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Policy Update - Week of July 5, 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. Forest Service Shifts Focus from Fire Prevention to Hazard Trees
    Sky Hi News, Published by Reid Armstrong, July 1st

    Nearly a decade into the largest bark beetle outbreak in Colorado history, U.S. Forest Service managers are refocusing their priorities. Dozens of Forest Service roads and trails in Grand County are being red flagged for logging and funds are being redirected to treat any remaining Forest Service lands that share border towns and residential communities. To read more of this article link to: http://www.skyhidailynews.com/article/20100701/NEWS/100709986/1079&ParentProfile=1067

Last Week in Congress

  1. June 30th - The U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry held 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. July 1st - The U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held 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.

    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 held a public hearing to review the administration and delivery of conversation programs.

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

This Week in Congress

  1. Congress is in Recess July 5th through July 9th.

National News

  1. As Forests Burn, Sen. Udall Demands Prevention Work
      Summit Daily News, Published by Julie Sutor, July 1st
    Forests were ablaze in several locations throughout the state Wednesday when Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colorado) called on federal officials to reveal whether fire-mitigation work is taking place as quickly as it should in places impacted by the mountain pine-beetle epidemic.

    “Many of our mountain communities have expressed concern about the removal of these dead trees and are asking for a timeline of the tree removal that will help protect their communities and create jobs during a time when many Coloradans are unemployed,” Udall said. To read more of this article link to: http://www.summitdaily.com/article/20100701/NEWS/100639980/1078&ParentProfile=1055

  2. Proposed Changes to Alaska Land Bill Unveiled
      The Associated Press, July 2nd
    U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, has released details about proposed changes to a bill that would allow an Alaska Native corporation to privatize lands in the nation's largest national forest. To read more of this article link to: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9GMVLU00.htm

  3. Judge Halts Kootenai Logging Projects
      The Western News, Published by Canda Harbaugh, July 6th
    Federal District Court Judge Donald Molloy halted three Kootenai National Forest logging projects last week after ruling that the U.S. Forest Service failed to properly evaluate how the work would affect endangered grizzly bears.

    Molloy ruled in favor of the plaintiff, Alliance for the Wild Rockies, on several points, stating last week in his 69-page opinion that the Forest Service violated the National Environmental Policy Act by not discussing all pertinent details concerning how the projects would likely impact bears. To read more of this article link to: http://www.thewesternnews.com/news/article_b67bb10e-8967-11df-a45d-001cc4c002e0.html

In the States: Arizona, Oregon, and South Carolina

  1. Wildfire Near Flagstaff, Ariz., Fully Contained
      The Associated Press, July 1st

    A wildfire burning four miles north of Flagstaff is fully contained after charring more than 15,000 acres. U.S. Forest Service officials say the so-called Schultz Fire has burned an estimated 15,075 acres, or more than 23 square miles of scenic northern Arizona forest. It has cost more than $8.6 million to fight. To read more of this article link to: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g87w164ncfBcHov1nPizQ41pFTLwD9GLUTNO0

  2. Energy Spotlight: Forest Biomass Also Generates Jobs
      The News-Review, Published by Jim Long, July 4th

    Recent forest biomass-for-energy developments may lead to new businesses and employment in the Umpqua Valley. Here are examples from a recent conference in Roseburg, field demonstrations near Lemolo Lake, and a web site. To read more of this article click here.

  3. Sudden Oak Death Presents New Threat to S.C. Forests
      Herald Online, Published by Bo Peterson, July 2nd

    The live oak is the huge-limbed emblem of the Lowcountry, and every time Charleston forester Danny Burbage sees one struggling, a fungus is in the back of his mind.

    Phytophthora ramorum - sudden oak death. It has devastated coastal live oaks and tanoaks in California, causing bleeding cankers on the stems.

    It has shown up in South Carolina in plants and, in one case, the soil from West Coast nurseries where the disease has been found. To read more of this article link to: http://www.heraldonline.com/2010/07/03/2287648/sudden-oak-death-presents-new.html

Wildfire Update

  1. Fewer Big Air Tankers Available to Fight Western Wildfires
      The Denver Post, Published by Colleen O’Connor, July 4th

    As Western wildfires burn bigger and more intensely this summer, one of the most effective tools in the firefighting arsenal is headed for retirement.

    The fleet of slurry bombers used to drop fire retardant has dwindled from 44 in 2004 to 17 this year, and by 2012, the big planes that rumble across Western skies during fire season will begin to be phased out because they are old and costly to maintain.

    Until funding for a new fleet of big tankers is found, the U.S. Forest Service will rely on heavy helicopters and single-engine air tankers, known as SEATS, to battle blazes in hard-to-reach places. To read more of this article link to: http://www.detnews.com/article/20100704/NATION/7040302/1020/Fewer-big-air-tankers-available-to-fight-Western-wildfires

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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