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008OEC’s This-week-in-Trees…
This week we have 24 stories from:

British Columbia, Oregon, Montana, New Hampshire, Kentucky, Alabama, US
forests, Scotland, Austrailia, Thailand, Jharkhand, Easter Island, Brazil,
and India.

British Columbia:

1) Trees and Salmon need each other: The policy, introduced Friday by
Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Geoff Regan, came after months of public
consultation and emphasized the conservation of the salmon population,
habitat and genetic diversity. "The final policy sets conservation as the
highest priority and that, I think, is the most fundamental, important
measure and change in emphasis that this policy creates," Regan said at a
press conference. Heather Deal, a marine analyst with the Suzuki
Foundation, thought the plan left too much scope for politics. "There is a
lot of wiggle room and it's a lot of room for political interference,"
Deal said after the press conference. "And we are quite disappointed that
they haven't put some firmer language in. "The biggest failing is there is
no no-go zone, there are no hard numbers, there are no limits. There is
wiggle room all over this policy," Deal said. --Vancouver Sun

2) Seeing is believing. Google Maps ( now allows all of us
to look down on the slopes of Mt. Elphie and examine the forestry being
done there. Go to Google Maps click on the satellite link top right on the
page and then use the toggle and zoom device to find Mt. Elphie and zoom
in to see what the forest industry has been doing over the past several
decades. The cutting blocks are easily visible.  It is a second harvesting
on a mountainside that has already had it's existing ecosystems almost
completely changed from the historic growth and development of forests
over the preceding several thousand years. The second growth is less than
100 years of age. These pictures are proof of the gulf between our society
and forest industry / government supposed commitment to sustainability.
What some have found:

3) Hi Friends of Cathedral Grove: We are very close to winning this
defense of the Cameron Valley Forest. After 16 months we still won't give
up before the final victory!  The BC Liberals can still log, bulldoze, and
destroy the floodplain of the Cameron River for their proposed parking
THE NEW MINISTER'S AGENDA! Please write, phone, fax, e-mail Honourable
Barry Penner Minister of Environment and Minister responsible for Water
Stewardship and Sustainable Communities Contact Information Phone: 250
387-1187 Fax: 250 387-1356 PO Box 9047 STN PROV GOVT Victoria BC V8W 9E2
E-mail: Web site:


4) "What we need to do," he said, "is remove a hell of a lot of
small-diameter trees." That puts Lillebo, a field representative for the
Oregon Natural Resources Council, on the side of federal land managers and
timber companies, a rare alliance. He and his group support a plan that
would hae the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management provide a
steady amount of woody brush from thinning operations to companies that
invest in new technologies to use the material. The thinning work is
happening and at a high cost to taxpayers. The federal government spent
about $400 million thinning 2 million acres across the country in 2001,
according to a Forest Service study in March. Much of the cleared
material, called biomass, gets piled and burned in the woods. "It's not
really treated as a resource, nor is it offered in a way that reflects the
realities of business investment," said Scott Aycock of the Central Oregon
Intergovernmental Council. The regional nonprofit agency is spearheading
the plan. And not every environmentalist thinks creating a thinning
industry is such a good idea. Tim Hermach of the Native Forest Council in
Eugene said federal forests need less logging, not more. "There is no
money in the little stuff," he said. "It's just an excuse to get onto the
forest where they can take the big stuff, too."

5) This Friday, July 1 caravans of folks from northern, central and
southern Oregon will gather to bear witness and demonstrate against the
ongoing destruction of native forests in the Biscuit Fire area. We will
start the day with an event at Forest Supervisor Scott Conroy's office in
Medford, where we will present him with the nefarious distinction of the
Golden Stump Award and other fun gifts. We will then head out to the Green
Bridge over the picturesque, Wild and Scenic Illinois River. The Green
Bridge is the symbolic epicenter of the campaign opposing the massive
Biscuit logging project, and has been closed off from the public by a
federal closure order since mid-March. The closure order expires June

