?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
20 February 2007 @ 07:43 pm
 
Today for you 39 news items about Earth’s trees. Location, number and subject listed below. Condensed / abbreviated article is listed further below.

Can be viewed on the web at http://www.livejournal.com/users/olyecology or
by sending a blank email message to earthtreenews-subscribe@lists.riseup.net

--British Columbia:1) Tre Arrow
--Washington: 2) Logging for a high school. 3) Weyco to log out swimming hole,
--Oregon: 4) How many spotted owls lost?
--California: 5) 22 species of Quercus, 6) North Redwood House THP, 7) Pro-logging planning commissioner, 8) Removing small fuels,
--Idaho: 9) Last remaining Mountain Caribou in the lower 48
--Michigan: 10) Beech bark disease, 11) Ottawa NF has four new ways log.
--Texas: 12) Fifteen trees chopped by thieves
--UK: 13) Old growth redwoods at Bensmore arboretum,
--Russia: 14) Russian Far East and the mixed coniferous-deciduous, 15) Logging history,
--Azerbaijan: 16) 3500-4000 hectares of forest are “renewed” each year
--Afghanistan: 17) Tree growing is their only means
--Somalia: 18) New government bans export of charcoal
--Liberia: 19) U.S.F.S. to restore Liberia's timber industry? 20) Industry is a wreck,
--Uganda: 21) Illegal logging in Budongo Forest Reserve
--Malwai: 22) Highest deforestation rate in Southern Africa
--Ecuador: 23) The Awa are indigenous people who live in the north-western Ecuador
--Brazil: 24) New book update 1983 book about Amazon, 25) Save the Xingu,
--Cambodia: 26) Prime Minister is very stern about land thieves,
--Malaysia: 27) Malysian forestry firm’s global dealings, 28)Great Malaysian Mega Sale,
--Philippines: 29) Reforestation with exotics are preferred due to harvest in 7-8 years
--Indonesia: 30) Landslides, 31) Dwarf Water Buffalo field trip,
--Kalimantan: 32) Project to rehabilitate an area destroyed by logging,
--New Zealand: 33) Legal right to chainsaws and matches to kill trees, 34) Treeplanting,
--Australia: 35) Environmentalist chained themselves to a tree-harvesting machine, 36) Forestry Tasmania fails to stop protest, 37) 50 activist trespass,
--World-wide: 38) larger forest fragments more resilient than smaller ones
--Tropical Forest: 39) Biofuels will force 100,000 sq. miles of forest loss, 40) Animation

British Columbia:

1) He was on the FBI's Most Wanted list, accused of firebombing and burning logging and gravel trucks in Oregon that caused $250,000 in damage. But to the children at the Oak and Orca Bioregional School in Victoria, he is a political prisoner and an activist hero. Mr. Arrow fled to Canada in 2002. He was arrested nearly three years ago and has been in jail in British Columbia while the extradition process winds its way through the legal system. At the Deep Ecology workshop at the alternative school in an aging house overlooking the city, Mr. Arrow's life of high drama and intrigue is an integral part of the curriculum. On several occasions, through a telephone call and a speaker phone, he has been a guest lecturer in the class from behind the locked gates and barbed wire at the Vancouver Island Regional Correctional Centre. On a bright midwinter afternoon recently, the eight children in this mixed-aged class of nine- to 13-year-olds joined in spirited discussion about Mr. Arrow. "Why are we talking to Tre?" asked teacher Morgan Obendorfer, 28. "Because he's not guilty." "Because capitalism owns democracy." "Because he's going to be strung up if he's sent back to the U.S." "It'll be a show trial, he'll have three seconds to make his defence." Like many children their age, some of these students talk out of turn, push each other, or engage in other disruptive behaviour. They are frequently told to behave, stay on topic and pay attention. The excitement in the class rose as they gathered around a wooden chair with a phone on the seat and a picture of a smiling, bearded Tre Arrow taped to the back. "Why is it powerful for a group of kids to be talking to a political prisoner?" Mr. Obendorfer asked. "Because kids have power." http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070216.BCKIDS16/TPStory/National
Washington:


2) Trees will be left standing as a buffer on the west side of the property along a creek and on the north side where homes are. A small area inside the site designated as a seasonal wet land will keep its trees. Some stumps -- those with attractive native growth -- will be relocated within the site for aesthetics, Born said. Sierra Pacific is the company that bought the timber and is logging it. Most trees will go to their timber mill in Mount Vernon. A small percentage will go to a local mill to make paneling wood used at the high school. The timber sale brought in about $425,000, which will go toward building the school. The school's cost is now estimated at about $89 million. The site could look desolate temporarily. For environmental reasons, stumps and slash -- the tops of trees and branches that can't be sold -- will be left on the ground. But because construction is set to start shortly after the cutting ends in May, it shouldn't be left in that state for long, said Born. She's received some calls from neighbors concerned about noise, so the district has imposed the restriction that loggers can only work between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Those who live near Floral Hill Cemetery in Lynnwood will soon hear the buzz of saws and the rattle of logging trucks as 40 acres of forest is cut down to make way for the new Lynnwood High School, set to open in fall 2009. Logging begins in mid-March at the site, located on North Road near 184th Street Southwest. Construction on the new building is slated for May, after trees have been cleared. About 90 percent of trees will be cut down, including 60-year-old Douglas Fir, cedar and white pine. http://www.enterprisenewspapers.com/index.cfm?action=story&storyid=200721516482745&g=0

3) Many fear a major logging operation above the sandstone quarry pool and park could lead to soil erosion and increased stormwater runoff that could foul the pool waters and flood the park. Weyerhaeuser Co. owns 92 acres of forestland that begins on the scenic bluff above the pool and park and extends to the south and east. "This park is an amazing resource for a town of this size," Tenino area resident Susan Barrett said at a City Council meeting packed with more than 50 concerned citizens last week. "Once it's lost, it can't be brought back." The quarry pool, which is fed by springs and water pumped in by the city, is a unique swimming hole. It was carved out of the hill on the south side of town by the Tenino Sandstone Co., which mined the prized building stone from 1889 to 1926. Operated as a pool off and on since 1946, it's the place most longtime townsfolk learned to swim and serves as a regional tourist attraction on a hot summer day. "It's iconic - our city logo," said Will Rutherford, a city resident who lives near the park and one of several city residents who have formed an ad hoc committee called Friends of Tenino to work with city officials, and, they hope, Weyerhaeuser, on a logging plan that ensures protection of the park and pool. At the very least, the timber company should leave a wide enough buffer along the bluff above the quarry pool to protect it from any possible damage, and preserve the aesthetics of the park, Rutherford, an environmental consultant, said. "Community resources are at stake," said city resident Lynn Oha Carey. "To simply hope for the best is dangerous." Kris Knutzen, the DNR forest practices forester for Thurston County, said his review of the logging plan didn't uncover anything that would damage the pool or park."We wouldn't be requiring a buffer between the bluff and the logging," said Knutzen. "With the soils we have on site, we won't have surface erosion." Tenino Planning Commission member Paul Donohue isn't so sure. He said he would like the city to trade a two-acre parcel of forestland it owns next the Weyerhaeuser property a distance from the park for a two-acre buffer above the quarry, an idea that also appeals to some of the citizens. The buffer could support the well-worn trail that loops along the bluff and winds through the forest from one end of the park to the other. Much of the trail is on Weyerhaeuser property.http://www.theolympian.com/101/story/66215.html

