In this issue:
--Washington: 1) 90 acres saved in Lily point, 2) Wild sky signed, 3) Madrone trees,
--Oregon: 4) 10’s of millions of bd. ft. sold and no enviros stopping them, 5) Logger falls in love with Sasquatch, 6) Biscuit logging was a waste of time, money, and ecology, 7) Enviros sue Elliot State Forest over spotted owl protections, 8) State wants more control of federal land logging, 9) More old growth logging plans in McKenzie river watershed,
--California: 10) Maxxam has left the building, 11) Selling carbon credits that aren’t yet worth anything, 12) Ancient tree felled as part of fire mop up, 13) Latter-day saints to destroy their own forest,
--Idaho: 14) Feds change roadless plan but Bush is likely to ignore changes
--Montana: 15) Mountain Bark Beetles kill 2 million in 2006
--Colorado: 16) Wild Connections sponsors "Roadless Roadshow"
--Illinois: 17) Tree-climbing competition, 18) Road widening to destroy 900 trees,
--Pennsylvania: 19) Allegheny NF uses incongruent policies for oil & gas approvals
--USA: 20) Rewriting species protection behind closed doors, 21) Senate & House bills, 22) Roadless Area Conservation Act,
--UK: 23) Logging too many in Hampshire woodland, 24) Prince’s new rainforest website, 25) Woodland actions for biodiversity and water, 26) No wind farms on forestland, 27) Offwell Woodland Education Centre, 28) Toxic forestland closed,
--Spain: 29) Animal dispersed tree seeds survive better than wind dispersed seeds
--Ethiopia: 30) Three Trees in the Third Millennium
--Uganda: 31) 88 year-old man can’t stop planting trees, 32) War-caused regeneration
--Tanzania: 33) Carbon funds for forests
--Ghana: 34) Industry wants pooling of resources to be competitive, 35) Forest Watch, --Congo: 35) Plans to designate between 13 and 15 million hectares of preserves
--Palestine: 36) Israel’s wall for genocide kills another 440 ancient olive trees
--Pakistan: 37) Gov plans 1% increase in forests, 38) Deforestation history,
--Afghanistan: 39) Illegal timber industry is threatening the future
1) A push by residents on both sides of the border has netted success. The Whatcom Land Trust was successful in its efforts to raise enough money to purchase 90 acres of undeveloped marine shoreline and 40 acres of tideland in the Lily Point area of Point Roberts. The effort to purchase the privately-owned parcel was picked up by South Deltans and other Lower Mainland residents who regularly visit the area.The Land Conservancy in B.C. also stepped up to help the trust raise the $3.5 million needed to seal the deal. Lily Point sits at the intersection of Boundary Bay and Georgia Strait, in the southeast corner of Point Roberts.The area boasts a dynamic assembly of ecological features: It has reefs and tidelands swept by nutrient-filled currents, riparian forests providing shade, perches and insects to the coastal environment, and eroding cliffs supplying sand and gravel for spawning forage fish and beach replenishment. The area is said to be a crucial part of the Boundary Bay ecosystem. The Whatcom Land Trust is planning on turning Lily Point into public parkland and a protected ecological site. To celebrate the purchase, the trust has planned an event today to dedicate the new Point Roberts park. http://www.whatcomlandtrust.org
2) On May 8, 2008, President Bush signed S. 2739, a package of Wilderness and land management bills. Included in this package was the Wild Sky Wilderness bill, which designates 106,000 acres of mature and old-growth forest in Washington State as Wilderness. The designation of the Wild Sky Wilderness area in Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest follows eight years of efforts to grant it protection as Wilderness, the highest level of protection given public lands. The Wild Sky Wilderness Act passed unanimously in the Senate during the past three Congresses and was passed by the House of Representatives on April 17, 2007. This beautiful forest includes trees that stand more than 200 feet tall and are more than 300 years old. These old-growth stands include habitat for many endangered and sensitive species. http://www.americanlands.org and click on Eye on Congress.
3) For more than 10 years, though, the madrones in our Washington State neighborhoods have been suffering from a host of maladies. Some are fungal in nature and others involve root rots called phytophthoras. Canker can also attack the tree. More than 21 fungi have been identified as using madrone as their host plant. Some researches say there are more than 39 fungi that invade madrone. Arbutus menziesii can grow 50 to 100 feet in the wild and in our developed gardens will grow to at least 20 to 50 feet. The trees lean out on the edge of forests, hold banks together and love sun. They’re native to California, Oregon and British Columbia. Flowers appear in March through May, depending on the region. Berries follow next and each year the tree sheds — first the flowers, then the berries and what seems like hundreds of leaves. Their growing region is from shorelines up to as high as 5,000 feet above sea level. Over the past several years we’ve received quite a few calls from local gardeners about the madrones in their gardens encountering problems. Several articles have been written citing property development as one of the causes. Madrones do not like to have their roots and soil structure disturbed. Marianne Elliot from University of Washington College of Forest Resources has studied madrones extensively and has quantified and examined the diseases, fungi and cankers that attack madrones. The fungi that is the most noticeable is exhibited by spots on the leaves, which over time completely cover much of the foliage, turning it a charcoal black. Some trees die from this condition. Others will lose limbs to it, yet survive. The best way to handle this condition is to rake up and dispose of the foliage on the ground. Prune off the dead branches. If the madrone dies completely, cut it down. It will often resprout sending up new shoots from the base of the stump. The new growth often escapes the fungal disease for many years until the tree begins to mature again into a towering height. New seedlings often escape the fungi too. If you’re fortunate enough to have a healthy Arbutus menziesii in your garden or neighborhood enjoy it as long as you can. Remember too, that many species will change over time to overcome the diseases that are affecting their predecessors. Let’s all hope for the best for our native madrones. http://www.pnwlocalnews.com/kitsap/n
4) The Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, for instance, has sold tens of millions of board-feet of timber during the past several years without a single lawyer stepping into a courtroom. The main reason for this lack of litigation is that, 15 years ago, national forests in Eastern Oregon stopped cutting live trees larger than 21 inches in diameter — the practice that spurred dozens of appeals and lawsuits during the 1980s and early 1990s. Since then, most trees cut on public lands in this part of Oregon have been smaller, younger ones rather than the old-growth ponderosa pines that were felled in their thousands during the previous few decades. Although environmental groups routinely object, in their written comments, to aspects of these "commercial thinning" projects, they haven't often filed lawsuits to stop the work. Environmentalists have on occasion even complimented Forest Service officials for designing logging jobs that will help the remaining trees reach old-growth status faster than if logging didn't happen. The Grant County deal is significant, though, because it involves cutting trees burned in a wildfire. These fire salvage timber sales are nearly as unpopular with many environmentalists as old-growth logging is. Salvage sales have precipitation several appeals and lawsuits since 1990. The settlement in Grant County, by contrast, proves that it's possible for two camps with dramatically different goals can agree that it's possible to not only selectively log scorched forests without exacerbating the damage the flames caused, but that such careful cutting can hasten a forest's recovery and — not incidentally — benefit local economies. That breakthrough was made years ago on so-called "green" timber sales — ones in unburned forests. We hope the Grant County agreement is a similar step ahead for burned forests. http://www.bakercityherald.com/news/sto
