180 – Earth’s Tree News

Today for you 40 news items about Earth’s trees. Location, number and subject listed below. Condensed / abbreviated article is listed further below.

Can be viewed on the web at http://www.livejournal.com/users/olyecology or
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–Alaska: 1) Stealing trees,
–British Columbia: 2) Betty K. gets 10 months, 3) Sooke hills housing, 4) Forest Stewardship Plans, 5) BC is a US colony,
–Oregon: 6) 25th ELAW conference, 7) Logging industry changes, 8) Fire versus Thinning, 9) Loggers near Portland form eco-friendly coalition
–Montana: 10) Logging starts in Boulder River basin
–Colorado: 11) Cutting down a tree again
–Oklahoma: 12) Charges in destruction of Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge
–Ohio: 13) Timber thieves
–Florida: 14) Rayonier dealings
–New Hampshire: 15) Climate is a forest product
–Maine: 16) Logging plus carbon credits could be profitable
–Canada: 17) Smoky River Pine salvage
–UK: 18) Get buried in Wicker instead of wood
–Guyana: 19) Forest roads facilitate forest degradation
–Brazil: 20) Police arrest 25 illegal loggers, 21) Ensure preservation of the environment,
–Pakistan: 22) Pollen from Paper Mulberry trees wreaks havoc,
–India: 23) Logging for fire festival, 24) Too many monkeys not enough trees, 25) Bamboo rice, 26) A need for cultivating medicinal and aromatic plants,
–Japan: 27) Becoming more self-sufficient? 28) Bear habitat in decline,
–Brunei: 29) Global Issues Conference
–Bangladesh: 30) world’s largest mangrove forest under siege,
–Cambodia: 31) 100 Cambodian schoolchildren draw pictures to end logging
–Malaysia: 32) Plan to buy small remaining forests in urban areas, 33) Honey Hunters
–Australia: 34) eco-sensitive resort? 35) Tasmanian Forests burned away every day, 36) Pulp mill plan withering away, 37) Logging Victorian National Park, 38) Campaign against sawlog export, 39) Clearing 26,000 hectares of native eucalypt,
–Tropical: 40) Tropical deforestation leads to global climate change


1) Attorneys for an Alaska Native regional corporation and two Anchorage educators are negotiating a monetary settlement to compensate for the clear-cutting of their wooded retirement site. The couple, Bob and Julie Maker, found out late last fall that NPI LLC had downed 15 acres of white birch and spruce on their undeveloped 20-acre retirement homestead off Vine Road in the Matanuska Valley. “We’re trying to get this settled as soon as possible,” Maker said. “We won’t be able to build out there. The property’s been ruined. The trees have been cut down and taken away. We don’t know what’s going on.” A crew from NPI, an Oklahoma-based firm that has been logging extensively in the Matanuska-Susitna Borough, clear-cut the Maker property last fall, apparently mistaking it for another parcel. NPI also hauled 29 loads of spruce off the Makers’ retirement homestead. NPI spokesman Ron Arvin declined comment. Alaska state statues allow that if trespass in timber felling cases is shown to have been done unintentionally, and that it was an honest mistake, then the injured party is entitled only to actual damages. Alternatively, if the defendant timber feller is shown to have not used reasonable care to try to determine where the boundaries were, then the injured party is entitled to triple the actual damages. “Nobody wants to buy a clear-cut site,” Ortiz said. “The only use now is condos, apartments, a junk yard. It does impact the neighboring property value, and how anybody can think that it doesn’t is most assuredly self-serving.” At this point, the Hanns are waiting to see if the NANA, NPI and the surveyors are going to tell the people wronged what happened, and to see how they want to compensate, she said. http://www.alaskajournal.com/stories/030407/hom_20070304091.shtml

British Columbia:

2) BC Supreme Court justice today sentenced Betty Krawczyk, 78, to ten months in jail. Krawczyk pitched a tent in the path of bulldozers building a highway bypass in West Vancouver last spring, defying a court order banning protestors from the area. She was arrested and carried away by police, but returned to the blockade site twice more and later refused to apologize to the court for her actions. After her third arrest last July, Krawczyk was held in jail for two months “to protect the public,” the judge said at the time. She will not credited for time served. Justice Brenda Brown handed down the sentence for criminal contempt of court in a high-security courtroom this morning. She described Krawczyk’s breach of the court order as “open, flagrant and continuing.” Krawczyk had told the judge she would not accept probation or house arrest, stating she would not participate in her own punishment. Krawczyk has already spent two years in jail for logging blockades on the BC coast. In May 2006, Police arrested Krawczyk along with two dozen others, including Harriet Nahanee, a First Nations elder who died last week after her release from jail. In January, Justice Brown gave Nahanee, age 71, two weeks in Surrey Pre-Trial Centre. She was hospitalized a week after completing her sentence, and a few days later she died of pneumonia complicated by a previously undiagnosed lung cancer. Krawczyk represented herself at her trial after her lawyer, Cameron Ward, withdrew from the case. “The Crown is using this (sentence) as a way of keeping any sort of publicity away from issues about the way we do business in BC, and about the way the Attorney General instructs the police to arrest people,” Krawczyk told Justice Brown last July. “I really resent being arrested under the auspices of a corporation that’s destroying a precious bio-system – an American company – under the BC courts.” Krawczyk’s supporters are angry about the long sentence and the heavy-handed security at the courtroom. The hearing was held in a courtroom with bulletproof barriers, and everyone who wanted to attend was searched. –Zoe Blunt

3) A few years ago when Alanda Carver went walking in the forests west of Sooke, she would hear eagles screeching and ravens calling. Today, she hears nothing, except for the occasional chainsaw. “People think of the wild West Coast,” said Ms. Carver. “Well, the wild is going out of the West Coast. It’s going and it’s going fast.” Ms. Carver, who lives in Otter Point, about 45 kilometres west of Victoria, attributes the wilderness loss to a forest free-for-all, where in the past few years forestry companies have been clear-cutting their land and then selling it to developers who are intent on building houses. “I don’t think people here want to be a giant subdivision of Victoria, but that’s the way it’s going,” said Ms. Carver, president of the Muir Creek Protection Society, which was formed to save the salmon-bearing stream. One of Victoria’s top realtors last year thinks there is room for first-class homes and businesses to be built where third-growth forests once stood. In December, Victoria-based Three Point Properties bought 200 hectares in Port Renfrew from TimberWest for an undisclosed amount. Three Point’s 10-year plan calls for townhouses, businesses, high-end homes and even trailer parks to be built near the town’s core, said Mr. Fedosenko, who is sales agent for the development. Last year, TimberWest netted $32.9-million in real-estate sales, averaging about $25,000 per hectare. Over the next 10 to 15 years, 38,000 more hectares of its private forest lands will hit the market. Port Renfrew’s drawing card, said Three Point partner Ross Tennant, was the village’s rugged coastline, spectacular fishing and the 2.5-hour drive from Victoria versus five hours to Tofino or Ucluelet. Another project — the Shores at Jordan River — has 63 residential lots for sale on 80 hectares of former forest land. Included, are several million-dollar oceanfront plots. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070305.BCWILDERNESS05/TPStory/?query=Forest

