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Policy Update - Week of July 19, 2010


  1. SAF Sent a Letter From 114 Scientists and Academics to the US Congress Expressing Concerns Regarding Biomass Energy

    To read the letters click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/policy.cfm

    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. Council on Environmental Quality Issue Draft Guidance for Federal Greenhouse Gas Reporting and Accounting
    Executive Office of the President Council on Environmental Quality, July 14

    The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) today announced that it is issuing Draft Guidance for Federal Greenhouse Gas Reporting and Accounting for public comment. The Draft Guidance establishes government-wide procedures for calculating and reporting greenhouse gas emissions associated with Federal agency operations and has been issued in accordance with President Obama’s Executive Order on Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance (E.O. 13514), signed on October 5, 2009. To read more of this article link to: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/ceq/Press_Releases/July_14_2010

  2. USDA Forest Service Releases New Roadmap For Responding to Changing Climate
    Forest Service Press Office, July 20th

    The USDA Forest Service today announced the release of the National Roadmap for Responding to Climate Change and a new system for performance accountability in response to the USDA's 2010-2015 Strategic Plan that sets a goal of ensuring that our national forests are made more resilient to climate change. To read more of this article link to: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/

Last Week in Congress

  1. July 14th - The House Natural Resources Committee, led by Chairman Nick J. Rahall (D-WV), held an open markup session in 1324 Longworth House Office Building at 10:00 AM to mark up the following bill:
    • H.R. 3534 (Rahall): To provide greater efficiencies, transparency, returns, and accountability in the administration of Federal mineral and energy resources by consolidating administration of various Federal energy minerals management and leasing programs into one entity to be known as the Office of Federal Energy and Minerals Leasing of the Department of the Interior, and for other purposes."Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources Act of 2009"

    To visit the committee’s website click here: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php

  2. July 15th - The House Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands, led by Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), held an oversight hearing on "Locally Grown: Creating Rural Jobs with America's Public Lands." The hearing was held in 1324 Longworth House Office Building at 10:00 AM.

    To visit the committee’s website click here: http://resourcescommittee.house.gov/index.php

This Week in Congress

  1. July 21st - The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry will hold a full committee hearing on “Empowering Rural Communities, the Status and Future of the Farm Bill’s Energy and Rural Development Programs”. The hearing will be held on July 21st at 9:00 AM in 328A Russell Senate Office Building.

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

National News

  1. Yellowstone’s Whitebark Pine May Be Declared an Endangered Species
    Yellowstone Insider, July 20th

    The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will announce tomorrow that the whitebark pine, which plays such a key role in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, may be eligible for protection under the Endangered Species Act -- a designation that could start the process of protecting the pine from further harm. To read more of this article link to: http://www.yellowstoneinsider.com/20100720621/news/articles/yellowstones-whitebark-pine-to-be-declared-an-endangered-species.php

  2. Biomass Power Plants Wary of EPA Carbon Accounting
    The Associated Press, Published by Jeff Barnard, July 19th

    Oregon and other states with lots of trees have been counting on generating more electricity by burning forest thinnings and logging leftovers as a promising future source of green jobs and renewable energy as well as a way to pay for projects to prevent forest fires.

    But a rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency in May has the biomass industry, and Oregon's congressional delegation, worried that biomass may lose its long-standing green status, and be lumped in with coal as a greenhouse gas polluter. To read more of this article link to: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9H26CM81.htm

  3. Missing The Forest For The Trees: Biomass Has a Role To Play in Protecting Forests and Limiting Carbon Emissions
    Mail Tribune, July 21st

    The Environmental Protection Agency has biomass operators — and Oregon members of Congress — steaming over the possibility that biomass plants might be regulated as though they were coal-fired power plants. So far, the EPA is merely planning to gather more information before deciding on the industry's future. But if the decision goes the wrong way, it would be bad for Oregon's economy and for rational forest management. To read more of this article link to: http://www.mailtribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100721/OPINION/7210324

In the States: Massachusetts, Arizona, and Colorado

  1. Public Meetings on Biomass Policy
    Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

    The Department of Energy Resources is hosting two public meetings on the Biomass Sustainability and Carbon Policy Study (Manomet Study), Carbon Accounting and Biomass/RPS Policy Directions.

    • Tuesday, July 27, 2:00-4:00pm
      2nd Floor Conference Rooms A&B
      100 Cambridge Street (same office building as DOER)
      Boston, MA

    • Wednesday, July 28, 6:00-8:00pm
      Leslie Philips Auditorium (Building C)
      Holyoke Community College
      303 Homestead Avenue
      Holyoke, MA

    To read more on these meetings click here.

  2. Forest Officials Seek Comments on Potential New Wilderness Areas
    The Daily Courier, July 14th

    Coconino National Forest officials are seeking public comments about 10 potential new wilderness areas during two upcoming meetings.

    As part of their forest plan revision process, U.S. Forest Service officials must evaluate all lands containing wilderness characteristics so they can make a recommendation to Congress about whether these areas qualify to become wilderness areas.

    The Forest Service is evaluating areas called Strawberry Crater, Railroad Draw, East Clear Creek, Barbershop, Walker Mountain, Cedar Bench, Black Mountain, Cimarron-Boulder, Hackberry and Davey's. To read more of this article link to: http://www.prescottaz.com/main.asp?SectionID=74&SubSectionID=102&ArticleID=83248

  3. Colorado State Forest Service Releases Best Management Practices for Water Quality Protection
    Colorado State Forest Service, July 14th

    The Colorado State Forest Service has just released revised water quality protection guidelines for individuals and organizations conducting forestry-related activities in Colorado. The previous guidelines were developed in 1998.

    Forestry Best Management Practices to Protect Water Quality in Colorado: 2010 is a publication designed to protect Colorado water supplies by providing best management practices (BMPs) for forestry-related activities. The CSFS and 10 other federal, state, county and private natural resources organizations participated in an audit of timber harvesting sites to evaluate the application and effectiveness of the previous guidelines. To read more of this article link to: http://www.news.colostate.edu/Release/5296

Wildfire Update

  1. Restrictions In National Forest Tightened to Prevent Fire
    The Press-Enterprise, Published by Richard Brooks, July 20th

    Tighter fire restrictions went into effect this week throughout the San Bernardino National Forest, where U.S. Forest Service officials said the danger of wildfire is increasing rapidly.

    Higher temperatures and ever-drier vegetation prompted the action. To read more of this article link to: http://www.pe.com/localnews/stories/PE_News_Local_D_restrictions21.34a79bb.html

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: http://www.eforester.org/fp/documents/managedforests_12-14-07.pdf

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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