5) Things are not going well for logger Russ T. Sawyer: His wife left him for an environmentalist, he's unemployed and now attracted to a new female acquaintance. In Pentacle Theatre's new production, that female is "Betty the Yeti," in Jon Klein's "eco-fable." A mix of satire and realism, set in an old growth forest on the banks of the Santiam River, the play puts Sawyer (Ed Schoaps) into a dilemma: Protect nature (and Betty, a female sasquatch) or the lives of those who depend on the harvesting of lumber. "They call it an eco-fable, but it is a comedy," director Larry Roach said. "Throughout the rehearsal, I've been learning about the logging industry and environmentalism. "Good points are made on both sides, and there are silly things on both sides." Sawyer's dilemma, in a sense, is the audience's dilemma, as we also encounter the issues of coho salmon, the spotted owl and the marbled murrelet. "I really like the show that puts the audience on the horns of a dilemma," said cast member Erika Zuelke. The character names give a hint of the play's sense of humor. In addition to Betty, played by Betty Ann Prior in a hair suit, there is Sawyer's ex-wife, Terra (Zuelke), an activist now engaged to uptight and ecologically and politically correct Trey Hugger (Rob Sim). Kimm Nguyen is Iko, a ranger with the Forest Service, and Debbie Neel plays Clare Kutz, a logging contractor. There are varying levels of characterizations, some verging on stereotypes. http://www.statesmanjournal.com/apps/pb
6) A new report released today by scientists, former Forest Service employees, and conservation groups indicates that logging within the Biscuit fire area of southwest Oregon is costing the public both ecologically and economically. According to the report, the Forest Service has lost approximately $14 million in sale preparation and administration costs on the Biscuit fire area. Biscuit timber sold for about 70 percent less than the agency projected in its planning documents due primarily to low bid values received and driven by expensive helicopter logging operations. The study team found extensive damage to the area's regenerating forest, especially in the Fiddler Late-Successional Reserve (previously set aside for old-growth values), due to excessive logging. Of special concern was the loss of larger trees in logged stands, as these trees are the building blocks for future forests and are critical to fish and wildlife species. The cumulative effects of yarding, hauling, and fuels treatment on wildlife habitat, soils, and water quality will likely persist for decades. According to one of the report's authors, Dr. Dominick A. DellaSala, a forest ecologist with the World Wildlife Fund, "this report demonstrates that the ecological and economic science behind post-fire logging is shaky at best." "The public needs to know that post-fire logging is a lose-lose proposition; the taxpayer loses by footing the bill and the environment loses by damaged soils and degraded fish and wildlife habitat," said DellaSala. The report demonstrates that at least for the Biscuit logging project, expediting logging would not have made a difference in dollars and cents because the Forest Service was limited by expensive helicopter logging operations conducted in steep terrain with difficult access." http://www.worldwildlife.org/who/me
7) Environmentalists are prepared to go to court over logging in an Oregon state forest and its impact on the northern spotted owl. Three groups say they filed notice Tuesday. They say the federal government should reconsider permission it gave in 1995 for logging in the spotted owl's habitat within the Elliott State Forest northeast of Coos Bay. Since then, they argue, the barred owl has begun showing up in spotted owl territory in the state forest. The spotted owl prefers old-growth forest and is protected as an endangered species. But the barred owl has begun crowding it out. Proceeds from the logging go to Oregon schools. An official of one group, Noah Greenwald, says the state could use thinning operations instead of old-growth logging to keep school revenue intact. “The Elliott could be managed to balance preservation of old forests and protection of the spotted owl with the need to provide funds for Oregon’s schools,” said Josh Laughlin, conservation director of Cascadia Wildlands Project. “The current management of the Elliott, however, does not achieve this balance.” http://www.oregonlive.com/newsflash/ind
al & http://www.cascwild.org
8) Of the 30 million acres of forestland in the state, roughly 60 percent are owned by the federal government and are basically out of the Oregon government's jurisdiction. These forests nonetheless have a direct effect on Oregon's economy and environment. Not surprisingly, the state would like to have a say in how they're managed. Under current conditions, federal forests in the state are facing threats from both the environmental and economic perspective, according to a preliminary report from an advisory committee to the Oregon Board of Forestry. "Problems like uncharacteristic wildfire, modified hydrologic regimes, climate change and insect epidemics may result in the loss of key ecological components," according to the Federal Forestland Advisory Committee's report outline. At the same time, insufficient timber harvests have also "resulted in diminished forest industry infrastructure with unintended economic and social losses to rural communities," according to the outline. The committee presented its conclusions to the Oregon Board of Forestry at a joint meeting June 3. For these reasons, the committee is advising the state to develop a "bottom up" program that would speed up harvest projects on federal land by smoothing out controversies and coming up with a plan before "top down" management decisions are made. The program's "facilitators" would essentially work with various groups and government agencies to avoid the legal disputes that often arise when large-scale harvest projects are planned. Large projects are needed to curb the overstocked forests and inadequate timber supply that have been the result of small-scale oriented management, said Ralph Bloemers, committee member and attorney for the Crag Law Center, a natural resources advocacy group. "You can't do it postage stamp by postage stamp," he said. The committee plans to have the full report complete by January 2009, but that may not leave enough time to draw up a funding request for the facilitation program before the Oregon legislature meets next year. For that reason, members are mulling the possibility of crafting legislation before the report is complete. http://www.capitalpress.info/main.asp?S
9) Willamette National Forest: On the chopping block right now is "Two Bee" (with some logging planned only yards from the world-famous McKenzie River Trail), the "Trapper" logging sale (spotted owl haven), the deceptive "Bridge Thin," and something the Forest Service is calling "Big Blue" (more on this at a later date...). On Saturday, June 7 join Native Forest Council and Cascadia's Ecosystem Advocates for a hike through a unit of the proposed "Trapper" logging sale at Wolf Rock (the largest rock monolith in Oregon!) and a unit of the already-logged "Blue River Face" -- to see what could happen to "Trapper" without public resistance. Please bring water, lunch, raingear and boots. RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-302-0159.
