185 – 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
by sending a blank email message to earthtreenews-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

–British Columbia:1) Save Dome Creek, 2) Clayoquot Sound saved again, 3) more timber subsidies needed, 4)Rabbit Island for sale, 5)$600-million golf course, 6)forest land may turn to Ag-land,
–Washington: 7) Nalini Nadkarni
–Oregon: 8) State forest protections, 9) MT. Hood NF planning, 10) Owl wins again,
–California: 11) exposing Sierra Pacific Industries, 12) Los Gatos to review logging plan,
–Montana: 13) Friends of the Wild Swan challenges state plan
–Arizona: 14) More champions trees per square mile then any other part of the state
–Utah: 15) Three timber sales shut down and three allowed
–South Dakota: 16) $1.4 Million for loggers to go after Black Hills NF
–Florida: 17) out-of-town developers loses cutting permit
–Canada: 20) 20 billion catalogs, 21) Scarborough woodland is what they want to save,
–UK: 22) Tracking wood, 23) not improving but destroying,
–Germany: 24) researching tropical forest poverty and economy
–Czechoslovakia: 25) Corruption gets EU’s attention,
–Brazil: 26) Cattle management, 27) Killing people to take their land
–Chile: 28) New victory in Dam opposition
–Panama: 29) Sustainable logging cuts trees every 25 years,
–Columbia: 30) More FSC inadequacies,
–Haiti: 31) economic significance of forests lost long ago
–Peru: 32) Save big-leaf mahogany
–India: 33) Bengali Government kills people to steal their land
–Indonesia: 34) Campaign against the stock listing of Samling, 35) $10 Billion to save trees, 36) Save fig trees, 37) increase in vector-borne disease, 38) Old homes of teak,
–South East Asia: 39) Biofuels are main cause of land clearing
–New Zealand: 40) Converting 23,000ha of pine forest to pastoral land

British Columbia:

1) On March 15, UNBC Ecosystem Science and Management professor Darwyn Coxson made a presentation at a Prince George Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) meeting about the conservation of an ancient forests found near Dome Creek. The forest is becoming known as BC’s Inland Rainforest, and is home to unique ecosystems that include 1,000 year-old Western Red Cedar trees, a number of ferns and mosses, and a diverse array of canopy lichens. Due to its close proximity to Highway 16, many of the ancient trees have been logged, and opportunities the view the ancient forest is limited.
Coxson explains that there are relatively few stands of these ancient trees, or what are known as antique forests in the scientific literature. “There is very high biodiversity within the canopy of these stands. They’ve got really unique conservation biology attributes and I guess I’m starting to get worried that, looking ahead a decade or two, we’re not going to have good examples of them,” said Coxson. He noted that several of the antique stands are within designated logging blocks. The current government policy in that region of the Upper Fraser Basin is to retain 53% of old forests. “That’s a good target in terms of the landscape level target,” said Coxson, however, he noted that target could be reached even if all of the antique forest sites are lost. “This is more an issue of trying to conserve a feature that’s quite rare in the landscape and the larger targets address a different issue,” said Coxson. “I guess the take-home message is that not all forests are equal,” he said. “These are decisions of public policy. The public has to decide what has value in the landscape, but the first step of that is simply being aware of what is out there,” said Coxson. http://www.thevalleysentinel.com/

2) B.C. Timber Sales won’t log a 4,000-hectare watershed in Clayoquot Sound for at least five years, say government officials and environmentalists. The Crown corporation recently informed five B.C. environmental groups that it has deferred operations in the Upper Kennedy Valley, a watershed dominated by untouched old-growth forests, until March 15, 2012. “It’s a good first step,” said Maryjka Mychajlowycz, forest watch campaigner for the Friends of Clayoquot Sound. “It’s not everything we asked. We asked to have the intact areas removed from the logging plans entirely.” Mychajlowycz said B.C. Timber Sales’ deferral doesn’t include the Lower Kennedy Valley, where logging could begin on 7,000 hectares of partially logged old-growth forests as early as next year. The Upper Kennedy watershed is located off Highway 4, on the west side of Sutton Pass, almost half-way between Port Alberni and Tofino. It is home to the Clayoquot Valley Witness Trail. Last November, representatives of B.C. Timber Sales told the Clayoquot Sound Central Region Board about the government’s Preliminary Forest Stewardship Plans, which focused on 11,000 hectares of the 20,000-hectare Kennedy watershed. Almost immediately, representatives of the FOCS, Western Canada Wilderness Committee, Greenpeace, Sierra Club of B.C. and Forest Ethics reacted. Joe Foy, campaign director for the WCWC, said environmentalists wouldn’t allow the area to be logged without “one heck of a fight.” B.C. Timber Sales and the environmentalists then held a series of conference calls. March 14, B.C. Timber Sales sent the five environmental organizations a letter, citing the environmentalists’ concerns as reason for the deferral. A representative from the Ministry of Forests was unavailable to comment on why the province had specifically deferred the operations Monday. Mychajlowycz said she hopes government, First Nations and environmentalists can work on a plan that will make the deferral permanent. “Our current goal is to get all the intact valleys into a conservancy setting. The ultimate goal will be to have no old-growth logging.” http://www.westcoaster.ca/modules/AMS/article.php?storyid=1786

3) British Columbia foresters say the province no longer has an up-to-date inventory of its timber resources which makes it difficult to manage climate change issues ranging from the mountain pine beetle to forest fires. Staff and funding cuts coupled with decisions by Victoria to transfer responsibility for inventories between ministries have increased the risk of making a poor decision, Paul Knowles, president of the Association of B.C. Forest Professionals, said Tuesday. And this is at a time when climate change issues require foresters to have more up-to-date information, he said. “We know that trees are a key factor in the carbon cycle so for the province to understand how its jurisdiction is functioning with regard to the carbon cycle we need to have accurate and up-to-date information on what trees we have in the province, where they are and what state they are in,” Knowles said in an interview. Knowles was commenting on a report commissioned by the association which outlines gaps in the current forest inventory. The report recommends responsibility for inventories be turned over to the chief forester under the Forest Act and that Victoria commit to funding the cost of annual inventory work.

