Plant Trees SF Events 2005 Archive: 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021


010OEC’s This week in Trees:

We have 32 stories from:
British Columbia, Oregon, California, Montana, New Hampshire, Vermont,
Louisiana, Canada, England, Malawi, Cameroon, Japan, Austrailia,
Vietnam, Indonesia, Madagascar, Brazil, Honduras, India and South East

British Columbia:

1) I was in love with Saltspring. I was the city boy turned Harrowsmith
country, she the rural rainforest queen with quaint if not slightly off
the wall courtiers and artisans. We've soured. Our romance has reached
its best before date. Its not just the inflated taxes, nor the
inflatable pool only twenty percent of her citified subjects will use;
its not the logs that continue to roll off her glorious hills, nor even
the jelly-roll trustees that can't say 'no' to every gangster-developer
or desperate mortgage owner that knuckles on their office door.  It is
more than filling in her shores and the closure of community gathering
places. Its even more than the American dollar and the perma-smile
vendors and realtors. It's more intangible than that. It is a gut
feeling twisted and pulled upon by all these symbols of 'progress' and
change. Perhaps someday we can work out a plan, figure out how to
describe what butterflies were to our grandchildren's children as our
elders used to talk to us of the fairies and fairytale romances. But for
now the romance is off. May the smartest businessperson keep their heads
held high and may the best urban developer win what remains. Our
comforts bury the best in us. I'm not a pessimist. I am in mourning.
With regrets, Robert Birch, Salt Spring Island, BC

2) The Swedish website for Cathedral Grove is up again, revised and
expanded. The new sections are "Big Trees and Totem Poles" and "Totem
Pole Websites." Thanks very much for your help with ideas and photos:
hope you enjoy the results. Best wishes for a pleasant summer.

3) As mountain pine beetles continue to munch their way through B.C.'s
forests, logging companies are ramping up operations in order to harvest
the millions of hectares of dead trees left in their wake. The epidemic
has been a boon for the logging industry in B.C., which outperformed
every other region in the world last year, according to
PricewaterhouseCoopers. But many are wondering what will happen to
communities in infested areas when the industry's honeymoon with the
pine beetle is over. "The bust is likely to be quite profound," said Ben
Parfitt, a resource policy analyst for the Canadian Centre for Policy
Alternatives. Past resource failures in the province have meant
"communities have to go through a lot of pain and slow rebuilding."

4) Area Indian bands have walked away from forestry talks with the B.C.
government, saying the province is negotiating in bad faith by
stubbornly refusing to back away from a faulty formula. Chief Nathan
Matthew, chairman of the Shuswap Nation Tribal Council (SNTC), told
reporters Tuesday the bands’ decision to abandon the talks follows 11
months of fruitless negotiation. Matthew said the government has
proposed forestry agreements based on a per-capita formula. The formula
gives bands $500 and 54 cubic metres of timber per band member per year.
“It’s a take-it-or-leave-it offer,” said Matthew. But Matthew said the
formula does not fairly reflect the value of timber on traditional
lands. As well, the agreements require bands to sign away the right to
be involved in forest management. “This is our traditional territory.
The law says we have existing title and rights,” he said, adding the
bands will now seek legal recourse through the courts. --Shuswap
Environmental Action Society