10) After 23 long years of fighting Maxxam's destructive policies in Humboldt, we can finally wave goodbye to Charles Hurwitz. The opportunity is ripe this summer to rekindle a movement in Humboldt to protect our natural legacy. http://www.wildcalifornia.org U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Richard Schmidt announced his decision to confirm Mendocino Redwood's reorganization plan for the more than 140-year old timber company to attorneys in his Corpus Christi, Texas courtroom today. He also said he would not confirm a plan by bondholders to auction off the timberlands that secure their $714 million debt. "The credible and persuasive evidence at the confirmation hearing establishes that the reorganized entities are reasonably expected to be stable, creditworthy, able to pay their debts as they mature, able to comply with all non-bankruptcy environmental laws with regard to the regulatory approvals of ownership and operation, and assume all environmental obligations," Schmidt wrote in his ruling.
The judge did require some changes to the Mendocino plan filed jointly with Palco creditor Marathon Structured Finance Fund. Among them, Schmidt told attorneys that he wanted Mendocino to leave Palco's litigation against the state over the Headwaters Forest deal with the bondholders. Mendocino Redwood Chairman Sandy Dean said lawyers were going through the judge's 119-page ruling to make sure they understand the changes. "We're very pleased that the judge ruled in favor of our plan," Dean said. In ruling against the bond holders' plan, Schmidt said it was infeasible, and laden with conflicts of interest between the largest noteholder - billionaire investor Andy Beal's Beal Bank - and the other noteholders. He also said the plan doesn't provide enough certainty, or whether regulatory approval could be attained by the potential future buyer. http://www.times-standard.com/stat
11) The Pacific Forest Trust and BeGreen Carbon Offsets, the carbon offset division of Green Mountain Energy Company, are pleased to announce that as of today, individuals everywhere can purchase verified emissions reductions (VERs) sourced exclusively from the Van Eck Forest Project. Van Eck is the first emissions reductions project registered and independently verified under the California Forest Protocols - the rigorous accounting standards adopted by the California Air Resources Board to help meet the state's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction goals. Through BeGreen's website (www.begreennow.com) consumers can calculate their household's carbon footprint and offset their emissions with the purchase of Van Eck VERs."BeGreen takes pride in offering consumers and businesses this easy option for reducing their carbon footprintsby purchasing verified emissions reductions that meet the most stringent standards in the market today," says Gillan Taddune, chief environmental officer of Green Mountain Energy Company. "The Van Eck Forest Project will not only help protect our planet from harmful carbon emissions, but also preserve this magnificent forestland for future generations." The 2,200-acre Van Eck Forest in Humboldt County, Calif., is a working redwood forest owned by the Fred M.Van Eck Forest Foundation and managed by the Pacific Forest Trust to permanently reduce more than 500,000 metric tons of C02 emissions over a 100-year period. "This is a wonderful partnership for us," says Connie Best, managing director of the Pacific Forest Trust. "We've been contacted by so many people who have worked hard to reduce their carbon footprint and want to offset what remains with Van Eck Forest emissions reductions. They have a lot of confidence in these offsets because of the stringent rules used to produce and verify them. The Forest Protocols govern certification of the Van Eck Forest Project to ensure that these reductions have real and lasting climate benefits." http://www.emediawire.com/releases/2
12) As part of their mop up operations, CAL FIRE is felling ‘hazard’ trees. According to Rich Sampson, CAL FIRE RPF heading the Felton Resource Management office and heavily involved in the Summit Fire response, burned trees that could fall on public roads and houses are being cut and left in place. Trees that were still on fire (several days ago) were also being cut down. Most ‘hazard trees’ were knob cone pines with some madrone and oak thrown in for good measure. The majority of the severely burned and cut trees I saw alongside Eureka Canyon Road and Ormsby Trail were small diameter. However, one old growth (estimated to be 175 years) Douglas fir with a fire scar (new?) was felled and left as large downed wood along Eureka Canyon. What a shame. This live tree was sited on the upslope side of the public road, but if I had to put money on it, I would argue that it would have stood for a very long time to come. And helped stabilize the road bank as well by drinking a goodly amount of water. Jodi Frediani - Chair, Forestry Task Force Santa Cruz Group Ventana Chapter, Sierra Club JodiFredi@aol.com
13) The Latter-day Saints have resubmitted their Timber Harvest Plan (THP) Land Bountiful, under the guidance of RPF, James Hildreth. The plan previously submitted by Roy Webster was returned. The 222 acre THP is adjacent to Big Basin State Park and situated in the headwaters of Scott Creek. The plan has two age classes of trees: 100 years old and 16 years old. The plan will be tractor and cable yarded with ground based equipment operations on unstable soils or slide areas, slopes over 65% and slopes over 50% with high or extreme Erosion Hazard Rating. The plan proposes winter operations, including timber falling within WLPZs and ELZs of Class II and III watercourses. The plan proposes 18 watercourse crossings. Did I mention that Scott Creek is a coho stream? The plan proposes hauling 6-8 loads of logs per day for 6-8 weeks, using Empire Grade to Hwy 1 and Highway 236 to Mt. Herman to Hwy 17. That is a maximum of about 320 loaded log trucks with over 600 log truck trips total. ftp://thp.fire.ca.gov/THPLibrary/North_C
Jodi Frediani - Chair, Forestry Task Force Santa Cruz Group Ventana Chapter, Sierra Club JodiFredi@aol.com
14) KETCHUM — An official with an environmental group that was one of 50 organizations to attack Idaho's proposed roadless plan in March says recent changes made to the plan by a federal advisory committee are an improvement but will mean little because they will likely be ignored by the Bush administration. "I think the administration will ignore any recommendations from the advisory group and go ahead with their mission to hand over the keys of millions of acres of national forests," said Paul Spitler, public lands director for the Tucson, Ariz.-based Center for Biological Diversity. The federal Roadless Area Conservation National Advisory Committee, in a May 30 letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Edward Schafer, suggested moving 200,000 acres in Idaho out of the general forest category and into the more protective "backcountry restoration" category. "Management flexibility for protecting communities from fire is important," the committee wrote. But environmental groups say backcountry restoration is a catchall term that could allow logging and other uses because it allows temporary road building to protect public health and safety "in cases of significant risk or imminent threat of flood, fire or other catastrophic event." http://www.fortmilltimes.com/124/s
