olyecology (olyecology) wrote,

214 - Earth's Tree News

Today for you 40 new articles about earth’s trees! (214th edition)
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Weblog: http://olyecology.livejournal.com .

--British Columbia: 1) Seeing land with new eyes, 2) Save Blackwater, 3) Morice LRMP,
--Oregon: 4) Sten Timber Sale update, 5) Mt. Hood wilderness
--California: 6) Trees for children, 7) Public land stats, 8) Self-serving experts,
--Nevada: 9) Exasperated newcomers think logging is immoral
--Arizona: 10) Sky Island Alliance
--Colorado: 11) A bill to help local communities deal with wildfire threats
--Minnesota: 12) Lake Vermilion to be a new state park, 13) positive changes?
--Vermont: 14) Gypsy Moth stats
--Virginia: 15) Hunting Hills Country Club logging 3,000 trees
--New York: 16) Cut the best, leave the rest
--USA: 17) USFS draft Open Space Conservation Strategy, 18) Mark Rey,
--Netherlands: 19) Deforestation at the airport
--Germany: 20) G8 postponed deforestion prevention, 21) Forest protection 20 years ago,
--Iraq: 22) Turks bombing of Northern Iraq is burning all the forests down
--Mexico: 23) Research for tree growing on mars,
--Brazil: 24) Stora Enso has Eucalyptus on a third of a million acres
--Peru: 25) FSC certifies illegal logging as a sustainable forestry
--India: 26) Illegal logging in Guwahati and Meghalaya
--Vietnam: 27) Paper maker shortage turns to a glut
--Malaysia: 28) Yayasan Sabah forest reserve logged, 29) Moratorium, 30) 1,300 arrests, 31) Chior Forest Reserve logging put on hold, 32) Sarawak police are using helicopters,
--Indonesia: 33) government encourages deforestation, 34) World Bank' palm plan slammed, 35) Illegal logger trial delayed due to protest,
--Australia: 37) Save the Red Gum, 38) Enviros meet with labor leader,
--Artic Circle: 39) Genetic tree research
--World wide: 40) Terrascope is a Google Earth implementation

British Columbia:

1) It’s depressing. From our perspective, we’re seeing this land with new eyes - with no knowledge of what it used to be. Perhaps that makes it easier to be optimistic. But for someone who’s been around a long time, it doesn’t look like there’s much left to save. In the U.S., some people think of Canadians as our “kinder gentler neighbors to the north” - wanting to believe that some folks are better, or greener, than us. I think we’re all screw ups. And with a relatively small population in an enormous area, it’s easy for a lot of damage to happen in B.C. with little oversight, and not many people paying attention. http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/blog/?p=145

2) In at least one important sense, Norm LeBlanc was outspoken this week in expressing his feelings about demonstrations in opposition to a logging project his company, Lizzie Bay, is planning in the Blackwater Creek area near Devine. But when asked about when the company plans to begin work on the project, LeBlanc played his cards chose to his chest. “I’m not really going to comment on that,” LeBlanc said on Monday (July 16), the day members of the protest group had been led to believe that tree-falling on the first cutblock of the 31-hectare project would begin. As for his feelings about the issues being raised about environmental values on the land in question — most of them related to pine mushrooms and spotted owls — LeBlanc said, “We should keep the issues clear and precise and not muddy the waters with all sorts of fabricated environmental issues. I hope that I can be part of some sort of political solutions between N’Quatqua and B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS), but I don’t have time for the issues that the protesters are raising.” BCTS officials have so far rejected the demonstrators’ pleas and affirmed the company’s tenure to log in the area. Members of the Blackwater Stewardship Group camped out alongside the road on Sunday night in what they called a peaceful protest against the logging project. The group, which included both First Nations and non-First Nations people, have the support of the N’Quatqua Band, which claims the land as part of its traditional territory and also opposes the project. Rebecca Barley, a N’Quatqua Band councillor, last week confirmed that she was trying to set up a meeting with Rich Coleman, B.C.’s minister of forests and range, in an effort to avert a potential showdown over the project. http://www.whistlerquestion.com/madison%5CWQuestion.nsf/0/29CF174C1B85D5688825731D0062DD3D?Open

3)The Morice Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) area, located to the north of Tweedsmuir Park, is 1.5 million hectares in size, nearly three times the size of Prince Edward Island. Approximately 5,200 people reside in the plan area, with Houston as the main community. The decisions will provide certainty and sustainability guidelines for resource industry sectors and will preserve approximately 123,000 hectares of pristine natural habitat as protected areas, including the majestic Nadina Mountain overlooking Owen Lake. The Morice LRMP is a result of the Province’s collaborative partnerships with the Office of the Wet'suwet'en, Lake Babine Nation, Nedo'ats Hereditary Chiefs and Yekooche First Nation, as well as industry and local communities. Highlights of the agreement include: 1) 8.2 percent of the total plan area, or approximately 123,000 hectares, more than 300 times the size of Vancouver’s Stanley Park, set aside as protected areas (PAs). 2) 74.6 percent of the plan area open to selected forestry. 3) Development of water management objectives and an ongoing water quality monitoring framework.4) Certainty principles for responsible mineral exploration and the mining sector. 5) Targets established around treatment of detected mountain pine beetle infestations. 6) Objectives for the protection of First Nations’ traditional land uses, cultural sites and features. 7) Best management practices for important wildlife habitat areas, fish habitat, water quality and rare and endangered ecosystems. 8) Continued partnerships with local First Nations to ensure effective and ongoing plan implementation and monitoring. -- “This agreement will provide certainty for resource development while ensuring sustainability,” said Dennis MacKAY, MLA for Bulkley Valley-Stikine. “I am pleased to see that Aboriginal people, local government and industry groups have come together to make this plan a reality and promote economic development in the region.” http://www.gov.bc.ca


