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Policy Update Week of June 27, 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
    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. Scaling Up Residential Biomass Heating: A Stakeholder Symposium

    The Alliance for Green Heat invites you to "Scaling Up Residential Biomass Heating: A Stakeholder Symposium" at the U.S. Forest Service. While residential wood heat is the dominant player in residential renewable energy, most wood heat appliances in America are outdated and emit too many particulates. Robust deployment of modern, high efficiency appliances in Europe has succeeded in helping make substantial strides towards its energy independence. This stakeholder symposium will bring together non-profits, industry, government and forestry and air quality experts to explore how America can maximize the renewable energy potential of wood and pellet heat, and minimize associated drawbacks. The symposium will be held July 13, from 2:00 - 4:00 PM in the Yates Training Room at the USDA Forest Service Building, 201 14th Street SW. To read more about this event link to: http://www.uevent.com/registration/?a=info

  2. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Visits Southwestern Fires
      USDA Press Release, June 29th

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today made aerial assessments of fires in New Mexico and Arizona and toured burned areas in the two-state region. The U.S. Forest Service, an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture, manages fire response and suppression in our nation's 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands. To read more about this article link to:http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2011/06/0286.xml&contentidonly=true

This Week in Congress

  1. The U.S. House of Representatives is in recess until July 5th

  2. Senate Recess Canceled to Deal With Debt Talks
      National Journal, Published by Ben Terris and Dan Friedman, June 30th

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Thursday that the Senate will work through its scheduled July 4th recess to deal with the looming crisis on the debt ceiling."...With liberty comes responsibility. We should take that responsibility seriously. I know I do," Reid said. "That is why the Senate will reconvene on Tuesday, the day after the 4th of July. We'll be in session next week, with our first vote July 5th. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nationaljournal.com/senate-recess-canceled-to-deal-with-debt-talks-20110630

  3. Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands to Hold South Dakota Field Hearing on Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic
      House Natural Resources Committee Press Release, June 30th

    On Sunday July 10, 2011 the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will hold an Oversight Field Hearing in Hill City, South Dakota on the "Impacts of the Mountain Pine Beetle Epidemic in the Black Hills." Mountain Pine Beetles have spread throughout the West and reached epidemic levels in America's forests. To read more of this article link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=249521

National News

  1. Baucus: Use Montana Timber for Government Buildings
      Senate Press Release, June 23rd

    Montana's senior U.S. Senator Max Baucus is leading a bipartisan effort to urge the federal government to take steps to use American-grown timber in new construction for government office buildings. In a letter to the head of the General Services Administration, Baucus urged the GSA to rethink a practice that hurts Montana forestry jobs by discriminating against American grown wood. To read more of this article link to: http://baucus.senate.gov/?p=press_release&id=561

  2. NW Spotted Owl Recovery Plan Due by End of Week
      Mercurynews.com, Published by Jeff Barnard, June 27th

    After months of tinkering, the Obama administration is due out this week with its last-ditch plan for saving the northern spotted owl from extinction. Timber industry and conservation groups that have battled for decades said Monday the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been unusually closed-mouth while developing the final recovery plan, and they have no idea what it will say. To read more of this article link to: http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_18362888?nclick_check=1

  3. Timber Harvest Lawsuit Filed
      The Register-Guard, Published by Susan Palmer, June 28th

    The Oregon timber industry filed suit against the Obama administration on Monday in an effort to double the amount of logging allowed on Western Oregon forests managed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. At the heart of the dispute is the meaning of the words "sustainable yield." To read more of this article link to: http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/26464167-41/timber-blm-oregon-forests-forest.html.csp

  4. Sen. Jon Kyl Comments on Wallow Fire
      The State Column, June 28th

    U.S. Senator Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) testified today at a hearing held by the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to consider the wildfire management programs of the Federal land management agencies. Senator Kyl spoke about the massive fires currently burning in Arizona and of the need for immediate wide scale implementation of forest restoration treatment projects to help restore forests to a healthy state, which would dramatically reduce damage from future fires. To read more of this article link to: http://www.thestatecolumn.com/arizona/sen-jon-kyl-comments-on-wallow-fire/#ixzz1QbQMgAAo