4) Rabbit Island – A Costa Mesa., Calif., school, just 20 minutes from Disneyland, was thrilled to have its very own wilderness eco-lab, way off in British Columbia. Alas, like the average schmo who wins a Ferrari, only to discover it costs too much to keep, the community college found that owning a piece of paradise off Vancouver Island was a luxury it couldn’t afford. So the college board voted last week to put up a For Sale sign. The question now is, who will buy the heavily treed, 36-acre property, nestled between Lasqueti and Texada islands, and what will they do with it? The Land Conservancy of B.C. is among those eyeing Rabbit. So, apparently, are several others. “I have a list of 10 or 12 people who have expressed interest in buying it,” says the college foundation’s Doug Bennett. And that’s without even listing the property, or choosing a real estate broker. The college was given the island by Henry Wheeler, a wealthy California businessman (he runs private water companies) with a deep love of yachting and nature. He had bought the property in 1993 after seeing it advertised in a luxury magazine — didn’t even set foot on the island before buying it, just circled once in a rented boat and slapped down something over $300,000. Wheeler, who used to kick back at the property once or twice a year, says he loved the island. So did his family. His daughter honeymooned there. But Wheeler, who also owned a cabin in Montana, eventually figured he had one wilderness retreat too many, so donated the island to Orange Coast College, to whose sailing program he had already given a boat. Orange Coast ran summer courses on Rabbit Island — ecology, geography, biology, even kayaking and photography — but with just 25 students out of a total enrolment of 22,000 taking part, the sexy factor of owning a private Eden soon wore off. The plan is to put the island on the block in late May or early June. Some say it is worth $1 million, others say that’s too low. The market will determine the price. “It’s just a straight sale to the highest bidder. http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/news/story.html?id=8f1a53d6-f55c-4244-a7eb-f212f39f9a37&k=

5) Developers behind a $600-million golf course and resort in Ucluelet say they won’t cut down any more trees until rare plant and wildlife studies are complete. George Banning, project manager for Marine Drive Properties Ltd., told council that workers had to clear sections of the planned Jack Nicklaus golf course because of market pressure — even though the studies weren’t done. “We’re only going to be working in the area we’ve opened up at this time,” Mr. Banning said. “We’re not going to go in and remove any standing trees until the reports are done.” The issue arose after a presentation by registered professional biologists working for Enkon Environmental. Enkon is a Victoria-based company retained by Marine Drive Properties to collect environmental information. Marine Drive Properties is behind the Wyndansea Oceanfront Golf Resort, a resort that will boast the Jack Nicklaus Golf Club of Canada, 30 oceanfront and semi-oceanfront estate-sized homes, a five-star hotel and condominiums. Karen Truman, an Enkon project biologist, said her company will complete sensitive ecosystem mapping and survey rare plants and wildlife this spring and summer. Rare-wildlife surveys will focus on such animals as the northern goshawk, marbled murrelet and American water shrew — red-listed species that are indigenous, threatened and endangered. A less specific environmental assessment, focusing on small mammals and vegetation mapping, was completed for Marine Drive Properties by Streamline Environmental Consulting Ltd. in January of 2006. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070322.BCUCLUELET22/TPStory/TPNational/Brit

6) Agriculture on marginal northern soils is a bit of a red herring. Conversion of forest land to grazing land however is NOT costly at all, and may be the next gold rush. As I mentioned a while ago on one of these lists, I suspect the Interior is slated for a massive increase in cattle farming following the beetle falldown, as predicated by the Lib’s formation of the one-stop-shop MoFR bureaucracy, and the rapidly increasing desertification of the American west. The cattle complete what the beetle-maniac overcut loggers have started, and Canfor Jimmy will be happy to put on a cowboy hat and ship the fresh beef to China from the publicly-subsidized Roberts Bank Superport that the government sold him for a few bales of hay. It’s a win-win all round for the old boys club, except for old girl Gaia: the lack of carbon sequestration in new forests, coupled with an increase in moo-cow methane production, may be one of those climatic feedback loops that has yet to be factored into the tipping point equation. cortecos@island.net


7) Like any experiment, Nalini Nadkarni’s latest stint of fieldwork in the old growth forests of Southeast Washington state began with a hypothesis: “By putting scientists and artists together in the field doing experiential work, will each group gain something that would not have happened if they had been doing their work separately?” To test her idea the tree canopy ecologist from Evergreen State College invited an array of artists to join her scientific colleagues and herself in the field for a couple weeks as part of the “Canopy Confluence”. Nadkarni keeps eight different field sites in the Cascades Mountains as part of a long-term study of old growth Douglas fir stands. Nadkarni’s motivation for, say, leaving singer/songwriter Dana Lyons hanging with his nose in the deep grooves of old growth Douglas Fir bark (“Really what’s blowing my mind is you’re really intimate with the tree this way,” his voice booms, suspended from on high) comes down to communication. “He sings how many concerts a year? And could I ever get to those people? Could I sit around in a coffeehouse and hand out my scientific papers and say here read them? I don’t think so!” she says. “There’s a huge audience that I’m incapable of getting at with all of my efforts.” Nadkarni’s communicated science outside the box for a while. Several years ago, Nadkarni converted her data on the translocation of tree nutrients into music so that she could play her data at conferences. The melody was a hit. She also hosted an artists’ retreat called “Branching Out” set in the forest. In a different vein her “Tree Canopy Barbie,” 300 of which were sold around Olympia for donation, not only gets smiles from young girls, but also generates their interest in forest ecology (“Ground Support Ken” is on the way). Other projects include counting biblical references to forests and trees (there are 328) and telling local churchgoers about it. More recently she teamed up with the Cedar Creek Correctional Facility where she got prisoners to study how to best grow mosses artificially. Still the best results she’s seen have been with artists. “Artists are allowed to articulate the emotional, the aesthetic, and spiritual in a way that scientists, even though they might feel it, aren’t allowed to,” she says. “[They] are much more able to communicate those aspects which are more compelling to the public in terms of conservation that almost all the scientific content in the world.” http://www.inklingmagazine.com


