181 – Earth’s Tree News

Today for you 41 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
by sending a blank email message to earthtreenews-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

–British Columbia: 1) Save the last old growth, 2) Nature Trust, 3) Pine Beetle mania,
–Washington: 4) DNR adopts FSC, 5) Palm oil for Bio-diesel is discouraged,
–Oregon: 6) Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project, 7) Weyco donates land, 8) Mt. Hood timber sale shut down, 9) Collawash timber sale,
–California: 10) Bohemian Grove threatened again, 11) Humboldt cuts the most,
–Montana: 12) Black is beautiful, 13) Slide show of recent logging, 14) Biofuels,
–New Mexico: 15) Mexican Spotted Owl
–Colorado: 16) 10 days to cut dead trees or else
–USA: 17) ADM to destroy South East Asia, 18) Northern Rockies Protection,
–Canada: 19) Spruce taking over tundra, 20) Boycott of Kimberly-Klark grows,
–Uganda: 21) NatureUganda against government give away, 22) Save Mabira,
–Congo: 23) Million hectares of forest lost per year, 24) US$16,645,840 in timber taxes,
–Chile: 25) Speak out for the temperate rainforest
–Colombia: 26) What cocaine is doing to my country
–Brazil: 27) Ethanol enslaves and makes more poverty, 28) 500 farm workers oppose plantation, 29) Not as populated by humans as once thought,
–Madagascar: 30) aye-aye going extinct because it’s ugly, 31) Deforestation=extinction,
–India: 32) Save the Trees of Delhi’,
–Philippines: 33) Petroleum nut trees for fuel
–New Zealand: 34) Trees coming down to avoid Kyoto rules, 35) Condeming Anderton,
–Indonesia: 36) Survey of Gibbons, 37) More APRIL fraud, 38) Edge of disaster, 39) logging blamed on landslides, 40) logging moratorium in Aceh, 41) Eyes on the Forest,
–Australia: 42) FSC-accredited forest management,
–World-wide: 43) Most proficient microbial fermenter, 44) Who is Boreal?

British Columbia:

1) Would you like to see Vancouver Island’s spectacular old-growth forests protected? If so, please support the Western Canada Wilderness Committee’s campaign to end old-growth logging on Vancouver Island! How is this campaign different from previous efforts? All previous efforts focused on protecting specific valleys and places, such as the Upper Walbran Valley, Clayoquot Sound, the East Creek Rainforest, and the Nahmint Valley. Our new campaign seeks to end ALL old-growth logging on Vancouver Island. This will require that the logging industry on Vancouver Island only logs second-growth forests, ideally at a slower, more sustainable rate of cut. We’re calling for an immediate ban on logging in the most endangered old-growth forest types (egs. valley bottoms, East Side forests, south of Barkley Sound/ Horne Lake) and a phase-out of old-growth logging across the rest of Vancouver Island by 2015. Isn’t that pretty impossible, given the timber industry’s reliance on cutting old-growth forests? Definitely not! If there’s one place on the BC coast where it’s feasible, practical, realistic, and most urgent to end old-growth logging, it’s on Vancouver Island. How much old-growth forests remain on Vancouver Island? Recent satellite photos taken in 2004 show that 73% of Vancouver Island’s productive old-growth forests have already been logged, including 90% of the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow and the most biodiversity is found. 99% of the Coastal Douglas Fir forests on the dry East Side have already been logged. Unfortunately, only 6% of the productive forests (old-growth and second-growth) on Vancouver Island are protected in our parks. http://www.wcwcvictoria.org

2) Over the past 35 years, The Nature Trust of British Columbia has acquired 34 properties (2,147 hectares/5,300 acres) to protect fragile ecosystems, making it the largest conservation organization on Vancouver Island. “Old growth forests, estuaries, wetlands, and riparian lands have topped our ‘need to conserve’ list since 1971,” said Doug Walker, Chief Executive Officer of The Nature Trust. “Now, with increasing land costs and population growth on Vancouver Island, we’re expanding our programs and raising awareness about conservation options for corporations and private citizens.” “Our goal is to ensure Vancouver Island retains much of its natural wonder and diversity,” said Walker. “We’re confident this can be done, but it will require a higher level of stewardship from all of us – conservation groups, governments, the private sector and the public.” New initiatives include: 1) The 17th Annual Brant Wildlife Festival in Parksville/Qualicum Beach, 2) More conservation youth crews and monitoring programs, 3) A pilot program to create more Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs), 4) More high-profile land acquisitions, 5) A public awareness campaign of the new federal capital gains tax rules. http://www.naturetrust.bc.ca

3) “Our intent was to keep as many trees as possible. This was a tough pill to swallow but our forester said if we don’t do something, there won’t be a tree left.” The developers of Vernon Hill Ranch, off Galiano Road, have removed about 400 ponderosa pines in an attempt to slow the damage caused by the western pine beetle. “Even with this aggressive action, we could still have no pines left in 10 years,” said Darren Mead-Miller, project manager. Crews are busy harvesting the trees and storing the lumber for construction purposes, but a giant pile of debris is fuelling the smoke hanging over the hillside. The impact of the beetles became obvious early this winter. “You could see trees all over turning yellow and then brown,” said Mead-Miller. And because western pine beetle don’t start flying until April, it won’t be known for some time if the tree removal has been effective. “Only time will tell,” said Mead-Miller. The bottom third of the 680-acre site consists of ponderosa pine while the upper levels consist of fir and cedar. As trees are removed, the plan is to replant them with Douglas fir. But removal isn’t the only tactic being used to stop the beetles. Netting specific trees may be considered. “We want to try and keep some of the old growth,” said Mead- Miller. Netting is also being considered by the City of Vernon to try and preserve ponderosa pines on public and private land within its boundaries. Boss Creek Development, which owns Vernon Hill Ranch, is currently seeking approvals from the North Okanagan Regional District for 120 to 130 homes on the site. Most lots would be about five acres in size. http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/


4) The state Department of Natural Resources has decided to seek the greenest of the green seals of approval for some of its logging operations. Across 141,000 acres at Tiger Mountain and other state-owned timberlands in the southern Puget Sound region, the agency will seek certification from the Forest Stewardship Council that its timber is being cut in a “sustainable” way. That means that logging — on as many acres as half of Mount Rainier National Park — will be done at a pace that can go on indefinitely without exhausting the forests. The move should help timber producers that bid on state logging contracts market the wood as environmentally friendly, state Lands Commissioner Doug Sutherland told the state Board of Natural Resources Tuesday. “I’m excited about this,” said Becky Kelley of the Washington Environmental Council. “We worked for years to try to convince DNR this is a good thing, and I’m pleased to see them warming to the idea.” What will the state have to do differently? That’s unclear for now. But when council auditors visited two years ago, they said it would mean: 1) Waiting longer before logging any given area, or leaving more trees behind. 2) Permanently preserving old-growth forests. 3) Hiring more biologists. Kelley, the environmentalist, said, “They’re not getting the gold star today. They’re saying they want it. It will be real interesting to see the next step.”http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/306404_timber07.html