Oregon:

4) PORTLAND — A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service violated the Endangered Species Act when it approved a 22,000-acre federal logging project that affects northern spotted owl habitat in southern Oregon. In a case dating from 2001, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court ruling that would allow logging based on an "incidental take" statement estimating how many owls might be killed. Any landowners, companies, state or local governments with projects that might incidentally harm — or "take" — wildlife that is listed as endangered or threatened must first obtain an incidental take permit from the Fish and Wildlife Service. http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/regional/index.ssf?/base/news-18/1171671259304240.xml&stor
ylist=orlocal

California:

5) There are over 22 specific species of Quercus (which is the botanical name for oak) in varied types of topography and climatic zones throughout this state. Within the oak family there are some trees that are totally clothed with leaves throughout the course of the year and there are those that go dormant and are deciduous, losing their leaves for a period of dormancy and rest. The oak relatives of modern species contributed to the landscape of prehistoric California more than 20 million years ago. As the environment changed over time, so did oak habitats which support about 300 species of accompanying flora and fauna in their surroundings. Over the millennia, oaks have been sculptured by the features of their landscape, the leaves, the branches, their stout trunks and their expanding root-system that goes far beyond the drip line of the total canopy of the tree. Each different species has developed distinct growth forms and tolerance to environmental stress, such as man’s impact when moving into their native woodland areas. In California today, the oaks are being threatened with today’s changing inner phase of the urban and wild lands that surrounds our communities throughout the state and elsewhere on this little planet. But intensifying land use in the hardwood range has brought about soil erosion, reduced forage production, poor regeneration among some species of oaks and dwindling resources, due to development in their specialized plant community. The hardwood range of oak trees clearly shows signs of the last hundred years of human habitation around them. http://www.thevillagenews.com/story.asp?story_ID=20680

6) SPI brings another logging plan into the mix with their new Timber Harvest Plan "North Redwood House THP". This plan is located off of Redwood House Road in the mountains east of Bridgeville. There are units next to Bootjack Prarie near Owl Creek grove, one of the Headwaters groves purchased by the State Parks System. There appears to be areas of un-entered forest in some of the units. Main Concerns: 1) Use of clearcutting and "Rehab," 2) Herbicide use likely in Clearcut and "Rehab" areas. 3) Red tree voles nest signs present (resin ducts) in unit 9d at four way road construction and 16a clearcut unit. 4) Both trees to be removed. 5) 'Tractor Yarding"- Bulldozers dragging fallen trees to the log decks. 6) The plan document states that there plan area contains "decadent and deformed trees of value to wildlife". This often means large old trees with gnarly branches and non-uniform trunks. --131 acres of clearctting, -- 70 acres of rehab (clearcutting and herbicide use to remove hardwoods) -- 160 acres seed tree removal 55 acres selection total 425 acres Units adjacent to Bootjack Prarie in the Owl Creek drainage. Upper headwaters of Yager Creek. You can send comment letters on this logging plan (#1-07-021) to California Department of Forestry atsantarosapubliccomment@fire.ca.gov http://saveancientforests.blogspot.com/2007/02/new-spi-logging-plan-in-yagerowl-creek.html

7) Humboldt County Planning Commissioner Tom Herman has a long history in plundering the redwood forest. Before Roger Rodoni appointed him to the Planning Commission in 2002, he was a Pacific Lumber vice president. Now, desperate to please Rob Arkley, Herman is hitting the breaks on the already delayed County General Plan by requesting developers go forth and sprawlify the forest lands. Herman fancies clear-cuts and poisonous herbicides to subdue the land and harm Humboldt County residents. He helped orchestrate the Stafford landslide - a logging-triggered disaster that smothered houses on New Years morning 1997. Herman’s bloodthirsty disdain for endangered forest critters was cited by U.S. District Court Judge Louis Bechtle, who noted that Herman hosted a party at his Scotia home where nearly-extinct Marbled Murrelets played the bullseye for so-called foresters. "At the party, there was a target of a marbled murrelet on a dart board, at which the attendees were throwing darts," the judge wrote. In 2003-2004 he served as legal advisor to the recall campaign against District Attorney Paul Gallegos, a failed but expensive endeavor funded by Pacific Lumber’s parent company Maxxam. Herman’s destructive prowess appears to be his only qualification to sit on the Planning Commission. You can thank all five Humboldt County Supervisors for his reappointment, which will keep him championing Arkley’s dream of Humboldt-into-Santa-Rosa until 2009. http://humboldt-herald.blogspot.com/2007/02/tom-herman-turn-forests-into.html

8) The struggle to balance timber interests with conservation is not new. Everyone agrees that years of fire suppression and over-logging have created dangerous conditions in Sierra Nevada forests. Unfortunately, that is where the agreement ends -- leaving small businesses like the Sierra Forest Products mill stuck between old-school logging practices and "New West" forest values. There is no question we need fuel reduction. But the priority needs to be on removing the small fuels that feed wildfires, and preserving forests that draw hikers and anglers. It's not necessary to take out large, fire-resistant trees that provide shade, keeping the forest floor damp and the wind down. Most fire scientists agree that logging large trees can make fire conditions worse by leaving behind woody debris and opening the ground to sunlight. But in the timber industry, big trees translate to big money, even at the expense of healthy forests and abundant wildlife. We think there is a better way to manage Sierra forests and want to find collaborative solutions. To that end, we are working with the mill, the Forest Service and our representatives in Congress to help keep the Terra Bella mill going. We need to address impacts of the Kings River Project and the Giant Sequoia Monument Plan, and find long-term solutions for the mill that comply with new scientific thinking and environmental law. Our future does not lie in unsustainable large-scale logging. It won't make us any safer - or wealthier - in the long-term. Timber-based businesses in the Sierra must adopt new practices that help sustain our forests. By doing so, we can ensure that our rich natural legacy will be passed on. --Craig Thomas is executive director of Sierra Forest Legacy, formerly the Sierra Nevada Forest Protection Campaign, a conservation coalition focused on the management of the 11 national forests in the Sierra Nevada. http://www.sacbee.com/110/story/124862.html

