And Now The News …

Ellsworth, Maine, American, July 1, 2020: Hungry, itch-inducing caterpillars take toll on humans, trees

If there is one good thing to say about browntail caterpillar season, it’s that it is wrapping up. As far as enemies go, this foe is unassuming. But don’t be fooled by its small, fluffy appearance. The caterpillar’s hairs can cause a fierce itch when they land on skin. “It’s awful — the itch is worse than chicken pox,” says Valerie Folckemer, who encountered the insects at her house on Newbury Neck in Surry. The caterpillars are brown and can be identified by the two white stripes that run along their backs and by two distinctive orange dots. Their tiny hairs are barbed and toxic. “I am covered in a severe rash from this stupid caterpillar and have been for an entire week now; it just seems to be getting worse, not better,” said Jill Rothrock of Hancock. The itching started June 17 when she was running errands in Ellsworth. Her daughter spotted a caterpillar on her shirt. “I didn’t even look, I just screamed and tried to shake it off my shirt. My daughter screamed and ran away,” Rothrock recalled. A friend plucked the insect off her shirt with a paper towel. “Then the rash started getting worse. By the time I went to bed, I had what looked like hives on my chest, shoulder and neck.” The following Monday she went to the doctor, who prescribed a compound for the rash. It didn’t help much. “My doctor and his nurse said they are getting so many calls about this caterpillar and rashes that it is causing people,” she said. There is little good to say about browntail caterpillars, according to Tom Schmeelk, a forest entomologist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry…

Rosenberg, Texas, Fort Bend Herald, July 1, 2020: Cost of free oak trees could cost city $344,000 in maintenance annually, report says

In February, Fort Bend County Road and Bridge granted the city of Rosenberg 280 free oak trees. But nothing is really free. At the most recent Rosenberg City Council workshop meeting, council members discussed the cost of landscape irrigation for the live oak trees donated by Fort Bend County. City staff revealed that irrigation and installation for the trees could cost anywhere between $240,000 and $344,000. This project would be scheduled in three phases to allow the county’s contractor time to prepare the trees. Council agreed in February that the trees would be planted at center medians along major thoroughfares along Bryan Road, Spacek Road and possibly Town Center Boulevard. City staff explained that while the trees would be free, the city would have to pay for irrigation and other upkeep. “When we first discussed this, I had a feeling this was going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars,” council member Isaac Davila said. “We have more important things to spend money on. That’s a wish list. If we had a lot of extra money then maybe. But we don’t. I’m against it.” Mayor Bill Benton said nice towns have a lot of things like sidewalks and trees. “I think we are out of touch with our constituents, especially the poorer ones,” Davila responded…

Southern Living, July 1, 2020: The Manchineel Is a Scary Tropical Tree That Can Kill You

There’s a toxic coastal plant you need to know about, and it’s called the manchineel tree. You may have seen one during your travels—it’s often accompanied by cautionary signs and a bright red band painted around its trunk as a warning to all who pass by. While not all manchineel trees are so painted, they require a fervent advisory, because they are one of the most dangerous plant species around. The manchineel (aka Hippomane mancinella, aka the Tree of Death) is native to coastal areas in southern North America, such as South Florida, as well as the northern reaches of Central and South America and the Caribbean. The plant gets its name from the Spanish word manzanilla, which means “little apple.” It is so named because the fruit and foliage of the plant resemble those of apple trees. It’s also been called manzanilla de la muerte, or “little apple of death,” a foreboding moniker if ever we’ve heard one. As it happens, all of the fearsome names are warranted. The manchineel has bright green leaves and round, yellowish-green fruits, making it a rather ordinary looking tropical plant. Don’t let it fool you, though: Every part of the manchineel is poisonous. The fruit is toxic, and the sap from the leaves and stems is too. If touched, the irritants found in manchineel sap can produce inflammation and painful blisters on the skin. Passersby are warned not to stand underneath the tree when it’s raining, as dripping water can transfer toxins from the tree to anyone nearby. And finally, burning manchineel bark has been known to cause irritation, even blindness, due to airborne poison ash…