8) SALEM — Officials from Coast Range counties asked lawmakers Tuesday to rework the state forest management plan so more timber can be taken from the Tillamook and Clatsop state forests. The current management plan, adopted in 2003 and endorsed by conservation, industry and government agencies, was created so state forests could satisfy a wide range of demands — from family wage logging jobs to mountain bike trails to healthy salmon habitats. But the amount of timber that loggers could cut — and the revenue that local governments anticipated — has turned out to be less than initial estimates, and county and industry groups are now trying to overhaul the management framework. In 2003, scientists used satellite photos to estimate that 279 million board feet could be harvested from the two state forests each year. But a subsequent study determined that the trees were growing at a slower rate than previously thought, and in 2007, the department authorized just 184 million board feet to be cut. The reduction has cost the counties $36.5 million, Josi said. He said there’s only one way to make up the lost money — increase the annual timber cut. But environmentalists say the current amount of logging already threatens wildlife habitat, clean water and millions of tourist dollars that are generated by people drawn to Oregon by its fish and wildlife. http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-18/1174448422262850.xml&stor

9) This is an update for anyone interested in making their wishes known on the places you value and tell them what is important about the Mt. Hood NF. The USFS manages the Mt. Hood NF in Oregon. The Forest Service is in the process of developing new recreation facilities and travel management plans for this forest that will guide its management for the next 10+ years. Is this national forest important to you? Do you value this forest for recreation, scenery, economic benefits, or other reasons? We are conducting a study of people who live near, visit, or otherwise may have expressed an interest in the management of the Mt. Hood National Forest. Our goal in this study is to provide the Forest Service with the best information possible as the agency develops new management plans. Because the Mt. Hood NF is public land, what you personally value (or don’t value) about the forest should help shape its future management. We’ve created a website where you can identify the places you value and tell us what is important about the Mt. Hood NF. The website is simple and interesting and asks you to drag and drop markers onto a map image of the Mt. Hood NF. http://www.mthoodstudy.net

10) Concern over the impact of logging on the northern spotted owl has suspended a dozen Willamette National Forest contracts and sent federal agency staffers back to the drawing board. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, which oversees the well-being of endangered species, withdrew permission for cutting on the projects after the 9th Circuit Court found fault with the biological opinion that allowed the logging to occur. The decision stops logging on 1,187 acres already under contract, with an estimated 35.6 million board feet of timber, and 1,363 acres of sales that have not yet been awarded, with an expected harvest of 26.8 million board feet, Willamette National Forest spokeswoman Judith McHugh said. A log truck carries an average of 5,000 board feet of timber. She was unable to provide the number of acres already harvested under the flawed document. The biological opinion allowed the killing of some spotted owls in the course of logging, but failed to specify how many owls could be killed. Fish & Wildlife staff members will be meeting with Willamette National Forest employees to determine how to revise their approval of the logging projects so that they meet Endangered Species Act requirements. There’s no timetable for completing the process, Carroll said. Josh Laughlin, executive director of the Eugene environmental group The Cascadia Wildlands Project, hailed the news because northern spotted owl populations continue to decline. “This indicates to me that we need to halt all remaining mature and old growth logging and set aside these iconic forests for future generations, for water quality and, in the owl’s case, for habitat,” he said. http://www.registerguard.com/news/2007/03/20/e1.cr.logging.0320.p1.php


11) Join us on Friday the 13th of April for a “Day of Action” as we expose the devastating clearcutting done by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI) in the forests of the Sierra Nevada. These iconic forests are being leveled, leaving barren plots and tree farms in their wake. Sign-up for our Day of Action. Friday the 13th of April. We need your help to reveal the scary truth. We’ll set you up with everything you’ll need to get involved. And there are plenty of things for you to do. We need people to organize/attend protests, pass out flyers, deliver letters, organize call-ins, write a letter to the editor of their local paper, and many other activities. Sign-up today, because the devastation of the forests of the Sierra Nevada has been hidden from sight for too long! The forests of the Sierra Nevada are rich in biodiversity, providing a home to bald eagles, giant sequoias, and pacific fishers, rare relatives of martens and otters. Unfortunately, the Sierra are being clearcut by SPI — and we need to stop them! http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/forestethics/signUp.jsp?key=1749

12) The town of Los Gatos has stayed out of the controversy surrounding a proposal to log 1,002 acres of redwood and Douglas fir trees above the Lexington Reservoir. As the California Department of Forestry comes closer to completing its review of the proposal, town officials have decided to take a closer look. Los Gatos has thus far taken a “wait-and-see” approach to the logging proposal as various county and state agencies review the NTMP.”It’s beyond the town boundaries by several miles,” Mayor Joe Pirzynski said. “But a number of issues have been raised from this proposal that might have an effect on the town.” Pirzynski recalled the 1985 Lexington Fire that started outside town limits but threatened the downtown. “The fire risk is an issue that obviously concerns us because that is the backdrop to our community,” he said. “We know that part of this proposal is fire mitigation, but we need to evaluate what the facts are.” Opponents of the logging proposal argue that removing large trees from the forest and leaving slash on the forest floor will increase the fire hazard. Big Creek Lumber counters that thinning the forest will reduce that hazard. Pirzynski said other possible consequences could be an increase in landslide risk, changes in water quality and more traffic caused by logging trucks using Highway 17. “The way we are looking at this situation is at what the potential impacts could be to our town, if any,” Pirzynski said. “We may discover that the impacts are minimal to none. If we do find that the impacts to the town are significant, then at that point we will determine what actions we can take.” NAIL, a group of mountain residents opposed to the logging plan, maintains the San Jose Water Co. owns more timberland than state law allows for the type of logging plan that has been applied for. But Big Creek Lumber states otherwise. If the CDF determines the water company owns more than 2,500 acres of commercially viable timberland, then the NTMP would be recommended for denial. “This is a fairly controversial plan,” CDF forest practice inspector Richard Sampson said. “There are a number of issues that we are working on – fire-related, endangered species, road access, the type of equipment to be used in the logging. For a large plan like this for as controversial as it is, I’m not surprised how long it’s taking to review it, and I’d rather not rush it.” http://www.mercurynews.com/localnewsheadlines/ci_5480416


