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Cascadia-Wide Deforesting Industry Booming like never before for capitalist development

It's almost Christmas time again, and I'm looking for just the right tree I can cut down and hang pointless plastic shit onto, again. Unfortunately every logging road in the Northwest looks either like the Vietnam War or is full of baby wannabes packed like sardines on a freight vessel going to China. Where can you find the best Christmas tree apocalypse farm this year? Well I did some research and here's what I found ...
articles with photos here:
 link to greycoast.wordpress.com


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From KTZV Central Oregon News. Nov 21:
 http://www.ktvz.com/news/29826826/detail.html

China-Bound West Coast Log Exports Surge

PORTLAND, Ore. Log and lumber exports from Washington, Oregon, Northern California and Alaska in the first three quarters of 2011 already surpass the total exports of 2010, the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station reported Monday.

"The increasing shipments to China are the main driver of the hike in log and lumber exports from the West Coast," says Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station.

"The log exports to China in 2010 (664.2 million board feet) was over 40 times of that in 2005 (15.8 million board feet). The lumber exports to China during the same period expanded 76 percent from 98.5 million board feet in 2005 to 173.5 million board feet in 2010. And this trend continues in 2011," Zhou added.

The total log shipment value in the first 9 months of 2011 was $1,036 million, compared to $844 million total in 2010. The lumber export value this year from January to September was $528 million, which surpasses the total lumber shipment value of $509 million in 2010.

Zhou compiled the statistics from the U.S. International Trade Commission and Production, Prices, Employment, and Trade in Northwest Forest Industries, a station publication that provides current information on the region's lumber and plywood production prices as well as employment in forest industries. The 2010 report is available online at  http://www.treesearch.fs.fed.us/pubs/38431.

Major reasons west coast exports to China have risen include:

1. Increasing Russian timber export tariffs (from 6.5 percent in 2006 to 20 percent in 2007; 25 percent in 2008 and 80 percent since 2009), which caused China to shift business to the U.S.

2. Tightening timber export policy of the neighboring countries

3. Decreasing U.S. domestic demand which leads to higher exporting supply

4. Increased demand for timber resources in China owing to urbanization and domestic infrastructure

(Source: Research Center for Economics and Trade in Forest Products of the State Forestry Administration.)

Other highlights from this year's third quarter (log exports):

A total of 560.1 million board feet of logs was exported (valued at $347.9 million) from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska in the third quarter of 2011 (July through September). This was 2.6 percent lower than the second quarter log exports.

About 99 percent (or 558.1 million board feet) of export logs was softwood (down from 569.2 million board feet in the second quarter of 2011).

Softwood exports increased 27 percent from the same quarter in 2010.

Over 97 percent of west coast log exports was shipped to China, Japan, and South Korea (354.9 million board feet or 62.9 percent of the third quarter 2011 log exports went to China, 123.0 million board feet or 21.8 percent went to Japan, and 72.5 million board feet or 12.9 percent went to South Korea). [Note: see pie chart a.]

About 46 percent of the logs were exported from Oregon and 31 percent from Washington. [Note: see table 2.]

Other highlights from this year's third quarter (lumber):

A total of 255.3 million board feet with a shipment value of $174.4 million was exported from Washington, Oregon, and northern California in the third quarter of 2011, representing a 6 percent decrease.

Softwood lumber exports totaled 87 percent or 221.8 million board.

Third quarter softwood lumber exports were down 4.5 percent from 232.2 million board feet in the second quarter of 2011, but are up 43 percent compared to the same quarter of 2010.

Over 81 percent of west coast lumber exports went to China, Canada, and Japan in the third quarter of 2011.

Some 115.2 million board feet or 45.1 percent of the third quarter 2011 west coast lumber exports went to China, 50.3 million board feet or 19.7 percent went to Canada, and 42.6 million board feet or 16.7 percent went to Japan [Note: see pie chart b].

About 71 percent of the lumber was exported from Washington, 22 percent from California, and 7 percent from Oregon.

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"Domestic demand" decreased because there's a lot of empty bank-owned houses that nobody's squatting in. This only created a higher export supply. That's why a lot of "third world" countries don't have forests.

