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In This Issue ...
1. Idaho: County Commissioners Support Wilderness
2. Maine: Public Land Becomes Epicenter in State Fight
3. Oregon: Legislation Seeks to End Elliott State Forest Commercial Logging
4. New Jersey: Stockton Burning Out the Forest to Restore Ecosystem
5. Massachusetts: State Forest Officials See Silver Lining in Loss of Red Pines
6. Fire News Roundup
1. Under Secretary Highlights Forest Restoration Effort in Testimony before Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee
2. BLM Halts Logging near Shotgun Creek
3. Opinions Differ on Suitable Timber in Flathead Forest
4. Big Thorne Timber Suit Chopped Down
5. Aid to Timber-Dependent Oregon Counties Is Revived by House Leaders
1. Softwood Lumber Export Tax Trigger Reached; Rates Begin April 1, 2015
2. Report: Expanded Forestry Sector Could Be Boon to Eastern, Southern Kentucky
3. State Tackles Steep Challenges to Step Up Logging Oversight
4. Manistique Mill Closure Confirmed
5. State Ban on Environmentally Friendly Construction Advances
1. UGA Researchers Create Fast-Growing Trees that Are Easier to Turn into Fuel
2. Tilting Trees Causes Them to Produce More Sugars for Biofuel
3. Commercial Port, Pellet Plant Considered for Northwest Ontario
4. Colorado Plant Built to Turn Beetle-Killed Trees into Electricity May Not Re-Open until Summer
5. Groups Laud Biomass Heat Inclusion in Federal Greenhouse Gas Executive Order
1. A Top Weedkiller Could Cause Cancer: Should We Be Scared?
2. Chippewa National Forest's Marcell Ranger Station Exemplifies 1930s National Parks Service Architecture
3. At "Sapsuckers," Syrup-Making Is Science
1. Gregory Award Scholarship-Application Deadline Extended
2. SAF Forest Policy News
3. Forest Science Seeks Submissions on Data-Driven Predictive Modeling in Forestry
4. SAF State Society Meetings
5. 2015 SAF National Convention News
6. SAF Welcomes New and Returning Members
Billingsgazette.com (March 25) - Commissioners in Idaho's Bonner County unanimously passed a resolution calling for the US Congress to designate the Idaho portion of the Scotchman Peaks as a wilderness.
The entire 88,000-acre wilderness area proposal straddles the Idaho-Montana border in the Kaniksu and Kootenai national forests.
The steep, rocky, mountainous area northeast of Lake Pend Oreille has been recommended for wilderness by Forest Service management plans that were debated for more than a decade and approved in January.
Pressherald.com (March 22) - In many ways, Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land epitomizes the multiple-use philosophy that has guided Maine's management of more than a half-million acres of state-owned land for decades. But there is growing debate about whether Gov. Paul LePage wants to tilt that balance more toward timber harvesting and away from outdoor recreation.
The outcome of the political fight over the public reserved lands could have major implications for conservation projects statewide and the future of the popular program that helped protect Nahmakanta plus dozens of other parcels in Maine.
SAF members Doug Denico, CF, and SAF Fellow Bob Seymour are quoted.
Pamplinmedia.com (March 16) - Environmental groups hope a bill in the Oregon State Legislature will permanently end commercial timber harvest on the Elliott State Forest and rule out its sale to private investors.
Legislation introduced earlier this month would establish a system to protect state trust land such as the Elliott State Forest, by allowing officials to transfer the land to a state agency that will manage it for conservation.
Shorenewstoday.com (March 23) - Stockton University began active management of its more than 1,500-acre forest March 19 to protect and restore its Pinelands forest ecosystem from threats such as the Southern pine beetle, and to cultivate a future of enhanced education, recreation, and healthy habitat.
The university's stewardship plan is the state's first comprehensive forest management plan on public land within the Pinelands region and was developed by Robert (Bob) Williams of Pine Creek Forestry, a certified forester with 40 years of experience who was hired by the university as a consultant.
The New Jersey Pinelands Commission has approved the 10-year plan.
SAF member Bob Williams, CF, is quoted.
Bostonglobe.com (March 23) - Over the past several years, the flightless insects called scales have bored deep into the bark of red pines throughout the region, ravaging the ramrod straight trees from New York to Maine.
But the trees' deaths could be a form of salvation for the Plymouth forest, where the red pines were planted in massive numbers after a catastrophic fire burned through the forest and surrounding communities in 1957. The new trees thrived at the expense of indigenous shrubbery and the wildlife that live in their shadows.