6) More than four decades after termination, the Klamath Tribes are still
working to regain the former reservation the members refer to as their
homeland. The 730,000-acre patchwork piece of federal land sought by the
Tribes - roughly the size of Rhode Island - includes all land within the
former reservation boundary that is now under federal control. Most of the
land in question is within the Fremont-Winema National Forests. The
100-year plan would create open stands of mature ponderosa pine and
restore wildlife habitat, according to the Tribes. Critics have said the
plan is more of one to make money from selling timber than one aimed at
restoring the forest. But the Tribes rebuff those claims. "It's not going
to make any money for the first three decades. We've got to start the
treatments," Foreman said. In their management plan, the Tribes said they
should not only get forest land, but the buildings and vehicles used by
the federal government on the national forests, and the federal payroll of
$7 million to $8 million to operate the forests.


7) At some point while clearing fallen branches from trails to fire
lookouts, training to climb trees and burning massive piles of fallen tree
limbs, an elite Montana fire crew likely will be dispatched to its first
big blaze of the season. Lightning has ignited a fire deep in the
wilderness somewhere and their skills are needed. Their job: watch the
fire burn. It might sound odd, firefighters promoting fire, but in much of
the Western wilderness, fire is being put to work. The Lewis and Clark
Fire Use Module, a collection of highly skilled fire personnel based in
Choteau, is one of 12 teams in the nation who are experts in allowing
fires to burn in wild areas when the time is right. It's some of the
riskiest, most consequential work in the forest. It's also work forest
managers increasingly are using to improve forest health.

8) The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has temporarily halted a timber
sale in the Gallatin National Forest that environmentalists claim would
damage wildlife habitat near Yellowstone National Park. The injunction,
issued last week, is the third time a court order has put the
Darroch-Eagle sale on hold. It prevents the Gallatin National Forest from
allowing any on-the-ground activities, including logging and road
building, related to the sale while a lawsuit over the project is pending
before the court.

New Hampshire:

9) The fact that the husband and wife duo Jerry and Marcy Monkman manage
to avoid the pitfalls of environmentalist preaching in their latest book,
"White Mountain Wilderness," is what allows them, oddly enough, to make
just such a statement. The charming photographs and straightforward
historical recaps of The Whites, as these professional photographers from
Portsmouth like to call them, are as cool and refreshing as a mountain
breeze. This duo's photography skills are first-rate. Every picture tells
a story and the two simply refuse to paint a bleak picture on the future
of New Hampshire's beloved mountains, preferring to see the glass
half-full in this 128-page photography/history book. They opt for a
draw-your-own-conclusions version, primarily through eye-catching,
before-and-after photos taken decades apart in various locations. In a
happy twist, it is the latter "after" photos that are the feel-good
Powershots, the former depicting the sad-but-true swarths of forest
destroyed in a matter of days by loggers or fire. The Monkmans not only
include the photos they took over the last 12 to 13 years while working
for "Appalachia," the journal of the Appalachia Mountain Club, but offer
up, through pictures, a recounting of how mankind has treated these
mountains. "Part of the idea from the start was to tell the story of the
wilderness coming back," Jerry Monkman said in a recent interview. "My
hope with the book is it will inspire people to appreciate the wilderness
and the potential and protection of old growth forests in the future."


10) Environmentalists, bird watchers and park visitors are outraged over
the state's unannounced plan to cut timber in Guntersville State Park, but
state officials say it is necessary to lessen pine beetle damage, lower
the risk of forest fires and create new food sources for wildlife in the
park. Opponents say the selective cutting of timber, which has already
begun, is damaging wildlife habitat and hiking trails and destroying the
beauty of the park. Barnett Lawley, commissioner of the Alabama Department
of Conservation and Natural Resources, said his agency probably erred in
not holding meetings to explain the plan. Linda Reynolds, who served as
the park naturalist for Guntersville State Park for 18 years before
retiring two years ago, is leading efforts to stop the cutting of timber.
"They cut some timber several years ago when there was some pine beetle
damage and I was all for that," she said. "What they are doing now makes
no sense. "The only reason for this has to be for money. They are hurting
because the lodge at the park is closed because of renovation and the
lodge at Gulf State Park was destroyed by the hurricane. Those are the two
jewels of the state park system that generate the revenue to keep the
other 24 parks going." "The area across from the campground where they are
doing most of the logging is known for its neo-tropical migrants. I have
brought bird watchers from across the U.S. to see that area. It has been
destroyed." "...People say that birds will just move on to the next tree,
but it doesn't work like that," she said. "That's another bird's
territory. A whole generation of birds will be lost.


