422 North American Tree News

–Today for you 34 news articles about earth’s trees! (422nd edition) http://forestpolicyresearch.com
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–North America: 1) Invasive Earthworms affect forest carbon uptake,
–British Columbia: 2) Loggers aren’t part of deforestation because they plant trees, 3) 2,700 surround the government and demand ancient forest protection, 4) Species at risk activism, 5) Importance of keeping logs in local communities, 6) Great Bear Analysis as read by Europeans, 7) Efficacy of carbon sequestration forests that log their alder, 8) What it takes to justify destroying the last ancient forests, 9) Conflicts in tribal consultations for resource extraction,gotta end mudbogging, 10) Nature preserves overun by mudbogging
–Washington: 11) Weyco’s brand new shiny sinking ship in Cowlitz county
–Oregon: 12) Value of doug fir lumber plummets, 13) Roadshow support needed: Stop the WOPR, 14) Fire costs raise property taxes
–California: 15) Another 9511 Acres of Wildlife Habitat to be Purchased with State Funds, 16) Attempted murder charge comes from tree cutting dispute, 17) Newcomer is called a gold-spotted oak borer, 18) Stop corrupt road planning: Klamath NF needs your letter, 19) Oak tree protection rules vulnerable to county’s discretionary powers, 20) Northern Sierra Partnership,
–Montana: 21) Lawsuit filed to stop Newlan Bugs Timber Sale
–Colorado: 22) 170,000 urge rejection of Colorado anti-roadless petition
–New Mexico: 23) We need to completely reassess fire fighting and thinning standarads,
–Wisconsin: 24) Gov’s forest management is not about the money even though it really is,
–Illinois: 25) An airport runway that’s been turned into trees,
–Massachusetts: ) City to cut down 1,700 beetle damaged trees, 27) Forests and Parks friends Network,
–Vermont: 28) Mad River forums on forestry and wildlife
–Southeast US: 29) Learning to restore long leaf pine plant communities
–USA: 30) Estimates of destruction, 31) The new environmentalism 32) Oppose GE tree permits, 33) Economic benefits of wildlife watchers at $122 Billion a year, 34) Value of Wilderness preservation,

North America:

1) The Purdue scientists, along with collaborators from the Smithsonian Institution and Johns Hopkins University, study the habits of earthworms originally brought to North America from Europe. They want to determine the earthworms’ effect on forest chemistry by comparing carbon composition in forests that vary in earthworm activity. Some earthworms eat fallen leaves and other plant material – the litter of the forest floor – while others eat roots or soil organic matter. This begins a decomposition process in which organic materials pass through the animals’ digestive tracts and back into the soil. The research team found that forests with greater numbers of invasive earthworms tend to have litter and soil organic matter enriched in the plant material lignin, which is typically harder for bacteria to decompose, said Purdue biogeochemist Timothy Filley. Sites with low numbers of these earthworms accumulate plant carbon in forms more easily degraded by bacteria. Overall, the amount of carbon in the litter and duff layer, which is the surface mat of decaying organic matter and roots, decreases because of earthworm activity. However, the change in carbon chemistry may make it harder for soil organisms to decompose the carbon remains. After earthworms feed on forest litter, they take the carbon down into the soil and mix it in, potentially leading to a buildup of carbon in the soil. “If the litter just stays on the surface of the soil, then it’s likely that normal oxidation of organic matter happens and a lot of that carbon will just go into the atmosphere,” said Cliff Johnston, a Purdue environmental chemist and professor of agronomy. “However, if carbon can bind to the soil particles, such as clay, it might be a long-term way of stabilizing carbon.” Another way earthworm activity may affect the fate of carbon and the environment is in the thickness of layers of leaves and debris left on forest floors. Bare soil is generally very dark, absorbing more sunlight, which may dry it out quickly. A layer of lightly colored leaves is moderately reflective and holds moisture near the soil. Either condition may affect factors such as the warming of forest soil and the timing of snowmelt. http://www.physorg.com/news144333709.html

British Columbia:

2) OK, here’s a quick quiz. What’s the biggest cause of deforestation in Canada – agriculture, urban development or logging? While you might be surprised to learn that logging – in fact all resource extraction – results in less deforestation than farms and cities, you shouldn’t be. Deforestation refers to permanent conversion of forests to other uses, and in Canada companies logging on public land are legally responsible for the site until there is a new forest growing. “Harvesting does not result in deforestation, as long as it is legal and sustainable,” says Peter Moonen, sustainability coordinator for BC Wood WORKS! “We can actually conserve forest lands by using wood and paper from responsible producers because a stable demand for forest products discourages the permanent conversion of forests to other uses.” Canada is definitely a responsible producer. It has a multi-faceted governance structure supporting sustainable forest management, backed by comprehensive enforcement and more third-party forest certification than any other country. Across Canada, half a billion seedlings are planted each year. This isn’t the case everywhere so it is important to know the source of forest products. Deforestation in developing countries accounts for about 18 per cent of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Much of this is due to illegal logging, which contributes to deforestation and habitat destruction, undermines the viability of legally harvested and traded forest products, and is a serious detriment to forest sustainability. Canada has 91 per cent of its original forest cover, more than any other country, and its rate of deforestation has been virtually zero for more than 20 years. That’s good news in view of climate change because forests store a lot of carbon, and 10 per cent of the world’s forests are in Canada. More information about Canada and deforestation is available from the Natural Resources Canada website at http://cfs.nrcan.gc.ca/news/588

3) Thousands of chanting protesters joined hands and formed enormous rings around the legislature yesterday as they demanded an end to old-growth logging and a ban on log exports. The Rally for Ancient Forests lived up to its billing as one of the largest environmental rallies in B.C. since protests against logging in Clayoquot Sound 15 years ago. “Forests Minister Pat Bell said large numbers of people wouldn’t turn up today. We have proved him wrong,” said organizer Ken Wu, Western Canada Wilderness Committee campaign director, as the crowds waved placards demanding protection of trouble spots all over Vancouver Island from Jordan River to Cathedral Grove. Organizers estimated the crowd at 2,700. The prospect of a provincial election next spring galvanized speakers, and Wu called on the government to abandon its forest policies or “face extinction like the spotted owl.” Hupacasath chief councillor Judith Sayers said Bell had referred to the protesters as “the usual suspects.” “If we really are the usual suspects it’s because we have a voice and we want to vote people in who will say ‘I hear you,'” she said. NDP Alberni-Qualicum MLA Scott Fraser lashed out at the government’s “land giveaways” and reluctance to face daily questions in the legislature. The protest drew forestry workers and middle-aged suburbanites as well as younger environmentalists, many with leaves or flowers entwined in their hair Frank Hovenden of Gold River wore a paper bag on his head and carried a placard saying “Embarrassed to work in the woods.” Gold River has suffered terribly since the pulp mill closed, said Hovenden, who worked as an engineering technician in the woods for 30 years. “Sustainable forestry does not mean getting the same amount of wood with half the people,” he said. Kids were told they could have their faces painted as something cute, such as a marbled murrelet or Vancouver Island marmot “or something more dangerous like a cougar or bear or Pat Bell.” Six-year-old Kayla Leslie of Victoria chose to have a tree painted up the middle of her face. “I like trees,” she said. “We are here today to save trees.” http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/story.html?id=3e9196e2-4259-495c-a64b-5d3cfbb7af6f

