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Policy Update Week of June 13, 2011


  1. Benishek to Address Increasing Timber Harvests on Federal Land
      The Daily News, June 9th

    U.S. Rep. Dan Benishek, R-Crystal Falls, conducted a "Forestry Field Tour" with the Society of American Foresters on Tuesday. Afterwards, he said his first bill would deal with timber harvests on federal land. The tour comes after months of meeting with loggers, timber product companies, and forestry experts regarding timber harvesting and its impact on job creation in the First District. To read more of this article link to: http://www.ironmountaindailynews.com/page/content.detail/id/528699/Benishek-to-address-increasing-timber-harvests-on-federal-land.html?nav=5002

    After concluding the tour, Congressman Dan Benishek had very positive feedback about the Michigan SAF state society and the field tour, and encouraged SAF state societies, divisions and chapters to reach out to their Congressional Delegation to inquire about interest in holding a field tour in their states. If SAF members are interested in planning a tour and would like SAF national office assistance, please don't hesitate to contact Kelsey Delaney and John Barnwell, SAF Assistant Forest Policy Directors (contact information below).

    Kelsey Delaney
    Assistant Director, Forest Policy
    Society of American Foresters
    W: 301.897.8720 x 202
    M: 301.526.8354
    F: 301.897.3690
    delaneyk@safnet.org www.eforester.org
    John R. Barnwell
    Assistant Director, Forest Policy
    Society of American Foresters
    O: 301-897-8720 ext. 300
    M: 301-526-7075

In the Administration

  1. U.S. Interior Secretary Launches New Plan to Designate Wilderness
      Motor Sports Newswire, June 14th

    U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar says he wants to work with Congress to create a list of public lands by Oct. 15 that should be immediately designated as Wilderness. And he cites an omnibus public lands bill that was ramrodded through Congress to inappropriately designate 2 million acres of public land as Wilderness as an example of what can be done if the Obama administration and members of Congress work together. To read more of this article link to: http://motorsportsnewswire.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/u-s-interior-secretary-launches-new-plan-to-designate-wilderness-06151117/

This Week in Congress

  1. June 13th - Rep. Howard McKeon [R-Ca25] introduced H.R. 2157 to facilitate a land exchange involving National Forest System lands in the Inyo National Forest and for other purposes. To read more about this bill link to: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=46ec5cfe-802a-23ad-4909-ff17e469941d

  2. June 14th - The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources met to consider the wildfire management programs of the Federal land management agencies. To read more about this hearing link to: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=46ec5cfe-802a-23ad-4909-ff17e469941d

  3. June 15th - H.R. 643: Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District Land Exchange Act has been ordered to be reported by the House Committee on Natural Resources. To read more about this bill link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-643

National News

  1. Killing One Owl Species to Save Another
      NPR, Published by Lauren Sommer, June 12th

    Spotted owls are on the decline despite two decades of work to bring them back. So, later this month, wildlife officials are releasing a new plan to protect the owls, and it includes a controversial new approach: eliminating their cousins. To read more of this article link to: http://www.npr.org/2011/06/12/137090033/killing-one-owl-species-to-save-another

  2. Climate Change Link to Fires Ignites Senate Committee
      The New York Times, Published by Tiffany Stecker, June 15th

    Climate change crept into the discussion of fire management at a Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources hearing yesterday, despite Republicans' tiptoeing around the issue. As fires like the voracious Wallow Fire spread throughout the Southwest, the U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Interior are being pressed to offer solutions. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/cwire/2011/06/15/15climatewire-climate-change-link-to-fires-ignites-senate-26892.html

In the States: Minnesota, Alaska and Pennsylvania

  1. Gypsy Moth Treatment Starts in Duluth
      Northland's Newscenter, June 12th h

    The invasive species has been found along the north shore and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, along with other agencies, is doing its part to slow the spread of the insect. With conditions just right, members of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Forest Service took to the skies to stop the spread of the gypsy moth. To read more of this article link to: http://www.northlandsnewscenter.com/news/local/Early-Morning-Wake-Up-Call-Gypsy-Moth-Treatment-123725479.html

