ISSN 1188-603X

No. 295 September 24, 2002 Victoria, B.C.
Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2


From: Joel Connelly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer Columnist

Priest Lake, Idaho -- Seen from the air, aptly named Long Creek Canyon is a wild "island" amid heavily logged federal and state forests along the borderlands of Idaho, Washington and British Columbia.

The U.S. Forest Service once planned a sizable timber sale in the canyon but was thwarted by appeals from conservation groups. The canyon is officially designated as a roadless area.

Other unprotected wild places should not get railroaded as the nation gropes for a strategy to prevent the big forest fires that have burned in the West of late.

As it debates President Bush's proposed Healthy Forests Initiative, Congress must not put a torch to citizens' rights to challenge federal agencies' land-use decisions. Of course, curtailment of citizen appeals is a key provision in the president's plan.

The Bush initiative would suspend provisions of the National Environmental Policy Act, and citizen appeals, so fire threatened forests can be cut without interruption. The administration wants to exempt nearly 10 million acres of federal land from environmental review procedures. Backing for the plan comes in fiery rhetoric from lumbermen's allies on Capitol Hill.

"The environmental obstructionists and their allies are bound and determined to stand in the way of any reasonable effort to protect our forests from (wildfires)," Rep. C.L. "Butch" Otter, R-Idaho, said Friday.

Is that true, or is Butch blowing smoke?

The U.S. General Accounting Office, the investigative arm of Congress, reported this summer that less than 1 percent of fire prevention projects planned on National Forest land were being held up by environmental lawsuits. As well, citizen appeals often do not lead to long litigation, but instead to compromises that safeguard wildlife habitat and water quality in streams. Back in preappeal days, badly laid-out timber sales caused flood and mud to decimate fish in the south fork of Idaho's Salmon River.

Last year, the Bush administration wanted to waive environmental review on salvage logging in thousands of acres of burned-over timber in Montana's Bitterroot Valley. Environmentalists appealed, the two sides sat down, and an out-of-court accord was quickly reached.

In a piece last Thursday, The New York Times noted that all 16 proposals to log or thin trees in Idaho's Panhandle National Forest over the past two years have been met by appeals. It also noted that timber sales have gone ahead after being modified to meet concerns of conservation and wildlife groups.

"President Bush has crossed sacred ground when he wants to cut out citizens, and needs to understand that," said Rick Bass, a writer-conservationist who is trying to preserve wild islands in Montana's heavily logged Yaak Valley. Yaak Valley activists have appealed timber sales on grounds ranging from damage to grizzly bear habitat to inadequate provisions to help small local mills. The appeals have found major errors in Forest Service estimates of disease-damaged trees.

Decades of fire suppression -- symbolized by the stern visage of Smokey Bear -- have left vast amounts of overgrowth and undergrowth in the West's national forests. History has vindicated writer Ed Abbey's characterization of Smokey as a "notorious ursine bore."

One great burn has followed another since the great Yellowstone National Park fires of 1988. Five years ago, then-Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt announced a fire strategy keyed to prescribed, controlled burning of undergrowth before it could touch off major fires.

The Babbitt plan also proposed to concentrate on removing firefueling materials around populated areas. Babbitt is from Flagstaff, Ariz., a national model of how a community has been protected by fuel reduction in nearby forests. The Bush plan, by contrast, appears to have far more than fire suppression as its goal. A trio of worries:

  1. Legislation by bulldozer: The plan would curtail citizens' ability to get temporary restraining orders against controversial timber sales. Hence, federal managers could go back to their 1960s-era tactic of resolving landuse battles by simply logging the land.
  2. Rolling back rights: By curtailing appeals, the Healthy Forests Initiatives follows a pattern of rolling back healthy government initiatives of the 1970s. The administration has encouraged its agencies to fight Freedom of Information Act requests. It has withheld secret records of Vice President Cheney's energy task force. It has set about "revising" President Clinton's roadless areas initiative with no call for public comment.
  3. Freedom to log: Like Congress' 1995 "salvage rider," which claimed to be about harvesting burned timber, the Bush initiative leaves plenty of loopholes for the timber industry to cut old, living forests.

As a candidate in 2000, the president promised to get more timber cut in national forests of the Northwest. Industry wants to cut grown trees, not just clear undergrowth.

A few miles from Leavenworth is the steep valley of Ingalls Creek, site of a forest fire a quarter-century ago. The fire burned fiercely in overgrown areas near the mouth of the canyon. It made little headway in the old-growth ponderosa pine forests a couple of miles up the trail. Bush might come by next spring and take a look. It might change his whole way of looking at things.

Ingalls Creek has its small hazards. But the Secret Service could be on alert ready to seize any wood ticks waiting on vines for the president to brush by.

