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October 17, 2014


E-Forester Archives? More than a few folks have asked if The E-Forester is archived on the SAF website. It is not, primarily because links to news articles change quickly. However, if you're looking for something from a past issue, contact me and I'll do my best to get you what you need.

I. Featured News

1. SAF/CIF/IUFRO Conference Wrap Up and News Coverage
2. Bobwhite Quail Close to Extinction in Pennsylvania and New Jersey
3. Partnerships Work to Preserve Habitats
4. American Forest Foundation Mobilizes Field Inspectors
5. Wildfire News

Forest Products Industry

6. Montana to Celebrate Forest Heritage, Texas Forest Industry Making Progress
7. California Redwood’s Korbel Mill for Sale; Northwest Mill Restarts
8. Biomass News

Federal Lands Management & Policy News

9. Skamania County Declares Forestry “State of Emergency”
10. Environmental Litigation Debated in Montana
11. Walden Calls for Reform of Forest Management, ESA
12. More Big Thorne Timber Sales Announced
13. President Designates the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

II. Publications, Resources, and Items of Interest

1. Trees Hauled to Detroit to Jump-Start Urban Forest
2. Cross-Time Photos from Northwest Lookouts Reveal Big Changes
3. Stunning Wooden Skyscrapers Could Dominate the Skylines of the Future

III. Science and Technology

1. As Deadly Bat Disease Spreads, Columbia Researcher Offers Hopeful Answer
2. Foresters Monitoring the Emerald Ash Borer on the Oak Ridge Reservation
3. Activists Use GPS to Track Illegal Loggers in Brazil's Amazon Rainforest

IV. SAF News

1. 2014 SAF Elections Ballot
2. Be Sure You Receive Your 2014 Election Ballot
3. SAF Launches New Membership Portal


I. Featured News

All of these items and more appear in the "Featured News" section on the SAF home page

1. SAF/CIF/IUFRO Conference Wrap Up and News Coverage

The joint International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO) World Congress, 2014 SAF National Convention, and Canadian Institute of Forestry Annual General Meeting and Conference wrapped up October 12 in Salt Lake City, Utah. It was a fantastic event, with an estimated 4,000 foresters and allied professionals from more than 80 countries in attendance.

To read news generated by the event, see the following articles and websites. For complete coverage of the 2014 SAF National Convention, be sure to see the forthcoming November 2014 issue of The Forestry Source.

Trees “Retrofit Our Cities for Happiness,” Forester Says

Salt Lake Tribune.com (October 11) - Speaking at the IUFRO World Congress in Salt Lake City this past weekend, Cecil Konijnendijk, head of the landscape architecture department of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, said urban foresters are in the business of “creating happiness."

Global Forest Conference Draws Thousands to Salt Lake

Deseret News.com (October 10) - Several thousand forest researchers, foresters, and policymakers visited Salt Lake City for a week-long meeting—the International Union of Forest Research Organizations World Congress — to discuss the sweeping threats to forest health, such as pests, disease, and “mega” wildfires, and how to best arrive at solutions.

Forest Plantations Can Produce Wood While Still Conserving

UCSUSA.org (October 8) - A report released today at the Society of American Foresters Convention in Salt Lake City, Utah by the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative describes how tropical forests can be conserved while still producing enough wood to meet global consumers’ needs now and in the future.

A Thick Stand of Foresters Will Grow in Utah this Week
A Pre-Convention Opinion-Editorial by Nalini Nadkarni and Pat Shea

Salt Lake Tribune.com (October 3) - “This week, Salt Lake City will host the 24th International Congress, only the second time in IUFRO’s history that the United States has hosted this world’s largest international gathering of forest researchers and practitioners. More than 2,500 forest researchers, managers, and policymakers from more than 80 countries will meet at the Salt Palace Convention Center to discuss the state of the world’s forests.”

Websites of interest:

IUFRO World Congress Highlights
IUFRO Conference Blog

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2. Bobwhite Quail Close to Extinction in Pennsylvania and New Jersey

NBCPhiladelphia.com (October 12) - The number of wild bobwhite quail has fallen off so precipitously that—except for small pockets—they're close to extinction in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and barely holding on in Delaware, wildlife ecologists say.

Choked forests, paved roads, housing developments, herbicides, and pesticides have destroyed food sources and nesting grounds, and as their habitat has disappeared, so have the birds.

To change that, Bill Haines and certified forester Bob Williams have created a haven for the birds using prescribed burns and tree thinning to produce the quail's optimum surroundings on about 1,500 acres adjacent to Haines’ Pine Island Cranberry Company operations in Burlington County, New Jersey.