5) The mist gently rolled down the mountain side as the drizzle became a
steady rain.  Standing against the guide beam of a bridge over the
Coleman Creek I witnessed the chiefs and elders of the Huu-Ay-Aht First
Nation reaffirming the boundary of their territory which has been marked
by this creek for thousands of years.  They were met by chiefs and
elders of other Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations, who were welcomed and
invited to join in a celebration. On the road to  Bamfield, at the
Franklin junction to Carmanah and Sarita, massive ‘off-road’ logging
trucks, fully loaded with old growth trees, came to a halt and shut down
their engines during a portion of the ceremony. The territory is public
land, managed by the BC Ministry of Forests, licensed to Brascan, logged
by Hayes. During the past twelve years Huu-Ay-Aht First Nation have been
negotiating in good faith with the Province of BC while logging
continued and over six million cubic meters of old growth timber were
removed from  their ancestral territory, where these people have lived
for 10,000 years. First Nations in BC have never surrendered their lands
to the colonialist power of England or the Nation of Canada. The Supreme
Court of British Columbia heard Huu-Ay-Aht First Nation verses The
Minister of Forests. On May 10, 2005 The Honourable Madam Justice Dillon
ruled; “In this case. The government did not misconceive the seriousness
of the claim or the impact of the infringement. It failed to consider
them at all. The government acted incorrectly and must begin anew a
proper consultation process based upon consideration of appropriate
criteria.“ Madam Justice Dillon went on to state; “The level of
potential infringement of rights to timber resources is severe given the
harvest rate contemplated by third parties over the next five years.”
In her analysis Madam Justice Dillon refers to several recent rulings.
There appears to be  a pattern emerging with these court cases, which
have all ruled in favour of First Nations, whereby the Judge orders the
government in the province of BC to follow the rules of law. Isn’t the
government supposed to abide by the law? 

6) Victoria - The annual harvest for the Merritt timber supply area will
increase by 1.3 million cubic metres to help manage the mountain pine
beetle infestation and reduce potential losses, chief forester Jim
Snetsinger said today. Effective July 1, the allowable annual cut will
be 2.8 million cubic metres a year, up from 1.5 million cubic metres.
The harvest will be directed to forests that are infested by beetles or
are most susceptible because they are at lower elevations or are made up
primarily of mature pine trees. "The diverse landscape and mix of tree
species in the Merritt timber supply area, along with the low to
moderate levels of infestation compared with other areas of the
province, mean early intervention may slow the spread and lessen
environmental and economic impacts," Snetsinger said. "Local communities
and First Nations groups also recognize that increasing the harvest now
may be an effective way to address the epidemic." The timber supply
review was completed earlier than scheduled to respond to a sharp
increase in mountain pine beetle populations in the Merritt timber
supply area Under the timber supply review, the chief forester must
determine how much wood can be harvested in each of the province's 37
timber supply areas and 34 tree farm licences at least once every five
years. The chief forester can determine a new allowable annual cut
earlier in response to abnormal situations such as the mountain pine
beetle epidemic, or postpone a decision for up to five years if a
harvest level is not expected to change significantly. (Ministry of
Forests web site is Reference #:

7) The former U.S. Green Party candidate for Congress in 2000 -- who
says the trees told him to change his name -- last week told the court
that he was innocent of the charges and a target of a government
conspiracy. "I am innocent of the charges the U.S. government is trying
to pin on me," Arrow said. "Just as many other activists have
experienced, I am being targeted by the U.S. government and the FBI, not
because I am guilty but because I have chosen to challenge the status
quo." In extradition cases, Canadian prosecutors represent the
extraditing state, in this case the United States. For an extradition to
be ordered, the B.C. Supreme Court had to find there was sufficient
evidence to convict Arrow on the same charges in Canada.


8) Earth First's gathering at Shellrock Lake was social as well as
political and educational. Participants took botany classes and bird
identification walks and visited logging sites. They learned sign
language, recited poetry, and held discussions on environmental topics.
In the evenings, Earth Firsters swapped stories of environmental actions
and of the weeks and months some participants spent in jail. Adina Lepp,
a Portland native who attends Mills College near Oakland, Calif., said
she participated in her first radical environmental action when she was
14. In July 2002, she was arrested when Earth First activists occupied
Umpqua Bank's downtown Portland headquarters to protest the Biscuit
timber sale. Lepp and another activist used U-locks to attach themselves
to the wall. "There are many other environmental organizations, but ours
is the only one actively pursuing its goals," Lepp said. "We're not just
sitting around." Rendezvous participants said current campaigns in
Oregon include actions to stop Mount Hood and Biscuit salvage timber
sales, and to monitor salvage sales in Eastern Oregon.

