Policy Update Week of May 31, 2011
- SAF Comments on Proposed Forest Service Planning Rule and
The Proposed Forest Service Planning Rule was released in the Federal Register on February 14, 2011. SAF established a team of 8 SAF members from multiple SAF state societies to respond on behalf of the National Society. Led by SAF California member, Nicholas Dennis, the team members used the DEIS Sections to assign and analyze 8 different subject categories. The team also utilized the principles stated in 2010 SAF President, Michael Lester's letter to Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, as guidelines to complete SAF's response. The final comment letter was submitted to the U.S. Forest Service before the 90 day public comment period ended on May 16, 2011.
To read the comments please link to: hhttp://www.eforester.org/documents/comment_forestserviceplanningdeis_May13.pdf
In the Administration
- Under GOP Pressure, Obama Abandons Wilderness Plan
The Associated Press, Published by Matthew Daly, June 2nd
Under pressure from Congress, the Obama administration is backing away from a plan to make millions of acres of undeveloped land in the West eligible for federal wilderness protection. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said in a memo Wednesday that his agency will not designate any of those public lands as "wild lands." To read more of this article click here:
- Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Renews Interim Directive Covering Roadless Areas in National Forests
United States Department of Agriculture, Press Release, May 31st
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced today that he is renewing an interim directive regarding inventoried roadless areas within our National Forests and Grasslands for an additional year. This is the third one-year, interim directive issued by Secretary Vilsack that governs projects in roadless areas in our National Forests. To read more of this article link to: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2011/05/0223.xml&contentidonly=true
- EPA Commemorates World Environment Day
Environmental Protection Agency, Press Release, June 3rd
EPA is proud to join the international community in commemorating World Environment Day on June 5 in conjunction with its partners in the America's Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative: the Department of the Interior, the Department of Agriculture and the White House Council on Environmental Quality. During this first weekend in June, citizens from around the United States can recognize this year's theme of Forests: Nature at Your Service, by spending the weekend enjoying the country's iconic national parks and forests, wildlife refuges, and cultural and historic sites, as well as neighborhoods and city parks, community gardens and school yards. To read more of this article link to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/1e5ab1124055f3b28525781f0042ed40/dfc1b2b598e0a8ec852578a40056e279!OpenDocument
This Week in Congress
- The U.S. Senate is in Recess until June 5th.
- May 31st - The U.S. House Appropriations committee approved fiscal year 2012 Agriculture Bill. To read more about this hearing link to: http://appropriations.house.gov/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=318
- High Wood Product Output Doesn't Correlate to Higher Carbon Emissions
Forest Business Network, May 26th
A study by researchers at the U.S. Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory shows that the lowest rates of deforestation and forest carbon emissions occur in global regions with the highest rates of forest product output. To read more of this article link to:
- Wood Flooring Manufacturers Face Preliminary Antidumping Duties
Furniture Today, Published by Thomas Russell, May 31st
In what marks the latest antidumping case to affect China, the U.S. Department of Commerce has announced preliminary antidumping duties ranging from zero to 82.65% on Chinese wood flooring producers. Some 73 companies, including flooring and furniture producers Guangdong Yihua Timber Industry Co. Ltd. and Fine Furniture Shanghai, have received separate rate status and have been assigned preliminary duties of 10.88%. To read more of this article link to: http://www.furnituretoday.com/article/539436-Wood_flooring_manufacturers_face_preliminary_antidumping_duties.php
In the States: California, Wyoming, Michigan, and Montana
- The Ag Minute: Forestry Industry at Risk of New Regulatory Burden from EPA
Published by the House Committee on Agriculture, May 31st
This week during The Ag Minute, guest host Rep. Glenn "GT" Thompson, discusses a recent court decision that could give the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) another tool for regulating timber businesses across rural America. Rep. Thompson highlights the need to prevent the timber industry from bearing an unnecessary new regulatory burden that could result from this court decision. To read more of this article link to: http://agriculture.house.gov/press/PRArticle.aspx?NewsID=1393
- Genetics Key to Saving Whitebark Pine, Group Says
Billings Gazette, Published by Martin Kidston, June 1st