The good news up in the "Evergreen State" (i.e. Washington) ...

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From the Seattle PI. Craig Welch. Nov 21:
 link to www.seattlepi.com

Bugs, disease killing trees in Washington forests

SEATTLE (AP) So many pine, fir and spruce trees in the Northwest are riddled with bugs and disease that major tree die-offs are expected to rip through a third of Eastern Washington forests an area covering nearly 3 million acres in the next 15 years, according to new state projections.

Because Washington's forests are deteriorating so quickly, the state commissioner of public lands last week said he'll appoint an emergency panel of scientists and foresters to seek ways to stabilize or reverse the decline.

The problem, as The Seattle Times reported earlier this month, is largely centered on tree-killing scourges such as the mountain pine beetle, which is spreading rapidly and getting into ever higher-elevation trees such as the troubled whitebark pine.

The number of acres of trees damaged in the past decade by diseases such as blister rust and invasions of western spruce budworm and bark beetles is more than twice what it was in the 1990s and three times greater than in the 1980s.

That dramatic increase has state officials eager to avoid becoming the next Colorado or British Columbia, both of which have seen millions of acres of forest wiped out in recent years by insects.

"If you don't get started doing something soon, it will quickly overwhelm your capacity to respond," said Aaron Everett, state forester with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). "I'm certainly not going to sit by and watch it happen here without doing anything."

Few ecologists are eager to just let nature take its course. That could expose the region to potentially catastrophic wildfires, upend wildlife migration corridors and alter forest hydrology, which determines when and how much water is available to all-important river systems.

But solutions may prove complex, expensive, politically difficult or elusive. That's because the most significant weapon available to combat forest decay is logging.

Debate over thinning

Each type of forest and mix of trees responds differently to particular types of timber harvest. And experts disagree over whether cutting down and thinning out trees will always curb the spread of bugs in some of the hardest-hit forests.

"I come from an agency with a strong conservation background, and through time I have come to the conclusion that thinning forests to increase resilience in the face of changing conditions is sometimes a necessity," said Nate Stephenson, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in California. "If you've got a forest that's so crowded that the trees are so stressed, sometimes you can reduce the probability of an outbreak by thinning."

But University of Washington professor Jerry Franklin, the old-growth expert whose research helped end most federal-land clearcutting in the Northwest in the 1990s, said that was less true in the lodgepole-pine stands most affected by bark beetles.

"There's not much evidence you can control an outbreak of beetles in lodgepole," he said. "We need to be real honest about what we can do. You can cut in front of it, and take away the potential host, but that's not going to help what you leave standing."

The situation has been decades in the making.

Since land managers suppressed wildfires for so long, many trees in Eastern Washington's dry forests are the same age, about a century old. That means they're weak and susceptible to natural diseases and bug infestations but there aren't young, healthy trees around to stop or slow the annihilation.

At the same time, federal biologists say, warming temperatures have allowed deadly bugs to reproduce faster, survive through winters and reach trees at higher elevations. That's how hundreds of thousands of whitebark pine trees, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently determined belong on the endangered-species list, wound up infested by pine beetles.

The potent combination helped drive the number of acres of damaged forest in Washington in 2009 to 1.9 million, the highest level in 40 years.

"I've traveled quite a bit lately in Eastern Washington, and there's hardly anywhere you can go where you don't see problems," said David Peterson, a biologist with the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Research Station. "I think it's going to continue."

"Hazard warning"

Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark, a Democrat, called the trend alarming, and decided last week to initiate the first step of the state's forest health "hazard warning."

He is soliciting letters of interest from scientists and foresters based on a selection criteria set by the Legislature. He will appoint a panel in December.

That panel will debate options to reinvigorate forests, likely focusing on various types of timber harvest.

"It's not that anyone's objective is to thin every acre of Eastern Washington forest," said Everett, the state forester. "This is about ID'ing where that might be appropriate."

In some cases, such as along Highway 97 between Interstate 90 and Leavenworth, Chelan County, an area hard hit by spruce budworm, even Franklin at UW suspects thinning out grand firs and leaving more resistant ponderosa pine and larches could help reduce the spread of infestations.

