233 Earth’s Tree News

Today for you 36 new articles about earth’s trees! (233rd edition)
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–British Columbia: 1) Climbing giant trees, 2) Western to sell 1,800 hectares, –Washington: 3) Tree climbing dog becomes celebrity, 4) 86 Vashon acres for wildlife,
–Oregon: 5) BLM’s puffs up wood growth on paper, not in the forest
–California: 6) Remembering Gypsy, 7) Logging a forest to pay for it, 8) Logging along streams again in Tahoe, 9) Oaks make masts? 10) FS Fires her for not lying enough, 11) Pacific Lumber doesn’t log old trees? 12) Spooner treesit,
–Michigan: 13) Overstocked condition abound for those who want to log on DNR land
–Kentucky: 14) More on logging of Robinson forest
–New Jersey: 15) The first major blow to FSC
–USA: 16) Our tree planting binge gets us nowhere
–Canada: 17) Pulp ship blockaded, 18) future of Acadian forests,
–UK: 19) Restoring woodlands,
–Hungary: 20) Vatican to reforest part of Tisza river
–Mexico: 21) Women’s Environmentalist Organization of the Sierra of Petatlan
–Costa Rica: 22) One of the first countries to curb deforestation still failing
–Brazil: 23) Veracel might get FSC? 24) Enron exec to develop biofuels, 25) Cattle ranching threatens 2/5th of the Amazon, 26) Biofuels a threat to diversity,
–Vietnam: 27) Reforestation and how Agent Orange still lingers
–Madagascar: 28) Earthwatch volunteers help scientists save Lemurs
–Taiwan: 29) GE trees made that take up triple the CO2
–Philippines: 30) 8.8 million hectares for biofuels? 31) Logging indigenous lands,
–Papua New Guinea: 32) ANZ Banking Group destroying forest
–Australia: 33) Gathering of enviros for forests, 34) Queensland purchases further north,
–Tropical Forests: 35) Friends of the Earth’s: Life after Logging, 36) Forests and Coffee,

British Columbia:

1) They hook my harness up to a rope while another climber, who has climbed up the tree beforehand, is attached to the middle of the same rope. A pulley allows him to act as my counterweight and a ground crew uses the rope to pull him down to the ground. I am lifted gently up into the crown of the tree. Moving up along the massive trunk of this fir tree reveals deep grooves woven randomly in the bark, some as deep as six inches. Many species of lichen adorn the brown/grey bark with bright splashes of white, green and yellow. I float by the remains of a nest made by a tiny bird, perhaps a winter wren, fitted snuggly in a hole bored by a woodpecker. At about 100 feet a lush aerial garden is wedged into the crotch where the first branch juts out from the trunk. Licorice ferns pock out of the moss and lichens clinging to the top of this massive bough. The bright red dots of huckleberries contrast with the various shades of green and yellow moss. The Red Creek Fir is a world champion tree with the greatest volume of its species in the world. This is according to the Big Tree Registry of British Columbia, which lists the top 10 trees of every species http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bigtree For some reason this fir was allowed to stand while the forest around it was completely leveled by clear-cut logging, in fact the old logging road runs past the base of this incredible tree. This giant is 13.28 m (43’7”) in circumference, 73.80 m (242’) tall, with a crown spread of 22.80 m (75’). I continued up the elevator to approximately 150 feet where the view of the San Juan Valley is incredible. Unfortunately gaping holes in the forest below reveal recent clear-cut logging in second growth forest. The entire valley has been logged and now Western Forest Products (WFP) is logging the area for the second time, faster, with larger machinery and fewer workers. We then moved to the other side of the valley where the San Juan Sitka Spruce grows. This is the largest Spruce in Canada, with an 11.66 m (31’5”) circumference, height 62.50 m (205’) and 23 m (75’) crown spread. The massive trunk branches into several adjacent trunks, which are larger than many large trees. Once the ropes were rigged I had to do some work and climbed a rope 200 feet to the top of this tree. Along the way I stopped frequently to admire the many aerial gardens along the way. Many large branches protrude from the trunks of this tree, providing platforms of moss, ferns, and small bushes. These platforms are ideal habitat for Marbled Murrelet, a red listed endangered sea bird which nests only in old growth forests. http://www.pqbnews.com/portals-code/list.cgi?paper=50&cat=46&id=1064872&more=0

2) Western Forest Products is selling more than 1,800 hectares of its Vancouver Island property, less than two months after saying that changes to its land would come slowly, raising concerns among everyone from timber workers to surfers. After witnessing decades of change, he said the sale of Western’s land will be “the biggest change that’s ever happened to this place.” He expects there will be job losses because of all the timber being sold with the land. Western employees won’t have a hand in the harvest. “The quota will take a considerable drop. The cutting season will be quite a bit shorter,” he said. The 31 parcels are located about 70 kilometres west of Victoria in the communities between Shirley and Jordan River, and include 734,000 cubic metres of timber that can be logged and sold before development. Western’s chief operating officer Duncan Kerr said the company evaluated its Vancouver Island holdings and decided that the land being sold is better suited to development than to tree farming. “We’re not unaware of the fact that people who have expressed interest have some form of development in mind,” he said from Western’s head office in Duncan. One particularly choice piece is four km of waterfront property in Jordan River, which Colliers International, Western’s selling agent, describes as “one of the single greatest opportunities on Vancouver Island to acquire a prominent stretch of predominantly undeveloped coastline.” The 25-member West Coast Surfing Associates use that coastline, and the group’s so-called Clubbies are worried. In 1975, they built a clubhouse at the Jordan River campground owned by Western. In the mid-’80s, a sauna was added. From October to April, the spot draws surfers from around the world who catch waves that rival those in California or Australia. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070918.BCWESTERN18/TPStory/Environment

Washington:

3) …it’s about a dog from Washington that can climb 40-foot tall trees. Kodi’s owner was hoping for some national attention. But in less than a week he got CNN, ABC’s Good Morning America and dozens of other news outlets across the country. Owner Pat Tully says a crew from Inside Edition is coming by next week, too. Tully says the best part of all this recent fame is that Kodi made it to ESPN. “ESPN- I have to say was the pinnacle. To be on the top 10 plays of the day it was just– it doesn’t get any better for sports guys,” Tully said.”I’ve had to slap myself more than once to make sure I’m not dreaming. It’s been wonderful.” Tully says although he and his family are excited, Kodi has no idea what commotion she’s caused. He says she just continues to climb trees and bring people joy. http://dogblog.dogster.com/2007/09/16/illinois-bird-dog-kodi-climbs-really-big-trees/