5) OLYMPIA — Coastal Caucus legislators are scrambling to remove a last-minute amendment that would prevent biodiesel companies like Imperium Renewables from using the most popular kinds of palm oil. Imperium Renewables’ new Hoquiam plant — rapidly taking shape at the Port Dock — is set to produce 100 million gallons of biodiesel annually. Company officials have said they would like to use canola oil, from Washington-grown crops, but in order to make their quota they’ll have to use palm oil from Malaysia and Indonesia simply because there isn’t enough local canola being raised. But environmentalists have long argued that rainforests in that part of the world are being razed to make way for the palm fruit and seeds, which become palm oil. “It’s very difficult to say we’re opposed to drilling in ANWR — the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge — but we’re OK with cutting down rainforests,” said state Rep. Doug Ericksen, a Ferndale Republican who is the minority party’s deputy leader. Ericksen said his amendment won’t create an outright ban on the use of palm oil. The Legislature can’t dictate what companies can and cannot use in this case. But the measure does say that Imperium Renewables will lose much-coveted tax credits the state is giving the biodiesel industry if it insists on using a palm oil that’s linked to the destruction of rainforests. http://www.thedailyworld.com/articles/2007/03/06/local_news/01news.txt


6) Blue Mountains Biodiversity Project (BMBP) has been working hard on a couple projects, and has made it easy for folks to write a public comment on each of them -and maybe this will make it even easier. The first, with a comment deadline of March 18th for RECEIPT of letters, is of extreme concern, as it deals with an ongoing policy over all areas in the Deschutes and Ochoco forests, and how they will be using herbicides to deal with invasive plant species. I’ve written a brief comment, and others can either use this as a template or read the entire description put out recently by BMBP, attached. Please consider sending this in within the next week so it will arrive in time. The next one is the Five Buttes sale , a sale that BMBP has worked extensively on for quite some time. (For those who got the recent mailing about this, the comment deadline has been extended to April 2nd) The Five Buttes sale has now resurfaced in it’s current form, and it’s still horrific. I also commented on that one and had Karen look over it, so folks can also just cut and paste from that one if you want, or read the entire description that’s attached. Sending a comment letter is a good way to support BMBP. Another way is to find places where the recent booklet written by Karen Coulter, called The Rule of Property, published by Apex Press, can be sold. It “challenges current conventional approaches to private property versus the public good, explores ways in which the U.S. Constitution was framed to protest private property, and advocates organized resistance to corporate enclosures of the modern commons.” Or order one yourself! Also, a full time intern is needed for the summer to work in eastern Oregon with BMBP. For more info call BMBP at (541) 385-9167.

7) The Yamhill County commissioners have formalized a deal with timber giant Weyerhaeuser Co. for a land donation to enlarge Charles Metsker Park. The Washington-based company, which owns nearly 30,000 acres in Yamhill County, tentatively agreed last summer to donate 12 acres. In the end, it donated 15 acres, which figures to boost the park from 35 acres to 50. The county lacks funds for acquisition, so is dependent on donations. However, this is the first donation it’s received in more than 20 years. The county parks program is so strapped for money, in fact, that officials recently were forced to cut a forest education employee whose salary was paid for entirely out of federal forest receipts. Metsker Park is a gated facility that was frequently used by educator Jeffry Gottfried. The park is used exclusively for chaperoned youth groups and students. Located about 10 miles west of McMinnville, the park abuts Rainbow Lake, just past Rainbow Lodge. It was named for Charles and Ann Metsker, who created its centerpiece lake from a log pond operated by White’s Mill in the 1930s. The Metskers sold their 1,600-acre holding to Willamette Industries in 1959. Three years later, the company donated 20 acres to the county to create Charles Metsker Park. Weyerhaeuser acquired Willamette Industries six years ago.

8) Bark stopped the Slinky Timber Sale! On Saturday Judge Michael Mosman of the U.S. District Court ruled in our favor, stopping 184 acres of old growth from being cut. Please visit Bark’s home page for details on the ruling and stories by OPB radio and the Oregonian. While this doesn’t mean that Mt. Hood’s forests and rivers are safe, it does mean that for now it is time to celebrate a hard won victory. As always a big thank you to our attorneys Erin Madden and Scott Jerger. Huge thanks to the amazing Groundtruthers and volunteers who made the challenge possible, and enormous thanks to the Bark members who keep our office running and Mt. Hood’s forests standing! Not a member? Click here to support Bark today. http://www.bark-out.org

9) On Monday the Collawash Timber Sale got its day in court. United States Magistrate Judge Donald C. Ashmanskas (what is a magistrate?) walked into the austere federal court room and we all rose to welcome him; filled with excitement at our chance to protect this forest. But Judge Ashmanskas had something else on his mind as he looked around for a Bark representative in the room, “Mr. Brown?” “Yes, Your Honor? “Is that a dog or a wolf in the Bark logo?” Alex looked to our attorneys, Brian Litmans and Chris Winter from the Crag Law Center, then back to the microphone on the plaintiff’s table. “Your honor, it’s a wolf, which no longer exists on Mt. Hood.” We do not usually get the chance to begin litigation with such a true reminder of the repercussions of human use, such as habitat destruction. And for the next two hours, Brian Litman went valiantly head to head with the Forest Service attorneys, making the case for not destroying the forests of the Collawash Timber Sale. The Collawash is a fork of the Clackamas River, and is considered the “most unstable” watershed in Mt. Hood National Forest according to the Forest Service. One reason is the presence of earthflows, massive soil movements left over from the last ice age that can be magnified through logging. But when deciding to log 292 acres in the watershed, the Forest Service ignored their own regulations for limiting logging on earthflows. Brian was concise and kept the judge’s close attention throughout his presentation. In response, the Forest Service’s attorney couldn’t come up with enough fingers to plug the holes we poked in their analysis. In closing, he shuffled between pages and argued that Bark’s claim on earthflows should be dismissed because we were selectively knowledgeable on the issues around this sale – we were general in raising some issues but expertly challenged others. He pointed out all the places in our appeal that was even over his head. It may be weeks before we hear a decision on Collawash. We’ll keep you updated. Near the end of the hearing, Judge Ashmanskas turned to Alex once again. “In the book Silver Blaze do you know how Sherlock Holmes knew the culprit was the dog’s owner?” “I don’t, Your Honor.” “Nobody heard the dog bark when he broke into the house…” We’re not sure how Judge Ashmanskas wanted us to take this riddle, but I’ll tell you one thing, you’ll always hear us Bark Out! http://www.bark-out.org