"I am a strong advocate of active management, and I could see doing restoration-type thinning there," Franklin said. But he also pointed out that some of those areas are home to threatened northern spotted owls.

"While some of us have argued that by trying to maintain large contiguous blocks of that habitat either fires or insects or both are going to get it, you still run up against a real resistance from environmentalists," Franklin said.

Peterson, meanwhile, said areas thick with mountain pine beetles may pose a different challenge. There, many smaller-diameter trees would need to be removed to provide more light and water to larger, healthier, bug-resistant trees.

But to be effective, "we'd need to take action very quickly and over a significantly large area, before we get massive outbreaks," Peterson said. "And we're used to focusing on small events on small time scales."

Finding ways to resolve these conflicts, Everett said, is why DNR will be bringing together experts.

"If there are matters in dispute, we'll ask our scientists to make recommendations," he said.

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Engineering the forests to death.

How far are you willing to go to get a tree this year? As far as Cascadia Canada?

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From Canada.com. Darrell Bellaart. Nov 24:
 http://www.canada.com/Legal+battle+rages+over+Nanoose+forest/5760425/story.html

Legal battle rages over Nanoose forest

A judge will hear arguments Friday in a First Nation battle with environmentalists to log one of the last remaining coastal Douglas-fir forests on Crown land on eastern Vancouver Island.

Lawyers representing the Snaw'Naw'As (Nanoose) First Nation want an injunction to keep Western Canada Wilderness Committee members and other protesters out of the way of logging crews on a 64-hectare block of land west of Highway 19 near Nanoose Bay.

Most of the land is mature forest after being logged nearly a century ago, with the exception of about 100 old-growth veteran Douglas firs and cedars. The band believes its case is solid but even if the injunction is granted environmentalists say they expect to be allowed on the land to conduct scientific studies. The injunction application was filed in Victoria but lawyers hope to have it moved closer to Nanaimo when it is heard Friday.

Snaw'Naw'As served notice on the protesters late last week, after their presence foiled repeated attempts to log the forest.

"We're concerned about safety, we don't want anyone getting hurt," said Brent Edwards, band administrator.

The band has a five-year, non-renewable forest licence that it considers important to its economic development plan.

Environmentalists want to protect the rare coastal Douglas-fir forests that weren't included when the province gave away much of the eastern Island lowlands in Crown land grants used to build the E&N Railway and join confederation.

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What the fuck is going on in China that they need our forest? Don't say they have some kind of One-Christmas Tree Rule for every family in China. (Well, that would be pretty ridiculous wouldn't it? Because ... what if some families want more than just one?)

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From Live Leak. March 6, 2011:
 http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=deb_1299420831

Largest Mall In The World Is A Chinese Ghost Town

While China recently announced 45 new airports due to booming travel growth, several of their development projects have been enormous duds. The New South China Mall is twice the size of Minnesota's Mall of America, but hovers at around a 1% occupancy. The rows of empty shops are piped with serene elevator music, and guards police the empty halls with echoing footsteps[...]

Bloomberg News on the South China Mall:
 http://youtu.be/mSesAjD3ogo

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Are there any signs of this slowing down any time soon?

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From Yamhill Valley News Register. Ossie Bladine, Nov 23:
 link to www.newsregister.com

Booming Asian log trade suddenly goes bust

The recent frenzy of log and lumber exports to China, which sent ripples rolling through various parts of timber industry this year, has experienced a sudden slowdown.

On Monday, the U.S. Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station reported that West Coast log and lumber exports had already surpassed calendar 2010 totals during the first nine months of 2011.

"The increasing shipments to China are the main driver of the hike in log and lumber exports from the West Coast," said Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station.

She said, "The log exports to China in 2010 (664.2 million board feet) were more than 40 times of that in 2005 (15.8 million board feet)." And she said they had jumped to 995.2 million board feet in the first nine months of 2011.

As these numbers come out, however, reports from industry insiders indicate demand for wood in China has ground to a sudden halt. How long the slowdown will last is uncertain.

Capt. Ingvar Doessing, manager of the Coos Bay division of Jones Stevedoring Company, a cargo handling and management company, termed it "just a regular slowdown."

He said log inventory has simply been maxed out in China, and it will take a month or two for the market there to dip deeply enough into the inventory to bring demand back up.