4) Did you know British Columbia is Canada’s richest province, biologically? It is home to 76% of Canada’s bird species, 70% of its freshwater fish species, and thousands of other animals and plants. Well over 3,600 species call BC home, and many of these, such as mountain goat and mountain caribou, live mostly – or only – in our province. Unlike most Canadian and U.S. jurisdictions, B.C. still has all the large species that were present at the time of European settlement, including grizzly bears, wolverines, wolves, and cougars. Today, more than 1,600 species and subspecies (over 44%) are at risk of disappearing in our province because the B.C. Government is failing to protect the Province’s unique biological inheritance with law. These irreversible losses will continue unless we take immediate steps to protect BC’s imperiled species and ecosystems. With strong laws and appropriate planning in our own backyard, we can successfully reverse or at least slow this tragic trend of wildlife and habitat loss. Join us in asking Premier Campbell to continue to demonstrate leadership in the fight against global climate change, by implementing a robust Species and Ecosystem Protection Act to conserve BC’s biodiversity. British Columbia is one of only two provinces in Canada that lacks stand-alone endangered species legislation. With your input during this provincial election year, the Government will see that the people of BC care about our endangered species and ecosystems, and want an Act to formalize protection. Please consider taking action before our October 29 press conference, in as many of the following ways as you are able: 1) Add your name to the list of campaign supporters (www.lastplaceonearth.ca); 2) If you represent an organization or business, please endorse the campaign (you can do this at the same website); 3) Collect signatures on our petition (we can email/mail); 4) If you are in Vancouver, attend our press conference Oct. 29th – contact us for details; 5) Put an ad with link to our online petition (www.lastplaceonearth.ca) on your website; 6) Contact others you know that would also support this important campaign; 7) Put an article in your organization’s newsletter; 8) Display our materials at your place of business; 9) Whatever else you can think of ~ be creative! You can contact us by phone: (voicemail) 604-696-2112, or email: species_at_risk@forestethics.org

5) Public meetings are being held in Mackenzie, on October 27, and Fort St. James, on October 28, to discuss the issue of “tying logs to communities,” otherwise known as “appurtenancy.” Many people in the towns and regions of rural British Columbia believe that forestry companies should be required to process logs in or near the communities where they are harvested. Without such regulation, their concern is that forestry companies simply shut down mills, especially in smaller towns, and ship the raw logs out of the community, out of the region, and even out of the country. On the other hand, the provincial government believes that having requirements that tie logs to communities will interfere with the “market forces” that make for a healthy and strong industry. B.C.’s Provincial government started phasing out appurtenance in the ‘80s and 90’s and the Liberal government completely removed it in 2003. The meetings in Mackenzie and Fort St. James will feature two speakers. Rob van Adrichem is a regional development researcher who has written a paper on appurtenance and its possible application to the “knowledge industry.” He believes appurtenancy was “vital for the establishment and sustainability of communities in B.C,” and that its principles “continue to be relevant today.” The second speaker is Peter Ewart, who is a community activist, writer and Opinion250 contributor based in Prince George. He is also a spokesperson for the Stand Up for the North Committee. He believes, that in these uncertain economic times, discussion on the issue of “tying logs to communities” is both “appropriate and necessary”. He also believes this concept could be used to foster, not only more primary wood production, but also getting more “value” out of the wood itself through the establishment of value-added wood operations and other means. http://www.opinion250.com/blog/view/11038/3/appurtenancy+subject+of+meetings

6) The insatiable eye of industrial logging and its political sycophants have turned north, to the so-called “Great Bear Rainforest (GBR).” This magnificent tract is about the size of Belgium and stretches, nearly intact, across much of the central and north coast of BC. In 2004, after 7 years of discussion, negotiators emerged with a plan that “protects” less than 30% of this final ancient rainforest, this in spite of their own science-panels determination that up to 70% required protection. In BC, logging corporations buy the science which proves that black is white. UBC-educated “forest professionals” as they call themselves, virtually all of whom are employed by logging corporations, ensure that status-quo logging depredations are justifiable by science. I have been asked to suggest some possible solutions to Europeans as to how they can help protect what’s left of our primaeval forest. Frankly, I will tell them that in British Columbia, there are no due process options. Petitions and letters are wearing out Gordon Campbell’s paper shredders. The up-coming ancient forest rally, predicted to be the largest ever, will surround an empty legislature. On a planet facing ecological catastrophe, on a planet which has lost nearly all of its evolutionary biodiversity epitome as manifested in its ancient primaeval forests, as conscientious environmental activists, we cannot accept the limitations and constraints of due process within our profoundly undemocratic, farcical and corrupt political and legal systems. None of the established structures by which we organize ourselves are working fast enough, if they are even working at all. Historically, a lot of forest protection has been accomplished by those who were willing to throw a wrench into the machinations of those forces of destruction. As a veteran treesitter, I will argue from my experience, that to protect forests in BC, having exhausted due process options, one must inevitably venture into the quasi-legal netherworld of non-violent civil-disobedient direct confrontational action. Such action is possible, accessible and directly empowering to a broad spectrum of the community and such action is productive and can have lasting results. The bureaucratic due-process environmental organizations cannot be seen to support it, but I will talk about how and why non-violent civil-disobedience works. ingmarz@gmail.com