Idaho:

9) PRIEST LAKE — The last remaining mountain caribou in the lower 48 states received an extra measure of protection from the Eastern District Court in Washington. The court issued a February 14 ruling that will allow the endangered caribou to migrate from the northern areas to the southern areas of their habitat, while still permitting snowmobiles in much of the Priest Lake region. "This ruling demonstrates that Idaho is big enough for both snowmobiles and mountain caribou, something we've believed all along," said Mike Petersen with The Lands Council in Spokane. "Once a species goes extinct, there's no bringing it back, so we have to protect the few caribou we have." A single herd of mountain caribou, recently estimated at approximately 37 animals, remain in the lower 48 states, making them the most endangered large mammal in North America. Like elk and other wildlife, caribou are most vulnerable in the winter when they are stressed by cold weather and deep snows. Snowmobiles and other recreational vehicles passing through caribou habitat have put additional strain on the herd. "Judge Robert Whaley's pivotal decision provides critical protection for the rare mountain caribou in northern Idaho," said Mike Leahy with Defenders of Wildlife. "The protected area is necessary to ensure that historic caribou migration patterns, which are so essential for their survival, can continue." The ruling allows snowmobiling in areas along the edges of the designated recovery area and several trails within the recovery area, yet prohibits most off-trail use in the most essential caribou habitat. Approximately 90 percent of the Idaho Panhandle National Forest is outside the recovery zone and will not be affected. http://www.enn.com/net.html?id=1838

Michigan:

10) An infectious arbor affliction, beech bark disease, is devastating Michigan American beech trees in the Upper Peninsula and Ludington State Park. The affliction is creeping south toward Muskegon and Ottawa County woodlands and virtually is untreatable. Beech bark disease has two components that work in phases to destroy beech trees: The wingless scale insect and the nectria fungus. The scale insects feed on sap in the tree's thin bark. Heavily infested beeches are noticeable by the white wax that covers the scales, creating a woolly appearance. The scale injures the beeches, making them vulnerable to the nectria fungus which kills tissues and often entire trees. State naturalists say the beech tree is of little economic importance, but loss of thousands of the trees could have a drastic change in the forest ecology. Ludington is a hot zone for the disease in the Lower Peninsula, leaving many of the state park's beech trees doomed. Wernette said the ecological effect is uncertain as the park moves into the disease's aftermath. "There will be a change, don't get me wrong," Wernette said, though he couldn't for sure say what the change might be. http://www.mlive.com/news/muchronicle/index.ssf?/base/news-10/1171711049219460.xml&coll=8

11) BESSEMER -- Four Ottawa National Forest ongoing projects were brought to the attention of the Gogebic County Board at its meeting Wednesday night. District ranger Melanie B. Fullman briefed board members on each of the projects at the meeting. 1) The International Paper Company wants to use an outstanding easement right for access to lands owned by the company west of Berland near Namebinag Creek, according to Fullman. "The International Paper Company Road Project," she added, will require construction of about 200 feet of new road, and reconstruction of about 300 feet of railroad grade on a portion of the North Country Trail. 2) Limited timber harvesting in an area between Watersmeet and Land 0' Lakes. Wis. needs to be completed soon because of a jack pine budworm infestation in the area, according to officials at the Watersmeet and Iron River districts of the Ottawa. The area, especially along U.S. 45 south of Watersmeet, has a high number of stands of reddish-brown or needleless jack pine infested by the budworm, a native insect which feasts on older jack pines, according to deputy district ranger Spring M. Rosales in a memo presented to county board members. 3) Watersmeet District Ranger Norman E. Nass included a copy of the cover letter of his final decision on the Duck Lake Timber Salvage Project in the county board members packet. 4) Bob Lueckel provided the county board with a copy of the LVD Land Exchange Project Environmental Assessment. Two alternatives in the environmental assessment are provided, which included a no land exchange and a proposed land exchange regarding the project. For more information about the land exchange, the complete environmental assessment can be viewed at the Gogebic County Courthouse, or contact the Ottawa National Forest Supervisor's Office in Ironwood, 932-1330. http://www.ironwooddailyglobe.com/0216gogc.htm
Texas:

12) Grapevine police are trying track down thieves who chopped down about 15 trees at the Stonebridge Oaks development near Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. A witness told police she saw someone cutting down the trees, but thought the men were just doing their jobs. The oak trees are worth about $75,000, the Stonebridge Oaks developer said. The developer said there were plenty of logs on the ground that the thieves could have taken for firewood and no one would have cared. http://www.nbc5i.com/news/11033152/detail.html



UK:

13) Benmore, an arboretum, is one of the most powerful gardens I have seen, and even in the dead of winter it is a place of vital mystery and enchantment. The thing is, there is no dead of winter in coastal Argyll. Flowers are sparse, but the landscape is alive with the colors of a temperate rain forest: the pink-red of sphagnum moss, the maroons of fallen bracken, the golden yellow mountains capped with snow, and a million shades of green. The only tempering effect on Benmore's delicious verdancy is that the wider geography has already set the tone. Through 150 years of ambitious but careful garden-making, Benmore is the essential Argyll, gathered and intense. The primal flora -- mosses, lichens, liverworts and ferns -- come alive in the winter and form great swaths of greenery on the woodland floors. The majestic conifers are awe-inspiring. Scots pines, western cedars and Douglas firs reach well over 100 feet, and the entrance to Benmore is marked by an avenue of 49 giant redwoods that are now so tall they appear to look down on the winter sun. It is a testament to the vitality of Benmore that only one redwood has died since the avenue was planted in 1863.