Arkansas City, Kansas, Cowley Courier Traveler, July 1, 2020: Tree removal digs up complaint

Some of the trees planted as part of a 2006 Summit Street beautification project are being cut down and removed in response to complaints from businesses. But removing the trees has also led to complaints from residents who like them. Public Services Supervisor Tony Tapia said several business owners in the 100 block of South Summit Street want the trees removed because they hide their signs and make their location less visible. “Like TCK investments,” he said. “They’ve got a new sign and they want the tree removed.” Tapia said that Riggs Tax Service has also complained about his sign being blocked and was also concerned about the tree on the north side of his building. He said the tree was breaking up the sidewalk and filling his bottom stairwell with leaves. “So the only thing I can do is take them out,” Tapia said. In some areas, the trees are causing a lot of damage, Tapia said. Sidewalks in front of Starlyn Venus Insurance at Summit Street and Chestnut Avenue are being badly damaged by tree roots. Another problem area is near the Council on Aging building in the 300 block of South Summit Street. He said Bob Niles complained that the roots were popping up the tile work in the doorway, so that tree was also removed. Tapia said the city is not planning to remove all of the trees, just the ones causing problems and receiving complaints. The only other tree slated for removal at this time is in front of The Grinder Man restaurant…

Miami, Florida, Miami Today, July 1, 2020: Million Trees plans pruned

Million Trees Miami, an initiative funded by Miami-Dade County, has set its sights on establishing a 30% tree canopy in the county through tree giveaways, plantings, grants and special programs directed at shading bus stops and playgrounds. In 2016, the Miami-Dade County Urban Tree Canopy Assessment placed the county’s coverage at 19.9%. However, Gabriela Lopez, community image director for Neat Streets Miami, which oversees Million Trees, said up to 30% of this canopy may have been lost over the past four years due to storms such as Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Dorian. The organization’s original goal, she said, was to plant one million trees in Miami Dade; roughly the number needed to reach the 30% canopy based on 2016 estimates. Now, the goal is to plant as many trees as possible while the county works to update the assessment via satellite imaging and reassess, a project that Ms. Lopez said should be completed by next spring. This percentage, she continued, “is the national standard for a healthy urban environment.” In addition to providing aesthetic benefits, Ms. Lopez said studies have shown that trees provide economic perks. In fact, well-placed trees can raise property values, increase the time and money pedestrians spend at shopping centers, and help residents and businesses save up to 56% on annual air-conditioning costs, according to the US Department of Agriculture Forest Service…

Southern Living, June 30, 2020: Chaste Tree Produces Pretty Lilac Blooms in Summer

The shrubs are blooming and the trees are bursting—you know what time it is. Summertime brings gorgeous flowers, lush leaves, and bright colors in every corner of the garden. Seeing all the vibrant garden changes makes the summer heat almost bearable—almost. This season, a blooming tree with pretty lilac flower spikes has been catching our eyes, and we think it’s a gorgeous planting for Southern gardens. Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus) is also known as Texas lilac tree, Vitex, chasteberry, and Monk’s pepper. It’s a great tree for small yards and compact spaces. The multi-trunked tree grows to heights of 10-15 feet tall and tends to spread. It produces small, spiked blue and lavender flowers in summer along with long, fragrant grey-green leaves. During the early hot days of the season, branched panicles emerge. Those are the colorful, easily recognized flower spikes that make chaste tree such a popular planting. Some selections produce pink and white flowers too. It’s a hardy planting that’s drought tolerant and can stand up to the hot Southern climates, but you’ll get the best bloom by providing full sun and regular water in well-drained soil. It’s even hardy enough to plant in coastal conditions. Chaste tree can also withstand garden pests and browsing deer. It does require regular pruning to keep the tree looking its best. After planting, it doesn’t take long for Southern gardeners to declare this tree their favorite summer bloomer in the garden…