7) A local politician says a B.C. program that sells carbon credits to Air Canada customers is doing more harm than good when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The program, run by a B.C. company called Ecosystem Restoration Associates, involves planting trees in Maple Ridge, Langley and Mission. The trees absorb carbon dioxide, and the company sells carbon credits to customers and companies that want to offset the greenhouse gases from other activities like flying on a jet airplane or driving a car. But Michael Sather, the NDP MLA for Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows, said the program is a sham because, in some areas, the operators are cutting down mature red alder trees to make way for the ones they are planting. “It doesn’t make any sense. The trees they’re cutting down are releasing carbon into the atmosphere. The seedlings that they’re planting won’t be as big as these trees until 40, 50 [or] 60 years,” Sather told CBC News. “[That] makes … a sham of the whole concept because we need action on climate change now. We need to keep our trees. That’s the best way to sequester carbon. We can’t wait for 50 years for a tree to get to the size of this one that’s already been cut down,” said Sather, who is running for mayor of Maple Ridge in the November municipal election. Sather is also concerned the lost trees will mean less habitat for wildlife, such as areas where the alders have been cut, and invasive species like Himalayan blackberry are taking over. The CEO of Ecosystem Restoration Associates (ERA) doesn’t dispute the benefits the fallen trees could have provided in the short term. But over time, Robert Falls said the Douglas firs, Sitka spruces, western red cedars, and western hemlocks that they’re planting will grow bigger and live longer than the alders they cut. “You can’t flip a switch and restore an ecosystem. It takes time. And as that ecosystem gets restored, it will increasingly remove carbon from the atmosphere, and that will continue for centuries,” Falls said. ERA, which sells carbon offsets to individual consumers, and companies across Canada, estimates it will take 16 to 24 years for the new seedlings to sequester the carbon emitted by the alders that were cut down. Falls said the intervention is needed to return the forests to a diverse mix of conifers. Air Canada customers pay for the seedlings when they click “offset now” on Air Canada’s website. That allows them to buy the carbon credits sold by a Toronto company called Zerofootprint. Zerofootprint pays ERA to plant trees, which absorb carbon dioxide, which in theory, makes up for the greenhouse gas emissions from their flight, Falls said. So far the company has planted more than 300,000 trees and plans to expand to other municipalities. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/british-columbia/story/2008/10/23/bc-carbon-tax-credit.html#socialcomments

8) So far Bell seems to be taking the same old road. His office released figures in August that vastly inflated the amount of remaining ancient forests on Vancouver Island by including the stunted, marginal trees in bogs, on rocky sites and in the snow forests at high altitudes, most of which can’t be logged because the trees are too small. It did this to justify the continued liquidation of the productive, big-treed ancient forests that have always been at the centre of the controversy. The reality is that only 25 per cent of the original productive old-growth forests on Vancouver Island still remain, including only 10 per cent of the valley bottoms where the largest trees grow, according to satellite photos. Unfortunately, only six per cent of the Island’s original productive old-growth forests are protected in parks. How many jurisdictions on Earth still have trees with trunks that grow as wide as living rooms and as tall as skyscrapers, and that can live to be almost 2,000 years old? How many places still have a chance to keep one of the most beautiful ecosystems standing for all the species and its citizens, while ensuring a sustainable and flourishing industry based on second-growth forestry and value-added processing? http://www.canada.com/victoriatimescolonist/news/comment/story.html?id=8b20e244-96cf-457a-9d0f-ee4e8a33f802&p=2

9) Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs Grand Chief Stewart Phillip said the current legislation requires First Nations to be consulted in areas where they have traditional title claims. However, he said, First Nations and government seem to have different definitions of what is considered consultation. “Right now there is this vague notion that aboriginal title and rights exist in B.C., but there is nothing in legislation to make government act on that,” Phillip said. “There has to be a very prescriptive approach so business, industry and government know what is expected of them. It’s in everybody’s interest to get on with this work.” A perceived lack of consultation has resulted in conflict, legal action and road blocks in the past on proposed projects, he said. Establishing clear rules and First Nations decision-making authority will reduce conflicts between developers and aboriginal groups. “The law is clear… that our title is a proprietary interest and competes or equals with Crown title,” Phillip said. http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_cariboo/williamslaketribune/news/31359694.html

10) Strathcona and Wood Mountain Provincial Parks, are being severely damaged by individuals driving 4×4 vehicles and motorbikes through the area.
Recently two sensitive sub-alpine meadows, (see photo) which were once pristine alpine meadows, have been turned into mud pits. The use of any motorized vehicle within the parks is strictly prohibited, and can be enforced with fines of up to $200,000 per offence.BC Parks is taking the offences very seriously and Strathcona Area Supervisor Andy Smith advises he and his staff are investigating all reported incidents and pursuing violators. otorized vehicles have been entering the old ski hill area of Wood Mountain (the old Forbidden Plateau Ski Resort) for quite some time, regardless of BC Parks’ efforts to stop it. Staff have increased patrols and tried installing gates, ditches and obstacles to halt this illegal and destructive activity. However, with violators continuing to ignore signs and barriers, both BC Parks and public supporters have decided the time has come for zero tolerance and will be strictly enforcing violations. Fines have already been laid and all reported incidents are being investigated. With enough information from observers, charges can be pursued sometimes years beyond the actual incident. The trails up to places such as Mt. Becher and beyond to Paradise Meadows contain very sensitive ecosystems which support a variety of wildlife and plant life. These ecosystems can take thousands of years to develop and these meadows will take a long time to recover. It is also an area with great history for the Comox Valley attracting thousands of visitors per year, many of whom are local residents enjoying the area for its beauty and ease of access. BC Parks is therefore asking the community to assist them in their efforts to bring a stop to this destructive activity. If you see any motorized vehicles, including 4×4’s ATV’s and motorbikes, operating in the Wood Mountain or Strathcona Park areas, please forward the following information: date/time, vehicle description, license plate number, driver/passenger(s) description, observed activity, location, and photographs to Strathcona Area Supervisor, Andy Smith, (250) 337-2400 or to Andy.Smith@gov.bc.ca http://www.tidechange.ca/cgi-bin/show_articles.cgi?ID=276

Washington:

11) This fall was an inopportune time for Weyerhaeuser to launch its new high-tech saw mill on Industrial Way next to its existing planer mill. The consolidated mills employ about 225 workers. The new mill is one of the most advanced in North America, requiring only 38 workers for operations while the 32-year-old Green Mountain mill in Toutle that it replaced needed 150, Kuhn said. The shutdown of Green Mountain cut 130 jobs from Weyerhaeuser’s payroll. The start-up curve for the new mill is expected to last into the end of next year, Kuhn said. Despite the poor lumber prices, the new mill represents the company’s commitment to Cowlitz County, Kuhn said. “It’s Weyerhaeuser betting on us for the future,” Kuhn said. A piece of the company past soon will disappear, though. The company held an auction in September for all the equipment at the Green Mountain mill, and it sold at “scrap metal prices,” Kuhn said. The mill will be demolished at the end of this year, he said. http://www.tdn.com/articles/2008/10/24/top_story/doc49011e05bbeed408570634.txt