"There's definitely a slowdown there, both in lumber and logs," agreed Steve Zika, chief executive officer with Hampton Affiliates, owner and operator of Willamina Lumber's local mill. He said a slowdown in lending and spike in inflation may have played a part, in addition to a saturated market.

Zika said he's hearing it might take as much as three to six months to work itself out. He said the timing of the Chinese New Year in late January contributes.

"I tend to think it's temporary," he said. And he said that fortunately for Hampton, the slowdown is mainly affecting the export of raw timber, not the finished lumber the local mill turns out.

Zika said it's been a reasonably good year for Willamina Lumber, considering the tough economic conditions.

"We'll still be shipping lumber to China from our mill," he said. "But right now the log exports have slowed dramatically."

Whether the slowdown lasts several weeks or several months, the lesson to take away is the volatile nature of the Chinese market, said Tom Partin, president of the American Forest Resource Council.

"That's something we've tried to put out there about these foreign markets," Partin said. "While it sounds like they will be on board for a long time, it could change your whole program immediately."

Partin said he's been told a number of purchase orders simply aren't being honored. He said ships are sitting idle in Chinese harbors, unable to unload their cargo.

He said one factor appears to be overbuilding. A large number of housing units recently put up along the Chinese coast remain empty.

Zika, who just returned from a trip to Japan and China, had a similar report.

"You certainly see buildings going up that are empty," he said. "It may make the landowners re-think," he said, speaking of holders of private U.S. timber.

"A lot of them went really hard into China. Maybe now they will be more cognizant that China can be more of a roller coaster."

The boom has been very profitable for landowners and logging companies, but has had an adverse effect on Northwest sawmills. That's because China's hunger for raw logs has driven prices up, especially for lower grade varieties like Hemlock.

Hemlock has traditionally sold for $100 to $150 per thousand board feet less than Douglas fir, Partin said, but the Chinese have bid it up to the Douglas fir level. "They really don't care about grades of wood, because so much is used in cement forming," he said.

The rise in exports has also left sawmills with an acute timber supply problem, something Gov. John Kitzhaber sounded a strong noted on in Nov. 3 testimony before the state Board of Forestry.

Federal law prohibits the export of timber from public land. So exports are cutting into critical supply from private holdings, starving local mills in the process.

The federal government owns almost 60 percent of Oregon's 30,499,733 acres of forest, but accounts for only 12 percent of the state's timber production. The state owns just 3 percent, but accounts for 10 percent of production almost as much.

Private and industrial owned land represents 19 percent of the land base, but accounts for a disproportionate 75 percent of the timber production. Thus, when private industry exports logs, that represents lost money for Oregon mills.

"We are at risk of becoming a timber colony for Asia," Kitzhaber said. "While undermining our mill infrastructure and surrounding communities and, at the same time, further increasing the pressure for harvest on public forest lands."

Partin said to expect legislation on forest management to be introduced soon.



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And the sawmill workers aren't even getting a piece. They'd better be pretty pissed off.

But are there any protected forests left in Cascadia?

What counts as "protected forest" anymore? - does it mean it has to be managed by a local business, bank, or government (same diff to me) that owns the forest?

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From Corvallis Gazette Times. Nov 26:
 link to www.gazettetimes.com

Public can Comment on city's forest management

Corvallis' Watershed Management Advisory Commission is inviting the public to learn about how the city is managing the 2,352-acre Corvallis Forest and comment on proposed forest management.

The commission is inviting the public to view and comment on proposed updates to the Corvallis Forest Stewardship Plan at a meeting planned from 7 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 30, at the Corvallis-Benton County Public Library, 645 N.W. Monroe Ave.

The Corvallis Forest is nine miles southwest of Corvallis, on the east side of Marys Peak. The parcel is adjacent to Siuslaw National Forest property that serves as a watershed for about 30 percent of the city's annual drinking water supply.

In 2006, the city, with the assistance of the citizen Watershed Management Advisory Commission, developed a Corvallis Forest Stewardship Plan to guide the management of this city-owned property. Since 2007, the city has been engaged in management that includes logging, as well as programs to control invasive plant species and improve fish passage and wildlife habitat.

