Home » Posts tagged 'logging'

Tag Archives: logging

Olduvai
Click on image to purchase

Olduvai III: Catacylsm
Click on image to purchase

Post categories

‘You can’t drink money’: Kootenay communities fight logging to protect their drinking water

Glade Watershed Kootenay logging Heather McIntyre Louis Bockner
Heather McIntyre and her grandson Carmi Restrick collect water samples and record the temperature of Glade Creek. This daily community monitoring program began two years ago and is an effort to provide hard evidence should the proposed logging go ahead and the community’s water is negatively affected. Photo: Louis Bockner / The Narwhal

‘You can’t drink money’: Kootenay communities fight logging to protect their drinking water

In Glade, where clear-cutting could begin any day, determined residents are pulling out all the stops in an effort to protect their local creek — even though a judge ruled they have no right to clean waterSarah Cox Jul 20, 2019  17 min read

Four years ago, on a morning hike with her husband, Heather McIntyre spotted red and white flagging tape near a creek that supplies much of the drinking and irrigation water for her village of Glade in a pastoral Kootenay valley.

The tape marked logging boundaries and roads and was stamped with “KLC,” the initials of a local timber company, Kalesnikoff Lumber Co., which planned to log in the community’s watershed on the slopes of a low-lying Selkirk Mountain in the interior rainforest.

“We kind of panicked,” said McIntyre, who lives in a yellow strawbale house amidst a patchwork of fruit and vegetable gardens, in a community named Dolina Plodorodnaya by its Doukhobor founders, meaning “fertile valley.”

Glade Watershed Kootenay River Louis Bockner

The community of Glade sits on the banks of the Kootenay River near Nelson, B.C. The Glade Creek watershed has been at the centre of an ongoing dispute between community members and two logging companies — ATCO and Kalesnikoff Lumber Co — who have been given cut permits in the drainage. Photo: Louis Bockner / The Narwhal

“Everybody in the lower part of Glade gets their water from the creek and the logging flagging was right above the creek,” McIntyre told The Narwhal. “We’re using a lot of water in summer for irrigating and then there’s our drinking water.”

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Company Store

The Company Store

Leaves almost nothing to live on

In the song Sixteen Tons by Merle Travis (and made famous by Tennessee Ernie Ford), the idea of the ‘company store’ referred to a system of debt bondage that effectively trapped workers within an unfair system designed to harvest all of their labor at very low cost.

You load sixteen tons, what do you get?

Another day older and deeper in debt

Saint Peter don’t you call me ’cause I can’t go

I owe my soul to the company store

       Sixteen Tons – Merle Travis

How exactly did the company store system operate?

Under a scrip system, workers were not paid cash; rather they were paid with non-transferable credit vouchers that could be exchanged only for goods sold at the company store. This made it impossible for workers to store up cash savings.

Workers also usually lived in company-owned dormitories or houses, the rent for which was automatically deducted from their pay.

(Source – Wiki)

This model was simple enough to understand.  “Pay” your workers with scrip vouchers, then sell them your marked up goods at the company store, pocketing a nice profit. On top of that, force your employees to live in company housing, too,  also at terms very favorable to the company.

Add it all up and the workers found themselves in perpetual service to their employer. No matter how hard and long they toiled, there was nothing left for their own private benefit after all was said and done.  The company succeeded in skimming off any and all  ‘excess’ for itself.

This vast unfairness eventually led to the formation of unions as well as to regulations providing protection to the workers.

 …click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why are We Still Logging Our Forests?

Why are We Still Logging Our Forests?

Anyone who accepts true science realizes that today’s big forest fires are driven far more by climate warming than by a lack of “active forest management” as claimed in previous editorial opinions.

Active forest management, more honestly called “logging,” has always been the timber industry’s cure-all for every perceived problem in our forests.Until science confirmed the amazing diversity and value of our old forests, they were deemed to be “decadent,” badly in need of logging and replacement with more efficient tree farms. When there were budworm or bark beetle breakouts, industry said our forests were being decimated and needed logging to “restore” them. Science disagreed, noting that insects and disease were important components of healthy forest ecosystems. When our forests burn, industry claims quick logging and replanting is necessary to salvage their value. Science again exposed their myths, showing the value of leaving burned forests as critical habitat and how forests reseed and recover naturally from fires like the Biscuit.