9) The owls thrive in the areas that makes wildfire managers cringe.
Crowded tree stands with dead snags, thick clusters and multiple layers
of vegetation are ideal for owls, and for fueling major conflagrations,
said Laurie Turner, biologist for the Deschutes National Forest. With
the mandate from Congress to clean up the forest, officials are
wrestling with how to maintain spotted owl protection, said Phil Cruz,
district ranger of the Bend-Fort Rock Ranger District. Protected as a
threatened species under the Endangered Species Act, spotted owls have
become emblematic of divisive fights over logging and environmental
protection in the 1990s. "The remaining owl habitat we have is very
valuable, and so we have to leave some of those places, even with their
wildfire risk," Cruz said. "We're doing everything we can to protect and
armor those areas." That means focusing intense thinning and logging
projects around — but not in — spotted owl habitat, to safeguard the

10) Community Forest Authorities, brought to life by the Oregon
Legislature last month, promise to be an effective tool, giving cities a
new way to manage and preserve nearby forest lands. With broad
bipartisan support, these authorities will let local governments use
tax-exempt municipal bonds to buy forest parcels that might otherwise be
converted into homesites and golf courses. Loss of forests and farmlands
to creeping urbanization is a worldwide problem brought about by an
expanding population and competition for scarce resources. Countless
decisions by individuals to carve productive land into new neighborhoods
result in losses that seem implacable and inevitable. But Community
Forest Authorities permit people to come together and collectively make
long-term land management decisions that would otherwise be impractical
and unaffordable, if not impossible. In essence, communities will be
able to buy the forests in their midst or outskirts, and repay the bonds
by managing them for sustained timber harvests.


11) A judge ruled Monday that a fire-control plan for Giant Sequoia
National Monument violated federal law because the blueprint, which
includes logging the preserve that is home to two-thirds of the world's
largest trees, did not undergo an environmental review. Attorney General
Bill Lockyer sued in March to halt the plan that would have allowed
commercial logging in the monument designed to preserve the ancient
monster conifers. "In a whole series of forest management cases, the
Bush Administration has ignored federal law while showing great
deference to the timber industry's interests," Lockyer's office said in
a statement.
12) Four logging projects in two Northern California national forests
were halted after a federal judge ruled the U.S. Forest Service failed
to disclose details of environmental impacts. When the projects on
20,000 acres in the Shasta-Trinity and Lassen national forests were
announced, forestry officials sought comment from interested citizens or
groups, wrote U.S. District Judge David F. Levi. But the letters they
sent ignored key issues later explained in environmental assessments
after the projects were approved. "The Forest Service has a duty to
actively engage the public in decisions that involve our public lands,
not cut us out of the process," said Kyle Haines of the Klamath Forest
Alliance, one of the conservation groups that filed suit challenging the
projects. The Forest Service said it may appeal the decision that
requires it to complete new environmental reviews. Some of the timber
harvesting was intended to thin out the forests to make them less prone
to insect infestations and devastating wildfire, said Forest Service
spokesman Matt Mathes.

13) A federal court in San Francisco granted KS Wild's request to stop
the Sims Fire Salvage Sale on the Six Rivers National Forest in northern
California. Sims would have cut thousands of huge dead trees (called
snags) from a burn area which includes critical habitat for the northern
spotted owl and is part of an old-growth forest reserve. The U.S. Forest
Service used a Bush Administration rule change, part of its so-called
Healthy Forests Initiative, to shield the logging from public challenge.
Federal Judge Susan Illston agreed the project would harm the
environment and granted a preliminary injunction until she can fully
examine the case on its merits. The Sims timber sale would cut 6.1
million board feet from only 169 acres, evidence the Forest Service is
cutting an old-growth snag forest. The average tree to be cut is nearly
three feet in diameter, and a great many are much larger. The Forest
Service designated Sierra Pacific Industries (the largest landowner in
California) as the high bidder for the sale.


