Policy Update - Week of April 26, 2010
- Green Jobs Definition Largely Excludes Forestry: SAF Encourages Comments to Include Forestry in Proposed Definition. COMMENTS DUE THIS FRIDAY, 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. COMMENTS DUE THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 30TH.
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
- 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/
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- USDA Promotes Physical Activity among Nation's Youth through Expanded Programs
United States Department of Agriculture News Release Published April 27th by USDA
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA's Forest Service will contribute $500,000 in 2010 to the "More Kids in the Woods" program for projects that promote active lifestyles and connect kids to nature. Read more of this news release .
Last Week in Congress & National News
- 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:
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:
Tuesday April 20th- Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) introduced bill S.3230 on the floor of the Senate. S.3230 is a bill to prohibit the use of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 to document, predict, or mitigate the climate effects of specific Federal actions. The latest action occurred on April 20th when the bill was referred to the Committee on Environmental and Public Works.
To read more on this bill link to: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s3230/show
Wednesday April 21st - Representative David Obey (D-WI) introduced and passed resolution H.Con.Res.255 on the floor of the house. H.Con.Res.255 is to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day and honoring the founder of Earth Day, the late Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Resolution passed in the Senate on April 22nd.
To read more on resolution link to: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-hc255/show
Wednesday April 21st- Representative Rush Holt (D-NJ) introduced bill H.R.5101 on the floor of the House. H.R.5101 is to expand the science and stewardship of America's most important wildlife corridors. The latest action occurred on April 21st when the bill was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
To read more on this bill link to: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h5101/show
Thursday April 22nd - Representative Greg Walden (R-OR) introduced H.R.5135 on the floor of the House. H.R.5135 is to provide for congressional approval of national monuments in Oregon, restrictions on the use of national monuments, and for other purposes. The latest action occurred April 22nd when the bill was referred to the House Committee on Natural Resources.
To read more about this bill link to: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-h5135/show
Thursday April 22nd- Senator Thomas Carper (D-DE) introduced bill S.3251 on the floor of the Senate. S.3251 is a bill to improve energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy by Federal agencies, and for other purposes. The latest action occurred April 22nd when the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources.
To read more on this bill link to: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s3251/show
- Industry, Enviro Groups Spar over Senate Climate Bill's Biomass Provisions
The New York Times Article Published April 23rd by Patrick Reis of GreenWire
Environmentalists and the timber industry are taking their long-running battle over biomass energy into the Senate climate debate.
At issue is how legislation being written by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) will treat the harvest of forest materials for biomass-power production in the bill's renewable-energy sections. The bill is scheduled for release Monday. To read more of this article link to:
- Scanlan, Gibbs Testify at Forest health Hearing in D.C.
Vail Daily Article Published April 21st by Julie Sutor
Colorado Sen. Dan Gibbs Wednesday afternoon testified in support of federal forest health legislation before a U.S. Senate committee in Washington, D.C.
The bill, sponsored by U.S. Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and James Risch (R-Idaho), would provide the U.S. Forest Service with additional administrative tools to protect Western communities impacted by bark beetle outbreaks. To read more of this article link to: http://www.vaildaily.com/article/20100421/NEWS/100429866/1078&ParentProfile=1062
- Senate Bill Introduced to Incentivize Use of Biomass for Heating
Biomass Intel Article Published April 12th by Mackinnon Lawrence
Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Mike Crapo (R-ID), and Mark Begich (D-AR) introduced a bill at the end of March that would help businesses across the country meet their heating needs with renewable biomass. To read more of this article link to: http://www.biomassintel.com/senate-bill-incentivize-biomass-heating/
To read more on the Bill link to: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s3188/show
- BCAP Comments Amass
Biomass Magazine Article Published April 14th by Anna Austin
The USDA's Biomass Crop Assistance Program proposed rule comment period expired April 9. Those anxious for the final rule release and/or the current freeze on the program to cease can now only wait for the USDA to sort through the 24,000-plus comment submissions in order to formulate a fair and consensus-driven rule. To read more of this article link to: http://www.biomassmagazine.com/article.jsp?article_id=3659
- House Agriculture Committee Holds First Hearing on 2012 Farm Bill
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture Press Release Published April 21st by House Agriculture Committee
Today, House Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson held a hearing to discuss U.S. agriculture policy in advance of the 2012 Farm Bill with U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. To read more of this article link to: http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/agriculture_dem/04212010FarmBill.html
- Senate Republicans Move to Bar NEPA Analysis of Climate Change Impacts
The New York Times Article Published April 20th by Noelle Straub of Green Wire
Republican senators introduced legislation today that would block White House efforts to require federal agencies to consider climate change in environmental analyses of proposed projects. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/04/20/20greenwire-senate-republicans-move-to-bar-nepa-analysis-o-53404.html
This Week in Congress & National News
- Tuesday, April 27th - The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hold a hearing on bills H.R. 3923, H.R. 3967, H.R. 3989, H.R. 4514, H.R. 4686, H.R. 4773.