10) Forest Unlimited will host an informational and organizing meeting regarding the Bohemian Grove Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan (NTMP) on March 18 at 2 PM at 900 Austin Creek Rd. in Cazadero. This plan is a disaster in the making. The Bohemian Grove proposes to triple the cut from previous levels and log above homes on Railroad Ave. in Monte Rio. Old growth is slated for removal. Such severe cutting will increase fire danger and contribute sediment to both the Russian River and Dutch Bill Creek. Even Boho’s former forester quit in protest. A Non-Industrial Timber Management Plan is a logging plan that receives one approval by CDF and can be logged in perpetuity without additional approval . The plan is so bad that even members of the Bohemian Grove have donated money to stop the plan. But we need your help. If you are interested, please attend the March 18 meeting. If you cannot attend the meeting please contact Forest Unlimited and find out how you can stay informed, wirte letters of protest, and help Save the Redwoods. For more information call Rick Coates Phone: 632-6070 or email: rcoates@sonic.net

11) “In recognition of the role of the forest product industry in Humboldt County, we recognize the week of March 7 through 14 to celebrate Arbor Day,” said 2nd District Supervisor Roger Rodoni, who invited the group to the meeting. “Humboldt County is by far the leading county for timber harvesting in California, yet we continue to enjoy forested lands all around us,” Lima said. “Not only are we stewards of the land, we provide thousands of jobs in our local communities.” Lima said forest landowners plant more than 2 million seedlings each year to replenish the forestland, and said the forest products industry contributed more than $300 million to the economy in 2004. Women in Timber is a statewide organization that focuses on education, legislation and advocacy concerning the forest industry, Lima said, and the local chapter has approximately 35 members. Lima said the Women in Timber will be presenting scholarships to two local college students at the upcoming 69th annual Redwood Region Logging Conference, which the Women in Timber have a role in organizing. A female student from Humboldt State University will receive a $1,000 scholarship, and a female student from College of the Redwoods will receive a $500 scholarship, she said. http://www.eurekareporter.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?ArticleID=21308


12) At the heart of most resistance to fire use are basic social value structures. Fire has been considered an enemy to be fought for 400 years in this country. Values tend to change slowly. If a community has had no positive experience with fire use or prescribed fire, it may take a brush with wildfire to change their minds. Worse yet, they may have had bad experiences with escaped prescribed fires, or grown distrustful of fire managers due escaped burnout or backfiring operations. Most people simply don’t like the black, charred appearance of the landscape. To these folks, I would like to pitch a “Black is Beautiful” campaign. The following excerpt from an article written in the Missoulian by writer Michael Jamison on August 11, 2005 could kick it off quite nicely: “Most folk know about lodgepole pine and their serotinous cones that open only under the heat of wildfire. But beyond the lodgepole, almost all Western landscapes are fire-adapted to some degree, from the soil beneath to the plants and animals above. Western larch, for instance, hate the shade. They need a fire to create a clearing, and then they have about three to five years to take root before the window of opportunity is shaded over by competitors. Fire is also critical for red-stemmed ceanothus, a plant whose seeds can lay dormant for centuries while waiting for the flames. It’s a favorite of deer and elk and moose, popular big-game species that gobble it down like so much leafy ice cream. Spirea loves fire, as does fireweed and arnica and dragontail mint and pine grass. Bicknell’s geranium, like ceanothus, only appears in burns. Western tanagers, for instance, thrive in low-severity fires. Juncos prefer medium-severity burns. Black-backed woodpeckers, mountain bluebirds and olive-sided flycatchers like their forests well done. And the woodpeckers generally prefer thick-barked trees, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir, trees that withstand all but the hottest fires”. www.missoulian.com/articles/2005/08/11/outdoors/od01.txt http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/WildWest/blog/comments.jsp?key=333&blog_entry

13) A short slideshow/movie that WildWest put together following our March 4, 2007 monitoring trip of the Bitterroot National Forest’s Middle East Fork Logging Project near Sula, MT. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GuQj7BeSizM This is one of the first Healthy Forest Restoration Act projects in Montana. About 500 acres was logged earlier in the winter. While we support efforts in that area to reduce fuels near homes we believe much of the “fuel reduction” logging the Forest Service proposed would target larger trees, including live, green trees. Our trip, unfortunately, confirmed this belief. The major themes that emerged from our weekend monitoring efforts were: 1) Lots of big Doulgas-fir trees have been cut down throughout the logging units we visited, including lots of live, big Douglas-fir that sure calls into question that just dead trees are being logged, as the Forest Service has repeatedly stated. 2) The Forest Service has marked “Wildlife” trees (standing snags) in the units with an orange “W.” The specifications differ for each logging unit, but the Forest Service is typically required to leave 5 to 10 of these “Wildlife” trees in each acre they log. Without question, we noticed a pattern where the largest, best “Wildlife” trees (ie large, standing snags) have been cut. Meanwhile these huge stumps surrounded by scrawny, dead trees marked with “W”. This seems disingenuous at best. 3) The areas logged were unquestionably hotter, windier and drier…not a good combo come July and August, especially if the goal is to help protect the community from wildfire. http://www.wildwestinstitute.org