Oregon:

12) The price of green Douglas fir 2-by-4s dropped below $150 per 1,000 board feet this week, according Wednesday’s Random Lengths lumber market report. That’s the lowest price since 1982, when the price dipped to $144 per thousand that October, said Joe Heitz, assistant editor for Eugene, Ore.-based Random Lengths. “These are extremely weak levels. It’s very tough for mills to operate at these prices,” Heitz said by phone Thursday. Framing lumber, which was selling for an average of $474 per 1,000 board feet four years ago, was now down to $232 last week, according to Random Lengths. Low prices and low demand has prompted Weyerhaeuser to curtail production and send most of the workers home for a week at its lumber mill in Warrenton, Ore. The mill has avoided layoffs so far, but it plans to stop production for weeklong periods during the holidays. Hampton Lumber has laid off 55 workers in its Willamina mill and curtailed production at its Tillamook mill. “Nobody really wants the lumber right now,” said Steve Zika, chief executive officer of Hampton Lumber. “Prices are at historic lows. Most everybody in the industry is taking a week down here or there. http://www.tdn.com/articles/2008/10/24/top_story/doc49011e05bbeed408570634.txt

13) This is Josh Schlossberg with Cascadia’s Ecosystem Advocates in Eugene. I am contacting you because a coalition of over a dozen forest conservation and citizen groups calling itself the WOPR & Beyond Coalition is organizing a series of informational multimedia roadshows leading up to a public demonstration in Salem on Nov. 14th to encourage Governor Kulongoski to oppose the Western Oregon Plan Revision or WOPR (pronounced “whopper”), which would increase public lands logging by over 400%. The Governor has a 60 day “consistency review” period which started on 10/17, where he can oppose the WOPR because it doesn’t comply with state laws. Click HERE for more info about the WOPR. As you know, our native forests give us clean air and pure drinking water and preserve our climate by storing carbon in ancient trees and fertile topsoil. We need to be preserving more of these forests on public lands, not increasing the cut, especially with the understanding that logging is the #2 cause of climate change! We are asking for groups and individuals to help us stop the WOPR sending out emails to your lists and puting on your website our flyers about our Multimedia roadshow SPECIFIC INFO IS BELOW (can email or snail mail flyers if interested) Call 541-344-6017 for more info or Email info@eco-advocates.org

14) Owners of forest land and improved land in forested areas can expect to see increased fees on their property tax statements this fall to help replenish the Oregon Forest Land Protection Fund. A fund deficit due to severe wildfire seasons and high firefighting costs prompted fund managers to borrow $5 million from the state treasury this year, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. To cover the loan, the Oregon Board of Forestry approved one-time increases in the surcharge on improved lots in forest protection districts, the minimum lot assessment, the wildfire assessment on forest land and the harvest tax on timber. In an effort to address general funding shortfalls, the Oregon Legislature in 2007 also passed a law that increases the surcharge on improved lots and the assessment on forest lands. Those increases will also appear on this fall’s tax statements. For more information contact the local department of forestry office or visit www.oregon.gov/ODF – http://www.nrtoday.com/article/20081024/NEWS/810249950/1055&title=Landowners%20in%20forests%20pay%20more

California:

15) Another 9511 Acres of Wildlife Habitat Will be Purchased With State Funds: 1).South Fork American River, Lower Canyon Unit, $410,000.00, 2) Burton Mesa Ecological Reserve, Expansion 1, $469,000.00 Santa Barbara County, 3) Western Riverside County MSHCP, $177,000.00, 4) Whitewater Canyon, MacKenzie Ranch, $410,000.00 Riverside County, 15) Crestridge Preserve, South Crest, Expansion 3, $250,000.00 San Diego County, 5) The Environmental Trust Bankruptcy, $30,000.00 Multiple Southern California Counties, 6) Daugherty Hill Wildlife Area, Expansion 11, $610,000.00 Butte County. 7) Daugherty Hill Wildlife Area, Expansion 12 $935,000.00 Yuba County, 8) Truckee Basin (Perazzo Meadows), $765,000.00, Sierra County, 9) Elkhorn Basin Ranch, $3,780,000.00 Yolo County, 10) Watsonville Slough Conservation Area, $5,510,500.00 and Expansion 1, Santa Cruz County, 10) East Merced Vernal Pool Grassland Preserve, $4,400,000.00 Expansion 6, Merced County, 11) Midland School Oak Woodlands Conservation Easement, $4,155,000.00 Santa Barbara County, 11) Palo Verde Ecological Reserve, $2,585,000.00 Expansions 1 and 2, Riverside County. http://rare-earth-news.blogspot.com/2008/10/another-9511-acres-of-wildlife-habitat.html

16) A Scotts Valley man was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder and assault with a deadly weapon after shooting into his neighbors’ sport utility vehicle 11:15 a.m. Saturday, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Two people were cutting down trees on Vine Hill Road when they were confronted by Terry Bill Zweigenbaum, 58, the Sheriff’s Office reported. The three argued whether the man and woman — who were not neighbors nor hired tree cutters — had the right to cut the trees, Sgt. Fred Plageman said. The trees were not on Zweigenbaum’s property, but his neighbor’s. It was unclear whether the couple had permission from the owner of the home to cut the trees. At that point, Zweigenbaum went to his home, retrieved his .22-caliber Beretta handgun, returned to the scene and fired two to three shots into the people’s vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office reported. The gunfire shattered the back window of the couple’s sport utility vehicle and one of the bullets lodged in the dash, between the couple. No injuries were reported. The victims called in the shooting after driving down the road in the damaged SUV. Deputies later arrested Zweigenbaum at the site. He and the victims did not know each other previous to the incident, according to Plageman. Zweigenbaum is being held in County Jail on $375,000 bail. http://www.mercurynews.com/centralcoast/ci_10834880