Indianapolis, Indiana, WTHR-TV, June 30, 2020: Friends pushing to remove tree blocking stop sign after deadly crash

A group of students in Marion made their voices heard after losing a classmate. Katie Jo Maynus, 18, was a graduate of Oak Hill High School. She was killed in a crash after she went past a stop sign at the intersection of 4th Street and Butler and was hit by a semi. Her friends blame a tree that was blocking the stop sign.”It is dangerous because the trees you can barely see any cars when you cross by until you are right up on them,” said Emily Henry, one of Maynus’ friends. Some of the branches were cut back after the deadly accident and a “Stop Ahead” sign was put up. Even with those changes, the stop sign is still hard to see and Maynus’ friends, family and even one of her teachers want the tree to come down. “I’ve lost kids to drunk driving accidents and cancer and suicide and stupid accidents but this is the first one that is 100 percent preventable and I am not going to rest until it is taken care of,” said teacher Danielle Hewitt. “We do not want any other family to go through what we have gone through and are going through and will continue to go through for the rest of our lives,” said Maynus’ grandmother, Arvida Newcomer…

Port Huron, Michigan, Help trees regrow leaves if gypsy moths get to them (June 30, 2020)

First introduced in eastern New England more than 100 years ago, the gypsy moth was brought to the United States for use in silkmaking, said Scott Lint, Forest Resources Division forest health expert for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.But they escaped. Arriving in Michigan in the 80s, the species caused serious problems in the early 90s. While the insects have become somewhat naturalized over the years, there are occasionally outbreaks when certain conditions are suitable. These outbreaks usually collapse on their own, but there are two areas of the the state causing concern for the DNR this summer. “We suspect this population will also collapse, but the issue is from a nuisance standpoint for homeowners,” he said. “They have to tolerate thousands of caterpillars crawling on their house and stripping all the leaves off their trees…

Elgin, Illinois, Daily Herald, June 29, 2020: Elgin will hold off on removing 10 trees after residents’ complaints

The city of Elgin will not preemptively cut down 10 trees along Chicago Street after residents complained about such a plan. The 10 trees, including some large silver maples, are on the public parkway. They had been slated for removal because of “a high likelihood of considerable damage or death” — and therefore a risk to property and people — during the ongoing rebuilding of East Chicago Street, city spokeswoman Molly Gillespie said. The city sent a letter with an apology to residents last week and offered to plant “a larger-than-typical replacement tree,” Gillespie said. After negative feedback from some residents, the city opted instead to allow the homeowners who live across from the trees to decide whether to keep them or replace them before construction proceeds further, Gillespie said. “We will be doing as much as practical to not harm the trees that are requested to remain standing, but if during construction we encounter a tree and have concerns it is a threat to safety, we will take steps to remove it,” she said…

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, WBRZ-TV, June 29, 2020: Dead tree debate taking too long, could have saved homeowner money

A dead tree is a topic of debate between the city-parish and a property owner for more than two months. Kim Scarton’s records show that she called the city-parish’s 311 call center about a dead tree behind her fence line on June 26, 2019, and took down a work order. But it wasn’t until 2 On Your Side got involved did she receive an answer from the city-parish about who it thinks should take responsibility. “We requested removal, we got a work order number and they said they’d be in touch,” said Scarton. A couple of weeks went by. Scarton says her neighbor called the city-parish after a tree behind her house was damaged during Tropical Storm Barry. On July 15, 2019, she says a representative from the South Drainage Department came out to investigate and told her the trees were not on their properties, but in the city-parish servitude. On July 23, 2019, two city-parish arborists visited Scarton’s home. “We were told they’re on city property and they’ll be recommended for removal,” Scarton said. After following up a few times, Scarton said she didn’t hear anything. Then on August 24, 2019, a branch fell from the tree onto Scarton’s roof. Estimates to repair the damage exceed $3,500…

