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Policy Update - Week of May 3, 2010


  1. SAF Responses to Deforestation Articles

    1. Original Article, "Fading Forests: U.S. Losing Trees Faster than Other Heavily Forested Nations"
        USA Today Article Published April 27th by Doyle Rise

      To link to article click here: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/environment/2010-04-27-forests27_ST_N.htm?csp=34

      SAF's Response to USA Today Article, "Forest Study Article Raises Concerns from Foresters Nationwide"
        SiskiyouDialy.com Article Published May 3rd by David Smith

      A recent study report and an article revealing some of its findings sparked reactions from Siskiyou County and across the nation last week as foresters looked to address a message about the status of American forests. To read more link to: http://www.siskiyoudaily.com/news/x1042478276/Forest-study-article-raises-concerns-from-foresters-nationwide

    2. Original Article, "US Eastern Forests Suffer 'Substantial' Decline: 3.7 Million Hectares Gone"
        MongaBay.com Article Published April 7th by Jeremy Hance

      To link to original article click here: http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0407-hance_us_east.html

      SAF's Response to MongaBay.com, BioScience Paper on Forest Loss

      The April 10 issue of BioScience includes an article by Drummond and Loveland (D&L) titled "Land-use Pressure and a Transition to Forest-cover Loss in the Eastern United States." The article is a product of the U.S. Geological Survey's Land Cover Trends (LCT) project, a major effort to monitor land-use and land-cover change across the United States through rigorous interpretation of satellite images. To read more of this article link to: http://www.safnet.org/documents/bioscience_response.pdf

  2. 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: http://fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gjAwhwtDDw9_AI8zPwhQoY6IeDdGCqCPOBqwDLG-AAjgb6fh75uan6BdnZaY6OiooA1tkqlQ!!/dl3/d3/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnZ3LzZfMjAwMDAwMDBBODBPSEhWTjBNMDAwMDAwMDA!/?ss=119987&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&cid=&navid=091000000000000&pnavid=null&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&ttype=main&pname=Planning%20Rule%20Home

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

  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

In the Administration

  1. Herseth Sandlin: Farm Bill More than Wheat and Corn, Includes Forest and Logging
      Rapid City Journal Article Published April 29th by Kevin Woster

    As Congress begins the long process of drafting the 2012 farm bill, Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin said it's wise to remember that the mammoth piece of legislation is about more than wheat, corn and the nation's federal nutrition programs. To read more of this article link to: http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/article_f9ac395e-53b0-11df-a459-001cc4c03286.html.

  2. Vilsack Allows Movement on Mine Proposals
      The Daily Sentinel, GJSentinel.com Article Published May 2nd by Dennis Webb

    U.S. Agriculture Secretary Thomas Vilsack has agreed to let a coal mine near Paonia proceed with pursuing the installation of three methane vents in a federally inventoried roadless area. To read more of this article link to: http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/vilsack_allows_movement_on__mi#When:05:35:01Z

Last Week in Congress & National News

  1. 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

    April 28th - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse introduced resolution S.Res.503 on the floor of the Senate. S.Res.503 is a resolution designating May 21st, 2010 as "Endangered Species Day." The latest action occurred on April 28th when the resolution was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary.

    To read more about this resolution link to: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-sr503/actions_votes

    April 30th - Senator Michael Crapo introduced bill S.3294 on the floor of the Senate. S. 3294 is to establish certain wilderness areas in central Idaho and to authorize various land conveyances involving National Forest System land and Bureau of Land Management land in central Idaho. The latest action occurred on April 30th when the bill was read twice and then referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

    To read more about this bill link to: http://www.opencongress.org/bill/111-s3294/actions_votes

  2. Lummis Seeks to Tackle Bark Beetle Epidemic
      CBS Channel 4 Denver, Wyoming AP News Article Published May 2nd by the Associated Press

    Rep. Cynthia Lummis has introduced legislation that aims to help forests in the West recover from bark beetle infestations. To read more of this article link to: http://cbs4denver.com/wireapnewswy/Rep.Lummis.legislation.2.1669548.html

