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This Week in Trees: 20 Items from: BC, WA, OR, CA, Indiana, Australia , Brazil PDF Print E-mail
Earth News
Monday, 06 June 2005 17:41

This Week in Trees: 20 Items from: BC, WA, OR, CA, Indiana, Australia , Brazil

by "Dirt"

======= British Columbia, Canada

1) We start in British Columbia, Canada where a giant convention of forest destroyers was wildly rejected by citizen and endangered species costumes. “Over 600 senior forest and paper industry executives from 27 countries are focused on challenges for the industry in the period to 2015.” But: It is ironic that more than 20,000 acres across Canada, an area almost the size of Vancouver, will be logged during this three day forest summit on sustainability,” said Tzeporah Berman, ForestEthics’s program director. “This summit is not about creating real change - it’s a forum for the same empty talk we’ve been hearing for years.” http://www.ensnewswire.com/ens/jun2005/2005-06-03-02.asp and “Kelli Gallagher is arrested by police Wednesday after she rushed the stage at the Vision 2015 PricewaterhouseCoopers annual forestry conference. As police pulled her away from podium, the podium was pulled over and staff rushed to put it back up.” Also “the tripod blocked traffic and forced police officers to divert delegate vehicles to various locations. After the tripod was taken down the protestors marched to the hotel and sent the delegates a very clear message, your vision is a "clearcut way to extinction. Stop logging now!!"

2) Elsewhere in BC some staggering announcements about how: “The B.C industry earned $1.5 billion in profits despite a $2-billion hit the sector took because of the weakening U.S. dollar and another $1 billion that lumber producers paid in softwood lumber duties…” -- Vancouver Sun

3) And all that remains of the Spotted Owl in British Columbia is: “eight pairs, four of which tried to reproduce, and seven single owls. This year, with the count at the mid-point, all indications are that the number of nesting pairs has dropped again.” This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

4) Lastly in the Walbran: The forest of the lower slopes have been felled and massive old growth Hemlock and Balsam Fir logs have been left to lie between the stumps. Standing beside the stump and log of an ancient yellow cedar tree near the summit of Sad Hill I realize why all the lower trees had been left behind. Yellow Cedar is at a premium today, with growth rings so tight that they can only be distinguished by polishing the wood and using a magnifying glass to count them, we estimate that a 3 foot wide stump is all that remains of a 700 to 900 year old Chamaecyparis nootkatensis… A swath has been cut in two directions around Sad Lake, a lush alpine bog area with open water that is teeming with life, to allow the logging road to ring the edge of the Riparian Zone. Recent road building and logging is being done by Benson View Contracting Ltd. out of Nanaimo, BC. This is Tree Farm License #46, crown land publicly owned but privately logged… : “There is a Witness Camp growing by the last bridge on Glad Lake Main in the Walbran Valley beside Fletcher Falls where it has been maintained for many years… The witness camp, not a protest camp, but a sustainable camp designed to clear trail to the abominable logging, picket and provide information has a makeshift kitchen tent established on Glad Lake West, where an overgrown sign forbidding entrance to the Pacific Rim Park is mounted. About a hundred metres beyond the Bridge to Nowhere is where the embriotic beginnings have been made…”

Washington State: 5) An Evergreen State faculty member pointed out a new website that is essentially an activist search engine: http://www.activista.org/ Entering in the words: ‘Old Growth’ the search results come back with activist info instead of industry. Activista is brought to you by resist.ca, protest.net, and riseup.net, and is powered by Software Libre, including aspseek and Debian GNU/Linux. 6) Elsewhere a new grassroots environmental group is forming in Bellingham! “In our first meeting, we discussed the threats in our bioregion, and decided to individually research more about three plans to destroy our ecosystem: Fischer old-growth timber sale, Interfor's new headquarters in Bellingham, hundred-acre woods development proposal more info? mailto:jonahkieth@riseupnet” 7) Also the Snohomish river basin agreed on a $134 million dollar restoration plan for Bull Trout and Salmon that was agreed on by a 38 member panel of tribes, farmers, loggers, enviros, city and county agencies. “Snohomish County Councilman Jeff Sax said the key is to not let the plan gather dust. If it does, the region will end up in court over endangered species recovery. "This is a high-stakes game of chicken," Sax said, "There's no middle ground here. Either we're going to move forward to restore salmon and delist the fish, or we're going to end up in the courts." http://www.heraldnet.com/stories/05/06/03/100loc_salmon001.cfm Oregon: 8) Good News: A court ruling has shielded beautiful Silver Creek from the destructive Silver Hawk logging project. Silver Hawk was the Bureau of Land Management’s portion of the extreme Biscuit logging project. Thanks go out to our friends at the Klamath-Siskiyou Wildlands Center for leading the legal charge on this Biscuit victory..