Russia:

14) The GFTN is now focusing its attention on the Russian Far East and the mixed coniferous-deciduous forests of the Amur-Heilong river basin — identified by WWF as one of the world’s most biologically important forests and the heartland of the endangered Siberian tiger and Amur leopard. These wild cats face serious threats from illegal and unsustainable logging, which is destroying their once pristine habitat. “Illegal and unsustainable logging is a real problem here,” said Dr Darron Collins, Director of WWF’s Amur-Heilong programme. “There is huge pressure to harvest these forests.” An estimated 70 per cent of the timber trade heads to neighbouring China, where demand is high. In fact, several large Chinese factories using substantial quantities of wood are located just across the border with Russia in the Amur-Heilong region. “At present, timber companies in this region have little market incentive to harvest wood in an environmentally sensitive manner,” added GFTN’s George White. “The Chinese are so hungry for wood they’re not asking questions. They, as well as most of the Japanese and Korean companies that trade in the Russian Far East, are not interested in certification. Few put any premium on it at all.” http://www.panda.org/news_facts/newsroom/index.cfm?uNewsID=94160


15) Russia has the world’s largest remaining tracts of old growth forests. But continuous logging — dating back from the days of Peter the Great to the extensive clear cutting and illegal logging of today — have gradually reduced the extent and ecological significance of these forests. When the post-Soviet Russian government began privatizing its timber industry in the early 1990s, WWF, the global conservation organization, jumped on the opportunity to help shape the emerging free market Russian forestry sector into a more environmentally responsible model. Through its Global Forest & Trade Network (GFTN), WWF started working with the new Russia forestry companies and their buyers, primarily in Europe, to eliminate illegally logged and traded forest products, and to improve the overall quality of forest management. Guided by its philosophy of using market mechanisms to drive improvements in forestry, the GFTN has helped organize the growing demand in Europe for “green wood” by establishing groups of companies committed to buying wood products certified as being responsibly produced. http://www.panda.org/news_facts/newsroom/index.cfm?uNewsID=94160


Azerbaijan:

16) Minister informed that work on gold mining from gold deposits of Gedabek is under way. Accordingly to him, in order to carry out works some measures are taken. Works are being carried out by private company which is operating in accordance with program approved by Cabinet of Ministers. Minister informed that for the recent years 4-5 millions of trees have been transplanted in the country. Moreover, every year 3500-400 hectares of forests are renewed. H. Bagirov also expressed his attitude towards deforestation in Baku and other cities of the country. As he said money used to be allotted to plant them in past, that is these trees are state property. This property on behalf of state is being governed by different organizations, enterprises or municipalities. As H. Bagirov pointed out if fact of deforestation found out, Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources will impose fines. Minister pointed out that cases of deforestation for different purposes have considerably reduced. Accordingly to him if earlier 100,000 cubic metres of trees were felled, now this figure reduced with 36-37 thousands of cubic metres. The persons involved with this have been found. In 2007 Ministry submitted about 50 cases to Prosecutor’s Office. H. Bagirov informed that for the last time cutting down tress in municipality forests not referred to state forest fund has increased. Accordingly to him 72 000 hectares of forest belong to municipalities. http://www.demaz.org/cgi-bin/e-cms/vis/vis.pl?s=001&p=0055&n=002321&g=

Afghanistan:

17) QALAT - Row upon row of saplings stand in the sun in the capital of Afghanistan’s drought-hit Zabul province where war and poverty have left ancient underground irrigation channels dry and the hills bare. These young plants have been weeded and watered and brought to life in this tough terrain by some of the poorest women of Qalat who are reaching for more in a harsh world —- at risk to their personal safety. Almonds and apricots, cedar and cypress, pine and pistachio: a lot rides on these 203,720 saplings. The 90 women who raise them are paid with 61 kilogrammes of oil, wheat, pulses and salt a month as a part of a “food for work” programme on which many Qalat families depend. Their labour also earns them lessons in reading and writing, nutrition and health care—for some the first schooling in their lives. When the saplings are ready for planting, half will go to adopt-a-tree and other projects to re-green this barren-looking land, perhaps helping to re-establish the almond orchards that are the pride of Zabul. The rest will go to the women to seed small businesses selling the trees or their harvest, or just to provide their families with fruit and nuts. Inside a new building under the nursery’s scraggly pines, row upon row of women sit on the floor, facing a teacher. Many have pulled their blue Burqas back over their faces because there are visitors. Hands and feet are red with henna; children fidget as their mothers recite phrases written on the board. It has been a struggle to get these women here. Zabul, like all of southern Afghanistan, is deeply conservative and influenced by the Taliban religious movement, whose insurgency keeps the nation unstable. “Women of child-bearing age are not allowed to go outside the home, only very old women and widows can have some activity,” says the province’s top women’s affairs official, Gulnar Rashidi. http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=43380

Somalia:

18) The Transitional Federal Government in Somalia has banned on Friday the export of charcoal, according to a decree issued by the president Abdulahi Yusuf Ahmed as the country is now under the martial law (state of emergency). President Yusuf said the move was taken to preserve the environment and prevent deforestation. It is not yet clear how this banning would take into effect as the country has many uncontrolled paved seaports. “The government imposed the ban after it had consultations with experts and intellectuals over deforestation concerns and the many dangers to wildlife,” said Yusuf. According to the decree, the interior ministry has the right to arraign anyone who is found cutting trees and also prosecute any company that is seen exporting the charcoal. The charcoal in Somalia is illegally exported to the countries along side the Arabian Gulf and has been profitable trade in the country for the last 15 years when Somalia had plunged into anarchy and chaos. The charcoal has been exported through natural seaports like the privately owned El Maan, El Adde and Barawe ports. Bomalia. http://somalinet.com/news/world/Somalia/7616

Liberia:

Joe Krueger is drawing on skills from the U.S. Forest Service to restore Liberia's timber industry. "Right now, the industry is completely unregulated," he said. But many of the pieces are falling in place for an organized, regulated timber industry to start up soon. And there is pressure for Krueger and his fellow advisers to make it happen. "There is a lot of pressure on the Forest Service to get this sector back up and running," The Liberian Forestry Initiative came about as a means of re-establishing a viable and responsible industry, as the country operated under a shaky interim government. While the initiative is driven by a U.S. Forest Service team, it is funded by the State Department with the cooperation of the United Nations. The program is aimed at establishing laws and regulations and a general framework for managing Liberia's forests. Krueger said he was tapped for the program because he had worked on a community forestry project in Senegal in 2004, and had served in the Peace Corps in Nepal in the early 1990s. He first went to Liberia in April 2005 and has been back three times since, most recently in December. Krueger said there has been progress in rebuilding the country's timber industry, and a big part of it is due to the relative stability that's developed since last year, when a competent, Harvard-educated president was elected, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. http://peacecorpsonline.typepad.com/peacecorpsonline/2007/02/forestry_and_th.html


