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JANUARY 1999

NEXT MEETING: Friday January 8 at 7:30 at the Unitarian Meeting House on Spring Hill Rd. Sam Freid will present a program called, " Belize: The Little known Jewel of Central America." Sam is a renowned nature photographer and has had articles published in all of the major birding magazines. He and his wife run a tour company called Flights of Fancy. They are planning to have trips to Belize in 2000 and 2001 and will have information and sign up sheets available at the meeting. No one has signed up to bring refreshments so if you would be willing to do so, please call Bob Pirrie at 429-8784 and let him know. There will be coffee and tea available at 7:00.

At the December meeting Sue Craig proposed that NOS members "adopt" one of the pieces of property that are owned by the Town of Mansfield. The Parks and Recreation Committee is interested in having surveys completed on the birds, plants, and animals that live on these properties. She suggested that NOS members, singly or in groups, agree to survey the birds. She is planning to have maps and information at the meeting and hopes she will be able to get volunteers to sign up.

FIELD TRIPS: January 16.Larry Marcus will lead a trip along the Connecticut River to look for wintering eagles and to Hammonasset Beach State Park. Last year there were 40 species seen including great looks at a male Barrow's Goldeneye that had been hanging out in Essex. We also saw several adult Bald Eagles in various locations and an immature Golden Eagle that spent the winter in the vicinity of the Essex docks. If you plan to go please call Larry at 429-7195 to let him know in case there is a weather related postponement. Meet at 7 am at the Audrey Beck Building (the Mansfield Town Hall) at the intersection of Route 195 and South Eagleville Road.

February 27 NOS will co-sponsor a trip to Sachuest Point NWR with the James Goodwin
Forest Conservation Center. There will be two meeting places: one in Mansfield and one in Hampton. Times to meet and further details will be in the next newsletter.

Also in the February newsletter; details about both the NOS and Trailwood Christmas Bird Counts. All the tallies were not completed at the time this was being written.

" A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."

Aldo Leopold

IN THE NEWS:

This was an article posted on Birdchat from The China Post

SAN FRANCISCO - More than 20 Major U.S. corporations, including Nike Inc., Kinko's Inc., Levi Strauss and Co. and Dell Computer Corp., have pledged to phase out using and selling products from trees harvested in the world's ancient forests. "It's our company's philosophy to do what we can to care for the environment," Larry Regero, environmental manager for Kinko's, said Monday. The copying empire has some 900 outlets across America.

Other companies involved are 3M Corp.; Advanced Micro Devices Inc Bristol Myers Squibb Co.; Estee Lauder Cos.; Hallmark Cards Inc., IBM Corp; Johnson and Johnson; Liz Claiborne Inc.; Lockheed Martin Corp.; The McGraw-Hill Cos.; Mitsubishi Electric of America and Mitsubishi Motor Sales of America; Mother Jones magazine; Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co.; National Geographic; Pacific Gas and Electric Co.; Patagonia; Quantum Corp.; Seventh Generation; Starbucks Coffee Co.; United Stationers Supply Co.; and Utne Reader.

On the other hand, according to the Rainforest Action Network (RAN), Home Depot stores, with over 700 retail outlets, are currently the world's largest retailer in products that come from old growth forests. They do not actually own logging companies, but they continue to purchase lumber from companies like Georgia Pacific, Western Forest Products, International Forest Products, and Universal Forest Products. These companies are cutting lumber from the world's most endangered forests throughout the world.

Home Depot continues to market itself as having an "environmentally-friendly image publicizing their experiments in selling lumber that is environmentally certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Environmental experts support these trials, but it is important to recognize that they are only trials. Home Depot has not been environmentally certified as a company, and the small volume of certified timber that they sell is dwarfed by their sales of old growth wood and old growth wood products" (RAN home page).

I sent an e-mail to the corporation expressing my concerns about these policies and indicated that I intended to put this information in a newsletter - I did not get a response from them. However, I did go to the Home Depot in Manchester and spoke with the manager there. He said that there had been a corporate meeting and they had agreed to halt these practices "as of two weeks ago." That was two more weeks ago and there is no information on the RAN's home page to indicate that this has actually happened.

On a very positive note RAN and Ralph Nader have discontinued a boycott that has been in place against the Mitsubishi Corporation for eight years. Mitsubishi agreed to "an unprecedented top-to-bottom environmental review of their business activities." They "pledged to end use of old-growth forest products and phase out the use of tree- based paper and packaging products by the year 2002."

Eventually, with enough people involved, boycotts do work!

 

"Sam" Higgins

newsletter editor

455-0063

msamh@snet.net