I kept a cabin within the huge weather-caused and weather-extinguished Biscuit Fire in Oregon. It was years of cutting and burning non-merchantable understories that saved my cabin, not logging. In the aftermath, I witnessed how little difference commercially thinned stands made to fire spread or intensity. I photographed sites where flames consumed thinned stands only to lie down when they hit the cooler, moister, unthinned forest.

To me, as a timber cruiser and broker who’s tracked timber data and sale prices for decades, it’s obvious why industry preaches logging for all that ails our forests. They make grossly unfair profits from logging public timber sales — far more than the environmental attorneys who litigate them. Scorched old sugar pines and Douglas firs from Biscuit salvage sales sold at literally a dime to the dollar of real value. These sales were sold at a net loss to us as the forest owners, as are many federal timber sales.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Industrial Forest Science: Industry’s Bitch

Industrial Forest Science: Industry’s Bitch

Photo Source Gunvor Røkke | CC BY 2.0

“As soon as you are a scientist … you take a political side [because] you must necessarily choose to ask only certain questions. Many scientists … produce risk assessment for forest management [which] asks ‘how much can we cut, graze, salvage, spray, develop … and do to Earth’s ecosystems without making them buckle.”

–Mary O’Brien, 1994. Being a Scientist Means Taking Sides. BioScience 43(10): 706-708

“The larger and more immediate are prospects for gain, the greater the political power that is used to facilitate unlimited exploitation; Political leaders … base their policies upon a misguided view of the dynamics of resource exploitation; Distrust claims of sustainability; Scientists and their judgments are subject to political pressures.”

–Donald Ludwig, et al., 1993. Uncertainty, Resource Exploitation, and Conservation: Lessons from History. Science 260: 17/36.

Back in the late 1980s, the good people of Minnesota, alarmed by heavy logging, asked that an impact analysis be done. Jaakko Poyry, an international forestry consulting firm, was hired to produce a Generic Environmental Impact Statement (GEIS), and in 1992, the draft of the million dollar analysis was released for public scrutiny. In essence, it read “There will be ecological damage, we’re not sure how much, but industry rules.”

At even the lowest level investigated [the level that had caused public concern], there were projected declines in species of rare trees; declines of tree species within their ranges; unavoidable destruction of rare plant communities; loss of genetic diversity in many plants, including trees. The authors wrote “The lack of data … make it difficult to interpret impacts with any degree of certainly”; “Projections assume no natural disturbance” [Really!]; “Implicit assumptions [are] unrealistic”; “Loss of genetically unique ecotypes is irreversible.”; “Knowledge [is] not sufficient for detailed analysis of effects of fragmentation on biodiversity.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The National Forests Should be Off Limits to Logging

The National Forests Should be Off Limits to Logging

Photograph Jeff Gunn | CC BY 2.0

Logging, conducted ostensibly to “thin the forest,” “reduce fuels” or for so-called “restoration,” causes a net loss of carbon from forest ecosystems.

One of the best strategies for reducing CO2 levels is by protecting our forests. Yet few environmental groups, even those who focus on climate change, advocate for the reduction of logging on federal lands.

Indeed, there are economic studies that demonstrate that protecting all our federal forests from logging/thinning and subsequent carbon sequestration that occurs is far more valuable than any wood produced.

Another study concludes that thinning forests costs more than the wildfire suppression costs that “may” be avoided. Not to mention, that most thinned forests will not encounter a fire during the period they might be effective.

Wildfires are not a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. Even in the largest blazes, only a very small percentage of carbon stored in forest stands is released into the atmosphere by fire.

Even the remaining burnt trees hold more carbon than thinned/logged forests. In a forest fire, what burns are the fine fuels like needles, cones and small branches. The actual tree trunks seldom burn. So even in a high-severity blaze, the bulk of the carbon is left on site, stored in the snags and roots. These carbon storage units last for decades. During that same period, regrowth of vegetation packs even more carbon on to the site.