19) KALISPELL - The timber industry is a wreck in the basket-case West African country of Liberia, and an official from the Flathead National Forest has been working to fix it. Joe Krueger, who manages appeals and litigation for the forest, has been to Liberia four times in the past two years as part of a program that is drawing on skills from the U.S. Forest Service to restore Liberia's timber industry. The story of how that industry was destroyed has all the worst elements one could imagine - civil war, child soldiers, murderous militias and one of the most infamous African dictators in history. Krueger, of Kalispell, landed in Liberia at the end of that story line, after most of the damage was complete. What he found was a country where nearly every structure is pocked with holes from rocket-propelled grenades and bullets. "There is no running water, there is no electricity in most places," Krueger said. "All of the buildings have bullet holes in them. All of them. You see the effects of war there on a daily basis," Krueger said. "There are a lot of amputees. I've seen soccer games where the players are amputees." "There is a lot of pressure on the Forest Service to get this sector back up and running," Krueger said. "People want to know, where are the logs, where is the revenue?" The old contracts have all been nullified and new ones will be issued under a system that will more closely monitor the movement of products. A "chain of custody" system is being developed to track logs from the stump all the way to their export destination. http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2007/02/14/news/state/67-timber.txt

Uganda:

21) The National Forestry Authority has implicated the RDC of Bulisa, Kato Matanda, in illegal logging in Budongo Forest Reserve. This followed the discovery of a large consignment of illegal timber in his former residence in Masindi. According to Samwiri rwabwogo, the head of the law enforcement unit of the forestry authority, over 200 illegal pieces of various species of timber were recovered at the Masindi house. Matanda denied involvement. He claims that the timber was not his. He said he had vacated the Government house in Masindi, where he used to be deputy RDC (resident district commissioner) before he was posted to Bulisa. “I don’t know who is occupying that house. It is true that I deal in timber and I had a license from the National Forestry Authority. But I have nothing to do with the impounded timber,’’ he responded. Five suspected illegal loggers were arrested at Kanyege village in Bulisa a week ago and taken to Masindi Police Station. The arrest took a dramatic turn when the suspects confessed working for the RDC of Bulisa. “They led the team to his (Matanda’s) former home, where the timber was recovered,” Rwabwogo said. He added that Government officials secretly benefit from the activities of illegal loggers and dealers. “Politicians give incentives to the illegal loggers to deplete Budongo forest reserve,” he asserted. The timber was felled from a part of the forest which should not be touched because it contains mother trees, which are also important for research. http://www.newvision.co.ug/D/8/13/550036

Malawi:

22) Malawi, which has the highest deforestation rate in Southern Africa, has roped in its army to save the trees, environmental officials said on Monday. The Natural Resources Ministry over the weekend inked a deal with the Malawi army for soldiers to be deployed to protect 16 of the country's prime forest reserves and step up reforestation. "After trying all these years to protect our forest reserves and failed, we have decided to seek the assistance of the army to provide deterrence to encroachment in forests and replant trees in some reserves," Energy Minister Henry Chimunthu Banda said at a signing ceremony held in Lilongwe. The government often admits it is fighting a losing battle to save its trees, which are hacked down for charcoal and firewood by many of its 12-million citizens who cannot afford electricity. About 50 000ha of forest are destroyed every year for charcoal production, the leading environmental group Wildlife and Environmental Society of Malawi said. The country's tobacco industry, which uses many trees for curing tobacco, the country's top export, also shares the blame for the disappearing forests. Officials quoted Defence Minister Davies Katsonga as saying: "We feel the army is better placed to protect our forests because the reserves used by the army for training purposes had all its trees still intact." Each year Malawi plants about 30-million trees, but most of them do not survive because of poor management. http://www.mg.co.za/articlepage.aspx?area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__africa/&articleid=29950
2

Ecuador:

23) The Awa are indigenous people, who live in the north-western Ecuador (in the provinces of Esmeraldas, Imbabura and Carchi, with around 3,700 people) and in south-western Colombia (Departmento de Nariño und Putumayo with around 15,000 people, currently a hotspot for coca production and violent between armed groups - reported, aerial spraying with Roundup has just commenced again). The Awa territory is threatened in both countries by logging companies and rapid land clearance for palm oil plantations. In Ecuador, the Awa have a territory of around 115,000 hectares, the last large remainder of the lowland rainforest along Ecuador’s coast (part of the Chaco biome and a biodiversity hotspot). In 2006, after 30 years of struggle, official land titles hace been granted by the government to the Awa people. In Esmeraldas, Cantón San Lorenzo alone, right up to the Awa lands, 45,000 hectares of land have been cleared by palm oil companies since 1999. The government has officially backed the palm oil producers through an presidential decree, which declared 60,000 hectares of primary and secondary forests (including a small part of the Awa territory and 6.000 ha of the protected State Forest Heritage) for agricultural use, but it will probably be an even larger area. The land and the forest used to belong to Afro-Ecuadorean villages. In Ecuador, the Afro-Ecuadoreans are classed as indigenous people and are constitutionally protected - on paper. Most of those former villagers are now landless and without income and sufficient food supply. The Awa have so far resisted loggers and palm oil plantation companies. Recently, a few land speculators have challenged the legitimate land titles of the Awa and have already had their first success. The environment ministry has just taken 17,500 hectares away from the Awa and has granted land rights to a Co-Management with Afro-Ecuadoreans. They have never lived there, and the Awa will not abandon the five villages concerned. It is likely that the conflict will end in violence. http://www.biofuelwatch.org.uk/blog/2007/02/19/awa-people-threatened-by-plywood-companies-and-p
alm-oil-industry/

Brazil:

24) In 1983 Brian Kelly and Mark London published Amazon, a comprehensive report on the plight of the largest jungle left on Planet Earth. In it they described efforts by the Brazilian government, big companies and dogged freelancers to extract as much as possible of the abundant natural resources in the region, with scant regard for ecological or human consequences.The generals then ruling the country feared that if the 2.5 million-square-mile Amazon basin remained underpopulated, Brazil might lose control of it. So the military regime lured settlers with promises of land and technical assistance. The newcomers received neither and faced an uphill struggle to survive. The deforestation to which they contributed raised worldwide alarm about potentially adverse effect on global weather patterns. Now the authors have taken a fresh look at the dilemma in The Last Forest and discover a complex world that has rendered irrelevant once-chic, well-meaning, simplistic pleas from abroad that Brazilians keep their rain forest intact in order to preserve its precious resources and protect the world's climate. Twenty million people now inhabit the vast Amazon basin, and they are not going anywhere. With the benefits of modern technology, cattle-raising and soybean cultivation in the region make vital contributions to the economy, as Brazil has become the world's leading beef exporter and trails only the United States in soybean shipments. In addition, the discovery of extensive oil and natural-gas reserves threatens to open parts of the jungle once thought to be impenetrable. Deforestation continues, some of it planned, some of it illegal, much of it senseless. The government has adopted measures to protect the environment but lacks the resources to enforce them. http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/living/16720548.htm

25) Indigenous peoples, NGOs and farmers are combining forces to save the headwaters of the Xingu River, a major tributary of the Amazon. In the last decade, deforestation along the Xingu's headwaters has doubled. The campaign aims to restore and protect the headwaters and gallery forests. Eighteen tribes, with a population of 10,000, live in this region. All depend on the rivers for fish and drinking water. The Xingu Park is home to 14 of the tribes, but the headwaters of the river lie outside the park and are therefore unprotected. Already some tributaries have dried up due to deforestation and forest fires. The Brazilian Socio-Environmental Institute (ISA), is coordinating the campaign, which is called 'Y Ikatu or 'Good water, clean water' in the language of the Kamaiurá tribe.
ISA has launched a new web site about the campaign. To get involved: http://www.yikatuxingu.org.br/home

Cambodia:

Prime Minister Hun Sen on Thursday evening blasted government officials for land grabbing or willfully ignoring those who do, and again promised to fight land theft.
In a rare admission of defeat, Hun Sen also admitted that his previous warnings against land grabbing had not been heeded. "Before, about 30,000 to 40,000 hectares of land and forest had been grabbed or burned down, but after the government appealed for a halt to this, it increased to 200,000 hectares," Hun Sen said at the closing of an environmental conference in Phnom Penh. "If we appeal time and time again and they continue these crimes...would they possibly start a coup? This must be a possibility," he added. Hun Sen has warned on several occasions of the potential threat land grabbing posed to the stability of the country, but previously his warnings were in the context of landless villagers staging a "farmer revolution." Hun Sen said the government could not afford to wait for the passage of an anti-corruption law to tackle the land-grabbing crisis, adding that penalties for such offenses were already outlined in the Land Law, Forestry Law and Fisheries Law. The prime minister added that much of the fault rested with his ministries and local officials who clamored for more authority but then never had the nerve to exercise it. Reverting to the strongman terminology he is famed for, Hun Sen let it be known that he had the power to deal with offenders, and that no officials, no matter how powerful, should consider themselves immune. "Nothing is more difficult than calling Pol Pot out of the jungle, and nobody has a metal-proof head," he said before calling on officials to report directly to him about illegal land grabbing and clearing. "We always see and hear about land encroachment…deforestation, flooded forest clearing, mangrove clearing, inappropriate house construction and sand production that damage the environment," Hun Sen said. "It seems very difficult to believe that the local authorities do not know the things that have happened in their own territories." http://ki-media.blogspot.com/2007/02/land-grabbers-hun-sen-needs-look-no.html

Malaysia:

27) Malaysian forestry firm Samling Global Ltd plans to raise as much as US$280 million (RM978.08 million) in a Hong Kong offering this month, according to a preliminary share sale document. The Hong Kong retail portion of the offering will start on Feb 23, while bookbuilding for the share sale, arranged by Credit Sussie, HSBC and Macquarie, will close on Feb 28. China, the world's largest tropical logs importer, imported 7.3 million cubic metres of logs in 2005, mostly from Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Gabon, Myanmar and Congo. India, the world's No 2 importer of tropical log, imported three million cubic metres of logs in 2004, with most coming from Malaysia, Myanmar and Africa. Yet inadequate supply has been affecting consumption. Japan, for example, is shifting from tropical hardwood to Russian softwood due to the shrinking supply of tropical logs. With limited supply and increasing demand, log prices have more than doubled in the last five years, and climbed more than 23% in the first 11 months of 2006, according to ITTO. Samling's average selling price for exported hardwood logs increased 19% in the June-September quarter of 2006 and its prices for plywood exports jumped 24% in the same period. http://www.theedgedaily.com/cms/content.jsp?id=com.tms.cms.article.Article_b5092fcf-cb73c03a-17
4a6e20-496aed9b

28) I’ve always thought that the Great Malaysian Mega Sale Mentality is what really drives this country. Why else would the traffic police offer lelong-style discounts on traffic summons? It’s tough to get people to contribute an hour of their time to, say, a Save the Forests or a Stop Domestic Violence campaign. But, oh, see how loads of people endure long, boring corporate AGMs just to get a free boxed lunch and how the crowds brave the hot sun and double-double parking to attend politicians’ “open houses” and grab a few sticks of free satay. Then there’s the recycling campaign. So noble, yes? But, if we’re honest, what really drives recycling is the fact that people can get RM2 for each kilo of old newspapers. In a perfect world, we would only need to appeal to people’s sense of duty and love for society. But, being flawed humans, we need those little extra incentives to get us going. Sometimes I wish that larger national goals could be re-packaged into offers of discounts, vouchers, prizes, free upgrades and BonusLink points. http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2007/2/18/lifefocus/16901103&sec=lifefocus

Philippines:

29) Efficient water management starts with the protection of the sources of water supply. There are 125 watershed forest reserves in the country covering an area of 1.499 million hectares (2004 Philippine Forestry Statistics, DENR). The government cites that there was an increase of 10.94 percent forest cover from 1988 (2004 Philippine Forestry Statistics), yet a large part of the reforestation effort was covered by industrial forest plantations, which are in effect production forests, thus the trees planted will also be felled. (2004 Philippine Forestry Statistics). Reforestation projects prioritize the use of exotic tree species such as Gmelina, Acacia, Mahogany, Eucalyptus and Falcatta. They are preferred because they can be harvested in 7-8 years, compared to indigenous dipterocarp species like tanguile, apitong, lauan and yakal which take 20-25 years before they can yield harvestable commercial value. Exotic trees however consume massive water needed for their fast growth. Fruit trees planted near them hardly survive because the exotic trees have high allelopatic properties (i.e. they secrete chemicals that inhibit other plants to grow). Community members attest in Barangay Kinabuhayan in Mount Banahaw for example, a few mahogany trees planted near a creek has dried up the entire creek, an unthinkable event, the residents say since Mount Banahaw overflows with so many water tributaries for as long as they remember. http://www.manilatimes.net/national/2007/feb/17/yehey/opinion/20070217opi5.html