14) It used to be the stuff that went up in smoke after logging companies finished a job in the woods. Those tree tops, saplings, branches and needles loggers call slash were little more than a nuisance to be piled up and burned. With the advent of a growing interest in alternative energy, that’s all changed. Companies are cashing in on slash. Pulling grinding machines deep into the woods, these ever-more-numerous entrepreneurs are chipping their way into the emerging market of biomass that’s fueling boilers used to heat schools, generate electricity and dry lumber. “This is a market that’s definitely growing,” said Bryan Vole, a forester with Tricon Timber in St. Regis. “My advice to loggers is don’t burn those piles of slash. They’re worth some money.” A few years back, Tricon Timber spent more than $500,000 on a grinding machine the size of a D-8 Caterpillar that can grind upward of 50 tons of slash every hour. “It can flat go through it,” Vole said. Right now, 99 percent of the hog fuel Tricon’s grinder creates is sold to Smurfit-Stone Container Corp. in Frenchtown. A proposed co-generation plant in the Columbia Falls area could more than double the market for the ground-up material. “Plum Creek is planning on building a co-generation plant that will use 900 to 1,000 tons of hog fuel a day,” Vole said. “That’s 30 to 35 loads every day. It’s going to keep a lot of people busy. This material is in pretty high demand right now.” That fact creates a daily challenge for Smurfit-Stone Container’s Rick Franke, who is charged with finding enough hog fuel to keep the company’s boiler running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The company uses about 350,000 tons of hog fuel to produce the steam that turns the turbine used to create about 17 megawatts of electricity every year. Steam is also used in the company’s papermaking process. When Franke started in 1996, the company got nearly all of its hog fuel from nearby lumber mills. Back then, wood chips and bark were a waste product the mills gladly sold for next to nothing. Those days are ancient history. “Right now, about a quarter of the hog fuel we use comes from in-the-woods grinders,” Franke said. “Ten years ago, that number would have been zero. Supplies are tight and we have to travel a lot further to get what we need.” http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2007/03/06/news/local/znews02.txt
New Mexico:

15) After doing battle with the Forest Service over Mexican spotted owls for almost a decade, Forest Guardians is back in court with the feds to protect this species on the brink. The agency is mismanaging livestock grazing on the Sacramento Allotment in southern New Mexico, and harming owls in the process. The allotment encompasses more than 110,000 acres, and provides vital, protected habitat for the owls. Forest Guardians seeks to force the agency to re-consult with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service on how grazing is impacting both the owls and their critical habitat, and we’ve asked the federal district court to remove all livestock from the allotment until that consultation has been completed. http://www.fguardians.org/es/issue_mexican-spotted-owl.asp


16) Silverthorne is cracking down on residents, requiring them to remove dead trees and pine beetle infested trees within 10 days of receiving notice. Town officials said the new rules are in place to help prevent the spread of the pine beetle. They hope to reduce the number of infected trees to try and stop the beetle before it flies out to another tree. Some people are worried that 10 days isn’t enough time to respond and get the work done. “I’m not a full-time resident,” said Neil Boyd, one homeowner. “By the time correspondence gets to Iowa and we get back again, that 10 days is pretty much elapsed.” Silverthorne officials said they plan to educate homeowners in every way possible before it starts enforcing the law. The town said in the worst case scenarios, homeowners who don’t comply will have the infected trees removed for them by the town. The town could then charge homeowners twice the rate of removal.


17) Last November, Patricia A. Woertz, the CEO and president of Archer Daniels Midland, outlined a new growth strategy for the food-processing giant. ADM, America’s biggest producer of corn ethanol, will expand its biofuel production, moving into Brazilian sugarcane for ethanol and Indonesian palm oil for biodiesel. Woertz, a former high-ranking official at Chevron, said ADM will get “long-term growth and returns by capitalizing on our global strengths and the changing dynamics of the global energy and food markets.” As ADM, one of the world’s largest food companies, seeks to increase profits, the continuing push into the tropics by it and other biofuel producers will only accelerate a potential ecological catastrophe. Vast tracts of Malaysian and Indonesian forest have already been lost, and the increasing demand for palm oil for biodiesel will cause further losses of tropical forests in these and other equatorial countries. This deforestation will likely be devastating. And yet, despite the global push for biofuels, the potential damage – increased soil erosion, huge carbon dioxide emissions, biodiversity loss, and desertification – is largely being ignored. Here in the U.S. there has already been ample discussion about biofuels in Brazil, so let us concentrate on Indonesia and the oil palm. http://www.energytribune.com/articles.cfm?aid=403

18) Based on sound biological and economic science, the Northern Rockies Ecosystem Protection Act is an ecosystem approach to protecting and restoring the U.S. Northern Rockies bioregion. When enacted, it will protect almost 20 million acres of intact wild lands that provide essential habitat to countless species of plants, animals, fish, birds
and insects, as well as to people who depend on the wild and majestic Northern Rockies for their economic and spiritual well-being. This bill seeks to protect the heart of Wild America, the Northern Rockies, including the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, Greater Glacier Ecosystem, the Greater Salmon-Selway Ecosystem, and the Greater Cabinet / Yaak / Selkirk Ecosystem. This area supports the most diverse array of intact wildlands left in our nation. Protection measures include designation of Wilderness Areas, Biological Connecting Corridors, Wild & Scenic Rivers, as well as a National Wildland Restoration and Recovery Zone. Many of these new wilderness areas are currently roadless areas, only partially protected and subject to political whim and rule-making. Many roadless areas remain uninventoried after arbitrary omission during the RARE (Roadless Area Review and Evaluation) 1 and RARE 2 processes, which occurred in 1971-73 and 1979, respectively. http://lowbagger.org/nowtime.html


19) Forests of spruce trees and shrubs in parts of northern Canada are taking over what were once tundra landscapes–forcing out the species that lived there. This shift can happen at a much faster speed than scientists originally thought, according to a new University of Alberta study that adds to the growing body of evidence on the effects of climate change. The boundary, or treeline, between forest and tundra ecosystems is a prominent landscape feature in both Arctic and mountain environments. As global temperatures continue to increase, the treeline is expected to advance but the new research shows that this shift will not always occur gradually but can surge ahead. “The conventional thinking on treeline dynamics has been that advances are very slow because conditions are so harsh at these high latitudes and altitudes,” said Dr. Ryan Danby, from the Department of Biological Sciences. “But what our data indicates is that there was an upslope surge of trees in response to warmer temperatures. It’s like it waited until conditions were just right and then it decided to get up and run, not just walk.” Danby and Dr. David Hik, also from the Faculty of Science, reconstructed changes in the density and altitude of treeline forests in southwestern Yukon over the past 300 years. Using tree rings, they were able to date the year of establishment and death of spruce trees and reconstruct changes in treeline vegetation. The study is published in the Journal of Ecology. http://www.terradaily.com/reports/Forest_Replacing_Tundra_At_Rapid_Rate_999.html

