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Policy Update Week of August 22, 2011

SAF ACTIONS

  1. Henry Clepper Forest Policy Internship Available

    An internship is available in natural resource policy for graduate or upper-level undergraduate students currently enrolled in accredited forestry programs, or graduate students in public policy with a background in forestry. Strong written and oral communication skills are needed. Membership in SAF will be considered.

    The intern will serve as assistant to the SAF Forest Policy Team and will prepare background reports, monitor environmental and natural resource legislation, and provide liaison to other environmental and natural resource organizations.

    TERM: 4-6 Months (Duration Flexible)
    STIPEND: $1,400.00 per month

    Send resume, transcripts, writing sample, list of references, and term desired to:

    John R. Barnwell
    Assistant Director, Forest Policy
    Society of American Foresters
    O: 301-897-8720 ext. 300
    M: 301-526-7075
    barnwellj@safnet.org
    Kelsey Delaney
    Assistant Director, Forest Policy
    Society of American Foresters
    W: 301.897.8720 x 202
    M: 301.526.8354
    F: 301.897.3690
    delaneyk@safnet.org

In the Administration

  1. Obama Administration Debating the Care of National Forests
      WBIR.com, Published by Erin Kelley and Elizabeth Bewley, August 19th

    The Obama administration is crafting a new plan to manage the nation's 155 national forests, including four in North Carolina and Cherokee National Forest in East Tennessee, for the next 15 to 20 years. At stake is the future of 193 million acres of forests and grasslands that are the nation's single largest source of drinking water and home to more than 15,000 species of plants and wildlife. The U.S. Forest Service says the new plan, due by year's end, is urgently needed to replace the forest planning rule written in 1982 during the Reagan administration. That rule, which emphasized using the forests for logging, does not reflect the latest science on climate change and how best to protect wildlife and water, the Forest Service says. To read more of this article link to: http://www.wbir.com/news/article/180743/2/Obama-administration-debating-care-of-national-forests

  2. USDA Officials Meet With Alaska Business Owners to Discuss Job Creation and Southeast Revitalization Opportunities
      USDA Press Release, August 24th

    Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment Harris Sherman, joined by USDA's Rural Utilities Service Administrator Jonathon Adelstein and other officials, recently met with business owners, including timber, tourism, and fishing industries, to discuss ways federal, state and local officials can work together to improve economic conditions and create jobs. The meeting is part of a series of rural roundtables that are being held across the country this summer with senior Obama Administration officials on behalf of the White House Rural Council. To read more about this article link to: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2011/08/0378.xml&contentidonly=true

This Week in Congress

  1. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are on recess until September 6th.

National News

  1. Intensive Thinning Needed to Restore Some Western Forests
      Summit County Citizen Voice, Published by Bob Berwyn, August 20th

    New research by the U.S. Forest Service appears to confirm that massive thinning efforts are needed to restore some measure of fire resistance to western ponderosa pine and Douglas fir forests where decades of fire suppression upset the ecological balance. The study of fuel treatment effectiveness concluded that intense thinning treatments leaving between 50 and 100 trees per acre are the most effective in reducing the probability of crown fires in the dry forests of the western United States, including areas in Arizona and New Mexico that experienced their largest fires in modern history. To read more of this click here.

  2. Beetle Battle Moves North
      Rapid City Journal, Published by Kevin Woster, August 22nd

    Battle lines in the war against the mountain pine beetle are shifting north in the Black Hills, as hordes of the burrowing bugs emerge from dying pine trees to infect whole new sections of forest. The spread of the beetle, which has already been estimated by U.S. Forest Service specialists to have damaged 400,000 acres of the 1.2-million acre Black Hills National Forest over the past 14 years, is painfully clear this summer in new swaths of the forest marked by the red-brown color of dead trees. To read more of this click here.

  3. The Bugs Rescuing the Baseball Bats
      The Wall Street Journal, Published by Mike Sielski, August 23rd

    A blue beer cooler at his feet, John Vandenberg stood at the lip of a grove of ash trees here earlier this month and clasped his hands together in anticipation. The next phase of a great conflict was about to commence at his word. Inside the cooler, beneath a bag of Styrofoam peanuts, rested four clear plastic soda cups, and inside those cups buzzed 482 bugs that might just rescue an iconic instrument of American sport: the baseball bat. Soon, Vandenberg, a scientist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, would release the insects-two species of wasp, to be specific-into these Hudson Valley woods. By doing so, he would initiate an entomological tete-a-tete between the wasps and the emerald ash borer. To read more of this article link to: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424053111903461304576524772960045158.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

In the States: Oregon, North Carolina, Utah, Wisconsin, and Minnesota

  1. DeFazio Offers Forest Plan
      The Registered Guard, Published by Susan Palmer, August 18th

    U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio is floating a proposal for logging and preservation in Western Oregon's federal forests that he says could mean a stable source of funding for the Oregon counties that historically have depended upon timber revenue from the federal lands. Like anything to do with the 2.2 million acres of Oregon forests administered by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, it's controversial, but the current legal logjam has many looking for a new direction. The most recent management strategy for these lands - the Western Oregon Plan Revision, or WOPR - is bogged down in competing lawsuits with environmentalists arguing that it doesn't meet federal requirements while the timber industry alleges that it doesn't allow enough logging. To read more of this article link to: http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/26715679-41/oregon-defazio-trust-forests-lands.html.csp