13) Friends of the Wild Swan put the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation and the Land Board on notice that the Three Creeks Timber Sale Project on the Swan River State Forest violates the Endangered Species Act. The possible take of bull trout, an endangered species, in particular caused Arlene Montgomery, program director for Friends of the Wild Swan, to file the notice. “There is take when the Forest Service does this kind of project,” Montgomery said. “Is this good for bull trout? I don’t think it is, and I don’t think the DNRC is qualified to determine of they’ve mitigated for take. The term “take” is not limited in its meaning to only “death.” Take can also mean significant disruption to an animal’s habitat. Montgomery claims that the timber sale – with the addition of 19 miles of new road, improvement/maintenance of 47 miles of existing roads, the reclamation of two miles of road and the reconstruction of six stream crossings – will create negative short-term effects substantial enough to cause “take” of bull trout. According to the final Environmental Impact Statement by the DNRC concerning the Three Creeks project, overall sedimentation for the South Fork Lost Creek, Cilly Creek and Soup Creek areas will be reduced by about 54 tons per year. Montgomery also cites the lack of a Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) and an Incidental Take Permit by the DNRC in her complaint.“They’ve been working on the HCP since 2003,” Montgomery said. “I don’t know what’s taking them so long. In the meantime, they are going forward with this very large timber sale. The Three Creeks Project – Alternative B – includes logging 23.7 million board feet of timber from 1,884 acres in the South Lost, Cilly and Soup Creek drainages on the Swan River State Forest for a period of three years. The project involves logging 1,222 acres of old-growth forest habitat with varying degrees of harvest. On Feb. 20, 2007, the Land Board authorized the first phase of the project that will allow logging 6.8 million board feet of timber from 679 acres, including 420 acres of old-growth forest habitat and five miles of road construction. http://www.bigforkeagle.com


14) “We have more champions per square mile then any other part of the state,” said Ken Morrow, the state coordinator for the Arizona Register of Big Trees. Morrow recently gave a presentation to the Pimeria Alta Garden Club on how to measure and nominate record trees. Morrow said that part of the reason for the large number of “champion” trees in Santa Cruz County (around a half-dozen including a co-champion velvet ash) has to do with the presence of perennial streams such as Sonoita Creek. “This allows trees to always have their feet in the water.” Morrow worked in the nursery business for 30 years and became interested in champion trees when customers would come in and ask, “Just how big does this tree get?” He started doing a bit of investigating and soon developed a passion for the sport. “There’s three measurements you have to take, and a point system that determines how you compare two of the same species,” Morrow explained. The trunk circumference is the most important measurement and is measured at 4 1/2 feet if possible. The tree gains a point for each inch in girth and a point for each foot in height. Also you get a point for each four feet of crown spread. The points are then added together for a final score. http://www.nogalesinternational.com/articles/2007/03/20/news/news4.txt


15) A federal appeals court has issued a split decision in an environmental group’s challenge of six logging projects in four Utah national forests. The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals this week agreed with the Utah Environmental Congress that the U.S. Forest Service failed to comply with federal environmental laws on three of the projects, all located in southern Utah. But the court upheld the agency on the other three projects at the northern end of the state. Utah Environmental Congress executive director Kevin Mueller calls the decision a significant victory for the preservation of wildlife habitat in Utah forests. “It is a split decision. But these projects involve about 40 million board feet of timber. The three projects we won on would have logged 31 million board feet. So a little over three-quarters of the logging was stopped. The conditions on the ground are pretty favorable,” Mueller said. The Utah Environmental Congress prevailed in stopping two timber projects on the Manti-LaSal National Forest – including the large South Manti timber sale that would have totaled 25 million board feet – and another on the Dixie National Forest. The court upheld two Forest Service logging projects on the Wasatch-Cache National Forest, and another on the Uinta National Forest, totalling just over 9 million board feet. http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_5502277

South Dakota:

16) The timber industry will leave a bigger footprint in the Black Hills National Forest this year, thanks to a $1.4 million boost in funding for logging activities in the forest. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved the additional money to increase the timber harvest from 79 million board feet in 2006 to 85 million this year, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., said Wednesday in announcing the additional funding. Thune said the increased timber harvest would help combat an epidemic of pine-beetle infestations, bolster efforts to reduce the danger of large wildfires and give the logging industry a financial boost. The beetle problem is especially damaging and in need of a solution, Thune said. “Since 2000, pine beetles have killed over 1.5 million trees in the Black Hills. Only by aggressively dealing with this epidemic now will we be able to save this forest for future generations,” he said. Thune said the $1.4 million would come on top of $11 million already budgeted for the Black Hills National Forest timber-harvest program. Thune said the timber-management program helps the Forest Service reach harvest objectives for the forest while benefiting private enterprise. http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/services/contact.php


17) The answer to whether the Dunnellon City Council was right to strip an out-of-town developer of his city-issued tree-cutting permit got a little closer to being answered Monday. The Dunnellon code enforcement board listened to four hours of testimony from city officials, residents and one tree expert about events leading up to the council’s November decision to suspend Rainbow River Ranch’s permit, essentially putting a stop to any development on the 250-acre tract of land along the Rainbow River. “I think a lot of eyes were opened to the magnitude of the number of trees that were cut,” said Ted Schatt, the Dunnellon council’s lawyer. “But there’s a lot left to go.” Monday’s hearing was Schatt’s turn to try to explain why his bosses were right in suspending the permit following complaints by residents that the developer was cutting too many trees. The board will meet again April 16 to hear the developer’s arguments. One of the witnesses called was Brian Winchester of Winchester Environmental Associates, who testified that during a 10-hour inspection of the site he counted 561 trees cut down in the area, in addition to eight trees that were 24 inches in diameter and six cypress trees. He also told the code enforcement board he estimated that as many as 900 more trees were cut on the developer’s land that he did not have time to inspect. The developer’s tree-cutting permit allows him to cut trees smaller than 24 inches in diameter at chest height. It forbids cutting any cypress trees or trees larger than 24 inches in diameter without city approval. The city also requires people who cut trees of any size to pay the city $75 per tree. The city uses the money to plant replacements. If Winchester’s report is accepted by the code enforcement board, the board could charge the developer about $42,000 for the 561 legally cut trees and $700 for the illegally cut trees. http://www.ocala.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070321/NEWS/203210338/1001/NEWS01