20) Aspen Skiing Co. is removing all Kimberly-Clark products from its resorts, hotels and restaurants because of Kimberly-Clark’s sustainable forestry practices, the company said in a letter to Greenpeace. In the letter, the company said it was switching to other paper tissue suppliers, “whose operations are more environmentally sound.” Aspen is among more than 700 businesses that have pledged not to use Irving-based personal products maker Kimberly-Clark’s products, Greenpeace says. “Businesses and the public alike are making the right decision to use products from companies that are not destroying our last remaining forests,” said Greenpeace spokeswoman Ginger Cassady in a prepared statement. Greenpeace contends that all of the Kleenex brand products sold in North America are made from 100 percent virgin tree fiber, much of it from unsustainably managed forests in Ontario and Alberta, Canada. Kimberly-Clark spokesman David Dickson said the company has one of the most aggressive sustainable forestry practices in the country. “We are committed to preserving economically significant old growth forests,” Dickson said. He added that the company has a corporate policy that prohibits the use of fiber from tropical rainforests or ecologically significant old growth strands, including designated areas in Canada’s Boreal Forest. In addition, Dickson noted that the company was named to CRO magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens” list for 2007. The magazine evaluates more than 1,100 of the largest U.S. publicly traded companies in a range of areas including environmental factors. Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) makes the Kleenex, Scott and Huggies brands, as well as other personal care products. Snowmass Village, Colo.-based Aspen Skiing operates four ski resorts in Colorado. The company hosts about 1.4 million skiers each winter. The company was founded by Olympic skier Bill Janss. http://www.bizjournals.com/dallas/


21) NatureUganda (BirdLife in Uganda) are among a number of organizations putting forward their defence to the Ugandan government over the apparent ‘give-away’ of forest reserves for large-scale production of sugarcane and palm oil. The events follow months of speculation surrounding the government’s attempts to push for forest ‘give-aways’ in the country, whereby government licenses allow private companies to convert gazetted forest reserves for intensive agricultural use. “Losing these forests, particularly the Mabira Forest Reserve, would have enormous repercussions for both people and wildlife in Uganda.” said Achilles Byaruhanga, Executive Director of NatureUganda (BirdLife in Uganda). “As a result, we are working hard to ensure the government understands that holding onto these sites is of utmost importance, both in terms of conserving biodiversity and in terms of poverty reduction and economic growth.” Mabira Forest Reserve is listed by BirdLife International as an Important Bird Area (IBA). The forest contains over 300 species of bird, including the Endangered Nahan’s Francolin Francolinus nahani. The forest also supports nine species of primate, a recently identified new mangabey subspecies in Uganda, Lophocebus albigena johnstoni and a new species of Short-tailed Fruit Bat. “The fact that we are still discovering new species of large animals in this forest is a pointer to its value for biodiversity.” commented Byaruhanga. “The forest also serves as catchment for many of the region’s rivers, providing freshwater for over one million people before joining the Nile.” http://www.birdlife.org/news/news/2007/03/mabira_forest_giveaways.html

22) Ugandans living in areas around the reserve have been particularly angry. Since last autumn, there have been a number of protests against Sugar Corporation’s expansion, which have been forcibly broken up by the police. “We shall continue demonstrating peacefully, because Mabira is a cultural heritage,’’ said William Okwala, a street vendor who led one of the protests. “There are many tourists coming here. I don’t think they come because of the sugar plantation. If the forest is cut down, tourism will die completely.” Other residents say the forest provides a livelihood, food, shelter and medicine for the surrounding communities. But the president has said that jobs created by the sugar plantation would outweigh losses caused by the clearing of forest land. The government has also said new trees can be planted elsewhere, but there are no other suitable locations for the factory. Further progress in the project has been halted pending the completion of the ministry’s study. The NFA study initially commissioned by Museveni concludes that the ecological and economic losses from destroying part of Mabira would be devastating. The report says the plan endangers 312 species of tree, 287 species of bird and 199 species of butterfly. Nine species found only in Mabira and nearby forests risk becoming extinct. Economic losses as a result of the destruction of part of the reserve include lost revenue from logging and eco-tourism, the main source of tourist revenue in Uganda.


23) Abundant rain, a seemingly endless canopy of dense vegetation, and full rivers give the impression that there is no threat of deforestation in the Central African Republic (CAR). Yet the country loses up to one million hectares of forest a year, to loggers and firewood collectors. Trees are also being felled to produce charcoal, officials said. Areas that have lost forest cover are giving way to cassava and groundnut farms. Twenty years ago, 60 percent of the country was forest, according to Florent Zowoya, former national director of natural resource management. That figure has shrunk to only 15 percent, prompting the government to turn to the country’s youth – more than 50 percent are younger than 20 – to help preserve this resource. The loss of forest cover has been accompanied by degradation of the savannas, extinction of some animal species, impoverished soil and drainage of water catchments, more bush fires, increased flooding and local climate changes, said Jean-Claude Bomba, [a] director in the Ministry of the Environment. The consequences are likely to be food shortages, which successive governments have tried to avert at one level through better land-management practices. http://platform.blogs.com/passionofthepresent/2007/03/fighting_to_pre.html

24) Congo government earns about 8.3 billion CFA francs (US$16,645,840) each year from forestry taxes. In addition, the sector employs 4,000 regular staff and several thousand seasonal workers, according to the Ministry of Water Resources and Fisheries. The forests are also a source of food and medicine for many rural dwellers. Increasingly, urban dwellers may turn to the forest for these items as incomes diminish at least among the civil servants, who often also have to care for extended families. Despite this, senior citizens in some parts of the country have periodically resisted attempts at sustainable forest management. This is because they have been expelled from their ancestral lands during 50 years of arbitrary logging by large timber firms, and have had their land titles revoked by the state. It is perhaps for this reason that the government has decided to put more emphasis on the youth to protect the vital resource. Experts also point out that to have a greater impact, it is necessary to involve citizens of neighbouring countries that together make up the Congo River Basin – the world’s second-largest forest land mass, after South America’s Amazon. http://platform.blogs.com/passionofthepresent/2007/03/fighting_to_pre.html


25) More than one-quarter of the world’s remaining temperate rainforests are in Chile. The alerce trees have lived 3,000 years — will they make it to 3,001? During the next two weeks, Chile’s legislature will be considering a law that relates to the country’s globally rare and endangered native forests. We want a law that will help protect these forests. Our concern is that, without your help, the law that is finally approved will actually accelerate the destruction of these forests. Many of Chile’s forests are unique to the southern cone of South America and can’t be found anywhere else in the world. The animals that depend on Chile’s native forests for survival are equally rare: ninety percent of them are unique to Chile. The Chilean government is failing to protect Chile’s native forests. For too long, the laws have promoted the planting of non-native trees like pine and eucalyptus, creating industrial tree farms that are displacing poverty stricken rural and indigenous communities, destroying their water resources and contaminating their air with toxic chemicals — all for the sake of rich foreign markets in places like the U.S., Europe and Asia. We need your help to hold the Chilean government accountable. http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/forestethics/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=2


