 1,200 hectares of new forest plantation, while the war against illegal timber felling and wanton destruction of mature timber trees by cocoa/kolanut farmers would be intensified. The adoption of non-timber forest projects, such as snail rearing, bee-keeping, cane rat production, mulberry plantation (sericulture) for silk production, mushroom production, medicinal plants/gardenings bamboo production etc would be encouraged. There will also be development of industrial forestry plantation to supply pulpwood to Iwopin Pulp and Paper Mill and other allied wood-based industries, which is expected to contribute to import substitution of pulp, paper prints and other related products.

23) The food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) recommended that at least 25 per cent of a country’s land area should be put under forest cover in perpetuity for the well-being of its citizenry and for the local, national and global environment. However, recent studies have shown that forest cover has declined while biodiversity is under threat all over the world, especially in the sub-Sahara Africa. To buttress the need for urgent action to tackle the issues of forest degradation and desertification, president of the Forestry Association of Nigeria (FAN), Alhaji Abdullahi Hassan Mohammed, Wambai of Jema’a, said the consequences have caused “great fears and anxiety to both government and individuals as poverty has set in and the prospects of life here on earth have become increasingly frightening and very difficult.” FAN, in search of solutions to the phenomena, organised its 31st annual conference with the theme: “Forestry at cross road in Nigeria.” The conference held in Makurdi, Benue State, between November 20 and 24, 2006. 75 technical papers which addressed different aspects of the conference theme were delivered on the occasion and the highlights of the papers include that the federal government should: Promote community participation in forest management and private sector investment to develop forest estate, eco-tourism and wood-based industries in Nigeria. Pursue to a logical conclusion, the on-going review of the National Forestry Law and Policy and to enforce it in all the states in order to strengthen and regulate forestry practice in Nigeria. Address urgently the issue of poor funding of forestry research, training and development with NGO’s and other organisations. Reactivate and protect the pulp and paper industry through appropriate fiscal policies so as to effectively utilize the abundant forestry resources in Nigeria. Encourage the promotion of ecotourism by both the Federal and States government.


24) Forest reserves are established to generally conserve the flora and fauna, especially the endangered species in the reserves. Besides, reserves have a significant influence on the ecological system of the area where they are located. Therefore, people have every right to express concern when those reserves are rampantly being devastated through human activities such as mining and logging. Individual farmers living along the fringes of the forest reserves have also contributed to the destruction of these reserves through illegal farming activities in the reserves. Furthermore, illegal chain-saw operators have contributed immensely to the destruction of many reserves in the country. It is in view of these that some measures are being taken to protect the Ankasa Conservation Area from facing a similar fate. The Ankasa Conservation Area, now an ecotourism facility located in the Jomoro District of the Western Region, covers a total land area of 508 square kilometres and it was gazetted in 1976. It is believed that about 24,000 settler farmers live along the conservation area. The area is said to be the most significantly protected area in the country because of its high biological diversity. It is home to the forest elephant, the bango and some other West African primates, including the chimpanzee, 600 butterfly species, over 800 vascular plants, as well as a long list of birds. Its conservation should, therefore, be of paramount interest. However, the major threat to the survival of the Ankasa Conservation Area is the pressure arising from the increasing human population living along the area.


25) A French-based timber company, Groupe Rougier, is in the country to explore the possibility of investing in the forestry sector of the Liberian economy. “Being a long-term commitment, our vision allows the Rougier Group to make ambitious investments in forest, industry, training, and social activities by carrying out very thorough forestry management programs”, the Group’s Press Statement affirming the assertions of Mr. Rougier said here yesterday. The statement said that while the Groupe Rougier was in the country to do business, it would be part of its corporate responsibility to invest in the Liberian peace process while taking active part in the welfare and safety of employees and residents of the operational areas. “Researchers and engineers will ensure training in forest botany, non-timber-forest-products inventory, social services, workers’ safety, and health. It will also relate to the conflict-resolution techniques, essential to avoid possible drifts and mutual misunderstandings with local populations in the working areas”, the company’s statement emphasized. With 83 years of timber investment experience behind it, Groupe Rougier, which began investment in Africa in 1954, has since taken world center stage in timber investment through the local production of timber products as opposed to 100% export of round logs by its competitors. The company, which is currently operating a plywood factory in Gabon and a sawmill each in Gabon, Cameroon, and the Congo, said its vision is “to be a leader and integrated producer and global marketer of African tropical timber coming from forests under Sustainable Management”.