4) At the heart of the issue is what’s known as Forest Stewardship Plans, a new planning requirement that will replace Forest Development Plans on March 31. Under stewardship plans, forest companies must provide maps showing the boundaries of forest development units and strategies on how they’ll meet government objectives and standards.They must also consult the public and native communities and receive government approval. But the stewardship plans state Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel or Clayoquot Sound watershed plans — developed in consultation with the province over the past decade — are not objectives set by the government. The Clayoquot Sound Scientific Panel, written by a 19-member panel over two years, consists of five reports and 170 recommendations. Jim Lornie, the board’s provincial co-chairman, said the Forests Ministry is putting the board in a very “awkward situation.” He said the board will face a dilemma if a forest company asks for exemptions to the scientific panel and watershed plans. He questioned whether the board will be forced to approve recommendations and then “trust” the ministry to monitor logging activities. “If this is not going to happen, it could have some dire effects,” he said. Added Roland Arnet, a provincial representative from Tofino, “It’s become increasingly clear worldwide ecological interests should be trumping monetary and timber interests.” http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070227.BCCLAYOQUOT27/TPStory/TPNational/Brit

5) The U.S. doesn’t pay any tariffs on raw logs but it pays a 15 per cent tariff on lumber. The provincial government collects tariffs, which is why Lunney is seeking a partnership with the provincial government. Between 2001 and 2005 B.C. log exports increased 69 per cent, putting a strain on the local industry. In 2004, the problem was amplified when 70,000 hectares of public land near Port Alberni was transferred to a private landholder. Exporting logs also reduces the amount of wood chips for mills. “People may not think five to seven per cent of private forest provincially is much but it makes up one-third of Vancouver Island’s forests. We need to take action,” said Lunney. So James Lunney is petitioning “ground zero” to help stem the flow of B.C. logs to the United States. The Nanaimo-Alberni Conservative MP started the petition last month to urge the provincial government to back tariffs on log exports to protect the B.C. forest industry. In January, Lunney sent a letter to B.C. Forests Minister Rich Coleman asking for cooperation between federal and provincial governments. “A petition helps me make my point here in Ottawa and it helps me make my point with the provincial government,” said Lunney. http://www.nanaimobulletin.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=51&cat=23&id=843164&more=


6) Internationally known physicist, ecologist and author Vandana Shiva and environmental lawyer, radio host and author Robert Kennedy Jr. shared the lectern for the opening address of the conference before a packed house in the Erb Memorial Ballroom. Both speakers issued calls for action by those in the audience. “It’s time for those of us who know what it is that makes this nation worth fighting for to stand up and take it back from those that don’t,” Kennedy said in closing his hour-long speech. Shiva touched on a range of subjects including her involvement in the Chipko movement to stop logging in the Himalayas and her attempts to prevent the United States from exerting its influence on Indian farmers. She called for biodiversity on a small scale and referred to the theme of this year’s conference, “Cultivating Corridors for the People.” The keynote addresses marked the first day of what was billed as “the premiere annual gathering for environmentalists in the world.” The conference continues through Sunday and features a number of keynote addresses including one by two-time vice presidential candidate Winona LaDuke. Launched 25 years ago by a group of 15 speakers and 75 lawyers, students and activists, the conference has grown into a four-day event that attracts thousands and includes panel discussions, films and workshops. Along with law students and lawyers, the event also draws activists and community members. Law students organize the conference. “I think this is a fabulous conference because it brings people from all over the world and all walks of life,” said Vera Smith, a land-policy advocate for the Wilderness Society, a nonprofit organization in Golden, Colo. http://www.registerguard.com/news/2007/02/23/d1.cr.lawconf.0223.p1.php?section=cityregion

7) RIDDLE —Log trucks cluster out the gated entrance onto the shoulder of Riddle Bypass Road. Pondmen gaff large-diameter logs and float them toward the back entrance of a warehouse, a building whose exterior hasn’t changed for nearly 50 years. Inside the gray building, laser-guided saws cut logs into proficiently cut boards. A new rigging and carriage system shuttles boards to machinery that will hone them into a products niche. One of the few family-owned mills that survived the timber-industry collapse of the 1990s, Herbert Lumber evolved into a high-tech mill that now produces nearly four times its capacity level of the 1970s. “The truth of the matter is, there are no inefficient mills left” in the industry, Beck said. Timber sales on the local market have also become scarce. Because of the short supply, Beck’s ongoing search for high-quality wood has increasingly sent him far and wide. Herbert Lumber purchases timber from as far north as British Columbia and as far south as Sacramento, Calif., for its annual production of 26 million board feet. Supplies mainly come from private landowners in Oregon, Washington, California and Canada, and three tribal entities, but also from three national forests — Umpqua, Hood and Willamette — and three Bureau of Land Management districts. “We get around,” said Steve Radford, a Herbert Lumber timber cruiser. During the mid-1970s, or “the good old days,” as they’re sometimes recalled, Lynn Herbert said Herbert Lumber and other mills relied on an average harvest of 350 million board feet a year from the Umpqua National Forest. About 130 million board feet, he said, came from the Tiller district. That’s more than four times the harvest on the Umpqua forest today. Debbie Anderson, the UNF’s forest environmental coordinator, said 2007’s target level is about 40 mbf. It was during those good old days that Herbert Lumber relied on only 7 million board feet of timber. The increased production at Herbert Lumber has put strains on supply, with costs for wood-retrieval at all-time highs. A truckload of high-quality logs, about 10,000 board feet upon delivery, costs about $10,000, Lynn Herbert said. Add to that the average cost of a log truck per hour, $60, and the cost of transportation figures heavily into supply. http://www.oregonnews.com/article/20070304/NEWS/70305006