26) COCAINE fiends Kate Moss and Pete Doherty have been invited to Colombia by the country’s government to see the bloody mayhem caused by the drug. Vice President Francisco Santos exclusively told The Sun: “I wish they’d come to see what cocaine is doing to my country. They’d be ashamed.” The invitation comes as The Sun launches a major probe into the scourge of cocaine, here and in South America. Here on Day One, our Chief Feature Writer reports from the drugs front line in Colombia’s rainforest. THERE should be an unbroken canopy of lush rainforest stretching as far as the eye can see. But Colombia’s jungle — which acts as the Earth’s lungs, combating global warming — is being destroyed by Britain’s craving for cocaine. More than 7,700 square miles of forest — an area the size of Wales — have already been levelled to make way for coca plants, whose leaves are the raw material of cocaine. Colombia’s Vice President Francisco Santos told The Sun: “It is an environmental catastrophe. “We are losing our rainforests to cultivate cocaine for UK users, which is then aiding global warming.” http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2007100425,00.html


27) There is concern that while expansion of the ethanol industry may boost Brazil’s GDP and some Brazilians will become very wealthy in the process, the majority of the population will not benefit from the ethanol export boom. Given U.S. plans to increase imports of Brazilian ethanol and the alliance slated to be forged during Bush’s South America visit in March, it is likely the livelihoods of many Brazilians, especially the rural poor, will be subordinated to maintain U.S. consumption. Many citizen organizations in Brazil are concerned that what appears to be an economic panacea may be a social and ecological disaster. They claim that as the industry expands and more hectares are planted mono-cropping sugarcane, existing problems in rural areas of landlessness, hunger, unemployment, environmental degradation, and agrarian conflicts will be exacerbated. Isabella Kenfield is a freelance journalist based in Brazil and a contributor to the IRC Americas Program www.americaspolicy.org.

28) About 500 farm workers staged a protest at a tree plantation in the south of Brazil, owned by the Finnish paper manufacturer Stora Enso. The plantation is about 1,000 kilometres south of São Paulo. Also occupied in the protest was a plantation owned by the Brazilian company Votorantim Celulose e Papel SA. The peaceful protests were organised by the Via Campesina organisation, which works for farm workers’ rights. The protesters said that they oppose the plantations, which they say are creating a “green desert” in the south of Brazil by blanketing the area with eucalyptus trees and reducing biodiversity. Via Campesina is also working for land reform in Brazil. http://www.hs.fi/english/article/Demonstration+at+Stora+Enso+forest+plantation+in+Brazil/1135225

29) Much of the Amazon rainforest was not heavily populated by pre-Colombian indigenous cultures argues a new paper published in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. The work challenges an increasingly accepted theory — popularized in Charles C. Mann’s 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus — that the Amazon supported dense, sedentary populations prior to the arrival of Europeans. The theory — based on the discovery of a series of villages and a network of roads — suggests that much of the Amazon is “anthropogenic in nature” meaning that the distribution of forest species across the vast Amazon Basin has been influenced by mankind. It also holds that pre-Colombian populations suffered greatly from diseases introduced by Europeans, which may have wiped out 95-99 percent of the population within a century of “first-contact”. Abandoned settlements and agricultural areas would have been reclaimed by tropical rainforest. Since most structures would have been constructed of wood and bone which would not have lasted long in the hot and humid conditions of the Amazon, little archeological evidence would remain. The new paper, authored by Dr. Mark Bush of the Florida Institute of Technology and colleagues, argues that while there may have been large populations living along the Amazon river, most of the rainforest had low population density and little of it could be considered “built” landscape. The conclusions are based on analysis of pollen and charcoal samples from upland forest areas in two lake districts in central and western Amazonia. http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0306-amazon.html


30) While millions of dollars have gone into saving the last three thousand pandas just because they’re cute, at least one sorry creature—the aye-aye—is bound for extinction because it’s ugly. The aye-aye looks like a balding, emaciated gremlin. So even though it minds its own business in life, foraging for bugs in tree bark with claws bigger than its face, superstitious people in Madagascar go out of their way to kill it on sight. “Aye-aye, aye-aye,” indeed, as the maudlin Ranchero song goes, “Canta y no llores.” The world is not fair. Not even environmental philanthropists are. After pointing out injustice, fortunately, the writer poses solutions. Savvy conservationists can market the most charismatic creatures to raise money for the rest. The World Wildlife Federation already does so with its panda logo. “One lovable animal might stand in for an entire ecosystem—the jaguar, for example, could serve as a spokesmodel for the Amazon rainforest where it lived,” Michael Levitin writes. To summarize the argument of biologist David Stokes, conservationists “must understand the ways that aesthetic appeal can be used to motivate the public—and then try to promote the “less attractive” creatures by highlighting their most endearing feature.” http://www.motherjones.com/blue_marble_blog/archives/2007/03/3737_survival_of_the.html

31) Deforestation has already caused the extinction of a large number of endemic insect species on the island of Madagascar, according to new research published in the March edition of the journal Biology Letters. The work suggests that only half the species confined to these forest areas will survive. Madagascar has lost about half of its forest cover since 1953 including most of its coastal lowland forests, which have been diminhsed by about 90 percent. Species-area math, which holds that there exists a non-linear relationship between land area and the resident number of species, suggests that this habitat loss would result in the eventual extinction of about half the plants and animals. Now, a team of researchers lead by Ilkka Hanski, a biologist from the University of Helsinki in Finland, has found evidence of extinction amoung endemic forest-dwelling Helictopleurini dung beetles. The beetles, which are generally large and colorful, feed on droppings of other animals. The researchers report that extensive surveys conducted between 2002 and 2006 found only 29 of the 51 previously documented species. Modeling the apparent absense of the 22 species, their work indicates that deforestation is the “best predictor of whether a species was collected.” http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0307-madagascar.html


32) Government, concerned citizens and environmentalists have come together under a unique initiative called “Trees of Delhi”. Several thousand trees across the city face the threat of being cut down to make way for widening of roads for new “High Capacity Buses”, building new flyovers and expansion of the Delhi Metro railway network. Says well-known environmentalist Pradip Krishen: “Trees don’t just add to the beauty of the city but also keep it environmentally healthy. We have got together to ensure that people of the city know what is at stake. People should have a voice and we will try and highlight the issue. We have already lost several thousand trees in the name of development and are in danger of losing several more.” The new group, comprising various non-government organisations, environmentalists and concerned citizens, will work actively towards creating awareness about the issue among the public and putting pressure on the Government to try and save the trees of Delhi. http://www.hindu.com/2007/03/07/stories/2007030718060100.htm


