Policy Update Week of May 9, 2011
- The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Coalition May 9th Briefing
The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Coalition (CFLR) held our first Hill briefing titled "Landscape-Scale Forest and Watershed Restoration" in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee Hearing Room on May 9th. At the briefing, presenters spoke about the benefits of collaboration and how it will affect rural communities and jobs. The presenters also discussed the scale and budgets of potential future projects as well as the types of resources and data that are available necessary for future project implementation
The overall goal of the Coalition is to "Secure full funding for, and ensure the success of, the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program." The Coalition will work to achieve this goal through building and maintaining a coalition of non-federal CFLR supporters, by engaging in the budget and appropriations process, and by sharing information about authorities and policies that relate to CFLR and are important to the program effectiveness.
In the Administration
- USFS Comment Period For The Proposed Planning Rule Closes May 16th
The comment period for the proposed planning rule and the draft environmental impact statement comes to a close on May 16, 2011. Comments on the proposed rule and/or DEIS must be received in writing by 11:59pm on May 16
For more information link to: http://www.fs.fed.us/
- First BCAP Project Area Aims to Reduce American Dependence on Foreign Oil
USDA Press Release, Tanya Brown, May 6th
In an announcement released this week, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack established the first Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) Project Area to promote the next generation of biofuels. The announcement comes as Americans are pinching pennies due to gas prices climbing to over $4 a gallon. "Reducing our dependence on foreign oil and getting a handle on out of control gas prices will require investments in projects like we are announcing today," said Vilsack. To read more of this article link to: http://blogs.usda.gov/2011/05/06/first-bcap-project-area-aims-to-reduce-american-dependence-on-foreign-oil/
- The Forest Service Will Host Nine Public Meetings Throughout Colorado and in Washington, DC Regarding the Proposed Roadless Rule
To learn more about meeting times and locations click here:
This Week in Congress
- May 11th - The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks Hearing received testimony on the following bills: S. 114, S. 127, S. 140, S. 161, S. 177, S. 247, S. 279, S. 302, S. 323, S. 403, S. 404, S. 508, S. 535, S. 564, S. 599, S. 713, S. 765, S. 779, S. 849, S. 858.
To read more about this hearing link to: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=bbb3e157-d975-9c36-5d89-66bd5b9c78d6
- May 13th - The U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources held a hearing on "American Energy Initiative: Identifying Roadblocks to Wind and Solar Energy on Public Lands and Waters, Part I - Department of Interior Officials".
To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=237886
- Saturday May 21st is National Walk In The Woods Day
To read more about National Walk In The Woods Day click here: http://www.celebrateforests.com/home-page-gallery-item/national-walk-woods-day
- U.S., Alaska Disagree on Proposed TongassRoadless Exemptions
The New York Times, Published by Phil Taylor of Greenwire, May 13th
The Obama administration and Alaska are at loggerheads over which mining, hydroelectric and timber projects should be allowed after roadless protections return to the nation's largest national forest.
The Forest Service and Alaska's attorney general Wednesday filed separate proposals to a federal judge in Anchorage who in March reinstated a 2001 roadless rule barring most logging and road construction in the Tongass National Forest. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/05/13/13greenwire-us-alaska-disagree-on-proposed-tongass-roadless-8481.html
In the States: Nebraska, Montana, and Colorado
- Forest Invites Landowners to June Workshop
The Chadron Record, Published by the Nebraska Forest Service, May 10th
On Sunday, June 12, a segment of the workshop series "TODAY'S FOREST" will be held at Chadron State Park near Chadron. The free educational event is open to the public with a special invitation to all private forest landowners. The topic is titled "Your Changing Forest" and will be presented by Dr. Skip Smith, a professor of forestry from Colorado State University in Fort Collins. To read more of this article link to: http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/thechadronnews/latest/article_7c5b7358-7b27-11e0-8621-001cc4c002e0.html
- Mont. Senate Race Will Turn on Energy, Climate, Natural Resource Issues
The New York Times, Published by Jean Chemnick of Greenwire, May 6th
Democrat Jon Tester has tried to steer a middle course in his first term in the Senate between safeguarding Montana's natural beauty and protecting its economic interests as he sees them -- whether that means allowing wolf hunting or opening new areas of the forest to logging. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/05/06/06greenwire-mont-senate-race-will-turn-on-energy-climate-n-38067.html
- Biomass Bill Would Battle Beetle Kill by Creating New Plan, Working Group
The Colorado Independent, Published by David Williams, May 11th
A bill to create a working group of Colorado forest health, environment and energy experts to draft a biomass plan for coping with the beetle-kill epidemic passed on third reading in the state Senate Monday and passed on second reading in the House on Tuesday.
Dubbed the Forest Health Act of 2011, Senate Bill 267 was sponsored by Sen. Gail Schwartz, D-Snowmass. The bill is sponsored by state Reps. Millie Hamner, D-Dillon, and Don Coram, R-Montrose, in the House. To read more of this article link to: http://coloradoindependent.com/87742/biomass-bill-would-battle-beetle-kill-by-creating-new-plan-working-group
Last Week in Congress
- May 3rd - Representative Mike Ross [D-AR4] Introduced H.R. 1682-American-Made Energy Act of 2011: To promote alternative and renewable fuels and domestic energy production, and for other purposes.
To read more about this bill click here: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-1682
- May 3rd - Representative Jared Polis [D-CO2] Introduced H.R. 1701 Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act: To designate certain lands in the State of Colorado as components of the National Wilderness Preservation System, to designate the Red Table Mountain, Pisgah Mountain, Castle Peak, Tenmile, Hoosier Ridge, and Porcupine Gulch Special Management Areas, and for other purposes.
To read more about this bill link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-1701
- Wilderness Bills Proliferate as Promoters Hope to Break 2-Year Drought
The New York Times, Published by Phil Taylor of GreenWire, May 3rd
Conservationists are working to build support for more than a dozen wilderness bills introduced in Congress that would provide the highest level of protections to more than 1.5 million acres in seven states.
The bills, two of which were included in a failed last-gasp public lands package last December, represent unfinished business for wilderness supporters who lobbied hard for their passage during the last Congress.To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/05/03/03greenwire-wilderness-bills-proliferate-as-promoters-hope-16290.html
- Thompson's Hearing Offers National Attention for ANF
GantDaily, May 8th
Rep. Glenn 'GT' Thompson, chairman of the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry, has held a public hearing to review the U.S. Forest Service's proposed forest planning rule, which revises the Forest Service's current planning process for its 155 national forests and 20 grasslands. The Forest Service issued the proposed rule on Feb. 14 and the public comment period ends May 16. To read more of this article link to: http://gantdaily.com/2011/05/08/thompson%E2%80%99s-hearing-offers-national-attention-for-anf/
- Dry New Mexico Sees 27 Wildfires in 4 Days
MSNBC, Published by Sue Major Holmes
Authorities have asked residents in three separate areas of New Mexico to leave their homes that are threatened by a series of wildfires that broke out around the state, fanned by wind and dry conditions. There's no immediate end in sight to what has been an almost constant battle against wildfires this year throughout the state, officials said. To read more of this article link to: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/42978282/ns/weather/
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