Note: Williams is a member of SAF.

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3. Partnerships Work to Preserve Habitats

Conservation Nonprofit Working with Landowners to Preserve Habitats

Tdn.com (October 15) - A group of volunteers recently crawled through culverts during a day-long survey of logging roads. The volunteers didn’t mind the cramped and damp work, which was part of a broad volunteer effort last month to map the culverts on thousands of acres of timberland the Columbia Land Trust owns or manages in the area.

The mapping effort, required by state forestry regulation, was a small example of how the land trust has become a major player in the effort to conserve 20,000 acres of endangered species habitat south of Mount St. Helens—in a nonconfrontational way.

Westchester Land Trust Joins Local Groups to Protect Wildlife Habitats

Lewisboroledger.com (October 13) - The Hudson to Housatonic Conservation Initiative (H2H)—a new interstate collaboration of more than two dozen local and regional conservation organizations and municipal partners across Westchester and Putnam counties and southwestern Connecticut—will engage landowners identified as pivotal in the battle to protect imperiled streams, drinking water reservoirs, and plant and wildlife habitat.

Participating organizations and agencies will collaborate with landowners in 13 focus areas that straddle town or state lines and contain land with streams that drain into reservoirs or habitats that are likely to adapt to climate change in the future. Through conversations and activities with peers and specialists, landowners will learn about their land and gain a better understanding of their vital role in sustaining the critical natural resources that support people and wildlife.

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4. American Forest Foundation Mobilizes Field Inspectors

Mobileenterprise.edgl.com (October 13) - To be an American Tree Farm System (ATFS)-certified tree farmer, certain eligibility criteria must be met and property has to be inspected by a trained ATFS Inspector. A network of more than 4,000 professional foresters and volunteers administer the program in 44 states.

This third-party system of validation is critical to the program's integrity, according to Sarah Crow, senior director of certification at ATFS, but the old inspection process was arduous and inefficient.

To fix this, ATFS developed an app that enables inspectors to use their own smartphones or tablets to do their work more efficiently.

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5. Fire News Roundup

Northern Californians Prepare for Megafires
IJPR.org (October 14)

California Reactivates Firefighting Airplanes
WTOP.com (October 10)

Joint Workshop in Texas to Discuss Fuel Mitigation Projects
Statesman.com (October 13)

Not All Fires Are Worth Fighting
Vancouver Sun.com (October 15)

Busy Fire Season in National Parks, Parks Canada Annual Report Says
CA.News.Yahoo.com (October 13)

Arson Suspect Arrested in Boles Fire; 157 Homes Destroyed
LA Times.com (October 11)

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Forest Products Industry

6. Montana to Celebrate Forest Heritage, Texas Forest Industry Making Progress

Forest Products Week Honors Montana’s Forest Heritage

KXLO-KCLM.com (October 12) - Montana residents will have opportunities to celebrate their connections to the state’s forests during Montana Forest Products Week October 17–24.

In 2011, the Montana Legislature established Montana Forest Products Week to recognize the forest products manufacturing sector and its contribution to the state’s forests and economy, as well as the value of locally produced wood products and forest stewardship. This legislation was mirrored off of National Forest Products Week, which was established by Congress in 1960.

Montana has more than 25 million acres of forested lands. Last year, approximately 7,000 workers made a living working in the forestry sector.

Note: SAF member and national award winner Amy Helena of the Montana Society of American Foresters is quoted in the article.

Forest Industry Making Progress, Experts Say

Statesman.com (October 13) - The Texas A&M Forest Service has completed a new study of the economic contribution provided by forestry-driven, wood-based industries in Texas.

The report shows that the total economic contributions of the Texas forest sector include $30.3 billion in industry output, supporting more than 130,600 jobs; and continues to be one of the top 10 manufacturing sectors in the state.

The report analyzes data collected from 2012, the most current available. Texas A&M Forest Service periodically produces the report, Economic Impact of the Texas Forest Sector, to give citizens an idea of where the forest sector fits overall into the Texas economy.

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7. California Redwood’s Korbel Mill for Sale; Northwest Mill Restarts

Korbel Mill for Sale

Northcoastjournal.com (October 14) - California Redwood Company, a subsidiary of Green Diamond Resource Company, has put its Korbel sawmill up for sale.

In May, California Redwood Co. began exiting the redwood manufacturing and distribution business, with the company saying in a news release at the time that it had “not been able to achieve positive results for redwood lumber manufacturing and sales over the last several years.”

Parent Green Diamond began selling its redwood logs elsewhere, and the Korbel mill switched to just milling Douglas-fir lumber on a single-shift basis.