8) There are, however, some thinning advocates who are truly interested in improving forest productivity and reducing big blazes—not in padding the timber industry’s pockets. Let’s consider why even these proposals may be based upon flawed assumptions. Consider the following points. POINT 1. Most of the acreage burned in any one year occurs in a relatively few large blazes. In other words if you were to put out all the other fires, these few fires would account for the bulk of all acreage burned. POINT 2. Big blazes are driven primarily by climatic conditions–when there is extended drought, low humidity, and high winds, you get big fires. POINT 3. When conditions are ripe for a big blaze, and assuming you have an ignition source (lightning or human), you can’t stop the fires. POINT 4. As consequence of points 1, 2, 3, thinning proposals as “fuels reduction” have little impact on fire spread. POINT 5. There is no predicting where a fire will start and burn. So many things affect fire spread including the wind direction, topography, past fire and insect history which shapes present stand age and species composition, POINT 6. Thinning is not a one time treatment. When you thin a forest you release a lot of other trees from competition which rapidly grow to fill holes in the canopy and understory. Unless you are prepared to go back repeatedly and re-thin the forest over and over again, you lose much of the fuel reduction value. POINT 7. Thinning is not a proven strategy. Most of the evidence to support thinning is anecdotal. POINT 8. There is even some evidence that suggests that thinning can actually increase the fire severity and intensity because thinning opens up the forests to more wind and permits greater drying of ground vegetation and the fine fuels that sustains fire spread. POINT 9. Logging is not a benign activity, nor is it the same selective factor as natural events like fire and beetles. POINT 10. Where thinning may be appropriate is for community protection. I.e. if you thin say within a half mile or less of a community. POINT 11. Finally, nearly all efforts to reduce big blazes and restore “healthy” forests assume that “healthy” forests are ones with few dead trees and without large fires. This may itself be a flawed assumption. http://www.newwest.net/index.php/city/article/the_clash_of_big_burns_vs_forest_thinning/C396/L3

9) Owners of some timberlands surrounding the Portland area have done their best to go green: They’ve nearly eliminated clear-cutting and herbicide use, and stopped cutting old-growth trees altogether. But until this year, most of those timber owners couldn’t leverage their ethic into more profit from the booming public demand for certified environmentally friendly building materials. They lacked an outlet to consumers willing to spend more for wood harvested under strict environmental standards. So the timber owners have had to sell 80- to 100-year-old sustainably grown Douglas fir to sawmills that dumped them into the same pile as conventional logs from 40-year-old trees grown in industrial tree farms. The certified finished products were then lost in stacks of ordinary studs. “For it to lose its identity is just heartbreaking,” said Scott Zimmerman, who is marketing environmental lumber for four Portland-area timberland owners. To keep the local certified lumber from being lost again in stacks of conventional two-by-fours, Zimmerman recently arranged to package logs from those landowners into a single 61-truckload shipment that he is shepherding from forest to finished product. The innovative arrangement calls for landowners to retain ownership of the logs through the milling process and sale of the finished product — mostly four-by-four and larger beams — as environmentally certified. The struggle to build a connection between supply and demand for environmental lumber is emblematic of the obstacles facing the green building industry. http://www.oregonlive.com/business/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/business/1172890520234490.xml&coll=


10) BILLINGS — Logging began last week on national-forest land along the main Boulder River in an attempt to reduce the threat of wildfire in the area, despite an appeal filed in District Court in Missoula challenging the U.S. Forest Service’s overall plan for the drainage. The canyon contains 250 private homes and structures, 25 recreational residences, four church camps, six Forest Service campgrounds and numerous wilderness trailheads. The Forest Service estimates that on a summer weekend, 2,000 to 3,000 people are in the area, which is accessed by a single-lane, dead-end county road. “This is not about stopping a wildfire in the canyon,” said Marna Daley, spokeswoman for the Gallatin National Forest. “The whole intent of the project is to buy time if we have to evacuate. That happened twice last summer.” Last year, more than 250,000 acres burned in the Gallatin. nevitable. In 2005, the Gallatin National Forest issued its record of decision to thin, log and burn about 2,500 acres along the main Boulder River drainage. To provide access to some of the 4.5 million board-feet of timber, the forest said seven miles of road may be built. RY Timber of Livingston won the bid to do the work. Alliance for the Wild Rockies and the Native Ecosystems Council appealed the plan last April. A hearing on the appeal is scheduled for April 19. Because no stay of implementation has been issued, the Forest Service began logging last week between the Whispering Pines subdivision and Aspen Campground, at the northern end of the canyon. http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070305/NEWS01/70305009


11) There are miles and miles of four wheel drive roads, and then trails, some only game trails whose last human step may have been an Indian’s moccasined foot, that lead into the back country and high mountain passes. The trunk of the aspen was straight, tall, and the right diameter at the base: about five inches. James put his hand on the pure, white bark of the tree and looked up at the canopy of leaves rustling in a gentle breeze. The sound of the wind could be followed from west to east through the grove of aspens: really not separate entities but one common organism, interconnected through a shared root system. He could see dimly through the trunks across the wide valley, up near the tree line, small patches of yellow already beginning to emerge. The patch was an aspen grove like the one he was standing in, he realized, and through the shared root system, all the trees would begin to turn color at once. Later in the season, the mountain faces would become a quilt work of colors: orange, gold, green, red – each color the boundary of one organism. He felt a slight twinge of regret before beginning, and thought of Robert Frost’s poem The head of the axe buried itself in the light wood with a thud. http://denver.yourhub.com/Boulder/Stories/Creative-Writing/Short-Stories/Story~257105.aspx


12) Sheldon J. Sperling, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Oklahoma, announced Friday the filing of the civil complaint against Kelly A. Palmer. “The complaint alleges that in 2006, Palmer, an adjacent landowner, trespassed and destroyed trees on property owned by the United States within the Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge,” Sperling said. “U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service personnel allege that Palmer bulldozed government property, destroyed government trees and fencing, and dammed a streambed to construct and maintain a roadway across refuge land.” Sequoyah National Wildlife Refuge is located in Sequoyah, Muskogee and Haskell Counties. “It is also alleged that Palmer’s trespass, along with a fire he admitted setting which spread onto refuge property, caused the destruction of deciduous trees, plants and preserved hardwood bottom habitat.” Sperling said they will be seeking damages in excess of $175,000. He said the filing of a complaint is the first stage of this type of civil litigation, and Palmer will have a chance to respond. http://www.sequoyahcountytimes.com/articles/2007/03/05/news/front2.txt


