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Policy Update Week of October 4, 2010


  1. SAF Submits Comments for EPA Call for Information Regarding Biogenic Greenhouse Gas Emissions

    To read SAF's submission click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/positionstatements.cfm#cc

  2. SAF Sent a Letter From 114 Scientists and Academics to the US Congress Expressing Concerns Regarding Biomass Energy

    To read the letter click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/policy.cfm

  3. SAF has launched a new Application for Smart Phones (i.e. Droid, iPhone).

    The link to purchase it is on our homepage. It features common forestry formulas including interest calculations, basal area, growth percentage, relative spacing, log scales acres/hectare conversions and more.

    For more information on the application click here: http://www.eforester.org/apps/

In the Administration

  1. Proposals for National Forest Draw Questions
      The Virginian News, Published by Tony Gonzalez, October 6th

    The U.S. Forest Service on Tuesday night outlined the six proposals for management of George Washington National Forest that have divided conservationists, industry, localities and the public.

    The forest service is scheduled to decide on a comprehensive plan of action for the 1-million-acre forest in the next year. Because such plans only are revised every 10 to 15 years, comments have poured into the agency and questions still abounded from the crowd of more than 80 that turned out at the Augusta County Government Center in Verona. To read more of this article click here: http://www2.newsvirginian.com/news/2010/oct/06/proposals-national-forest-draw-questions-ar-544817/

Last Week in Congress

  1. September 23rd - The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, led by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), held an oversight hearing entitled “The Role of Partnerships in National Parks.”

Last Week in the News

  1. September 29th - Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources,National Parks, and the Public Lands and Forests Subcommittees held a hearing to receive testimony on the following bills:
    • S. 3261, to establish the Buffalo Bayou National Heritage Area in the State of Texas, and for other purposes;
    • S. 3283, A bill to designate Mt. Andrea Lawrence;
    • S. 3291, to establish Coltsville National Historical Park in the State of Connecticut, and for other purposes;
    • S. 3524 and H.R. 4438, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to enter into a cooperative agreement for a park headquarters at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, to expand the boundary of the Park, to conduct a study of potential land acquisitions, and for other purposes;
    • S. 3565, to provide for the conveyance of certain Bureau of Land Management land in Mohave County, Arizona, to the Arizona Game and Fish Commission, for use as a public shooting range;
    • S. 3612, to amend the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park Establishment Act to expand the boundary of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in the State of Vermont, and for other purposes;
    • S. 3616, to withdraw certain land in the State of New Mexico, and for other purposes;
    • S. 3744, to establish Pinnacles National Park in the State of California as a unit of the National Park System, and for other purposes;
    • S. 3778 and H.R. 4773, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to lease certain lands within Fort Pulaski National Monument, and for other purposes;
    • S. 3820, to authorize the Secretary of the Interior to issue permits for a microhydro project in nonwilderness areas within the boundaries of Denali National Park and Preserve, to acquire land for Denali National Park and Preserve from Doyon Tourism, Inc., and for other purposes;
    • S. 3822, to adjust the boundary of the Carson National Forest, New Mexico; and
    • H.R. 1858, to provide for a boundary adjustment and land conveyances involving Roosevelt National Forest, Colorado, to correct the effects of an erroneous land survey that resulted in approximately 7 acres of the Crystal Lakes Subdivision, Ninth Filing, encroaching on National Forest System land, and for other purposes

This Week in Congress

  1. Congress is in recess until the election period concludes.

National News

  1. Lawmakers Split Over 330,000-Acre Idaho Wilderness Proposal
      The New York Times, Published by Phil Taylor, September 30th

    A proposal to designate more than 300,000 acres of wilderness in central Idaho appears to be in a political tailspin, dashing hopes among wilderness advocates that the Gem State could soon resolve a decades-long debate over management of its public lands.