4) In 2005, unit 43 of the Sten Timber Sale on the McKenzie River watershed was the site of yet another chapter in the ongoing protest against old growth logging. Local activists made a valiant effort to save one of the few pristine old growth ecosystems left in the McKenzie watershed by setting up treesits. Freres Lumber responded with hired thugs who repeatedly visited the treesits and issued death threats, firing both live ammunition and razor sharp broadhead arrows at protestors. Forest Service law enforcement personnel did nothing to pursue these criminals, instead concentrating on harassing the protestors and issuing petty citations. For more information, go to www.eugeneweekly.com/2005/09/22/coverstory.html One activist lived on a small platform in the upper canopy for over two months, while loggers endangered his life by falling trees around him. Hired climbers and Forest Service personnel threatened to physically remove him. During his extended stay in an old growth tree, "Katrina", the Forest Service stole his bicycle, trailer, identity papers, and all his possessions. "Katrina" is now dead. Eighty-five percent of the trees in the project are either standing dead or blackened stumps. According to a Forest Service spokesperson, a "prescribed burn", started with drip torches by Forest Service personnel, got out of hand "when the wind shifted". The Forest Service inadvertently "missed its target" of 10 to 20 percent mortality. Seventy percent of the trees that remained after logging were killed by the fire. The destruction of a once healthy forest ecosystem is now complete. What is next for unit 43 of the Sten timber sale? Salvage logging? http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2007/07/362435.shtml

5) Now it is 2007, and Mount Hood Wilderness legislation is again moving in the US Senate. In May, the Senate held a hearing on the Lewis and Clark Mount Hood Wilderness Act of 2007. If Oregon’s senators and representatives act quickly, key wildlands may still be protected as a legacy for future generations--we could preserve the rugged backcountry of the Roaring River watershed, the scenic beauty of Mirror Lake, and the cold, clean water of Fifteenmile Creek. Given the changes in Congress, there may be a chance to protect other important wildlands around the state, such as Copper Salmon and the Wild Rogue Wilderness as well. Please take a few moments to send a quick and easy email thanking Oregon’s senators and representatives for their past efforts on Mount Hood Wilderness and encourage them to act quickly to pass a strong Wilderness and Wild and Scenic Rivers bill this summer! http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1780/t/430/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=12183 Encourage them to protect areas beyond Portland's backyard, including Copper Salmon, Soda Mountain, Spring Basin, and the Wild Rogue! To learn more about why Wilderness protection is important and the history of legislation to protect Mount Hood: http://salsa.democracyinaction.org/o/1780/t/430/campaign.jsp?campaign_KEY=12183


6) New Cuyama: Trees for Children offers relevant solutions in reducing the causes of human created global warming. We are a part of local and global movements that are leading the way in restoration ecology and carbon sequestration using permaculture understandings and applications and the hands-on sharing of stewardship ethics with the next generation of caretakers...our children. We are asking people around the globe to take responsibility for their lifestyles through the planting of the trees that were used in the construction of their homes, or to offset the carbon imprint of the miles they drive, or plant trees and/or groves ito honor people they care about. Also, Trees for Children directly benefits Quail Springs, as much of the reforestation will happen here on the 450 acres of Quail Springs in need of restoration after hundreds of years of degradation. We intend to turn this desert back into a forest, and to provide even more abundance than it did before as we demonstrate responsible land stewardship! And the project will contribute financially to the community programs offered at Quail Springs for low-income youth and families. http://www.treesforchildren.org/cms/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=88&Itemid=90

7) California's largest forest landowner is the American public. There are 13.2 million acres, equal to 44 percent of the state's total timberland, which is overseen by the U.S. Forest Service. A network of national forests covers extensive areas of the Sierra Nevada and coast ranges, abutting state forestland and private timber holdings. The concern right now is that a wildfire--like the recent Angora fire west of Lake Tahoe that seared more than 3,100 acres and destroyed or damaged nearly 350 structures--will rampage in other parts of the state. The Angora fire in El Dorado National Forest burned onto private property and forced the evacuation of hundreds of people. Early estimates put the firefighting cost at more than $11.7 million. Recovering from the damage will cost additional millions in tax dollars. Added to that are the untallied environmental impacts and costs, not to mention the shattering effects on those who lost everything in the fire. True recovery will take decades. Experts say the reasons for the increasingly great losses due to wildfire are numerous and well-known. Fire has always been part of California's forest landscape. Lightening fires and those set by Native Americans helped keep fuel loads down. "There are more trees growing around Lake Tahoe now than at any time in the last 150 years," said Dave Bischel, president of the California Forestry Association. "With neither low-intensity fire nor timber harvests on California's public forestland, many Sierra Nevada forests are straining to support more than 10 times their natural number of trees per acre." On publicly owned lands that translates into dense brush buildup, sick and weakened trees, degraded habitat, threats to water quality, as well as posing a real danger to life and property, according to the California Forests Products Commission.But, while forestry research and management practices have advanced dramatically, applying practical, science-based solutions to reduce fuel loads and ensure healthy forests is harder to accomplish. One of the aspects of the forest management issue that can't be ignored, forest experts say, is the impact of numerous lawsuits brought by environmental organizations to halt harvest and forest cleanup activities on public forestland. http://www.cfbf.com/agalert/AgAlertStory.cfm?ID=864&ck=1FC214004C9481E4C8073E85323BFD4B

8) Self serving "experts" in fire hazard ignore the change in stand structure that resulted from removing the original forest and replacing it with a regrown stand that is inherently more crowded that was the old growth. Generally it was clearcut and is probably the most dangerous now (depending on the years elapsed) due to reduced spacing within the replacement stand. If that replacement stand is then selectively cut, then the forest has its dominant trees removed because they are the largest and most commercially valuable. This resets the stand structure back toward its previous crowded condition plus the forest floor is now covered in logging slash left behind from the last logging entry. The general public does not usually understand the difference between logging slash and the normal accumulation and processing of dead fallen wood that is done by termites and fungus at a steady balanced rate. This is what rebuilds soil productivity. Since it is not economically advantageous to remove, chip or pile and burn the slash, selection logging does nothing to reduce fire hazard. However it is being "sold" by the Farm Bureau_Timber Industry_Chamber of Commerce gang and accusations are hurled at environmentalists for opposing logging plans that had nothing to do with reducing fire hazard other than PR bullshit. The mantra of "management" is used to promote logging as a solution to fire risk when it has nothing inherently to do with fire hazard reduction and usually increases fire hazard particularly in regions where invasive exotic plants grow rapidly in the cut areas. "Dog hair" clear cuts burn real fast in the Sierra. If people were just to stop building houses out of kindling and start using fire proof roofs (steel) and walls (stucco or synthetic cement and fiber siding) that would be a start. We are going to loose this argument unless we get out there and demand to be heard. Kevin Collins bats3@cruzio.com