13) Muench says she refused repeated offers from Larry Green, who said he wanted to buy her timber on behalf of the Southeastern Ohio-based logging company Lowman Lumber. Loggers gained access to her land anyway through a neighboring property belonging to Jeanne Estep. Estep’s woods also were logged without her permission. Muench called police and discovered Estep’s tenant, Kenneth West, allegedly allowed the timber sale in exchange for $13,000. The check and a trailer-load of logs was seized. West is being screened for diversion but may face charges later if ineligible. Foresters said most cases of timber harvested without permission of its owner wind up in civil court because intent can be difficult to prove. Landowners who didn’t have their property lines clearly marked can find it hard to prove someone intended to take the trees. “I don’t think there are that many criminal cases,” Stanley Swierz, an Ohio consulting forester with more than 28 years of experience, said. “It’s just my humble experience, but county prosecutors tend to leave it to the civil courts.” Two things happened in the Butler Twp. case that were a little different. First, it was reported to police, who investigated it as a crime. Capt. Carl Bush estimates he’s already spent more than 100 hours on the case. And Montgomery County Prosecutor Mat Heck said once he walked the land and viewed the extent of loss and damage, he was determined to pursue criminal charges. The owner of Lowman Lumber, Sturgil Lowman — indicted individually and through his business on felony theft charges — has been a logger for 45 years, since he was 15. He said his company cuts trees in Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia. “He (West) said he was the owner of all that,” Lowman said. “And we bought it, fair and square. All I can do is get a lawyer and prove I’m innocent.” Lowman has been sued civilly in past disputes over tree cutting and has a case scheduled for trial in July, according to Ross Court records. That complaint contends Lowman’s loggers harvesting timber legitimately on a neighbor’s land also cut trees on the plaintiff’s adjoining property. http://www.daytondailynews.com/n/content/oh/story/news/local/2007/03/03/ddn030407treesinside.ht

14) JACKSONVILLE — Rayonier said today that its Board of Directors has elected Lee M. Thomas to be President and CEO, effective March 1, 2007, succeeding Lee Nutter, who previously announced his plans to retire. During his 13-year career with Georgia-Pacific, Thomas held key executive positions overseeing wood products, pulp, paper and chemicals, and environmental and government affairs. Prior to Georgia-Pacific, he was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Law Companies Environmental Group Inc. from 1989-1993 and Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from 1985-1989. “In my brief time on the Board, my appreciation of Rayonier’s people, their results-driven culture, timber REIT structure and strategic focus has continued to grow. I am honored and excited that I have been given the opportunity to work more closely with the team at Rayonier and to contribute to their long tradition of excellence and success.” Rayonier is a leading international forest products company with three core businesses: Timber, Real Estate and Performance Fibers. It owns, leases or manages 2.7 million acres of timber and land in the U.S., New Zealand and Australia. The company’s holdings include approximately 200,000 acres with residential and commercial development potential along the fast-growing Interstate 95 corridor between Savannah, Georgia, and Daytona Beach, Florida. Its Performance Fibers business is the world’s leading producer of high-value specialty cellulose fibers. Approximately 40 percent of the company’s sales are outside the U.S. to customers in more than 50 countries. Rayonier is structured as a real estate investment trust. http://home.businesswire.com/portal/site/google/index.jsp?ndmViewId=news_view&newsId=2007022800

New Hampshire;

15) Laurie Wayburn, president of Pacific Forest Trust: “Climate is a forest product,” she said. “We can leverage that to increase the net stocks of carbon that these forests are taking up and holding … in a way that puts a higher-value forest industry back on the landscape.” It’s also important to develop new markets for the region’s low-grade wood, as the paper and pulp industry moves overseas, she said. Particularly promising are alternative energy technologies using wood as fuel, because it is a “carbon-neutral” renewable resource: As forests grow to provide more fuel, they re-absorb the carbon dioxide released by combustion. The Northeast, perhaps more than any other region of the country, has tried to protect working forests through conservation easements and public acquisition of land, Wayburn said in a telephone interview last week. But like the rest of the country, it also faces accelerating deforestation because of residential and commercial development. That’s worrisome because harvesting trees faster than they grow back not only reduces the amount of carbon dioxide forests can pull from the air: It adds to global warming because as the wood is processed, burned or breaks down, it releases most of its carbon into the atmosphere, she said. “Development is really outpacing forestry as the highest and best use of forest lands, and finding ways to deal with that will have significant climate benefits,” she said. “If you look at the sources of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, there are two: One is fossil fuels and the other is forests,” said Laurie Wayburn, president of the Pacific Forest Trust. http://www.reformer.com/headlines/ci_5306251


16) J.D. Irving Ltd. is Maine’s largest private landowner, with 1.3 million acres in Aroostook County. Foresters manage its land primarily for spruce-fir sawlogs, as well as paper mill pulp and power plant fuel. Now the Canadian-based company is exploring another potential value for those forests that could be worth millions of dollars — carbon dioxide storage. Irving is supporting carbon storage as part of plans to establish a Northeast regional program that would cap how much CO2 power plants can emit. To exceed the limits, plants could buy credits from landowners that manage trees in ways that store additional amounts of carbon. That would give forest owners additional financial value from their land. A warmer, drier world in the 21st century will bring with it changes in tree species, researchers say, transforming Maine’s northern forest into a landscape that today s found in southern New England and the Middle Atlantic states. That’s bound to be disruptive, in a state that’s 90 percent woodland and has long relied on the northern forest as a foundation of its economy. Climate change, though, can also bring opportunity for business. “We’re hoping that eventually the markets will mature not only for storage, but for increasing productivity,” said Alec Giffen, director of the Maine Forest Service. “That’s where the real payoff is.” http://business.mainetoday.com/news/070304climatechang.html


17) Grande Prairie, Alberta — Canfor has established logging camps in the boreal, 45 kilometres off the highway near the Smoky River to harvest some of the worst pine-infested wood., Alta. — Forestry companies fighting an outbreak of mountain pine beetles in northern Alberta are sharpening their saws to salvage as many infested trees as possible before spring arrives. The quick deadline is necessary because in June the larvae of the overwintering bugs will hatch and take flight, starting the cycle all over again. There is more than $23 billion of commercial timber at risk and the telltale sign of the beetle’s arrival — lodgepole pines, their needles turning from green to a dull red, are visible in the rolling-to-the-horizon forests in and around Grande Prairie. An estimated two million trees in Alberta are already infected, all of which will die. “It’s an epidemic,” says Jim Stephenson, Alberta operations woodlands manager for Canfor in Grande Prairie. For the lumber companies, the pine beetle’s arrival meant overriding one, two and five-year harvest plans. They’ll harvest nothing but beetle-infested lodgepole pine, leaving spruce, fir and other species alone for the near future. “We shifted operations in a huge way to deal with the beetles,” says Stephenson. The beetles attack trees, burrowing under the bark and creating channels on the underlying wood, where they feed and lay eggs that hatch the following spring. A rare invader in Alberta before 2005, they crossed the Rockies from B.C. on a massive scale last summer. — Vancouver Sun 2007


