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Policy Update Week of August 30, 2010


  1. SAF Encourages All Members to Comment on Important Forest Issues For America’s Great Outdoors Initiative

    To Visit America’s Great Outdoors Website Click Here: http://ideas.usda.gov/ago/ideas.nsf

  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. U.S. Forest Service Explores RFID’s Ability to Detect Fires
      RFID Journal, Published by Laurie Sullivan, September 1st

    Brush fires occur all too often in Southern California. Dry brush and high winds from the desert can quickly escalate a spark from a campfire into a deadly inferno that sweeps across coastal rolling hills and inland towns covered in dry, brittle brush. So it makes perfect sense that the U.S. Forest Service, the agency's San Dimas Technology Development Center, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department wanted to test an RFID-supported platform that could provide early-warning signals in the event of a fire. To read more of this article link to: http://www.rfidjournal.com/article/articleview/7843/1/1/

  2. USFS Report Shows Biomass Energy is Needed to Preserve Ecosystem Services
      25x’25, August 24th

    A report from the U.S. Forest Service provides even more conclusive evidence of the need to preserve and promote the sustainable use of woody biomass for energy to help maintain the ecosystem services that forestlands can provide. According to Private Forests, Public Benefits: Increased Housing Density and Other Pressures on Private Forest Contributions, large portions of private forestland, which makes up more than half of the forested acreage in the United States, could be converted to housing, eliminating carbon sequestration, benefits to soil and water quality, and the wildlife habitat those forestlands would provide. To read more of this article link to: http://blog.25x25.org/?p=1823

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. Court Axes Deschutes Forest Logging Ban
      Capital Press, Published by Mateusz Perkowski, August 19th

    A federal judge was wrong to have blocked a tree thinning operation in Oregon's Deschutes National Forest, according to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

    In 2008, U.S. District Judge Michael Hogan ruled that the U.S. Forest Service violated environmental laws by allowing logging on about 600 acres of old-growth forest.

    The federal appeals court has now overturned that decision, finding that Hogan should not have second-guessed the forest agency's strategy of preserving old-growth stands by reducing wildfire hazards. To read more of this article link to: http://www.capitalpress.com/orewash/mp-deschutes-logging-082010

  2. Forest Restoration Project Get $2 Million Grant
      Payson Roundup, Published by Pete Aleshire, August 24th

    The effort to protect Rim communities from wildfires, restore forest health and revive the region’s timber industry got a major boost this week with word of a $2 million federal grant to begin detailed planning.

    The innovative 4-Forests Restoration Initiative hopes to eventually thin 2.4 million acres of ponderosa pine forest in northern Arizona — including all of Rim Country. To read more of this article link to: http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2010/aug/24/forest-restoration-project-get-2-million-grant/

  3. Tester Discusses Setbacks in Forest Jobs and Recreation Bill
      Missoulian, Published by Bob Chaney, August 30th

    The first questioner at Sen. Jon Tester's Monday public forum in Missoula wanted to know how the Forest Jobs and Recreation Act was coming along.

    "My wife and I just drove over through Lincoln, and there's crystal-clear evidence we need to manage in a different way," Tester said of the beetle-killed acres of forest. "We need to give the Forest Service some different tools to work with." To read more of this article link to: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_22a3406a-b4bd-11df-98f1-001cc4c03286.html

  4. Recovery Act Benefits the Northwest and its Forest
      Oregon Live, Published by Tom Tidwell, August 17th

    A healthy American economy depends on a prosperous rural America. Nearly one in five of the dollars spent by the USDA Forest Service for American Recovery and Reinvestment Act projects is going to work in the Pacific Northwest. The agency received $1.15 billion in Recovery Act funding. Together, Oregon and Washington have been allocated $236 million of that amount on projects that will help to restore natural resources while improving public safety and create job opportunities in economically distressed areas. To read more of this article link to: http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2010/08/recovery_act_benefits_the_nort.html

In the States: California, Oregon

  1. California’s Cap-and-Trade Decisions
      Forbes, Published by Todd Schatzki, August 19th

    While the prospects for federal climate policy have been buffeted by political headwinds recently, California is moving forward: The state is in the last stages of developing regulations to bring its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions back down to 1990 levels. California's climate target was established back in 2006, but the details of regulatory decisions now being made could significantly impact its business and the economy. To read more of this article link to: http://www.forbes.com/2010/08/19/california-cap-trade-finance-opinions-contributors-todd-schatzki.html?boxes=Homepagechannels

  2. A Bitter Harvest For Wood Products
      The Register-Guard, Published by Diane Dietz, August 22nd

    To an industry toughened by three decades of hard knocks, this is still a body blow.

    The Oregon timber harvest in 2009 was the lowest since the middle of the Great Depression at 2.75 billion board feet, according to a new report by state forest economist Gary Lettman.

    And the bad news for the industry doesn’t end. “The preliminaries I have coming this year show it’s going to be just about the same,” Lettman said. To read more of this article link to: http://www.registerguard.com/csp/cms/sites/web/news/cityregion/25178789-57/billion-lumber-depression-timber-mill.csp

Wildfire Update

  1. CU Chosen to Help With Study on Climate Change and Wildfires
      Daily Camera, Published by Brittany Anas, September 1st

    Researchers from the University of Colorado will partner with colleagues at other schools to study fire and climate change in forests in the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

    A $3.85 million grant from the National Science Foundation is funding the project. CU-Boulder geography professor Thomas Veblen and his group will examine tree-ring records of past fire frequency and severity, as well as forest regeneration after fire. To read more of this article link to: http://www.dailycamera.com/science-environment/ci_15966192

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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