9) Bad News: Biscuit logging at the Fiddler and Berry logging sales are ongoing, and roadless forest logging is looming large over the Siskiyou Wild Rivers area. http://www.kswild.org/

10) Also in the news is that Southern Oregon sawmills may have access to as much illegally cut forest as they can get thanks to Bush and thed Biscuit fire, yet they are falling behind rapidly in terms of timber production: "We don’t have the facilities to manufacture wood here like we used to," said Dave Schott, executive secretary of the Medford-based Southern Oregon Timber Industries Association. "They do in the Willamette Valley. They can run three shifts and kick it out like spaghetti, and they do… Private and government-held forestlands in Western Oregon produced 3.8 billion board feet of timber in 2004, driven largely by a strong U.S. housing market and favorable interest rates, according to a report released Thursday by the Oregon Department of Forestry. That marks an 11 percent hike from 2003 and the highest total harvest since 1992, when these 19 counties west of the Cascades pumped 4 billion board feet of timber into the wood-products industry, the reports show. http://www.mailtribune.com/archive/2005/0603/local/stories/16local.htm

11) Lastly, the treesit in Hood River came to a close. Here’s some commentary from the blogger known as: http://grumpyforester.blogspot.com/ “The refusal of the Hood River police to come out and play, saying in effect that young Mr. Villagomez can hunker down in the majestic limbs of that towering downtown tree and crunch away on granola to his heart's content, robs him of that powerful emotional moment where he has to lay his beliefs on the line in the face of grasping police hands trying to deny him his particular podium. No risk of police action, no media, unless maybe the city reporter for the local newspaper elects to swing by once in a while to see if he's still up there...it's a twisted take on the old puzzler about falling trees: if a protester crawls up into a tree in protest and nobody is there to hear it, did he really protest anything?”


12) A federal district court has halted another old-growth timber sale on northwest California's Klamath National Forest, telling the Forest Service it can't ignore science which warns that cutting big trees can increase fire risks. With the Westpoint timber sale legally barred until the Forest Service prepares a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), conservationists have won three of their last four challenges to controversial old-growth timber sales in northwest California's four national forests KS Wild staff attonrey Erin Madden said the court's strong legal opinion in the Westpoint case should help the Forest Service to better hear public opinion, which runs strongly against logging old-growth forests on our national forests. "Eventually the Klamath National Forest is going to get the message that logging old-growth forests is both illegal and unwise. http://www.kswild.org/

13) The timber courts of Humboldt county have been usurped! Retired San Mateo Judge / folk hero Quentin Kopp is now presiding over a complex court case of lawsuits and counter-suits between Pacific Lumber-Maxxam and many Treesitters who were forcibly removed by climber-abuser: Eric Schatz. Kopp’s court room justice is dispensed at a rapid fire pace against both loggers and environmentalists.

Against the loggers: “…attorney Brian Carter argued that activists hadn't shown evidence of unreasonable force, Kopp said the activist had alleged his finger and wrists were hurt during removal from a tree-sit. "Is it your argument that that's not legally sufficient?" Kopp asked. "Yes, it is," Carter answered. "Well, it's rejected," Kopp shot back.

Against the enviros: “…granted the Pacific Lumber Co.'s requests to strike colorful language in the cross-complaints that stabbed at Palco's logging as illegal, warning that "gaudy language" would not be tolerated when the complaints were refined and resubmitted. Activists' attorney Daniel Kosmal argued that the stricken language was necessary to show that the activists were trying to protect trees from being cut under a faulty plan, and that unreasonable force was used to remove the protesters. "These were immediate actions that had to be taken," Kosmal said. "That is your theory," Kopp said. "That is your clients' case. But that is not the law." http://www.times-standard.com/cda/article/print/0,1674,127%257E2896%257E 2893213,00.html

14) In the Sierra Nevada: “At age 87 last year, Martin Litton took one of his beloved wooden boats through Lava Falls. The Grand Canyon's wildest rapid would have been inundated by one of BuRec's proposed dams. Litton and his wife, Esther, are now engaged in a final conservation battle. They're also enjoying a victory lap, running great rivers of the West that still run wild due to campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s. The last campaign is to keep the Forest Service from allowing commercial logging in California's Sequoia National Monument, designated by President Clinton in 2000. "The Forest Service is stupid, but devious," said Litton, over gin-and-tonics after a long day on the river. He spread out pictures of logging in the 328,000-acre monument, appealing for its transfer to National Park Service management.” http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/connelly/226940_joel03.html