18) Woodland burials and wicker coffins are the among the greenest ways to a carbon neutral end. Don’t forget your wellies. It’s not the sort of reminder you’d normally expect to accompany notice of a funeral. But a combination of several weeks’ continuous rain and sticky clay mean sensible footwear is a prerequisite for anyone attending this particular funeral. The demand for “natural burials” has been growing and the Natural Death Centre, an organisation which claims to help improve the quality of dying, is predicting an increase from 6.5% to 12% of all burials in the UK by 2010. With this in mind, it is planning its first Green Funeral Exhibition in London this spring. Britain has a lot of ground to make up on the green funeral front, largely because of its lack of ground. The high cost of burial plots these days has made cremation a cheaper and more attractive option for many, and the UK leads the world with 70% of all funerals ending in cremation. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/6405105.stm


19) There is a long-standing world-wide debate over whether forest roads facilitate forest degradation and illegal logging or stimulate conservation efforts; whether interior roads instigate social conflict by displacing indigenous groups or provide market access to economic goods for hinterland communities; and whether they promote jobs and local economic development or only favour the trade interests of large-scale timber producers. The short answer in most places is that under a regulatory framework which is implemented to maximise public good and not private interests, roads – feeder or forest roads, indeed all interior roads and trails – can spell sustainable development. In Guyana the regulatory framework is the Road Administration Division (RAD) of the Ministry of Public Works and Communications. However, away from the coast, RAD’s reach is weak if not non-existent. Among the constraints facing the RAD which are listed in the National Development Strategy 1996 are: weak institutional status; limited institutional capacity (critically short of technical staff); inadequate financial resources and lack of equipment (NDS, chapter 38).At least in its early years, the Guyana Natural Resources Agency intended to aid private sector constructors to rationalise alignments of logging and mining roads in the national interest The Guyana Integrated Natural Resources Information System (GINRIS) developed with German (GTZ) aid in the late 1990s and available at the Guyana Lands & Surveys Commission HQ is an excellent tool for joint planning and display of hinterland road alignments relative to logging and mining concessions. Why is GINRIS not more used and made publicly accessible? http://guyanaforestry.blogspot.com/2007/03/guyana-and-wider-world-part-4.html


20) Brazilian police arrested at least 25 members of an illegal logging scheme in the Amazon rain forest on Friday as part of a crackdown on deforestation in the world’s largest rain forest. Loggers, government officials and truckers were arrested in the vicinity of Altamira in northern Para state, where Sister Dorothy Stang, a U.S. nun, was gunned down by ranchers in 2005 for her defence of landless peasants and the environment. Police have 35 arrest warrants. The suspects “laundered wood” through a complex scheme of false shipping and bank documents, police agent Jorge Eduardo told Reuters by telephone from Altamira. The group included officials of the environmental protection agency Ibama, who alerted timber mills to scheduled inspections. Police have made several arrests of illegal loggers in recent years but only acted in Altamira since 2005. “Trucks of wood used to roll out of here with no control at all. After, the death of Sister Dorothy, the state arrived in Altamira,” said Eduardo. The government says Amazon deforestation dropped by about a third between August 2005 and July 2006 from a year earlier. In 2005, areas the size of Israel or Wales were destroyed. Environmentalists say reduced deforestation is due less to increased law enforcement and more to lower commodity prices, which led to a reduction in land-clearing for soy farming and cattle ranching. http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=335092007

21) “Article 225 of the constitution states that the Amazon forest shall only be used in conditions that ‘ensure the preservation of the environment,’ and this should be enforced,” said Cristiane Torloni, who plays the part of a Spanish dancer in the first part of the series. “Brazil already has enough deforested areas to produce crops and livestock for domestic consumption and export, without the need for the destruction of more forestland,” Torloni told foreign correspondents at a press conference on Tuesday, accompanied by Víctor Fasano, another “Amazonia” actor. These two, along with famous fellow-actor Juca de Oliveira, decided to issue their “manifesto” after seeing with their own eyes “the hundreds of kilometres of abandoned deforested areas” in the northwestern state of Acre, the location where many scenes of the series were filmed, starting last August. The petition was posted on a web site in late January and has already collected over 200,000 signatures. The target is to obtain one million signatures, and then send it to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Torloni said. “Amazonia, from Galvez to Chico Mendes” tells the story of Acre, a 153,150-square-km territory that initially belonged to Bolivia, and was annexed by Brazil in 1903 after its occupation by Brazilian “seringueiros” (rubber tappers), who mounted a rebellion to make it part of their country. Although it is called a “mini-series” in Brazil, “Amazonia” consists of 55 episodes, written by Gloria Perez who has authored many soap operas for Globo, and who was born in Acre. The series is being aired from Jan. 2 through early April. http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=36771


22) ISLAMABAD – Spring has arrived in the Pakistani capital bringing clear skies and balmy weather but for many residents of Islamabad, spring heralds weeks of suffering and for some, it could mean death. Spring brings an explosion of pollen from paper mulberry trees, an east Asian species planted when the city was built in the 1960s that has thrived and infested its open spaces. The trees produce levels of pollen that experts say are among the highest in the world. “This is one of the severest forms of pollen allergy ever documented worldwide,” said Mohammad Osman Yusuf, a prominent Pakistani allergy and asthma specialist. “Many deaths have occurred but unfortunately there is no system of reporting allergy deaths.” Saeed Anwar, an economist working at an embassy, suffers severely every spring. He said he has known three people who have died as a result of pollen allergy in the past 10 years. “It’s very scary,” he said. “It gets so bad I can’t breath through my nose at all, no matter how many decongestants and tablets I take. For 40 days I have to breath through my mouth.” “I have to sleep, if at all, sitting. I can’t lie down. I use inhalers, I’m on medication three times a day.” http://ca.today.reuters.com/news/newsArticle.aspx?type=oddlyEnoughNews&storyID=2007-03-05T133452