By contrast, logging forests remove the carbon that would otherwise remain stored on site. In addition, research shows that 45-60 percent of the carbon stored in trees that are logged is released as CO2 emissions during processing into wood products.

Policies that are advocated in the latest Farm Bill and elsewhere to speed taxpayer-subsidized logging/thinning on public lands ignores the significant value of these lands for carbon storage.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Logging Can’t Restore Burnt Forests

Logging Can’t Restore Burnt Forests

Photo by USDA Forest Service Alaska | CC BY 2.0

Every time I drive up to Mount Bachelor in Central Oregon I pass the Deschutes National Forest’s logging and mastication projects. The Forest Service and the Deschutes Collaborative suggest they are “thinning” the forest to preclude large wildfires and to “restore it.” (The collaborative is a working group of various stakeholders who advise the Forest Service about management issues.)

Neither of these assertions is accurate. What they are creating is tree plantations of largely even-aged trees — all done in the name of “fixing” the forest.

The first myth they are selling to the public is that logging can preclude large wildfires. There is a host of research — much by Forest Service’s own fire researchers as well as other ecologists — that concludes that under “extreme fire weather” nothing stops a wildfire.

When you have high temps, low humidity, drought and high winds, wildfires are unstoppable. It does not matter how much “thinning” or other fuel treatment you have done; wildfires will charge through, over and around any “fire break.”

When it appears that a fire break has stopped a blaze, check again. Almost always, the weather has changed. It is weather change, not firefighting, that allows humans to stop large wildfires.

I just visited the Thomas Fire in Southern California, the largest blaze in recent California history. Despite thousands of firefighters, and numerous fire breaks along the pathway of the fire, including 12-lane freeways, the only fire break that halted the Thomas Fire was the Pacific Ocean!

The only way to protect Bend and other communities is through mandatory firewise regulations that include nonflammable roofs, removal of flammable materials from near homes, and planning for rapid evacuation in the event of a wind-driven blaze.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Will Indonesian Fires Spark Reform of Rogue Forest Sector?

Will Indonesian Fires Spark Reform of Rogue Forest Sector?

Massive fires in Indonesia caused by the burning of forests and peatlands for agriculture have shrouded large areas of Southeast Asia in smoke this fall. But analysts say international anger over the fires could finally lead to a reduction in Indonesia’s runaway deforestation.

The fires that blazed in Indonesia’s rainforests in 1982 and 1983 came as a shock. The logging industry had embarked on a decades-long pillaging of the country’s woodlands, opening up the canopy and drying out the carbon-rich peat soils. Preceded by an unusually long El Niño-related dry season, the forest fires lasted for months, sending vast clouds of smoke across Southeast Asia.

Fifteen years later, in 1997 and 1998, a record El Niño year coincided with continued massive land-use changes in Indonesia, including the wholesale draining of peatlands to plant oil palm and wood pulp plantations. Large areas of Borneo and Sumatra burned, and again Southeast Asians choked on Indonesian smoke.

Ulet Ifansasti/Getty Images
Smoke last month in South Sumatra, Indonesia, from illegal burning of forests and peatlands.

In the ensuing years, Indonesia’s peat and forest fires have become an annual summer occurrence. But this summer and fall, a huge number of conflagrations have broken out as a strong El Niño has led to dry conditions, and deforestation has continued to soar in Indonesia. Over the past several months, roughly 120,000 fires have burned, eliciting sharp protests from Singapore and other nations fed up with breathing the noxious haze from Indonesian blazes.

The pall of smoke still drifting over Southeast Asia is the most visible manifestation of decades of disastrous policies in Indonesia’s corrupt forestry and palm oil sectors.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Why Logging Forests After Wildfires is Ecologically Destructive

Why Logging Forests After Wildfires is Ecologically Destructive

calspottedowl

California Spotted Owl. Photo: USFS.