Northwest Sawmill Restarts after Five-Year Hiatus

Northernontariobusiness.com (October 3) - Five years after it was mothballed, EACOM’s sawmill in Ear Falls in northwestern Ontario fired up for production in early August.

The Montreal-based forestry giant invested more than $5 million to retrofit the plant with upgrades to the electrical system, planer mill, optimizer scanner, and other machinery in the four to five months leading up to the August 5 production startup.

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8. Biomass News

New Zealand Programs Give the Thumbs’ Up for Forestry-Based Biofuels

Biofuelsdigest.com (October 14) - Work by two recently completed Primary Growth Partnership (PGP) programs will pave the way for future efforts towards a potential biofuels industry in New Zealand from forestry residues and reduced emissions from the fumigant methyl bromide.

Bioenergy Research Facility Earns Kudos for Ledcor

Journal of Commerce.com (October 14) - Ledcor is one of two companies that have won Vancouver Regional Construction Association 2014 Silver Awards for their work on the University of British Columbia (UBC) Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Facility.

Ledcor won in the General Contractor up to $15 million category.

The UBC clean energy project is North America's first commercial-scale biomass-fueled, cogeneration (heat and power) system.

It is designed to generate enough clean electricity to power 1,500 homes and to reduce the university's natural gas consumption by up to 12 percent.

Areva Wins Contract to Build Brazil’s Biggest Biomass Plant

Bloomberg.com (October 14) - Areva SA, a French nuclear-power plant builder, won a contract to construct a 150-megawatt biomass plant for Brazilian utility BOLT Energias.

The Campo Grande biomass power plant in the northeastern state of Bahia will be the largest biomass facility in Brazil, the Paris-based company said in a statement. The facility will be fueled with woody biomass and is scheduled to start operations in 2017.

First Commercial Quantities of Cellulosic Ethanol from Woody Biomass Marketed

Phys.Org (October 6) - Scientists and engineers, including several at Michigan Technological University, have been talking for years about biofuel, particularly cellulosic ethanol, which is fuel made from trees and other woody plants. The stumbling blocks have been huge and progress, slow.

Now, the first commercial quantities of cellulosic ethanol generated from woody biomass that meets EPA standards have gone to market.

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Federal Lands Management and Forest Policy News

9. Skamania County Declares Forestry “State of Emergency”

Seattle Times.com (October 11) - Commissioners in Washington State’s Skamania County have declared a “state of emergency,” decrying what they describe as mismanagement of federal forestland that they say has hamstrung the financially battered county and created extreme fire danger.

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10. Environmental Litigation Debated in Montana

Great Falls Tribune.com (October 13) - Federal land management has become one of the hottest political issues this election season, and front and center in the debate are lawsuits filed by environmental groups challenging timber sales as well as listing decisions under the Endangered Species Act.

Yet it is another law, the Equal Access to Justice Act, which opponents of the lawsuits say is unfairly rewarding lawyers of environmental groups by often awarding attorney fees paid for with tax dollars. Environmental groups say the law holds the federal government accountable, and that attorney fees play a critical role in their efforts to protect wildlife and habitat.

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11. Walden Calls for Reform of Forest Management, ESA

Capital Press.com (October 13) - In a speech at the Oregon Forest Industries Council’s annual meeting October 13, US Rep. Greg Walden criticized the Senate for dragging its heels on forest management reform.

Wyden said he had hoped the urgency with which the House passed HR 1526—the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act—last September and its bipartisan support would put pressure on the Senate to act. The legislation sets aside some federal forestlands for conservation, while designating others for active forest management.

Walden also talked about Endangered Species Act reform that has been introduced in the House.

Related:

Wolverines Need Protection, Wildlife Groups Charge in Lawsuit against Federal Government

Oregon Live.com (October 13) - A coalition of advocacy groups has challenged the government’s denial of federal protections for the wolverine, filing a lawsuit that contends officials ignored evidence that a warming climate will eliminate denning areas for the so-called “mountain devil.”

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12. More Big Thorne Timber Sales Announced

Alaska Public Radio.org (October 14) - The Forest Service plans three more timber sales in a part of Prince of Wales Island conservationists say needs to be protected. They’re much smaller than a recent sale in the same area. The sales are between Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove, on northeast Prince of Wales Island. They’re part of the larger Big Thorne sale area, which is tied up with court challenges. Officials recently sold nearly 100 million board feet of Big Thorne timber to Viking Lumber, Southeast Alaska’s largest mill. Tongass National Forest Supervisor Forrest Cole says the three smaller sales total less than 5 percent of that amount.

