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Policy Update Week of August 8, 2011


  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
    Kelsey Delaney
    Assistant Director, Forest Policy
    Society of American Foresters
    W: 301.897.8720 x 202
    M: 301.526.8354
    F: 301.897.3690

  2. Colorado/Wyoming SAF State Society and National SAF Comment on 2011 Proposed Colorado Roadless Rule

    Colorado/Wyoming SAF and national SAF submitted a joint comment letter on the 2011 Proposed Colorado Roadless Rule. The CO/WY state society led the effort, with assistance from national SAF, by completing an analysis of the Proposed Rule, creating talking points that identified SAF's main issues of concern, and developing a final comment document. Several of the concerns SAF identified in the Proposed Rule include a lack of clarity on management objectives, lack of discussion on the impacts of the mountain pine beetle outbreak in Colorado, a misguided emphasis on only cutting small-diameter trees, and the high-level management approval that is needed for activities. The final comment letter was submitted to the US Forest Service during the 90 day public comment period that ended July 14, 2011.To read the submitted comments link to: http://www.eforester.org/fp/documents/proposedcoloradoroadlessrule.pdf

In the Administration

  1. U.S. Forest Service Orders More Studies on Forest Road Plan
      The Associated Press, August 9th

    The U.S. Forest Service has ordered more studies after an appeals officer allowed parts of a plan determining which methods of travel are allowed in the White River National Forest to take effect. The appeals officer says more studies are needed on a proposal to close more than 500 miles of roads and trails. According to the Aspen Times, the plan will determine use patterns in the 2-million-acre national forest for at least the next decade. To read more of this article link to: http://www.therepublic.com/view/story/df485979d4c8450db29cbcbee107cea8/CO--Road-Ruling/

  2. U.S. Forest Service Visitor's Report Shows Strong Continued Economic Impact and Customer Satisfaction of America's National Forests and Grasslands
      USDA Press Release, August 9th

    Recreational activities on national forests and grasslands continue to make large economic impacts on America's rural communities, contributing $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy. According to the National Visitor Use Monitoring report released today by Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell, national forests attracted 170.8 million recreational visitors and sustained approximately 223,000 jobs in rural communities this past year. To read more of this article link to: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2011/08/0342.xml&contentidonly=true

  3. Obama Advisors Tour Forest, Mill
      OPB News, Published by Scotta Callister, August 10th

    President Obama's top environmental policy advisor dropped into John Day Tuesday for a firsthand look at forest health collaboration - its successes and challenges. Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, made the trip along with Jay Jensen, associate director for land and water ecosystems for CEQ. Sutley called the visit "a great opportunity for us" to see the benefits of collaboration on the ground in rural America. She noted the emergence of collaboration as an important tool to get things done. To read more of this article link to: http://news.opb.org/article/obama_advisors_tour_forest_mill/

This Week in Congress

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

National News

  1. Chestnut Research Effort Showing Promise
      Knoxnews.com, Published by Morgan Simmons, August 8th

    In remote areas of national forests in Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia, hundreds of chestnut seedlings are paving the way for the day when these once-mighty trees are returned to the wild. The research - a joint effort among the U.S. Forest Service, the University of Tennessee and the American Chestnut Foundation - marks the first time hybrid chestnuts bred for blight resistance have been tested in forest settings anywhere in the U.S. To read more about this article link to: http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2011/aug/08/chestnuts-show-promise/

In the States: South Carolina, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Maine

  1. City Street Tress Pay Their Way: Forest Service Study Finds Charleston Gets Good Return on Investments
      The Post and Courier, Published by Robert Behre, August 8th

    The homeowners at Congress and Hagood streets didn't like the oak blocking their view of The Citadel's football stadium just down the street, so they had it cut down. Now Tobin Stewart and Daniel Tollens have been ordered by a city court to pay $3,200 in restitution. They're the latest to learn just how seriously the city of Charleston takes its street trees. And why not? A study by the U.S. Forest Service found that for every dollar the city spends maintaining its approximately 16,000 street trees -- trees along streets, in city parks and on other city lands -- it receives about $1.37 worth of benefits. To read more of this article link to: http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2011/aug/08/city-street-trees-pay-their-way/

  2. R.I. DEM Seeks Reports of Asian Longhorned Beetles
      The Providence Journal, August 10th

    The Asian longhorned beetle is in the crosshairs of the state Department of Environmental Management. The DEM is coordinating a public outreach program for the beetle, an invasive insect that came to the United States in wooden shipping crates from China and Korea about 15 years ago, the agency said Tuesday in a news release. The beetle attacks hardwood shade trees, such as maple, ash, birch, willow and elm, by boring into the core of the tree and eventually killing it. This beetle has the potential to wipe out thousands of the state's trees if it goes undetected. To read more of this article link to: http://www.projo.com/news/content/ASIAN_LONGHORNED_BEETLE_08-10-11_UNPLEA6_v8.4fde8.html