Outside the Four province and states of the big tree forests of the Pacific Northwest:

15) In Idaho: “As former head of the U.S. Forest Service, Mike Dombeck is accustomed to making decisions that trickle down from the top. But on Tuesday, the retired top forester advised timber towns to instead force change from the bottom up, to find the common ground that can lead to local control and, ultimately, an employment future for the Western wood products industry. "Don't underestimate the strength that you have," Dombeck told a crowd of about 30 in Libby. "But you've got to have unity." Too often, he said, entrenched special interests on either side of the stump ignore the notion of balance when fighting for their positions. But without balance, Dombeck said, "we're just going to keep duking it out. We've been there many times, and that's not a place you want to be." Every time locals scuffle among themselves, he said, "the issues get elevated." What should be local decisions become national mandates, because with each hometown battle "you're just shoving the issue up to the next level." http://www.missoulian.com/articles/2005/06/01/news/mtregional/news02.txt


16) 24 four activists were surrounded and jailed without cause, yet to be released or charged: “50 demonstrators gathered at the Indianapolis capitol building to protest the construction of I69, the Nafta superhighway. The demonstration was planned as a kick-off event for the Roadless Summer campaign.” http://www.roadless-summer.org/index2.php

Outside the US in Australia:

17) LOGGING contractors pulled out of the Murrah State Forest on Thursday watched by local residents and South Coast conservation groups that have who had been protesting there since Monday. The contractors tidied up the area where they had been logging, took out three truck loads of logs and put in erosion mitigation measures. Since Monday the protest group had blocked access to the loggers who had started work on the Friday. On Tuesday afternoon two local people who were protesting, a 48 year old male resident of the Murrah and a 65 year old great grandmother from Bega, were arrested. The woman said the police had asked the protestors to move from a certain area and were given 15 minutes to do so. She and the man refused and they were arrested and taken to Bermagui police Station. According to the woman, a representative from State Forest wanted them to be sent to Narooma to be fingerprinted and bailed, but Bermagui Police prevailed and they were given court attendance notices. She was charged with entering and remaining in an exclusive use area and failure to comply with direction to move.” http://bega.yourguide.com.au/detail.asp?class=news&subclass=local&catego ry=general%20news&story_id=398799&y=2005&m=6

Giving Kudos to activists is rare and needed more often:

18) Louise Morris, 28, was named winner yesterday of the Australian Conservation Foundation's Peter Rawlinson Conservation Award. She was honoured for her environmental activism and forest conservation work in WA and Tasmania. Ms Morris, of Fern Tree, is one of 20 defendants in the $6.3m lawsuit brought against environmentalists by timber company Gunns Ltd. "Louise has shown herself to be one of the leaders of the new generation of environmental activists with her attempts to open activism up to the wider community," ACF director Don Henry said. http://www.themercury.news.com.au/common/story_page/0,5936,15521698%255E 922,00.html

In Brazil:

19) “The Brazilian Federal Police carried out today a full-size operation in Mato Grosso which resulted in the dismantling of a gang responsible for defrauding logging authorisations in the State for 14 years. The Brazilian Justice issued warrants of arrest for 89 people - including IBAMA (the Brazilian Environmental Agency) agents and loggers, who are responsible for 1,9 million cubic meters of timber illegally exploited in the Amazon. This volume could be loaded into 76,000 trucks, which would cover the distance between Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia. During the investigations, 283 Forest Management Plans were suspended and another 36 were cancelled for indefinitely. Also, 431 "ghost logging companies" were exposed all over the Mato Grosso State. The operation also exposed falsification on ATPFs (Authorization of Forest Products Transport), the "laundry" of authorisations in order to be used again and field inspection frauds. This operation involving 450 Federal Police agents and 31 IBAMA agents is the largest ever carried out by the Federal Police in the Brazilian Amazon… "It is important to stress that the arrests of loggers and IBAMA agents today in Mato Grosso are not isolated cases. The Federal Police and IBAMA should extend this kind of investigation for other Amazon States, such as Para and Rondonia, where deforestation and illegal logging are rampant," said Paulo Adario, Greenpeace Amazon Campaign Coordinator.” http://mailman.greenpeace.org/pipermail/press-releases/2005-June/000122. html

20) Last but not least some photos:

Trees all over the World: “An atlas of environmental change compiled by the United Nations reveals some of the dramatic transformations that are occurring to our planet.” http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4607053.stm

Last Updated on Monday, 06 June 2005 17:41

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