18) Every year, the catalog industry sends out 20 billion catalogs — that’s 70 catalogs for every man, woman, and child in America. Our Endangered Forests are paying the price and it’s time the industry changes the way catalogs are made. Join our Day of Action, Saturday April 21, 2007. Help us put the catalog industry on notice — they’ve got 30 days to get out of our Endangered Forests. You can help us organize and/or attend protests at catalog companies, pass out flyers in front of a catalog company, deliver mock eviction notices, organize call-ins, write a letter to the editor of the local paper, and many other activities. We really need you. We’ve written letters, made phone calls, and met with managers of the top catalog industry brands across the country. So far, none of the companies we’ve contacted has agreed to get out of Endangered Forests. So on April 21st, we’re giving the major catalog companies a deadline. We’ll serve them with eviction notices — letting them know they have 30 days to get out of Endangered Forests.
Sign up now. Get involved. http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizationsORG/forestethics/signUp.jsp?key=1988

21) An environmentally sensitive Scarborough woodland goes on the chopping block as of today after the city’s forestry division disregarded the protests of 1,200 residents. “Damn,” said Don York, chairperson of the Manse Valley Community Association, when told the city’s forestry division will issue a permit Friday, March 23, allowing the developers of a controversial affordable housing project on the Manse Valley lands to cut down the trees. “This is bad news. I don’t know how they can ignore 1,200 neighbours. So much for (Mayor David) Miller’s talk about listening to residents. So much for Miller’s talk on the environment. So much for Miller’s talk about neighbourhoods.” According to Ward 44 Councillor Ron Moeser (Scarborough East), who called forestry manager Donna Cormier yesterday, the forestry division is issuing the permit because council approved the development last year. However, residents had been hoping to save the woodlot because 32 trees in it are protected under the city’s tree bylaw. For the development to proceed, the land must be clear-cut of all the trees, including the 32 protected ones. This month, about 1,200 residents flooded the forestry division demanding the woodland be saved. “We will fight it until the last breath is drawn, I tell you,” said resident Bruce Smith, adding the woodland is home to many species of wildlife. http://www.insidetoronto.ca/to/scarborough/story/3919980p-4531442c.html?loc=scarborough


22) LONDON — A global computerized system that tracks wood from stump to store is aiding the battle against illegal logging and helping consumers choose sustainable products, says Scott Poynton of the Tropical Forest Trust. Under the system, which has been tested in Indonesia, a tree destined for legal felling is given a unique barcode identifying its type and location that it carries all through the process from forest to furniture. “When the barcode is scanned, a server in London verifies the information. If the tree has suddenly come up as a different type or if the barcode had been replicated and there are suddenly lots of the same tree, the alarm rings,” Poynton said. “Our people go back to the factory owner and tell him he has been rumbled. Because buyers in Europe and the United States are now increasingly demanding legal, sustainably logged products, he will quickly cooperate,” he told Reuters. Illegal logging is both big business and a major contributor to climate change. The World Bank calculates illegal logging is costing producer country governments between $10 billion and $15 billion a year in lost revenue from taxes foregone. http://www.enn.com/energy.html?id=1494&ref=rss

23) Many say the project is not improving but destroying wildlife habitats and causing the loss of fine old trees. But at a meeting of the Mousehold Heath Conservators yesterday they were assured that no more tree felling would take place this year. Paul Holley, the city council’s natural areas officer, said the plan was to clear 10 to 15 acres in the centre of the woodland and to link the three remaining areas of heath into one. The rest of the 184-acre site will be retained as woodland. Mr Holley said the heathland was one of the rarest habitats in the world and it was essential it be maintained as a valuable wildlife habitat. The felled trees were young and in the area marked for heathland or were cleared to allow access by the fire service, he said. Continuous questions from the floor at times prevented Mr Holley from speaking. John Huggins voiced the public concern about the lack of public consultation over the tree felling. Jane Merry, who lives close to the heath, said: “Mousehold was never the fantastic heathland that we are being sold, so why are we wasting money? We are destroying wildlife and habitat.” http://www.eveningnews24.co.uk/content/News/story.aspx?brand=ENOnline&category=News&tBrand=en


24) For the first time a large, truly multidisciplinary team of scientists has studied the complex tradeoffs between incomes for poor farmers in the tropics, biodiversity loss and the way ecosystems cope with deforestation. The results are interesting in the context of biofuel production in the tropics. They show that while conversion of tropical forest for agriculture results in significant declines in biodiversity and carbon storage, farming cash crops such as cacao under the partial shade of high canopy trees can provide a way to balance economic gain with environmental considerations. The team consisted of a dozen scientists from mainly German universities, in particular the Georg-August-Universität Göttingen, the University of Hohenheim and the University of Bayreuth. Other researchers were from the Bogor Agricultural University and the Tadulako University, both in Indonesia, and from the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. Results are published in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. http://biopact.com/2007/03/farming-in-tropical-rainforest-can.html


25) Brussels – Czech state-run forest company Lesy CR did not proceed correctly when placing public orders, the European Commission told journalists today. If the Czech Republic fails to remedy the situation, the issue may end up at the European Court of Justice in two months. LCR owns roughly 50 percent of the country’s forests. It is now preparing tenders for new medium-time orders. Beginning 2008, orders based on these tenders should be signed on time, even several years in advance. Brussels started to deal with the tenders in the middle of December 2005 based on a complaint from private firm CE WOOD. The Commission first asked the Czech Republic to answer a number of questions and now has decided that the tenders violated European Union directives. The Commission will therefore send to the Czech Republic its stance that will mean the last warning before the case ends up at court. Disputes over tenders for logging have been dragging on since 2004 when Kamil Vyslysel, who was the company’s CEO at that time, declared the first tender based on controversial rules. All tenders that the company has signed since 2004 have been sharply criticised by some logging companies which argued they were non-transparent and not in harmony with the valid legislation. http://launch.praguemonitor.com/en/49/czech_business/3481/


26) ATHENS – Parched land could trigger a mass exodus north from the Mediterranean if the long-term effects of climate change, construction and farming are not checked, a Greek environmental official warned on Tuesday. Swathes of Greece are also in immediate danger of becoming permanent desert, said Professor Costas Kosmas, head of a government committee set up to battle desertification. “Desertification is a slow-moving process and once we realize it is happening it will be too late to go back,” Kosmas told Reuters in an interview. Desertification is being fueled by a reduction in average rainfall coupled with higher temperatures, deforestation and human activities such as farming, construction and tourism. Kosmas said long-term environmental changes meant all countries across the Mediterranean basin would eventually be affected — and that populations would drift to cooler north European latitudes.”Desertification means that people cannot earn a living off the land so they move. They become migrants, flocking to urban areas,” he said.