15) Foresters say that Mountain Bark Beetles have killed more than two million tress, spread over hundreds of thousands of timberland acreage, in 2006. During a Thursday meeting at the University of Montana, researchers warned that the problem is only going to get worse if changes aren't made. There's almost 10 million acres of federal, state and privately owned timberland actively harvested in Montana, but how to protect it from the bark beetle is the question. "With climate change the bark beetle has become an aggressive predator on Montana's timber resources," said Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. "We believe that through history, the pine beetle ebbs and flows, and unfortunately we are in a position where they are flowing." Diana Six is a Professor of Forest Entomology and Pathology at the University of Montana in Missoul who's worked on the beetle problem for nearly two decades. "When I bring up that I work on bark beetles everybody's like, 'Oh yeah I know about those guys,' but I just think people want more information about how to manage them." Six says years ago, bark beetles would emerge in mid-July and fly for two to three weeks, so they would time when the trees were attacked. But now, Six says it's not one peak season with the beetles surviving several months and even into winter. Millions of trees are dying in Montana and Governor Brian Schweitzer says there are two choices, either let the land burn and threaten communities, or harvest the trees and restoring health forests and creating jobs. http://www.montanasnewsstation.com/Glob
16) In June, Wild Connections is sponsoring a "Roadless Roadshow" in seven Colorado communities. The Roadshow includes a free, public slideshow presentation on the Roadless Areas of Pike-San Isabel National Forest in Colorado. The presentation will discuss ecological values of Roadless areas, explain current management of these areas, and provide trails and hiking information. For dates and more information, go to http://www.wildconnections.org.
17) When the first such competition started in 1976, bragging rights were part of the motivation, though organizers agreed it might be nice to encourage arborists to learn to save injured co-workers stuck in trees. Sponsors suspended the competition in 1987 when no one would insure it. When the contest resumed in 1989, it included a new safety waiver and required competitors to use rock-climbing techniques, like roping themselves to trees. Europeans arrived in 1994 with alpine climbing influences and more efficient climbing tools. Twenty years ago, climbers were supposed to untie and retie six knots each time they moved to a new spot in a big tree, said Eduardo Medina, safety instructor for Davey Tree Co. Naturally, they didn't and, naturally, they fell out of trees a lot. Now they can clip and unclip a mountaineering carabiner instead. By 2000, recreational tree climbing had taken off as a subculture in the rock-climbing world, and thrill-seekers boasted about bagging California sequoias in terms formerly reserved for Himalayan peaks. "It's a profession that's become a sport," said Brian King, a Peoria arborist who is also competing Saturday. "There's a lot of people doing it." Greg Manning, 59, a retired Ohio chemist, took up serious tree-climbing only a few years ago. On Friday, he stood wearing a plastic helmet beneath a towering white oak at the Morton Arboretum, helping climbers in its branches set up an aerial obstacle course. The Illinois Arborist Association's Tree-Climbing Championship includes five events that mimic rope work used by modern arborists: rope-throwing into branches for accuracy, roped speed climb up a trunk, speed climb up a hanging rope, aerial rescue and the obstacle course called the "work climb." On Friday, judges fixed ropes and climbing tackle and tested the routes––tricky in 25 m.p.h. winds that sent branches swaying 5 feet in both directions. It will be a fast course because white oaks have knobby bark with good footing, said competition chairman Norm Hall. It takes confidence to let go of one branch and swing on a rope for another one 10 feet away and 3 feet down when both branches are at least 40 feet high. The best make it look easy. Less adept climbers make it look horrifying. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nati
18) The Cook County Highway Department could seek money to widen a road through the oldest Cook County forest preserve by cutting down 900 trees, under a measure approved this week. The Forest Preserve District Board approved a resolution to allow the Highway Department to seek $3.5 million in federal grants to widen Quentin Road through the Deer Grove Forest Preserve, said Cook County Commissioner Gregg Goslin, who chairs the committee. If the Highway Department receives the grant, it would have to hold public hearings on the plan. It then would have to be approved by the board, which is unlikely to pass it in its current form, Goslin said. "This is extensive; it's about 12 acres of land that would be lost," Goslin said. The two-lane road would become a 4-lane highway under the highway department proposal, but alternatives such as increasing the capacity of other nearby roads and adding only one lane for left turns would be more likely to pass muster with the board, Goslin said. The district bought the land as its first natural area in 1916, a year after incorporating. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/loca
19) Last month, the Allegheny Defense Project (ADP) claimed that the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) staff implements different policies to regulate oil and gas drilling than other national forests. In particular, the Allegheny does not require that environmental assessments be conducted before issuing notices to proceed to oil and gas drillers in the forest, while national forests in West Virginia, Michigan, and Arkansas routinely assess environmental impacts of proposed oil and gas wells. While ADP wrote the chief of the US Forest Service, regional forester, and ANF supervisor in May asking that notices to proceed be halted until the policy is clarified, the ANF could not say when the Forest Service would respond. Ryan Talbott, Forest Watch Coordinator for ADP, said in his letter to the Forest Service officials, "It is becoming increasingly clear that the Allegheny Forest Service stands alone in its ridiculous assertion that National Environmental Policy Act regulations do not apply." Not only does NEPA require that environmental assessments be conducted, but also that public hearings be held before proposed drilling can occur. To read the full article or for more information, go to http://www.alleghenydefense.org