33) Growers undertook the planting of the first batch of petroleum nut trees at the Philippine Tobacco Production Training Center (PTPTC) in Tabaan Sur, Tuba last week. Trans Manila International (TMI) vice president Matthew Diong said extracts from the nuts of petroleum nut would be the better alternative fuel for firewood and more economical as he led TMI and Philip Morris executives in the ceremonial tree planting at TMI’s demo farm in Tabaan Norte. He said it would be a better move as farmers would not only save at least eight percent of the cost of firewood but also be a clean fuel that is environmentally friendly. It would also reduce tree cutting, as a hectare of tobacco plant would require at least 20-25 cubic meters of firewood. TMI and main buyer Philip Morris Philippines Manufacturing, Inc. (PMPMI) are in the middle of a reforestation drive that saw them planting at least three million trees at present. Diong said full production of petroleum tree would be in two years. The training center in Tabaan Sur was constructed four years ago as Diong was looking for the best place to plant quality tobacco. http://www.sunstar.com.ph/static/bag/2007/03/07/bus/farmers.to.plant.petroleum.nut.trees.html

New Zealand:

34) For the first time in recent history, New Zealand cut down more trees last year than were planted. According to Agriculture and Forestry Ministry figures, planting of new forests declined from 34,000 hectares in 2001 to 6000ha in 2006. An estimated 5000ha is forecast this year. At the same time deforestation – taking land out of forestry into another land use – was less than 1000ha a year from 2001 to 2004, rising to 7000ha in 2005 and an estimated 12,700 hectares last year. http://www.stuff.co.nz/3979848a13.html

35) Forestry Minister Jim Anderton’s strategy of continual personal attacks on the forestry industry does not obscure the political and deforestation crises his policies and approach to the job have caused, the Kyoto Forestry Association (KFA) said today. “Nearly 2,000 forest owners and forestry investors have already turned out to MAF consultation meetings and passed near-unanimous resolutions condemning Mr Anderton’s confiscation of their carbon credits and his plans for massive new taxes on the industry,” KFA Spokesman Roger Dickie said. “These are the people Mr Anderton is meant to be working with as Forestry Minister and their lack of confidence in him represents a political crisis in the portfolio.” Mr Dickie said criticism of Mr Anderton was intensifying through the consultation round, partly as a result of him not attending a single meeting. “In Mr Anderton’s home town of Christchurch yesterday, the 300-plus forestry investors passed a resolution calling on him to resign. Personal attacks on one individual are really a bit politically silly when our industry is speaking with one voice like never before,” Mr Dickie said. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU0703/S00116.htm


36) Pre-dawn interview with Susan in Sebangau National Park This is the first film Pram has made in his role at Cockroach Indonesia http://www.cockroach.org.uk Below is an extract from the film: SC: “We’re now at the junction of transect zero, which is our main transect into the forest, and transect B. We’re more or less in the centre of group C’s territory, so, because we don’t know exactly where they are going to sing, we wait in the middle of the territory and that means when they do start singing we’re very well placed to go after them. Most of the 11 gibbon species… 9 of them have these duets where the male and female have very distinct songs. The Javan gibbon doesn’t and the Kloss gibbon doesn’t, we’re not entirely sure why, but the rest of them have these very distinct male and female parts and within that the female’s the most distinctive, she has the longest and loudest call, that part of the song is called the “great call”.” Pram: “How many gibbons in this area, Susan?” SC: “In the grid system, which is 2km2, we have 12 groups, and if we average 4 gibbons per group – that’s 48. It’s not high-density forest, but there are definitely gibbons here and we reckon this is probably the largest population of gibbons in Indonesia at around 30,000 animals, if you include the whole Sebangau, not this particular area.” http://indonesiangibbons.blogspot.com/2007/03/dawn-with-gibbons-central-kalimantan.html

37) The police suspected APP and APRIL companies commit document fraud in several administrative tasks such as in type and size of timber reporting, logging result reporting and, in paying provision fee (PSDH) and rehabilitation fee (DR). Both companies committed illegal export to gain more profit. “Based upon our investigation on the ground, it is strongly alleged that both big companies export illegal timbers in the form of processed timber; because it will be a low profit gained if log is processed for pulp. Otherwise, if it is produced for processed timber, they will gain high profit,” General Sutanto said as quoted by Riau Tribune as saying. “Inside PT IKPP mill [APP], we found moulding product and sawn mill that allegedly export processed wood to companies in Pekanbaru area. The mills also allegedly produced flooring and moulding products that exported to overseas through its own port. While, both mills allegedly have no license for processed timber export,” the Chief said. The Indonesian police turn their attention now to illegal logging practices conducted by forest companies as last week its top officers in Riau disclosed a finding on such a crime allegedly perpetrated by PT RAPP. Meanwhile, WALHI (Friends of Earth Indonesia) issued a press release friday saying the NGO supported the Indonesian Police’s action in seizing timber inside mills of PT RAPP (APRIL) and PT IKPP (APP) in Riau that allegedly illegal for having no export license. http://appwatch.blogspot.com/2007/03/app-april-export-illegal-wood-police.html

38) We are at the edge of ecological disaster because rapid environmental destruction is occurring everywhere in the country. Our forests have been exploited through destructive logging, industrial timber plantations and massive conversion of forest land into palm oil plantations, as well as through massive coal mining exploration. In coastal areas, the land has been converted into fishponds and shopping centers. Most of the rivers in places like Java, Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara are in very critical condition, with a high level of pollution and decreasing volume of water because of the exploitation of water catchment areas. Our sea is also facing a huge threat, with only 6 percent of the country’s total of 60,000 square kilometers of coral reef in good condition. While only 30 percent of mangrove forests are in good condition. Coastal erosion, which is occurring in more than 60 locations throughout 17 provinces in Indonesia, is also a big problem. http://www.thejakartapost.com/misc/PrinterFriendly.asp