Normal, Illinois, Pantagraph, June 30, 2020: TRACKING TREES – Watch now: Normal completes inventory of 12,000 trees

Standing on the Ironwood Golf Course, Reid Gibson can identify a tree’s species, diameter and condition within a matter of minutes. Gibson, an arborist with Davey Resource Group, has entered thousands of trees in Normal into a program that will help the town fight off invasive insect species and keep track of its urban canopy. With a handheld computer attached to his tool belt, he is able to pinpoint the exact location of the tree into a geographic location system to create a database of the town of Normal’s trees. “In the future, we’ll use the tree inventory for years to come, so it’s a huge benefit for the town,” said Tyler Bain, Normal park maintenance supervisor. “We’re trying to put trees in the urban forest in the forefront because it’s not always there. “We’re trying to protect what we have and improve it for the future. Gibson completed a nearly two-month long inventory of 12,000 trees throughout Normal. He has surveyed roughly 250 trees per day, working 10 hour days Monday through Friday to prepare a database for Normal’s tree canopy…”

Grand Rapids, Michigan, WXMI-TV, June 29, 2020: 85-year-old says tree service took his money and ran

A tree service in Barry County recently featured by the FOX 17 Problem Solvers is accused of taking money and not doing the work. Now an 85-year-old veteran says he too is out hundreds of dollars. Russell Golden still works hard for his money and takes good care of it. “I can’t afford to lose money and other old people can’t either,” says Golden. In March, he noticed some of his oak trees beginning to rot, so he says he hired Darren Huffman of Darren’s Tree Service to do some trimming. Golden made a contract for the job that outlined its $900 cost. “I had him sign a contract, he was supposed to do it in a week. And he said he had to have half the money, so I wrote him out a check for $500. I never seen him since,” Golden explained. And Golden says the check did cash. FOX 17 has tried multiple times to get in touch with Darren, once again Monday night, we received his voicemail…

Atlanta, Georgia, Saporta Report, June 28, 2020: Citizens group proposes an alternative tree ordinance for Atlanta

Atlanta may get a new and improved tree ordinance after all. The Atlanta City Council held a Tree Ordinance Work Session on June 25 to discuss a proposed draft ordinance prepared by consultants and released March 20. But it was an alternative draft tree ordinance presented by a citizens group that stole the show. Chet Tisdale, a retired environmental attorney who serves on the City of Atlanta’s Tree Conservation Commission, helped convene 22 citizens – professional arborists, developers, an ecologist, attorneys, members of watershed protection organizations, members of tree protection groups among others – who worked the alternative draft tree ordinance. The citizens version addresses many of the criticisms the public had of the draft tree ordinance proposed by the consultants, with some people questioning whether it had more loopholes than the tree ordinance Atlanta has had in place for the past 20 years. Tisdale said the citizens alternative is still a work in progress, and he welcomed the public to propose ways to make it “a tree protection ordinance that the city of Atlanta deserves…”

London, UK, Daily Mail, June 29, 2020: Arborist cuts off his own leg while chopping down a tree in New South Wales

An arborist has accidentally amputated his leg while cutting down a tree in New South Wales. The 51-year-old man was working in Wilberforce, 61km northwest of Sydney, on Monday when a rope wrapped by his leg got caught in a nearby woodchipper. The machine pulled the rope taut, severing his leg beneath the knee. The force of the rope being yanked into the woodchipper sent the man’s detached leg ‘flying into the air’, the Careflight team told ABC News. The man suffered from significant blood loss due to the amputation and his colleagues provided first aid. ‘The moment the leg went flying through the air, the quick actions of others meant they were able to grab and preserve it,’ a CareFlight spokeswoman said. Careflight’s rapid response helicopter were called to the scene just before 11.30am. NSW Police officers who were first on scene had already tied a tourniquet around the man’s leg, significantly increasing his chances of survival after the incident…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, June 28, 2020: A Row Over Trees Could Spark the Next Israel-Lebanon War