11) Forestry officials say the Bullitt land is at high risk of being
developed if it isn't preserved. Much of the county's rural landscape has
been transformed into residential, commercial or industrial developments.
Kentucky expects to buy the property by year's end. A price has not been
set, but the 1,805-acre tract is valued at $1.5 million, according to the
Bullitt County property valuation administrator. Once it buys the land,
the state will need only a few months to mark trails, produce maps and
open the property to the public. It will be used for hiking, biking,
horseback riding, regulated hunting and possibly primitive camping, said
Eric Gracey, land acquisition supervisor for the Division of Forestry. It
also will be used to educate students, woodlands owners and others about
healthy logging practices and forest management. L

US Forests:

12) US Senate will take up debate on the Interior Appropriations
legislation and that this must-pass legislation contains a nasty rider
which would grant the USFS far greater latitude to sell off your lands. To
add insult to injury, the legislation would permit the FS to keep for
themselves whatever money they get from the sale of your lands! This rider
must be removed. Fortunately an amendment will be offered to strike the
offending language.  Pasted below is an urgent action alert. Please
support the Bingaman rider. TAKE ACTION:  Please call your Senators today
at 202-224-3121 and ask them to support Senator Bingaman's amendment that
would strike or limit the
language allowing the sale of Forest Service land and facilities from the
Interior Appropriations bill.

13) A new documentary film about the many wonders of National Forests and
the threats they face is now available online.  This nine-minute DVD is an
excellent introduction of the National Forests and is a resource for
educators and citizens interested in the environment, and the clean water,
wildlife and recreation our forests provide.
Real Player Broadband
Windows Player Broadband


14) The Rebel Wood at Orbost on the Isle of Skye was the first carbon
offset forest in the world when it was started by The Clash singer Joe
Strummer in 2000, two years before his death.But the feelgood campaign has
now been attacked from an unexpected quarter. Environment groups claim
carbon offsetting through tree-planting has become a fashionable way of
showing concern for global warming but has little or no long-term effect.
Dr Dan Barlow, the head of research for Friends of the Earth Scotland,
said planting trees to offset carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions was a way for
many to carry on "business as usual" with their conscience somehow salved.
"Planting trees to replace areas ravaged by decades of deforestation is
one thing. However, planting huge swathes of trees to offset carbon
emissions should be way down any serious list of activities designed to
tackle climate change."


15) Clear-felling and woodchipping of old-growth forests in East Gippsland
began 30 years ago - at the very same time that the Japanese woodchip
giant Daishowa set up its export business nearby at Eden. This partly
answers the question. East Gippsland's forests are in grave danger and it
would be a tragedy for Australia and the world if these magnificent and
unique forests are lost to feed the packaging and paper industry. No other
Victorian premier has ever had the guts to stop this obscenity. We are
hopeful that Bracks has the backbone to finally bring this destruction to
an end.

16) Concerns are being raised over logging practices in the Wombat Forest
at Daylesford near Ballarat in central Victoria. The Wombat Forest
Alliance believes clear felling is occurring in areas of the forest,
despite Victorian Government assurances of a selective logging practice.
Marcus Ward from the alliance says 40 hectares at the side of the Wombat
Reservoir has been significantly cleared. "It's clear that the logging
that has happened recently is pretty close to the logging that has
happened in the past," he said. "There are no mature trees left except for
old habitat trees. So when you look out over these areas you see trees
that are 10-years-old that are quite thick, but no mature trees above that