Pennsylvania's Firefighting Aircraft to Go on Contract to Fight Wildfires
Gantdaily.com (March 23)
California Drought Making Wildfires a Year-Round Threat
Santacruzsentinel.com (March 17)
"Dismal" Snowpack May Be New Normal in Northwest
Union-Bulletin.com (March 23)
Bill Would Give Citizens More Ability to Fight Fire
Dailyrecordnews.com (March 19)
Why Forest Managers Want to Set Fires but Can't
Futurity.org (March 23)
Fighting Forest Fires: Lessons for Corporate Risk Management
Blogs.wsj.com (March 23)
US Forest Service (March 24) - In testimony before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, US Department of Agriculture Under Secretary for Natural Resource and Environment Robert Bonnie said the Obama administration continues to increase the pace and scale of forest restoration and management on public forest lands, but the shift of funds from management, recreation, and conservation programs to fight wildfires threatens to cripple the agency.
Bonnie said the Forest Service is achieving results despite the fact that since 1998, National Forest System staff has been reduced by over a third. Last year, he said, the Forest Service met or exceeded all of its targets related to forest management on the national forests.
Registerguard.com (Oregon, March 25) - The federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) says it will put on hold any timber harvesting and construction of new roads on federal land along Shotgun Creek, about 25 miles northeast of Springfield, while it revises its environmental assessment of the project.
A pair of environmental groups that had filed suit to block timber harvests on the land greeted the announcement with applause, saying the proposed harvest would have been "the largest clearcut on federal lands in Lane County in 20 years," involving almost 260 acres near the Shotgun Park and Recreation Area.
Seneca Sawmill Company in Eugene bought the timber on the land for $4.2 million from the BLM in December, and got the green light to begin logging preparations this winter, the BLM said.
Flatheadbeacon.com (March 24) - Local timber executives are generally supportive of the initial targets for logging that are proposed in the US Forest Service's revised management plan for the Flathead National Forest, while environmental groups are criticizing the agency's increased levels.
SAF member Paul McKenzie, CF, quoted.
More Montana News:
Rattlesnake Legal History Casts Commercial Logging Plan in Doubt
Missoulian.com (March 19) - Proposed logging in the Rattlesnake National Recreation Area would violate the law that created it, according to people involved in shepherding the legislation through Congress.
The Lolo National Forest's Missoula Ranger District put its final draft of the Marshall Woods Project up for public review this week.
The project envisions about 4,000 acres of treatment to improve forest health, such as prescribed burning, slash removal, tree thinning, and replanting. It also includes about 225 acres of commercial logging, entailing about 80 truckloads of timber coming out of the main Rattlesnake Creek corridor.
Juneauempire.com (March 24) - An Anchorage judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by conservation groups to stop a timber sale on the Tongass National Forest.
Last year, a coalition of groups sued to stop the US Forest Service's Big Thorne timber sale on Prince of Wales Island. The sale spans more than 6,000 acres of old-growth and 2,000 acres of young-growth timber near Thorne Bay and Coffman Cove. The Tongass spans approximately 17 million acres in southeast Alaska and is the United States' largest national forest.
The majority of the timber would go to Viking Lumber Company in Klawock, the winning bidder on the sale. A small portion of the sale would go to the region's "mom-and-pop" mills.
USFS Celebrates Big Thorne Decision as Environmental Groups Weigh Options
Alaskapublic.org (March 23)
Oregonlive.com (March 24) - Federal aid that has provided a financial lifeline for timber-dependent counties in Oregon may soon start flowing again after a key congressional deal was announced March 24.
House Republican and Democratic leaders agreed to include the timber aid-which will pump about $100 million a year into the economy in mostly rural parts of Oregon-in a must-pass bill to prevent deep cuts in Medicare reimbursements to doctors.
WoodWorkingNetwork.com (March 23) - About 10 percent of forest wood in Germany goes into engineered wood products. Manufacturers produce an average of some six million cubic meters of particleboard, four million cubic meters of fiberboard, and one million cubic meters of waferboard.
The German engineered wood industry is the sector's largest producer in Europe and shows extensive innovation potential.
SCSGlobalservices.com (March 25) - SCS Global Services has announced that Uttar Pradesh Forest Corporation (UPFC) has achieved certification under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standard. The forest management certification encompasses 13 forest divisions covering a total forest area of 349,296 hectares. This area represents roughly 40 percent of the FSC-certified forest area in South Asia.