At the heart of tensions that threaten to trigger a new war between Israel and Lebanon are lines of trees planted along their blurred border. The trees are growing next to Israel’s concrete border walls that tower over Lebanon. They won’t just make this place greener. The trees will eventually block Israeli spy cameras that peer across the line. That is something Israel won’t allow. Now the United Nations is trying to broker a deal to prevent this dispute from sparking another deadly conflict between the two sides. “The cutting of a branch here could trigger a war,” said Andrea Tenenti, spokesman for the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, which has more than 10,000 peacekeepers spread out across the south of the country. The tensions center not just on the trees but also who is planting them. Green Without Borders is an environmental group aligned with Hezbollah, the Iran-backed military and political force designated by the U.S. as a terrorist organization. It has run tree-planting projects with Hezbollah before and, with Lebanese military support and government backing, the group has also built a series of cinder block lookout towers that Israeli officials say are used by Hezbollah to plot attacks…

Kennebec, Maine, Journal, June 28, 2020: Knotty tree fungus strikes cherry, plum trees in Augusta

A nasty fungus has infected numerous cherry trees in the city, including 14 at a city park where officials plan to have them cut down and removed. The black knot fungus is slowly killing cherry trees at Monument Park, off Memorial Circle, clinging to the trees’ branches and leaving them barren and dying. Community Services Director Leif Dahlin said the city’s arborist, Rich Wurpel, has spent hundreds of hours over the past several years trying to battle back against the fungus, but it keeps coming back. This year, it has spread to the point trees will be cut down before they die on their own — an effort to prevent further spread of the fungus. “You can see where he’s clipped and clipped and clipped,” Dahlin said of Wurpel, noting he wipes his pruning clippers off between each cut to prevent spreading the fungus. “But this year it exploded and, tragically, those trees are done. They’re done. It’s time for them to go.” The fungus is also affecting cherry trees in Mill Park, Calumet Park and other places, which will also be cut down. Experts say the fungus can also harm plum trees. Dahlin briefed the Augusta City Council on the situation last week because people are sure to see trees being cut down at Monument Park, adjacent to Memorial Circle, according to City Manager William Bridgeo…

Beverly Hills, California, The Hollywood Reporter, June 25, 2020: The Community Feud Over Beverly Hills’ Trees

What’s going on with the trees in Beverly Hills? That’s what a lot of 90210 insiders have been asking for months after the Beverly Hills City Council voted in February to move forward with the removal of close to 1,200 trees at a cost of $2.1 million, citing fire safety in the wildfire-prone area. Phase 1 was due to begin March 20 in the Trousdale Estates area, but the removal process is taking a breather amid the pandemic while, at the same time, opposition is mounting. A rep for the city of Beverly Hills tells THR that the removal plan is in “pause mode right now” and no trees are currently being removed. When the work began — “as we often find,” the rep added — some residents indicated they were not aware of the plans, but due to the pandemic, in-person outreach was not possible. “So we are resetting,” with plans to hire a consultant to develop a wildfire assessment report. Once that is done, community meetings will be scheduled for the fall, and if approved, further tree trimming would begin later in the year. But local leaders should expect resistance. THR has learned that dissenters of the removal include Jeffrey Katzenberg. Calls to other residents known to disapprove of the plan were not returned. Grassroots efforts are underway to fight the removal, and THR obtained a letter signed by Nickie Miner, president of the Benedict Canyon Association, who writes that “healthy ‘green’ trees we now know act as a firewall for structures in case of wildfires. The owl population along with other wildlife habitat in our trees and hills are necessary to maintain ecological balance. Especially in this period of national emergency, while our community, the nation and the world is under siege by a virus that attacks the lungs, we want to ensure there is no impression that the City of Beverly Hills is attacking our oxygen producing trees…”