More information about the Corvallis Forest Stewardship Plan, including the proposed standards and guidelines, is available at www.ci.corvallis.or.us/pw. Click on Corvallis Forest.

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You can have a "word" with those people. What about at our state legislative capitals? Aren't they doing anything about this in Salem or Olympia?...

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From PSA. June 13, 2011:
 http://pugetsoundanarchists.org/node/690

Logging Equipment Sabotaged in Olympia

Sometime in the morning hours of June 11th a piece of logging equipment somewhere around Olympia Washington was sabotaged. All that was needed was quickset cement, a bottle of saltwater, and a large pipe. This piece of machinery was being used to clear-cut a piece of land to make way for a small development, and will not be running anytime soon unless thousands of dollars are put into repairing the machine. This action was done in solidarity with Eric McDavid, Marie Mason and all non-cooperating green scare prisoners. Solidarity to all anarchist prisoners!

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Okay. Good. That was progressive and thoughtful of them. But who the fuck is Eric McDavid? And isn't there anyone who really makes the decisions around here? I mean aren't there any "local" and "community" banks who might have the power to make these decisions? whoever needs to stop fucking around the most, essentially and where can I find them?

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Yeah, Umpqua Bank, they seem like a responsible bank. Responsible, that is, for the deforestation. So where can I find this local community bank?


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Gee, it looks like their local community is pretty big.

It's virtually everywhere on the West Coast from Seattle to San Francisco, and it's even the same local community bank. That is very convenient of them, to think of us, in all of our local communities. They must be everywhere, just like us. They really know us well, don't they?

Has anyone talked to them about "the issues"? The issues being that they're a bank and they make a killing off the land despite local people who aren't "demanding" that they kill it? And also the issue is that they are a bank, and because this is capitalism, and because this is just how it goes. If so, what was the response from the local community bank?

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From Earth First! Newswire. Nov 18:
 link to earthfirstnews.wordpress.com

Timber Barons are the 1%: Occupy Eugene Meets Forest Defense

Cascadia Forest Defenders and marchers with Occupy Eugene shut down Umpqua Bank yesterday from noon to close. Activists raised a banner reading "Stumpqua funds clearcuts," and soft blockaded both customer entrances. Umpqua, which was the first stop in a series of N17 Occupy Eugene bank closures, chose to lock its doors rather than call on law enforcement. Umpqua Bank has a long history of providing low interest loans to Oregon's timber barons. The bank is most infamously tied to Roseburg Forest Products' sole owner, Allyn Ford, who is also the chairman of Umpqua Bank's board of directors. Over the last year RFP logged hundreds of acres of Cascadia's ancient temperate rainforests and laid off over 200 Oregon mill workers. In targeting Stumpqua, activists hope to thwart attempts of green and local washing on the part of bank executives. After the Umpqua action, marchers proceeded on to U.S. Bank, Bank of America, and Chase. Between the three banks, law enforcement arrested 17 activists for similar soft blockades.


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So people brought the issues up and then they were arrested. That doesn't make any sense. Let's talk to their leader. No, not their leader. The arrested people don't have a leader - or a message. Nobody understands what they're trying to say. They don't have a leader, like the local community bank has. Since the bank has a leader whom everyone follows, in theory, if you could just throw off the dictator then the regime would change. But you know how the story goes. These people have been living with dictators for thousands of years, and they will kill each other in sectarian violence until they have a new leader who fills the power vacuum.

Let's go straight to the source. And see what we can find. (Crooked ass banks striking deals all the time.)

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Umpqua Bank Headquarters: 1 SW Columbia St # 150, Portland, OR


They have a local community headquarters right in my back yard. I had no idea I lived so close to a local community - headquarters, even.

Need directions?


It's on the West side of the river where all the other banks and local communities are. Umpqua is only a stone's throw away, so to speak, from Waterfront Park. It's a big red building full of community and local shit. You can't miss it.


PS. Going to the forest to find some "snow play areas" unaffected by logging activities? Well tough luck. But for your convenience updates on timber sale activities and affected snow play areas in Central Oregon, among other areas, are posted to the National Forest website ( http://www.fs.usda.gov/centraloregon)

(A)

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