When it comes to wildfire, the U.S. Forest Service has it all wrong. In its just-released plan to chop down trees in nearly 17,000 acres hit by last year’s King fire in the Eldorado National Forest – including logging in 28 occupied spotted owl territories – the agency trots out the same tired falsehoods.

First, the Forest Service claims burned areas must be logged and replanted to “restore” the forest. In truth, wildfire is natural and necessary in the Sierra Nevada, even fires that burn very hot over huge areas, and human interference after fires is harmful rather than helpful.

For thousands of years, big fires have burned in the Sierra Nevada and are as ecologically critical for native plants and animals as rain and snow. And the trees have always grown back on their own.

But before the trees grow back, the burned forests erupt with life. Black-backed woodpeckers thrive in the most charred forests, feasting on the superabundance of insects and creating nesting holes in the freshly dead trees. After the woodpeckers, mountain bluebirds and house wrens use the abandoned cavities to raise their own chicks.

Deer mice and gophers eat fire-exposed seeds and newly sprouting vegetation. These rodents are food for imperiled California spotted owls, who have been documented hunting in charcoal forests, using dead trees to perch upon and listen for their prey rustling below.

Which brings us to falsehood No. 2: that logging will help, not harm, the spotted owl. This has never been true.

Heavily burned forests are great hunting grounds for the owl, but studies have proven that post-fire logging causes owls to abandon their territories. This comes as no surprise, since wildfire is natural but people chopping down trees is not.

Logging is the real threat to owls. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service agrees – recently the agency decided to consider listing the California spotted owl as endangered or threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act, citing thinning and post-fire logging as primary threats to declining populations.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Logging Plans Could Rekindle BC’s War in the Woods

 Logging Plans Could Rekindle BC’s War in the Woods

Teal Jones marked our ‘no-go zone’ for clear-cut. Here’s what happens next.

 Eight months ago, a hiker and friend of our organization found new surveying tape in the central Walbran Valley. There, centred around the iconic Castle Grove, stands one of the largest intact tracts of unlogged old growth rainforest on southern Vancouver Island.

The area was ground zero for B.C.’s war in the woods more than 20 years ago. Grassroots action swept the province and saved ancient forest in the nearby Carmanah Valley and in other parts of the Walbran.

Surveying tape usually signals new cutting, so I contacted Teal Jones, the logging company that holds rights to the area, and asked them about their plans. To my surprise, they got back to me — they even vowed to work to incorporate my concerns in their logging plans. This was a huge departure from the typical communications with logging companies active on Vancouver Island.

In a series of emails that lasted months, I highlighted the scarcity of forests of this quality and scale, the importance of these ecosystems, and the value of standing old-growth. I sent Teal Jones maps that highlighted the most ecologically sensitive areas — our ”no-go zone” for logging.

Just last week, Teal Jones sent us their plans, confirming eight new cut blocks immediately surrounding the Castle Grove. All eight fall in our top priority area for maintaining ecological integrity. This is the most sensitive part of the valley — a strip of primordial forest between the Walbran River and the boundary of Carmanah-Walbran Provincial Park.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Seeing Peru’s forests through the trees – Features – Al Jazeera English

Seeing Peru’s forests through the trees – Features – Al Jazeera English.

Puerto Maldonado, Peru – In an Amazonian timber yard bordering Bolivia and Brazil, Nelson Kroll names stacks of rough-hewn hardwoods, pointing out shihuahuaco and pumaquiro species freshly felled from select tracts of the Madreacre logging concession.

“In this campaign we’ve cut 39,000 cubic metres of round timber, which is about one tree every two hectares,” Kroll, head of the sustainable tree farm, told Al Jazeera.

But lining the floors of European and American households isn’t the private-public partnership’s only source of income. Madreacre earns up to $200,000 a year in carbon credits through emissions captured by its forest. The company gets paid to leave trees in the ground.

The concession is one of more than 40 Peruvian national projects involved in the UN initiative called Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, or REDD+. Set up by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2005, the mechanism aims to cut emissions from deforestation in developing countries and promote sustainable forest management.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
In progress...

Olduvai II: Exodus
Click on image to purchase