9) Exasperated newcomers who have just moved into dream homes in rural Nevada County call me every year at this time. The calls go something like this: “There’s logging trucks going down my road!” - “Yes ma’am. That happens here,” I reply. “You don’t understand. I worked my entire life to buy this place, and now there’s loud logging trucks roaring down my road, raising dust and scaring my kittens! “No one told us they would be cutting trees when we bought here. Can’t you do something? This is horrible!” I break the news to them, as kindly as possible, that logging has been known to happen in these woods and was once a staple of the Sierra economy. I also tell them logging jobs on private property are still somewhat common here, and that ompanies often start cutting when the price for lumber goes up. I’m surprised at how many of the callers assume logging is illegal or morally wrong. They do not equate timber harvesting with their new decks, hardwood floors and the aper in the phone book they used to find my number. http://www.theunion.com/article/20070721/OPINION/107210153&SearchID=73287824298893


10) "Believe it or not, there are more mammals here in southeastern Arizona than anywhere else in the United States," says Matt Skroch, head of the Sky Island Alliance. The group is trying to protect the intersection between tropical species on the northern end of their range, such as jaguars, ocelots, greyhawks, Mexican possums, and temperate species on the southern end of the Sky Islands' range, like the black bear and the northern goshawk — not to mention 20 species of hummingbird. But, just like oceans are rising and claiming some seaside habitat, hotter and drier conditions brought about by global warming are moving up the slopes. Driving from the heat of Tucson to the top of the Santa Catalina Mountains takes less than an hour. Yet, the 7,000-foot climb is the ecological equivalent of going from the desert to northwestern Canada. You pass giant saguaro cactus, then oak woodlands. Then, about halfway up, there's the first sign of a cooler climate — ponderosa pines in a small canyon. Matt Skroch says it's the perfect place to see change. A look across the canyon shows, he says, "that about 80 percent of the pines are dead, and that's because it's getting hotter." This is gradual change creeping up the mountainside like a rising tide. The farther up the mountain, the fewer trees there are alive. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=12126474


11) The entire Colorado congressional delegation Tuesday signed onto a bill that proposes to help local communities deal with wildfire threats posed by trees killed by bark beetles. Conservation groups, however, are afraid the bill will reduce environmental and public review of the forest thinning and treatment projects it supports. The legislation, introduced Tuesday in the House and Senate, would, among other things, allow the U.S. Forest Service to spend $22 million to help communities cope with wildfire threats, create wildfire response plans and provide grants for beetle-killed trees to be used for energy production. It also provides tax credits for people who complete approved forest thinning projects on either public or private land. Rep. Mark Udall, D-Colo., said he wants to reduce wildfire risks that have been exacerbated by bark beetles and drought. “More and more of our mountain communities find themselves in uncomfortable proximity to these infested areas, which has added to their concerns about the danger of catastrophic wildfires,” Udall said in a news release. “This legislation takes an important step toward addressing that problem.” The bill falls under the jurisdiction of more than one House committee, but Rep. John Salazar, D-Colo., said in an e-mail he’s confident the bill will be successful despite the number of hearings that it has to go through before a final vote. Sen. Wayne Allard, R-Colo., is optimistic about the prospects of the bill, which has been in the works for several years, now that the entire Colorado congressional delegation is on board, Allard spokesman Steve Wymer said. He said Allard is confident the bill will pass as long as a “national environmental group” doesn’t oppose it. But local and national environmental groups are wary of the bill. “I think the bill is very well- intentioned,” Wilderness Society Assistant Regional Director Steve Smith said. “It wants to respond to a magnified natural cycle. It wants to respond to communities who are worried about fire. We think in this package they’ve made some good starts, but they’ve made some real mistakes.” Those mistakes, he said, include allowing environmental review of the forest treatment projects to be rolled back. Smith said he fears the bill may toss out a forest planning provision in the National Forest Management Act and a public review provision of the National Environmental Policy Act. http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/content/news/stories/2007/07/18/7_18_1bBark_Beetle_Legislation.h


12) There could be a new state park in outdoors-obsessed Minnesota's near future, its first in three decades. Minnesota officials are negotiating with US Steel to acquire about 2,500 acres, including about 5 miles of lakeshore on Lake Vermilion in northern Minnesota. The potential for a deal surfaced abruptly within the last five weeks. Officials from the Department of Natural Resources and the steel company began talks on turning over the property, situated on the eastern shores of Lake Vermilion adjacent to the existing Soudan Underground Mine State Park. While negotiations are tentative, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said on Tuesday the purchase would likely cost "tens of millions" of dollars but predicted quick bipartisan approval from the Legislature. Portions of the park could be up and running in about three years, DNR officials said. In the meantime, US Steel will continue with its plans to develop the parcel for 150 private homes. The company has given the state a window of about one year to complete a deal. In announcing the plan, state officials acknowledged they expected "robust" discussions about uses in the park, which will be adjacent to portions of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest. As a state park, the new property would be expected to accommodate multiple uses, including snowmobile trails and possibly ATV trails, always a contentious proposition in that region. If it goes through, the Vermilion proposal would become the first new major state park since Tettegouche was established on the North Shore of Lake Superior in 1979. http://www.startribune.com/outdoors/story/1308292.html

13) In his comment to my “Obeying Nature” blog post, Sierra Club’s Clyde Hanson expresses his disappointment that Blandin Foundation’s Vital Forests/Vital Communities Initiative is “avoiding addressing the root cause of the forest biodiversity crisis.” I agree with Hanson that one of the fundamental challenges we all share is to help create and promote culture change that recognizes and values biodiversity as a public good. In our market-based economy, this involves creating incentives and rewards for economic activities that protect and promote biodiversity. I do think there are some positive developments – in terms of culture change and economic mechanisms to support it – from which we can all take heart: 1) The profound shift by the US Forest Service, as described by former US forest Service chief Dale Bosworth in the June issue of Journal of Forestry, from a focus on commercial resource extraction to restoring healthy, functioning ecosystems. The result: restoration and outdoor recreation have supplanted timber extraction as the agency’s main focus. 2) The 2001 congressional mandate that each state develop a comprehensive strategy for conserving wildlife. The resulting “wildlife action plans” at the state level reflect a growing consensus in the conservation community about the wisdom of moving away from the charismatic “poster critter” approach spawned by the Endangered Species Act (“Save the Spotted Owl!”) and toward a more holistic appreciation, reflective of Leopold’s wisdom, of the importance of protecting all species. 3) Progress in translating the value that people get from ecosystem services into dollars and sense. 4) Progress in the application of innovative conservation tools. According to the newly released SAF report, “The State of America’s Forests,” on average 11 percent of the worlds’ forestland benefits from some type of conservation effort. 5) New appreciation for the possible synergies between the economy and ecology. Examples include new work on biomimicry. http://vfvc.wordpress.com/2007/07/19/save-all-the-parts/