4) A Vashon Island forest that is home to a diverse wildlife population and helps protect the headwaters of a salmon-bearing stream is being placed into protective status through King County. The 86 acres were split from a larger parcel that contains the old landfill and the current transfer station. The Solid Waste Division was interested in having the land protected because the forest provides a buffer between the transfer station and neighboring homes. This mature second-growth forest has been added to Island Center Forest, which at 366 acres is the largest preserve on Vashon-Maury Islands. The forest is owned by King County and managed by the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, in collaboration with the Vashon-Maury Island community. “The preserve offers the Island’s best set of trails for hikers, bicyclists, horseback riders and wildlife-viewing enthusiasts, and adding this property to the preserve will benefit recreational users as well as wildlife,” said King County Executive Ron Sims. The forest contains the uppermost headwaters of Judd Creek, where the stream begins to flow year-round. The diverse forest supports a wide range of wildlife, and provides trail linkage from Westside Highway through Island Center Forest to Mukai Pond and Meadowlake. More than half of the parcel contains soils that provide the highest level of water recharge into the Vashon aquifer. “This property transfer will preserve another section of Vashon Island’s largest public open space, while conserving key salmon habitat and increasing recreational opportunities for Island residents and visitors,” said King County Councilmember Dow Constantine. “Keeping this land as open space also protects the Island’s sole source aquifer.” The area was included in the 2006 Site Management Guidelines for Island Center Forest. The guidelines call for some sustainable timber harvest using modern logging techniques. Timber harvests will be done in a way that preserve forest soils and improve habitat for the benefit of birds and other wildlife, while generating some revenue for the management of the site and other natural areas on Vashon-Maury Island. http://dnr.metrokc.gov/dnrp/press/2007/0913VashonCenterForest.htm

Oregon:

5) The public relations pitch offered by timber industry and friends for increasing BLM logging is that the new plan will cut less timber than what is grown. This definition of sustainability… so-called “sustained yield”, where tree growth equals or exceeds timber harvest is, as they know, mandated on federal forestlands. Oregon’s old forests have been methodically liquidated to the twisted tune of this mythical mantra, one that justifies logging slow growing old trees by “balancing” growth against rapidly growing young ones. Any unbiased forester would question how biomass growth in cubic feet fairly compares to mature timber growth in board feet. Will seedlings replace 200 year old trees in 60 years or even three times as long? In this “sustained yield” ploy, projected growth of “replacement” trees is typically computer modeled rather than measured against actual performance, resulting in huge overestimates. As example, predicted North Coast tree growth failed to materialize due to unforeseen predation by Swiss Needle Cast, an endemic fungus rampaging through Doug-fir monocultures at epidemic levels. Bloated future growth predictions justified logging too much mature timber in the present, which is how the North Coast was shamelessly overcut. Federal sustained yield models for logging old growth forests are also skewed by overestimating old growth acres or relaxing definitions to include maturing timber stands of suitable size but lacking classic age, density, and structure. By puffing up the total volume, more volume can be “sustainably” extracted. Have BLM’s “old growth” acres been field checked by unbiased foresters? Do agency yield models consider climate warming, increased fires and pathogens due to drought and slash, or soil productivity losses? roykeene@comcast.net

California:

6) Today marks nine years since the death of David Nathan Chain, known to fellow forest defenders as Gypsy. He died on a steep, forested mountain side during an attempt by 9 forest activists to non-violently stop logging in an area where illegal operations were occuring. Once he had been informed by the activists that the logging plan was being cut illegally and that a government inspector was on his way he became enraged. The logger screamed threats and chased everyone, the went back and fell several trees in the direction of the people he had repeatedly chased. One of the comments screamed by the logger was, “F–k I wish I had my f–king pistol!”. Not long after he cut a tree that hit Gypsy, killing him instantly. Earth First!ers blockaded the logging road to the site to protect the crime scene which may have been destroyed the next day. No criminal charges were ever filed against the logger but the investigator, Juan Freeman, considered pressing charges against the activists who were in the woods with Gypsy that day. Gypsy’s mother, Cindy Alsbrooks, convinced Juan Freeman that this was the wrong thing to do. Cindy Alsbrooks later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Pacific Lumber which resulted in a out of court settlement. Among other things the settlement included a memorial plaque at the foot of the mountain where he was killed, near Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park. http://rivendell.fortunecity.com/crisis/359/gypsy.html

7) While he talks, a forester named Scott Kelly, who is running a logging operation here, and I have our eyes peeled out the windows for a more immediate peril: A redwood tree that a logger, somewhere up the hill, is about to drop in our direction. There’s a final snarl of the chainsaw, followed by the butt-puckering sound of the tree’s heartwood cracking and the redwood beginning its fall toward whatever lies below. Chris snaps out of his reverie and hits the accelerator. Scott, who’s spent two decades in the woods, softly chides, “That never works.” “You run right into it?” Chris asks. “Yeah.” Chris Kelly has a lot on his mind. The Conservation Fund has recently become the proud owner of some 40,000 acres of forest in Mendocino County. Now, Chris’ job is to log it. It’s a counterintuitive proposition, but also one that is helping to leverage scarce conservation money to protect the area’s redwood and Douglas fir forests. Each redwood that Kelly cuts, many of them the younger, smaller trees, will fetch an average of $105 at the lumber mill. Kelly can then use that money to restore streams where endangered salmon spawn, repair forest roads – and pay down the millions of dollars in loans that he used to buy the forests. Scott Kelly, no relation to Chris, says, “We’re gonna let it grow as much as we can and log a little bit – just enough to pay the bills.” Earlier that day, the three of us waded through a tangle of logging slash to watch a sawyer administer the coup de grace to another towering redwood. The tree hit the ground with a mighty whumpf, and the moment felt a little like a scene from an old Budweiser commercial. http://www.hcn.org/servlets/hcn.Article?article_id=17231

