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Policy Update - Week of June 28, 2010


    SAF is looking for volunteers to staff our booth at the 2010 National Boy Scout Jamboree July 26th - August 4th. For more information on the 2010 National Scout Jamboree please visit: http://www.bsajamboree.org/Registration.aspx. If you are interested in volunteering please send an email to scoutjam@safnet.org.There will be more details to follow.

In the Administration

  1. Grants Awarded for Woody Biomass Projects
      The Western Farm Press, June 25th

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced the award of more than $4.2 million in grants to 13 small businesses and community groups in California and Arizona and elsewhere in the Far West developing innovative renewable energy projects and new product development using woody biomass from hazardous fuel reduction projects on National Forest land.

    "Energy derived from woody biomass, switchgrass and other sources has enormous potential benefits for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, developing clean, home-grown energy, and providing economic opportunities for rural America," Vilsack said. To read more of this article link to: http://westernfarmpress.com/news/grants-awarded-woody-biomass-projects-0625/

Last Week in Congress

  • June 24th - The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, led by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), held a legislative hearing at 10:00 AM in 1334 Longworth House Office Building on the following bills:
    • H.R. 4195 (Farr): To authorize the Peace Corps Commemorative Foundation to establish a commemorative work in the District of Columbia and its environs, and for other purposes.

    • H.R. 5192 (Lummis): To require the Secretary of Agriculture to designate national forests or portions of national forests in western States as locations for demonstration projects to prevent or mitigate the effect of pine beetle infestations and conduct forest restoration activities, to authorize the emergency removal of dead and dying trees to address public safety risks in western States, to make permanent the stewardship contracting authorities available to the Forest Service, and for other purposes. "Forest Ecosystem Recovery and Protection Act"

    • H.R. 5388 (Heinrich): To expand the boundaries of the Cibola National Forest in the State of New Mexico.

    • H.R. 5494 (Norton): To direct the Director of the National Park Service and the Secretary of the Interior to transfer certain properties to the District of Columbia

    This Week in Congress

    1. June 30th - The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry will hold a full committee hearing in SDG-50 Dicksen Senate Office Building at 9:30 AM.

      • Hearing 1: Farm Bill Reauthorization
      • Hearing 2: Revitalizing the Rural Economy through Robust Rural Development
      • Hearing 3: Promoting Conservation Practices that Preserve Our Natural Resources and Wildlife Habitat for Future Generations
      • Hearing 4: Ensuring Agriculture is Part of Our Nation's Energy Future

      To visit the committee website click here: http://ag.senate.gov/site/calendar.html

    2. June 30th - The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources will hold a full committee hearing on S. 3452, a bill to designate the Valles Caldera National Preserve as a unit of the National Park System, and for other purposes. The hearing will be held in SD-366 at 2:30 PM.

      To visit the committee website click here: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=137f84ff-de1f-6090-3872-c59e9b90ff59

    3. July 1st - The House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research will hold a public hearing to review the administration and delivery of conversation programs. The hearing will be held in 1300 Longworth House Office Building at 10:00 AM.

      To visit the committee website click here: http://agriculture.house.gov/hearings/schedule.html

    National News

    1. We Can Prevent Forest Fires With a Biomass Strategy
        The Biomass Magazine, Published by Bob Cleaves in the July 2010 Issue

      After a long, cold winter, the summer is finally here. For most Americans, this is the season of cookouts, bonfires and fireworks. But these warm months also bring a different, dangerous kind of blaze: forest fires.

      Seemingly every year, forest fires burn through millions of acres across the country, devastating communities and causing billions of dollars in damage. The sad truth is that regular forest maintenance could greatly impede the speed and ferocity with which these fires spread; reducing costs to fight them and protecting homes and lives in harm's way. To read more of this article link to: http://www.biomassmagazine.com/article.jsp?article_id=3876

    2. Harry Reid's High-Stakes Climate Bill Gamble
        Politico, Published by Coral Davenport and Darren Samuelsohn, June 24th

      Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is planning a high-risk, high-stakes strategy for bringing climate and energy legislation to the floor ahead of the August recess.