20) Acting behind closed doors, the Bush administration is rewriting a key policy manual for management of endangered, threatened, and other special-status species found on federal lands that would eliminate key protections currently given to the most at-risk wildlife and plants. Among the sweeping changes proposed to the Bureau of Land Management Special Status Species Manual are new policy directives that would undermine protections for endangered and threatened plants, limit efforts to protect those species officially awaiting protection under the Endangered Species Act, allow the Bureau of Land Management to sell or trade public lands designated as critical habitat, and eliminate some protections for state-protected species found on federal lands.“These changes are a cynical attempt to undermine conservation on our public lands,” said Lisa Belenky, staff attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Last month the Bush administration claimed it would not push through last-minute regulatory changes without full public review, but at the same time they were working behind the scenes to erode protections for imperiled species on public lands through changes in the management manual.” The policy changes would eliminate the requirement that the Bureau of Land Management treat all species identified as threatened or endangered by the states as BLM “sensitive species,” which are managed for conservation. In western states with large areas of federal public lands, this change could significantly undermine state conservation efforts.“The Bush administration’s short-sighted proposal would eliminate the BLM’s guidelines to conserve at-risk species on public lands at the very time when proactive management is most likely to be effective — before they decline to the point that they need to be listed under the Endangered Species Act,” said Josh Pollock, interim executive director at the Center for Native Ecosystems. “Failing to conserve state-recognized species undoes the good work the states have started.” http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/
21) US Senate: S. 2833 would designate more than 517,000 acres in the Owyhee-Bruneau Canyonlands of southwestern Idaho as Wilderness and nearly 315 miles of wild and scenic rivers. It would establish a science review panel to address management issues of rangelands in Owyhee County and closes 200 miles of roads and routes near the proposed Wilderness areas to motorized vehicle use except in emergencies. In exchange, about 190,000 acres of BLM designated Wilderness Study Areas would be subject to "soft release," opening the door to increased off-road vehicle use, mining, and grazing following BLM land-use evaluations. S. 1380 would designate parts of the Rocky Mountain National Park as Wilderness and adjust the boundaries of the Indian Peaks Wilderness and Arapaho National Recreation Area in Colorado's Arapaho National Forest. S. 570 would create several new Wilderness areas in Virginia's Jefferson National Forest as well as designate 11,000 acres as National Scenic areas. S. 2379 would provide for the end of livestock grazing on the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument in southwest Oregon, establish the 24,000-acre Soda Mountain Wilderness, and provide for a land exchange within the National Monument that protects habitat for the endemic Jenny Creek sucker. HR 5151 would add about 37,000 acres of Wilderness in West Virginia's Monongahela National Forest through expansions of the Dolly Sods, Cranberry, and Otter Creek Wilderness areas as well as protecting three new Wilderness areas across the forest. S. 868 would designate 40 miles of the Taunton River as Wild and Scenic, from the headwaters all the way to Mount Hope Bay in Fall River, Massachusetts. http://www.americanlands.org and click on Eye on Congress.
22) In Roadless news, Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA) circulated a letter to Members, asking cosponsors of the Roadless Area Conservation Act to sign a letter opposing recent attempts by the Bush administration to weaken protections in some of our nation's most pristine and intact national forests - Idaho, Colorado, and Alaska's Tongass National Forest. The letter was signed by 46 Members of Congress. Support for the Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2007 continues to gather steam in both the House and Senate. At present there are 149 cosponsors of HR 2516 in the House and 19 cosponsors of the Senate version S 1478. These bills seek to provide lasting protections for all inventoried roadless areas in the United States. Click to see if your Representative and Senators are cosponsors of this important legislation. If not, click here to send them a letter: http://americanlands.org/issues.php?sub
23) Forestry Commission chiefs have moved to reassure people about the future of a Hampshire woodland after growing fears over tree felling operations. Former tree surgeon William Patterson was worried after he noticed a dramatic increase in the number of trees earmarked for felling. But the Forestry Commission say their tree felling operations at Stoke Park Wood, Bishopstoke, are part of their long term commitment to preserve the woodland which covers more than 220 acres. Area manager Nick Hazlitt said: "Local people should not be alarmed by the thought of trees being cut down in Stoke Park Wood. The planned harvesting work is an element of our continual and ongoing forest management. Mr Patterson, 45, who lives in Eastleigh and has been visiting the woods for more than 40 years, said he has always been passionate about trees. He fears that if the felling continues it will have a devastating impact on an area which has always been a haven for wildlife. Mr Patterson took the Daily Echo into a wooded glade where many tree trunks had been marked with a circle of orange paint. Pointing to one he said: "There is nothing wrong with this tree. It has got another 100 years left. Once these trees are gone they will be gone forever." http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/la
24) Today I am launching the website for my Rainforests Project. On it are three films, together with the findings of some new research. The films, which The Daily Telegraph is hosting on its website today make use of compelling images from the world's rainforests, as well as animation, to describe some of the stark facts and implications of tropical deforestation. In a little less than my lifetime, we have lost 50 per cent of the world's rainforests. Every year, 32 million acres - an area the size of England - is destroyed or degraded. The message is clear: our world is in grave danger of losing its life-support system. These forests, which straddle the equator in a belt around the world, contain not only some of the richest biodiversity known to science, which is crucial to human health and survival in the future, but are also home to millions of the world's poorest people, whose livelihoods depend on them. They also play a crucial role in cooling and cleaning the atmosphere and providing fresh water and rainfall. At a time when shortages of food are being experienced the world over and population continues to rise, this rainfall is more important than ever before. Amazonia's forests alone, for instance, help to store the largest body of flowing freshwater on the planet, and they release 20 billion tonnes of water vapour into the atmosphere every day. http://www.princesrainforestsproject.or