14) The leaf-eating gypsy moth caterpillars that infested parts of the state again this spring defoliated 90,574 acres of forest in Burlington County this year, nearly four times the total damage last year, state officials said yesterday. Statewide, the caterpillars defoliated 320,610 acres, trumping last year's totals by more than 190,000 acres, according to the state Department of Agriculture's aerial defoliation survey for 2007. By comparison, the caterpillars ate 125,743 acres in 2006, 44,000 in 2005 and 6,500 in 2004. The damage this spring is the most since 1990, when 431,000 acres of trees statewide experienced leaf loss, officials said. This year, Burlington County was the second hardest-hit in the state behind Sussex County, which sustained 96,655 acres of damage, according to the department. Ocean County was third with 50,077 acres defoliated. About 96 percent of the damage in Burlington County is considered severe. Damage is considered severe if at least three-quarters of the leaves on the trees are defoliated, according to the survey. Zoltowski said the caterpillar damage is cyclical and there are generally about three to four consecutive years of extensive damage. Based on those statistics, Zoltowski said he expects about the same damage next year, if not more. http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/112-07202007-1380704.html


15) Chain saws now buzzing around Hunting Hills Country Club will take down about 3,000 trees, many of them healthy, edging the private club's 18-hole golf course. Exclamation points punctuated reactions by tree lovers in the region. Julia Smith reacted passionately when informed by a reporter about the cutting. "Holy crap!" she said. Charlie Blankenship, a retired employee of the U.S. Forest Service and an avid tree canopy booster, was another. "Good grief!" he said. But before rallying to save the course's trees, ardent advocates might first consider the country club's side of the story. On July 6, a logging crew started sawing. It will selectively cut down oaks, maples, Virginia pines and other species along the golf course, which meanders through the affluent Hunting Hills subdivision in Roanoke County. Trees and golf courses have a complicated relationship, sliding along the same continuum accompanying many marriages. Course superintendents have a love/hate relationship with trees, according to Sharon Lilly's book "Golf Course Tree Management." Trees beautify and cool a course. They aid a golfer's depth perception, create doglegs and separate fairways. But trees also hobble work to grow and maintain a course's key asset -- its turf. "Golf courses are designed to be aesthetically pleasing, but their primary function is to serve as the arena for a sport," wrote Lilly, a director for the International Society of Arboriculture. http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/124648

New York:

16) It is not at all unusual for forest landowners to be approached by loggers looking to harvest timber on their land. Nor is it unusual for landowners to agree to have their timber cut based solely on the promise of an immediate and lucrative cash return. Unfortunately, short term economic considerations coupled with a lack of knowledge of forestry and silviculture practices all too often gives rise to timber harvests that result in long term negative environmental impacts and that degrade the future timber value of forest lands. Some of the private forest owners that I talk with have inherited land that has been in their family for generations. Others have more recently purchased their property for recreation or investment. Almost all enjoy, among other things, walking their land, hunting, taking pictures of wildlife and wildflowers, picking berries, sitting beside a campfire and cutting firewood. And almost all are interested in harvesting and marketing their timber. Many, however, do not fully understand the concept of sustainable forestry and its basic elements. Unfortunately, much of the private forest in our region has been relentlessly mismanaged for generations due to high grading and other poor forestry practices. High grading is the practice of cutting the best and most valuable timber and leaving the rest; often focusing on removal of the most valuable species and thereby reducing diversity within the stand. What’s more, sizeable quantities of timber are cut prior to becoming grade one sawtimber, a practice often referred to as diameter limit cutting or selective cutting. http://www.adirondackdailyenterprise.com/Columns/articles.asp?articleID=7929


17) Last month, the US Forest Service released the draft version of its Open Space Conservation Strategy to address the daily loss of 6,000 acres (about 250 football fields-worth every hour) of open space and forests due to commercial and residential sprawl. The draft strategy explains the threat our nation’s natural heritage faces from development sprawl, the harmful impacts the loss of these lands has for the nation and its wildlife, and proposes comprehensive solutions to address this problem. Click here to send your comment letter to the Forest Service. Increasing population and expanding commercial and residential development threaten to undo America's conservation accomplishments. The Forest Service strategy warns that we are losing not only our ability to manage public lands to maintain healthy forests and public recreation, but critical ecosystem services, too, such as wildlife habitat, clean drinking water, natural resources-based jobs, and a sustainable output of forest products. Forest Service research has determined that: 1) 34 million acres of open space (the size of Illinois) were lost to development between 1982 and 2001. 2) 64 million acres of open space (the size of Colorado) is projected to be developed by 2020. 3) 10 million acres of forests were lost to development from 1982 to 1997. 4) 26 million more acres of forests is expected to be developed by 2030 (close to the size of Tennessee). 5) 57 percent of US forest lands are privately owned and unprotected from development. -- It is imperative that the US Forest Service understands that in order to protect our public lands, appropriate funding must be included in the strategy. http://www.democracyinaction.org/dia/organizations/americanlandsalliance/campaign.jsp?campaign_K