17) U.S. Forest Service officials recently announced that a newcomer called the gold-spotted oak borer has infested a larger area than they thought just a few months ago. The beetle could easily march north into more of the estimated 33 million forested acres statewide. The pest already is blamed for killing more than 10,000 oaks in the county. Some backcountry residents fear the worst is yet to come unless the drought is broken by years of heavy rain, but that’s unlikely to happen. Climate models show the Southwest becoming increasingly warm and dry over the next century, conditions that leave the Cleveland National Forest and others vulnerable. “Forests are in deep trouble,” said Ron Neilson, a Forest Service bioclimatologist and a professor at Oregon State University. “It’s like tripping dominoes. The trees get dry and then the bugs come in and cause the whole ecosystem to collapse, and that can also be followed by fires.” Insects and disease are a normal, even critical, part of the forest life cycle because they help break down plants and put nutrients back into the soil. However, they appear to be getting the upper hand in a growing number of forests because of heat and drought stress, Neilson and others said. http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20081025-9999-1n25forest.html

18) The Klamath National Forest currently has well over 2,600 miles of open roads crossing the forests and watersheds of valuable public lands. This is more than double the number of miles that the Forest Service can afford to safely and responsibly manage. Poorly maintained logging roads are the primary source of sediment harming salmon and steelhead habitat in the Klamath Forest. As stated by the Beaver Creek Ecosystem Analysis of Klamath National Forest (April 1996), “The existing road system has been identified as the primary source of sediment to stream channels within the watershed… The high density of open roads in the watershed contributes to habitat fragmentation and disturbance to wildlife.” Astoundingly, as part of its Travel Management Planning, the Forest Service is now proposing to add 92 miles of illegally created “user routes” to its already bloated road system. In other words, the Forest Service is responding to its inability to manage its existing road system by adding yet more roads to that system. Mmmmm… If you value wildlands, wildlife, and waters, for the sake of the Klamath, their salmon populations and other invaluable wildlife, take action today! Please take a moment to write a note to the planners in the Klamath National Forest asking them to: 1) Identify roads located in stream-side riparian reserves and key salmon watersheds for decommissioning; 2) Strive to establish an economically sustainable road system by closing at least as many roads as they intend to add to the system; 3) Listen to all members of the public, not just the Off-Road Vehicle advocates, in developing the Forest Service’s Travel Management Plan. Letters can be sent to: Emelia Barnum Klamath National Forest 1312 Fairlane Road Yreka, CA 96097 Email: Comments-pacificsouthwest-klamath@fs.fed.u

s Please put “Route Designation” in the subject line. http://www.oregonwild.org/about/blog/why-salmon-don-t-drive-off-road

19) Oak woodland impacts must be reduced to the extent feasible within the law, with the local Board of Supervisors or City Council ultimately deciding project oak mitigation sufficiency. Local officials prerogative lies in their EIR discretionary power to invoke an “overriding consideration” in the interest of the public good. Unless it can be proven in court that local officials failed to proceed as required by law, their project decision is final. For a MND, mitigation measures must reduce all substantial oak woodland impacts to a less than significant level. Local officials have no mitigation discretion to exercise in a MND; the MND is required to scientifically and factually demonstrate that every potential oak woodlands impact has been reduced to less than significant. Significant oak woodland effects are the sum of wildlife habitat impacts and carbon dioxide emission impacts due to woodland conversion to a non-forest use. Developers prefer MNDs to EIRs because of the cost savings. Therefore, it is important to be vigilant in assuring the project complies fully with CEQA oak woodlands mitigation law. The fact is that the cost of mitigating oak impacts in a MND are proportionally much greater than for an EIR. Less room to spread the development cost often leads to MNDs cutting oak mitigation corners. Lawsuits filed against inadequate oak woodland MNDs are very effective because they defeat the pecuniary motives of the developer and are easily proved in court. http://rare-earth-news.blogspot.com/2008/10/how-california-laws-protect-oak-trees.html

20) A public-private partnership between the State of California and the Northern Sierra Partnership will fund environmental preservation while supporting economic growth. The Northern Sierra Partnership, which consists of two local land trusts, a regional business council and two large conservation organizations, was created to complement the goals of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, established when the Governor signed legislation in 2004 identifying needed actions across 25 million acres of land from the Oregon border to Kern County. To aid in these efforts, the Governor announced today that $25 million in private funds have been raised to date, including $10 million commitments each from the Morgan Family Foundation and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. As part of this public-private partnership, the Governor announced a new task force comprised of state agencies and departments that will work with public and private entities, such as the privately-funded Northern Sierra Partnership, to optimize conservation actions and investments in the Sierra Nevada region. The task force will also consider coordinated grant and evaluation criteria for bond funding and develop joint strategies for supporting water supply and protecting water quality. Additionally, the task force will address the effects of climate change and implement the Sierra Nevada Climate Change Initiative, which the Governor’s administration announced in August. Under the initiative, the Conservancy is developing a draft Climate Change Action Plan for the region within one year. All combined, these efforts provide a unique opportunity to protect this important region and the numerous assets it provides to Californians. http://sierrafund.org/news/8-News/298-NSierra%20Partnership

Montana:

21) A federal timber sale planned in Montana’s Little Belt Mountains northeast of White Sulphur Springs is being challenged by groups that say the
logging would harm wildlife. A lawsuit that the Alliance for the Wild Rockies and the Native Ecosystems Council filed in U.S. District Court says the Newlan Bugs Timber Sale would violate federal laws and policies by harming big game; a nesting bird, the goshawk; soil; and snags, standing trees that are dead or dying and are used by wildlife. The suit filed Wednesday in Missoula seeks to block the sale. Defendants are the Forest Service and Tom Tidwell, head of the agency’s regional office in Missoula. Forest Service spokeswoman Rose Davis said Thursday that agency lawyers had not seen the lawsuit. Davis declined to comment on the case. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies and the Native Ecosystems Council say the sale would allow logging on 345 acres in the Lewis and Clark National Forest and would require building 1.4 miles of temporary roads. Logging would occur in the White Sulphur Springs Ranger District’s only goshawk nest territory with confirmed nestlings, said Sara Johnson, director of the Native Ecosystems Council. The entire 1.7 million-acre Lewis and Clark National Forest has only 17 goshawk nests with confirmed nestlings, said Johnson, a former Forest Service wildlife biologist. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies said logging under the Newlan Bugs sale would displace elk by damaging their habitat. “This timber sale was illegally excluded from environmental review under the National Environmental Policy Act,” said Michael Garrity, Alliance executive director. He said the Forest Service misused a provision for exclusions. http://www.forbes.com/feeds/ap/2008/10/23/ap5599516.html

Colorado:

