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Policy Update Week of November 29, 2010


  1. POSTED--Convention Presentation on the Ninth Circuit Decision on Clean Water Act and Forest Roads by Greg Corbin, Partner, Stoel Rives LLP

    To view the presentation click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/policy.cfm

  2. SAF, Yankee Division and Massachusetts's SAF Comment on Massachusetts Draft Biomass Regulations

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

  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. Forest Service Chief Talks Pine Beetle on a Grander Scale
      Sky-HI Daily News, Published by Janice Kurbjun, November 23rd

    Reporter Janice Kurbjun sat down with U.S. Forest Service chief Tom Tidwell to chat about the state of our national forests, get perspective on the bark-beetle issue, and chat about the value of partnerships in managing forests. Here's what he and acting regional forester Tony Dixon had to say. To read this article link to: http://www.skyhidailynews.com/article/20101123/NEWS/101129988/1079&ParentProfile=1067

  2. Forest Legacy Program Reaches 2 Million Acre Milestone in Protecting Threatened Private Forests
      USDA Newsroom, November 23rd

    The USDA Forest Service recently reached a milestone of protecting more than 2 million acres of private forests threatened by development. The Forest Service's Northeastern Area helped the agency reach the milestone when the state of Ohio purchased a 15,494-acre property as the new Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest approximately 90 miles south of Columbus. To read more of this article click here.

  3. Obama's Climate Agenda Shifts as GOP Takes Over House
      USA Today, November 28th

    The fight over U.S. environmental policy will shift next year as Republicans take control of the House of Representatives, leaving the Obama administration chasing smaller victories in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

    What's dead for now is the ambitious, "cap and trade" climate bill that President Obama had backed, which sought to commit the U.S. to reduce industrial pollution 17% from 2005 levels by 2020. Companies that came in under those caps could trade, or sell, their pollution credits to others. To read more of this article link to: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/greenhouse/post/2010/11/obama-gop-house-climate-policy/1

Last Week in Congress

  1. Congress was in Recess.

This Week in Congress

  1. Congress Reconvened Tuesday November 30th.

National News

  1. Outlook Dim for Lame-Duck Omnibus Lands Package
      The New York Times, Published by Phil Taylor of Greenwire, November 18th

    Congress may lose its best chance to pass a suite of public lands proposals that would protect more than 2 million acres of federal lands as wilderness if it fails to move an omnibus measure in the lame-duck session, conservation groups say.

    But while a key Senate lawmaker last week said he was bundling several dozen public lands bills into a draft package, Democratic leadership is mum about whether such a measure could move amid a crowded Senate schedule of higher-profile issues including a continuing resolution, tax extensions and other measures. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/11/18/18greenwire-outlook-dim-for-lame-duck-omnibus-lands-packag-24392.html

  2. Growing a Forest, and Harvesting Jobs
      The New York Times, Published by Elisabeth Malkin, November 22nd

    As an unforgiving midday sun bore down on the pine-forested mountains here, a half-dozen men perched across a steep hillside wrestled back mounds of weeds to uncover wisps of knee-high seedlings.

    Freeing the tiny pines that were planted last year is only one step of many the town takes to nurture the trees until they grow tall, ready for harvesting in half a century. But the people of Ixtlán take the long view. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/americas/23mexico.html?_r=1

  3. Debbie Stabenow to Lead Senate Agriculture Committee
      The Detroit Free Press, Published by Todd Spangler, November 20th

    Michigan's Debbie Stabenow will take over as chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee when a new Congress starts its work in January. Stabenow, a Democrat, takes over following Arkansas Sen. Blanche Lincoln's defeat earlier this month. North Dakota's Kent Conrad was next in line as chair but decided Friday to remain as head of the Budget Committee. To read more of this article link to: http://www.freep.com/article/20101120/NEWS07/11200359/1001/NEWS/Debbie-Stabenow-to-lead-Senate-Agriculture-Committee

In the States: Arizona, Montana, Washington and Wisconsin

  1. Future Being Mapped for Coconino National Forest
      The Associated Press, November 21st

    Officials with the Coconino National Forest are rewriting a 23-year-old blueprint for the forest and attempting to address some big problems, like climate change and water pollution. The plans, set to be enacted in 2012, outline what uses will be allowed in the 1.8 million-acre forest for future decades. That's prompted conservationists and plenty of others who use the forest to weigh in. The plans shift from an era focusing on timber sales to a time when activities such as "geocaching" and "snowplay" are common terms. To read more of this article link to: http://azdailysun.com/news/state-and-regional/article_2f7ce253-2f66-5075-a390-b8e38a5b1d4c.html

  2. Tester Says His Forest Bill Still Has a Chance
      The Associated Press, Published by Matt Gouras, November 24th

    U.S. Sen. Jon Tester said Tuesday his compromise plan to both increase logging and expand wilderness still has a chance to clear Congress this year - a move that could be more critical for the legislation as hopes dimmed that it could clear a GOP-controlled House next year.

    The Democrat said he is looking for ways to attach the legislation to other bills that could clear this year's lame duck session. He said he has the backing of the Obama administration through the U.S. Forest Service and key party leaders in Congress. To read more of this article link to: http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/tester_says_his_forest_bill_still_has_a_chance/20782/

  3. 'Before This, I Would Literally Put a Torch to it': Tour Highlights Biomass Availability
      The Peninsula Daily News, Published by Tom Callis

    In the misty hills south of here, the rumbling of large machinery reverberating out of a clearing offered a telltale sign of a North Olympic Peninsula tradition: logging.But the small crew operating the equipment -- an excavator and chipping machine -- last Wednesday morning weren't there to cut trees; that harvest was made last spring. The job of the Hermann Brothers' employees was to make use of the half-dozen piles of tree branches and other large woody debris, known as slash, left from the logging operation.To read more of this article link to: http://www.peninsuladailynews.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2010311149985

  4. Xcel Halts Biomass Plant in Ashland
      The Journal Sentinel, Published by Thomas Content, November 29th

    Xcel Energy Inc. on Monday halted plans to build a biomass power plant on Lake Superior in Ashland. The utility holding company's Eau Claire-based utility informed the state Public Service Commission of its decision in a letter Monday. Xcel had planned to build a biomass gasification plant that would have made the Ashland power plant the largest wood-burning power plant in the Midwest. To read more of this article link to: http://www.jsonline.com/business/111018219.html

Wildfire Update

  1. 2010 Wildfire Season Not Bad - So Far
      Press-Telegram, Published by C.J. Lin, November 27th

    To the untrained eye, the abandoned nursery in Lake View Terrace is simply a blighted piece of property at the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains. To brush-clearance inspectors with the Los Angeles Fire Department, it's a firestorm waiting to happen. Large piles of wooden debris have been dumped on the lot, where grass grows 4 feet high and palm trees are bushy with dead fronds. Abandoned wooden sheds that once housed plants have been taken over as makeshift shelters for the homeless. To read more of this article link to: http://www.presstelegram.com/news/ci_16724449

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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