18) A former timber lobbyist, Rey has been undersecretary for natural resources and environment at the Agriculture Department for six years. He oversees the Forest Service and the administration's decisions about where and how to cut forests -- and, according to environmentalists, he has opened deep areas of forest to loggers instead of concentrating on thinning underbrush near homes and other property. "I think it would be safe to say that if for the last six years he had focused on forest-fuel reduction solely around people's homes, instead of commercial-scale timber reduction, then fewer homes would be at risk -- communities would be safer, people's lives and property would be protected," said Myke Bybee, a public lands lobbyist for the Sierra Club. This week's fires have threatened California's Santa Barbara wine country and forced the evacuation of hundreds of homes, including Michael Jackson's Neverland Ranch. More than 3.1 million acres have burned this year, and forecasters are saying weather conditions are such that the wildfire spread may exceed last year's 4 million acres. About 25 million of 80 million acres of forests identified for thinning and controlled burning have been done in the past six years. And more than half of that area has been on the edge of forestland closest to new homes and other structures. "We've taken the equivalent of the present population of California and sprinkled it all across the woodlands -- in the Southeast, in the West and in areas where fire is a natural component of the normal environment," Rey said. Environmentalists say that all of the Forest Service's fuel-clearing efforts should be directed at areas close to homes. They charge that some of the agency's activities are driven by commercial interests, not safety concerns. Rey has been in the middle of debates over the nation's forests for years. Even his critics consider him a straight talker, and many say he has unparalleled knowledge and understanding of American forests. His timber industry credentials stretch back to 1976 when, after graduating from the University of Michigan with a master's degree in natural resources policy and administration, he went to work for the American Paper Institute. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/07/19/AR2007071902292.html


19) For two years GroenFront! - Dutch & Belgian EarthFirst! - have been fighting with the local community in Schinveld, in the southeast of the country, to preserve a forest that would be destroyed for the sake of the NATO airforce base across the German border. A direct action camp was evicted in January, and 15 acres were destroyed, but 35 acres saved. GroenFront! was preparing to reoccupy the woods awaiting the final outcome of a legal battle between the local council and national government, but now to great surprise, the protestors have been vindicated and the forests are definitely saved from NATO's bloody claws. On July 18th the Dutch highest administrative court ruled that the logging of Schiveld forest is illegal. This means the ministry of defence cannot continue the logging of the forest as requested by NATO, it also means the logging of the first six hectares in January 2006 was illegal. The forest would need to be destroyed to allow AWACS radar planes to lift off with more fuel in order to fly directly to Afghanistan and Iraq. http://www.indymedia.org/or/2007/07/889373.shtml


20) So far-reaching is the impact of illegal logging that consumer countries are seeing the need to take the lead in stemming the flow of timber and timber-based products into their markets. Unlawful deforestation has been propelled onto the agenda of the world’s most powerful political grouping. Recently, during a meeting in Heiligendamm, Germany, the Group of Eight (G8) was presented with a set of policies to tackle the problem. However, the wealthy nations’ club is only expected to deliberate and endorse the policies at the next annual summit in Japan. (G8 brings together the United States, Britain, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Canada and Russia with a yearly rotational presidency.) There is increasing recognition that the higher value which timber products fetch in international market is fuelling illegal logging in the forests of Asia, Africa and South America. There is also the added urgency brought by climate change; illegal logging is said to remove trees which could counter at least 20% of greenhouse gas emissions that’s heating up the planet. Eco-savvy consumers in G8 countries are demanding for greater political leadership from their respective governments in tackling not only illegal but unsustainable forestry practices. Ahead of the Heiligendamm meeting, legislators from each of the G8 countries and all major tropical timber producers from Brazil, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Malaysia and Indonesia attended the G8 Illegal Logging Dialogue to resolve the menace. http://thestar.com.my/lifestyle/story.asp?file=/2007/7/17/lifefocus/17993601&sec=lifefocus

21) In Germany more than 20 years ago, private landowners noticed that their treasured forests were dying. They appealed to the government to do something about the tragedy. Germany then began an all-out effort to cut down power plant emissions to reduce acid rain in an effort to save the Black Forest. Later, that urge to protect and prevent was translated into a formal principle of German law, the lovely Vorsorgeprinzip, literally, the “forecaring principle.” In the years that followed, the German idea became enshrined in international law as the precautionary principle. Vorsorge incorporates the notion of preparing for a difficult future, the way one might buy extra food and candles before a blizzard. http://www.yesmagazine.org/ http://www.sehn.org/


22) Iraq has sent a note to Ankara following Turkey’s bombardment of a PKK camp in Northern Iraq on Wednesday. The note, delivered to the Turkish embassy in Baghdad, contained claims that many forest fires had occurred as a result of the bombing. Baghdad administration claimed that Turkey had fired over 100 bombs into Northern Iraq. “The Turkish army bombs this area every day. There is no settlement. Nothing has happened to our civilians,” said Nevzat Hadi Mevlud, the governor of Erbil. http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/6935966.asp?gid=74


23) Scientists are using the pine-forested slopes of a Mexican volcano as a test bed to see if trees could grow on a heated-up Mars, part of a vision of making the chilly and barren red planet habitable for humans one day. Planetary scientists at NASA and Mexican universities believe if they can warm Mars using heat-trapping gases, raise the air pressure and start photosynthesis, they could create an atmosphere that would support oxygen-breathing life forms. Getting trees growing would be a crucial step. The scientists' quest has taken them to the snow-capped Pico de Orizaba — a dormant volcano and Mexico's tallest mountain — to examine trees growing at a higher altitude than anywhere else on Earth. By pumping in highly insulating gases like methane or nitrous oxide, the scientists think they could heat Mars to 41 degrees Fahrenheit from minus 67 F now. That would match temperatures where trees grow at 13,780 feet on Pico de Orizaba. Having trees on Mars, as opposed to only simple plant forms like algae or lichens, would open the possibility of humans one day being able to breathe Martian air. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19791609/


24) ``Stora Enso has replaced virtually all its short fiber with eucalyptus at its Oulu plant, which is quite remarkable considering it was built there because of the wood,'' S&P's Christie said. Stora now owns about 333,450 acres in Brazil and Uruguay, some of which has been set aside for conservation. ``By planting eucalyptus in what is basically degraded pasture, they can get 10 times the yield gotten in Scandinavia,'' said Kurt Schaefer, vice president of fiber at RISI, a forestry consultancy based in Bedford, Massachusetts. Stora has said it is contemplating doubling its production at Veracel with a second line. The company also is planting some of its Brazilian land with 15-year pine trees to lower costs for softwood pulp. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601109&sid=augClYJXaLAM&refer=home