    Idaho Republican Rep. Mike Simpson's "Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act" (CIEDRA) was reintroduced this spring with sponsorship from the entire Idaho congressional delegation and garnered the support of Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management officials at a June hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee. To read more of this article click here: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/09/30/30greenwire-lawmakers-split-over-330000-acre-idaho-wildern-77718.html

  2. Woody Biomass Prices in the US Increased in the 3Q/10 After Having Trended Downward Since Early 2009

    Prices for woody biomass, whether it was sawmill byproducts, forest residues or urban wood waste, were higher in the 3Q/10 than the previous quarter in most regions throughout the US. The Northwest saw the biggest increase; forest biomass prices (delivered) were up 19 percent from the 2Q/10, according to the North American Wood Fiber Review (NAWFR). To read more of this article click here:

In the States: Oregon and Colorado

  1. EPA Puts at Risk Oregon Biomass
      Natural Resource Report, Published by Thomas McLain, October 4th

    The Environmental Protection Agency recently adopted new rules that have the potential to quash Oregon's efforts to create renewable energy from biomass. Unless changed, next January the EPA will consider the emissions from burning biomass to be the same as burning coal and other fossil fuels. This decision will raise the cost of biomass energy conversion and eliminate most of the economic incentive to convert wood and agriculture waste materials to renewable energy. This is counter to our country's renewable energy and climate mitigation goals and contrary to good science. Along with 100 other scientists, I recently expressed concern about this decision with members of Congress. To read more of this article click here: http://naturalresourcereport.com/2010/10/epa-puts-at-risk-oregon-biomass/

  2. Forest Debris as 'gold' -- Unless the U.S. Says No
      The Oregonian, Published by the Oregonian Editorial Board, October 5th

    A promising fraction of Oregon's energy now comes from burning wood debris: slash piles on the forest floor from logging or thinning, naturally fallen and decaying trees within uncut forests, wood shavings and bark and trimmings from mill operations. The wood debris, called biomass, produces heat for buildings or electricity for lights and toasters.

    Or none of the above. To read more of this article click here.

  3. Senators Seek Funds to Battle Beetles in Rockies
      The Associated Press, October 4th

    A bipartisan group of U.S. senators has asked the Forest Service to devote $49 million to battle a beetle infestation that has killed more than 3.5 million acres of pines in the Rocky Mountain region.

    Senators from Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota and Nebraska asked Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in a letter last week to redirect existing funds to treat forests hit by the bark beetle.

    Last year, the U.S. Forest Service approved $40 million for the outbreak in Colorado, Wyoming and the Black Hills in western South Dakota. Of that, $30 million going to projects in three national forests in Colorado hit hard by the bug that burrows under the bark. To read more of this article click here: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2013073668_apcobarkbeetlefunding1stldwritethru.html

Wildfire Update

  1. Wildfire Near Fraser 30 Percent Contained
      The Denver Post, Published by Kieran Nicholson, October 5th

    A wildfire burning in Grand County through forest dense with beetle-kill timber grew little Monday and was 30 percent contained by the end of the day.

    The Church's Park Fire, about 5 miles northwest of Fraser, "calmed down considerably" with "very little growth overnight," according to a U.S. Forest Service statement Monday. "We are not getting a lot of movement," said John Bustos, a federal spokesman. To read more of this article click here: http://www.denverpost.com/headlines/ci_16253979

Additional Information:

The SAF National Office serves as the voice of professional forestry through its active role in several forestry, natural resources, and agricultural groups and coalitions…

25 x '25 (www.25x25.org) - SAF is a proud member of 25 x '25 and currently sits on its Sustainability Working Group. The goal of 25 x '25 is to have 25% of our energy needs being fulfilled by renewable resources from our nation's farms, ranches, forests, and other lands by 2025.

Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases
(www.continentalforestdialogue.org) - SAF sits on the organization's Steering Committee and assists in its mission of "cultivating and catalyzing collaborative action among diverse interests to abate the threat to North American forests from non-native insects and diseases." The 4th meeting summary of the Continental Dialogue on Non-Native Forest Insects and Diseases is now available online at: http://www.continentalforestdialogue.org/documents/meetings/2008-11/index.html

Additional groups in which SAF plays a role include:

Core Group of the Roundtable on Sustainable Forests"

Forest Carbon Education Group. The FCEG's Guidance Document on Managed Forests in Climate Change policy can be viewed on the SAF Policy Webpage:

Wildland Fire Leadership Council

Western Governors' Association Forest Health Advisory Committee

About the Policy Update:

Disclaimer: The Society of American Foresters does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the news items and/or links to additional information that appear in the Policy Update.

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