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Policy Update - Week of April 19, 2010


  1. SAF Encourages Attendance and/or Participation at the Forest Service Planning Rule Regional Roundtables

    The Forest Service is hosting national and regional roundtables to provide public discussion on the development of the new Forest Service Land and Resource Management Planning Rule. SAF encourages the attendance and/or participation of our members to provide input from the forestry profession. To find out information on Regional Roundtables, the Planning Rule Notice of Intent, meetings agendas, questions and answers and more, link to the Forest Service Planning Rule website:

    To link to the Forest Service Planning Rule Blog click here: http://blogs.usda.gov/usdablogs/planningrule/

  2. Green Jobs Definition Largely Excludes Forestry: SAF Encourages Comments to Include Forestry in Proposed Definition. Comments are due on or Before April 30th.

    On March 16th the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a proposed definition of green jobs for public comment. The proposed definition of green jobs excludes many forest products (biomass is recognized). SAF encourages comments to support the inclusion of foresters and forest products in the definition. The proposed green jobs definition is defined as, "Jobs involved in economic activities that help protect or restore the environment or conserve natural resources." The Bureau of Labor Statistics explains that the economic activities include, "Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency, Greenhouse Gas Reduction, Pollution Reduction and Cleanup, Recycling and Waste Reduction, Agricultural and Natural Resources Conservation, Education Compliance, Public Awareness, and Training." It excludes specific mention of foresters.

    To read more on the U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics and the proposed definition of green jobs link and for information on how to submit comments link to: http://www.bls.gov/green

  3. SAF Comments on the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) Proposed Rule

    The Society of American Foresters supports the BCAP as passed in the 2008 Farm Bill. The SAF believes the Program could increase biomass energy production and rightly encourages the collection, harvest, storage, and transportation (CHST) of biomass. SAF comments specifically on the Programs explanation of Eligible Materials, and the Amount of Payments. SAF also comments on the termination of the Notice of Funds Availability and USDA's recognition of plans equivalent to Forest Stewardship Plans.

    To read SAF's comments on the BCAP Program link to: http://www.eforester.org/fp/documents/BiomassCropAssistanceProgram.pdf

  4. LEED Standards Should Embrace Products from State's Well-Managed Forests
      The Seattle Times Article Published April 2nd by Michael T. Goergen Jr

    The LEED rating system encourages the use of responsible materials in construction and renovation, but forester Michael T. Goergen Jr. is frustrated to see continued ill-treatment of forest products from well-managed forests in Washington and the nation. To read more of this article link to: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2011509983_guest03green.html

  5. SAF Testimony on S. 2798 the National Forest Insect and Disease Emergency Act

    The SAF strongly supports S. 2798, the National Forest Insect and Disease Emergency Act of 2009, and commends Senator Mark Udall and Senator James Risch for their bipartisan leadership on the important bill. Given current federal land management laws, regulations and case law, there is virtually no way work can be completed to remove dead and dying trees in a timely matter. S. 2798 could be easily implemented by land management agencies to more-quickly address problems associated with extensive bark beetle infestations.

    To read SAF's testimony link to: http://www.eforester.org/fp/documents/saftestimony_udall_risch.pdf

    To read more Bill S. 2798 and scheduled hearing link to: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=4f27c780-90d4-4627-a991-6d836ee788d4

  6. SAF Comments on Forest Planning Rule Notice of Intent

    The SAF is dedicated to helping USDA craft a planning rule that will work for planners, land managers and the many different stakeholders concerned about our national forests. The SAF requests that the rule be kept as simple as possible. A complicated new planning rule will lead to further cost and frustration at no benefit to our national forests.

    To read SAF's comments link to: http://www.safnet.org/fp/documents/saf_planning_rule_noi_comments2-16-10.pdf

In the Administration

  1. Obama Launches America's Great Outdoors Conservation Initiative
      The Washington Post Article Published April 17th by Juliet Eilperin & Scott Wilson

    President Obama launched the America's Great Outdoors initiative Friday, an attempt to reshape U.S. conservation policy at a time when the nation is facing new environmental threats but the government is hard-pressed to afford new spending programs. To read more of this article link to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/15/AR2010041505766.html?hpid=moreheadlines

Last Week in Congress & National News

  1. No Natural Resource Legislation Passed Last Week in Congress.

  2. Federal Timber Harvest Proposal Put Forth
      Mail Tribune Article Published April 14th by Paul Fattig

    The U.S. Forest Service is proposing a 16,215-acre management project in the High Cascades Ranger District that ultimately could harvest millions of board feet of timber. To read more link to: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100414/NEWS/4140315

This Week in Congress & National News

  1. Wednesday 21st - RESCHEDULED: PUBLIC LANDS AND FORESTS SUBCOMMITTEE HEARING: to receive testimony on the following bills: S. 1546, S. 2798, S. 2830, S. 2963.