8) The U.S. Forest Service has started a test project to thin thick stands of trees near a Lake Tahoe stream, a move some hope will precede much wider efforts to reduce fire danger at the alpine lake. Work will involve use of specially-designed logging equipment to remove trees from 23 acres of South Lake Tahoe’s Heavenly Creek. Logging activity near streams has been strictly regulated to prevent sediment from flowing into Lake Tahoe and clouding its waters. Any activity permitted has been restricted to the use of hand crews, with no heavy machinery allowed. Overgrown stream areas pose an especially high danger for fire, officials said. The Angora Fire in June, Lake Tahoe’s worst, demonstrated the potential danger, destroying 254 homes the first day and 75 other structures after exploding from a wooded stream area. “We have significant interest in having this be successful,” said Rex Norman, spokesman for the Forest Service at Lake Tahoe unit. Citing extreme fire danger, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in 2004 relaxed its rules to allow mechanical fuels treatment, or logging, in stream areas. The project is the first allowing such treatment in a stream area during the summer. “Minimal” fuel treatment near streams using heavy equipment has occurred over-the-snow during winter, Norman said. The project will involve big-wheeled vehicles that should be able to enter the stream area and log it without compacting the soil or causing other environmental damage, Norman said. “We’re pretty confident this will show we can bring mechanized equipment in and use it in stream zones to treat the ones that have a fuels problem,” Norman said. http://news.rgj.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070917/NEWS10/709170344/1321/NEWS

9) It never ceases to surprise me in the way simple words can have multiple and complex meanings. Here’s a good one to know at this time of year: mast. Not the tall vertical spar that rises from the deck of a sailing ship, and not a captain’s mast (a naval disciplinary hearing), the American Heritage College Dictionary defines it as “the nuts of forest trees accumulated on the ground, used especially as food for swine.” Why “mast”? As far as I can tell it has something to do with “masticate,” to chew, and there are plenty of animals that chew on acorns. The oaks are being generous again this year. I’ve been walking in areas where the ground is thickly littered with acorns from valley oaks, and live oak branches are heavily laden and sagging with the weight of them. Some say that oak trees do this in advance of a cold winter. Personally, I have no idea how a tree could anticipate the future, but I have seen that oaks bear light crops of acorns in some years, often alternating with heavy crops in subsequent years. And some oaks require two years to set and ripen one crop of acorns. Generous crops of acorns rarely serve as mast for swine in these parts. The woodpeckers and blue jays have more than their fill. For the trees, copious seed and the genetic diversity it generates serves the long-term survival of oak species. In “Oak, The Frame of Civilization” author and arborist Bill Logan presents the idea that oaks may thrive throughout the temperate zones around the world, not because they are specialized for an ecological niche, but because they are flexible, adaptable and diverse. In “Circus of Quercus” by David Cavagnaro, oaks are shown to hybridize, producing leaf forms that defy identification because they show a broad range of variation. This can be quite puzzling to homeowners and arborists, when the leaf shape and color is somewhere halfway between a blue oak and a valley oak, for example, or a black oak and a coast live oak. That last example represents an actual species, the oracle oak Quercus X morehus. http://www.napavalleyregister.com/articles/2007/09/16/columnists/features/doc46eb727dde2d086719
3275.txt

10) Wenstrom claims that in April 2006, National Forest officials were told not to request budgetary augmentation funds, known as “severity dollars,” that they had sought and received in the past. As a result, they would have to cut the number of fire engines staffed in the forest, she said. She was told to draft talking points to address the public’s concerns about having fewer firefighters and engines in the nation’s most urbanized forest, filled with millions of dead trees and drought-dried brush. When she described the reduced funding as “a problem,” she said, her supervisor told her the talking points should say that “everything is fine out there in the forest, and there is no need for additional funds.” She refused and was quickly removed from her public-relations job, Wenstrom claims. Her boss, Matt Mathes, the Forest Service’s regional press officer based in Vallejo, was upbeat the next month about Forest Service strategy, despite announced plans to cut the number of staffed engines from 25 seven days a week to 15 on weekdays and 20 on weekends, with as few as 12 engines staffed at times. “Oh, they’re in great shape,” Mathes said in May 2006. “I think they’re in a situation where there’s one of two less fire engines in a certain location, but they’ll be moving resources around. We’ll be able to bring in more engines when there’s a need.” But Gene Zimmerman, San Bernardino National Forest’s former supervisor, dismissed that rosy viewpoint at the time. “They can say what they want about moving resources, but they won’t be here in initial attack,” he said. “We need the resources here before the fires start. … This says we didn’t learn very much in the fall of `03,” when the deadly Old Fire and Grand Prix Fire raged across local slopes. “Local Forest Service officials are really under the gun to talk the party line,” Zimmerman said then. Differences of opinion on levels of danger and preparedness are to be expected. What is not acceptable is any official whitewashing of reduced firefighting capacity and lessened protection for the public. http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/opinions/ci_6897244

11) On August 5th, 2007, NCEF! activist and organizer Shunka Wakan did an hour-long presentation to a group of 23 eleventh-graders from Maine, who were taking part in an Americorps Vista Trekkers program. The talk was well-received by the students, followed by a question and answer session at the end, and a howling picture to memorialize the event. The next day, the students toured the Pacific Lumber Co., during which time they were told that PL had decided to stop logging Old Growth! The Americorps director e- mailed a question regarding the comments back to NCEF!, saying that, “The man they spoke with said PALCO had decided not to cut down any old growth trees. He later said that they would cut down 100 year old trees but not 500-1000 year old trees.” These facts have been forwarded to some local media outlets, and we hope to get a public response from Maxxam/Pacific Lumber Co. soon. Either Maxxam/PL has decided to stop logging Old Growth and didn’t bother to make a public announcement about it, or we’ve caught them lying to the youth! We’ll keep you posted. http://www.northcoastearthfirst.org

12) Near the beginning of this month, activists from the Nanning Creek/Spooner affinity group discovered that Pacific Lumber Co. had hired their extraction climbers to remove platforms and gear from the tree-village. Two people were cited and released, after being detained by Pacific Lumber Co. management, in the first few days of September. Activists are bracing for a potential attack on the tree-sits, and logging in the area, once the end of marbled murrelet season has passed, on September 15th. The “Spooner” tree is 298 feet tall and 14 feet in diameter at breast height. Your help is needed to save Spooner and the grove surrounding this magnificent Old Growth Redwood tree. http://www.northcoastearthfirst.org

Michigan:

13) Colored shapes on maps spread on tables in the basement of the Michigan Department of Natural delineated stands of different species of trees. Aerial photographs showed what the forests looked like from above. Four or five commercial foresters perused these Tuesday afternoon as the DNR held an annual open house to share information and gather comments on its proposed forest management program for 2009. The tree species delineations were not easily arrived at, as it requires DNR foresters to identify the trees from the ground, up close and personal. “Most of it is done in the winter, so they have to be pretty adept with snowmobiles — going cross country, not so much on trails,” DNR Baraga Unit Manager Don Mankee said. “The vast majority of what we do is selective harvest on northern hardwoods,” Mankee said. David Harju, a forester for Northern Hardwoods, would like to see more red cross-hatch over the hardwood stands. “We would wish that they would offer more volume of the saw timber type sales, hardwood saw timber,” Harju said. But he said his company works with the DNR often. “We always like to bid on the state timber sales,” Harju said. “They’re well-set-up sales.” DNR foresters, or foresters working under contract with the agency, mark which trees the timber companies can harvest. Harju said he has cruised a lot of the land that will go under management in 2009 and saw good stands of hardwood. “We have a high percentage of high-quality northern hardwood saw timber stands,” Mankee said. “That’s one thing we’re blessed with on this side of the U.P.” He said that wasn’t the case 30 years ago, when the DNR would girdle trees to allow more light into the forest and encourage trees left standing to grow from pole timber into potential saw logs. Now, Mankee said, the DNR is able to selectively harvest from surplus timber in the state forests. “We’re always bringing it from an overstocked condition down to a stocked condition,” Mankee said. http://www.mininggazette.com/stories/articles.asp?articleID=8574

Kentucky:

14) Tom FitzGerald, director of the Kentucky Resources Council, an environmental group, said that regardless of how much vegetation is removed, the project still would disturb 1,000 acres in a 3,800-acre watershed that is so pristine it is used as the gold standard in studies on clean streams. “They are going to take one-tenth of the forest to study one issue and in the process take out decades of baseline data,” he said. The controversy is the latest chapter in an ongoing battle to preserve the state’s largest contiguous tract of forest from being mined for the estimated 100 million tons of coal underneath it. Some environmentalists believe that eventually would happen if the timber is harvested. “Unfortunately for the research forest, there’s coal under it,” FitzGerald said. The state declared in 1991 that the main tract of the forest, which consists of about 10,000 acres and is where the timber project is proposed, is unsuitable for mining. The following year, UK leased the mining rights on some outer tracts, generating about $37 million, a portion of which went to the Robinson Scholars program to help students from the mountains. In 2002, Todd suggested mining the coal in the main tract to raise money for the struggling scholarship program, but later backed down. Smith said he could only speak for himself when he said he is “categorically opposed to mining the main block of the forest.” When asked for comment from Todd, UK spokesman Jay Blanton said Smith speaks for the president on this issue. The proposed project also has opened a new debate over the intentions of logging magnate E.O. Robinson when he deeded the land to UK in 1923 and 1930. Robinson gave the land that he had clear-cut on the condition that it be used for agricultural research and reforestation. And, if money was made off the land, it should go to the “betterment of the people of the mountain region.”
http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070911/NEWS01/709110369/1008/NEWS01

New Jersey:

15) New Jersey based Friends of the Rainforest and Ecological Internet’s campaign to stop the use of ancient rainforest timbers for boardwalk repairs is progressing nicely — garnering media attention and already changing the city council’s vote. An important precedent is being set that ancient rainforest timbers belong in rainforest canopies, not in construction projects and consumer products. The crusade to keep ipê out of Ocean City’s boardwalk reconstruction is a rejection of Forest Stewardship Council and big greens’ efforts to certify and greenwash industrial ancient forest logging as being responsible, while falsely implying sustainability. First time logging of primary rainforests — selective, certified, ecosystem based or otherwise — results in an immediate huge release of carbon, permanent reductions in future carbon sink potential, and reductions in species numbers and diversity. One of the gravest obstacles to mitigating climate change, conserving ancient forests and achieving global ecological sustainability is the pernicious myth that selectively logging ancient forests (certified or not) is environmentally beneficial. It is NOT. You can still take action at: http://www.rainforestportal.org/alerts/send.asp?id=jersey_boardwalk

USA:

16) Americans are on a tree-planting binge, on the premise that jamming seedlings into the ground can offset carbon pollution. In truth, they’re causing a lot of harm. The public doesn’t understand that forests and trees are not the same thing. Forests are comprised of many organisms, only a few of which are trees. Planting monocultures of alien trees or even native trees doesn’t restore forests; it prevents them. This is why naturalists find recurring pledges to plant, say, a “billion trees” so terrifying. Having engaged such formidable labor as the Boy Scouts, the United Nations’ Plant for the Planet campaign now vows to cluster-bomb the globe with “a billion trees”—all in 2007. As part of this effort it encourages faux-forest monocultures, or “sustainably managed plantations,” as it prefers to call them. But few plantations are “sustainable,” and most deplete water and require massive chemical fixes of fertilizers, insecticides, and herbicides. Plant for the Planet partners include the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization and the Program for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes, both of which promote sprawling, unsustainable monocultures. http://www.libertypundit.com/2007/09/17/audubon-planting-trees-to-curb-global-warming-is-bs-it-
actually-heats-the-earth/

Canada:

17) Greenpeace activists attempted to block the departure of a Europe-bound freighter carrying pulp from SFK Pulp’s Saint-Felicien mill on the Saguenay River Friday as part of a campaign to draw attention to the logging of the Boreal forest. The blockade, which began around 6:30 a.m., was set up in the port of Grande Anse near Chicoutimi, north of Quebec City. It involved about 15 activists from Quebec, Ontario and Greenpeace’s international offices who surrounded the ship Jaeger Arrow with a life raft and four inflatable Zodiac vessels. Some hung off the ship’s mooring lines displaying banners urging SFK Pulp to protect the Boreal forest while others used white paint to write Save the Boreal Forest on the side of the 170-metre long ship. Additional activists monitored the blockade from the deck of the Greenpeace vessel Arctic Sunrise, an icebreaker and former sealing ship used in many Greenpeace campaigns. The environmental group wants SFK Pulp to put pressure on its wood chip supplier and former parent company Abitibi-Consolidated to stop logging in critical wildlife habitat and intact areas of the Boreal forest and agree to change its practices to comply with the stricter forestry certification standards advocated by the Forest Stewardship Council. Most of SFK Pulp’s shipment of 8,000 tonnes of pulp is destined for paper mills in France and Germany owned by Stora Enso, a Finish forest products company that will turn it into magazine and catalogue paper, the group said. Similar shipments leave Grande Ames port about once a month, Greenpeace said. The stunt was part of a wider campaign targeting the various companies that buy and process the wood logged by large companies such as Abitibi-Consolidated, Kruger and Bowater. http://www.canada.com/topics/news/story.html?id=5e81c1a8-0f32-4e37-9005-720eb5021428