25) Rainforest Alliance's previous track-record of detecting illegality had been so dismal that there is no reason to believe that they are capable of identifying even gross breaches of the law. Now we have received information of yet another case where SmartWood appears to have 'turned a blind eye' to serious illegalities in one of the logging companies it has certified under the FSC scheme. In early July, flying over the western reaches of the Brazilian state of Acre, Ashaninka indigenous leaders and officials from the Brazilian Federal Environmental Agency (IBAMA) confirmed what had been suspected for some months: workers from the Peruvian company Venao Forestal had illegally crossed into Brazil, and were now felling CITES-listed mahogany there. The company's illegal activities were captured in numerous photographs and through GPS plots, and reported on Brazilian TV. Local indigenous associations, including the Indigenous People Organization of the Juruá River (OPIRJ) and the Ashaninka Society of the Rio Amônia (Apiwtxa), reported that "Huge quantities of timber have been cut down, stacked on the margins of the road, ready to be transported". The groups denounced these illegalities, and called on IBAMA to "take immediate action to stop the advance of this exploitation". The groups say they intend to "appeal to international courts to protect Brazilian sovereignty, their territory, the preservation area, and the still existent biodiversity of the region." Dr Salisbury informed SmartWood before the certificate was issued that "Forestal Venao is infamous in Ucayali, Peru for their indifference to laws, indigenous people, and the rainforest environment. They have built an illegal, non-state sanctioned logging road from the banks of the Ucayali to the Juruá basin on the Brazilian border. This is no small skid trail, but a network of roads whose main trunk extends over 120 kilometers." Dr Salisbury told SmartWood that Venao "is exactly the kind of company that Smartwood and the Forest Stewardship Council should be blacklisting, NOT certifying". SmartWood's astonishingly complacent response to this was merely to issue a Minor Corrective Action Request (10/07) calling on Venao to "improve the planning and construction of roads". The involvement of Venao in illegal logging was also well known. http://www.fsc-watch.org/archives/2007/07/20/Certification_of_Forestal_Venao__Peru__another_FS


26) Treasures of the reserve forests of North Cachar Hills are being ferried out from where they belong to Guwahati and Meghalaya, right under the noses of forest guards. The trucks take three major routes — the Umrangsu-Lanka-Guwahati, Mahur-Maibong-Lumding and Umrangsu-Shillong roads — which imply the involvement of people in the know and in positions of power. “The smugglers and their accomplices in the forest department mislead the administration of neighbouring districts in two ways. Firstly, 15 to 20 truckloads of timber are transported against a single transit pass. Then fake transit passes are conjured up with the help of local forest officials,” a source in Umrangsu said. If he is to be believed, wood is not the only item being smuggled out. Deer meat and rare medicinal plants are on the list, too. The hill district, 80 per cent of which is covered by bamboo groves and woods, has three reserve forests — Langting Mupa, Krungming and Borraile. Besides, there are three proposed reserve forests — Hatikhali Mandardisa, Panimur and Borraile II. A source in the forest department claimed that over 1,000 timber-laden trucks head out of the district every month, displaying formally issued transit passes. “Generally, 300 to 400 such trucks cross different checkposts in Nagaon in a month. But as most of the drivers and forest staff on duty want to avoid official formalities, the checkpost registers cannot present a true picture,” he said. Forest department records boast of joint forest management committees having brought a sprawling 1,200 hectares of forest land under afforestation programmes, spending more than Rs 1.50 crore in the last three years. Half of the green cover comprises bamboo, while medicinal plants and other trees have been planted in the remaining area. Residents are, however, not convinced. “All this is only on paper. In reality, you will not find a single hectare of land where trees have been planted,” said Lal Bahadur, a Nepali villager from Gorampani. http://www.telegraphindia.com/1070719/asp/northeast/story_8073269.asp


27) Vietnam has been trying to attract foreign investment in paper production for the last 20 years since the country opened its door to foreign direct investors. However, no investor has wanted to inject money in this sector, not including the projects on making tissue and toilet paper, though paper production was protected by the state with a high tax rates on imports. However, everything has changed: since the protection was removed, a lot of big-scale projects on making paper and pulp have been registered. According to the Ministry of Industry, projects to be run by foreign investors in the coming time have the capacity of around 1 million tonnes of pulp and 600,000 tonnes of paper every year. These include the project by LEE & Man with the tentative capacity of 350,000 tonnes of paper and 150,000 tonnes of pulp, by Vina Kraft (220,000 tonnes of paper), and the project by Japanese Sojiz, which is expected to produce 600,000 tonnes of pulp a year in the Central Highlands. Moreover, there are a lot of projects of domestic investors, including the Vietnam Paper Corporation (Vinapimex), Vinh Phu Paper Company, Phu Giang Packaging Company, Binh An Company, which have the capacity of 50,000-250,000 tonnes each. An official from Vinapimex said that investors were rushing to produce pulp and paper in Vietnam because they heard about the sharp increase in demand and prices of paper products. The pulp price has increased by 70% since 2001. However, he said that Vietnam could attract many investors because it had profuse material sources, which makes Vietnam deserve to be the target destination for investors from countries which have given up producing paper for fear of polluting the environment. In fact, many paper plants in Europe, North America and China have had to shut down due to environmental pollution and ineffectiveness. China, for example, will shut down a lot of paper plants which have the total capacity of up to 3mil tonnes. http://forests.org/articles/reader.asp?linkid=80424


28) Parti Keadilan Rakyat claims timber is being felled illegally in the first-class forest reserves at the Yayasan Sabah concession areas in Ulu Segama and Malua. Its Vice President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who lodged a police report Friday, alleged that the people involved have been hacking away the trees in the reserves, including in the Imbak Canyon, Maliau Basin and Danum Valley and exporting thousands of cubic metres of logs every week. "I am asking for the authorities to investigate where these logs are sourced from, where they (the logs) are going to, who are involved and who has authorised to allow this (logging exercise) to be carried out," he said during a media conference at a restaurant here Friday. "We have people out there but the best thing is for the authorities to go out there and investigate," he added. He lodged the report at the city police headquarters in Karamunsing, here, before meeting City Police Chief, ACP Ku Chin Wah, at about 10.30am. http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=51496
29) When WALHI first proposed a Moratorium on Logging in 2001, we immediately considered the pros and cons. With forestry businesses providing direct benefits to 2.8 million householders and yielding 9 billion dollars in foreign exchange, a Moratorium on Logging would surely contain some economic threats. By definition, a Moratorium on Logging is the temporary cessation of logging and forest conversion activities. Its objective is to provide some leeway regarding problems in order that a long term and permanent solution be found. A Moratorium on Logging must be applied for at least fifteen years. Before the end of this period, an evaluation is carried out to re-assess the situation. A fifteen year period is considered sufficient to improve all conflicts in management and policies that often had to be resolved in the field. Fifteen years is also regarded as adequate time to formulate: (1) a protocol for conflict resolution; (2) a standard for ecological service in plantations; and (3) the conceptualization of a community forest system as the standard policy for forests in Indonesia. http://mypere.blogspot.com/2007/07/moratorium-logging-now.html