Indonesia:

30) Landslides are a common occurrence in Indonesia during the monsoon season, which is at its peak in February. Years of deforestation have contributed to the problem, leaving little vegetation to keep the mud in place. In January at least 16 people died in on the remote Indonesian island of Sangihe when more than 60 homes were either swept way or buried in mud. More recently at least nine people have been killed in landslides on the Indonesian island of Java, officials say. Several other people are also missing after the slides, which were triggered by heavy rain. In the worst incident, the side of a hill collapsed on Sunday after heavy rain in the Magelang district, burying a group of people working nearby. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6376043.stm

31) The students from the University of Hull who are here on a field trip, duck to avoid webs, and complain that slogging through the jungle is worse than a dozen sessions in the gym. Sulawesi is one of the Indonesian islands visited in the mid-19th century by the hugely energetic naturalist, anthropologist and biologist Alfred Russel Wallace, who studied nature, collected thousands of specimens and eventually wrote an entertaining classic, The Malay Archipelago. His observations of the marked zoological differences across a narrow zone in the archipelago led to his hypothesis of the zoogeographical boundary now known as Wallace's line, a deep water channel running between Bali and Lombok and north between Sulawesi and Borneo. Islands to the west formed a separate biological zone linked to Asia, those to the east, Australia. Sulawesi is in the transitional zone where strange creatures turn up like the cus-cus, a sloth-like marsupial and the anoa, a dwarf buffalo which has been the object of research by the University of Hull's Dr Phil Wheeler for the past four years. The students soon get a chance to see the cus-cus: a small heavy creature, fond of kapoc. One is spotted on one of the first days of the trip, silhouetted against the evening sky in the uppermost branches of a tree. Closer inspection through binoculars reveals round eyes and a dopey expression. But the anoa – Dr Wheeler estimates there are just 3,000 left – is more elusive. Dr Wheeler, a lecturer in Environmental Science at the university, first started looking for the anoa the hard way, travelling to Indonesia for three-month stretches, trekking up and down paths or "transects" marked out in the Lambusango forest of Buton, a small island off South-East Sulawesi. They happen to be an object of fear for locals because of their sharp-pointed horns, and have a sinister reputation as "ghostriders" (the spirits are supposed to hang onto their sharp horns as they go charging through the forest). In fact, they tend to steer clear of humans, who have hunted them down for their bushmeat, almost to the point of extinction. Unsurprisingly, it's extremely difficult to carry out successful field research on such a creature. http://www.yorkshiretoday.co.uk/ViewArticle2.aspx?SectionID=105&ArticleID=1971409

Kalimantan:

32) As you move in under the canopy of trees, clouds of butterflies dart into the path, and the sounds of insects cluster in the air. But this is no virgin forest. This is a 10-year-old project to rehabilitate an area destroyed by logging. Pak Alim is one of those involved. This project is important, he said, because it is perhaps the only research site in Central Kalimantan where the conditions of the rainforest have been reproduced. This is a peat forest - built on metres of thick, high carbon soil. Peat is important because of its ability to process greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and methane. Pak Alim's favourite name for them is "the lungs of the world". But those lungs are shrinking. According to the conservation organisation Wetlands International, 48% of the country's peatland forest has been deforested, and most of the rest degraded by illegal logging. And that has caused some major problems. Marcel Silvius, a senior programme manager for Wetlands International, believes we are looking at one of the biggest environmental disasters of our age. "From the drainage of its peatlands alone," he told me, "Indonesia is producing 632 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. "But from its annual forest fires, it produces another 1,400 million tonnes. That's a total of 2,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year. The Netherlands emits 80 million." Indonesia's annual forest fires are a major problem, and have been increasing over recent years. Sometimes they are caused by companies wanting a fast, cheap way of clearing the land for planting. Sometimes, though, it is local villagers, eking out a living from small patches of land hewn out of the forest. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/6354079.stm

New Zealand:

33) “Mr Parker needs to ask himself what would happen if forest owners exercised their legal right to take chainsaws or matches to their trees right now,” Mr Dickie said. Asked to explain the remark, Mr Dickie told Newsroom: “What we’re really saying is to prove it’s a property right we can do what we like with our trees; we own the trees and we therefore own the credits they’re developing. “To say they [the credits] belong to the Government is absolute poppycock . . . and proof of that is if we remove all our trees, they don’t have any credits.” The association knew of people who were already taking action by bulldozing their trees, he said, and he challenged the Government to make public the updated figures on deforestation. http://www.newswire.co.nz/main/viewstory.aspx?storyid=358401&catid=3008

34) Mr Dickie said that last year the New Zealand Forest Owners Association (NZFOA), the New Zealand Farm Forestry Association (NZFFA), the Federation of Maori Authorities (FOMA) and KFA united around a six-point plan to get forest planting underway again. In the last fortnight, that plan has again been unanimously endorsed by forest owners at NZFOA meetings Christchurch and Rotorua. Forest owners also resolved to reject and campaign against the Government’s confiscation plans. “Mr Parker’s Government has a serious problem because unless it is prepared to start listening to the united voice of the forestry industry – the one industry actually capable of sequestering carbon – it will face unrelenting criticism and condemnation through to the next election.” Mr Dickie said that Mr Parker’s assertions that forest owners have no ownership right to carbon credits for forests planted since 1990 was at odds with assurances given by government officials through the 1990s and advice from the Treasury. “Forest owners both created the credits – by investing their own money through the 1990s – and control whether or not those credits continue to exist. That is the essence of a property right and Mr Parker saying otherwise will not change that fact. The New Zealand Forestry Industry’s Six-Point Plan: 1) Remove the inequitable, retrospective ‘deforestation cap’. 2) Allow land owners with Kyoto-qualifying forests (forests planted from 1990) – as well as those replanting non-Kyoto forests after harvest – to financially benefit from the value of the carbon their forests remove from the atmosphere. 3) Introduce broad-based carbon charges, ensuring that all emitters of greenhouse gases face the same opportunity costs. 4) Ensure that New Zealand’s Kyoto policies have the best long-term outcomes for New Zealand, even if they don’t exactly mirror current Kyoto rules. 5) Develop a regime which puts a value on the environmental attributes of forestry, thereby encouraging investment in the sector. 6) Act immediately. http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0702/S00154.htm