22) Environmental organizations delivered what they said were 170,000 letters urging the U.S. Forest Service to reject Colorado’s petition for rules governing management of forest lands in the state. Critics of the proposed rule say it contains loopholes that allow for energy development, logging and roadbuilding. “Our roadless backcountry is best left as it is — roadless,” said Anya Byers of the Colorado Mountain Club. “The proposed rule for Colorado has too many loopholes that would lead to the permanent loss and degradation of these areas.” The Colorado petition was drafted by a bipartisan task force that called for a no-surface occupancy provision for those areas, meaning only directional drilling would be allowed to reach natural gas or oil beneath the forests. Gov. Bill Ritter has resisted urging by environmental organizations to repudiate the state’s petition for its own version of the roadless rule. Opponents also have pointed to the proposed rule allowing what are termed “long-term temporary roads,” which are intended to be reclaimed once they outlive their value to the energy, mining or logging industries. Those roads, however, could be used for as many as 30 years, the Forest Service has said. In a demonstration at the state Capitol, kayakers in paddle jackets were joined by others in hauling a kayak up the west steps to illustrate what they called a “boatload of letters” in opposition to the proposed rule. Nature photographer John Fielder joined the rally, saying “a healthy economy will result from protecting our nature resources.” The Roadless Area Conservation National Advisory Committee will meet Nov. 18 and 19 in Washington to review the proposed Colorado rule. http://www.gjsentinel.com/hp/content/news/stories/2008/10/23/102408_4A_roadless_rule.html
New Mexico:

23) TAJIQUE — Nearly 30 years ago, a piece of property along a twisting dirt road in the heart of the Manzano Mountains caught Paul Davis’ eye. With a stream on one side and an expansive hill covered with towering pines on another, the spot seemed like the perfect place to build his family’s home. “This was a natural meadow so the insurance company actually thought it was well protected when they came out. I didn’t clear any trees around the backside at all or that side,” Davis said, pointing to an area of the now-blackened landscape where his home once stood. The house was one of six destroyed by a lightning-sparked wildfire in June, the third to break out in the central New Mexico mountains in seven months. Each time, hundreds of residents were forced from their homes. Environmentalists point to the Manzanos as an example of why the nation needs to change its thinking about wildfire preparation and the circumstances under which the federal government pays to put out the flames. Bryan Bird, wildplaces program director for WildEarth Guardians, contends that land management agencies are throwing a lot of money at ineffective thinning projects and efforts to suppress most fires on forest land. “I think we need to completely reassess that approach to fire-prone forests, especially with climate change and the unpredictability and uncertainty about the future of forests and how fire is going to behave,” he said during a recent tour of the burned area. Experts agree that fire seasons across the nation are lasting longer, blazes are burning hotter, and federal, state and local firefighting budgets are getting tighter. The three Manzano fires cost the Forest Service more than $9 million. Nationally, the agency has said spending on fires could reach $1.6 billion this year, about half its budget. http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gao4uDxhhpoTfoM5pADS2H6vEXCQD940NL581

Wisconsin:

24) Presque Isle town supervisor Charles Hayes, also president of the 40-member Carlin Lake Association, met with local DNR officials to discuss town and association concerns with Trout Lake Forestry’s plans for timber cutting on a 31-acre tract of state-owned land in the Northern Highland-American Legion State Forest (NH-AL). The 65-70 year old forest stand (Tract 12-08), donated years ago to the DNR, is heavily populated by short-lived aspen and white birch nearing the end of their average lifespan. In a pre-meeting interview with The Lakeland Times, Woodruff-based NH-AL superintendent Steve Petersen said DNR logging operations are often misunderstood by the general public. “A lot of people think that we’re motivated by money” he said. “This isn’t about the money. This is about the next forest that will be here. We’re trying to regenerate the forest … My charge is State Statute 2804, which says we manage our forests for present and future generations for multiple benefits. I have to look down the road … and weigh that against the consequences of doing nothing here – the structural and biological things that are going to happen. We aren’t going to have the type of forest we desire. People look at this and say, ‘This is beautiful.’ Do you want that again, because it’s not going to stay like this. “Those are the decisions that we make. It’s driven by how it relates back to 2804 and how it relates to our [NH-AL] Master Plan … “These trees have a system for the way they regenerate,” Petersen said. “Aspen will root-sprout. Once these trees are removed and sunlight hits the ground, hormones are released in the roots and they send up shoots. Birch needs a lot of sunlight and bare mineral soil. Those are things we’re thinking of here.” It’s not driven by the finances. It is driven by what’s best for the forest and looking beyond tomorrow – looking to what forest will we have here 10, 20, 30, 50 years from now. Those are the decisions that we make.” Petersen said Statute 2804 charges state foresters with overseeing the ecological, economic and social considerations of forestry management. “Economics is a part of it, but we don’t drive around seeing dollar signs out the windshield,” he said. The Presque Isle timber sale for Tract 12-08 is one of 30 proposed harvests currently being bid by the DNR for the 232,000-acre state forest. http://www.lakelandtimes.com/main.asp?SectionID=9&SubSectionID=9&ArticleID=8580

Illinois:

25) Where a runway once allowed planes to land on an island in the Illinois River, native floodplain forest trees are now rooting. The trees are moving in with help of volunteers, including 55 who joined the Starved Rock Audubon Society to plant trees Saturday on Plum Island across from Starved Rock State Park. Workers drilled holes using power augers, and more volunteers moved in behind them to plant trees, which were 3- to 6-foot-tall sycamore, three kinds of oak (swamp white, bur and pin), black walnut and the granddaddy of bottomland trees, cottonwood. http://www.newstrib.com/articles/news/local/default.asp?article=28B9A262F7430CBCF5766124CDD269C0C428B4BA4761FE66

Massachusetts:

26) Marking the 1,700 infested trees is expected to take weeks, said city Forestry Department foreman John K. Grady. Removal of the infested trees — the ones now being marked with tennis ball-sized spots of red paint — will likely begin in December. On Hillcroft Avenue yesterday morning, Mr. Tucker consulted a PDA into which the locations of affected trees had been programmed. Roger Donais, another climber with the Forestry Department, verified the information with maps. Those trees mapped as infested were painted red, while others considered vulnerable but not infected were painted blue. Passing motorists and residents stopped the crew members, who wore identification tags marking them as part of the Asian Longhorned Beetle Cooperative Eradication Program, as they made their way through the neighborhood. One Hillcroft Avenue woman was worried about the maple trees in her backyard. Mr. Tucker said the trees’ fate was still to be determined. Though a scan from ground level showed no evidence of infestation, separate teams of tree-climbing “smoke jumpers” — who typically fight forest fires — were deployed across the target area, continuing their analysis from a higher vantage point. Richard DeJordy observed the city foresters working on his street and came out with a dead Asian longhorned beetle he said had flown into his backyard about six weeks ago. http://www.telegram.com/article/20081026/NEWS/810260395/1007/NEWS05

