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Policy Update Week of August 16, 2010


  1. The SAF national office was closed from July 26th-30th due to localized power outages. We are sorry for any inconvenience. If have not received a response to a query from that week, please contact us.

  2. SAF Sent a Letter From 114 Scientists and Academics to the US Congress Expressing Concerns Regarding Biomass Energy
    To read the letter click here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/policy.cfm

In the Administration

  1. Vilsack Highlights Report Showing Threats to Private Forested Land Forest Service study supports "All Lands" approach outlined by Vilsack last year USDA News Release, August 11th

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today held a national conference call to highlight a USDA Forest Service report entitled Private Forests, Public Benefits, showing that privately held forests in the U.S. are under substantial stress from development and fragmentation and that increased housing density in forests will exacerbate other threats to forests from wildfire, insects, pathogens and pollution. To read more of this article click here.

  2. EPA Proposes Rules on Clean Air Act Permitting for Greenhouse Gas Emissions
      EPA News Release, August 12th

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing two rules to ensure that businesses planning to build new, large facilities or make major expansions to existing ones will be able to obtain Clean Air Act permits that address their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the spring of 2010, EPA finalized the GHG Tailoring Rule, which specifies that beginning in 2011, projects that will increase GHG emissions substantially will require an air permit. Today’s rules will help ensure that these sources will be able to get those permits regardless of where they are located. To read more of this article link to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/d0cf6618525a9efb85257359003fb69d/708bd315d348b5568525777d0060c5da!OpenDocument

  3. Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces Selection of Collaborative Forest Restoration Projects-Projects in 9 States Will Help Improve Forest Health and Water Quality
      USDA News Release, August 13th

    Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced the selection of Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration projects in nine states that promote healthier, safer and more productive public lands. The projects include partnership efforts on forest restoration treatments that reduce wildfire risk, enhance fish and wildlife habitats, and maintain and improve water quality. To read more of this article click here.

Last Week in Congress

  1. The House of Representatives was in recess.

  2. The U.S. Senate was in recess.

This Week in Congress

  1. The House of Representatives is in recess until September 13th.

  2. The U.S. Senate is in recess until September 13th.

National News

  1. In Defense of Biomass
      25x’25, August 11th

    Over the past several years, the production of biomass for use as renewable energy has elicited criticism from some on Capitol Hill and from some in the environmental community who have drawn their conclusions from flawed assumptions and misconstrued data. This misguided and negative portrayal of biomass puts at risk a wide variety of clean energy and climate solutions from our nation’s farms, ranches and forests. To read more of this article link to: http://blog.25x25.org/?p=1800

  2. Appeals Court Allows Logging Oregon Old Growth
      The Associated Press, Published by Jeff Barnard, August 13th

    A federal appeals court Friday cleared the way for logging to resume in an old growth forest reserve at a national forest in Oregon to protect northern spotted owl habitat from being lost to wildfire.

    In a 2-to-1 decision by a three-judge panel, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a lower court ruling that had stopped the Five Buttes project on the Deschutes National Forest. To read more of this article link to: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2010/08/13/state/n160017D97.DTL#ixzz0wxop6ZKH

In the States: Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and West Virginia

  1. Emerald Ash Borer May Devastate Lumber Industry
      Centre Daily Times, Published by Cliff White, August 12th

    The forestry products industry stands to lose up to 10 percent of its business if a pest with an appetite for ash trees is not deterred.

    The emerald ash borer, a green beetle originally from Asia, is eating its way through the state’s 300 million estimated ash trees. Since its first sighting in Pennsylvania, near Pittsburgh in 2007, it has spread into 17 counties, including Centre County, where it was first spotted in June. To read more of this article link to: http://www.centredaily.com/2010/08/12/2147166/pest-may-devastate-lumber-industry.html#ixzz0wsYJ6YRT

  2. NH’s Private Forests Focus of USDA Head’s Visit
      Bloomberg Businessweek, Published by Kathy McCormack, August 11th

    Conservationists, timber industry officials and landowners expressed the need Monday to work together to keep private forests healthy for future tourism, jobs and a clean environment.

    But perhaps the most popular refrain at the White House-inspired listening session was about getting children away from TVs and computer screens and taking them outdoors to combat a climbing youth obesity rate among U.S. kids.

    "It's a generation that we're losing right now," Walter Graff, vice president of the Appalachian Mountain Club, said during a panel discussion moderated by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack. "That generation is the conservationists of the future." To read more of this article link to: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9HGKEAG0.htm

  3. West Virginia’s Lawmakers Eye State Forest Drilling
      Bloomberg Business Week, Published by Lawrence Messina, August 13th

    Some state lawmakers want to start tapping portions of the publicly owned mineral wealth beneath West Virginia's state forests. Legislators have asked the Division of Natural Resources to examine the possibility of leasing natural gas drilling rights at those properties. The topic arose during last week's monthly interim study meetings. To read more of this article link to: http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9HKJMP80.htm

Wildfire Update

  1. Giant Fire Set Pace for Forest Service
      The Associated Press, Published by Nicholas Geranios, August 15th

    Each year major wildfires in the West are fought like military battles, with firefighters deploying by ground and air, bombers dropping retardant on flames, and incident commanders plotting strategy behind the lines. These often epic campaigns are largely the result of the Great Fire of 1910.

    The largest in U.S. history, it burned an area the size of Connecticut, wiping out whole towns and killing 86 people in remote areas of Idaho, Washington and Montana. To read more of this article link to: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jvrGVS-Cz40oOyrrgYz-xmbKq5awD9HJC96O0

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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