  2. Forest Service Denies Central Kupreanof Timber Appeals
      Juneau Empire, Published by Jonathan Grass, June 11th

    The U.S. Forest Service has denied two separate appeals, one from the State of Alaska and another from Greenpeace, concerning the Central Kupreanof timber harvest Record of Decision (ROD). The two parties had argued on opposite ends of the spectrum, with the State arguing that the Central Kupreanof timber harvest wasn't enough to justify the project while Greenpeace stated the project doesn't examine the wildlife aspect closely enough. To read more of this article link to: http://juneauempire.com/local/2011-06-11/forest-service-denies-central-kupreanof-timber-appeals

  3. Dutch Elm Disease Forces Removal of 16 More Campus Trees
      Penn State Live, June 16th

    Penn State staff and researchers have battled aggressively for years the two primary diseases threatening the landmark American elm stand on the University Park campus. A recent resurgence in one of those diseases -- Dutch elm disease, an old nemesis -- has forced the University to remove 16 elms this summer. "Diseased trees pose a significant risk to a healthy one, so it is necessary -- unfortunately -- to remove the diseased ones," said Jeff Dice, supervisor of grounds and maintenance. To read more of this article link to: http://live.psu.edu/story/53834

Last Week in Congress

  1. The U.S. House of Representatives is in recess until June 13th.

  2. June 7th - Senator Orrin Hatch [R-UT] Introduced S. 1153: A bill to improve Federal land management, resource conservation, environmental protection, and use of Federal land by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to develop a multipurpose cadastre of Federal land and identifying inaccurate, duplicate, and out-of-date Federal land inventories, and for other purposes. To read more about this bill link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1153

  3. Walden Leads Forest Planning Woes
      Published by KTVZ.Com, June 3rd

    Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said Friday he is leading a bipartisan chorus of House members in protesting the Obama administration's national forest planning rule, saying it will lead to more litigation that will divert limited agency resources from badly needed job creation in rural communities. On Feb. 14, the U.S. Forest Service issued its proposed "National Forest System Land Management Planning Rule." The rule will govern the planning process for establishing management plans for the nation's national forests and national grasslands. To read more of this article link to: http://www.ktvz.com/news/28122529/detail.html

Wildfire Update

  1. Firefighting Planes Have Perhaps Been Too Long on Job
      The Washington Post, Published By Darryl Fears, June 12th

    With wildfire season starting early and fires already raging across Arizona, the U.S. Forest Service is confronting a longtime problem that many inside and outside the agency think needs an immediate fix: The large tanker planes leased by the agency to fight such blazes have been flying, on average, about 50 years and are rapidly becoming unsafe to deploy. To read more of this article link to: http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/firefighting-planes-have-perhaps-been-too-long-on-job/2011/06/07/AGEd2ISH_story.html

  2. Collaborative Forest Restoration Project Has Lessened Damage, Severity of Arizona's Massive Wallow Fire
      Center for Biological Diversity, June 13th

    U.S. Forest Service officials say forest restoration work implemented under the White Mountains Stewardship Contract - part of a cooperative project among conservationists, local communities and government agencies - has lessened the severity of the Wallow fire and helped firefighters save towns threatened by the flames. To read more of this article link to: http://www.enn.com/press_releases/3755

  3. Drought Conditions Spurring Florida Wildfires
      The Associated Press, June 16th

    Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam says drought conditions are the same as in 1998 when wildfires devastated Florida. Putnam told Gov. Rick Scott and Florida Cabinet colleagues Thursday that drought covers 93 percent of the state. In 1998, Flagler County was entirely evacuated and a July 4th auto race in Daytona Beach was postponed because of wildfires. Florida forestry director Jim Karels says the threat isn't as great now due to lessons learned from 1998. To read more of this article link to: http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/06/16/2269548/drought-conditions-spurring-florida.html

  4. Texas' Unprecedented Wildfire Season Gets Even Worse
      Star-Telegram, June 15th

    The record drought that is worsening with the onset of August-like temperatures is ratcheting up the wildfire danger in what has already been an unprecedented fire season in Texas. Large fires were burning across the state Tuesday, including a 2,500-acre blaze in Palo Pinto County about 60 miles west of Fort Worth. To read more of this article link to: http://www.star-telegram.com/2011/06/14/3152612/texas-unprecedented-wildfire-season.html

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