27) WORCESTER— Forest and park advocates voiced concerns ranging from damage done by illegal off-highway vehicle riding to the apparent clear-cutting of forests in the Berkshires. But what brought the Massachusetts Forest and Park Friends Network to Union Station Saturday was more about communication and the sharing of ideas and solutions, all aimed at helping the Department of Conservation and Recreation maintain properties and programs — from Mount Greylock to Myles Standish State Forest — with $8.3 million fewer dollars in the DCR budget. Wendy Fox, DCR spokeswoman, said agency personnel are studying the numbers and the implications, but as yet no decisions have been made regarding forest and park staffing and programs. Sharl Heller, Ellen Arnold and Mike Toomey, each representing a park friends’ group, spoke about the importance of a Friends Network in not only helping existing groups, but in establishing friends’ groups for parks that have none. “Some things that work in one park may well work in another. Sharing that information may well save time and money,” Mr. Toomey said. The Friends Network works closely with DCR personnel to improve communications between the agency and the users of the forests and parks; help with DCR programs and fundraising; advocate for sustainable funding of forests and parks and support DCR policies and programs that foster good stewardship of the land DCR owns and maintains. A significant majority of state forests and parks in Central Massachusetts do not have friends’ groups. Conrad Crawford, DCR’s director of Partnerships, was hired in February to oversee the program and act as a liaison to the Friends’ Network. Mr. Crawford was one of the speakers at Saturday’s conference. http://www.telegram.com/article/20081028/NEWS/810280630/1008/NEWS02

Vermont:

28) Next Thursday, October 30, experts will lead a discussion on forests and wildlife in the Mad River Valley. Maps and information about land use trends will be presented and there will be an open discussion on how landowners, residents and town officials can work together to protect the functions and values of forests and wildlife in The Valley. Members of the public are encouraged to attend to participate in a discussion about the following topics: 1) Forest Fragmentation: What is it, why is it a concern, and what are the implications for diverse uses of the forest such as recreation, timber management, wildlife, watershed protection and carbon sequestration? 2) Wildlife resource maps for the Mad River Valley: How suitable is The Valley for sustaining wildlife? 3) What are the trends in The Valley and Vermont concerning the fragmentation of forests? 4) How will future development in The Valley impact forests and wildlife? 5) What are the strategies for protecting forests and wildlife? How can residents and landowners get involved? — The meeting is an ongoing part of the Forests, Wildlife, Communities (FWC) Project in the Mad River Valley. The FWC Project is an effort of the Mad River Valley Planning District, Vermont Natural Resources Council, Audubon Vermont, Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife, Northern Forest Alliance, and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department to bring diverse interest groups and residents together to share information and strategies for wildlife and forestland conservation. This event follows up on a community values forum that occurred last spring as part of the project. Maps that identify community values that were prepared at the forum will be shared at the meeting next Thursday. The FWC Project is supported by a grant from Wildlife Action Opportunity Fund of the Wildlife Conservation Society, which is funded by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation http://valleyreporter.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=1888&Itemid=46

Southeast US:

29) “We will examine the mechanisms that limit the recovery of longleaf pine understory plant communities at three separate government installations in the southeastern United States,” Orrock said. “These communities are some of the most diverse plant communities outside of the tropics, and less than 3 percent of original, pristine habitat remains. Our work will use large-scale experiments and landscape-level analyses to determine how to best restore these systems,” he said. The project, titled “Developing and Testing a Robust, Multi-Scale Framework for the Recovery of Longleaf Pine Communities,” received funding of $1.98 million dollars over five years. Funding is coming from the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program — the Department of Defense’s (DoD) environmental science and technology program — in partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Damschen and Orrock will be working with longleaf pine forest ecosystems at Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, N.C., and the Savannah River Site located near Aiken, S.C. Longleaf pine communities once stretched from Virginia to Texas. This diverse ecosystem harbors many rare, threatened and endangered species of plants and animals. Damschen and Orrock have worked in this ecosystem since 2000 and have published many papers based on previous findings. “While there is less than 3 percent of the historical ecosystem left, much of the southeastern United States has potential for recovery,” Damschen said. “We want to determine the relative importance of local site conditions and ecological mechanisms and how they interact with larger landscape effects across space and time,” he said. Damschen and Orrock will use a combination of historical land-use data and contemporary large-scale vegetation data to determine how past management actions and activities and military operations influence recovery potential. They intend to generate a field-ready method to classify understory plant communities in longleaf pine savannahs and develop recovery guidelines to provide a roadmap for the restoration methods most likely to work best with the characteristics of the current degraded community. http://record.wustl.edu/news/page/normal/12729.html

USA:

30) In the United States itself, four decades of environmental effort have not stemmed the tide of environmental decline. The country is losing 6,000 acres of open space every day, and 100,000 acres of wetlands every year. About a third of U.S. plant and animal species are threatened with extinction. Half of U.S. lakes and a third of its rivers still fail to meet the standards that by law should have been met by 1983. And we have done little to curb our wasteful energy habits or our huge population growth. Here is one measure of the problem: All we have to do to destroy the planet’s climate and biota and leave a ruined world to our children and grandchildren is to keep doing exactly what we are doing today, with no growth in human population or the world economy. Just continue to generate greenhouse gases at current rates, just continue to impoverish ecosystems and release toxic chemicals at current rates, and the world in the latter part of this century won’t be fit to live in. But human activities are not holding at current levels – they are accelerating, dramatically. The size of the world economy has more than quadrupled since 1960 and is projected to quadruple again by mid-century. It took all of human history to grow the $7 trillion world economy of 1950. We now grow by that amount in a decade. The escalating processes of climate disruption, biotic impoverishment, and toxification, which continue despite decades of warnings and earnest effort, constitute a severe indictment of the system of political economy in which we live and work. The pillars of today’s capitalism, as they are now constituted, work together to produce an economic and political reality that is highly destructive environmentally. An unquestioning society-wide commitment to economic growth at any cost; http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2075

