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Policy Update Week of June 6, 2011


  1. SAF Comments on Proposed Forest Service Planning Rule and DEIS

    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: http://www.eforester.org/documents/comment_forestserviceplanningdeis_May13.pdf

In the Administration

  1. Vilsack Introduces Framework for America's Watersheds
      Published by USAgNet, June 6th

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the release of a new map that characterizes the health and condition of National Forest System lands in more than 15,000 watersheds across the country. The U.S. Forest Service's Watershed Condition Classification Map is the first step in the agency's Watershed Condition Framework, and is the agency's first national assessment across all 193 million acres of National Forest lands. To read more of this article link to: http://www.wisconsinagconnection.com/story-national.php?Id=1191&yr=2011

  2. Forest Service to Explain Bans
      The Durango Herald, June 6th

    The U.S. Forest Service will hold a meeting Wednesday in Durango to present aspects of the proposed Colorado Roadless Rule and the Revised Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The meeting is intended to increase public understanding about the proposed rule, explain how input gathered from the public was incorporated into the rule and respond to questions from the public, according to a Forest Service news release. To read more of this article link to: http://durangoherald.com/article/20110607/NEWS01/706079947/-1/s

  3. BLM Seeks Comments on Wilderness, River Plan
      Times-News, June 7th

    The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is now accepting public comment on its developing Wilderness and Wild & Scenic River Management Plan. The plan will outline the use of six wilderness areas and 16 wild and scenic river segments that were designated in Owyhee County by the Omnibus Public Land Management Act in 2009. To read more of this article link to:

This 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

National News

  1. Rising Forest Density Offsets Climate Change: Study
      Rueters, Published By Alister Doyle, June 6th

    Rising forest density in many countries is helping to offset climate change caused by deforestation from the Amazon basin to Indonesia, a study showed on Sunday. The report indicated that the size of trees in a forest -- rather than just the area covered -- needed to be taken into account more in U.N.-led efforts to put a price on forests as part of a nascent market to slow global warming. To read more of this article link to:

  2. Wood Construction Design Showcased in Forest Service Education Building Design
      Forest Business Network, June 6th

    The planned Missoula, MT National Conservation Legacy and Education Center building is designed to serve as a showcase for an educational exhibit of green building technologies. The building will use many wood-based construction materials, including timber harvested using sustainable forest management practices on federal, state and private lands. To read more of this article link to:

  3. USDA Forest Service and Ad Council Launch New PSA's to Re-Connect Families and Kids with Nature
      PR Newswire, Press Release, June 8th

    Children in the U.S. spend 50 percent less time outdoors than they did 20 years ago. In an effort to motivate families and their children to get outside more often and re-connect with nature, the USDA Forest Service and the Ad Council today launched new public service announcements (PSAs) to encourage families to take the time to discover the forest. To read more of this article link to: http://multivu.prnewswire.com/mnr/adcouncil/50579/

In the States: : Montana, Idaho, New York, Utah, Alaska and Wyoming

  1. Montana, Idaho Forest Projects to Get Federal Money
      The Salt Lake Tribune, June 5th

    Forest restoration projects in Montana and Idaho for the second year will receive money under a federal restoration program meant to unite groups such as loggers and conservationists, according to U.S. Forest Service officials. Officials said Montana's 1.5-million-acre Southwestern Crown of the Continent project will receive $3.5 million and Idaho's 1.4-million-acre Clearwater Basin project will receive $3.4 million. To read more of this article link to: http://www.sltrib.com/sltrib/world/51948110-68/forest-idaho-montana-million.html.csp

  2. SFI Grant Helps Audubon New York Link Forest Management to Bird Conservation
      PR Newswire, June 6th

    The New York program of the National Audubon Society has received a Sustainable Forestry Initiative® (SFI®) conservation grant to build a stronger link between bird conservation and forest management along the Atlantic Flyway. "This SFI grant will help us develop a communications and outreach program for foresters, forest landowners and SFI-certified mills in New York State, and transfer our knowledge and methods to seven other states along the Atlantic Flyway," said Michael Burger, Director of Conservation and Science for Audubon New York. To read more of this article link to: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sfi-grant-helps-audubon-new-york-link-forest-management-to-bird-conservation-123226973.html

  3. Utah, Alaska, and Wyoming to Pursue Wild Land Lawsuit Despite Federal Decision to End Policy
      The Associated Press, Published by Josh Loftin, June 7th

    Utah officials said Tuesday they will continue to pursue a lawsuit against the federal government over a public lands policy the U.S. Interior Department withdrew last week. Also Tuesday, the governors in Alaska and Wyoming said they won't withdraw a request to join the lawsuit until the policy is formally rescinded by Interior Secretary Ken Salazar. To read more of this article link to: http://www.dailyjournal.net/view/story/de985fba3448419d85fe4e1bbe94542a/UT--Wilderness-Rules-Lawsuit/

Last Week in Congress

  1. The U.S. Senate is in Recess until June 5th.

  2. 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

Wildfire Update

  1. Arizona Wildfire Threat Grows, With No End in Sight
      Los Angeles Times, Published by Ashley Powers, Nicholas Riccardi and Julie Cart, June 9th

    Thousands of Arizona residents fled a voracious wildfire Wednesday that has devoured a stretch of sparsely populated pinelands the size of Phoenix and shows no sign of stopping. The Wallow fire, which began May 29, has blackened nearly 389,000 acres, making it the second-largest blaze in state history. It seemed poised to surpass the record-holder from 2002: Because of high winds and bone-dry terrain, the fire was 0% contained, meaning firefighters had not even begun to hem it in, much less get it under control. To read of this article link to: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-arizona-fires-20110609,0,4031169.story

  2. Residents Flee as Major Alaska Wildfire Grows
      Rueters, Published by Yereth Rosen, June 8th

    All residents near an expanding wildfire near Fairbanks have fled, making way for firefighters to combat the blaze, officials said on Wednesday. Residents heeded an advisory issued this week recommending that people evacuate until the 17,624-acre Hastings Fire is better controlled, a state fire information officer said. To read more of this article link to: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/06/09/us-wildfire-alaska-idUSTRE75808Y20110609

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