  3. Evaluation Tool Assess Viability of Biomass Technology in NH
      Biomass Magazine, Published by Matt Soberg, August 10th

    The "Community Roadmap to Renewable Woody Biomass Energy: A Step-by-Step Decision-Making Tool for New Hampshire Communities" was developed as an evaluation process to help communities determine whether woody biomass technology makes sense at a facility or district level. The guide provides information to organizations interested in utilizing renewable energy to achieve energy-related goals. The roadmap was developed for the North Country Resource and Conservation Development Area Council in New Hampshire. To read more of this article link to: http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/5719/evaluation-tool-assesses-viability-of-biomass-technology-in-nh

  4. Federal Official Praises Maine's Use of Biomass Stimulus Funds
      Bangor Daily News, Published by Kevin Miller, August 11th

    A top federal agriculture official pointed to Maine as a national success story in the use of federal stimulus funds to convert several dozen schools, town offices and other public facilities from heating with fossil fuels to wood or biomass. Maine received $11.4 million in renewable energy grants from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act, or nearly 23 percent of the $50 million that was awarded nationally between November 2010 and May 2011. To read more of this article link to: http://bangordailynews.com/2011/08/04/politics/federal-official-praises-maine%E2%80%99s-use-of-biomass-stimulus-funds/?ref=latest

Last Week in Congress

  1. August 3rd - The Senate Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests held a hearing to receive testimony on five bills. The bills include The Arizona Wallow Fire Monitoring and Recovery Act, The Tennessee Wilderness Act, The Organ Mountains- Dona Ana County Conservation and Protection Act, The Soda Ash Competition Act and The Geothermal Production Expansion Act. To read more about this hearing link to: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.ByMonth

  2. Wallow Fire Recovery Act Receives First Hearing
      U.S. Senator John Kyl Press Release, August 3rd

    The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests today held a hearing to receive testimony on the Arizona Wallow Fire Recovery and Monitoring Act (S. 1344). U.S. Senators Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) introduced the bill on July 11, following the largest wildfire in Arizona's history. "We're gratified that the Committee has recognized the urgency of our state's situation following the Wallow Fire by agreeing to consider this important legislation in a swift and timely manner," said Senators Kyl and McCain. To read more about this article link to: http://kyl.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=333739

  3. Senate Democrats Confident They Can Keep Anti-EPA Bill at Bay in the Fall
      The New York Times, Published by Jean Chemnick, August 3rd

    When Congress returns in September from its month long recess, House Republicans say they will pick up where they left off in crafting and passing legislation to restrict U.S. EPA's air quality rules. But Senate Democrats say they expect to have no trouble killing those proposals from the GOP-controlled House. "They keep trying to do that," said Environment and Public Works Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.). "They keep trying to overturn the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act. That's not going to happen." To Read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2011/08/03/03greenwire-senate-democrats-confident-they-can-keep-anti-71181.html

  4. Wyden Slams BLM Error for Counties' Smaller Timber Payment, Criticizes Late Notification
      The Associated Press, Published by Jeff Barnard, August 3rd

    Oregon counties already struggling to cope with declining federal timber revenues will be getting less than they expected from a federal safety net program due to a calculation error, a slip-up criticized Wednesday by a member of the state's congressional delegation. The 18 so-called O&C Counties of Western Oregon learned in June that they will be sharing only $40 million in their final payment under a federal safety net program. They had been told it would be $51.6 million. To read more about this article link to: http://www.greenfieldreporter.com/view/story/7c8cc3a051f6450c97117e676ff33485/OR--Timber-Counties/

Wildfire Update

  1. Wildfire Near Grand Canyon 100% Contained
      KCSG Television.com, Published by Maureen Oltrogge, August 7th

    A type III incident management organization has contained the New Water fire which includes lands within the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, as well as lands managed by the Truxton Canon Agency of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Kingman Area Field Office of the Bureau of Land Management and the Arizona Division of Forestry. The New Water Fire is located approximately six miles east of Meadview, Arizona and fifty miles north of Kingman, Arizona. The fire originated Wednesday, August 3, 2011, on private land adjacent to the park. To read more of this article click here.

  2. Oklahoma Wildfire Destroyed 40 Buildings
      Insurance Journal, August 11th

    The weekend wildfire that swept through a rural swath of Pawnee County, damaging or destroying at least 40 structures and charring thousands of acres, was brought under control Tuesday afternoon but not before it did some damage. Pawnee County Emergency Management Director Mark Randell said the fire began Sunday and quickly gained strength. Dozens of firefighters were dispatched to fight the blaze, which is estimated to have burned at least 15,000 acres in northern Oklahoma. To read more about this article link to: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southcentral/2011/08/11/210519.htm

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