18) “It is we who must adjust to the forest, not the forest to us. If you want the trees to stand, you have to stand with the trees.” Anyone who looks around at the forests in the Maritimes sees an ongoing deterioration at the hand of industrial forestry. The priorities of industrial capitalist forestry — pulp and paper mills and large saw mills — determine the forest priorities set by provincial and federal governments, hence how the forests are utilized. Industrial forestry interests want to maximize, not minimize, wood consumption. Such priorities, for an Acadian conservation strategy, can either be accepted or repudiated. We believe they must be totally repudiated. The biodiversity and the forest canopy of the Acadian forest must be kept. Clearcutting, herbicide and insecticide spraying and the use of capital intensive destructive machinery, which degrades the forest and also eliminates the jobs of forest workers, must be opposed. Those who destroy the forests, whatever their scale of operation, should suffer definite social and criminal sanctions. This should apply to pulp and paper mills, sawmills, and also to those who do this among the ‘owners’ of the approximately 30,000 woodlots in Nova Scotia, 16,000 in Prince Edward Island and 35,000 in New Brunswick. Industrial forestry orients to a world market, so there can never be enough wood supply. Such forestry is part of a larger “grow or die” overall industrial ideology. Any existing “protected areas” eventually become coveted for their trees. Crown (public) land is basically “spoken for” with this industrial model, another reason that the model itself has to be repudiated. Unionized forestry workers — e.g. those working in pulp and paper mills, with their relatively high wages, come to have an economic stake in the existing industrial forestry model.
http://home.ca.inter.net/~greenweb/AcadianForest.html

UK:

19) National Forest Company chairman Dinah Nichols said: “The map of the Forest now shows a pattern of high landscape change with woodlands becoming increasingly interconnected. The national Forest is on course to provide woodland over about a third of its 200 square mile area, a new report has revealed. Its annual report – published this week for the year ending March 31, 2007 – shows 17.5 per cent woodland cover across Burton, South Derbyshire and North West Leicestershire.”This brings twofold benefits – visitors to the forest have an increasing range and variety of walks to enjoy but, thanks to careful design, biodiversity is also improving.” Bosses at the company say providing woodland cover is becoming ever more challenging due to a steady rise in land prices. Despite this, work is due to be finished soon on an eagerly anticipated £3.2 million youth hostel and holiday park in Bath Lane, Moira. Bosses hope the facility, which is expected to attract up to 12,000 visitors a year, will bring millions of pounds of revenue to the area. The Youth Hostel Association (YHA) and the Camping and Caravanning Club have signed up to run the centre, which has been mainly funded by the National Forest Company, East Midlands Development Agency (EMDA) and the Leicestershire Economic Partnership. National Forest bosses hope the new attraction will make it easier for families and people on a budget to stay overnight and spend more time – and money – in The National Forest. http://www.burtonmail.co.uk/burtonmail-news/displayarticle.asp?id=136726

Hungary:

20) This summer the cardinals at the Vatican accepted an unusual donation from a Hungarian start-up called Klimafa: The company said it would plant trees to restore an ancient forest on a denuded stretch of land by the Tisza River to offset the Vatican’s carbon emissions. The trees, on a 37-acre tract of land that will be renamed the Vatican climate forest, will in theory absorb as much carbon dioxide as the Vatican will produce in 2007: driving cars, heating offices, lighting St. Peter’s Basilica at night. In so doing, the Vatican announced, it would become the world’s first carbon-neutral state. “As the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, recently stated, the international community needs to respect and encourage a ‘green culture,’ ” said Cardinal Paul Poupard, leader of the Pontifical Council for Culture, who took part in a ceremony marking the event at the Vatican. “The Book of Genesis tells us of a beginning in which God placed man as guardian over the earth to make it fruitful.” In many respects, the program seems like a win-win-win proposition. The Vatican, which has recently made an effort to go green on its own by installing solar panels, sought to set an example by offsetting its carbon emissions. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/17/world/europe/17carbon.html?_r=1&ref=world&oref=slogin

Mexico:

21) Celsa Valdovinos knew there was a serious problem when only about an inch of water trickled from the irrigation hose. In the mountains of southern Guerrero state where Valdovinos and her husband Felipe Arreaga lived during the 1990s, the small farmers were becoming increasingly alarmed about water supplies. “This was in January and by the next year it was gone,” Valdovinos recalls. As the rainfall diminished so did the prospects of the mountain residents. Animals died, crops withered, and the social fabric unraveled. Valdovinos and her neighbors connected the environmental changes they were witnessing to deforestation. More and more forest cover was disappearing every year as farmers burned hillsides for corn patches and pastures, drug growers torched forest cover to plant their illicit crops, and contractors felled trees for a Boise Cascade Corporation mill that operated on the Pacific Coast at the time. Long before climate change became a trendy cause, the Campesino Environmentalist Organization of the Sierra of Petatlan and Coyuca de Catatlan (OCESP), emerged as a grassroots group dedicated to saving Guerrero’s forests. Soon, however, the movement faced repression from loggers and the Mexican army. In 2001, jailed OCESP leader Rodolfo Montiel and his friend Teodoro Cabrera were released by Mexican President Vicente Fox after an international campaign was waged on their behalf by environmentalists and human rights activists. Mikhail Gorbachev and Hillary Rodham Clinton were among world leaders who raised their voices for Montiel and Cabrera. Other OCESP supporters were killed, arrested, or disappeared. Many like Valdovinos and Arreaga were forced into temporary hiding in the mountains. Now, 10 years after the OCEP burst onto the world stage, Valdovinos and a growing cadre of poor rural women quietly carry on the work of defending and restoring Guerrero’s forests, and are even taking the struggle to new levels. Once in the background, women are now in the forefront of the movement. Founded in 2001, the Women’s Environmentalist Organization of the Sierra of Petatlan (OMESP) promotes sustainable and organic agriculture, forest fire prevention, reforestation, water and soil conservation, and recycling. The group has grown from 12 to 90 members, and Valdovinos serves as the president. Infused with a strong self-help ethos, the women largely carry on their work with little more than a great love for the land. http://americas.irc-online.org/am/4544

Costa Rica:

22) While Costa Rica is now known as a world leader for conversation policies and ecotourism, the Central American country had some of the world’s highest deforestation rates prior to establishing its reputation. Clearing for cattle pasture and agriculture destroyed much of the country’s biodiverse rainforests in the 1960s and 1970s. In the 1990s Costa Rica set a new course; one that sought to unlock the value of its ecosystems. While ecotourism was the most obvious path, Costa Rica also pioneered the development of payments for environmental services (“PSA” or pagos por servicios ambientales). In 1996 the country established a program to compensate landowners for keeping forests intact and reforesting degraded areas. A new study, published in Conservation Biology, examines these efforts and concludes concludes that while the program pioneered the institutionalization of a policy that can and likely will create meaningful incentives, to this point in Costa Rica, given other policies, it appears to have had little impact on deforestation. While the results show little impact on deforestation rates up to this point, a careful consideration of this case provides insight on how that could have happened and how impact could be increased, at a time when ecosystem payments are increasingly on the minds of policymakers, with the world’s tropical countries seeking compensation in the form of carbon credits for protecting their forests. http://news.mongabay.com/2007/0917-cr.html

Brazil:

23) The wood-pulp producing company Veracel has applied for FSC certification of its tree plantations in the Brazilian state of Bahia and the evaluation process is being carried out by the international certification firm SGS (Société Générale de Surveillance. A large number of Brazilian and international organizations are opposing this certification, on the grounds that these plantations have resulted in widespread negative social and environmental impacts -including occupation of indigenous and local communities’ lands, rural migration, unemployment, water depletion and pollution, ecosystem destruction, biodiversity loss – which clearly make them uncertifiable. Those and other impacts have been well documented and both the certifying body and the FSC Board have been made aware of the situation. “The German consumers expect the FSC-certifiers to endorse sustainable forest operations, not thousands of hectares of Eucalyptus monocultures sprayed with agrochemicals like in the case of Veracel”, emphasizes Peter Gerhardt, from the German organization Robin Wood. The FSC has been going through a two-year review of its plantations policy as a response to widespread criticism about the issuance of FSC certificates to large-scale monoculture plantations. The Board of Directors adopted the final report of the FSC plantation policy review in February 2007. The policy review recommends that FSC invest more in preventing things going wrong, rather than trying to ‘undo’ damage once it has been done. Continuing the certification assessment despite the significant shortcomings already documented by local communities affected by Veracel’s plantations will be in clear violation of these plantation policy review recommendations. Jutta Kill, from FERN, stresses that “Whilst the FSC plantations review is still ongoing, it is incomprehensible that an accredited FSC certifier would be willing to jeopardize the trust many FSC Environmental Chamber members have put into this process by considering the certification of one of the most controversial plantations operations in the world.” –Jutta Kill, FERN – jutta@fern.org

24) A former Enron executive is tapping investors for $150m (£75m) to help Brazil produce enough biofuels to power the world’s cars. Vehicles running on ethanol made from Brazilian sugar cane emit up to 95 per cent less in carbon emissions compared with conventional gasoline. But US and European corn-based ethanol – which is heavily subsidised – cuts emissions by as little as 5 per cent and is much less energy efficient. Last week, a report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) criticised the distorting effect of subsidies in promoting the least-efficient biofuels. It also warned that government targets on biofuels use were hastening deforestation and pushing up food prices. Diomedes Christodoulou, the former boss of Enron South America, claims that planting 37 million hectares of land in Brazil with sugar cane would produce enough ethanol to power the world’s fleet of cars with a high biofuel blend by 2030. Currently, some 65 million hectares of land in total are under cultivation in Brazil. Mr Christodoulou’s firm, Gordian Energy Partners, which is being advised by investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort, is looking for $150m from US and European investors to fund sugar cane plantations and refineries in Brazil. http://news.independent.co.uk/business/news/article2966845.ece

25) Cattle ranching, if it keeps expanding in the Amazon, threatens two-fifths of the world’s remaining rainforest. This is not just the most diverse ecosystem, but also the biggest reserve of standing carbon. Its clearance could provoke a hydrological disaster in South America, as rainfall is reduced as the trees come down. Next time you see footage of the forest burning, remember that you might have paid for it. Many Brazilians, especially those whose land is being grabbed by the cattlemen, are trying to stop the destruction. The ranchers have an effective argument: when people complain, they kill them. In February we heard an echo of the massacre which has so far claimed 1200 lives, when the American nun Dorothy Stang was murdered – almost certainly by beef producers. The ranchers believed to have killed her were, like cattlemen throughout the Amazon, protected by the police. For the same reason, and despite the best efforts of President Lula, the ranchers are now employing some 25,000 slaves on their estates. These are people who are transported thousands of miles from their home states, then – forced to buy their provisions from the ranch shop at inflated prices – kept in permanent debt. Because of the expansion of beef production in the Amazon, slavery in Brazil has quintupled in ten years. http://www.celsias.com/2007/09/14/are-you-paying-to-burn-the-rainforest/

26) We are at the beginning of a biofuel boom that will reshape the world’s energy map. The U.S. and Brazil are the world’s two biggest producers of ethanol, having contributed 4.9 and 4.5 billion gallons, respectively, in 2006. Total world production was 13.5 billion gallons . A gallon of ethanol is equivalent to about two-thirds a gallon of gasoline in terms of energy content (some say 70%). A few years from now, your commute may be powered by ethanol from sugar cane grown in Brazil’s cerrado, a biodiversity hotspot that is the largest savanna in South America and disappearing at a faster rate than the Amazon. You may be hastening the demise of the world’s largest rain forest as well. And you won’t be alone: AOL founder Steve Case, film producer Steven Bing, supermarket magnate Ron Burkle, global financier George Soros, and other well-known investors (see below) could end up playing leading roles in Brazilian deforestation. Case and his colleagues are banking on Brazilian biofuel. They may be hoping to make a green investment that will help save the world, or they may just want to get a piece of the next gold rush. But they probably don’t understand the importance of the cerrado, or the possible environmental consequences of their actions. Brazil’s president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and some biofuel boosters claim that Brazilian ethanol production will not affect the Amazon (it will, mostly indirectly). Some also say that the Amazon’s deforestation rate has slowed dramatically (true, if you’ve got a short attention span). Actually, the Amazon is still in grave danger. Ethanol advocates in Brazil assert that millions of hectares are available for growing sugar cane outside of the Amazon rain forest in “grasslands,” “scrublands” or “degraded pasturelands,” by which they refer to land in the cerrado or in Brazil’s Southeast. The cerrado is treated as a sort of under-utilized wasteland, rather than the species-rich biome that it is. Referring to it only as “grasslands” is like using that word alone to denote the famed savanna that is East Africa’s Serengeti. The cerrado is important as more than just potential pasture or cane acreage, and it is also under siege. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-mcgowan/biofuel-could-eat-brazil_b_64466.html

Vietnam:

27) A botanist by training, Mr. Boi’s initial goal was to reforest the denuded land. But he soon realized the forest ecosystem was not the only thing struggling to recover from Agent Orange. The Pako, Ta Oi, Catu and Kinh people of A Luoi valley (called A Shau during the war) eke out a meager existence in a region with one of Vietnam’s shortest growing seasons. (This reporter visited the valley on a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.) These tribal groups, who live in one-room huts with dirt floors and no indoor plumbing, depend on forest products to survive, and Mr. Boi came to recognize that his work was as vital to them as to the tigers and elephants whose habitat he was working to restore. Mr. Boi enlisted the help of the Australian acacia tree. The acacia grows up to six and a half feet per year and, after five years, can be harvested to make paper and furniture. The tree also improves the soil and quickly provides the canopy that trees need to take root. “It’s a good model for forest restoration,” said Chris Dickinson, a conservation biologist and technical adviser with the World Wildlife Fund for Nature in Hue, Vietnam, adding that the acacia “grows on poor nutrients and can shade out the grasses.” The trees also provide residents with a cash crop. “The demand for acacia is seemingly insatiable,” Dr. Dickinson said. “Ikea uses it for garden furniture.” Mr. Boi has used this humble acacia tree to reforest thousands of hectares in central Vietnam. Emboldened by these successes, he has applied his botanical model of remediation to tackle a far more difficult problem. Though dioxin has dropped to relatively low levels in areas that were aerially sprayed during the war, studies by Canadian scientists have shown that numerous highly contaminated spots remain at certain places where American forces stored Agent Orange. The cow that caught Mr. Boi’s attention grazes on one such “hot spot,” the former A So air base in Dong Son, where scientists from Hatfield Consultants in Vancouver, British Columbia, have measured soil levels of TCDD, the dioxin in Agent Orange, more than 200 times greater than the residential standard set forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Dioxin takes decades to break down. Remediating this site would require millions of dollars, and when it comes to financing, the more heavily populated hot spots in Danang and Bien Hoa take precedence. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/18/science/18prof.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

Madagascar:

28) “I thought Madagascar would be all lush and green and glowing with wildlife, but that’s not what it was like at all. It’s a third world country and it’s all brown. I was like, ‘Where is the rainforest?’ I was expecting all this green and the rainforest is pretty much all gone. I’ve heard ‘Save the rainforest!’ but I never really registered it.” Expanses of lush forests and masses of furry lemurs once dominated the island of Madagascar. Now, however, 90 percent of those forests lay destroyed and the lemur population faces extinction. This summer, juniors Alex Berg and Sarah Schmidt traveled to the only existing native lemur habitat to help save lemurs from extinction. Berg and Schmidt participated with eight other volunteers and scientists from around the world on a 16-day program sponsored by Earthwatch, a group that leads volunteer expeditions to over 150 countries. Observations made by Earthwatch volunteers help the scientists in their goal to protect the lemur population from extinction. “He [the scientist] was going to take all of it from the past 16 days and he’d find things like how the lemurs were living there and what he can do based on the data to get the lemur population higher,” Schmidt says. Scientists try to inform the people of Madagascar, the Malagasy, on how to conserve the country’s forests in order to save the lemurs, Berg says. “Scientists are working on a strategy to get the people of Madagascar involved in the conservation of their country. Some species of lemurs have already gone extinct, and many are on the verge of extinction. If the people of Madagascar do not stop cutting down the forests, the lemurs may be wiped out in ten years.” http://www.blackandwhiteonline.net/DesktopArticle.aspx?x=hNgRYNdKa1gOpGjSzmKHVxRLrnUWpN%2Bb11z
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Taiwan:

29) A team of Taiwanese and U.S. scientists has succeeded in developing eucalyptus trees capable of ingesting up to three times more carbon dioxide than normal strains, indicating a new path to reducing greenhouse gases and global warming. The new trees also have properties that make them more suitable for the production of cellulosic ethanol. In this sense, they can be seen as part of third-generation biofuels. This generation is based on crops modified in such a way that they allow the application of a particular bioconversion technology (previous post). Analyses show that there is a very large potential for the production of sustainable biomass from Eucalyptus in Central Africa and South America. Under the auspices of Taiwan’s National Science Council, staff members at the Taiwan Forestry Research Institute (TFRI) under the cabinet-level Council of Agriculture and North Carolina State University in the United States carried out the gene modification project that not only creates eucalyptus with a higher than normal CO2 absorptive capacity, but also causes them to produce less lignin and more cellulose. http://biopact.com/2007/09/scientists-develop-low-lignin.html

Philippines:

30) Up to 8.8m hectares (33, 980 square miles) of the Philippines could be turned into biofuel plantations under an agreement between the Phillippine and Chinese governments, according to IBON, a Philippine consultancy quoted on ABS-CBN interactive. Last week, the Department of Agrarian Reform had announced it was looking at 400,000 to 500,000 hectares of land for agribusiness development under a memorandum of agreement with China signed January 2007. But the deals could ultimately cover as much as 8.8 million hectares of “idle alienable and disposable lands and forest lands. “The RP-China farm deals may also threaten the country’s food security as more and more lands are shifted from food staples such as rice, to production of crops for biofuels. Since the mid-1990s, the country is already completely a net food importer from being a net food exporter in earlier years,” IBON said in a statement. THE PATSADA KARAJAW NATION blog says: “expect more agricultural lands be converted to growing “hybrids” for China and jathropa for bioethanol than our staple food, thereby threatening our country’s food security.” Food security comes in a number of guises, growing your own or being able to afford to buy food from other countries. If the market for biofules takes off and if the contracts are written so that prices reflect world prices and if the people who work on the plantations are properly paid, then that would produce a kind of food security too. http://www.icis.com/blogs/biofuels/archives/2007/09/china-philippine-deal-could-le.html