23) Patna – Hundreds of trees have been either pruned or cut down in Bihar — a state with a fragile 6.07 percent forest cover — in the name of bonfires (burning of Holika) Saturday night to mark the festival of colours Sunday. In a mockery of forest laws, people, particularly youth, from villages to small towns and cities like Patna have been felling trees in last few days. According to Hindu mythology, bonfires are lit on the eve of Holi to signify the destruction of evil. ‘We watched people in the city and its outskirts felling trees indiscriminately in the name of Holi even as forest officials looked the other way,’ Arun Singh, an environmentalist said here. Another green activist Guddu Baba said: ‘Patna is a city with little green cover but people are still cutting trees. It will add to the pollution in the city.’ ‘People start making arrangements for a huge bonfire called ‘holika dahan’ or ‘agja’ days ahead of Holi, collecting wood by pruning big branches or felling small trees,’ Guddu Baba added. ‘There are over 200 places in Patna alone where bonafires will be to lit to mark the festival,’ said Singh. Rameshwar Prasad, 75, a retired government employee, recalled that till the 70s waste material was collected for the bonfires. ‘We never pruned trees or cut them. Now the situation is different. People seem to enjoy cutting tress for the bonfire,’ said Prasad. http://news.monstersandcritics.com/india/news/article_1272176.php/Trees_cut_for_Holi_bonfire_in

24) If Kolkata and its vicinities are an area of surging humanity, they are also a happy hunting ground for langurs (long-tailed monkeys) these days — courtesy the rapid urbanisation and rampant deforestation of rural areas. With the increasing number of shopping malls, restaurants and housing projects coming up, Kolkata and its outskirts are becoming a hunting ground for langurs as they come out in search of food, posing a serious threat to humans. Langurs are creating problems in Kolkata, Howrah, South 24-Parganas, Hooghly, Birbhum, Burdwan and Nadia districts,’ said Banerjee. Experts say the situation is getting out of control, especially as there’s no comprehensive study available on the population of langurs in south Bengal. ‘Neither the state forest department nor any other organisation has the exact figures of the langur population in south Bengal, so nobody can take any action to control the menace,’ Banerjee claimed. Banarjee earlier said the langurs were used to getting their food from agricultural land but the excessive use of pesticides and fertiliser prevented them from surviving on agricultural crops. To control the menace, WWF had sent a proposal for an extensive study on the langur population to the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests through the state forest department. ‘We had asked for a fund of Rs. 650,000 from the union ministry for conducting a study but nothing has happened in the past one year,’ Banerjee said. http://www.indiaenews.com/india/20070304/41879.htm

25) Kalpetta – Hard-pressed tribals in Kerala’s Wayanad distict are making a bountiful harvest of bamboo rice, a forest produce, much in demand for its medicinal value and as an ingredient in ethnic cuisine. The gruel made of bamboo rice mixed with herbs is prescribed for arthritis and rheumatic complaints in indigenous medicine. The tribal cuisine has several delicacies made of bamboo rice and wildhoney, whie the rural poor survived on at times of famine. Grown in groves, bamboo has a lifespan of 12 to 36 years. The plants blossom only once in their life time and perish after shedding rice, leaving it for new shoots to come up from the stump. Local botanists say, the types of bamoo mostly found in Wayanad are ‘Bambusa’ and ‘Dendrocalamus strictus’, but several othe varieties also grow in the area. Over the decades, hundreds of hectares of bamboo groves in Wayanad had been eaten up by paper and pulp industries, before the state stepped in with restrictions after environmental groups campaigned for protection of bamboo groves. The state agencies and banks have also come out with schemes to promote bamboo craft to check the plant’s largescale destruction by big factories. The left-over bamboo groves are mostly found in areas bordering with Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, where tribal families gather to collect the rice, which involves some risk as it also attracts elephants in groups. http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/015200702251521.htm

26) Stressing the need for cultivating medicinal and aromatic plants in the state on a large scale, the Minister for Forests, Environment, and Housing and Urban Development Qazi Mohammad Afzal has said that the geographic and climatic conditions of the state are ideal for the growth of such plants. He was speaking at inaugural function of 2-day workshop on cultivation of medicinal plants organized by the State Forest Research Institute in collaboration with Himalayan Forest Research Institute, Shimla here today. Minister said that forests, which are natural habitat for such plants are in abundance in Jammu and Kashmir need to be preserved and conserved. He said that the government contemplates to boost the cultivation of medicinal plants in all areas where climatic conditions suit for the purpose. He said necessary incentives and technical know-how would also be provided for their cultivation. Mr. Aijaz enjoined upon the officers and experts of the department to launch such awareness camps in hilly and far-off areas and educate people about the cultivation, preservation and benefits of these plants so that the unemployed educated youth could come to this field and earn livelihood by cultivation of medicinal plants. http://www.kashmirobserver.com/index.php?id=1887


27) In Japan, the forestry industry has gone into decline due to an increase in cheap imported lumber. As a result, we have been seeing the devastation of forests. The nation was over 90 percent self-sufficient for a period after World War II. However, the ratio declined in the latter half of the century and hovered at about 18 percent in recent years. In fiscal 2005, however, the figure rose 1.6 percentage points from the previous year to hit the 20 percent mark for the first time in the seven years. The reason was that timber imports declined 6.2 percent while the production of domestic lumber increased 3.8 percent. In fiscal 2006, the ratio is expected to be in the 20 percent range. One of the reasons behind the increase in the self-sufficiency ratio is an increase in the international price of timber, as China and other emerging nations, which are enjoying rapid economic development, increase imports. For example, China imported 30.44 million cubic meters of logs in 2005, double the amount it imported five years ago. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/editorial/20070305TDY04008.htm

28) Japanese bears are classified as one of seven recognized subspecies (U. thibetanus japonicus), and are found on the islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. There are bears on Hokkaido as well, but these are not black bear but brown bears, which constitute a different species altogether (Ursus arctos). Japan’s black bears are creatures of the forest, and will live from sea level up into the subalpine zone high on the mountainsides. Although they are known to feed on carcasses, and to even hunt small deer, they are true omnivores, with the bulk of their diet made up of plant material. From spring through summer they feast on new shoots, buds, flowers, bulbs and tubers. Come autumn, they load up on acorns, chestnuts and beechnuts, as well as the various berries that ripen at this time of year. This basic vegetarian diet is supplemented by honey, ants, river crabs and insect grubs. If all goes well, by late autumn the bears will have put on a substantial store of fat, and can begin looking for a nice cozy den to spend the winter months. The Japanese subspecies is also listed in this country’s Red Data Book. Six regional populations–in Kyushu, Shikoku, the eastern and western Chugoku region, the Kii Peninsula in Wakayama Prefecture and the Shimokita Peninsula in Aomori Prefecture–are identified as isolated and in danger of going extinct. The population on Kyushu may in fact be already gone. Black bear populations remain strongest in the rugged mountainous areas of central and northern Honshu. At this time of year, the black bears should still be in their dens. Their presence, however, is often proclaimed by what at first glance looks like an immense bird nest high up in an oak or beech tree. These are actually feeding platforms, which the bears make by bending and snapping branches. The bears sit in these platforms as they feed on nuts and acorns. Several explanations for the dramatic increase in bear incidents have been proposed. In many areas, the diverse native forests that usually form the bears’ feeding habitat have been replaced by single-species plantations that provide no food whatsoever. Deprived of their natural food supply, bears are forced to forage among orchards and vegetable fields at the edge of towns and villages, where they can easily come into contact with people. http://www.yomiuri.co.jp/dy/features/science/20070305TDY18001.htm