  2. Wood Chips From Low-Value Trees Eligible for REC's in NC
      Forest Business Network, Published by Lisa Gibson, August 20th

    The Appeals Court of North Carolina has unanimously turned down an appeal against a decision by the North Carolina Utilities Commission to allow the inclusion of wood chips derived from low-value whole trees in the state's renewable energy definition. In late 2010, power utility Duke Energy requested that cofiring wood chips derived from lower-value whole trees be eligible for renewable energy credits (REC) under the state's renewable energy standard. To read more of this article link to: http://www.forestbusinessnetwork.com/6631/wood-chips-from-low-value-trees-eligible-for-recs-in-nc/

  3. Take Back Utah Holds Rally at State Capitol
      Deseret News, Published by Benjamin Wood, August 20th

    Land-use advocates from across Utah gathered Saturday for the Take Back Utah parade and rally. The event, which started at the Utah Fairpark and made its way to the state Capitol, was held to promote resistance to the federal government's control of public lands in Utah. Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, and Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, addressed the crowd, drawing cheers as they spoke of the fight for state's rights going on in Washington. "We have, unfortunately, an administration right now that doesn't have quite the same vision for public lands that we do," Bishop said. To read more of this article link to: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/705389506/Take-Back-Utah-holds-rally-at-state-Capitol.html

  4. Wis. Officials Start Work on Timber Clearing Plan
      The Associated Press, Published by Todd Richmond, August 23rd

    State forestry officials said Tuesday they're moving ahead with a multi-front plan to salvage hundreds of thousands of downed trees across far northwestern Wisconsin that calls for using soldiers to clear debris, relaxing air pollution permits and raising weight limits on the region's roads for loggers. Severe storms in July toppled trees over more than 130,000 acres in Bayfield, Burnett, Douglas, Polk and Washburn counties. The storms left about 2 million cords of wood on the ground, equivalent to a year's worth of logging. To read more of this article link to: http://www.chron.com/news/article/Wis-officials-start-work-on-timber-clearing-plan-2138048.php

  5. Minnesota Forest Industries will continue giving away free seedlings at State Fair
      HometownSource.com, August 24th

    At its Minnesota State Fair booth, Minnesota Forest Industries to highlight its $8.9 billion economic impact and 30,000 jobs statewide with theme: 'Jobs do grow on trees…and we grow a lot of trees!' Minnesota Forest Industries (MFI), has been a Minnesota State Fair favorite for 20 years by giving away free seedlings at its booth in the Education Building. And this year, MFI is reminding fairgoers that jobs grow on trees, too - more than 30,000 jobs statewide, to be exact. The theme of MFI's booth this year is "Jobs do grow on trees…and we grow a lot of trees!" Visitors to the booth will see a 6' foot tall "jobs tree" highlighting more than 40 different professions that are part of the state's $8.9 billion forest products industry. To read more of this article link to: http://hometownsource.com/2011/08/24/minnesota-forest-industries-will-continue-giving-away-free-seedlings-at-state-fair/

Last Week in Congress

  1. The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives are on recess until September 6th.

Wildfire Update

  1. At Least 6 Fires Burning in Wyoming
      The Houston Chronicle, Augsut 24th

    Six wildfires were burning in Wyoming on Tuesday, including one that has blackened about 8,500 acres of trees and grass 15 miles west of Wheatland. Authorities said the Wheatland fire destroyed a seasonal cabin and an outbuilding. The lightning-started fire is about 20 percent contained. About 200 personnel were on scene. A fire in the Gros Ventre Wilderness northeast of Jackson had burned about 3,600 acres by Tuesday. About 75 personnel were on the scene. Fire managers had not posted a containment figure. The lightning-caused fire was spotted on Saturday. To read more of this article link to: http://www.chron.com/news/article/At-least-6-wildfires-burning-in-Wyoming-2138096.php

  2. Saddle Creek Comlex Fire Sees Slight Growth
      KPAX.com, Published by Breanna Roy, August 25th

    The Saddle Creek fire that jumped from Idaho into southern Ravalli County earlier this week has grown slightly, and at last check was burning over 21,150 acres. Nearly 175 personnel are battling the blaze which blew up by 17,000 cares on Monday and is consuming acres on the Bitterroot National Forest as well as on the Salmon-Challis National Forest in Idaho. The wildfire has also been pumping smoke into the Bitterroot Valley over the past couple of days, coating the air with a smoke haze and at times sending little bits of ash to the ground as far north as Lolo. To read more of this article link to: http://www.kpax.com/news/saddle-creek-comlex-fire-sees-slight-growth/

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