17) …Losses of between 400 and 600 hives in one southern area alone over
the next three years because of logging operations, beekeepers said
yesterday. Concerns about loss of leatherwood trees, the mainstay of
Tasmania's honey industry, dominated the Tasmanian Beekeepers Association
conference's first day yesterday. Hobart-based beekeeper Peter Norris said
hive sites were already being lost because of tree harvesting at the
Wedge, an area between Maydena and Strathgordon. Mr Norris said about 10
Tasmanian beekeepers including himself used the area for leatherwood.
"From now on, if they're logging in one area, we've got nowhere else to
go," he said. "The Huon had a large community of beekeepers but that was
heavily logged so the large commercial beekeepers moved to the Wedge." 
Timber harvesting plans allowed beekeepers to see which areas they used
would be affected.  "We're under extreme pressure with resource security,"
Mr Norris said. "We could expand if we had the resources, but it's very
difficult now to get sites. The only way is to buy out retiring
beekeepers." He said because leatherwood was very fire-sensitive, the
practice of burning after clearing sterilised the soil and leatherwood did
not return.,5936,15722437%255E3462,00.html


18) Phra Supoj was found dead in the compound of his Buddhist centre on
the night of June 18 with severe knife wounds all over his body. The
Northern Development Monks Network, of which the monk was a member,
believe the murder was linked to his dispute over land.
...Mr Somchai said Phra Supoj had fought to protect an 1,800-rai forest in
Chiang Mai's Fang district despite threats from influential people who
wanted the land and had connections with local and national political
figures in the ruling Thai Rak Thai party. He urged the public to join
forces to check on the activities of influential people in Chiang Mai's
Fang, Chai Prakan and Mae Ai districts where influential people were
fighting over natural resources and scaring the local population. ...The
government was unable to protect people who devoted themselves to national
interests in terms of the environment and the promotion of human rights
despite the fact that Thailand had ratified the United Nations Declaration
on Human Rights Defenders, he said.


19) Women are proving to be an impenetrable shield for the timber mafia in
Jharkhand - whenever forest guards spot illegally felled timber, woman
accomplices start stripping and the abashed guards flee the scene! Forest
officials point out that the women are either associated with the timber
mafia or are paid for stripping. Being poverty stricken, the area's women
are an easy prey. Said B.K. Singh, a forest official in Chakulia forest:
"It is turning out to be a tough task to deal with these women who side
with the timber mafia. It has become almost a regular practice to strip
and we end up releasing the culprits to avoid confrontations." A fortnight
ago forest guards arrested three men with timber in Chakulia's Sunsuniya
Sal forest. When they were taking away the illegally felled timber and the
men, around 50 women surrounded the guards. The women demanded the release
of the men. Upon the guards' refusal, the women started stripping and
cried for help. Weighing the gravity of the situation and fearing police
action against them, the forest guards fled.,00180007.htm

New Zealand:
20) We don't have a logging industry anymore, they call it silviculture.
It goes along with the Healthy Forest Initiative where a healthy forest is
a forest that is harvested, humanely and sustainably, of course. The
loggers are now "forest nurturers" who farm the forests for the benefit of
future generations.
-Paul Watson

Easter Island:

21) The grimacing statues of Easter Island have - over the past 2000 years
- witnessed the purest example in history of human beings committing
unwitting environmental suicide. The story is startlingly simple: the
human settlers on the island - living in perfect isolation from the rest
of the world - systematically destroyed their own habitat. In a burst of
over-development, they cut down their forests much faster than they could
grow back. The result? At first, the island was plunged into war as
different groups scrambled to seize the remaining natural resources for
themselves. They turned on their leaders and staged revolutions, enraged
that they had been misled into such a disaster... But the biggest common
factor in past ecocides has been the pursuit of short-term "rational bad
behavior" arising from clashes of interests between people. For example,
one logging company decides to destroy great chunks of the Amazon, on the
grounds that if they don't, some other logging company will. It seems
rational, but it places the transitory and fragmentary interests of the
individual or group ahead of the long-term interests of us all. Destroying
forests leads in the long-term to a hideously irrational outcome for the
world at a time when we need all the carbon sinks we can find.