CIFOR.org (March 20) - Is a tropical forest a source of resources to be cleared for profit? Or is it an integral part of a human landscape: relied on by people for clean water, timber, forest foods, wood fuel, a haven for animals and plants, and a carbon sink for the health of the climate system?
Forestry experts argue that the latter is closest to the true nature of forests and, in September, the UN will finalize a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) designed to provide a pathway for all countries to a future that is economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable.
IHB.de (March 19) - Under the terms of the 2006 Softwood Lumber Agreement (SLA), the trigger for an increase in the export tax rate for Canadian softwood products going to the United States has been reached. Export taxes on softwood from British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, and Quebec will be enforced as of April 1, 2015.
Kentucky.com (March 22) - Forest industries have the potential to provide thousands more jobs in eastern and southern Kentucky, as leaders in the region search for ways to improve the economy, according to an analysis.
Expanding the forestry sector could provide $1.49 billion in new revenue and nearly 7,500 additional jobs in a 54-county region that includes areas hit hard by a sharp decrease in coal jobs, researchers in the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky concluded.
SAF member Jeff Stringer, CF, mentioned in article.
SeattleTimes.com (March 19) - In public statements during the past year, Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) officials have downplayed the possibility that logging could have contributed to the Oso slide.
But during that time, the agency has scrambled to beef up oversight of timber harvests on unstable slopes.
Last spring, the department's forest-practices division amended harvest applications to gather more information about logging on or near unstable slopes. In a June memorandum, a DNR division manager asked staff to identify not only homes and highways that might be at risk, but also trailhead parking lots, picnic areas, campgrounds, and even hang-gliding launch sites.
MUpperMichiganssource.com (March 18) - FutureMark Manistique has confirmed the company is shutting down its paper mill. FutureMark says that, due to the significant financial cost of repositioning the mill, it would close on or around March 24.
The company recently started marketing the mill, which employs 147 workers.
AJC.com (March 23) - State buildings would be effectively banned from using environmentally friendly construction standards known as LEED certification, under a measure passed by a committee in the Georgia Senate.
The "wood wars" battle over the national certification system comes as the state's timber industry claims it discriminates against the use of local wood products that aren't registered through the Forest Stewardship Council. According to the Georgia Forestry Association, only about 32,000 acres of the timber industry's 20 million acres in Georgia currently meet that standard-since much of the industry in the state uses competing guidelines.
Georgia May Ban Green Certification for State Buildings
WABE.org (March 24)
News.UGA.edu (March 18) - Researchers at the University of Georgia have discovered that manipulation of a specific gene in a hardwood tree species not only makes it easier to break down the wood into fuel, but also significantly increases tree growth.
In a paper published recently in Biotechnology for Biofuels, the researchers describe how decreasing the expression of a gene called GAUT12.1 leads to a reduction in xylan and pectin-two major components of plant cell walls that make them resistant to the enzymes and chemicals used to extract the fermentable sugars used to create biofuels.
Agriland.ie (March 23) - Medical imaging techniques have been used by a team of researchers at Imperial College London, in collaboration with Rothamsted Research, to explore why making willow trees grow at an angle can vastly improve their biofuel yields.
Biomass Magazine.com (March 24) - At the site of the former Norampac paper mill in Red Rock, Ontario, on Lake Superior's north shore, plans are in the works for a torrefied wood plant and commercial deep-water port for pellet exports.
Two subsidiary companies, the Port of Algoma of Essar Ports Global Holdings and North Port Canada of Riversedge Developments Inc., signed a 15-year memorandum of understanding (MOU) on March 18 to design, build, and operate a port facility at the site.
GreenfieldReporter.com (March 23) - A plant built to convert beetle-killed trees into electricity in western Colorado is still shut down three months after a fire and likely won't open until the summer.
The plant in Gypsum was built by Provo, Utah-based Eagle Valley Clean Energy using about $40 million in federal loan guarantees. The aim was to provide about 7 percent of the electricity provided by Holy Cross Energy, an electric cooperative that serves five Colorado counties, including the Aspen and Vail areas.
Biomass Magazine.com (March 23) - The Biomass Thermal Energy Council and the Pellet Fuels Institute (PFI) are praising the President's Executive Order "Planning for Federal Sustainability in the Next Decade."
The order calls for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions across federal operations by at least 40 percent through 2025 through a broad host of measures, including building energy conservation, energy procurement inclusive of renewable thermal technology, and fleet management.
