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Policy Update Week of February 14, 2011


  1. Forest Policy Presentations Needed for 2011 SAF National Convention

    The SAF Committee on Forest Policy is sponsoring a "Forest Policy" track at this year's SAF National Convention. We are looking for presentations that address some aspect of US or international forest policy. The Forest Policy track is designed for presentations based on policy or program analysis. We are seeking presentations that analyze (rather than simply describe) the: 1) implementation of an existing government program, 2) impact of legislative or administrative policy initiatives, or 3) design of policies or programs. Ideally, these presentations should be based on qualitative or quantitative data analyses. Presentation information and submission guidelines are available at http://www.safnet.org/natcon11/presenters/index.cfm.

In the Administration

  1. February 15th- President Obama held a press conference to address the 2012 Presidential Budget

    To read a transcript of the press conference click here: http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/02/15/press-conference-president

  2. USDA Forest Service Unveils Proposed Planning Rule to Provide Science-Based Framework to Support Healthy Forests and Communities Forest Service Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Rule
      USDA Newsroom, February 10th

    The USDA Forest Service unveiled its proposed Forest Planning Rule today which would establish a new national framework to develop land management plans that protect water and wildlife and promote vibrant communities. Forest Service land management plans guide management activities on the 155 National Forests and 20 Grasslands in the National Forest System.

    The proposed planning rule provides a collaborative and science-based framework for creating land management plans that would support ecological sustainability and contribute to rural job opportunities. The proposed rule includes new provisions to guide forest and watershed restoration and resilience, habitat protection, sustainable recreation, and management for multiple uses of the National Forest System, including timber. To read more of this article click here.

  3. President Obama Announces Plan for Community-Based Conservation through the America's Great Outdoors Initiative
      USDA Newsroom, February 16th

    President BarackObama today announced the Administration's action plan, under the America's Great Outdoors initiative, to achieve lasting conservation of the outdoor spaces that power our nation's economy, shape our culture, and build our outdoor traditions. This initiative seeks to reinvigorate our approach to conservation and reconnect Americans, especially young people, with the lands and waters that are used for farming and ranching, hunting and fishing, and for families to spend quality time together. To read more of this article click here.

Last Week in Congress

  1. Republicans Gut EPA Climate Rules, Slash Deeply Into Climate Research, Aid and Technology Programs
      The New York Times, Published by Lauren Morello, Dina Fine Maron, Lisa Friedman and SaqibRahim of Greenwire, February 14th

    House Republicans introduced spending legislation Friday that would strip U.S. EPA of its ability to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, gut the State Department's climate aid programs and slash funding for energy and climate research across the federal government.

    The continuing resolution (CR), which would fund government operations through Sept. 30, seeks to trim $100 billion from the fiscal 2011 budget President Obama proposed last year. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) initially floated $32 billion in cuts but backtracked last week under pressure from lawmakers aligned with the tea party. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/02/14/14climatewire-republicans-gut-epa-climate-rules-slash-deep-87716.html

  2. House Republicans Take E.P.A. Chief to Task
      The New York Times, Published by John Broder, February 9th

    Congressional Republicans on Wednesday opened a formal assault on the authority of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate greenhouse gases, raising doubts about the legal, scientific and economic basis of rules proposed by the agency.

    The forum was a hearing convened by the energy and power subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee to review the economic impact of pending limits on carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases. But much of the discussion focused instead on whether climate science supports the agency's finding that greenhouse gases are a threat to health and the environment; that finding is what makes the gases subject to regulation under the Clean Air Act. To read more of this article link to:

This Week in Congress

  1. February 17th - The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will meet from 2:30 PM to 4:30 PM in 328A regarding "Agriculture: Growing America's Economy." To visit the committee website click here: http://ag.senate.gov/site/index.html

  2. February 16th - The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met toreceive testimony on the U.S. Department of Energy's budget for fiscal year 2012.

    To view the archived web cast of the meeting click here:

  3. House Votes to Cut Budget of EPA Greenhouse-Gas Registry
      The Wall Street Journal, Published by Corey Boles, February 16th

    House lawmakers voted Wednesday evening to drastically reduce the budget of an Environmental Protection Agency program that collects data on greenhouse-gas emissions from U.S. companies, as part of Republicans' continuing push to reduce the regulatory reach of the agency. Lawmakers successfully reduced funding for the program to $3.2 million from its current funding levels of $16 million. The vote came as an amendment to spending legislation to fund the federal government through the remaining months of fiscal 2011. To read more of this article link to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704171004576148931339675092.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

National News

  1. Obama's Proposed Budget for Fiscal 2012 Focuses on Education, Energy, Research
      The Washington Post, Published by Lore Montgomery, February 15th

    President Obama submitted a budget blueprint for fiscal 2012 on Monday full of surgical cuts and cautious trade-offs to lawmakers clamoring for bold action to reduce government spending and control a budget deficit expected to rise to a record $1.6 trillion this year.

    The $3.7 trillion plan proposes to trim or terminate more than 200 federal programs, striking areas long favored by Democrats to make room for increases aimed at boosting the economy. The new priorities include spending on education, energy and medical research, and a push to bring high-speed Internet to virtually every American. To read more of this article link to:

  2. Harry Reid: Senate Democrats Prepping CES Bill
      Politico, Published by Daniel Samuelsohn, February 16th

    Senate Democrats are preparing energy legislation for the floor that includes the 'clean energy' standard sought by President BarackObama, Majority Leader Harry Reid said Wednesday.

    Reid said he's looking to Energy and Natural Resources Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman (D-N.M.) and ranking member Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) to hash out details on the plan which would increase the nations' reliance on cleaner burning sources of energy, including solar and wind, and perhaps folding in "clean coal" and nuclear power. To read more of this article link to:

In the States: Texas and Oregon

  1. KiOR Receives Loan Guarantee Term Sheet for Over $1 Billion Project From U.S. Department of Energy
      KiOR Press Release, February 3rd

    KiOR, Inc., announced today that it has received a term sheet for a loan guarantee supporting an over $1 billion biofuels project from the U.S. Department of Energy's Loan Guarantee Program. The project would convert wood biomass into drop in biofuels such as gasoline and diesel fuel. KiOR's project under the DOE loan guarantee program will consist of four biorefineries that will contribute approximately 250 million gallons of cellulosic biofuel to the Renewable Fuel Standard. The first two plants are expected to be in Mississippi, with additional sites planned in Georgia and Texas. To read more of this article link to: http://kior.com/content/article.php?Atricle=2&s=2&s2=35&p=35&t=News-and-Events

  2. Oregon To Boost State's Emerging Biomass Energy Industry
      GovMonitor, February 15th

    Governor Kitzhaber has announced the Forest Products Energy Project, a grant opportunity to spur Oregon's emerging biomass energy industry. Existing local forest product companies in Oregon can compete for these grants to evaluate the feasibility of using biomass for renewable energy production in Oregon's forest products industry. To read more of this article link to:

Wildfire Update

  1. Fire Now Fights Fires Yet to Come
      Arizona Daily Star, Published by Tom Beal, February 12th

    It was a good week to set fire to the grasses and litter on the oak-studded hills that line this canyon in the Santa Rita Mountains south of Tucson. The grasses were dry enough to burn, the trees moist enough to withstand the flames.Next month, it might not be such a good idea, with continued drying expected and the wildfire season just around the corner. To read more of this article link to: http://azstarnet.com/news/science/environment/article_903298a4-a0d1-5033-b0d8-b8fa126f72a2.html

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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