14) A flashpoint came last year as the fire season approached. One plan
suggested thinning the forest, but the Greens argued that would allow
too much logging, a view that largely prevailed. Then three fires
struck, devastating parts of Glacier National Park. Stokes took to the
airwaves in full gloat. "I hope you're happy with yourselves," he
taunted, adding that the environmentalists now had "blood on their
hands." O'Neill attempts to get both sides of the story and largely
succeeds, though she comes across a bit preachy at times. She clearly
hopes to encourage the "anti-hate" movement. These land-use issues are
far from resolved, though at show's end Stokes says he supports an
effort to recall local commissioners. "We can't assassinate people in
this country," he observes.,0,43637

15) A lawsuit filed by two environmental groups to stop salvage logging
in grizzly bear habitat could have serious implications for at least one
local mill. F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber was nearly done felling all the
trees on one of its salvage sales - known as the Blackfoot North Sale.
The sale, located up the west side of the Hungry Horse Reservoir was
within about two days of being completely harvested, said Stoltze
general manager Ron Buentemeier. "The ironic thing is you can look at
units that are fallen and you can't tell any difference (from those that
aren't)," Buentemeier said. Environmentalists were pleased with Molloy's
ruling. "We are pleased that the judge recognized there is imminent harm
to bears from helicopter logging in areas that are supposed to be
secure," said Arlene Montgomery, program director of Friends of the Wild
Swan. "At the hearing we can make our case that the Flathead is not
complying with their own Forest Plan standards to protect grizzly
bears." They also contend the Forest Service's own biological assessment
notes that logging is being allowed in areas that are supposed to be
free of disturbance to bears.

New Hampshire:

16) A North County logging operation has been vandalized again, and
Friday’s destruction of half a million dollars worth of equipment in
Success is being called arson. An all-wheel drive plow truck was the
first vehicle spotted, fully engulfed in flames. A quarter mile down the
road a brand new 18-wheel tractor-trailer was on fire. The third
vehicle, an excavator, was on fire in an adjacent wood yard. Company
owner Thomas Dillon is offering a $10,000 reward for information that
leads to the conviction of whoever’s responsible, said company forester
Ted Tichy. “Whoever did it also tried to light a dump truck on fire,
unsuccessfully. Whether they were scared off, I don’t know,” Tichy said.
The equipment, worth an estimated $500,000, was owned by Canadian
contractor Rejean Bedard, who has been working the land owned by T.R.
Dillon Logging of Maine. For more than a year Dillon has been at odds
with local environmentalists and some local citizens who have accused
his company of “liquidation harvesting.” Over the last two years,
Dillon’s company has bought 22,500 wooded acres in Success, 8,000 acres
in Berlin, 5,000 acres in Errol and 642 acres in Northumberland.
“Historically the land has been open access to the public. People have
used it freely for recreation, like a private playground. After
something like this, the first question you have to ask is, is it worth
having it open?” Tichy said. “I’m not saying Dillon or his contractors
are being targeted, but we’re afraid this particular contractor has
suffered so much damage now — this is a huge loss. This is his
livelihood. I wouldn’t blame him for picking up and leaving,” Tichy
said. “Of course, I hate to say that because it just gives fuel to those
who would condone this as a way of stopping logging,” Tichy said.


17) Is the answer to competitive pressures to check out of the global
system with increased tariffs or other import restrictions? No,
according to lumber operators, it’s more about business conditions in
Vermont versus Canada, and transportation advantages that encourage logs
to be exported instead of processed locally. “They have a government
that’s very pro forest products industry,” says Cliff Allard of Allard
Lumber in Brattleboro. Government support in Canada means a smoother
permitting process and capital funds for new technology in the form of
low cost loans, grants, and pension fund equity. Canadian investment has
resulted in a number of new mills along the U.S. border, designed to use
U.S. logs and ship to the U.S. market. For Hardwick logger Ken Davis,
who sells logs to Canadian mills, that’s a good thing. He says that
“without a doubt” the Canadian investment has led to jobs in Vermont.
“It makes it more profitable for us. Who’s to blame them for where they
spend their money?”