31) The new environmentalism must work with this progressive coalition to build a mighty force in electoral politics. This will require major efforts at grassroots organizing; strengthening groups working at the state and community levels; and developing motivational messages and appeals — indeed, writing a new American story, as Bill Moyers has urged. Our environmental discourse has thus far been dominated by lawyers, scientists, and economists. Now, we need to hear a lot more from the poets, preachers, philosophers, and psychologists. Above all, the new environmental politics must be broadly inclusive, reaching out to embrace union members and working families, minorities and people of color, religious organizations, the women’s movement, and other communities of complementary interest and shared fate. It is unfortunate but true that stronger alliances are still needed to overcome the “silo effect” that separates the environmental community from those working on domestic political reforms, a progressive social agenda, human rights, international peace, consumer issues, world health and population concerns, and world poverty and underdevelopment. The final watchword of the new environmental politics must be, “Build the movement.” We have had movements against slavery and many have participated in movements for civil rights and against apartheid and the Vietnam War. Environmentalists are often said to be part of “the environmental movement.” We need a real one — networked together, protesting, demanding action and accountability from governments and corporations, and taking steps as consumers and communities to realize sustainability and social justice in everyday life. Can one see the beginnings of a new social movement in America? Perhaps I am letting my hopes get the better of me, but I think we can. Its green side is visible, I think, in the surge of campus organizing and student mobilization occurring today, much of it coordinated by the student-led Energy Action Coalition and by Power Vote. http://www.e360.yale.edu/content/feature.msp?id=2075

32) Help stop the commercial planting of genetically engineered papayas in Florida and the mainland US — the first major cultivated GE tree on the US mainland. The US Department of Agriculture is accepting public comments between now and November 3, 2008 on a petition that would allow commercial growing and marketing of the first genetically engineered (GE) papaya trees on mainland US soil. If approved, this would remove all regulatory oversight of this GE variety by USDA of a virus-resistant papaya tree known as the Ring Spot Virus Resistant Papaya. This petition has implications for all other GE tree species, as the USDA and the industry want to gauge what the public’s reaction will be. It is critical that all concerned about the threat of GE foods and GE trees respond to this USDA petition. Several hundred field trials of GE trees have been conducted already, many for forest trees, such as poplar, loblolly pine, and sweetgum, that grow on millions of acres in natural environments across the US. The USDA admits that this GE papaya will contaminate both organic and conventional non-genetically engineered papaya groves if it is approved. Since all commercial papaya trees are cultivars that are relatively cross compatible within the same species, Carica papaya, contamination via GE papaya pollen carried by wind, bees and other insects will infiltrate the papaya groves of organic and conventional growers. The proposed buffer zones between GE papaya and other papayas will not prevent genetic contamination from being spread by pollinating insects. Approval of this GE papaya tree also further opens the door to the commercialization of GE varieties of other tropical and subtropical tree species. In Hawaii, a previously approved virus resistant papaya has caused extensive contamination of organic, conventional and wild papaya groves on most of the Hawaiian Islands in just a few years. This contamination has spread far more quickly than the USDA predicted in its initial assessment. Once native and cultivated papaya varieties are contaminated with transgenic pollen and the resulting seeds are planted, there is no calling it back. contact@globaljusticeecology.org

33) In 2006, direct expenditures by wildlife watchers nationwide generated a total economic impact of $122.6 billion, the report said. Direct expenditures are items such as cameras, binoculars and bird food, plus trip-related expenses like lodging, transportation and food, the report said. Those expenditures resulted in more than 1.06 million jobs, federal tax revenue of $9.3 billion and state and local tax revenue of $8.9 billion. Mike O’Malley, the Watchable Wildlife program manager for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, said he is not surprised at the numbers. It continues a trend he saw in the 2001 and 1996 reports. O’Malley attributes the popularity of wildlife watching, feeding and photography to the growing number of people in their 50s and 60s. “I’ve tracked the numbers, and you keep seeing this baby boomer bubble move to the right on my chart,” he said. The people of this aging generation not only have significant disposable income, but they also have more free time. They no longer have to cart kids to soccer practice or spend all their free time doing household chores. “There’s also a change in the physical recreation they enjoy. They’re getting away from the harder activities,” he said. “Now they might go to Yakima to do some bird-watching, visit a winery and hike along the greenway.” The Fish & Wildlife Service said the money spent on wildlife watching nationwide is equal to the combined revenues generated by all spectator sports, amusement parks and arcades, non-hotel casinos, bowling centers and skiing facilities. Washington ranks eighth in the nation for economic impact. The report said wildlife watching in the Evergreen State had an economic impact of more than $2.52 billion in 2006. California was at the top of the list at $7.86 million. Of the total economic impact in Washington, retail sales generated more than $1.5 billion in 2006. In comparison, hunters spent $313 million and anglers spent $904.8 million in 2006. According to the report, people who enjoy activities such as bird-watching at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge or photographing elk at the Mount St. Helens Wildlife Area help create nearly 25,800 jobs. I expect O’Malley will cite this report when he meets with the Fish and Wildlife Commission next month. Hopefully, the commission will better understand what wildlife watching means to Washington’s economy. At the monthly meetings, you’ll find the agenda dominated by hunting, recreational and commercial fishing matters. It’s time to see the state make a greater investment in wildlife watching opportunities. http://library.fws.gov/nat_survey2006_economics.pdf

34) In a ritualistic sense, preserving wilderness is about preserving a part of our selves as well—our common humanity and humility. Wilderness designation is a gift to future generations. It is also a gift to each of us. It is recognition of limits; a willingness to draw a line in the sand and say here we relinquish control and begin to live with restraint. Most of the United States has suffered great abuses from humankind. We have cut the forests, plowed the prairies, overgrazed the deserts, dammed rivers, drilled and mined much of the rest. A certain amount of exploitation is necessary to sustain life. But our relationship with the natural world has largely been wasteful and brutal. We have had a dysfunctional relationship with the rest of life on the planet. Our culture and relationship to Nature has been based upon exploitation, not mutual acceptance; It has been more about manipulation, not cooperation and power and control; not love and kindness. But in protecting wild places we adopt the best of our human traits. It requires restrain and an acceptance of limits. When a line on a map and say legally say that in this place, on this land, and upon this soil, we will relinquish control, we free ourselves metaphysically and spiritually. And by consciously making such a commitment to preserve wildlands, we demonstrate to ourselves that we can be a better people, and live in a better way with the natural world. By permitting the land to recover, to heal, to restore its self, we heal and restore ourselves at the same time. This opportunity for healing, both of ourselves as well as the land, is perhaps more than any other reason, the great value of wilderness to society. http://wuerthner.blogspot.com/2008/10/wilderness-great-healing.html

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