      The gamble: yoking a bipartisan, fast-track measure to overhaul offshore drilling rules with a broad, contentious bill capping greenhouse gas emissions that otherwise would have almost no chance of passage on its own. To read more of this article link to: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0610/38999.html

    3. Biomass Developers Fight EPA Emissions Ruling
        Sustainable Business Oregon, Published by Erik Siemers, June 25th

      A recent federal ruling could cripple the region's fast growing biomass industry.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in its quest to regulate carbon emissions, last month issued a final rule requiring all large stationary sources of greenhouse gases to obtain emissions permits.

      The ruling doesn't exempt biomass plants, which burn organic materials such as forest waste to generate heat and create electricity. To read more of this article link to: http://sustainablebusinessoregon.com/articles/2010/06/biomass_developers_fight_epa_emissions_ruling.html

    4. Northern Spotted Owl Marks 20 Years on Endangered Species List
        The Oregonian, Published by Scott Learn, June 25th

      Eric Forsman was a 21-year-old undergraduate working the summer at a Forest Service guard station in the Willamette National Forest when he first heard an odd barking call.

      Curious, Forsman scouted and listened hard, eventually realizing he was hearing a bird he had never heard before. Later that summer, his first northern spotted owl flew in.

      The owl, characteristic of its breed, showed little fear. It gave Forsman a "big brown-eyed look." To read more of this article link to: http://www.oregonlive.com/environment/index.ssf/2010/06/northern_spotted_owl_marks_20.html

    In the States: Alaska, New York

    1. Governor Gives Alaska Timber Mills a Boost
        Office of Governor Sean Parnell, Press Release June 28th

      Governor Sean Parnell today signed House Bill 162, legislation establishing a Southeast State Forest to manage more acres for timber harvest. The new state forest will create new job opportunities. This forest, covering 25,291 acres, is the third in the Alaska State Forest System and the first addition since the Tanana Valley State Forest in 1983. To read more of this article link to: http://gov.alaska.gov/parnell/press-room/full-press-release.html?pr=5439

    2. Schumer Warns that Emerald Ash Borer is on the Verge of Spreading Across New York State
        Office of Senator Charles Schumer, Press Release June 29th

      Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he has written personal letters to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Lisa Jackson, and the Secretary of the United State Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack urging them to help New York fight the emerald ash borer (EAB) by approving several applications that would provide critical resources to New York communities to prevent the invasive species' advance. To read more of this article link to: http://schumer.senate.gov/new_website/record.cfm?id=326037

    Wildfire Update

    1. Fighting Wildfires with Scientific Data, Research and Instruments
        Mercury News, Published by Lisa Krieger, June 24th

      Humans cannot survive, unprotected, the fury of a raging wildfire.

      But thanks to a unique research project set in the midst of a hillside conflagration, it is possible to experience such a blaze through vital data - heat, wind speed and other measured information - that one day might help firefighters save property and precious lives. To read more of this article link to: http://www.mercurynews.com/top-stories/ci_15371050

    2. Cow Creek Fire in RMNP Reaches 1,500 Acres
        KUSA-TV, Published by Christine Dickson, June 28th

      The Cow Creek Fire in Rocky Mountain National Park has grown to 1,500 acres, or 2.3 square miles, in total. Authorities say it is now burning 3 miles from nearest structure, and is only one mile away from the eastern border of the park.

      The new number comes from an adjustment made by the National Parks Service. The new number increases the acreage by 700 over Saturday morning. The NPS says the new estimate is because poor visibility over the past few days made mapping the area burning difficult. To read more of this article link to: http://www.9news.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=141839&catid=222

    3. Crews More Air Tanker After Crash
        KUSA-TV, Published by Dan Boniface, TaRhonda Thomas and Andy Buck, June 28th

      Crews worked Sunday to remove a damaged air tanker that went off the runway at Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport a day earlier.

      An air tanker which was supposed to be in the sky dumping flame retardant on an area wildfire was instead on 120th Avenue.

      "It's sad that they're not able to get out there and fight that fire," Beyer said. To read more of this article link to: http://www.9news.com/news/local/article.aspx?storyid=141907&catid=346

    4. Wildfire Burning Near Flagstaff Now 75 Percent Contained
        The Associated Press, June 29th

      A wildfire burning four miles north of Flagstaff now is 75 percent contained after charring more than 15,000 acres.

      U.S. Forest Service officials say the fire is expected to be fully contained by Friday. Nearly 600 firefighters still are battling the so-called Schultz Fire, which has burned an estimated 15,075 acres by Monday night. To read more of this article link to: http://www.kgun9.com/Global/story.asp?S=12724836

    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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