A group of biologists, foresters and ecologists concerned about the impacts climate change and disease are having on whitebark pine forests announced a new strategy to save the tree from continuing decline. The strategy, released Tuesday by members of the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee, looks to address the loss of whitebark pine by pooling resources and getting management agencies working together. To read more of this article link to: http://billingsgazette.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming/article_30e4e7ea-f3ee-5a02-ae99-001c41b01382.html
- Research Funding Pushed for 2012 Farm Bill
Detroit Free Press, Published by Zlati Meyer, June 1st
Funding for research, price protection for commodity farmers, better pest control and access to credit are all issues important to Michigan's agricultural community, according to the 15 witnesses who testified at the first public hearing on the 2012 federal farm bill, held Tuesday at Michigan State University. More than 250 people attended the hearing, hosted by U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., chairwoman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry at the U.S.'s first land-grant school. To read more of this article link to: http://www.freep.com/article/20110601/BUSINESS06/106010356/Research-funding-pushed-2012-farm-bill
- Health Department Gives Preliminary Approval to UM Biomass Boiler
Missoulian, Published by Chel Si Moy, June 3rd
The Missoula City-County Health Department made a preliminary determination on Thursday to grant the University of Montana an air quality permit to build a $16 million biomass gasification boiler on campus. It's a major step for UM as it seeks to reduce its carbon footprint by replacing 70 percent of its natural gas consumption, which is now used to heat campus, with wood, a renewable resource.
Last Week in Congress
- May 25th - The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a hearing to receive testimony on the following bills: North Fork Watershed Protection Act of 2011, Forest Jobs and Recreation Act of 2011, Good Neighbor Forestry Act, Federal Land Transaction Facilitation Act Reauthorization of 2011, and Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act.
To read more about this hearing link to: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=c204a140-a3e4-4f23-6c3f-56ff7513d557
- May 26th - The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources Subcommittee on Indian and Alaska Native Affairs Legislative held a hearing on Southeast Alaska Native Land Entitlement Finalization and Jobs Protection Act.
To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=241859
- May 26th - The U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resource Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs Oversight held a hearing on "Buying More Land When We Can't Maintain What We Already Own: The National Wildlife Refuge System's Operations and Maintenance Backlog Story!"
To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=241179
- Tester Defends Forest Jobs Act
Great Falls Tribune, Published by Ledyard King, May 26th
Under attack by some environmentalists, ranchers and outdoor recreational groups, Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., on Wednesday defended his ambitious plan to rescue Montana's flagging timber industry by opening thousands of acres of national forestland for logging, while protecting hundreds of thousands more as wilderness.
The Forest Jobs and Recreation Act not only would create jobs, establish permanent recreation areas and preserve ecologically sensitive land, Tester told members of a Senate Energy and Natural Resources subcommittee Wednesday, but it also would resolve long-simmering differences between factions in Montana who came together to forge this compromise. To read more of this article link to: http://www.greatfallstribune.com/article/20110526/NEWS01/105260302
- U.S. Weighs Tighter Restrictions on Fire Retardant Drops
Los Angeles Times, Published by Bettina Boxall, May 30th
The U.S. Forest Service is weighing tighter restrictions on aerial fire retardant drops as part of a long-running legal battle over the environmental effects of pouring millions of gallons of the chemical mixture on Western wildlands every year. To read more of this article link to: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-fire-retardant-20110530,0,3621744.story
- Wildlife Refuge Fire Exceeds 27,000 Acres and Continues to Threaten Community of Stumpy Point
The Associated Press, May 31st
A wildfire in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge has burned more than 27,000 acres in Dare County. The North Carolina Forest Service said Tuesday the blaze is 80 percent contained. Brush and other materials in the containment area continue to fuel the blaze. Solid lines of burning organic soil are also reported. To read more of this article link to: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/d44cdbe1e91f4d4c818749487ec871e2/NC--Nature-Preserve-Wildfire/
- Eastern Arizona Wildfire Grows to 40,500 Acres; Zero Containment
The Associated Press, June 2nd
The number of burned acres of forest in the Wallow fire in eastern Arizona has grown to more than 40,500. The fire is 12 miles southwest of Alpine in the White Mountains. U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Jonetta Trued tells The Associated Press there is zero containment. To read more of this article link to: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/10f1546ffea74f878ea5d4b61318ba04/AZ--Alpine-Wildfire/
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