18) Bald cypress, Louisiana's state tree, has never been sacred - even
today as the Bayou State's coastline sinks and disappears into the Gulf
of Mexico. From the outset of European settlement, Louisiana's vast
cypress stands were used for caskets, water tanks, fortresses and ships.
Sweet-smelling cypress shingles were almost as tough as slate and tile.
Demand was steady and by the early 1900s Louisiana's coastal forests
were nearly gone. Now, history is about to repeat itself.  A second
growth of cypress has sprung back across Louisiana's once-denuded
coastline. And loggers, timber companies and saw mills are revving to
take their cuts. "There's a massive, massive, massive amount," says
logger Jay Huber. "This timber is 80 years old. It will take a vast
amount of time to cut it all and big business is coming there." Barry
Kohl, conservation chairman for the Louisiana Audubon Council, said
concerned community groups have been researching logging permits with
the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other government agencies. Kohl
said it appears that much of the proposed logging activity in Louisiana
anticipates harvesting cypress trees for landscaping mulch."You think to
yourself, 'Aren't the cypress trees more important to the state than
that? There's no management plan for this kind of forest," Kohl said.
The report, called "Conservation, Protection and Utilization of
Louisiana's Coastal Wetland Forests," indicates that sinking land and
man-made factors such as levees mean that some of these cypress forests
are too flooded to allow new trees to grow. Paul Frey, state forester
with the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, said mulch
and furniture both come from logged trees, but that's like looking at a
beef cow and saying a rib-eye is a better use of the cow than hamburger.
You get product from the same tree, but value is what the owners can get
in return for that product, he said.


19) Mississauga's Sussex Centre looked like a busy crime scene yesterday
as police cruisers, chalk outlines and what appeared to be yellow police
tape surrounded the building. However, there was no crime taking place,
instead, it was the scene of a large environmental protest. More than 50
members of Greenpeace International descended on Mississauga's downtown
core during morning rush hour and set up shop outside the Canadian
headquarters of Kimberly-Clark, the world's largest manufacturer of
tissue products and maker of the popular Kleenex brand. Greenpeace
protesters wrapped the yellow tape, labeled "Forest Crime Scene," around
the Sussex Centre, which houses the Kimberly-Clark office. The measure
was an attempt to show the company is guilty of crimes against forests.
Greenpeace claims Kimberly-Clark is ruining ancient forests such as
Canada's famed Boreal forest, which stretches from Newfoundland to the
Yukon, by using their trees to make disposable products. Kimberly-Clark
says it is just giving consumers what they want. Chalk outlines of
bears, caribou and other animals were drawn on sidewalks in downtown
Mississauga yesterday to symbolize the wide-ranging wildlife that rely
on the healthy survival of these large ecosystems. "It's an
environmental crime that Kimberly-Clark is clear-cutting 10,000-year-old
forests to make products that are used once and then thrown away or
flushed down the toilet," said Christy Ferguson, Greenpeace Forests
Campaigner, at the protest. "Consumers can do their part to stop not buying Kleenex brand tissue products."


20) Seventy years on, the Friends of the Lake District (FLD) are joining
forceswith the Forestry Commission to replace the non-native conifer
trees at Hardknott Forest with a native birch and oak woodland. FLD is
helping to fund the work at Hardknott, which is one of the largest
conifer forests in Cumbria, covering an area of 600 hectares in the
quiet Duddon Valley. In the thirties, the Friends of the Lake District
had fought to stop thecreation of new conifer forests, covering much of
the Esk and Duddon Valleys. Although the campaign was partly successful,
the Forestry Commission went ahead with the planting of the forest at
Hardknott. Former Cabinet Minister, Lord Clarke of Windermere, who is
the Chairman of theForestry Commission and a member of FLD, said: "The
work the Forestry Commission is doing at Hardknott Forest shows just how
much the organisation has changed in recent years. "The Forestry
Commission was formed in 1919 to create a national reserve of timber in
case of a future war. I am pleased to say that the Forestry Commission
now has a very strong focus on both the social and environmental
benefits that forests can deliver." "At Hardknott the Forestry
Commission is taking a lead in a strategy that is being rolled out
across the country of recreating some of our ancient woodlands."