Paloaltoonline.com (March 22) - It's happened again: A long-standing redwood that residents in one Palo Alto neighborhood have come to love has been cut down to make way for development, causing some to question why the city's Heritage Tree ordinance didn't protect it.
The city's Heritage Tree ordinance specifically prohibits removal of trees of a certain size and species, including those with a trunk diameter 18 inches or greater, which the La Para tree had.
The debate over personal property rights and broader city obligations to protect the city's mature trees has grown in recent years as owners opt to build out their properties.
Orlandosentinel.com (March 21) - A quiet spot in downtown Orlando has become the latest flash point in Central Florida's struggle to balance growth with the environment.
A proposed development has rallied opponents who worry that a massive live oak on the site could be cut down.
How much the city can do within its legal authority remains to be seen. Orlando and other jurisdictions around Central Florida have a patchwork of tree ordinances of varying strength-laws that are likely to be tested more frequently amid the economic recovery.
Timescall.com (March 22) - State and local officials are continuing to check for signs that the emerald ash borer has infested trees outside Boulder's city limits, and to try to prevent the devastation that could occur if it does.
Thus far in Colorado, ash borer beetles and beetle-damaged trees have only been confirmed inside several areas in Boulder, where the invasive pest was first identified in September 2013.
Fresnobee.com (March 22) - A massive die-off of pine trees in the southern Sierra Nevada caused by beetles attacking drought-stressed trees is turning forests brown and creating a fire tinderbox.
From El Portal in Mariposa County to Kernville in Kern County and beyond, stands of dead trees are striking fear in the hearts of mountain residents.
About the only hope in halting the die-off is for the drought to end, an unlikely occurrence this year as winter ended with perhaps the lowest Sierra snowpack on record.
SAF member Larry Duysen quoted.
Bark Beetles Are Decimating Our Forests. That Might Be a Good Thing
Motherjones.com (March 2015)
DurangoHerald.com (March 18) - The spruce beetle, which has significantly damaged the Rio Grande National Forest, is rapidly making inroads into the San Juan National Forest.
The US Forest Service held a meeting last week to kick off a planning process for how to deal with the beetle and the trees it kills while feeding.
Daily American.com (March 21) - Maple producers and others who have hardwood trees on their property are asked to be on the lookout for another variety of destructive insect.
The Asian long-horned beetle was identified in Clermont County, Ohio, in 2011, and it is anticipated that it will spread.
Denverpost.com (March 23) - University of Colorado scientists investigated western US forests that burned over the past decade and compared them with forests infested with beetles.
They concluded that beetle-killed forests are no more at risk of burning than healthy forests. The beetle outbreaks, which since 1996 have turned 15 million acres of green forest gray from Alaska to Arizona, don't drive wildfire, said University of Colorado at Boulder ecologist Sarah Hart, author of the study, which is poised for publication this week.
New Study Analyzes Climate Change Impacts in Colorado
SummitDaily.com (March 19) - A bill passed by the state legislature in 2013 spurred the report, "The Colorado Climate Change Vulnerability Study," which was released in February and analyzes the climate-related challenges state residents and leaders will deal with in coming decades.
The report specifically mentions Summit County as being vulnerable to increased wildfire risk because so much of the county is surrounded by forest and residents live, work, and play in what's called the wildland-urban interface (WUI).
Researchers at Colorado State University project a 300 percent increase in Colorado's WUI, from 715,500 acres in 2000 to 2,161,400 acres in 2030, as more land is developed near the forest.
News10.net (March 19) - With wildfire season not far off, officials at the US Forest Service are working on the next big thing to stop big fires before they start.
It's called "remote sensing." Data is collected from aircraft and satellites to pinpoint areas where reforestation should be done or mulching is needed.
The Forest Service remote sensing group is working with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to study data on what happened at the Rim Fire around Yosemite National Park two years ago to better prepare for the next big conflagration.
Uofa.ualberta.ca (March 19) - Contrary to conventional wisdom, new research reveals that it is competition, not climate change, that has a greater impact on the changing composition of forests in western Canada.
NPR.org (March 24) - An international committee of cancer experts shocked the agribusiness world a few days ago when it announced that two widely used chemicals-glyphosate (better known by its trade name, Roundup) and malathion (an insecticide)-are "probably carcinogenic to humans." The International Agency for Research on Cancer published a brief explanation of its conclusions in The Lancet and plans to issue a book-length version later this year.