26) According to the World Rainforest Movement, in 1990 there were around 27 million heads of cattle in Brazil. The number jumped to 57 million in 2002. Often times these farms must move from location to location due to the land being overexploited within a few years. Farming production use methods like slash and burn to clear land. This is an old style where people will cut growth, allow it to dry, and burn it off, then rendering the land useless often after the first harvest. Before you start to think that nothing is being done, know something is. In 2002, the WWF and the Brazilian Government partnered together to establish the Amazon Region Protected Area. This program has already taken 20,000 square miles under protection. Not using old growth woods such as teak and making sure that products such as beef, coffee and soy come from rainforest-safe manufactures will make a difference. Yet, with so much destruction there seems to be little to no hope that what’s lost will never be regained. But, with measures being taken and simple acts done by society, we may be able to not only save what little tropical rainforests are left but re-grow that which has been destroyed. It would be a pity to have to walk a treeless road into the future. http://media.www.thechannelsonline.com/media/storage/paper669/news/2007/03/21/Opinion/Speakin

27) In the first three years of President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva’s government, 121 people were killed over land conflicts in the country’s Amazon region. The victims include rural workers, unionists and environmentalists such as Dorothy Stang, a nun from the United States, who was murdered Feb. 12, 2005 for her work protecting the forest. Putting an end to the escalating violence in the Amazon region, particularly in areas where land conflicts, slave labor and deforestation exist, is the principal motivation for the Catholic Church’s 2007 Fraternity Campaign, which will address issues in the Amazon region between Feb. 21 and April 1. The Church is trying to call attention to the living conditions of the 23 million people who live in Brazil’s Amazon region, including 163 indigenous communities established in there, home to 270,000 people, close to 80 percent of Brazil’s indigenous population. The 1988 constitution establishes that indigenous communities have rights to their land, but this is not totally guaranteed. Of the 504 indigenous territories in Brazil’s Amazon region, just 241 — less than half — have demarcated their lands and registered these borders with government authorities. The Justice Ministry has still not established the borders of 40 percent of Brazil’s indigenous communities. The National Bishops Conference of Brazil, or CNBB, says this is one of the reasons indigenous communities are constantly invaded by illegal loggers, miners and other activities that contribute to deforestation, a grave risk for these native communities. Along with fisherman, rubber farmers, Afro-Brazilian communities and others who live off the jungle’s products, the indigenous communities are the most vulnerable to the destruction of the world’s largest rainforest. Mons. Pedro Casaldáliga, bishop emeritus of the São Félix do Araguaia prelature, says that the campaign aims to make the Brazilian and international communities realize the Amazon Rainforest’s importance. http://www.latinamericapress.org/article.asp?lanCode=1&artCode=5071


28) Chilean environmental authorities have rejected the environmental impact assessment (EIA) for a 600 MW dam in the Patagonia region by the Swiss mining conglomerate, Xstrata. Viviana Betancourt, the director of the Regional Environment Commission (COREMA), announced the decision yesterday, saying “essential and relevant information which would have been needed to evaluate the EIA was missing.” Betancourt cited a lack of analysis of the project’s impacts on water resources, on fauna and flora, on marine ecosystems, and on local populations, as well as on the scenic vistas of the Aysén region. COREMA’s decision shelves the project for now, although the company may re-apply for an environmental license with a new EIA. The Cuervo River dam was being planned in a remote region of Aysén province near the rugged Chilean coast. Xstrata had purchased non-consumptive water rights on the Cuervo, which had previously belonged to the Canadian company Noranda. Noranda’s plans for a hydroelectric dam and primary aluminum smelter complex in the region were rejected in 2003 following an international campaign. Xstrata has not announced how the electricity generated by the Cuervo plant would have been used, and there has been speculation that the Swiss company intended to revive the aluminum smelter scheme. Chilean activists hailed the decision, citing the fact that more than 400 individuals and 15 Chilean and international organizations had submitted critical comments to COREMA regarding the EIA. Juan Pablo Orrego of Ecosistemas said, “we still can’t understand how Xstrata could propose a project without presenting plans for how or where the energy would be consumed.” Peter Hartmann of the Citizen Coalition for the Aysén Life Reserve added, “we feel stronger and we’ll now intensify our work in the region to convince the public and our officials that pristine areas of incalculable ecological value should not be handed over to companies for short-term profits. http://www.irn.org


29) Darien – A milestone in the history of forest conservation has been marked in the dense tropical rainforests of Panama’s eastern Darien region. As part of a sustainable forest management and trade project coordinated by WWF, the region’s first sustainable harvesting plan has been launched, ensuring that forest areas are cut in 25-year cycles. “This ensures that logging does not exceed what the forest can regenerate,” said Mauro Salazar, WWF Central America’s Forestry Director. Under the plan, a limited number of mature trees are harvested the first year in one forest area, cutting only four to five trees per hectare so that the forest’s ecological integrity is not harmed. The oldest seed-producing trees are not cut down so as to ensure the survival of the species. The following year logging would be allowed in a second area so that tree species in the first area could regenerate. A similar practice will continue in other areas throughout the forest over a 25-year logging cycle. When this cycle comes to an end, a new one will start again in the first area. This model is based on the “Forests Forever” concept which takes into account the principles and criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council, the world’s leading forest certification organization. “This overarching approach represents a practical tool for long-term conserving, especially as the forest remains nearly intact after an extraction,” Salazar added. ”At the same time it contributes to poverty alleviation.” WWF promotes responsible forest management and trade as one of the best ways to conserve the forests over the long term, helping communities that own the forest to generate tangible economic benefits through careful resource management. http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=30445


