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Message from Eugene Dimitriadis one of our members in Australia:
The fires in Australia as the world knows are enormous, damaging to all life here and they are ongoing. It’s barely summer. Everyone here is stressed to lesser or greater extent. We all react individually. Only 2 members to our knowledge were close to fires. Both are OK so far and both prepared should thing turn worse. Harry is turning in his shed but like many in SE Australia said he is prepared to "loose it all", as am I, if fires come this way. I survived serious fires 11 years ago, these are much worse and largely uncontrollable such is their size and ferocity. May I suggest all members access and follow reliable Australian news sources (not Murdoch or sensationalised news). A few warnings, comments and suggestions follow.
ABC is best official source IMO for "fire news" and for seeking sources for making donations and giving help through them. (see links and information below) Personal donations should be through them or maybe the trustee here or his nominee for a collective donation by IWCS. What is “appropriate” is up to individual donors and collectively up to Trustees or officers. The losses from these fires will also be enormous. IWCS could donate collectively but that is slower and of less immediate impact. As some of you know, I post news and commentary on the fires etc from the ABC and other news sites, frequently on my FB page.
ABC has provided warnings about “crooks" taking advantage of others during this misery eg looting or pretending they are collecting for recognised charities or families. Be aware of scams. Some areas have experienced door-to-door collectors asking for donations. Website also use fake identities to capitalise on the fires. My interest has been focused on monitoring and correcting fallacy / fake news involving deception, in order to expose and correct the political, moral and ethical forces at play, more than anything else. I’ve left sympathies, "thoughts and prayers" to others.
Fires remain active along the NSW coastline, in far Eastern Vic (150km East of Warragul, my home town) and 200 km north in NE Victoria and into alpine areas of NSW. There were serious fires in South Australia as well, even some fires blocking major Highways eg between WA and Eastern States for weeks. Smoke which has spread across states, to NZ and even across the southern hemisphere. It remains a serious hazard, in towns and cities in VIC, NSW & ACT.
Recently, I HAVE enquired of members nearest to affected areas and earlier responded to concerns expressed by Gary Green and other US & Dutch members. Enquiries to members closer to the fires in NE Vic (far from me), have reassured me that they were OK at least in mid January.
Forests will eventually recover, the scars on people and animal populations and communities will probably take decades to heal, and that doesn't even consider the further impact our hot and drying climate will have in next decades.
My own donations for assistance have been to and through well known charities like Red Cross and RSPCA, but sometimes Salvation Army. These are all active at or near devastated areas. They are overcome with donations of gifts (food clothing etc) and only request cash donations. May I suggest donations ($) be made through them, maybe on behalf of IWCS if and when organised.
Its cooler here now after a bit of rain from a distant cyclone in Kimberley. Another is brewing so we hope for more summer rain from such benevolent sources in summer in the inland and SE of Australia. They can sometimes brings floods as NQ knows very well.
Biodiversity and species loss/extinction and recovery is a subject of much media attention now. In the absence of member impacts, perhaps this is where our donations should go? Air drops of food, eg carrots sweet potato & concentrate as pellets has started. Koalas have taken a big hit as have other animals who could not escape. Kangaroo island losses of wildlife have been especially high. When rain starts survivors will make a new start, from ground and trees and populations will grow with the forests (but not the Gondwanda rain forest). May I suggest donations could also be focused on suitable donor organisations (flora & fauna) and done collectively by IWCS Australasia (through the Trustee). More specific hands-on help eg planting or similar will suit some, requiring collaboration. Recovering wood from burnt sites is very risky and is probably not worthwhile anyway. But we as IWCS can offer help recovery-focused flora groups. This has been a severe (high temperature) fire, much hotter than usual.
We feel the deep concern of members and people around the globe, for me that's enough. Those who have lost fathers, homes, pets, farm animals and income sources feel the loss the most. Townships, villages and communities will need to rebuild. Most of us feel the suffering, of native animals. When forests regrow the animals will eventually recover although it will take a long time t reestablish equilibrium and townships and some species may be lost forever.
Links for News and for Donations
ABC News (a public funded and broadcasting corp that operates in all states and gives reliable information )
Gavin Scarman - Well said Eugene. Luckily in South Australia we have an excellent community organisation, Trees For Life, that for many years has done incredible work with revegetation. They are now increasing efforts regards our major bushfire zones, so if people are wanting to donate specifically to replanting trees and native bushland I can thoroughly recommend them. https://treesforlife.org.au/.../SA_Bushfire_Recovery.aspx
Request for vouchered chestnut samples to assist with a joint American Chestnut Society and Pennsylvania State University research project. *-- Letter from Chuck Ray --*
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The IWCS 2020 Southeast Regional Winter Woodfest at the Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center, Eustis, Florida, is the most attended US IWCS meeting. This year, it will be held Monday afternoon through Friday breakfast, February 17 – 21, 2020. The registration form is on page 30 of the September-October 2019 World of Wood and on-line at https://www.woodcollectors.org. 01/20/2020
Now available, Southern African Wood (ISBN 781920217587, Briza Publications, Pretoria, RSA), authored by former IWCS members Stephanie Dyer (#9380), Danielle James and Barry James (#9381). It is a fully illustrated guide to the properties and uses of wood from 140 Southern African tree species. A handful of leather-bound collectors editions remain for $140.00 US dollars plus shipping and handling, and the standard hard cover books are $46.60 US dollars plus shipping and handling. These are discounted 20% for IWCS members. Non-members will be charged $168.50 + S&H for the collectors edition and $57.57 + S&H for the standard. Each copy will be signed by the authors. All copies will be shipped from Pennsylvania, USA. Reserve your copy today by contacting our Northeast Regional Trustee, Mark R. Peet. E-mail: . Updated 05-25-2018
IWCS Wood Specimen Kit order form with instructions for selecting and ordering wood specimens from IWCS. Gary is a professional Urban Forester/Sawyer and takes great pride in preparing high quality wood specimens, all properly seasoned, clean, well milled, free from dirt and defects and accurately identified and labeled. As of 08/06/2018
Guide to Wood Microtomy by Ernie Ives -- in the Members Only section under "Wood Identification Content" 121 pages -- Posted 12-07-2016
January-February 2020 President's Message
It’s been an interesting autumn in Northern Indiana, USA, to say the least. It was a bit of a mad rush to get the leaves and walnuts off the lawn as cold weather came early. In early November I was sawing logs for a client in the midst of a snowstorm. It was at that time that I noticed that about a dozen really nice walnut, Juglans nigra, logs that I bought were cracking severely so I could not wait until spring to get them sawed and on stickers. So, I worked in less than favorable conditions to get them done.