21) Deforestation for charcoal burning, slash and burn cultivation, and
tobacco curing is threatening human survival and the entire ecosystem of
this African rift country. Salt build up has been noted along the shore
of Lake Malawi and the surrounding areas, and wildlife habitat is
disappearing as a result of widespread logging. “When I came here two
years ago there were trees in these mountains,” he said, pointing to the
Mlindi Hills close to the newly opened Mangochi-Naminga road. “This time
around there are no trees left.” Cheap local labor is used to facilitate
logging in the mountains, according to Karen Nakonya and Thousand James,
both employed as firewood cutters for one of the tobacco estates in the
district. “We are only doing this as a job as you can see that we have
nowhere to go. We have to do it as we have an obligation to support
ourselves and our families,” says Nakonya who has been a logger for more
than 10 years. Furthermore, the situation is threatening elephant’s
migration to and fro with neighboring Mozambique. At different times of
the year, the large Jumbos migrate in search of food, creating an
environment for the habitat in Liwonde National Park to regenerate. The
cutting down of the strip of land used by elephants during migration
will exert pressure on Liwonde National Park and its resources, as
elephants will ravage whatever is in their sight. “It is now eight years
since we last conducted patrols for our forest reserves,” said Mangochi
District Forestry Officer Vita Kanyemba. “It is now eight years since we
last conducted patrols for our forest reserves,” said Mangochi District
Forestry Officer Vita Kanyemba. “We have no uniforms, no fuel and no
houses,” Kanyemba said. “We have the drive but resources are a limiting
factor here. How can we work under these conditions?” The Ministry of
Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs said in its 2002 State of
the Environment Report that Malawi's forest resources declined from 47
percent of the total land area to around 28 percent in 2000. Population
growth, poverty, agricultural expansion, wood energy demands, and
wildfires continue to erode Malawi's forest resources, the ministry


22) Hundreds of trees in the Cameroon rainforest are cut down everyday
to provide wood for us to make furniture. The forests there are homes to
thousands of species of plants and creatures, but the government there
is selling off land to European countries. At least three-quarters of
the forest has already been or is about to be cut down, and this is
causing huge problems for the local environment. As well as legal, it's
thought illegal logging is also taking place there. At the moment
European and US governments support logging in the Cameroon forests
because it creates jobs for people and brings money into the country.
But some fear the forest will not be there in 20 or 30 years' time.


23) The larger a beech tree is, the more often it takes on the role of
"mother," and the more seeds it produces, according to researchers at
Tohoku University. The research team, led by assistant professor
Yoshihisa Suyama, is using DNA to analyze the so-called parent-child
relationships of beech trees. The researchers analyzed the husks of
1,387 seedlings, which accounted for about one-250th of those found in a
90-meter by 90-meter area. In the end, they were able to identify the
mothers of all but 10 of the seedlings. As a result, the researchers
were able to identify the successful reproduction rates for individual
beech trees, including data such as where and how long each tree's
"children" will survive. The most productive mother was 86 centimeters
in diameter and had spawned 92 seedlings. The researchers estimated the
tree's total number of offspring at 23,000. This showed that the larger
a beech tree, the more seeds it produced. Upon measuring the size of the
husks, the scientists also discovered the smaller a tree was, the larger
its seeds. Beech trees face a tough race to survive. Among the 10,710
seedlings the researchers examined in spring 2001, only 187 - less than
2 percent - were still alive in autumn 2004. The branches of the
maternal trees grew more horizontally and produced more flowers, while
the branches of more paternal trees grew vertically, so pollen could be
dispersed over greater distances. It is already known that in the case
of the Clark's anemonefish - monogamous tropical fish that change sex -
the larger of the couple becomes female. The researchers hypothesized
that beech trees also skillfully coordinate their roles as father and
mother. Suyama said, "A tree requires more energy to produce seeds than
to produce pollen. It's logical that as a reproduction strategy, larger
trees that can produce more seeds would have a larger role as mother
than father."