In the States: Iowa, Colorado and California

  1. County Warns: Take Care of Bark Beetles or We Will
      Coloradoan.com, Published by Kevin Duggan, June 23rd

    Larimer County property owners who aren't keeping up their end of the fight against the mountain pine beetle could end up reimbursing the county for doing the work.The county is authorized under state law to take action to control forest pests, including bark beetles, if aprivate property owner will not and then bill the owner for up to $5,000 a year. If the charge is not paid, it's added to the owner's property tax bill. To read more of this article link to: http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20110623/NEWS01/110622026/County-warns-Take-care-bark-beetles-we-will?odyssey=tab%7Ctopnews%7Ctext%7CNews

  2. Low-Flying Planes to Drop Tiny 'Flakes' in Pest Fight
      Quad City Times, Published by Alma Gaul, June 25th

    Residents of Jackson County, Iowa - particularly those around Andrew and LaMotte - will see low-flying airplanes Monday and Tuesday, weather permitting, that will release tiny flakes onto the tree canopy in an attempt to slow the spread of an insect pest. To read more of this article link to: http://www.qctimes.com/news/local/article_e1a734c6-9edc-11e0-af83-001cc4c002e0.html#ixzz1QbXNX7lr

  3. U.S. Judge Acts to Help Endangered Species in California
      Los Angeles Times, Published by Louis Sahagun, June 29th

    A U.S. District Court judge Tuesday ordered three federal agencies to "take all necessary measures" to better protect 40 endangered species in four national forests in Southern California. To read more of this article link to: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/environment/la-me-0629-endangered-species-20110629,0,4614984.story

Last Week in Congress

  1. June 22nd - House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands held an oversight hearing on "Opportunities for Outdoor Recreation on Public Lands." To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=246553

  2. June 23rd - U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held a hearing on Farm Bill Accountability: The Importance of Measuring Performance, While Eliminating Duplication and Waste. To read more about this hearing link to: http://ag.senate.gov/site/calendar.html

  3. GOP Plan Would Open More Public Land to Off-Road Vehicles
      The Miami Herald, Published by Rob Hotakainen, June 22nd

    Motorcyclists and ATV riders are revved up by a Republican plan that would remove restrictions on motorized access to 43 million acres of public land nationwide, while environmentalists say it would be a big mistake. It's part of a broader debate on Capitol Hill over whether Congress should move to increase recreational opportunities on the nation's vast holdings of public land. To read more about this article click here.

  4. Tester: LWCF an investment in Jobs Through Access to Hunting, Fishing
      U.S. Senate Press Release, June 23rd

    U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Chairman of the Congressional Sportsmen's Caucus, today released the following statement after the introduction of the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2011: "Hunters and anglers tell me every day that their top priority for Montana is ensuring public access to public land. It creates jobs and protects our proud outdoor traditions for future generations. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is a popular, smart investment in the future of our land, our clean water, and our kids and grandkids who will grow up enjoying the same outdoor opportunities we all love in Montana." To read more about this article link to: http://tester.senate.gov/Newsroom/pr_062311_lwcf.cfm

Wildfire Update

  1. Crews Fully Contain 1 of 3 Major Arizona Wildfires
      FoxNews.com, Published by the Associated Press, June 26th

    One of three major wildfires burning in Arizona was declared fully contained Sunday, a second was nearly out, and a third was growing only in a rugged area with only a handful of residents. Authorities said the Horseshoe Two wildfire near Portal in southeastern Arizona was completely surrounded after burning more than 348 square miles of the Chiricahua Mountains in seven weeks. All evacuation orders have been lifted. To read more of this article link to: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/06/26/crews-fully-contain-1-3-major-arizona-wildfires/#ixzz1Qayn5gzs

  2. Wildfire Triggers Evacuation for Los Alamos Laboratory
      Reuters, Published by ZeliePollon, June 27th

    Voluntary evacuations have been issued for Los Alamos, including the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which is threatened by a fast-moving wildfire that broke out in northern New Mexico on Sunday, authorities said.To read more of this article link to: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/27/us-wildfires-newmexico-idUSTRE75Q00X20110627

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