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Policy Update Week of January 24, 2011

EPA Action on Tailoring Rule: EPA defers regulation of biomass emissions for three years

SAF, working with other forestry groups, has been urging EPA to pause and reassess science before regulating emissions from biomass the same as emissions from fossil fuels. This is a great victory for foresters and forestry in the US and SAF would like to thank all of our members that helped in these efforts. For more information go to: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/4369C709163915B485257816005971BB


  1. SAF 2011 Convention Policy Symposium Call For Papers is OPEN--please submit your abstracts!

    The Forest Policy Track covers local, regional, national or international policy or program analysis. The track is designed for presentations based on qualitative or quantitative data analysis. Topics include:

    Implementation of an existing government program
    Impact of legislative or administrative policy initiatives
    Design of policies or programs
    Emerging trends in forest policy and law on biomass, carbon, climate change, and water quality and quantity

    Deadline: February 28th, 2011

    For more information please visit: http://www.safnet.org/natcon11/presenters/index.cfm

  2. Forest Policy Presentations Needed for 2011 SAF National Convention

    The SAF Committee on Forest Policy is sponsoring a "Forest Policy" track at this year's SAF National Convention. We are looking for presentations that address some aspect of US or international forest policy. The Forest Policy track is designed for presentations based on policy or program analysis. We are seeking presentations that analyze (rather than simply describe) the: 1) implementation of an existing government program, 2) impact of legislative or administrative policy initiatives, or 3) design of policies or programs. Ideally, these presentations should be based on qualitative or quantitative data analyses. Presentation information and submission guidelines are available at http://www.safnet.org/natcon11/presenters/index.cfm.

In the Administration

  1. Department of Energy Offers First Conditional Commitment for a Loan
    Guarantee for Advanced Biofuels Plant
      U.S. Department of Energy, January 20th

    U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the offer of a conditional commitment to Diamond Green Diesel, LLC, the proposed joint venture between Valero Energy Corporation and Darling International Inc., for a $241 million loan guarantee. The loan guarantee will support the construction of a 137-million gallon per year renewable diesel facility in Norco, Louisiana, about 20 miles west of New Orleans. Valero Energy Corporation plans to direct the design, construction and operation of the project and market all of its output, while Darling International Inc. will supply feedstock to the project. To read more of this article link to: http://www.energy.gov/news/9991.htm

  2. Obama's State of the Union: Mum on Climate, Loud on a Clean Economy Future
      Reuters, Published by Elizabeth McGowan, January 26th

    Obama adopted a more centrist tone during his State of the Union, avoiding any mention of climate change but embracing the promise of clean technology. President Obama's commitment to lessening the nation's carbon footprint hasn't likely changed. But the manner in which he's pursuing that ideal has definitely shifted. That became abundantly clear when he avoided any mention of climate change or heat-trapping gases but embraced the promise of clean technology during his Tuesday night State of the Union address. To read more of this article link to: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/01/26/idUS321632418620110126

Last Week in Congress

  1. Capitol Hill Still Reeling From Tragedy
      Politico, Published by Laura McGann, January 13th

    Four days after a gunman killed six people, injured 14 others and rocked the Capitol Hill community, leaving one of its own in critical condition, normal is nowhere in sight for Congress. On Wednesday, Congress set aside planned business to take up an itinerary that pulled a shocked community between matters of the heart and those of basic physical security, with a string of events that sought to soothe mournful souls and rattled nerves. http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47528.html

  2. January 12th - Representative Jeffrey Fortenberry [R-NE1] introduced H.R. 271: To direct the Secretary of Agriculture to establish a program to provide covered institutions loans for conversion to use of biomass for energy generation. The bill has been referred to committee. To read more about H.R. 271 click here.

This Week in Congress

  1. January 25th - The House Committee on Agriculture met at 2:00 p.m. in 1300 Longworth House Office Building to consider organizational matters of the Committee on Agriculture for the 112th Congress.

    U.S. House Agriculture Committee Ranking Member Collin C. Peterson, D-Minn., announced the Democratic members and leadership for the Agriculture Committee's six Subcommittees. Peterson will serve as an ex officio member of all Subcommittees.

    Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry

    • Ranking Member Tim Holden, PA
    • Rep. Kurt Schrader, OR
    • Rep. Bill Owens, NY
    • Rep. Mike McIntyre, NC
    • Rep. Jim Costa, CA
    • Rep. Tim Walz, MN
    • Rep. ChelliePingree, ME
    • Rep. Marcia L. Fudge, OH
    • Del. Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan, MP

    To visit the committee's website for more information click here: http://agriculture.house.gov/

National News

  1. Bark Beetle Infestation Grows in Colorado, Wyoming
      Reuters, Published by Keith Coffman, January 23rd

    Tree-killing bark beetles decimated 550,000 acres of forests in Colorado and Wyoming last year, bringing the total area ravaged by the insects in both states to 4 million acres since 1996, the U.S. Forest Service said on Sunday."The significance is that the trajectory is moving north and east into more visible and populated areas," Janelle Smith, spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service, told Reuters. To read more of this article link to: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE70M28S20110123

  2. Harvesting Forest Renewables Sustainably
      Biomass Power and Thermal, Published by Mike Schmidt, January 25th

    The solution to some of America's most pressing environmental, energy and economic challenges can quite literally be found at our feet. Sustainable harvesting of forest renewables (woody biomass) is "preventive medicine" for our forests, helping limit the number and severity of forest fires, reducing the habitat of destructive insects to help ensure that the healthiest trees thrive, and promoting the growth of healthier, stronger trees. In addition, it offers struggling communities a much-needed, new revenue stream and other social benefits. To read more of this article link to: http://biomassmagazine.com/articles/5257/harvesting-forest-renewables-sustainably/

In the States: South Dakota and Oregon

  1. US Forest Service Announces Results of Forest Health Survey in the Black Hills
      Black Hills Today, January 22nd

    US Forest ServiceRocky Mountain Acting Regional Forester Tony Dixon announced the results of the 2010 forest health annual aerial survey today for the Black Hills of South Dakota and Wyoming. Survey results reveal that the bark beetle infestation has doubled in one year, rising from 22,000 acres in 2009 to about 44,000 new acres in 2010 across the Black Hills, bringing the total number of acres of infestation up to more than 384,000 since the first signs of outbreak in 1998. To read more of this article link to: http://blackhillsportal.com/npps/story.cfm?id=4058

  2. New Head of Forestry Department Has 24 Years' Experience
      The Bend Bulletin, Published by Jeff Barnard of the Associated Press, January 27th

    The new director of the Oregon Department of Forestry is a 24-year veteran of the agency who started as a spokesman during battles over the northern spotted owl and rose through the ranks to confront budget cuts that threaten to undermine state logging controls. The state Board of Forestry voted 4-2 in Salem on Wednesday to name Doug Decker to lead the department. To read more of this article link to: http://www.bendbulletin.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20110127/NEWS0107/101270359/1009/NEWS01&nav_category=NEWS01

Wildfire Update

  1. Pine Beetle Control Effort Paying Off, but Some Losses Increasing Fuel for Wildfire
      Times-News, Published by Ariel Hansen, January 17th

    Douglas fir beetles and mountain pine beetles - these insects attack evergreen trees, burrowing in, eating away, eventually leaving the tree a red-needled husk of itself.

    The U.S. Forest Service has been working to limit this damage near populated places like campgrounds, summer cabins and the Ketchum-Sun Valley area. They used pheromone-infused plastic flakes, hung from trees in pouches and aerially distributed, on Bald Mountain last June. So far, those efforts seem to be working. To read more of this article link to:

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