HDNet’s ‘Dan Rather Reports’ Investigates Illegal Harvesting of Some of the World’s Rarest Trees
DALLAS, Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ — This Tuesday’s “Dan Rather Reports” will feature never-before-seen footage from the island of Madagascar, where an ecological horror show is taking place. Madagascar’s national parks are, according to scientists, being raped by loggers who are illegally chopping down rare and extremely valuable rosewood trees. The recently obtained video shows loggers hauling the trees out of the forests by hand.
Each of these trees is worth thousands of dollars on the international market, but the desperate residents of Madagascar are cutting them down for only a few dollars a day.
The images presented in this story were taped as a part of an undercover investigation by two international conservation groups, looking to make the case for prosecutions in the trade of these trees and prosecution of foreign businesses who use this illegal wood for their products.
The illegal logging also threatens the habitat for the rare silky sifaka lemurs, which live exclusively on the island. Originally thought to be extinct, scientists have found a few groups on the island, but their habitat is now threatened by the logging. Tomorrow’s program will also air the only known high definition footage of these unique creatures in their natural habitat.
“Things are not pretty in Madagascar right now,” said Andrea Johnson, a representative for the Environmental Investigation Agency, or EIA, one of the conservation groups that backed this undercover investigation. “It’s not as though there was never illegal logging before 2009. But the situation since the coup in February of ’09 has made everything a whole lot worse.”
That’s when dozens of people died as the military opened fire into a crowd, unleashing panic across the country. The military went on to oust the country’s president — chaos reigned and the economy dissolved. The impoverished people streamed into the forests looking to make a quick buck in the illegal rosewood trade. Ebony trees are also taken from Madagascar’s forests and the precious lumber is in high demand.
The majority of rosewood and ebony is used for high-end furniture products and musical instruments, especially guitars.
“Dan Rather Reports: Treasure Island” premieres on HDNet, Tuesday, November 17 at 8:00 p.m. ET with a re-air at 11:00 p.m. ET to accommodate West Coast Prime Time.
HDNet (www.hd.net, twitter.com/hdnet) is the independent network with unique and provocative content that appeals to men of all ages and is delivered in true high definition.
HDNet is the exclusive, high definition home for popular, original programming, including television’s only HD news feature programs “HDNet World Report,” and the Emmy Award winning “Dan Rather Reports,” featuring legendary journalist Dan Rather. Only HDNet goes beyond the headlines to deliver real news that is redefining the way we look at our world. HDNet News is provocative, sometimes controversial and always relevant — telling the important stories of our time in-depth, with attitude and with independence.
HDNet presents championship sports coverage featuring five regular season games from the Premiere Season of the United Football League. HDNet also features the best of Mixed Martial Arts with its Friday night series, “HDNet Fights” (www.hdnetfights.com, twitter.com/hdnetfights). “HDNet Fights” works with leading MMA promoters including DREAM, Sengoku, XFC, M-1, K-1, K-1 Max, MFC, Adrenaline and more. HDNet produces more live Mixed Martial Arts events than any other network and HDNet’s “Inside MMA” is the hottest Mixed Martial Arts program on television, giving MMA fans their weekly fix for everything MMA.
HDNet also delivers the world’s largest and most diverse concert line-up through the HDNet Concert Series. The HDNet Concert Series features leading artists and bands including Coldplay, Gwen Stefani, John Mayer and more. HDNet also features revealing lifestyle programming featuring “Art Mann Presents,” “New York Confessions,” “Deadline” and “Get Out!” HDNet is also the exclusive high definition home to critically acclaimed and award winning documentaries as part of the InFocus series. “NASA on HDNet” presents all live shuttle launches through 2010.
Only HDNet Movies (www.hdnetmovies.com, twitter.com/hdnetmovies) delivers exclusive Sneak Previews of new movies before they hit theaters. The HDNet Movies Sneak Preview series features top Hollywood stars in critically acclaimed performances including Gwyneth Paltrow, Joaquin Phoenix, Demi Moore, Michael Caine, Tom Hanks, Vera Farmiga, Parker Posey, Brian Cox, Matthew Broderick, Brittany Snow, Eric Bana, John Malkovich, Emily Blunt, Robin Williams, Charlize Theron and Kim Basinger.
In addition to being the exclusive home of Sneak Previews, HDNet Movies presents viewers with over one hundred films and an average of twenty-five “HD Premieres” each month. HDNet Movies viewers enjoy the best films from the classics of the 1950s-1970s, to favorite films from the 1980s and 1990s, to recently released theatrical films.
HDNet Movies offers subscribers a premium movie viewing experience in true HD, and more original movies shot entirely in HD than any other network.
Launched in 2001 by Mark Cuban and General Manager Philip Garvin, the HDNet networks are available on AT&T, Charter Communications, Comcast, DIRECTV, DISH Network, Insight, Mediacom, Verizon and more than 40 NCTC cable affiliated companies. To receive HDNet information via email, simply go to www.hd.net/listpage.