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Policy Update Week of October 10th and 17th, 2011


  1. SAF Provides Input to USGBC on 2012 LEED Ratings Systems

    SAF submitted comments to the US Green Building Council on the second public comment versions of the US Green Building Council, Leadership in Energy and Environment (LEED) 2012 Green Building Rating System for Building Design and Construction and LEED for Homes. The primary focus of the SAF comments was to encourage the US Green Building Council to recognize all forest management certification programs and to urge the US Green Building Council to consider giving more attention to the merits of wood products in LEED Ratings Systems. The comments provided to the US Green Building Council by SAF are available on the SAF website: http://www.safnet.org/documents/saf_leed_comments.pdf

  2. SAF Members Selected for EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel

    October 4 - SAF is pleased to announce that five SAF members were chosen from a short list of 80 candidates to participate on the EPA SAB Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel. The EPA Advisory Board selected 18 scientists to evaluate the best available science and offer impartial, independent advice as the EPA drafts greenhouse gas accounting methodology for biogenic carbon dioxide emissions from stationary sources.

    Robert Abt, Richard Birdsey, Marilyn Buford, Roger Sedjo, and Ken Skog will assist the EPA in the review and interpretation of relevant research materials, examine and provide suggested revisions to preliminary greenhouse accounting methodology drafts, and alert the EPA to innovative research projects and advances in the field.

    SAF is proud that the EPA determined that these individuals possess the integrity and leadership necessary to collaborate with other panel members to insure the greenhouse gas accounting methodology for biogenic carbon dioxide emissions from stationary sources is fair and addresses all potential concerns before the draft regulations are released in 2013. Congratulations to the five SAF members selected as well as the 17 other SAF members who were nominated for the panel. A link to SAB Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel member list is available on the web: http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabpeople.nsf/WebExternalSubCommitteeRosters?OpenView&committee=BOARD&subcommittee=Biogenic Carbon Emissions Panel

  3. SAF Comments on the Washington Office Merger of the Forests and Woodlands Management and the Rangelands Resources Division

    SAF strongly values the BLM's support of our organization, and recognizes that BLM employees are an integral component of SAF's success. The Society was recently made aware of the Washington Office division merge. While we strongly support both professional forest and rangeland management, we are concerned that shifting resources and leadership from forestry will reduce the role of forestry in the Headquarters office. To continue the excellence required to effectively lead and manage BLM lands, we urge the agency to maintain strong forestry leadership and presence in Washington DC. To read the letter link here: http://www.eforester.org/fp/documents/SAFLtrtoBLM_Final.pdf

  4. SAF Policy Team Slated to Present Before the EPA Science Advisory Board Panel

    SAF will provide oral comments to the EPA SAB Panel on Biogenic Carbon Emissions from Stationary Sources on Tuesday October 25th. The SAF policy team will highlight the important research on biogenic carbon emissions included in the Managing Forests because Carbon Matters: Integrating Energy, Products, and Land Management Policy Task Force Report released this month as a special issue of the Journal of Forestry and made available for SAB Panel review. The SAB Panel meeting agenda is available on the web: http://yosemite.epa.gov/sab/sabproduct.nsf/a84bfee16cc358ad85256ccd006b0b4b/d1d833dbf27626a6852578f600610ac5!OpenDocument&Date=2011-10-25

In the Administration

  1. New Forest Service Program Encourages Growth of Community Forests and Economies
      U.S. Forest Service News Release, October 14th

    The USDA Forest Service today published the implementation rules for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program, which encourages the creation of community forests and fosters rural economies. The publication of the rules in the Federal Register enables the Forest Service to proceed with the program. There is currently $1.5 million in funding available, with a request for $5 million more in the President's 2012 budget. Grant administrators anticipate announcing a request for applications in approximately 60 days. The intent of the Community Forest Program is to provide financial assistance grants to local governments, American Indian tribes and qualified nonprofit organizations to establish community forests. The program focuses on economic and environmental benefits, education, forest stewardship and recreation including hiking, hunting and fishing. To read more of this article link to: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2011/releases/10/community.shtml

  2. US Forest Service Fire Director Cites Cooperation With Texas in Recent Wildfires
      U.S. Forest Service News Release, October 17th

    Tom Harbour, director of the U.S. Forest Service's fire and aviation management efforts, today reiterated his agency's commitment to a cooperative working relationship with the Texas Forest Service. "The Texas Forest Service is one of the most highly skilled and experienced wildland firefighting agencies in the United States," Harbour declared. "We have a long and successful partnership with our friends in Texas and we are proud to assist them in their monumental battle against this season's wildfires."??Harbour's comments came in testimony before a field hearing of the House Homeland Security Committee, Subcommittee on Oversight, Investigations, and Management held here. This year to date, the U.S. Forest Service has filled more than 10,000 personnel requests and 600 requests for equipment to assist wildfire operations in Texas. To read more of this article link to: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2011/releases/10/cooperation.shtml

  3. U.S. Forest Service Looks to Add More Air Tankers to Fight Wildifres
      Missoulian, Published by Rob Chaney, October 22nd