Then it seems everything I owned was broken. Here’s the short list: log splitter, tri-axle trailer, dump truck, forklift, Bobcat loader and lawn tractor. Some were simple repairs while others took days. I did take the trailer, which needed a suspension system overhaul, to a trusted friend’s welding shop. Within half a day he called saying he needed help. So, everything’s fixed now and it’s time to get into the shop (shed in Australia) to get to work on wintertime woodworking projects. Not quite.
The weather just turned unseasonably warm and mostly sunny. Our Christmas was warmer than Halloween. Yesterday I spent the day moving my lumber inventory outdoors to make room to get my solar kilns loaded for the winter. Typically, they are empty in the winter months, but they are now filled to capacity. I worked past dark sorting and grading lumber and will finish that task today.
The IWCS has been keeping me busy as well. Patti Dickherber #8719 has been working feverishly to get everything in order to transition to her Secretary/Treasurer replacement, hopefully in the near future. John Lyons #9737, former Australasian Trustee has agreed to put together the 2020 Membership Directory and create formulas to make this task simpler going forward. He was a bit apprehensive, but we chatted on the phone about how it should be done and within 24 hours he emailed a prototype which looked very professional! Patti is working with him to provide updated information to accompany the member information. I will be calling on Trustees and others to proofread before printing to assure that we have an accurate directory. Allan Schwindt #8209L has resigned as Endowment Fund Chairman. Allan cites frustrations with other organizations and obligations that he has and likely reached his breaking point. I know Allan fairly well and he’s the kind of guy who likes to get things done and get them done correctly. Many thanks to him for all of the help he has provided me and the IWCS! Taking Allan’s place is Duane Keck #9086 who I’m sure will do us proud.
Elaine Hunt #8174 has been putting in hours to ensure that the Winterfest Meeting in Eustis, Florida, USA goes smoothly. Besides making preparations for the 2020 AGM in Alpena, Michigan, USA, Dennis Wilson #2324 has been working on the Wood Identification class at the Winterfest Meet. To date, we need more attendees to make this class happen. Here’s hoping to see you in Florida and as a classmate at the Wood ID class!
Articles of Interest on the Web
Bodgers Ball Feb 2020 We will be holding the second annual US Bodgers Ball to be held on June 26-28, 2020 in Wisconsin. It will be a fun time of green woodworking, chairmaking, spoon carving, blacksmithing and more and we would love to have you attend. 02/10/2020
Questions about Spotted Lanternfly Get the answers to the most frequently asked questions about spotted lanternfly, including their damage to plants, how to manage them on your property, and what you can do to help! 02/09/2020
Seedling Order Form inside. In the September 2019 issue of the Missouri Conservationist is their 2019-2020 George O. White State Forest Nursery Seedling Order Form. For more information and to order seedlings online, visit mdc.mo.gov/seedlings.
Orders are accepted online September 1, 2019 thru April 15, 2020. (no phone orders are accepted) Check out the online catalog for all available seedlings.
Ghost Forest Emerges - As the morning sun cut through a veil of fog, an ancient forest emerged from the sand, covered in sea life and enshrouded in mystery. Known as the “ghost forest” of Neskowin, this group of some 100 stumps and snags is all that’s left of a 2,000-year-old stand of Sitka spruce, once buried by an earthquake, now revered as one of the most remarkable natural phenomena in Oregon. 08/21/2019
Penn State Xylarium - As well as a flourishing library, the school by 1909 had a wood collection containing specimens of nearly all of Pennsylvania’s native trees and large shrubs. For each species, cross sections and radial and tangential sections had been prepared to show the gross appearance of the wood. The next step was the preservation of samples in alcohol and glycerin so that sections suitable for microscopic examination could be cut. These latter sections were to be especially useful in the study of timber physics (wood technology)." E.H. Thomas, “A History of the Pennsylvania State Forestry School, 1903 – 1929. 07/20/2019
Penn State Wood Pro News by Charles David Ray, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management Forrest News from Wood Pro Resources. Updated 04/06/2017
Wood blog Forest wood, timber, lumber, biomass, energy wood, pulp wood, wood furniture, wood buildings, and anything else woody you can think of. Because, well, wood is good. And you'll agree if you visit Go Wood every so often. So, read... enjoy... comment... share... and Go Wood! Updated 10/18/2018