Atlanta, Georgia, WABE Radio, June 25, 2020: Atlanta Is Still Trying To Redo Its Tree Ordinance

The city of Atlanta is taking another whack at developing a new tree protection ordinance. The rule is meant to protect trees in the city, but there’s a lot of unhappiness with it. And replacing it has been a challenge.The old ordinance is about 20 years old, according to City Councilman Matt Westmoreland. For years, city officials have said they’ll work on an update in an effort to maintain the city’s tree canopy or even to expand it, with a goal of 50% tree cover. An analysis released a few years agofound that as of 2014, Atlanta was at about 47%, and losing trees as older, smaller houses were torn down and replaced with larger ones. “It does an inadequate job of protecting trees, which it’s intended to do,” Planning Commissioner Tim Keane said Thursday at a City Council work session. “Also the process within the tree ordinance is convoluted and unpredictable. So it’s a little bit of a kind of worst-case scenario.” Last year, work began on a rewrite of the ordinance as part of the city’s new urban ecology framework. But a meeting in November meant to update the public on the new ordinance ended up, as one City Council member referred to it, a “nightmare.” Attendees at that meeting were frustrated with the lack of progress on developing new rules to protect trees. Another tree meeting that was supposed to happen the following night was abruptly canceled…

Columbus, Ohio, The Ohio State University, June 23, 2020: Orange “Dust” from Callery Pears

Homeowners in southwest Ohio were surprised yesterday to awake to find sidewalks, cars, and streets beneath Callery pears (Pyrus calleryana) covered in a fine sprinkling of orange dust. The unusual event spawned rampant speculation on social media and captured the attention of the local news media. The source of the orange patina appears to be Gymnosporangium clavipes; the cedar-quince rust fungus. The “orange dust” is actually the spores of the fungus and the source are tube-like structures, called aecia, which are sprouting from the fruits and to a lesser extent, the stems of infected Callery pears. Fruit infections cause no harm to the overall health of infected trees. Although the stem infections may cause minor tip dieback, the damage is usually inconsequential to tree health. The rain of orange is generally considered to be an aesthetic issue; however, affected homeowners may have a different perspective. Plant pathologists developed the Disease Triangle to graphically illustrate the three conditions that must be present at the same time for a plant disease to develop. Viewed from a management perspective, the Triangle is helpful with showing that by removing any one of the three components, disease development can be prevented…

Rochester, New York, Democrat & Chronicle, June 25, 2020: Gypsy moths invade Ontario County; some trees ‘almost completely stripped’

It started sometime in early June. Bob and Kathy Taylor noticed tiny caterpillars showing up everywhere. The creatures quickly multiplied outside their house in South Bristol — crawling on walls, railings and steps, swinging and falling from trees and underneath gutters — ferociously chomping on tree leaves. Forget sitting outside on the deck, where chewed up leaves and millions of caterpillar droppings rain down. Gypsy moths are raising havoc, and not just on the Taylor property on Mosher Road. The leaf-eating pests are showing up in other areas of South Bristol and elsewhere. There is a serious outbreak of gypsy moth caterpillars this year in the Bristol Mountain area and several other locations within Ontario County,” said Russell Welser Sr., resource educator for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Ontario County. Trees are being defoliated. This caterpillar in its later growth stage can eat up to a square foot of leaf surface in a single day…”