22) IRANTXE RESERVE,-- The canoe floated across a current so clear that
each pebble shimmered in the riverbed beneath. Farther downstream, the
river plunged over a sheer waterfall, where a rainbow arched in the mist.
The five Irantxe tribesmen landed their vessel and followed a trail
through a dense stand of jatoba trees. When they emerged after 50 yards,
the landscape no longer looked anything like the southern edge of the
Amazon forest. It looked like Iowa. Corn and soybean fields extended to
the horizon. Seven green John Deere combines were parked near a farmhouse.
''If we were an aggressive tribe, we would have killed the landowners
already," said Tupxi, one of the canoeists, who estimated his age at 77.
''But we're peaceful, and we don't want to fight. So all of this has been
lost." The tribe's reserve is a forested island surrounded by thoroughly
conquered farmland. It sits in the middle of Mato Grosso, a state whose
booming agricultural sector has helped Brazil challenge the US position as
the world's top exporter of soybeans and beef. In 2004, Amazon
tree-cutting reached its highest level in a decade: More than 10,000
square miles, an area roughly the size of Massachusetts, were cut down,
according to government statistics released earlier this month. Mato
Grosso, one of five Amazonian states, accounted for 48 percent of the
overall deforestation.

23) St. Matthew's Gospel (20:18) quotes Jesus telling his disciples: "We
are going up to Jerusalem ... where my enemies will condemn me to death."
Reading those words recently, I thought of my sister Dorothy. A member of
the Cincinnati-based Notre Dame de Namur religious congregation, Sister
Dorothy Stang went up to the Amazon region of Brazil to minister to
peasant farmers. The land barons there condemned her to death. Like Jesus,
she did not turn away. Threatened many times, she said, "It is not my
safety but that of the people that matters." My sister faced her killers
fearlessly. With the Bible in her hand, she was reading to them the
Beatitudes-"Blessed are the poor in Spirit ..."-when one of two pistoleros
(hired gunmen) fired six shots into her at close range on Feb. 12. At age
73, she became a martyr. Dorothy was murdered for her outspoken defense of
peasant farm families, who had moved into the rain forest region in a
government-sponsored resettlement plan. Besides forming each settlement
into small Christian communities that prayed and studied the Bible
together, Dorothy established agricultural and rain forest preservation
projects. Her initiatives outraged the big landowners who wanted the
forest for logging and the land for cattle grazing. The day before she
died, Dorothy telephoned me. "Just hearing your voice," she said, "makes
me feel the cool fresh air of Palmer Lake (where I live in Colorado), even
though it is so hot and humid here in Anapú (where she worked)." Then she
told me, "I can't talk long because there are people outside my door,
asking me to go down the road with them to show support for several poor
families who had their crops and houses burned down by hired hoodlums."


24) With forests vanishing and tigers dying, it is quite clear that the
Indian Forest Service is in a mess and urgently requires overhaul. The
entire forest machinery has suffered unimaginable political and
bureaucratic neglect over the last 17 years. It is now that their services
are most needed for protection of forests and wildlife. Can you imagine
that a nation's premier national service has had no recruitment for 17
years? There is a 30 per cent vacancy in posts which means 40,000 men are
not on duty. Little or no training is imparted to anyone. The average age
of the field forest staff is now 50-plus! The report of the Central Bureau
of Investigation from Sariska states that 75 per cent of the forest staff
was not fit for on-foot patrolling. That's how the tigers died. How are we
going to save trees or tigers in this situation? Yet, this aged team tends
to make the ultimate sacrifice; at least 50 forest staff die or are
seri-ously disabled each year by poacher's bullets or the woodcutter's
axe. If we want to save the forests of India and all its inhabitants, we
need to modernise the staff and equate their living and working conditions
to that of the army and police. We need to fill vacancies and build
training schools that will impart the very best training to both new and
existing forest staff. Arms, uniforms, and the best in communication sets
will be vital to defend our forest frontiers.
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.