Monsanto Lashes Out at Cancer Agency's Finding on Glyphosate
StLtoday.com (March 24) - Monsanto took the offensive against the International Agency for Research on Cancer, days after the organization declared that glyphosate may be a carcinogen.
Minnpost.com (March 24) - Built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) between 1934 and 1935, the Marcell Ranger Station exemplifies the core principles of the National Park Service's architectural philosophy: minimalist construction and use of native materials.
EFredericksburg.com (March 23) - Like wines from different regions, maple syrups vary according to microclimates and soils.
The Gregory Award is a scholarship which helps bring students and young professionals from outside the US and Canada to the SAF Convention. Please help us get the word out about this great opportunity. See the SAF Convention website for more information. Applications are due May 1, 2015.
SAF Issues Press Release on New USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis Strategic Plan
From the release: A broad coalition of conservation, forest products, natural resources groups, and state agencies welcomes the US Department of Agriculture's release of the new strategic plan for the USDA Forest Service's (USFS) Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program. The Agricultural Act of 2014, also known as the Farm Bill, requires the USDA to submit an updated plan report to Congress.
The report provides lawmakers with information on funding needs to achieve the provisions for the FIA program as outlined in the 2014 Farm Bill. Its release is valuable to FIA stakeholders because it serves as a framework for understanding how the Forest Service envisions implementing the program and the funding levels necessary to do so.
To read the release in its entirety, visit the Forest Policy page on the SAF website and see the first item under "Featured Policy Items."
In the past decade, applications of predictive modeling have nearly exploded in their use and capabilities for producing data-driven solutions in fields ranging from business analytics to computer science to bioinformatics. Although predictive modeling techniques are known by many different names-machine learning, artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, pattern recognition, and data mining are among the most commonly used-their use has become well established when it comes to solving complex and challenging problems based on large and complex data sets.
The tools of predictive modeling are too numerous to catalog exhaustively here, but an abbreviated list would include methods such as artificial neural networks (ANN); bagging and boosting; bootstrapping and cross-validation; classification and regression trees (CART); the elastic net; generalized additive models (GAM); multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS); random forests; support vector machines (SVM); and wavelet analysis. As these and other methods gain in their use and importance in modeling and analysis in a range of forestry sub-disciplines and data sets relevant to forestry applications, the goal of this special issue is to present an exemplary set of research and review articles that shed new light on applied predictive modeling as an essential component of modern research and scholarship in forest science.
Abstract Submission Deadline: August 1, 2015
Full Papers Due: November 1, 2015
Anticipated Publication Date: October 2016
For more information or to submit your abstract, contact Special Issue Associate Editor Phil Radtke.
Washington SAF-Washington Chapter of The Wildlife Society Joint Annual Meeting
Great Wolf Lodge, Grand Mound, WA
Contact: Peter Heide at (360) 791-8299
CO/WY SAF Joint Annual Meeting w/CTIA & CTFA
May 7-May 9, 2015 (Workshop and Business meetings only - May 7)
Glenwood Spring, CO
The 2015 SAF National Convention — Recreating Forestry — "The Confluence of Science, Society, and Technology" — will highlight a variety of contemporary forest resource management issues, including the trends, influences, and technologies that are facilitating the profession's progress toward the future.
The meeting will take place in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where attendees will enjoy fabulous hospitality, the charm of Louisiana's capital city on the banks of the mighty Mississippi, and world-renowned cuisine alongside a scientific and technical program that provides an intrinsic opportunity for exploring the many links between the social, economic, and ecological considerations that form modern forest stewardship. Visit the SAF Convention website for full event details.
New for 2015! The "Boots on the Ground" concurrent track is designed to present case studies and research that can help field foresters find solutions to management problems they face on a regular basis. Topics may include (but are not limited to):
New for 2015! The SAF Matters concurrent track is designed to provide a forum for members to discuss various issues, share best practices for State Society management, or learn about and promote ongoing and upcoming initiatives.
We encourage your submissions on these and other topics: Recreating Forestry through Science, Recreating Forestry through Society, Recreating Forestry through Technology, Recreating Forestry through Education and Outreach, Agroforestry, Consulting Forestry, Entomology & Pathology, Economics, Fire, Forest Ecology, Geospatial Technologies, History, International Forestry, Inventory & Biometrics, Policy, Recreation, Silviculture, Social Sciences, Soils & Hydrology, US Forest Service National Silviculture Workshop (NSW), Urban & Community Forestry, Utilization & Engineering, and Wildlife Management.
New SAF members, welcome!
Welcome back to SAF!Damon Lange, Salida, CO
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