Friday, November 30, 2007

Mass Tree Planting in Indonesia

I heard recently on NPR and the BBC News about a massive tree planting campaign in Indonesia. Governmenta agencies all over the country were planning to plant over 79 million trees! Indonesia is usually known for its deforestation of tropical forests and the overwhelming smog from forest fires.

From the reports I heard, I feel optimistic that this campaign may be successful. First, it is a locally initiated campaign. The people seem to be behind it, rather than having it imposed from outside. They have chosen some interesting species. In addition to teak and other timber species they will be planting fruit trees that people want.

As I saw in Africa, tree planting campaigns will only work if they have popular support. Otherwise it's just too hard to make the tree-planting a success. This doesn't resolve the problem of forest clearing and fires, but it does point in the right direction.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Anne Frank Chestnut Tree

One of the first blog entries I made last year was on the chestnut tree outside the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. This was the tree she mentioned frequently in her diary during her family's two year hiding from the Nazis.

The city of Amsterdam wants to remove the tree because of its advanced state of decay. Now, a year later, people who want to save the tree have sued to prevent it being cut. After hearing arguments on both sides a judge ordered the city to hold off until February. Here is a link to a BBC story on the tree.

It's interesting that the managers of the Anne Frank Museum at the house want the tree removed to prevent injury to visitors. They would rather replant a new, healthy tree. Sounds like a good idea to me.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Where am I?

Reading topographic maps is a critical skill for all foresters. We can use contour lines to see a landscape in three dimensions. Here students from the Forest Mapping class are matching their location to the features on a topographic map in the Michaux State Forest and the Waynesboro Watershed.

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