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Policy Update - Week of June 7, 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 policyi@safnet.org. There will be more details to follow.

In the Administration

  1. Obama Administration Extends Roadless Rule for another Year
      SustainableBusiness.com New, Published June 1st

    U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack on Friday announced a one-year renewal of protections that will give him sole authority to approve or disapprove logging or road projects in America's undisturbed national forests.

    This decision will give the Obama administration more time to consider enforcement of the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. This is an extension of the Obama administration's policy since taking office. To read more of this article link to: http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/20413

  2. USDA Forest Service Announces Fee Wavier Dates
      USDA Forest Service, News Release June 2nd'

    Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell announced today that the Forest Service will offer two fee waiver weekends during the summer of 2010, in addition to other annual fee waiver events at standard amenity fee sites. The first fee waiver weekend will be June 5-6. These fee waivers will be offered in cooperation with other federal agencies under the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (REA). To read more of this article link to: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2010/releases/06/waiver.shtml

Last Week in Congress

  1. June 4th - The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests held a field hearing to receive testimony on S. 2895, to restore forest landscapes, protect old growth forests, and manage national forests in the eastside forests of the State of Oregon, and for other purposes.

    The hearing was held in the Barnes Room of the Deschutes Public Services Center Building, 1300 NW Wall Street, Bend, Oregon.

    To listen to the webcast of the hearing click here: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?Fuseaction=Hearings.LiveStream&Hearing_id=bb272c2b-9da7-8f5d-35b1-ceccfa487f80

    To read witness testimony click here: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=bb272c2b-9da7-8f5d-35b1-ceccfa487f80

This Week in Congress

  1. June 9th - The House Committee on Agriculture, Subcommittee on Conservation, Credit, Energy and Research will hold a public hearing to review the implementation of the 2008 Farm Bill energy title. The hearing will be held in 1300 Longworth House Office Building at 10:00 a.m.

    To visit the House Committee on Agriculture website click here: http://agriculture.house.gov/index.shtml

National News

  1. Forest Bill Draft Cuts Logging Mandate, but Tester won't Support
      The Missoulian, Published June 4th by Bob Chaney

    A "discussion draft" of Tester's S. 1470 legislation started circulating last week among critics of the bill. This version did not have the requirement to log at least 10,000 acres a year in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge and Kootenai national forests, or the one-year limitation on U.S. Forest Service environmental reviews. It also deleted language from the wilderness sections that would have allowed military helicopter training and off-road vehicle use for livestock herding.

    For his part, Tester said this week that he would not accept removing the logging mandate. To read more of this article link to:

  2. Biomass Generates 32% of All Energy in Sweden
      RenewableEnergyWorld.Com- June 2nd

    Biomass has now surpassed oil to become the number one source for energy generation in Sweden.

    Sweden is one of the countries in the world that has come the furthest on the road towards fossil fuel independence. Last year, the Swedish government approved a plan to have renewable energy reach 50% of the total energy consumed in the country by the year 2020, reports the Wood Resource Quarterly. In addition, the country aims to be totally independent of imported fossil fuels for the transportation sector by 2030.To read more of this article link to:

  3. Forest Service to Start Study of Massive Southern California Open Space Protection Plan
      The Pasadena Star-News, Published June 4th by Dan Adendschein

    U.S. Forest Service officials announced Friday the beginning of a five-year study of an open space that stretches from the Santa Monica range to the San Gabriel Mountains.

    The Rim of the Valley Corridor includes private and public land from the Santa Monica Mountains, Santa Susanna Mountains, San Gabriel Mountains, Verdugo Mountains and San Rafael Hills.

    The Forest Service wants to bring the lands under federal protection and would study the possibilities of trail development, land acquisition and preservation of wildlife corridors that connect different sections of open space in the area. To read more of this article link to: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_15231347#ixzz0qBPU3AEz

In the States: Oregon, Massachusetts

  1. Wyden Talks Timber
      The Bulletin, Published June 5th by Kate Ramsayer

    At a field hearing of the Senate Public Lands and Forests Subcommittee held in Bend Friday afternoon, Sen. Ron Wyden D-Ore., asked an official with the Boise Cascade timber company whether he would have ever thought it possible to bring together representatives from the timber industry and Oregon's environmental community. To read more of this article, click here.

  2. Biomass Plants' Fate up for Vote
      The Berkshire Eagle, Published June 7th by Scott Stafford

    Two renewable energy projects in the Berkshires are being threatened by the potential for a statewide ballot initiative aimed at preventing a biomass plant in Russell.

    One of the local projects is an effort to grow oil-rich algae, harvest the oil and use it to fuel 100 percent of the power needs on a local farm. The other is a biofuel plant being planned to provide energy for Crane & Co.

    The ballot initiative, orchestrated by StopSpewingCarbon, a state group based in Cambridge, began in reaction to plans for a wood-burning biomass plant proposed at a former paper mill in Russell.

Wildfire Update

  1. Wildfires Likely to Flare in U.S. Hot Spots
      USA Today, Published June 2nd by William M. Welch

    Parts of the desert Southwest, Alaska, northern Great Lakes and Gulf Coast are facing above-normal chances of significant wildfires this month, a federal agency says.

    A forecast Tuesday by the National Interagency Fire Center also warned of increased fire risk later this summer for parts of Northern California and Nevada; a large area of northern Idaho, western Montana and Wyoming; and parts of eastern Washington state. To read more of this article link to: http://www.usatoday.com/weather/wildfires/2010-06-01-wildfire_N.htm?csp=34news

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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