26) “If banana waste were recycled into paper and cloth, an enormous amount of industrial resources would be created. We developed a world-first manufacturing technique of environment-friendly, chemical-free and energy-free banana paper and cloth by mixing traditional Japanese paper making art and high technology,” Morishima said.A banana plant, once planted, grows within 3 to 6 months and dies as soon as it bears fruit. But it sprouts again from the side and bears fruit again. This process is repeated over 20 years. According to the FAO 2004 Report the total amount of banana waste produced in 129 countries and regions in the world exceeds 100 million tonnes, “If the project is adopted worldwide, it would contribute to reducing poverty and to preservation of forest. The fruit becomes food; stems become paper and cloth as alternative sources to timber; and huge leaves become carbon dioxide (CO2 absorbers), enabling the recovery of green areas and economic independence in developing nations. The more we plant banana trees, the more the global warming is avoided.”


27) Since 1994 Gulick has been helping the US-based Wildlife Conservation Society (WSC) to patrol the area in an effort to thwart these illegal hunters. It has been an unequal contest. Poachers target elephants under the cover of dense rainforest to avoid being detected from aircraft, and patrols like Gulick’s have to trek through the forest on foot. Killings can go undetected for months or even years, and during one sweep, Gulick’s patrol found more than 200 elephant carcasses in various stages of decomposition. Now he and others are fighting back, using adapted military technology to listen in on elephants and monitor their behaviour. They are also borrowing data from environment monitoring satellites to spot illegal logging that can devastate the animals’ habitats. “There’s a real need to transform wildlife observation techniques into real-time warning systems,” Gulick says. To help achieve that Gulick has set up Wildland Security, a company based in New York City that specialises in sensors to detect wildlife crime. One of its products, a small seismic detector called TrailGuard, can be buried along forest pathways to pick up the footfalls of people as they pass. “It’s based on military technology used to detect enemy troop movements,” he says. To distinguish hunters from harmless passers-by, the devices also contain magnetometers that can detect iron in guns several metres away. Once triggered, the TrailGuards transmit a radio signal to an antenna at the top of the forest canopy, which relays it to a hub to be sent to forest rangers over a satellite phone link. An additional line of defense could come from acoustic sensors being developed by Mya Thompson and colleagues at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. These so-called “autonomous recording units” were originally designed to monitor elephants communicating with each other in Kakum National Park, Ghana. The devices pick up the elephant calls using specialised low-frequency microphones hidden in trees, and record the signal onto a laptop computer. Installing the microphones 100 to 200 metres apart ensures that each call is picked up at a minimum of three points. The millisecond differences in the time it takes to reach each sensor can then be used to locate the origin of the sound.


28) The official version is that the tribals were cultivating land which belongs to the forest department and therefore they had to be evicted. Bhanvar Singh, an activist with ‘Aasthaa’, an organisation fighting for the land rights of tribal peasants in Rajasthan, differs. “The forest department has ignored the rights of many small tribal peasants cultivating this land. For these people this is the main or the only source of livelihood.” For many years the issue of tribal rights over forests remained low-key as petty officials collected bribes and chickens from tribals and in return allowed them to cultivate the fields. Now the same officials are busy carrying out evictions across a rapidly industrialising India.According to R.D. Vyas, an Aasthaa activist, with international funding available for forest management and plantations, the forest department is more interested in evicting the tribals to get hold of vacant land. “But equally, a strong struggle by tribals and forest-dwellers has emerged to demand regularisation of their land,” he told IPS.