30) The Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal* which has been investigating the social and environmental impacts of companies in Colombia, has recently heard evidence against a number of companies, including two that are certified by the FSC: Smurfit Kapa Cartón de Colombia and Pizano SA. (Smurfit was certified for FSC by SGS Qualifor; in contravention of FSC’s requirements, there was no information about this certificate available on SGS’s website at the date of this posting. Pizano was certified by SmartWood.) The ‘verdict’ of the Tribunal’s meeting in Colombia’s Low Atrato region on 26-27 February 2007 included the following conclusions: “The company Smurfit Kapa Cartón de Colombia was accused of the violation of human, environmental, social and cultural rights. More specifically, of destroying tropical rainforests, Andean forests and other ecosystems and of destroying the social network, the traditional and cultural forms of production of communities; for depleting and polluting water sources; for influencing the elaboration of government policies in the country and for putting pressure on government officials to favour the company’s interests and manipulating the media at both the regional and national level; for spreading false statements, information and publicity to justify its activities and for hiding the resulting impacts; for accusing and criminalizing with false arguments those who denounce its improper conduct.” http://www.fsc-watch.org/archives/2007/03/22/Colombia__FSC_certified_companies_accused_of__des


31) Haiti’s forests lost their the economic significance as a renewable resource a long time ago, and quickly loses its ecological function, affirmed today the executive secretary of the Dominican Integral Development Institute (IDDI), David Luther. He said that though the economic loss can be conceivable and compensated, the forest ecosystem has enormous repercussions that would affect the subsistence of millions of people who live in both sides of the border. The expert said that “years back, Haiti was covered with exuberant forests with ecological variations, defined in terms of different types of forestry, but those wooded areas have been reduced drastically, covering today only 5.7% of the total surface in that country.” Luther spoke during the inaugural of the directors in the new IDDI branch in Haiti, located near the north coast city Cape Haitien. The non-profit organization’s funding comes from the United Nations, the Agency for International Development (AID) and the business sector. Luther said that the IDDI develops integral development projects in the border aimed at controlling deforestation of areas, and noted that the new office “will take advantage of the economic resources more rationally.” He pointed out that the Haitian and Dominican governments must include in their bilateral protocols effective components oriented to preserve the island’s natural resources. A IDDI study found that in Haiti, more than 38% of the forested area is of pines which “has been degraded from a bad exploitation, forest fires and the conversion into grazing zones.” http://www.dominicantoday.com/app/article.aspx?id=23248


32) The international trade in big-leaf mahogany is regulated by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), and the Peruvian government has taken many steps to improve forest management and to stop illegal logging. However, despite this, big-leaf mahogany continues to be harvested at unsustainable levels and illegal logging remains rampant. Many of these trees are illegally logged in protected areas or on the lands of indigenous peoples who receive only a fraction of the actual value of the wood. Strong measures must be taken today if this species, and the rain forest it is part of, are to survive for future generations. Every year, Peru sets an annual quota for mahogany that determines how much can be exported. Unfortunately Peru has just set a quota level that WWF believes is unsustainable, non scientifically-based, and that cannot be verified as legally harvested.


33) Over the last few days unknown numbers of lives have been lost in Nandigram, a village not too far south of Calcutta. An Indonesian Corporation, with the help of the CPI(M) (Communist Party of India (Marxist))-led government of West Bengal, have been wanting to acquire some land in the area for industrial development. The farmers of the area who own the land refused to sell their ancestral property and give up their traditional agricultural vocation. The Government of West Bengal, with the help of the state police and party cadres, tried earlier to force the farmers into submission. This led to violence earlier this year and a wave of protest. Things subsided for a while, and the government seemed to retract. However, last week a full-scale “land grab” attack was launched on the people of Nandigram and it resulted in the incidents described in the following website , with several links to other sources of information: http://www.calcuttaweb.com/nandigram.shtml Wikipedia also has a site on Nandigram at
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nandigram. The following link takes you to a petition to the Governor of West Bengal denouncing the Nandigram Genocide : http://www.petitiononline.com/nandigra/petition.html


34) A number of NGOs concerned with the conservation of tropical rainforests and the protection of indigenous peoples’ rights have launched a campaign against the public listing of the Malaysian Samling group. Samling is a logging corporation based in the Malaysian state of Sarawak and owned by the Yaw family. It operates on a total of some 3.4 million hectares of natural forests and 470’000 hectares of plantations. Samling has a poor environmental and social record in its countries of operation, which include Malaysia, Guyana, China and New Zealand. The Yaw family has also left behind a trail of destruction in the forests of Cambodia and Papua New Guinea where its bulldozers have been operating until a few years ago. The campaign’s main targets are the international banks involved in the logging giant’s listing, in the first place Credit Suisse, which acts as the global coordinator for the listing at the Hong Kong stock exchange. By going public, Samling Global Ltd., incorporated in Bermuda, expects to raise 280 Million US Dollars. It is feared that the public listing of Samling will increase the pace of destruction of tropical rainforests in the Samling concessions due to the new investors’ pressure for share performance. On Friday 23 February, friends of Bruno Manser, the missing Swiss rainforest conservationist, started off the campaign with a protest march in Zurich. They carried a carved memorial tree for Manser to the Credit Suisse headquarters in Switzerland’s financial center. Manser, who fought for the rights of the Penan people living in the Borneo rainforests, was last seen in a Samling concession in the Malaysian state of Sarawak in May 2000. http://www.rengah.c2o.org/news/article.php?identifer=de0490t

35) The author of a key climate change report says the world should invest 10 billion dollars annually to halve deforestation in the fight against global warming. Nicholas Stern told reporters at a meeting in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta, that forest clearance for farming or urban development released large amounts of the greenhouses gases blamed for climate change. Sir Nicholas says the world has to work together to provide a strong fund to cut deforestation in Indonesia, Brazil and other countries. He is due to visit Indonesia’s Sumatra island to see the problem of deforestation close up. In a landmark report commissioned by the British government, Sir Nicholas warned last year that climate change could bring economic disaster on the scale of the world wars and the 1930s’ Great Depression unless urgent action was taken. http://www.radioaustralia.net.au/news/stories/s1880447.htm