31) The Tribal Professionals’ Association of the Mandaya tribe in Caraga, Davao Oriental is protesting the entry of logging operations in its claimed ancestral domain. Nora Cahiyang, the group’s secretary briefed reporters on the situation in upland Caraga town where a logging company has applied for an Industrial Forest Plantation Management Agreement (IFMA) over at least 2,000 hectares. The group accused the logging company, Asia Evergreen Development Corporation of allegedly encroaching into their tribal leadership traditions by allegedly orchestrating the reorganization of their tribal council. The tribal council has strongly opposed entry of logging firms into their claimed ancestral domain. MindaNews sought the firm’s officials for comment but they could not be reached. Cahiyang accused Pantuyan barangay chair Lourdes Basta of allegedly conniving with the company to “manipulate” the organization of a new tribal council that would decide in favor of logging in Mt. Maglahos. Pantuyan has around 4,000 registered voters, majority of whom are Mandayas. She said they have received no support from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples (NCIP). She said a local DENR official allegedly told them opposing the entry of the firm would be useless because they will be able to operate anyway. She also lashed out at the NCIP for allegedly facilitating the election of a new tribal council, now led by Basta, unilaterally. She said they went through a questionable process of reorganization when the original council still has all the tribal elders. Forester Jose Camerino, chief of utilization and protection at the Davao Oriental Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Office told MindaNews in a telephone interview that Asia Evergreen Development Corporation has an IFMA in the area so this means a group of Mandayas had given consent. At present, the Mandayas are divided on the issue, with many of them forced to cut logs to survive. But she said majority of their members are against the logging. A log ban was imposed nationwide in December 2005 following the floods that killed thousands of persons in Luzon. The ban, however, was lifted in March 2005 in three Mindanao regions, including Southeastern Mindanao. http://www.mindanews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3184&Itemid=50

Papua New Guinea:

32) The ANZ Banking Group needs to have a hard look at a new report from the World Conservation Union to see the consequences of ANZ’s backing a huge logging company, Greens Co-Leader Russel Norman says. A “Red List” of endangered species, just released by the World Conservation Union shows that PNG has more than 60 forest species listed as endangered or vulnerable. The list comes at the start of New Zealand’s outdoor furniture “season”. This country takes some 10 percent of PNG’s sawn kwila, a tropical timber used for decking and picnic tables. “Papua New Guinea is a hotspot of biodiversity with some extraordinary forest species listed as critically endangered, endangered and vulnerable, including tree kangaroos, birds of paradise, cassowaries, frogs and bats,” says Dr Russel Norman, Green Party Co-Leader. “Habitat loss due to logging is the major threat to these species. “The most recent report commissioned by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry* states that around 75% of all logging in PNG is suspected of being illegal, and most of it unsustainable. “The biggest logging company in PNG is Rimbunan Hijau, which accounts for more than half of all logs processed, occupies a monopolistic position in the economy and has ‘undue influence’ on the PNG Government according to the MAF report. “ANZ provides financial support to Rimbunan Hijau in PNG in the form of financial guarantees and foreign exchange services, and hence is facilitating the destruction of the forests that provide the habitat for these 60 vulnerable and endangered species. Greenpeace has called Rimbunan Hijau one of the most destructive companies operating in Papua New Guinea, yet ANZ are continuing to provide Rimbunan with financial support. “ANZ should stop their financial support to Rimbunan, and stand with the people of PNG who are risking life and limb in an attempt to stop the illegal logging of their ancient forests. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0709/S00278.htm

Australia:

33) Environmentalists from around the country have met in Sydney to discuss the future protection of Australia’s forests. The executive director of the Nature Conservation Council in New South Wales, Cate Faehrmann, says yesterday’s meeting was a great success, but said several major issues, including Tasmania’s old-growth forests, need more attention. Ms Faehrmann says if the Gunns pulp mill in Tasmania goes ahead, it could contribute 2 per cent of all Australia’s collective greenhouse emissions. “The conference yesterday was all about how much native forests can contribute towards reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, and how crazy it is that we are still seeing old-growth forests being logged in this country, when we have to deal with climate change,” she said. http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/09/16/2033974.htm?section=justin

34) Three companies have taken a great leap northwards and bought land around Tully, Ingham and Innisfail in far north Queensland, offering managed investment schemes for retail investors, and other vehicles for institutions and wealthy individuals seeking long-term investments. Great Southern Plantations and Integrated Tree Cropping have bought at least 5300ha between them in far north Queensland and the Rewards Group has bought 25 properties there since 2002, bringing its holdings to 3030ha. That works out at about $66.5 million so far. And what has sparked the move north and into these kinds of timbers? Rick Carr at Herron Todd White valuers in Cairns says the world’s tropical hardwood timber market is supplied almost entirely from Asia but much of that is of uncertain provenance, and probably logged illegally. A growing insistence that old growth rainforests be preserved has created a need — and a niche — for plantations that grow and harvest timbers legally to meet the demand. Doug Parsonson at Poyry Forestry Industry Consulting, an engineering and consulting company, agrees that the economics are right for these kinds of long-term investments. “The demand side will continue to be strong, but the supply side we see as constrained for these kinds of high-value products,” Parsonson says. “There has been over-cutting in Asia.” Although the companies will buy cane farms, it is soil type and climate that spark their interest: appropriate grazing land is equally attractive and tends to come at about the same price, says Jim Cooper, real estate manager at Landmark Tully. Danny Glasson at valuer Herron Todd White in Cairns says the Rewards Group has mainly bought cane farms for between $8000 and $10,000 a hectare of arable land. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,22383587-25658,00.html

Tropical Forests:

35) This report, which is a follow-up to Friends of the Earth’s Life after Logging published in 1992, provides the latest research on the impacts of logging on a rainforest’s structure, its physical functions, its wildlife and its people. The methods of ‘reduced impact logging’ are also examined and the question of whether sustainable forest management in tropical rainforests is actually possible is explored. Providing examples from tropical forests all over the world, this report sends a sobering message to the timber industry, governments and international institutions that many factors have to be taken into account before deciding whether a logging operation is truly ‘sustainable.’ This report concludes with the need for more research into so-called ‘reduced impact logging’ and above all for the precautionary principal to be reflected upon and implemented throughout all forest policies. http://www.environmentaldefense.org/documents/1338_LifeafterLogging.htm

36) The relationships between coffee, poverty, migration, deforestation, and UN, FAO, and World Banks have on the rural farmers in mountainous tropical forested areas is significant and the role of Westerners and their coffee purchases indirectly benefits or causes harm to many of these things… I will try and explain a simple formula using organic Mexican coffee as an example…. 1) When world coffee and corn prices are low: Many latin Americans migrate to the US in search of work, without subsidies their cost of production without mechanization is more than what we pay for their coffee or corn.. The ones that stay cut more forests down to plant corn for their own consumption and stop picking coffee and return to unsustainable subsitence farming. 2) When corn or coffee prices are high: Their farmers expand their knowledge and investments in better production practices to increase yield and quality as they have potential to make money. When buyers want alot of cheap coffee (FOLGERS) the farmers cut all their trees down to let more sun in and begin fertilizing…. RESULT— Deforestation, flooding, desertification. http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.jsp?articleId=281474977119183

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