Bandar Seri Begawan – Brunei Darussalam has been urged to combine the rainforest along its southern borders, especially in Ulu Temburong, with that of neighbouring countries to create a large enough and ideal area for the preservation of the varied forest types. The proposal was just one of the interesting ideas put forward yesterday by Dr David Edwards who was among a panel of guest speakers consisting of prominent environmental experts and scientists at the forum for the International School Brunei, Borneo Global Issues Conference V 2007 (ISB BGIC V) held at the International Conference Centre. The conference brought together experts in environmental studies to discuss key issues that affect Brunei and neighbouring countries, namely China, Malaysia and Indonesia. By bringing together youths from these countries, the conference hoped to create an awareness of preservation and conservation for a sustainable future for all. http://www.brudirect.com/DailyInfo/News/Archive/Mar07/050307/nite01.htm


30) The low areas of the world’s largest mangrove forest, declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, are flooded by tidal waters every year due to rise of sea level and excessive silt deposit that cause diseases and deaths to various kinds of trees. Many diseases, including ‘Agamora’ (top dying), affect different species of plants and trees, including the Sundari tree, in the Satkhira Range of the Sundarbans. Besides, rising salinity in rivers, canals and other water bodies in the mangrove forest, was also one of the reasons for the death of trees. Sources at the forest department research centre said the quantum of salinity in the rivers and canals in the Satkhira Range of the Sundarbans is 27-33 PPT against the accepted level of 5-10 PPT. While visiting different areas of the forest, this correspondent found a wide variety of trees, including Sundari, Poshur, Keowa, Geowa, Bain, Garan, Garjan, Dhundol, Fakra, Hental, Bet, Jhau and Hogla, affected by ‘Agamora’ (top dying) disease, causing death to many trees while many became reddish. Not only the trees and plants, but also many species of animals and birds have been facing extinction due to salinity on the ground. The concerned departments of the government, however, have not taken any action to protect the bio-diversity of the forest. A forest research station was established in 1994 in Munshiganj of Shyamnagar Upazila, adjacent to the Sundarbans, with one station office having one nursery supervisor, one guard and two boatmen. But what research activities the station was engaged in could not be ascertained. Kadamtala station officer of Satkhira Range M Golam Mostafa said that as a preventive measure, the concerned section of the forest department cut trees affected by ‘Agamora’ (top dying) disease as a means to protect the adjoining trees. As there were some irregularities over the sale of the diseased trees through auction, the government banned cutting of the affected trees in 1995, he said. http://www.financialexpress-bd.com/index3.asp?cnd=3/3/2007&section_id=3&newsid=54252&am
p;spcl=no – http://www.betelco.com/bd/sundar/sundar.html


31) About 100 Cambodian schoolchildren have called on Khmer government authorities to put an end to illegal, widespread deforestation near their school district, 70 kilometers from the capital, Phnom Penh. The children ages 10 to 16, attend primary school in the Kompong Speu Oral District, which borders on a wildlife sanctuary. The Voice of America’s Khmer Service reports the children have sent authorities scores of drawings and cartoons depicting the destruction: men wielding axes, chain saws, and machetes, felling trees, stripping the land clean, and killing elephants and other wildlife. VOA’s Khmer Service has posted a sampling of the drawings on its web site: http://www.voanews.com/khmer/2007-02-28-voa2.cfm


32) Malaysian conservationists and residents plan to buy up the few remaining forests in urban areas to prevent development, a news report said Tuesday. The Malaysian chapter of World Wide Fund for Nature and at least two resident associations in central Petaling Jaya city — next to the country’s largest city Kuala Lumpur — intend to buy up forest tracts for conservation purposes, the New Straits Times reported. Edward Lee, leader of one of the resident associations, said homeowners have long protested development that has threatened the environment near their homes, but seldom succeeded in stopping the work. The organizations have joined hands and will develop a trust fund to purchase threatened forest areas and turn them into national heritage sites, Lee said. “By setting up the fund, we are putting our money where our mouth is,” Lee was quoted as saying. http://www.iht.com/articles/ap/2007/02/27/asia/AS-GEN-Malaysia-Environment.php

33) They are the honey hunters, rural folk who climb the tall trees on which the bees nest, to harvest the sweet honey and beeswax. They brave vertigo-inducing heights of up to 70m and colonies of 40,000 to 80,000 bees with deadly stings. But they are armed with precious knowledge, techniques and rituals, which have been passed down for generations. These fascinating hunters are the basis for a beautiful new children’s book published in the US called The Bee Tree. The book is about the passing down of the honey-hunting tradition to the younger generation, which, among other things, involves climbing a giant Tualang tree (Koompasia excelsa) – the bee tree. Authored by Americans Dr Stephen Buchmann, 54, entomologist and environmental consultant, and Diana Cohn, 48, an award-winning children’s book writer and hobbyist beekeeper, it features wonderful artwork by scientific illustrator Paul Mirocha, 52. A key collaborator in this venture is Datuk Dr Makhdzir Mardan, professor of apiculture and pollination biology at Universiti Putra Malaysia. It was at an international bee conference at Tasik Pedu organised in 1994 by Prof Makhdzir that Dr Buchmann was introduced to Salleh Mohammed Noor (Pak Teh). The octogenarian head of a honey hunting clan, Pak Teh has been honey hunting since 1964. One of his credos is that “as long as there is the rainforest, there will be bees, and as long as there are bees, there will be honey, and as long as there is honey, there will be honey hunters.” Realising this relationship of honey hunting to rainforest conservation, the two scientists therefore decided to write a scientific book on Pak Teh’s clan. This evolved into a children’s fiction book because “we need the people in the Pedu Lake area to protect the forest, and children are the best people to whom to get the message across,” said Prof Makhdzir. Children must recognise these honey-hunters as local heroes and emulate the respect the men have for the rainforest. http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2007/3/4/lifefocus/16944647&sec=lifefocus