24) Yesterday, Tuesday, July 5, police were called at 8.30am and arrived
on site at 9am. Thirteen members of the police force drawn from the Far
South Coast Command, Operational Support Group and the Police Rescue
Squad were required to attend. AS the protest against logging in
Wandella State Forest enters its fourth week police were called in to
remove the protestors from the site. According to the protestors on site
the Forest Fairies (on a canopy platform) appeared up a tree on site on
Monday morning. Protestors also reported being spot lighted at 4am on
Tuesday, July 5. Forest workers have been pushed to the limit in
maintaining patience with protestors who have consistently prevented
them from going to work. Protestors have also employed tactics that try
to place the forest workers in danger of breaching safety conditions as
they "strengthen their resolve to protect what remains of the
magnificent forests of Peak Alone".
25) Rival sides of the logging debate shared a rare moment of agreement
yesterday, labeling the new body charged with policing the Tasmanian
forest industry as "irrelevant" and "window dressing". The State
Government announced the appointment of the seven directors to its new
Forest Practices Authority. Infrastructure, Energy and Resources
Minister Bryan Green said the new board re-affirmed the independence of
the forest industry's chief regulatory body. But the move immediately
drew fire from forest industry and environmental groups. The authority
is the revamped Forest Practices Board, the body abolished last year in
the wake of continued criticisms that it was dominated by logging
industry interests.,5936,15825673%255E


26) Viet Nam has found its first-ever forest of Chinese Incense Cedar
species, scientifically named Calocedrus macrolepis, in the Phong Nha-Ke
Bang National Park in central Quang Binh province. The forest, which
covers thousands of hectares of limestone rocks about 650-700m above the
sea level, is the largest one in Southeast Asia. Chinese Incense Cedar
trees found there date back to more than 400 years, with a majority of
them measuring roughly 25m tall and 1m in diametre. Chinese Incense
Cedar has been considered on the verge of extinction worldwide.Located
to the north of the majestic Truong Son mountain range, Phong Nha-Ke
Bang National Park is believed to be the oldest in Asia. Covering an
expanse of  more than 200,000 ha, the park includes striking beautiful
limestone formations, grottoes and caves, with forest covering up to 95
percent. It is considered a paradise for researchers and potholers, or
explorers of grottoes and caves. The tropical forest is home to 36 of
the more than 750 plant species and 89 animal species listed by the Viet
Nam Red Book as endangered or protected.-Enditem


27) Indonesia is home to 10 percent of the world's tropical forests, but
it also has the highest rate of deforestation, with about three million
hectares of forest lost every year. The Leuser Ecosystem, approximately
2.6 million hectares of tropical rainforest, is home to some of the most
unique wildlife in the world like endemic species of tigers, elephants
and rhinoceros, orangutans, hornbills, cloud leopards and the world's
largest flower, the rafflesia. It has nurtured generations of some of
Sumatra's major ethnic groups like the Gayo, Alas, Acehnese, Batak,
Pakpak, Karo, Singkil and Malay. Moreover, some four million people
depend directly on this area as their water source. Right in the heart
of the ecosystem is the Gunung Leuser National Park, a world heritage
site as declared by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization (UNESCO). There are also nature parks and wildlife
reserves located within the Ecosystem. The Leuser Ecosystem is declared
a protected forest by the Indonesian government, but still is one of the
most exploited areas in Southeast Asia. After the tsunami, logging
activities seem to be on the rise. According to Yashud, loggers also
tend to justify their actions as part of the rehabilitation for Aceh.
Even the villagers in Aceh Tenggara attest that trucks that brought logs
or processed wood during the early months after the tsunami from outside
the district have signs like "For the Rehabilitation of Aceh". He said
tropical hardwood trees like semaram, merbau, kruing and meranti are
favorites of loggers because they peg a very high price on the
international market, around Rp 18 million (US$1,800) per m3. "That's
why most of the wood here is not really going to Aceh," said Yashud,
"but is being exported illegally outside the country."