36) A new study on the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia confirms the critical importance of fig trees to the rainforest ecosystem. The research has implications for wildlife conservation in an area of high rates of forest loss from agricultural conversion and logging. Examining diet composition and fruit availability for 23 frugivorous bird species (pigeons, parrots, hornbills and passerines) in two lowland rain forests on Sulawesi, Jonathan S. Walker of the University of Manchester, found that figs (Ficus species) comprised 57% of all fruit-eating records. Walker’s results are consistent with studies from other parts of the world that have found figs supply a disproportionate amount of sustenance for fruit-eating animals. “Certain fruit species are particularly important, either because they dominate the diets of bird species… or act as keystone species (‘pivotal’ food resource during times of food scarcity),” wrote Walker. “Possibly the most important keystone fruits to birds of tropical forests are figs… and palm fruits.” Walker says that fruit-eating animals are “particularly vulnerable to continued habitat loss and fragmentation” and that better understanding their diet composition could improve conservation efforts of threatened species as well as facilitate forest restoration since many frugivores are key seed dispersers. He notes that only 49% of the Sulawesi’s indigenous forest remains and that deforestation is continuing. Walker further warns that fig populations on the island are also at risk, putting additional pressure on frugivores. “The survival of fig populations is limited by a number of factors including: (1) that viable populations of figs can require huge areas, 106–632 square kilometers, far greater than those found for other tree species (Nason et al. 1998); (2) that fig reproduction has been identified as particularly affected by habitat fragmentation and drought (Harrison 2000); and (3) that the large trees on which strangler figs disproportionately occur are themselves rare (Leighton & Leighton 1983) and at increased risk of mortality in fragmented landscapes (Laurance et al. 2000).” “In light of the continued forest loss and fragmentation and the effects of climate change, specialization on figs might potentially be a relatively high-risk strategy for frugivorous birds, especially as the future viability of monoecious figs in any single reserve may depend on the existence and management of forest outside the protected area,” he wrote. http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0320-birds.html

37) Deforestation and ever increasing migration numbers are among the reasons for a rise in vector-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue. Researcher and former head of the Institute of Medical Research (IMR)’s Parasitology Unit Dr V. Indra said the cutting down of forests would lead to animals like monkeys being forced to wander into areas inhabited by humans. “This means the monkeys (who also act as reservoirs) would be carrying whatever parasites they have with them. The mosquitoes that usually feed on the monkeys will also tag along, increasing the risk of vector-borne disease transmission,” she said in a plenary paper at the 43rd annual scientific seminar of the Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine here yesterday. Dr Indra said the different vectors for such diseases were present in Malaysia and the country has to ensure it was ready to fight the parasites that can be transmitted. Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek, in his speech read by IMR director Dr Shahnaz Murad, said there was a need to speed up approaches to combat infectious diseases. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/3/21/nation/17202954&sec=nation

38) Global Surroundings purchases old homes in Java, Indonesia, made of old teak wood. The Indonesian families then get a new brick home, once only a dream. “We buy and dismantle their house, re-using every part to create our furniture.” notes Jackson, “We will use the front door of an old home and add that into an armoire. Old floor boards are used in constructing beautiful dining tables. Heavy beams and posts are re-sawn to be used in table legs and other parts of furniture where one piece of wood is needed. We are constantly seeking new ways to use the existing materials. Incorporating eco-friendly furniture into your own home is one way socially and environmentally conscious consumers can share in the passion for treating our natural environment with respect,” adds Jackson. “We contribute to a better world by pursuing sustainability and being eco-friendly.” Jackson notes an increase in consumer demand for socially responsible furniture. “People see the climate changing and they want to do their own part to help minimize the environmental impact of cutting down the rainforest,” explains JL. “Using reclaimed wood just makes sense.” http://www.furninfo.com/absolutenm/templates/NewsFeed.asp?articleid=7368

South East Asia:

39) “Biofuels are rapidly becoming the main cause of deforestation in countries like Indonesia, Malaysia and Brazil,” said Simone Lovera, managing coordinator of the Global Forest Coalition, an environmental NGO based in Asunción, Paraguay. “We call it ‘deforestation diesel’,” Lovera told IPS. Oil from African palm trees is considered to be one of the best and cheapest sources of biodiesel and energy companies are investing billions into acquiring or developing oil-palm plantations in developing countries. Vast tracts of forest in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and many other countries have been cleared to grow oil palms. Oil palm has become the world’s number one fruit crop, well ahead of bananas. Biodiesel offers many environmental benefits over diesel from petroleum, including reductions in air pollutants, but the enormous global thirst means millions more hectares could be converted into monocultures of oil palm. Getting accurate numbers on how much forest is being lost is very difficult. The FAO’s State of the World’s Forests 2007 released last week reports that globally, net forest loss is 20,000 hectares per day — equivalent to an area twice the size of Paris. However, that number includes plantation forests, which masks the actual extent of tropical deforestation, about 40,000 hectares (ha) per day, says Matti Palo, a forest economics expert who is affiliated with the Tropical Agricultural Research and Higher Education Center (CATIE) in Costa Rica. “The half a million ha per year deforestation of Mexico is covered by the increase of forests in the U.S., for example,” Palo told IPS. National governments provide all the statistics, and countries like Canada do not produce anything reliable, he said. Canada has claimed no net change in its forests for 15 years despite being the largest producer of pulp and paper. http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=37035

New Zealand:

40) Mr Sinclair said a Waikato University study carried out last year supported his claim that converting 23,000ha of pine forest to pastoral land would bring a $147 million boost to the South Waikato economy. Environment Waikato councillor Steve Osborne told the meeting of his concerns about converting plantation forest to pasture. Mr Osborne said such large scale change in land use could increase the levels of plant nutrients, particularly nitrogen, in the Waikato River, increasing the risk of potentially toxic blue-green algae blooms. He also said deforestation could raise the level of flood risk in the Waikato River catchment. However, Mr Osborne conceded the pine-to-pasture idea could boost the region’s economy. South Waikato chief executive David Hall said the council was committed to balancing economic development with protecting the environment. It was important the debate around converting forest to pasture did not become emotive. The Government has discouraged deforestation because of its commitments to reduce climate change under the Kyoto agreement. Mr Sinclair said South Waikato residents had fully supported the council’s stance. “People are saying great; well done for fighting for our district,” he said. http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/waikatotimes/4003338a6579.html

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