Australia:

35) Logging in Tasmania's southwest stopped today when an environmentalist chained himself to a tree-harvesting machine for seven hours. The man was arrested in the Weld Valley after police and the State Emergency Service used heavy metal cutting equipment to free him. The Huon Valley Environment Centre (HVEC) says the activity will continue and is calling of the Federal Government to impose fines of $5 million for logging in an endangered species habitat. "The wilderness quality forest is being logged at an alarming rate in the lower Weld Valley," HVEC spokesperson Jenny Webber said. "In this day and age of increased awareness about climate change, the government needs to be doing everything it can to alleviate the impacts of climate change and protecting old growth forests is an answer. "The Huon Valley Environment Centre and unhappy community members will continue to highlight the destruction of the Lower Weld Valley with non-violent protests." Officer in charge of the Kingston Police Division, Inspector Mark Mewis, warned that any illegal activity would be dealt with. http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21250862-1702,00.html

36) Forestry Tasmania failed yesterday in an unprecendented 11th-hour legal bid to stop a protest march going ahead in the Weld Valley tomorrow. At 8am yesterday, three of the protest organisers were served with writs from Forestry Tasmania at their Huonville homes. Forestry Tasmania was seeking an injunction to stop the Huon Valley Environment Centre and six of its members from emailing, texting, handing out pamphlets or posting information on the internet about tomorrow's planned "walk-in" rally into the out-of-bounds Weld Valley. It would also have prevented the centre from allowing protesters to sleep at its Huonville headquarters or at any of its named office-bearers' homes. "It was a shock to get that delivered to your doorstep," said HVEC treasurer and spokeswoman Jenny Weber. "I felt scared and overwhelmed that Forestry Tasmania was prepared to go so far as to engage individuals trying to stop logging in the Weld in court proceedings." But by 4pm, the drama had all been played out in Hobart's Supreme Court. In an embarrassing bungle for Forestry Tasmania, the government business was forced to withdraw its application for an immediate injunction. The backdown came after nearly two hours of legal debate, after Tasmania's Chief Justice Peter Underwood ruled the key evidence on which Forestry Tasmania was basing its injunction claim was inadmissible. http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21240116-5007221,00.html

37) Searing heat and the threat of arrest didn't stop about 50 activists walking into the Weld Valley exclusion zone yesterday. Fresh from escaping a trespass conviction on Friday, Huon Valley Environment Centre spokesman Adam Burling advised the group of their legal rights before they set off. "Each person has to be told individually that it is an exclusion zone," he said. He said it was up to the individual whether they chose to cross the line and risk being arrested. A convoy of about 20 cars followed Mr Burling's beat-up station wagon through the dusty back roads of the Huon to be greeted with a boom gate at the start of the exclusion zone. Forestry Tasmania senior supervisor Terry Ware was manning the gate in expectation of the protesters. He told the group to "take care in there" as they passed the gate. Attempts were made to keep the hot and sweaty protesters together on the 1km stretch up the logging road to the quarry, where four police officers were waiting. The group then assembled and started chants of "Not for sale -- our Weld" before walking towards the police. Sgt Chris Ellisson asked the crowd to stop so he could issue an order to leave or face prosecution. He was momentarily caught up in one of the banners during his announcement. The 10km walk-in to the newest logging coupe is yet another tactic in the battle to halt logging in the Weld Valley forests. An exclusion zone blocking off the Weld Valley has done little to curb the efforts of environmentalists to protect the area. About 25 protesters have been arrested in the exclusion zone while clashes between contractors and environmentalists are frequent. http://www.news.com.au/mercury/story/0,22884,21247773-5007221,00.html

World-wide:

38) The Theory of Island Biogeography of 1963, is a slim, green volume containing formidable equations and only the sparsest. of prose. There is one simple conclusion – that the number of species they found on a given island varied predictably with the size of that island: tiny islands have some, larger ones lots more and really big ones only a few more than that. There would, as the theory goes, be no difference between a continent-sized island and country-sized island in terms of species richness. This effect can be demonstrated experimentally – in Brazil, patches of rainforest earmarked for clearance were bought up and divided into squares of different size, from just a few hectares up to a few hundred. The biodiversity within them was measured, the land around them cleared, and then they were left to evolve. The results were astonishing – small plots degraded within months, the formerly lush rainforest drying out and becoming open grassland with only a fraction of its former diversity. The larger fragments were much less strongly affected, maintaining their species numbers in the manner predicted in the 1963 work. http://www.varsity.co.uk/features/142/2/

Tropical Forests:

39) One square mile is equivalent to 250 hectares. So using these figures, in just two countries, deforestation for biofuel will result in the loss of at least 100,000 square miles of rainforest. Along the West African coast and in the Congo basin, similar rates of deforestation are occuring in a mad rush to grow Cassava and Oil Palm. In Brazil, deforestation for sugar cane continues to accelerate. According to a study entitled “Biodiversity and Conservation” published by Peter J. Bryant, a professor at U.C. Irvine, by 1979, tropical rainforests had shrunk from 6.2 million square miles to 3.6 million square miles. And about that time, beginning in the Amazon, deforestation for production of biofuel began to compete with deforestation for purposes of logging and ranching. Today, tropical rainforests are reduced to 2.5 million square miles, and thanks to the biofuel bonanza, there is no end in sight. In terms of its impact on both the local and global environments, palm biodiesel is more destructive than crude oil from Nigeria.” It is well and good to consider biofuel farmed from algae grown in ponds in the desert, or within enclosed “bioreactors,” or, perhaps, from cellusosic fibers found in agricultural waste. But none of these methods are yet financially viable, or even technically feasible. Meanwhile, the burning season has begun again, this time fueled by biofuel mania, with results that spell tragedy not only for the biota in these precious places, but also in terms of intensified droughts and less CO2 uptake. As we have argued before and will again, tropical deforestation may have more to do with whatever global warming we may be experiencing than burning of fossil fuel. http://www.ecoworld.com/blog/2007/02/12/biofuel-is-not-carbon-neutral/

40) This animation about trees, in the form of a colorful storybook, covers the various functions of trees including purpose and life cycle. Beginning with simple concepts and progressing to the more complex, this site would provide a great foundation for younger students or English Language Learners.
http://www.msnucleus.org/membership/storybooks/tree.html