30) Malaysian authorities arrested 13 people and seized more than 5,000 logs in a clamp down on illegal logging on Borneo island, police said Thursday (July 19th). Two police helicopters began monitoring forests in eastern Sarawak state on Borneo last month, leading police to the illegally harvested timber, state police commissioner Talib Jamal said. "From our intelligence, there are also gangsters involved in (illegal logging)," he told The Associated Press. "With our action, the activities have been markedly reduced."Police were cooperating with forestry officials to tackle illegal logging in the state, he said. Activists and environmentalists have alleged illegal logging has destroyed much of the primary rain forest in Sarawak, Malaysia's largest state, but forest officials have insisted it was not a serious problem. The crack down on illegal logging is part of a bigger police operation since April to clamp down on a local mafia operating in the state, officials said. Sarawak residents have complained about gangs terrorizing and extorting them and controlling trade, including the price of daily necessities such as food. Police have so far arrested more than 1,300 people including some foreigners who were allegedly involved in prostitution, gambling, and violence in the state. http://e.sinchew-i.com/content.phtml?sec=2&artid=200707190029

31) All new applications for logging concessions in the Chior Forest Reserve near Sungai Siput have been put on hold pending the clarification of its status. The state’s Forestry Department and the Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) is still waiting for a decision from the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to ascertain which department has jurisdiction over the reserve. Both departments come under the same ministry. “In the meantime, the logging licences of the two companies have already expired and they have left the disputed area. “There has been no further logging activities carried out there and all applications have been put on hold,” he said on Wednesday. The dispute on the Chior Forest Reserve came about last June when Perhilitan officers, who were conducting inventory work on wildlife at the reserve, found logging tracks and felled trees there. Perhilitan had claimed that Chior was a wildlife forest reserve and logging licences could not be issued. However, the Forestry Department has since said that their records showed the reserve did not exist, it had been even degazetted at some point and that logging licences had been given out between 1995 and 2000. Razani added that if it was decided that the reserve came under his department, it would be opened for logging. “If it is not, then all incoming applications would be rejected as it would be a wildlife reserve,” he said. Perak Wildlife and National Parks Department (Perhilitan) director Shabrina Mohd Shariff said that she hoped the ministry would expedite a decision. “We already had a meeting last year with the ministry’s former legal adviser and have already furnished him with all the details on our part,” she said. http://biz.thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/18/business/20070718161748&sec=business

32) Sarawak police are using helicopters from the police air wing to detect illegal logging in the state. State Commissioner of Police DCP Datuk Talib Jamal said the use of the helicopters had been quite successful so far, with 13 people arrested for illegal logging in the past one month. He said some cases involved timber companies, who had strayed outside their logging concession areas. "Our investigations have also found some elements of gangsterism involved in illegal logging," he said on Wednesday. He advised timber companies to log within their concession areas and urged the public to inform police of any suspected illegal logging activities. DCP Talib also said police were working closely with the security and asset protection unit (SAPU) of Sarawak Forestry to combat illegal logging. "We will hand over cases to SAPU for further action. On our part, we can take action on the vehicles used to transport logs, for example for not having road tax discs or not being roadworthy," he added. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/18/nation/20070718152946&sec=nation


33) The Indonesian Forum for the Environment (Walhi) has accused the government of encouraging deforestation by allowing eight industrial timber plantation companies to cut down trees in Riau province beyond the legal limit. "The Forestry Ministry has issued permits for these companies to continue exploiting forest and peatland in Riau for the pulp and crude palm oil industries," Walhi chairman Chalid Muhammad told a media conference Friday. The eight timber plantations, which control more than 2 million hectares of land in Riau, are responsible for the disappearance of forests in the province, he said. "The ministry has failed to conserve the forests there and it should be held responsible for deforestation, which contributes to global warming," Chalid said. Walhi cited letter of dispensation No. 613/2006 issued by Forestry Minister Malam Sambat Ka'ban, which allows the industrial timber plantations to continue to exploit the forests. Indonesia, especially in rural areas, emits more than 3 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually. A large part of this is caused by deforestation. Indonesia is considered the third leading emitter of greenhouse gases after the U.S. and China. Ka'ban, who is reportedly locked in a dispute with the National Police over forest-related crimes in Riau, issued a letter of support for Adelin Lis, the financial director of logging company PT Keang Nam Development Indonesia who is on trial for illegal logging in Riau. http://www.thejakartapost.com/misc/PrinterFriendly.asp

34) Groups from three countries, today slam World Bank' support for increased industrial plantation scheme in Indonesia. “In Indonesia, plantation establishment has traditionally been linked to extraordinary deforestation, uncontrolled forest fires impacting local communities and neighboring countries and significant human rights violations”, said Rivani Noor of CAPPA in Sumatra, a local NGO based in Jambi province of Indonesia. The Bank’s plan identifies as “among the highest priorities”, support for the Department of Forestry’s plan for the acceleration of plantation development which includes the establishment of 5 million hectares of industrial timber plantations and 2 million hectares of so-called “community forests”. “The push to establish between 5 to 7 million hectares of industrial plantations will cause tremendous harm to our forests and the women and men whose livelihoods depend on them,” said Farah Sofa, WALHI, the Indonesia's largest environmental group. “So-called plantation - community “partnership” programs have generated conflicts, impoverishment, and environmental degradation for decades, said Rukaiyah Rofiq of Yayasan Keadilan Rakyat, a local group based in Jambi Province of Indonesia. “Lack of recognition of adat and community land and forest rights, the use of military security forces on behalf of plantation companies, the loss of lands due the vastly unequal power of the partners are all tremendous problems with ‘community plantation’ programs.” http://mypere.blogspot.com/2007/07/groups-slam-world-banks-support-for.html