25) Trees are known to absorb carbon dioxide, but their parallel abilities to improve water quality and prevent flooding are sharply defined in a new report commissioned by the Woodland Trust from Forest Research and the University of Newcastle – with a warning that there is no time to waste. 'Woodland actions for biodiversity and their role in water management' analyses world wide literature - the first report of its kind - to highlight the often-unheralded role that woodland can play in overall water management, a role that should be seized upon by water and land managers alike, says the Trust. The review assesses the impact of trees and woodland on water resources. It spells out how protecting, restoring and increasing native tree cover can help tackle threats posed by climate change, intensive farming and development. At present 93 per cent of river water bodies in England and Wales, and 45 per cent in Scotland, risk failing to reach their required 'good' status under new Water Framework Directive legislation. The annual cost of removing harmful pesticides and nitrates from drinking water is put at £7 for every water customer. Woodland creation in the right place can reduce pollution entering water courses by as much as 90% without putting additional strain on water resources, says the report. Sites where ancient woodland is being restored through conifer removal can also reduce nitrate concentrations by up to 90% and increase local water quantity by 20-50 per cent. As an example, 99% of nitrates draining from arable fields in southern England during winter were retained by the first five metres of woodland planted with poplar trees – with tree buffers shown to also reduce sediment, phosphate and pesticide concentrations. With flooding continuing to make headlines - and the cost of UK flood risk management put at a colossal £800m for 2010/2011 alone - there is a timely suggestion that creating woodland at bottlenecks on floodplains could significantly reduce major flood events by absorbing and delaying water flows. In addition simply retaining existing woods would continue to provide a natural prevention measure against small floods, says the Trust. http://www.farminguk.com/index.asp?s
26) Welsh Conservatives will today call on the Assembly Government to abandon plans for wind turbines on Forestry Commission land. The party claims this will “open the floodgates for more major wind farm developments on some of the most beautiful parts of Wales”. However, the Conservative stance was condemned by Friends of the Earth Cymru. It warned the Conservatives were in danger of losing credibility as opponents of climate change. Last October, First Minister Rhodri Morgan said the administration would release government-owned land for the development of wind farm projects. Conservative Shadow Assembly Environment Minister Darren Millar said: “The Assembly Government is clearly at odds with itself over its sustainability and environmental strategic objectives. On the one had it is handing over significant tracts of Government-owned forestry land to wind farm developers for it to be felled. Yet on the other ministers are stressing the importance of maintaining Welsh forests because of their value to the Welsh economy and in tackling climate change..” He insisted the party was not opposed to wind energy, saying: “What we are opposed to is the imposition of large-scale wind farms against the wishes of local people, which have a devastating impact on communities and the local environment.” http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/news/pol
27) Offwell Environment Link has donated over £31,000 to Offwell Woodland Education Centre since 2005, but fears the rate of its fundraising abilities will not be able to match that in years to come. The centre, which boasts Forestry Commission woods and a Victorian lake, is run by Offwell Woodland and Wildlife Trust, which, since its inception, has managed to find over £1 million to develop facilities and create and maintain habitats. The Princess Royal visited the centre in 2005, when the centre faced a financial crisis. Gill Graham, secretary of Offwell Environment Link, fears another cash crisis is looming. Led by director Steve Lawson, they have set up an impressive educational resource, one that appeals to expert naturalists as well as school children and walkers. Hits on their website, a recognised educational resource across the globe, has now exceeded 1.5 million a month. Mrs Graham said Offwell Environment Link raised over £30,000 through voluntary contributions. She is keen to encourage more people to join the organisation, hoping the Link's ageing membership can be swelled with young blood and people keen to fundraise or make voluntary contributions. Mr Lawson, she said, had been a visionary, seeing the potential for the centre and bringing it to fruition. He, and others, had worked hard to help the centre. They have developed hand-held computers that take school children and walkers on a guided tour of the site. It includes pictures and videos and is being developed all the time. It is hoped the concept can one day be marketed to other organisations. Funding for an extension to one of the two log classrooms at the site has already been secured. Promoting the woodland and finding regular income are the keys to the centre's future, said Mrs Graham and Mr Tilbury. http://www.midweekherald.co.uk/midweekh
28) The Friends of Newtonhill group have also pledged to challenge the validity of an investigation carried out at the site which revealed hot spots of heavy metals, arsenic and asbestos in the soil and surface water and led to the woodland's closure in March. The moves were agreed following a well-attended public meeting held at Mackay's Hotel in Wick on Monday night. It was organised by the group to discuss the future of the Newtonhill Community Woodland - a former landfill site which is owned and operated by the Highland Council. A number of options were suggested for the woodland's future including a complete restoration plan which would see the site levelled, safely capped with soil and other materials, and the start of a replanting programme. But it was agreed that this could be a lengthy and costly process, with an early estimated price tag running into millions of pounds, and one which could offer no "cast-iron guarantees" against future problems. Some members of the public who attended the meeting felt the woodland should remain open on the basis that users were made aware of the risks involved. But the Friends of Newtonhill group's chairman Billy Nicolson said that this idea had already been explored by the group which had been told by local authority officials that this would not be an option. Mr Nicolson explained: "They said they have a duty to protect the public and they can't just allow the public to decide for themselves whether to take that risk with these particular contaminants, and levels, that they've found." http://www.johnogroat-journal.co.uk/new
29) Trees which rely on animals rather than the wind to disperse their seeds have a significantly higher chance of surviving deforestation, a study has shown. Being eaten and later excreted by animals, or getting entangled in fur or feathers to drop off later, guarantees the seeds reach locations better suited to their needs than the wind-blown varieties which are more likely to end up on barren ground. Trees with seeds dispersed by animals were shown by researchers from Spain and the United Kingdom to grow in greater numbers than wind-borne species in surviving or regenerated woodland. Researchers reached their conclusions after assesssing woodland in the Iberian Peninsula in Spain where deforestation has taken place over thousands of years. They said that their results, published by the journal Science, suggested that trees and other plants dependent on the wind were are greater risk of extinction in other parts of the world. “The differences in species responses to local forest cover are to a large extent driven by the dispersal vector used by trees,” they concluded. “Whatever the mechanisms involved, the finding that animal-dispersed tree species are more robust to the effects of deforestation has an obvious implication for conservation. “It might be expected that deforestation in other regions is more likely to threaten a given wind-dispersed, than an given animal-dispersed, plant species.” http://timesonline.typepad.com/environm