Seattle Post-Intelligencer - Monday, September 23, 2002

Copyright: Seattle Post-Intelligencer, posted in BEN with the author's permission.


From: Bernd Blossey []

As most of you know we now have conclusive genetic evidence for the existence of native and introduced genotypes of Phragmites australis in North America. (For further details go to and click on differences native/introduced). Over the past months we have been able to develop morphological characteristics that allow us to separate introduced from native genotypes without the need to use advanced genetic techniques.

If you wonder whether the Phragmites clones in your area are native or introduced genotypes, please consider sending us samples. We are pleased to offer a FREE Diagnostic Service. We will use the morphological characters to identify samples submitted to us and will notify you of the results.

For further info on how to submit samples please visit and follow the links to Phragmites Diagnostic Service.

We are looking forward to receiving your samples.


From: Rudi Schmid [schmid@socrates.Berkeley.EDU]

Spellenberg, Richard. Mar. 2001. National Audubon Society field guide to North American wildflowers: Western region. Rev. ed. Alfred A. Knopf, New York. 862, [1] pp., ISBN 0-375-40233-0. Thieret, John W. (revising author); Niering, William A. & Olmstead, Nancy C. (original authors). Mar. 2001. Idem: Eastern region. Rev. ed. Ibid. 879, [1] pp., ISBN 0-375-40232-2. Each: (imprints: A Chanticleer Press edition; A Borzoi book), ill. (most col.), flexibd., $19.95 (from Random House, New York). [Eds. 1 each July 1979, resp., 862, [[2]], 863, [[1]] pp. Contents each: bionote(s); intro; fl. pts.; use of guide; col. pls.; tax. pt.; appendices (glossary; photo credits; index).] Don't miss these most welcome updates of these renowned National Audubon Society ( field guides, which sport "all new photography" (dust-jacket blurbs) that is much improved from the 1979 editions: 941 western and 955 eastern color photos versus, respectively, 725 and 700 in 1979. The species counts, however, decreased a bit, from 666 species (in 99 families) to 654 species (in 85 families) in the western book, and from 658 species (in 99 families) to 621 species (in 103 families) in the eastern book. Besides the species detailed, hundreds more are mentioned. The dividing line twixt west and east is the eastern base of the Rockies, instead of the more usual 100th meridian bisecting the Great Plains. Physically the new editions are identical in format to the old, western yellow contra eastern green, each volume very handily presented in a compact size (191x102 mm) and with flexible covers and rounded page corners. The insides of the books are likewise very similar between the two editions, other than the new photos and reset, selectively revised text. The color photos, incidentally, annoyingly lack indications of Latin names of taxa. Also in the same series are E. L. Little's excellent 1980-vintage Audubon tree guides, which one hopes are being updated. -- Rudolf Schmid, UC

Carle, David. 2002. Burning questions: America's fight with nature's fire. Praeger, 88 Post Rd. W., Westport, CT 06881, USA ( x, 298, [1] pp., ill., ISBN 0-275-97371-9 (HB), $26.95. [Contents: intro--America's 100-yr.-old war on wildfire; 13 chaps. (w/ flashy titles) in 3 topic areas (questioning the dogma of war; who were the anti-war activists of the 1960s, 1970s; "to burn or not to burn is not the question"-- resp., 5, 4, 4 chaps.); biblio.; index; bionote. On the hist. of wildfire control, prescribed burning in the U.S. A hist. work most relevant to this bad fire season in N. Amer. See also entry for Johnson & Miyanishi.]

Jacobson, Arthur Lee. Nov. 2001. Wild plants of greater Seattle: A field guide to native and naturalized plants of the Seattle area. The Author, 2215 E. Howe St., Seattle, WA 98112, USA ( 494 pp., ill., ep. scale, maps, ISBN 0-9622918-2-X (PB), $24.95. [Contents: dedic. to C. V. Piper (1867-1926); intro; use of book; 21 habitats; wild-pl. uses; monthly calendar; conserv.; tax. pt.; appendices (gazetteer; biblio.; resources; glossary); annot. checklist; 35-p. index. Details on 509 taxa (53 trees, 6 woody vines, 314 weeds, wildfls., 11 pteridophytes, 49 shrubs, 6 brambles, 65 graminoids), plus 57-p. annot. checklist for 1270 spp. Very nicely and thoroughly done, even w/ rounded book corners, which should be standard on guides of this sort. For Jacobson's Trees of Seattle (1989), North American landscape trees (1996) see, resp., Taxon 40: 549, notice, Taxon 45: 580, rev. by R. Schmid.]