The hearing will be held in the Longworth House Office Building, room 1334 at 10am on April 27th. The hearing will receive testimony on:
H.R. 3923: To amend the Act of May 29, 1930 (Capper-Cramton Act) to authorize a grant program to preserve resources in the National Capital region, and for other purposes, "National Capital Region Land Conservation Act of 2009."
H.R. 3923: To provide for the exchange of certain land located in the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests in the State of Colorado, and for other purposes, "Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District Land Exchange Act of 2009."
H.R. 3967: To amend the National Great Black Americans commemoration Act of 2004 to authorize appropriations through fiscal year 2015.
H.R. 3989: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to determine the suitability and feasibility of adding the Heart Mountain Relocation Center, in the State of Wyoming, as a unit of the National Park System, "Heart Mountain Relocation Center Study Act of 2009."
H.R. 4514: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a special resource study to determine the suitability and feasibility of designating the Colonel Charles Young Home in Xenia, Ohio as a unit of the National Park System, and for other purposes, "Colonel Charles Young Home Study Act."
H.R. 4686: To authorize the Secretary of Interior to study the suitability and feasibility of designating prehistoric, historic, and limestone forest sites on Rota, Common wealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, as a unit of the National Park System, "Rota Cultural and Natural Resources Study Act."
H.R. 4773: To authorize the Secretary of the Interior to lease certain lands within Fort Pulaski National Monument, and for other purposes, "Fort Pulaski National Monument Lease Authorization Act."
To link to the House Natural Resources Committee hearings and markups web page click here: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php?option=com_jcalpro&Itemid=54&extmode=view&extid=349
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
- Kerry, Lieberman Scramble to Avoid Climate Bill 'Fiasco'
The New York Times Article Published April 26th Evan Lehmann, E&E reporter
Sens. John Kerry and Joseph Lieberman sought to control the damage to their climate legislation yesterday, hours after the last-minute withdrawal of the bill's only Republican sponsor derailed an anticipated unveiling and prompted an urgent meeting in Lieberman's home on Saturday. To read more this article link to:
- Summit County Snowmobilers Sound off on Hidden Gems Proposal
Summit Daily News Article Published April 24th by Julie Sutor
Local snowmobiling enthusiasts are eyeing the Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal with serious concern. The proposal to designate as wilderness thousands of acres of White River National Forest land would keep snowmobilers out of some of their favorite spots in Summit County, according to Rich Holcroft, president of High Country Snowmobile Club. To read more of this article link to: http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20100424/NEWS/100429899/1078&ParentProfile=1055
In the States: Colorado and New York
- Hearing Looks at Removing Dead Trees from Forest
Coloradoan Article Published April 22nd by Bobby Magill
Watch your head when you're hiking through Northern Colorado's bark- beetle ravaged national forests.
About 100,000 bark beetle-killed trees could fall per day from now on as the dead lodgepole pines begin to weaken and become vulnerable to the blowing wind. To read more of this article link to: http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20100422/NEWS01/4220335
- NY Study Shows Biofuel Could Decrease Pollution, Create Jobs, and Increase Energy Security
News Channel 34 Article Published April 26th by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority
New York sources of biofuel made from wood, grass and other forms of biomass could reduce New York's gasoline consumption by as much as 16 percent of projected use in 2020 and play a significant role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, according to a report issued today by Pace Law School's Energy and Climate Center. To read more link to: http://www.newschannel34.com/content/developingnews/story/NY-Study-Shows-Biofuel-Could-Decrease-Pollution/S0Z4IYWGu0SlyhSA1WBx1w.cspx
- National Blueprint on Wildfire Management
Homeland Security Insight & Analysis Article Published April 26th by Phil Leggiere
On Wednesday April 21 at the Wildland Fire Leadership Council in Washington, DC, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar jointly announced a blueprint for the first comprehensive national strategy for wildfire management. To read more of this article link to: http://www.hstoday.us/content/view/13036/128/
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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