30) This year's campaign to be named Three Trees in the Third Millennium is expected to mobilize more people who will be able to plant more trees the rest of the Ethiopian new year. The millennium Secretariat, in collaboration with Wise-Up, a local NGO working on HIV/AIDS, engaged over two hundred female commercial sex workers who devoted a half day planting trees around Entoto Mariam. Wise-UP designated a theme for the campaign :"One Earth, One Life Don't Waste it!!" to go along to that of World Environmental Day (WED). The idea behind the female commercial sex workers planting tree seedlings was that it would help remind everyone that not only should one endeavour to protect himself or herself from contracting HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases using condoms only but strive to save mother earth from all its peril by planting trees, Henock Alemayehu, the director of Wise-up said. Henock added that the organization sponsored 223 female commercial sex workers to plant trees at the Entoto site. The female sex workers on the planted three trees to symbolize the launch of the project together with the other dignitaries. http://allafrica.com/stories/2008060607
31) At 88 years old, one would think Melchior Bakamuturaki would not consider investing in a forest that will mature when he is 100-if he makes it. But for this Bushenyi district Green, the passion for the environment is just beginning. While many Ugandans shun tree business from which they believe they will never benefit in their lifetime, Bakamuturaki has planted six acres of trees and is looking for more land. "I always had a liking for forests and now I have fulfilled my dream by planting a forest, which will mature in at least 20 years." But there is an immediate gain from the investment. Bakamuturaki will make money from a new scheme in which farmers earn money from trees in a programme championed by a charity, the International Small Group and Tree-Planting. "We have been working with farmers to plant trees that absorb carbondioxide emissions and reduce the risks of global warming," said Pauline Kalunda, the executive director. "In return, the farmers earn money since their trees act as sinks for waste gases emitted by polluting industries," Kalunda says. The Bamuturaki initiative is good news as Uganda commemorates the World Environment Day today. Last year, Bakamuturaki earned sh100,000 from the international tree planting group. He hopes for bigger fruits in future. "In future these trees will be wanted very much by people," Bamuturaki says. Right now, however, the scarcity of land in Bushenyi worries him and he hopes the National Forestry Authority can bail him out. In Uganda, over 200 small-scale farmers are working with Eco-Trust to plant trees. The number is likely to double following the success of the pilot project in Bushenyi. http://allafrica.com/stories/2008060500
32) In times of war, what concerns people most are the effects of the insurgency on the people, not its effects on the environment among others things. The war however, in northern Uganda has had severe effects on the environment, says a new report. Due to the conflict, there has been a change in the land cover over the last 18 years. The remote sensing analysis report shows that small-scale woodland covers have increased in the area in the past years. According to the 2005 report, the woodland vegetation cover increase occurred in the districts of Kitgum, Gulu, Pader, Adjumani and Moyo while a significant decline in the woodland cover was registered in the districts of Apac, Kotido, Lira and Moroto. Mr Samuel Okello the environment officer in Gulu District noted that the increase in the woodland vegetation occurred in places where the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) activities took place since the villagers feared to venture to such places, while the places people were able access saw a decline in the woodland. "Because people feared the LRA, you find that there was an increase in woodland in areas that the rebels tended to hide while in places where the people had access lost its woodland", Okello said. http://allafrica.com/stories/2008060311
33) Recently four villages, two in Morogoro district and one each in Babati and Muheza districts, managed to obtain a total of Sh8 million from a programme under the Kyoto Protocol for sale of carbon dioxide sequestered through participatory management of their village forests. The villages are Mangala and Gwata in Morogoro district, Handei in Muheza, Tanga region and Ayasanda in Babati district in Manyara region. The programme is called Kyoto; Think Global, Act Local (K:TGAL) and is one of the efforts being done to sell carbon dioxide, one of the greenhouse gases, sequestered through participatory management of village forests. Contracts defining roles of the villages and K:TGAL programme were signed with the village governments and the money is in the process of being transferred to the villages' bank accounts. The programme has been coordinated by Prof Rogers Malimbwi and Mr Eliakim Zahabu, both academicians working with the Faculty of Forestry and Nature Conservation at the Sokoine University of Agriculture. Prof.Malimbwi said the programme involved participatory forest management (PFM) and entailed involvementg of local communities in the management of natural forests that would otherwise degrade or be deforested as a result of carbon emissions. The government supports PFM in an effort to reduce the current 17 million hectares or 50 per cent of the total forest land in the country which is prone to deforestation and degradation during agricultural expansion, charcoal making and timber harvesting activities. K:TGAL is a research and capacity building programme that involves research teams in three regions; East Africa, West Africa and the Himalayas and coordinates the work of local non-government organisations and conducts experiments with them in villages that are already engaged in PFM. http://allafrica.com/stories/2008060307
34) Professor Nii Ashie Kotey, Chief Executive of the Forestry Commission, said on Thursday that current trends in the country’s timber industry required strategic innovations including the pooling of resources in order to remain competitive on the global market. He as a result, he lauded the rebirth of the Ghana International urnitureand Woodworking Industry Exhibition (GIFEX) which aims at showcasing products that would propel the Ghana timber industry to the level of fully utilising forest resources through increased utilisation of diversified wood species. Prof. Kotey said these at the launch of the 12th GIFEX at Takoradi. This year’s GIFEX is scheduled to take place at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre in Accra between 17th and 26th October, 2008 on the theme: “100 years of Forestry in Ghana: Networking partnership for sustainable development”. GIFEX, a yearly exhibition introduced in 1985 to highlight activities of the furniture and woodworking industry came to a halt in 1997. Prof. Kotey said the rebirth of GIFEX among others was an opportunity to bring key stakeholders in the industry together for networking with relevant partners to share knowledge and experience in order to make individual concerns more competitive in the world wood products trade. “Local industrialists would also have the opportunity to see and learn new developments in the industry in line with the changing dynamics in the industry,” he said.