Futurity, June 24, 2020: Swaying trees could power new forest fire alarm

The remote forest fire detection and alarm system gets power from the movement of the trees in the wind, researchers report. The device, known as MC-TENG—short for multilayered cylindrical triboelectric nanogenerator—generates electrical power by harvesting energy from the sporadic movement of the tree branches from which it hangs. “As far as we know, this is the first demonstration of such a novel MC-TENG as a forest fire detection system,” says lead author Changyong Cao, who directs the Laboratory of Soft Machines and Electronics in Michigan State University’s School of Packaging. “The self-powered sensing system could continuously monitor the fire and environmental conditions without requiring maintenance after deployment,” he says. For Cao and his team, the tragic forest fires in recent years across the American West, Brazil, and Australia were driving forces behind this new technology. Cao believes that early and quick response to forest fires will make the task of extinguishing them easier, significantly reducing the damage and loss of property and life. Traditional forest fire detection methods include satellite monitoring, ground patrols, and watch towers, among others, which have high labor and financial costs in return for low efficiency. Current remote sensor technologies are becoming more common, but primarily rely on battery technology for power…

Birmingham, Alabama, WBRC-TV, June 24, 2020: Foresters warn homeowners to inspect trees on their property

Trees can provide shade on a hot day, and beauty to the landscape, but they can also pose a threat to your life and property, especially during inclement weather. You should also double check your insurance policy to see what’s covered. “If you’re going to allow those trees to live on your property, just be aware of their condition,” said Hoover City Forester, Colin Connor. Connor said you should be diligent about inspecting the trees on your property. “Preventative maintenance is a better practice. Considering the risk that trees can pose to property, whether it be your home, an automobile, heaven forbid, your life, knowing those risks, it’s important to be aware of the trees not just accepting that they’re growing in your yard,” Connor explained. Connor recommends walking your property following storms looking for differences in your trees, like leans or parts of the tree that no longer have leaves…

Legal Cheek, June 24, 2020: Branching out: Could we give legal rights to trees?

In times gone by, membership of Greenpeace would have caused some to form stereotypical, new-age assumptions about you, whereas today joining Extinction Rebellion gives rise to no such stigma. Whether you’re a tree-hugging, sandal-wearing, all organic vegan or simply thinking about switching to a bamboo toothbrush, we’re all increasingly aware of the pejorative impact that humans are having on our planet. Not least politicians, who continuously fail to reach consensus on how the international community should manage various environmental problems. However, in amongst the environmental hullabaloo, in an odd Guardian article here, or a chance TED Talk there, there are some who think that there should be a paradigm shift in the way we think about the degradation of nature — they think that trees (and other natural objects) should have their own legal rights. “Don’t be silly,” I hear you cry. “Trees can’t have rights, they’re not even human!” But hold on. The notion that a natural object could be a rights holder is not as bizarre as it first seems. After all, companies, nation states and even ships have legal personality and they’re obviously not human, so it deserves serious consideration. The idea that trees can have legal rights (hereafter called “the Trees Thesis”) was originally posited by Christopher Stone in an article published in 1972 entitled ‘Should Trees Have Standing? — Toward Legal Rights for Natural Objects’…

Greenbiz, June 24, 2020: Is destruction the inevitable fate of our forests?

The world lost 9.3 million acres of tropical primary forests last year — an area nearly the size of Switzerland constituting some of the most valuable ecosystems on the planet for climate stability and biodiversity conservation. According to the latest data on Global Forest Watch, the area of forest loss in 2019, both overall and in such forest-rich countries as Brazil, the DRC and Indonesia, was remarkably similar to the year before. Does this mean we’re stuck at this unacceptably high level of forest destruction, year after year, despite the many, varied efforts to stop it? Not necessarily. Deforestation could get dramatically worse or dramatically better, depending on the road that we choose. Remember that all of the reported 2019 forest loss happened before any of us had heard of COVID-19 and does not reflect any impacts of the pandemic. It’s important to consider the 2019 numbers on their own terms, in the new light of current health and economic crises, and in the context of decisions shaping the recovery…

 

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2 thoughts on “And Now The News …

  1. Rest In Peace Sweet Tripp Halstead. No more hurting. You can go play in the Lords garden. We love you. We will miss you. My heart breaks for a little boy I never met. Prayers for his family. 😭😭🙏🏻

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