28) When loggers came to hack up centuries-old ebony trees from their
sacred forest, the people of Ankalontany village knew something was
wrong. They just didn’t know how to stop it. “Some strangers from
outside our village came here. They started cutting ebony and they
clearly had no right,” said village chief Justin Zara, gesturing towards
dead branches and freshly-cut tree stumps deep in the Madagascan
rainforest. “We asked for their authorisation but they said they didn’t
have to show us papers. They said they had police clearance and we can’t
stop them. They just took what they wanted.” Environmentalists say such
scenes are common in Madagascar, a huge Indian Ocean island whose
dwindling rainforests shelter some of the world’s most treasured
wildlife. Last month police seized 520 tonnes of illegally logged
hardwood from two ports in the northeastern Sava region after receiving
tip-offs from local leaders in Ankalontany and elsewhere. Madagascan
authorities suspect a major operation by a logging cartel seeking to
export the wood. Campaigners had hoped the scourge of illegal logging
would be high on the agenda in this month’s G8 summit. But the Group of
Eight rich nations have failed to heed calls for tough moves on illegal
logging and will issue only a mild call for action at their meeting in
Gleneagles, Scotland, according to a leaked draft


29) Ecologists sounded the alarm. The Amazon rainforest is disappearing
at the fastest rate in nearly a decade. But the outcry left many
Brazilians suspicious. They say the protesters don't really care about
saving the world's largest wilderness -- they want to steal it from
Brazil. Sprawling over 4.1 million km2, the Amazon covers nearly 60
percent of Brazil. Largely unexplored, it contains one-fifth of the
world's fresh water, oil, diamonds, gold and untold other mineral and
biological riches. Last year, the Brazilian Amazon lost an area of
26,130km2 of rainforest, an area slightly smaller than Belgium.
Environmentalists estimate as much as 20 percent of the jungle has
already been cut down by ranchers, loggers, farmers and developers. But
the idea that the Amazon is important for the world's climate, its
biodiversity and a global heritage is seen as a smoke screen -- the
rainforest belongs to Brazil, and anyone who says differently has
ulterior motives.


30) Father José Tamayo picked up the Goldman Environmental Prize earlier
this year for his leadership in Honduran grassroots activism to protect
the Olancho forest reserve from land expropriations and illegal logging.
He has led thousands of Hondurans through two “March for Life” events to
force the government to recognize the injustice and environmental
devastation that corruption has brought about in Olancho and throughout
rural Honduras. Now he’s telling Mother Jones about plans for a
“Continental March” from Panama to Mexico, to protest CAFTA. “At this
point, we have credibility. We've created a movement. The businesses
want to destroy us, but we've resisted until this point. The question,
though, is how long can we resist? Because one day it's possible that
the people will get tired, and will prefer to look for food than fight
for the cause. That's why we need to create a movement that's moving
forward but also gaining strength, not only in numbers but in strategy.
That's what I'm most interested in.


31) Many acres of forests have been converted into maize fields by
encroachers-cum-timber smugglers in some areas of Islamabad forest
division. Residents believe the cutting of trees is happening under the
nose of forest officials, often with their blessings. Stumps of pine
trees felled by encroachers are clearly visible in these maize fields.
“It is really painful to see the plunder and loot going on in forests
and the forest department sleeping over the matter. First they are
cutting the trees and then encroaching upon the land,” says Ashfaq Ahmad
Laway of Kachwan blaming the forest department for the loss. “Everything
happens under the nose of government as forest employees are hand in
glove with the smugglers,” he adds.

South East Asia:

32) Coveting of protected natural forest for logging, mining and
drilling – both legal and illegal – never really diminishes. Several
recent stories regarding mining in "protected" forests clearly
illustrates that no forests are every truly preserved. The story is
pretty much the same in Indonesia, India and the Philippines - in the
face of unlimited human demands, any forest or other bit of nature could
be lost at any time. No Forests Are Ever Truly Protected  From Mining,
Logging, Capitalism and Population Growth. Listen to
their Radio Show at:
For updates and info, contact scott at planttrees dot org.