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Policy Update Week of March 7, 2011

SAF ACTIONS

  1. The Society of American Foresters, The Nature Conservancy and the National Alliance of Forest Owners comment on the Environmental Protection Agency's New Source Performance Standards Proposal

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

In the Administration

  1. Stopgap Bill Cuts Budget by $6 Billion
      The New York Times, Published by Carl Hulse, March 11th

    House Republicans on Friday proposed a plan to finance the government through April 8 as President Obama warned that it would be irresponsible to go much beyond that date with another short-term budget.

    "We can't keep on running the government based on two-week extensions," Mr. Obama said at a news conference. "We've got a war in Afghanistan going on. We've got a wide range of issues facing the country on a day-to-day basis." To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/12/us/politics/12congress.html?partner=rss&emc=rss

  2. The U.S. Government Accountability Office released a report on "Forest Service: Continued Work Needed to Address Persistent Management Challenges"
      GAO, March 10th

    The Forest Service, within the Department of Agriculture, manages over 190 million acres of national forest and grasslands. The agency is responsible for managing its lands for various purposes--including recreation, grazing, timber harvesting, and others--while ensuring that such activities do not impair the lands' long-term productivity. Numerous GAO reports examining different aspects of Forest Service programs--including a testimony before this Subcommittee in 2009--have identified persistent management challenges facing the agency. To read this report link to: http://www.gao.gov/products/GAO-11-423T

  3. New Software Puts Forest Ecology in Public Hands
      USFS Newsroom, March 10th

    The U.S. Forest Service and its partners released this morning the newest version of their free i-Tree software suite, designed to quantify the benefits of trees and assist communities in gaining support and funding for the trees in their parks, schoolyards and neighborhoods. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell unveiled the new software suite in a ceremony at the Fairmount Horticultural Center in Philadelphia. To read more of this article link to: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2011/releases/03/i-tree.shtml

This Week in Congress

  1. March 8th - The House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on the BLM and Forest Service Budget.

    To visit the committee website click here:http://naturalresources.house.gov/

  2. March 8th - The House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the Department of Interior budget.

    To visit the committee website click here: http://appropriations.house.gov/

  3. March 9th - The Senate Appropriations Committee held a hearing on the Department of Interior budget.

    To visit the committee website click here: http://appropriations.senate.gov/

  4. March 10th - The House Appropriations Committee held a hearing on Forest Service management problems.

    To visit the committee website click here: http://appropriations.house.gov/

  5. At House E.P.A. Hearing, Both Sides Claim Science
      The New York Times, Published by John Broder, March 8th

    Science and politics rarely play nicely together, and a House hearing Tuesday on a bill to strip the Environmental Protection Agency of its power to regulate greenhouse gas emissions proved no exception.

    Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on energy and power demanded the hearing in the hope of slowing the inexorable progress of the bill, known as the Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011, which enjoys the near-unanimous support of the Republican House majority.To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/09/science/earth/09climate.html?_r=1

National News

  1. Cold Winter Not Cold Enough to Kill Bark Beetles
      The Billings Gazette, Published by Lorna Thackeray, March 7th

    Frigid as the winter of 2010-2011 has been, it probably has had little effect on the mortality of bark beetles that have transformed more than 2 million acres of Montana forest into rusty-brown kill zones. "It would have to be pretty cold for a long time," explained Barbara Bentz, a Logan, Utah, entomologist for the Forest Service's Rocky Mountain Research Station. To read more this article link to:
    http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_e4ba0749-ff58-51a1-bab7-0035c44f90c7.html?oCampaign=hottopics

  2. ASABE Revises Biomass Standard
      Biomass Power & Thermal, Published by Eric Voegele, March 11th

    The American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers has revised its standard on biomass terminology and definitions. Revisions to the standard, titled "Terminology and Definitions for Biomass Production, Harvesting and Collection, Storage Processing, Conversion and Utilization," or ANSI/ASABE S593.1, were completed based on positive feedback from standard users as well as intensified government interest and mandates regarding the production of bioenergy, biopower and bioproducts from biomass. To read more of this article link to: http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/5345/asabe-revises-biomass-standard

In the States: Alaska and Washington

  1. Tongass in Alaska to Get Federal Roadless Protection
      The Los Angeles Times, Published by Kim Murphy, March 7th

    The federal rule protecting the nation's last remaining stretches of roadless wilderness will apply now to the largest and grandest of the national forests under a court ruling in Alaska, which threw out the exemption granted to the Tongass National Forest.

    Ruling in Anchorage, U.S. District Judge John W. Sedwick invalidated an exemption crafted under the Bush administration that had been intended to boost the crippled timber industry in Southeast Alaska by allowing access to stands of timber in remote sections of the forest. To read more of this article link to: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/greenspace/2011/03/tongass-in-alaska-to-get-federal-roadless-protection.html

  2. DNR-Managed Forestlands Helped State's Private-Sector Timber Economy Retain Jobs in 2010
      Washington State Department of Natural Resources, March 8th

    State trust forestlands helped keep timber contractors, saw mills and related businesses working last year. Close to 30 percent of the total timber harvest in Washington State in fiscal year 2010 came from state trust lands managed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) according to its 2010 Annual Report released today. That compares to an average of 16 percent of the state's annual timber harvests between 2000 and 2007. To read more of this report link to: http://www.dnr.wa.gov/BusinessPermits/News/Pages/2011_03_08_timber_economy_nr.aspx

Last Week in Congress

  1. March 1st - The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment and Relate Agencies held a hearing on Interior Department management challenges.

    To visit the Committee website click here: http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Home

  2. March 1st - The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Energy and Power held a hearing on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. in 2322 Rayburn House Office Building. The hearing is entitled "EPA's Greenhouse Gas Regulations and Their Effect on American Jobs."

    To visit the Committee website click here: http://energycommerce.house.gov/default.aspx

  3. March 1st - The House Committee on Natural resources held a meeting on Tuesday on "The Impact of the Administration's Wild Lands Order on Jobs and Economic Growth".

    To visit the Committee website click here: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/Archives/Results.aspx?Earliest=3%2f1%2f2011&Latest=3%2f2%2f2011

  4. March 2nd To visit the Committee website click here: http://appropriations.house.gov/

  5. March 2nd - The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met on Wednesday to consider the President's Fiscal Year 2012 proposed budget for the Department of the Interior.

    To visit the Committee website click here: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Home.Home

  6. March 3rd - The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met on Thursday to consider the President's Fiscal Year 2012 proposed budget for the USDA Forest Service.

    To visit the Committee website click here: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Home.Home

Wildfire Update

  1. NM Wildfire Destroys 13 Homes, 47 Other Structures
      Mercury News, Published by The Associated Press, March 8th

    Authorities in New Mexico began escorting residents into their neighborhoods Tuesday evening to survey damage left by a wildfire that raced across nearly 1,800 acres in a rugged area of the state. The human-caused fire destroyed 13 homes, damaged up to 47 smaller outbuildings and forced about 100 people to temporarily leave the area, State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware said. Residents who were initially asked to leave when the fire broke out Monday south of Silver City were allowed to return to their homes late Tuesday. To read more of this article link to: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_17563476?nclick_check=1

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