Johnson, Edward A. & Miyanishi, Kiyoko (ed.). 2001. Forest fires: Behavior and ecological effects. Academic Press, San Diego. xvii, 594 pp., [4] pp. pls. (col.), text ill. (B&W), ISBN 0-12-386660-X (HB), $74.95 (from AP, 6277 Sea Harbor Dr., Orlando FL 32887, USA; [Contents: M. B. Dickinson & E. A. Johnson on fire effects on trees; 14 other chaps.; index. On all aspects of fire, but emphasis on fire than on veg.; heavily mathematical. See also entry for Carle.]

Kiger, Robert W. & Porter, Duncan M. Winter 2001. Categorical glossary for the Flora of North America Project. Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890, USA ( vi, 165 pp. [pp. i-vi = pp. 1-6], unill., 279x217 mm, ISBN 0-913196-70-3 (PB), price unknown. [Contents: intro (w/ biblio.); 110-p. dict.; categorical conspectus. "This work ... grew out of a coordinated outline and glossary for morphological and habitat description (Porter et al. 1973) produced while we were both with the Flora North America Program (original FNA, not to be confused with the current Flora of North America Project) as Editor-in-Chief (Porter) and Associate Editor (Kiger), ... an unprecedented attempt to reconcile, integrate, and codify the classical format and terminology of plant-taxonomic description, thus enabling computer-based comparative databanking of information on vascular plants" (p. v).]

Martin, Carol. 2000. A history of Canadian gardening. McArthur & Co., 322 King St. W., Suite 402, Toronto M5V 1J2, Canada. xi, [i], 188 pp., ill. (some col.), col. ep. design, 216x229 mm, ISBN 1-55278-167-4 (HB), Can$29.95. [Contents: Canada's first gardeners; excitement of discovery; pioneer gardeners; settling in; reforming the landscape; re. gardening; gards. of learning, delight; new seeds for a new land; back to the land; our hort. heritage; gards. everywhere; notes; biblio.; index.]

Minnis, Paul E. & Elisens, Wayne J. (ed.). 2000. Biodiversity and native America. University of Oklahoma Press, 4100 28th Ave., N.W., Norman, OK 73069-8218, USA ( x, 310 pp., ill., ISBN 0-8061-3232-9 (HB), $34.95, ISBN 0-8061-3345-7 (PB), $14.95. [Contents: intro (by eds.); 9 chaps. in 3 topic areas: (a) issues, overviews: G. P. Nabhan on an ethnoecol. perspective of native Amer. management, conserv. biodiversity (BD) in the Sonoran Desert; R. Bye & E. Linares on relations between Mex. ethnobot. diversity and indigenous peoples; W. H. Lewis on ethnopharm. and search for new therapeutics; (b) ethnogr. case studies: C. S. Foster on native knowledge of BD in the Great Basin; S. L. Peacock & N. J. Turner on trad. resource management, BD conserv. on the Interior Plateau Brit. Columbia; E. Salmón on a Rarámuri cognitive model of BD and its effects on land management; (c) prehist., BD: R. I. Ford on human disturbance and BD, a case study from n. New Mex.; G. J. Fritz on levels native BD in e. N. Amer.; J. E. Hammett on ethnohist. aboriginal landscapes in se. U.S.; index.]

Schnell, Donald E. June 2002. Carnivorous plants of the United States and Canada. 2nd ed. Timber Press, 133 S.W. 2nd Ave., Suite 450, Portland, OR 97204-3527, USA ( 468 pp., ill. (most col.), ISBN 0-88192-540-3 (HB), $39.95. [Ed. 1 1976, ix, 125 pp. Contents: 68-p. intro (incl. cult.); Dionaea muscipula; Sarracenia, 8 spp.; Darlingtonia californica; Drosera, 7 spp.; Pinguicula, 9 spp.; Utricularia, 19 spp.; other possible carnivorous pls. (Ibicella lutea, Martyni.; Dipsacus fullonum, Dipsac.; Catopsis berteroniana, Bromeli.; Capsella bursa-pastoris, Cruc.); conserv.; appendix (Eng., metric conversions); glossary; biblio.; index. On 45 spp., many hybrids, infrasp. taxa; w/ 200 col. photos, 7 B&W drawings, 27 B&W maps. Much expanded, extensively updated from the 1976 ed; grab this Schnell "quick now!"--the White Rabbit.]

Wells, Gail & Anzinger, Dawn. 2001. Lewis and Clark meet Oregon's forests: Lessons from dynamic nature. Oregon Forest Resources Institute, 808 S.W. 3rd Ave., Suite 480, Portland, OR 97204, USA ( 223 pp., ill. (some col.), ISBN 0-87437-003-5 (PB), gratis. [Contents: foreword ("preface") by B. Starker & R. Zabel; intro; Pac. Nw. forests through time; ecol. idem; early Eur. eyewitnesses; what Lewis and Clark saw; 3 chaps. on various regions; meaning of dynamic nature; biblio.; index; re. Oregon Forest Resources Institute; bionotes.]

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