Prof. Kotey said Western Region had been the largest producer of logs for the industry and urged companies in the region to participate in the forthcoming exhibition. http://www.modernghana.com/news/16
35) Forest Watch Ghana (FWG), the umbrella body of civil society organizations operating in the forestry industry has pointed out that state complicity is to blame for massive corruption in the country's timber sector. "Out of 600 timber concessions, only five meet the requirements for timber license and I have always maintained that 100% of all the timber that leave the shores of Ghana are illegal; and in all these the State is an accomplice in the massive corruption," says Mr. Tweretwie Opoku, a legal practitioner and a member of FWG. Mr. Opoku made these scathing attacks last Friday at a civil society consultative forum on the recent Government and European Union (EU) Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) negotiation. He was speaking on Legal Standard in reference to the VPA. He said the corrupt practices have contributed to making the timber sector ungovernable and regretted that a lot of the personnel in the forestry sector do not even know the laws of the sector. The meeting was under the aegis of the World Wide Fund for Nature-West Africa Regional Programme Office (WWF-WARPO), International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and FWG, and brought together chiefs, lumber brokers, chain saw operators, timber merchants, NGOs, the media, among others. In December 2006, Ghana and the EU formally initiated the process of negotiations on the VPA. This agreement, an important component of the Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT), when finalized, will put in place measures to ensure good governance practices in Ghana as well as reduce the trade in illegal logs between producer countries such as Ghana and the EU markets. The VPA requires the Government of Ghana to ensure that timber products entering the EU market meet legality standards agreed on by both parties. A road map for the VPA negotiation process has been developed with and it is expected that Ghana and the EU will conclude negotiations by the end of July 2008. http://allafrica.com/stories/2008060212
36) The government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) plans to designate between 13 and 15 million hectares of the Earth’s second largest rainforest region as new protected areas. The forests of the Congo Basin in Central Africa are the Earth's second largest continuous rainforest and have a unique biodiversity. The largest part of the Congo Basin forests lies in the DRC. The entire forest area of the country, including dry forests, covers around 1 million km² (larger than the combined area of France and Germany). These forests are a treasure trove for biodiversity. They house some of the world’s rarest and most remarkable species, including the bonobo (the closest living relative of the human species) and the okapi (a unique forest giraffe) as well as the rare mountain gorilla. More than half of the 720 mountain gorillas left in the world live in Eastern DRC. But this biodiversity is under threat as a result of the decades of instability which has racked the country. The instability has taken a severe toll on the region’s natural resources and wildlife, and the situation has been exacerbated by factors including poor capacity to enforce existing wildlife laws; widespread poaching; and rapidly increasing mining activities and opening up of forests which are facilitating access to previously remote forest areas. In 2007, seven of the highly endangered mountain gorillas were killed in eastern DRC. Virunga National Park, which is at the heart of the current tensions and conflicts, has also seen its hippo population drop from an estimated 29,000 to a herd of just a few hundred. Besides combating illegal logging, for the conservation of the Congo Basin forest and its abundant biodiversity it is essential to introduce principles of sustainable management and a protected area regime for these species-rich forests. At present, 9 per cent of Congolese territory – corresponding to 22,000 km² - is conserved in various categories of protected areas. The government of DR Congo aims to extend this area by up to 15 million hectares (150,000 km²).
36) The Israel Defense Forces and the Civil Administration have decided to relocate some 440 olive trees belonging to Naalin residents to a nearby area, due to the construction of the separation fence in the area. The Palestinians have protested this decision, claiming that it would badly harm their livelihood. "A tree, particularly an ancient one, will not survive if you move it from one place to another at this time of the year. Thus, we estimate that 90% of the relocated trees will not be able to bear fruit anymore," said Ibrahim Aahad Khawaja, a member of the village's anti-fence committee. The IDF plans to relocate the olive trees under the supervision of a Civil Administration officer, but Naalin's residents do not intend to cooperate with the move, as they reject any act related to the construction of the fence. "They are moving the trees, but what about the land? Our experience with the Israeli occupation is not positive," Khawaja told Ynet, noting that the village residents would fight the decision and hold an anti-fence procession on Wednesday. Security sources told Ynet that the separation fence was being built according to law and that the State was doing all it could to minimize the damage caused to the Palestinian life fabric. The defense establishment is coordinating the entire construction process with the local population, they stated. "There are always those who will not approve of the State's decisions, including Israeli citizens, and will do all in their power to break the law and stop the fence construction," a security official said. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7
37) Minister for Environment, Hamid ullah Jan Afridi on Wednesday informed the National Assembly that the government has formulated a plan to increase one percent forestation by 2015. “Under this plan, forests will be grown over one million acres of land,” he said while responding to various queries during “Question Hour.” He said that the increase in forestation will have positive impact on the living standards of the people. The Minister also informed the Lower House that effective measures are being taken to control environmental pollution. He said that policies have been made to control deforestation and ensure sanitation. http://www.app.com.pk/en_/index.php?opt
38) At the time of independence, Sindh had an area of about 500 square miles under forest. These forests were mainly on both sides of the River Indus right from Kashmore to Karachi. There were about 87 forests extending from Kashmore to the middle delta i.e. up to Karachi. These forests were narrow strips of quarter to two and from two to three miles in breadth; 25 on the western and 61 on eastern bank of the river. The larger ones were Mari, Khanot, Laikpur, Bhorti, Saduja, Andadal, Shahpur, Shikarpur, Unarpur, Viran and Buto. Besides, this government-controlled woodland, there were also some privately-owned forest especially in Khairpur. The wood of these forests comprised Babul (Acacia Arabica), Bahan (Populus cupharatica), Tali (Dalbergia sissu) though not considered indigenous and Kandi (Prosopis spicigera). Besides, there were Neem and Pipal which is a staple tree in the forest of lower Sindh. Some foreign species were also introduced by the forest department in the region such as Acacia dealbata, A. Lopantha and A. melanoxylon Trapa natans, Emblica officinalis and creatonia siliqua. During the British period, these riverine forests were looked after by the Sindh Forest Department headed by a conservator supported by full-fledged technical and non-technical sub-ordinate staff. Beside, providing jobs and habitat to millions of household living within its bound, the forests also had seasonal crops. The fertility of soil in these forests was proverbial; it provided livelihood to millions. These woodlands were sanctuaries to variety of wildlife, flora and fauna, and great source of fresh milk, honey besides wood for furniture, buildings and fuel. After the Independence however, like other government organisations forest department also gradually gave in to corruption and inefficiency. The decline that started in the 1960’s was accelerated in the 1980’s when the forests became hideouts of dacoits and the special interests got an opportunity to cleanse them. With the passage of time, the role forest department also changed from conservation to collaboration. Gradually, these forests have been completely destroyed by the builder mafias interested in cheap wood; influential lands lords interested in the virgin lands. Now 90 per cent of forests are either under unauthorised possession or leased to local influential on nominal government rates as Katcha land. http://iaoj.wordpress.com/2008/06/02/de