34) Setting the benchmark for environmentally sensitive construction, the Grand Mercure was designed around mature stands of paperbark trees, resulting in a freeform resort that merges seamlessly with its natural rainforest setting. The Grand Mercure Rockford Palm Cove opens today in a spectacular site where rainforest meets beach and two World Heritage sites converge. The landscape architect has created a range of spaces for guests including a large serpentine pool with seven different areas, sunken bar, children’s play areas, ‘peace’ zones, an outdoor plaza and retail area. The resort also features the exclusive Spice Market beachfront restaurant, Blue Ice poolside bar, day spa, gym, business centre, boutique retail outlets and function facilities. It provides the perfect balance between the comforts and spaciousness of home, with full hotel services including room service dining. http://www.etravelblackboard.com/index.asp?id=62059&nav=1

35) 30 hectares of Tasmanian Primary Forest burn each day by the forestry industry which replaces 400 years old trees by symmetric fields of rapid growth trees. Worse, they spray nerve gas to protect the new trees, killing mammals and birds. More information is available on the net. I’m looking for motivated persons to show the deforestation stage of the Tasmanian Forest with Google earth. The work consists of taking inventory of field and non-original forests in the state, and finally measure the part of the Primary forest which is already gone. This project doesn’t have a real goal for the moment but I think that it could be useful to expose the deforestation in a country which appears to be concerned by ecological problems. This is a very big and heavy work, so it’s almost impossible for me to do alone, and that’s why I’m looking for people for the biggest part, the inventory, which is realizable with google earth. Mail me if you are interested.

36) Forestry groups are disappointed that the timeline for assessing Gunns’ proposed pulp mill has blown out by at least six months. The chairman of the panel assessing the proposal (RPDC) has indicated the process will not be concluded until at least the end of November. The assessment has suffered a number of delays. First two RPDC panel members resigned, then Gunns refused to hand over additional information on its draft Integrated Impact Statement (IIS). While both issues have been resolved, the panel chairman Christopher Wright told a directions hearing that the original deadline will not be met. Katy Hobbs from the Forest Industries Association of Tasmania is disappointed. “The investment community and a lot of workers are facing a lot of uncertainty with this process being extended,” she said. Greens leader Peg Putt says the end of November would be extremely optimistic. “We’ll see further blow-outs in those time frames,” she said. Mr Wright is leaving open the possibility of asking Gunns to re-write its IIS to include the extra information that it has just provided. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200702/s1854453.htm

37) The Federal Government will investigate claims that the logging of tens of thousands of trees in a Victorian national park and state forest was illegal. The Sunday Age revealed last month that the Department of Sustainability and Environment had logged fire breaks totalling 139 kilometres in length and up to 40 metres wide in the Yarra Ranges National Park and Gippsland State Forest. It is believed DSE has agreed to stop building the breaks. The Department of the Environment and Water Resources has confirmed it was investigating whether some areas of the logging breached the national Environment Protection and Biodiversity Act. Logging occurred in areas known to house Leadbeaters possums and Baw Baw frogs, which are on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red list of critically endangered animals and are protected under state and national laws. The investigation followed complaints by Lawyers for Forests and the environmental group Central Highlands Alliance. The Leadbeaters possum has lost half its population in the past decade, with fewer than 2500 left in the wild. The Baw Baw frog has lost 98 per cent of its population, an alliance spokeswoman said. The Victorian National Parks Association has also asked the Auditor-General to investigate the removal of saleable timber, which, it alleges, was illegal. DSE, which authorised the removal, denied wrongdoing. It is not the first time DSE has been accused of illegally selling logs to the timber industry under the guise of fire suppression. In 2003, about 8000 cubic metres of timber was logged for the Snowy River National Park. An investigation by the Auditor-General found: “DSE’s decision to salvage timber from the Yalmy fire control line compromised its fire suppression effort.” http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/illegal-logging-claims-spark-probe/2007/03/03/117286881

38) Tasmania’s forestry union expects to get the go-ahead for a national campaign against sawlogs being exported from Australia. About 300 Auspine sawmill workers from Scottsdale yesterday rallied on the Burnie wharf to protest against logs being exported by Rayonier and Forestry Tasmania. They say the 8,000 tonnes that left Burnie over the weekend would have given them two extra weeks of job security. Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) spokesman Scott McLean says his national executive is meeting in Melbourne this morning. “We will determine, hopefully, with reasoned argument, that the union will commence a national campaign, that is every state in Australia, to stop the export of logs, and therefore stop the export of timber workers’ jobs out of this country,” he said. http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200703/s1864081.htm

39) Great Southern Plantation (GSP) are clearing 26,000 hectares of native eucalypt forest on Melville Island, north of Darwin. Vast tracts of native Tiwi forest are being cleared-felled to establish introduced ‘monocultural’ plantations for woodchips. The project is supported by the Tiwi Land Council, but is opposed by hundreds of Melville locals. In 2006 GSP had approval to clear 10,000 hectares – making it northern Australia’s single largest native forest destruction project. [ Environment Centre NT ] The forests being destroyed by GSP are rich in native wildlife and there is much concern that the destruction of the Tiwi forest places threatened species at increased risk of extinction. GSP have stated that they intend to expand the clearing of Tiwi native forests up to 100,000 hectares. This expansion would be environmentally devastating and economically and culturally disastrous for the Tiwi people. The Tiwi forestry project is currently under investigation by the Commonwealth due to serious environmental breaches and despite Indigenous people being told that logs cleared and exported were “worth millions of dollars”, they did not receive ANY INCOME from the sale of these logs. Around 500 Tiwi Islanders recently signed a petition calling for an inquiry into land use decisions on the Tiwi Islands. After 4 years only one local Indigenous person is currently employed full time on the forestry project – with another 2 part-time employees, out of a total workforce of around 60. http://perth.indymedia.org/index.php?action=default&featureview=480


40) Could tropical deforestation cause dangerous global climate changes? The answer is yes, according to an outstanding article in the February 2007 issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, titled Amazonia revealed: forest degradation and loss of ecosystem goods and services in the Amazon Basin. The authors of this article note that “the influence of deforestation on climate…may extend far beyond the Amazon basin.” One new study, for example, found that deforestation in the Amazon “causes changes in (global air) circulation that alter the North Atlantic and European storm tracks, which could cause substantial cooling in southern Europe and warming across parts of Asia in winter.” What does this mean in light of the rise of sustainability? All the buzz about the importance of adapting greener living and business practices to fight global warming is, of course, a wonderful and important development. However, we cannot forget how important it is that government, corporate, and local landowners take actions to ensure the conservation and sustainable management of ecosystems – and the maintenance of critical ecosystem services such as regional and global climate regulation. http://conservationvalue.blogspot.com/2007/03/more-frontiers-in-ecology-fate-of.html

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