    The hearing will be held in the Energy Committee Hearing Room, SD-366 at 2:30pm. The hearing was originally scheduled for March 23, 2010. The purpose of the hearing is to receive testimony on the following bills:

    S. 1546 - to provide for the conveyance of certain parcels of land to the town of Mantua, Utah.

    S. 2798 - to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire through the facilitation of insect and disease infestation treatment of National Forest System and adjacent land, and for other purposes.

    S. 2830 - to amend the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 to clarify that uncertified States and Indian tribes have the authority to use certain payments for certain noncoal reclamation projects.

    S. 2963 - to designate certain land in the State of Oregon as wilderness, to provide for the exchange of certain Federal land and non-Federal land, and for other purposes.

    To link to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources click here: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=4f27c780-90d4-4627-a991-6d836ee788d4

    Thursday, April 22nd - The House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hold a hearing on H.R. 4888, Cabin Fee Act of 2010.

    The purpose of this bill (H.R. 4888) is to revise the Forest Service Recreation Residence Program as it applies to units of the National Forest System derived from the public domain by implementing a simple, equitable, and predictable procedure for determining cabin user fees, and for other purposes. The hearing will be held on Thursday, April 22nd at 10:00am in room 1334 Longworth House Office Building.

    To visit the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Natural Parks, Forests and Public Lands website click here: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=54&extmode=view&extid=347

    Wednesday, April 28th - The Senate Public Lands and Forests Subcommittee will hold a hearing to receive testimony on S. 1241, S. 1571 and H.R. 1043, S. 2762, S. 3075, S. 3185, and H.R. 86.

    The hearing will be held in the Energy Committee Hearing Room (S.D. 366) at 2:30pm. The purpose of the hearing is to receive testimony on the following bills:

    S. 1241 - to amend Public Law 106-206 to direct the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture to require annual permits and assess annual fees for commercial filming activities on Federal land for film crews of 5 persons or fewer.

    S. 1571 and H.R. 1043 - to provide for a land exchange involving certain National Forest System land in the Mendocino National Forest in the State of California, and for other purposes.

    S. 2762 - to designate certain lands in San Miguel, Ouray, and San Juan Counties, Colorado, as wilderness, and for other purposes.

    S. 3075 - to withdraw certain Federal land and interests in that land from location, entry, and patent under the mining laws and disposition under the mineral and geothermal leasing laws.

    S. 3185 - to require the Secretary of the Interior to convey certain Federal land to Elko County, Nevada, and to take land into trust for the Te-moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada, and for other purposes.

    H.R. 86 - to eliminate an unused lighthouse reservation, provide management consistency by incorporating the rocks and small islands along the coast of Orange County, California, into the California Coastal National Monument managed by the Bureau of Land Management, and meet the original Congressional intent of preserving Orange County's rocks and small islands, and for other purposes.

    To link to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources click here: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=fdbe9a8b-e507-89b4-df51-d4fdb171f96e

  2. Rule, Forest Plans Still Apply to Roadless Lands under Tester Bill, Supporters Say
      The Missoulian Article Published April 17th by Rob Chaney

    During a public meeting on Sen. Jon Tester's Forest Jobs and Recreation Act, Missoula resident Jackie Corday asked a question that nearly stumped the panel of speakers: How many inventoried roadless forest acres would be labeled "available for possible harvest" under the bill? To read more of this article link to: http://www.missoulian.com/news/local/article_62a51c56-49d3-11df-b0e1-001cc4c002e0.html

In the States: Alaska, Colorado and Wyoming

  1. Tongass Timber Wars Simmer Under Forest Planning Process
      Juneau Empire Article Published April 14th by Kim Marquis

    Community leaders given a chance to comment on forest planning Tuesday during a regional roundtable in Juneau said they want more control over decisions made on public lands surrounding their towns. To read more of this article link to: http://juneauempire.com/stories/041410/loc_608749190.shtml

  2. Lawmakers Urge Road Access in Forest to Vent Methane from Mine
      Denver Post Article Published April 18th by Bruce Finley

    Colorado lawmakers on Friday weighed into the Obama administration's deliberations over a proposal submitted by Gov. Bill Ritter for managing national forest roadless areas in the state. To read more of this article link to: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_14906643

  3. Forest Service Starts Work on New Planning Rule
      Star-Tribune Article Published April 16th by Joan Barron

    The U.S. Forest Service is starting a two-year effort to adopt a simplified planning rule to deal with new resource challenges including climate change and beetles. To read more of this article link to: http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/article_2ed28be0-8d2c-5123-ae24-6cc203f280c2.html

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: http://www.eforester.org/fp/documents/managedforests_12-14-07.pdf

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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