This Week in Congress & National News

  1. No Natural Resource Hearings or Markups scheduled this week.

  2. Forest Officials to Face Ag Committee in Cheyenne
      CBS Channel 4 Denver, Wyoming AP News Article Published May 3rd by the Associated Press

    Wyoming's state forester and the U.S. Forest Service regional forester are among those scheduled to testify before the U.S. House Agriculture Committee during a field hearing in Cheyenne. To read more of this article link to: http://cbs4denver.com/wireapnewswy/Top.federal.state.2.1670604.html

  3. International Biomass Conference & Expo to Open with Policy Panel
      PR Newswire, United Business Media Article Published April 30th by BBI International

    Policy will take center stage next week at the 3rd annual International BIOMASS Conference & Expo, the largest, fastest growing biomass event in North America. Nearly 2,000 attendees from all over the world will gather at the Minneapolis Convention Center for the event, which will feature 27 panels and more than 120 presentations Wednesday and Thursday. To read more link to: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/international-biomass-conference--expo-to-open-with-policy-panel-92516389.html

  4. Presentations Set for Forest Measure
      Billings Gazette Article Published April 30th by Gazette News Service

    Members of the Montana Forests Coalition will present information and answer questions on Sen. Jon Tester's Forest Jobs and Recreation Act on Tuesday. To read more of this article link to: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/montana/article_bf42589a-541c-11df-9811-001cc4c03286.html

  5. Bipartisan Effort Needed on Bark Beetle
      The Coloradoan Article Published May 3rd by the Office of Senator Mark Udall and Senator James Risch

    Bark beetles ravaging Western forests are neither Democrat nor Republican. Responding to the impacts they have created demands similar bipartisanship. That's why we have joined together to introduce legislation to help respond to the threats posed by this natural disaster. To read more of this article link to: http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20100503/OPINION04/5030308/1014/OPINION/Bipartisan+effort+needed+on+bark+beetle

In the States: Alaska, Alabama, Florida, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho

  1. "Get Outdoors" on May 15-16 with Free Event Alabama Nature Center in Millbrook
      Montgomeryadvertiser.com Article Published April 27th by Robyn Bradley Litchfield

    Alabama Nature Center (the Alabama Wildlife Federation's 300-acre conservation education facility) and the National Forests in Alabama (the U.S. Forest Service administrative offices in Montgomery) are partnering to get "More Kids in the Woods." To read more link to: http://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com/article/20100427/NEWS/100427009/

  2. Court Upholds Timber Sales in Tongass Nat'l Forest
      The Associated Press Article Published May 3rd by Mary Pemberton

    Two conservation groups have failed to stop four timber sale offerings they say threaten a rare species of wolf that lives in the Tongass National Forest.

    Greenpeace and Cascadia Wildlands Project filed a lawsuit two years ago accusing the U.S. Forest Service of violating federal environmental laws when planning for the sales. To read more of this article link to: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jE5DJMGhSxuzN_Pe2L0QHzTXtXWwD9FFLUU00

  3. Jeff Doran: Bioenergy Will Help Florida Stay Green
      Tallahassee.com Article Published May 2nd by Jeff Doran

    With growing interest in climate change, the environment and energy security, there is more attention on wood biomass as a renewable energy source. By combining advanced technology and innovative conversion practices with responsible stewardship of our natural resources, Floridians should be confident that Florida forests could play a significant role in supplying woody biomass to help satisfy the increasing demand for clean energy. To read more of this article link to: http://www.tallahassee.com/article/20100502/OPINION05/5020306/1006/opinion

  4. Public Review Set for Blue Forest Plans
      The News Tribune Article Published April 28th by the Herald Staff

    The Forest Service will have an open house Thursday in Pasco for the public to review proposed revised management plans for the three Blue Mountain national forests. To read more link to: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2010/04/28/1166368/public-review-set-for-blue-forests.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:

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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