29) An estimated four million people live in India’s national parks and sanctuaries alone. Many more, some say up to 50 million people, inhabit the reserved and protected forests and have been there for generations, eking out livelihoods from forest produce such as honey, herbs and fruit and basic farming. But no forest management plan recognises this and present law deems the tribals to be encroachers and poachers. The result is that forest guards extort bribes from tribals and forest-dwellers with impunity, and when they cannot pay, collaborate with the owners of commercial plantations and land grabbers to take over large chunks of land. India’s tribals are increasingly taking their demands to the national capital and other cities. On Nov. 29, thousands of tribals marched through the wide boulevards of New Delhi to press for the quick passage of the Scheduled Tribes (Recognition of Forest Rights) Bill, pending in parliament since 2005. Activists see the pending bill as the last hope for both the tribals and the environment since its stated aim is to give tribals the legal right to the land and the resources that they have been using and protecting for generations. “This is a very important bill dealing with the livelihoods of over 2 million households, or over 10 million people that live in forest areas,” said Bhanwar Singh, an activist with the Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD), a national platform for tribals and forest dwellers, which organised the November rally in New Delhi.


30) “In many cases, China is eating our lunch,” said Cohen, a professor at the university’s forestry department. Cohen said China is becoming the largest log importer in the world, with neighbouring Russia as its biggest source of softwood. China imported some 25 million cubic meters of logs per year from Russia to produce plywood, wood flooring and furniture-making, he said. He added that China has become a large supplier of plywood for the Japanese and South Korean markets, cutting into Canadian producers’ efforts to tap those markets. Besides the advantage of having significantly lower labour costs, some Chinese mills can offer cut-rate prices because they operate using loans that they don’t have to pay back, Cohen said. This is sometimes the case for state-controlled companies that are granted loans by state-controlled banks, he said, adding that it’s difficult to determine which Chinese operations are in this situation. China has also surpassed Italy as the world’s largest wood furniture manufacturer, while Canada’s furniture production is stable or declining, Cohen said. He said that China’s rise is putting pressure on Canadian furniture manufacturers to change the way they do business.

31) Emphasizing his policy on protecting the forest area, the Krabi Governor Siwa Sirisaowalak said he will strictly ensure that the laws against deforestation are strictly imposed. A special task force team will be set up in each community to help keep watch he stated. Touching on the forest land encroachment on Ao Nang beach, Mr. Siwa said he has to await the committee’s investigation results. The cases include the walkway project and road construction on hills. If found guilty, all wrongdoers must be brought in for legal procedure. In the past about 10 years ago, Krabi had around 1.7 million rai of forest, but now only about 7 million left.

New Zealand:

32) MAF WELCOMES the sentence handed down on Monday in the Wanganui District Court to Peter Michael Knuth for using an unregistered sawmill to mill indigenous timber. Native timber may only be milled in registered mills after consent is granted by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry’s IFU – and then only timber from registered sustainable forest management plans, permits or other approved sources may be legally milled in them. The defendant admitted he knew the mill should be registered and that it was not, a statement from MAF said. He was fined $3000. MAF’s Indigenous Forestry Unit manager, Rob Miller, said harvesting and milling indigenous timber without the appropriate consent threatened the sustainability of New Zealand’s private indigenous forests, a scarce resource. Everyone in the industry – including harvesters, millers, transporters and purchasers – should be aware that their activities must comply with the requirements of the Forests Act to ensure a sustainable resource for all. Some operators were attempting to profit through illegal logging methods, but Mr Miller said the majority of indigenous forest owners in the country who harvested timber managed their forests responsibly.