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13. President Designates the San Gabriel Mountains National Monument

Goldrushcam.com (October 12) - On October 10, 2014, President Obama delivered remarks at the Frank G. Bonelli Regional Park in San Dimas, California to designate the San Gabriel Mountains as a national monument. Here is a transcript of his remarks.

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II. Publications, Resources, and Items of Interest

1. Trees Hauled to Detroit to Jump-Start Urban Forest

Oakland press.com (October 14) - Trees are being trucked to Detroit as part of an effort to create an instant, forest-like setting in one neighborhood.

The work aims to show what trees planted for the Hantz Woodlands project might look like a decade from now, The Detroit News reported. In May, hundreds of people planted 15,000 saplings on land bordered by burned-out homes and abandoned apartments for the larger project.

About $100,000 is being spent on the latest plantings. This week, 150 mature trees are being put in the ground on the city’s east side. Oxford-based tree broker Keith Alexander located 20-foot-tall sugar maples in Michigan and New York to meet requirements for the project.

John Hantz believes agriculture and forestry can play an important role in bankrupt Detroit and figures trees are better than blighted neighborhoods. The Detroit resident’s project includes cleaning up 140 acres and knocking down vacant homes in the area.

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2. Cross-Time Photos from Northwest Lookouts Reveal Big Changes

NWPR.org (October 13) - The old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” That was the reaction of a US Forest Service researcher when he rediscovered a trove of landscape panoramas called the Osborne Panoramas.

The photos were taken during the Great Depression at hundreds of fire lookouts in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana.

During the 1930s, Forest Service crews visited more than 800 lookout stations to capture the original sweeping black-and-white panoramics. For the repeat photography about 80 years later, Hessburg hired professional photographer John Marshall.

It has become a years-long project for the team. Marshall said the fact that most of the original lookout towers no longer exist is only one of many challenges.

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3. Stunning Wooden Skyscrapers Could Dominate the Skylines of the Future

ITProportal.com (October 3) - A new generation of engineers and architects are turning to one of man's earliest building materials to construct our most modern buildings. That's right: they're starting to build skyscrapers out of wood.

This isn’t as crazy as it sounds on first consideration. While untreated beams of wood simply aren’t strong enough to hold up the huge weight of high-rise buildings, a type of super-plywood has been developed to step up to the challenge. By gluing layers of low-grade softwood together to create timber panels, today's so-called “engineered timber” is more like what you'd find in Ikea flat-packed furniture than traditional sawn lumber. We've even got a nice moniker for the new breed of eco-friendly building: "plyscrapers".

Study: Cross Laminated Timber Building Costs Competitive in North America

IHB.de (October 13) - Cross-laminated timber (CLT) construction is cheaper than conventional methods, but not by much, a new study shows. However, the study predicts that in the future, building material could get a lot cheaper. Conducted by Mahlum, Walsh Construction and Coughlin Porter Lundeen Engineering, the study, the first of its kind, was to determine the feasibility of CLT construction in the US Pacific Northwest, mainly focusing on Seattle.

The study states that CLT means fewer skilled laborers are needed, shorter construction times, better tolerances and quality, safer work, and utilization of local and sustainable materials. It was also found to reduce the carbon footprint of buildings.

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III. Science and Technology

1. As Deadly Bat Disease Spreads, Columbia Researcher Offers Hopeful Answer

Columbia Missourian.com (October 14) - For the first time since the outbreak of white nose syndrome, Columbia-based wildlife biologist Sybill Amelon and her research team are providing a reason for optimism.

Amelon is leading one of the most promising efforts yet to control the disease, and hopes are high for her research. Along with a biologist from Georgia State University, Amelon has developed a breakthrough bacterial treatment that could revitalize a devastated population and reclaim caves for bats in North America.

Climate Change: Models “Underplay Plant Carbon Dioxide Absorption”

BBC.com (October 13) - Working out the amount of carbon dioxide that lingers in the atmosphere is critical to estimating the future impacts of global warming on temperatures.

But modeling the exact impacts on a global scale is a fiendishly complicated business. In a new study, a team of scientists looked again at the way trees and other plants absorb carbon. By analyzing how carbon dioxide spreads slowly inside leaves (a process called mesophyll diffusion) the authors conclude that more of the gas is absorbed than previously thought.

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2. Foresters Monitoring the Emerald Ash Borer on the Oak Ridge Reservation

Phys.org (October 3) - Some of the trees skirting the drive to the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in northeastern Tennessee look like they've closed shop for winter early, already having shed all their leaves. But it's not yet the weather that's responsible for the naked treetops, it’s the emerald ash borer.