39) Illegal logging has been blamed for Saturday’s landslides and floods in Flores Island’s Manggarai regency, while the death toll from the disaster now stands at 34 with 40 more people still missing. Three days after the disaster in East Nusa Tenggara province, most relief aid from the central government and humanitarian groups remains stranded in provincial capital Kupang due to the lack of direct flights to the regency. Planes have to fly to the town of Ende on Flores, where the aid is unloaded before a 10-hour overland trip to the regency capital Ruteng. From there it takes another day to reach the disaster sites. East Nusa Tenggara Deputy Governor Frans Lebu Raya told State Minister for the Environment Rachmat Witoelar in Kupang on Monday that based on the reports he had received, much of the forest in Manggarai regency had been stripped bare due to illegal logging. “I received this information from Manggarai Regent Christian Rotok,” he said. During the meeting, the state minister urged people to stop cutting down forests to ensure a balanced ecosystem. He blamed the extreme weather of the past several years on environmental degradation and unchecked industrialization. http://www.thejakartapost.com/misc/PrinterFriendly.asp

40) Aceh – The Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam (NAD) provincial administration will soon declare a moratorium on logging in an effort to preserve the province`s forest ecosystem, Governor Irwandi Yusuf said here on Saturday.”We are going to declare a moratorium on logging as soon as possible because most of the land in this province was deforested in the past decade,” Irwandi said in his address at the installation of Tagore and Sirwandi as Bener Meriah district head and deputy district head respectively. The governor said the provincial administration was committed to stopping both legal and illegal logging activities in Aceh. “Logging is not the only way to feed the 4.2 million people of Aceh,” Irwandi said. Irwandi had on various occasions repeatedly stated that the natural disasters that had hit Aceh many times in the recent past, especially the recent massive flash floods that swept through seven districts in January, were the result of uncontrolled logging. Therefore, he pledged the provincial government would take serious action against whoever was engaged in illegal logging. According to Irwandi, forest resources in Aceh, including Leuser National Park that covers the districts of Bener Meriah, Aceh Tengah, Aceh Tenggara, Gayo Lues, and Aceh Selatan, should be protected and preserved for the welfare of the Acehnese people. He said the way to improve the local people’s economy was developing the potentials of the province`s natural resources. Therefore, the governor called on the new Bener Meriah district head and deputy district head to invite investors to develop plantations, agriculture and tourism in the district. http://www.indianmuslims.info/news/2007/march/04/international/aceh_to_declare_moratorium_on_lo

41) Pekanbaru – Eyes on the Forest, a coalition of three environmental NGOs in Riau, Sumatra releases its Investigative Report today. The EoF Investigation found Asia Pacific Resources International Holdings (APRIL) to be involved in forest clearance operations in two concessions in the Kampar Peninsula forest block. EoF considers these operations illegal as well as destroying potential High Conservation Value Forests (HCVFs) despite APRIL’s own publicly announced policy to protect HCVFs. EoF strongly calls all the concession holders involved and APRIL to immediately stop their logging and timber sourcing operations to prevent questionable clearing of natural forests which is/are(1) still in good condition, (2) on peat soil deeper than 3m, (3) designated as Protection Forest in the currently active Provincial Land Use Plan, (4) lack approval by the Ministry of Forestry of their invalid, locally issued conversion licenses, and (5) its industry timber plantation (HTI) developed on active selective logging concession (HPH). PT Triomas FDI belonging to APRIL fails to obtain valid logging license, even a dispensation from the Ministry of Forestry, therefore the timbers felled from its operation are illegal. http://aprilwatch.blogspot.com/2007/03/indonesian-ngos-consider-aprils-forest.html


42) FSC Australia chief executive Michael Spencer said the group was seeking support for a two-year program to develop an FSC-accredited Australian forest management standard. This would involve building consensus on key issues, he said, including a definition of high conservation value Australian forests, appropriate forest management practices and community benefit from forestry operations. FSC maintains its standards ensure sustainable forest management and a rigorous chain of custody system that allows tracking of certified wood and wood products from FSC-certified forests from manufacture to the retailer and customer. Mr Spencer said the number of Australian companies with FSC chain of certification had grown from about 10 in November 2005 to more than 30. FSC Australia is supported by environment groups, several forest products companies and community groups. Environmental members include WWF-Australia, the Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth, the Australian Conservation Foundation and Greenpeace. Business members include ITC, Hancock Victorian Plantations, Australian Paper and Timbercorp. In Australia, more than 650,000 hectares of forest have been certified to FSC standards. Globally, more than 80 million hectares have been certified in 70 countries to FSC standards, and about 5000 companies are participating in the FSC chain of custody system. http://www.fscaustralia.org


43) P. stipitis is the most proficient microbial fermenter in nature of the five-carbon “wood sugar” xylose—abundant in hardwoods and agricultural leftovers, which represent a motherlode of bioenergy fodder. “Increasing the capacity of P. stipitis to ferment xylose and using this knowledge for improving xylose metabolism in other microbes, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, brewer’s yeast, offers a strategy for improved production of cellulosic ethanol,” said Eddy Rubin, DOE JGI Director. “In addition, this strategy could enhance the productivity and sustainability of agriculture and forestry by providing new outlets for agricultural and wood harvest residues.” Ligonocellulosic biomass, a complex of cellulose, hemicellulose, and lignin, is derived from such plant-based “feedstocks” as agricultural waste, paper and pulp, wood chips, grasses, or trees such as poplar, recently sequenced by DOE JGI. Under current strategies for generating lignocellulosic ethanol, these forms of biomass require expensive and energy-intensive pretreatment with chemicals and/or heat to loosen up this complex. Enzymes are then employed to break down complex carbohydrate into sugars, such as glucose and xylose, which can then be fermented to produce ethanol. Additional energy is required for the distillation process to achieve a fuel-grade product. Now, the power of genomics is being directed to optimize this age-old process. http://www.physorg.com/news92326594.html

44) BOREAL – Named for Boreas, the Greek god of the north wind, the boreal forest encircles the earth just below the treeless tundra of the polar region. This vast ecosystem is easily seen from space and is sometimes referred to as Earth’s green halo. Overall the boreal forest spans 12,000 kilometres, covering nearly 11 per cent of our planet’s total surface. This makes it the biggest terrestrial ecosystem on Earth. The boreal forest is home to hardwood trees like birch and trembling aspen but is dominated by coniferous trees such as spruce, fir, and pine. North America’s largest owl, the great gray, prefers the seclusion of coniferous and mixed wood forests and is a year-round resident of Manitoba and Ontario’s boreal. Most of the region’s bald eagles fly south for the winter. In the spring, they return to the same nest with their lifelong mate. http://visitredlakeregion.blogspot.com/2007/03/boreal-quick-facts-named-for-boreas.html

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