33) Greenpeace activists today poured dried leaves and tree branches all over Kayu Lapis Indonesia’s (KLI) headquarters in Jakarta in a symbolic act to return to the company remains of logged trees from Papua. The activists also presented the company a large flower bouquet inscribed with “Congratulations Kayu Lapis Indonesia, Forest Killer in Papua” for operations that totally disregard Indonesia’s logging laws, thus destroying Indonesia’s last ancient forests. ”KLI is responsible for destroying big parts of the last ancient forests in Papua and Kalimantan,” said Hapsoro, Forest Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “If no immediate action is taken to stop illegal and destructive logging practices, the future of Indonesia’s forests is bleak. The government must urgently prevent the further destruction of our already diminishing forests,” he added. Deforestration rates in Indonesia are among the highest in the world. In 2005, an estimated 2.8 million hectares of forests have been destroyed, according to the Minister of Forestry. In April 2006, Greenpeace released the report entitled “Forest Crime File: Kayu Lapis Indonesia – Untouchable God of Indonesian Ancient Forest Destruction” containing evidence that KLI and its subsidiaries have been repeatedly involved in illegal logging activities, along with serious violations of Indonesian forestry regulations. Evidence found by Greenpeace were, among others, logging within buffer zones of small waterways and cheating local communities out of agreed royalties. KLI is one of the largest logging and timber processing companies in Papua. ”KLI is killing the forests in Papua. KLI’s destructive logging operations should not continue in Papua, or else Indonesia stands to lose its forests forever,” Hapsoro added. Greenpeace earlier asked the Ministry of Forestry to officially audit KLI’s operations. One of the audit results showed that KLI had cleared land in order to open new palm oil concessions, which clearly violated governmental regulations.

34) Up to no good and think the dense, steamy jungle is the best place to hide? Think again. For smugglers, illegal immigrants and loggers with theft on their minds, the forests’ thick green canopy is no longer the perfect camouflage for their dirty deeds. From a thousand feet above ground, mounted on a modified fixed-wing aircraft, the kit has mapped smuggling trails less than a metre wide in some jungles surveyed over the past few years. Better known as lorong tikus (rat lanes) for its narrow, winding nature, the lanes would be easy to miss if someone searched on foot, explains Professor Dr Kamaruzaman Jusoff. Flying on a routine research survey over a state forest reserve some years ago, the sensor was able to pick up logging outside licensed concession area. These were in hard-to-reach mountainous areas that enforcement officers couldn’t get to. More recently an illegal settlement in the heart of the Air Itam Forest Reserve, near the university, turned up bright and clear on the sensor’s reading. “No one even guessed an entire colony of illegal immigrants was living in the forest, but there it was, on the images on the screen,” said Kamaruzaman, whose report led authorities to the precise site. The system was born from a challenge thrown to the scientist who had been researching satellite and radar systems for some years. When he told Forestry Department officers he could create a sensor that could count individual trees and tell them apart by their species, they flatly refused to believe him. A sensor in the clouds taking an inventory of a dense, multi-layered forest sounded like complete nonsense. Listing tree species is painstaking work, done on foot, by experts with years of learning, they told the lecturer who has also served as deputy director at the Malaysian Centre for Remote Sensing. But the soft-spoken Kelantanese politely disagreed and went on to create the kit specifically for timber inventory and species mapping. The forestry-engineering professor from Universiti Putra Malaysia, who put together the system, is reluctant to divulge more saying only that the technology will be useful in surveillance of our forested border areas.

35) Forestry Minister MS Ka`ban has said Indonesia`s continued forest destruction has downgraded the international confidence in the country. “As the world`s biggest tropical forest owner, Indonesia has been under the international spotlight because of its forest destruction, leading to a drop in the international confidence in Indonesia,” he told around 100 heads of forestry services attending a workshop on managing sustainable forests here on Thursday night. Indonesia`s damaged forests currently covered an area of 59.3 million hectares, he said. He noted that illegal logging, forest fires and nomadic farming were responsible for the forest destruction. “The practices have led to degradation of forest function, shrinkage in forested land, and disappearance of some flora and fauna species,” he said. The degradation of forest function had destroyed the ecology, he added. The fact that forestry officers had not implemented forestry policies well was another cause of the forest destruction, he said. “The paradigm of forest management in regions does not work. Many forestry officials still take advantage of their tenure,” he said. Forestry regulations would become strong if human resources had strong commitment to managing forests well, he said.