DOE's Oak Ridge Reservation contains one of the largest undisturbed plots of ridge and valley in the state, with about 33,480 total acres. Nearly 24,000 acres are forest, which is 30 percent more woodland than when the US government acquired it in 1942.

Much of the soil at the reservation is well suited for ash trees. Ash makes up around 4 percent of the trees on the managed landscape, almost twice the average of ash trees on state forestland. It’s estimated that there are about 100,000 ash trees on the property, though many are small and likely will succumb to natural causes before the ash borer touches them. At least 15,000 are large trees, however, and are vulnerable to the borer.

Pine Beetle Spreading Exponentially in Jasper Park

Rocky Mountain Goat.com (October 13) - Mountain pine beetle numbers are growing exponentially in Jasper National Park.

Every year since 2000, Jasper National Park has conducted an annual pine beetle survey. In the past, vegetation specialists have been able to count affected trees individually—10 here, a dozen there. Last year the tally was estimated to be approximately 1,900 trees.

In late August, however, when JNP’s Fire and Vegetation Specialist Dave Smith took to the air for the 2014 count, he saw so many beetle-damaged pines that he and his colleagues from the Canadian Forest Service couldn’t tally them up singly. In total, they identified over 6,000 hectares of Jasper National Park forest that has been affected by pine beetle.

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3. Activists Use GPS to Track Illegal Loggers in Brazil's Amazon Rainforest

Guardian.com (October 14) - Covert GPS surveillance of timber trucks by Amazon forest campaigners has revealed how loggers are defeating attempts to halt deforestation in the world’s greatest rainforest. Raids by law enforcement officers were expected on October 15, acting on the evidence handed to them by Greenpeace Brazil.

Related:

NMSU Professor Testing Miniaturized Genome Sequencer

LCSUN-News.com (October 12) - Brook Milligan, a biology professor in New Mexico State University’s (NMSU) College of Arts and Sciences, is one of a limited group of scientists around the world now beta testing a handheld genome sequencer—Oxford Nanopore’s MinION—that can be used for DNA sequencing, protein sensing, and other nanopore sensing techniques.

Milligan, who is most interested in tracking illegal trade in wildlife, timber, and fisheries, is already involved with applications to test timber for a project in Peru, which has a major problem with illegally harvested mahogany and Spanish cedar.

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IV. SAF News

1. 2014 SAF Elections Ballot

As you know, the 2014 SAF national and unit elections and referendum votes will be held in October. All SAF members will receive a ballot and are encouraged to vote. Please be aware, though, that there is an important change to the ballot.

After receiving comments from members about consequences of consolidating SAF's membership categories, the Council decided to withdraw those questions from the ballot. A letter from President Dave Walters explaining this decision can be found on the SAF website.

Council representatives are committed to talking with as many SAF members as possible about the rationale for consolidating the membership categories. If you are already engaged with the Council, thank you. If not, please speak your mind. The Council wants to hear your thoughts on how to increase SAF's relevance to every natural-resources professional who works in or is closely associated with forestry.

Please don't hesitate to contribute your insights, experience, and wisdom on this issue. Here's how you can do so:

  • Share your thoughts with us at membershipdialog@safnet.org
  • Talk to your Council member or your state society, division, or chapter leadership
  • Join SAF discussions on LinkedIn
  • Submit a letter to the editor of The Forestry Source (send letters to editor Steve Wilent at wilents@safnet.org).

If you have any questions on the votes, please feel free to contact SAF chief executive officer Matt Menashes.

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2. Be Sure You Receive Your 2014 Election Ballot

This year SAF is using a new vendor for the national and local unit elections. To ensure your ballot is received and accepted by your e-mail server, be sure to save the following e-mail address to your contacts before October 1: saf@intelliscaninc.net.

Members that do not have an e-mail address listed with SAF will still receive a paper ballot.

If you have any questions, please contact SAF chief executive officer Matt Menashes at (866) 897-8720, ext. 120.

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3. SAF Launches New Membership Portal

In response to members concerns about the functionality of the SAF website, the Society has launched a beta version of the new Membership Portal. Naturally, we want to know what you think about it, so check it out at live.safnet.org and send us your comments.

The portal is designed to offer easier access to SAF member services, expedite the renewal process, provide up-to-date information about members' involvement with SAF (e.g., CFE credits, subscriptions, and so on), give the latest forestry news, facilitate giving, and more!

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About The E-Forester:

A Benefit of SAF Membership:
The E-Forester is sent to SAF members in good standing each week.

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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 E-Forester.

Meeting Announcements:
The E-Forester will no longer include announcements for forestry events, gatherings, or tours not (co)sponsored by SAF.

Feedback:
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