Tree Frog Forestry News

Daily news for October 28 2020

Forestry

Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

By Marc Fawcett-Atkinson
Cowichan Valley Citizen
October 27, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: Canada, Canada West

Jordon Gabriel is trying to manage who harvests wild mushrooms on the Lil̓wat First Nation’s lands. Wild mushrooms, berries and other non-timber forest resources growing in the understory of B.C.’s forests have largely been ignored in the provincial government’s forest management decisions.  It’s a regulatory gap that some First Nations in the province have been stepping in to fill — a move both highlighting the value of forests beyond the trees and increasing First Nations’ jurisdiction over their land.  Nor is the Lil̓wat First Nation alone. Several First Nations across B.C. and the Yukon have started to regulate who can harvest wild foods from their lands, especially for commercial use. It’s a big shift, particularly compared to the province’s current laissez-faire approach that lets anyone harvest anywhere on Crown land, which is about 94 per cent of the province.

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Agreement ends dispute over threatened Mexican spotted owl

Associated Press in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 27, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Environmentalists have reached an agreement with federal land and wildlife managers that will clear the way for forest restoration efforts to resume in the Southwest. A federal court had issued an injunction last year that limited timber activities and restoration projects on national forest lands in New Mexico and Arizona pending the outcome of a legal battle over the threatened Mexican spotted owl. WildEarth Guardians had accused the U.S. Forest Service of failing to comply with the Endangered Species Act by not regularly monitoring the owl population. Under the agreement announced Tuesday, federal managers will regularly track population trends through 2025. Surveys also will be done prior to ground-disturbing activities and known owl habitat will be protected. The agreement, which still must be approved by a federal judge, will apply to all 11 national forests in the two states.

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US pulls appeal of ruling that blocked Alaska timber sale

Associated Press in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 27, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

JUNEAU, Alaska — The federal government withdrew an appeal of a court ruling stopping one of the largest old-growth timber sales in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest. The U.S. Justice Department planned to pursue the case in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals but reversed course and withdrew the case Oct. 20, CoastAlaska reported Monday. Environmentalists called the government’s decision a victory that spares more than 36 square miles (93 square kilometers) of old-growth forest from potential clear cutting across Prince of Wales Island near Ketchikan in southeast Alaska. The U.S. Forest Service did not include site-specific information on areas that could be logged in its environmental review. A federal court said the process was flawed, ruling that the agency would need to restart the process to bring timber to market.

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Tasmania has no wild koalas — but could play a role in the survival of the species

By Selina Ross
ABC News Australia
October 28, 2020
Category: Forestry
Region: International

Three Hummock Island sits 30 kilometres off the north-west coast of Tasmania, in the wild waters of Bass Strait.  The 70-square-kilometre granite island has stunning deserted beaches, a rich Aboriginal history and abundant wildlife.  There is just a smattering of buildings and caretakers are the only residents, but the island was once home to a handful of imported koalas.  Four adult koalas were released into the wild on Three Hummock Island in 1947 by the family that was leasing it at the time.  ….As the only chronicler of the koala relocation, Ms Alliston detailed how the koalas were brought over from Victoria and put in the gum forest at the foot of Big Hummock.  “They never sighted any of them again, and it was supposed that they had died,” she regretfully wrote.

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