36) Last month I delivered to the CEO of GUNNS at their shareholder meeting in Launceston, Tasmania hundreds of signatures on a petition that I collected as Dana Lyons and I did concerts from Vancouver Island through BC, Washington, Oregon and northern California. I also delivered 4000 letters from children around the world calling on GUNNS to stop clearcutting old growth forests to chip and send to Japan to be made into paper, stop using napalm to burn the forest after they clearcut it, stop putting out 1080 poison to kill all mammals that return to the forest and cancel plans to build a pulp mill that would seriously exacerbate logging of native forests in Tasmania. As I traveled around Tasmania, I saw the damage GUNNS is doing and intends to increase. You can see a map of the destruction planned for 2006-2007 at You can see photos of the firebombing with napalm on and photos of the animals killed by 1080 poisoning, a painful way to die. And you can see how 60 police broke the public blockade in the World Heritage class forests of the Weld Valley the morning after our Hobart concert at 80-90% of the trees from that cut would go to GUNNS to be chipped and sent to Japan. The public responded by lockdowns on the bulldozers, public walk-ins into the closed exclusion zone, and protests at the Parliament. The Tasmanians have asked for our help to stop GUNNS, stop the clearcutting of their ancient forests. I say let’s help them all we can!!!

37) GUNNS clear-cuts and then firebombs the equivalent of 44 football fields per day of some of the most unique and ancient old-growth forests on Earth. These include the majestic Eucalyptus regnans (the world’s tallest hardwood tree, soaring up to 90m) and areas with documented World Heritage value. GUNNS turns over 90% of the forests it destroys into woodchips that largely become disposable paper products. Now, GUNNS is poised to double its destruction of the forests with the construction of a pulp mill. The pulp mill, to be located at Bell Bay, would consume up to 4.5 million tons of woodchips annually. GUNNS presently exports around 4 million tons of woodchips each year. The construction of the mill would increase the clearfelling of Tasmania’s native forests to supply enough trees to create roughly 8 million tons of woodchips each year.

38) It is sad to see the lie that the forests are regrown (anonymously) on this site. The truth is that native forest, a mix of rainforest and tall eucalypts, takes thousands of years to form, with its rich ecosystems brimming with biodiversity. These areas are being destroyed and replaced by crops, by plantations of eucalypt designed to feed the woodchippers. The ancient, diverse forest does not grow back. It is gone forever. Many species are threatened by extinction. Please everybody, wherever you are, pressure the Tasmanian and Australian governments to stop this industrial horror. ONE of Gunns Ltd’s largest woodchip customers has announced it will no longer buy product sourced from old-growth forests, a move heralded as a victory by conservationists. Mitsubishi Paper Mills is one of three Japanese companies that take the bulk of Gunns’ woodchip exports. The company has released a conservation policy saying it will only buy woodchips from plantations and regrowth forests.


39) A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF SOME UNIQUE FEATURES OF TREES. Trees are the tallest, most massive, longest-lived organisms ever to grow on earth. Trees, like other plants, cannot move. However, trees, unlike other plants, are big, woody, and perennial, which means they are easy targets for constant wounding. Trees are super survivors mainly because they grow in ways that give them defense systems that are highly effective against infections from wounds. Trees have the capacity to adjust rapidly to changes that threaten their survival. Animals move to get food, water, and shelter. They move to avoid destructive agents. When animals are injured and infected, processes of restoration and repair start. Animals heal after wounding. When trees are injured and infected, processes of boundary formation start. Trees do not restore or repair wood that is injured and infected. In this sense, trees do not heal. Instead, trees compartmentalize wound infections. Compartmentalization is the tree’s defense process after injuries where boundaries form that resist the spread of infections. The boundaries also protect systems involving water, air, energy storage, and mechanical support. In a sense, the boundaries are like an inside bark.

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