35) The trial of an illegal logging suspect was delayed Wednesday after a group of people disrupted court proceedings at Medan District Court in North Sumatra. Tensions over Adelin Lis' hearing led presiding judge Arwan Byrin to postpone the trial until July 23. The trial was scheduled to examine five witnesses Wednesday but heard from just one. Representatives from a North Sumatran group against illegal logging rushed into the courtroom and demanded Adelin be sentenced to life in prison. Police and prosecutors failed to secure the courtroom despite the judge's demands. "We don't want to prevent the group from staging their protest but they have to do (it with some) order," said Medan's district court head Arwan. "And because they didn't, we postponed the trial." Arwam said the protesters would have to respect the proceedings and told them to have some trust in the court. "There is no need to terrorize the court -- especially if we want to uphold justice in this country," he said. As financial director and owner of PT Keang Nam Development Indonesia, Adelin has been accused of violating forestry laws in relation to the illegal logging and collection of timber products outside the company's concession area in Mandailing Natal regency, North Sumatra, between 2000 and 2005. http://www.thejakartapost.com/misc/PrinterFriendly.asp


36) FOUR new national parks and billions of litres of water are needed to save the Murray River's dying river red gum forests, an investigation has found. But the timber industry claims that up to 80 jobs could be wiped out and some small towns decimated by the Victorian Environmental Assessment Council's recommendations. Handing down the draft proposals yesterday, council chairman Duncan Malcolm said the health of vegetation along the Murray, including the world's two largest river red gum forests, was far worse than expected. Up to 75 per cent of trees were dangerously stressed. "There are significant areas of riverine forests with severely stressed and dying trees, and nearly 400 threatened and near-threatened plant and animal species," Mr Malcolm said. In 2005, the State Government ordered the council to investigate land use on the 1600-kilometre Murray corridor from South Australia to Lake Hume. The council recommended creating four new national parks — Barmah, Gunbower, Lower Goulburn River and Leaghur-Koorangie. It found that 4000 billion litres of water were needed every five years to flood the red gum forests and flood plains. "The imminent loss or degradation of large areas of wetlands and riverine forests as a result of greatly reduced frequency of flooding" was the biggest environmental concern in the area, the paper said. It also recommended a cut in timber harvesting, from 25,000 hectares to 10,000 hectares, and excluding stock grazing on public land. The Barmah State Forest has already become a battleground between 150 cattle graziers and the State Government, which ordered them off the land a month earlier than usual this year because of the drought. http://www.theage.com.au/news/national/sos-for-red-gums-its-water-or-die/2007/07/19/11845599565

38) Anti-logging campaigners have met Labor's environment spokesman Peter Garrett in Hobart, calling on the ALP to protect Tasmania's sensitive forest areas if it wins the next federal election. Members of the Huon Valley Environment Centre met Mr Garrett on Sunday to discuss what they say is the urgent need to protect places such as the Weld Valley from logging. "Forest campaigners from the Huon Valley Environment Centre today met with federal shadow environment minister Peter Garrett, to express an urgent need to protect ancient and world heritage value forests in places like the Weld and Middle Huon valleys," the centre's spokeswoman Jenny Weber said. "The federal Liberal Party sold out Tasmania's southern forests at the last (federal) election and logging has accelerated in wilderness areas such as the Weld Valley," she said. Ms Weber said the major parties - Labor and Liberal - needed to take the issue of the impact of logging of environmentally sensitive areas seriously. She said conservationists were also concerned about plans by Gunns Limited to build a $1.5 billion pulp mill in the state's north. "We informed Mr Garrett that the fast-tracked pulp mill and ongoing export woodchipping will add extra pressure on the ancient southern forests," she said. http://www.theage.com.au/news/National/Garrett-antilogging-campaigners-meet/2007/07/22/11850429

Artic Circle:

36) In a secure, sterile greenhouse just south of the Arctic Circle trees are flowering in four weeks that would otherwise have taken 10 to 15 years to mature. The genetically modified seedlings are a huge step forward in the race to produce bigger, faster-growing trees. It's a race which must be won to meet insatiable global demand for wood and forest byproducts without pushing commercial logging even deeper into the world's dwindling native forests. "The post-fossil fuel era will see human society turn back to its traditional dependency on wood," says Professor Ove Nilsson, the scientific co-ordinator at the Umea Plant Science Centre in northern Sweden. But, he says, projected demand dramatically outstrips forest production. Soaring global consumption, especially in Asia, is colliding with new demands on forests for carbon-neutral biofuels for electricity, industrial furnaces, heating and vehicles. "Everyone agrees that if we are going to solve this puzzle we have to make commercial forests more productive," Nilsson says. "We have to grow bulkier trees faster so we get much higher yields per hectare. Otherwise we risk cutting down every stand of rainforest left on the planet." In China, the forest products industry grew from $US4 billion to $US17.2 billion in the five years to last year, paper consumption has doubled in a decade and forests, especially in Indonesia and Russia, are being rapidly felled to feed the Chinese industrial machine. Elsewhere, scientists are eyeing wood for biofuels because it is at least twice as "energy dense" as crops used to make ethanol for green vehicles, and trees require much less land and fertiliser. The trouble with trees is that, unlike crops, selective breeding takes decades. Many cold climate trees such as spruce and aspen take 10 to 15 years to flower, meaning superior trees can only be picked out and crossbred - in the hope of even more productive offspring - a couple of times in a forester's career. Eucalypts have galloped ahead because they flower in two to three years, allowing rapid crossbreeding to emphasise favourable characteristics such as fast growth and straight stems, boosting harvests in Brazil from 20 cubic metres of wood per hectare to up to 60 cubic metres. http://www.smh.com.au


40) Terrascope is a Google Earth implementation of the LANDSAT MSS, TM and ETM+ ortho mosaics for the 1970s, circa 1990 and circa 2000. It is designed to allow rapid comparison of LANDSAT imagery between these periods for any view in Google Earth. The imagery is provided as superoverlays in which resolution (level of detail) increase as you zoom in on an area. Full resolution is 57 metres/pixel for the 1970's (MSS), 28.5 metres/pixel for the circa 1990 (TM) and 14.25 metres/pixel for circa 2000 (ETM+). The rationale for terrascope is to provide an easy mechanism for visual change detection for non remote-sensing specialists who may be interested in environmental change research (desertification, land use change, urbanisation, coastal fluvial and water body change), awareness raising (of hotspots for habitat loss for example), and conservation monitoring or prioritisation uses. http://www.kcl.ac.uk/schools/sspp/geography/research/emm/geodata/terrascope.html

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