    Fighting fire from the air will remain a major tactic for the U.S. Forest Service, and the skies could start to get crowded soon. "We want to have more than 11, but probably less than 44 large air tankers," U.S. Forest Service national fire director Tom Harbour said in a recent interview with the Missoulian. "I think ultimately we'll have between two and three dozen large air tankers." Eleven multi-engine retardant bombers remain under contract with the Forest Service, down from a fleet of 44 in 2004. Missoula-based Neptune Aviation has nine of those tankers, while Minden Air of Arizona has the other two. Fighting fire from the air will remain a major tactic for the U.S. Forest Service, and the skies could start to get crowded soon. "We want to have more than 11, but probably less than 44 large air tankers," U.S. Forest Service national fire director Tom Harbour said in a recent interview with the Missoulian. "I think ultimately we'll have between two and three dozen large air tankers." To read more about this article link to: http://missoulian.com/news/state-and-regional/article_7d2ed3b8-fd1f-11e0-8aa3-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1bcjnNMg5


This Week in Congress

  1. October 17th - The House Committee on Homeland Security held a subcommittee field hearing titled: Texas Wildfire Review: Did Bureaucracy Prevent a Timely Response?" To read more about this hearing link to: http://homeland.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-field-hearing-texas-wildfire-review-did-bureaucracy-prevent-timely-response

  2. October 19th - The Senate National Parks Subcommittee held a hearing on nine public lands bills. To read more about this hearing link to: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=f8419857-0221-8dd2-b659-1ae076ff3db6

National News

  1. Forestry Conference Raises Questions of Logging Quotas
      WSAU.com, October 19th

    About 200 people from around the Midwest gathered in Rhinelander yesterday to talk forestry policy with federal officials. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell met with Congressman Sean Duffy and three other Representatives as part of the hearing. The conference is part of a series of meetings in the U.P. and Wisconsin to discuss forest service policy. Meeting sponsors feel not enough cutting is allowed and the policy to determine the cut is flawed. Forest Service officials say more needs to be involved in policy-making besides cutting. One Forest county resident told Tidwell that residents are hurting when less wood is cut. Tidwell said the reality is forest health is improved with proper management, which includes scientific cutting. He agreed that more work needed to be done. To read more of this article link to: http://wsau.com/news/articles/2011/oct/19/forestry-conference-raises-questions-of-logging-quotas/

  2. Forest Owners Urge EPA to Conduct Science Review Free of Policy Bias
      PR Newswire, October 19th

    National Alliance of Forest Owners President and CEO, Dave Tenny, issued the following statement regarding comments submitted yesterday to the EPA's Science Advisory Board Review Panel, convened to conduct a science and technical review of carbon emissions from biomass energy production: "We are pleased that the EPA has appropriately deferred its regulation that would have treated biomass carbon emissions the same as fossil fuels emissions under the PSD Tailoring Rule. Convening the review panel is an important next step to provide a sound basis in science for future policy decisions. "At the same time, we are concerned that the agency has introduced policy bias into its review process that could unnecessarily limit the work of the scientists and predetermine the outcome. EPA has charged the science panel to review an accounting framework that does not allow for the exclusion of biomass emissions from PSD regulation based on a finding that they do not increase net carbon in the atmosphere. To read more of this article link to: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/forest-owners-urge-epa-to-conduct-science-review-free-of-policy-bias-132153373.html

  3. Court Upholds Federal Roadless Rule
      Coloradoan.com, Published by Bobby Magill, October 22nd

    A Bill Clinton-era federal rule that keeps logging and road graders out of roadless areas in national forests was upheld by a federal appeals court Friday, but U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell believes a federal roadless rule unique to Colorado will enhance wild land protections across the state while keeping communities from being harmed by the bark beetle. The U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver on Friday upheld the long-contested 2001 Roadless Rule, which protects about 58 million acres of undeveloped wild lands on national forests nationwide and about 4 million acres in Colorado from new road construction. Thousands of acres in Roosevelt National Forest are in roadless areas, including Greyrock near Fort Collins. To read more of this article link to: http://www.coloradoan.com/article/20111023/NEWS01/110230346/Court-upholds-federal-roadless-rule

In the States: Arizona, Oregon, and Alaska

  1. Scottsdale Backs Arizona Efforts to Restore Forests' Health
      The Arizona Republic, Published by Beth Duckett, October 7th

    In the wake of the Wallow Fire and other devastating wildfires, Scottsdale is behind a resolution that urges federal lawmakers to restore the state's overgrown forests. Millions of acres of overgrown forests create conditions ripe for wildfires. "We don't want to be terribly selfish, but our water supply is what we're concerned about," said Mayor Jim Lane, referring to the impact from fires on watersheds and increased pollutants in water. "We're also concerned about the entire state and what this says to our environmental reputation as a state that has a beautiful outdoor experience," he said. On behalf of Scottsdale, Lane sponsored a resolution to the League of Arizona Cities and Towns that "urges the Legislature to support and the U.S. Congress to enact effective and large-scale forest restoration efforts for Arizona and other Western forests to improve forest health and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires." To read more of this article link to: http://www.azcentral.com/community/scottsdale/articles/2011/10/07/20111007scottsdale-backs-efforts-restore-forests-health.html

  2. SW Oregon Logging Plan Moves Ahead
      OPB News, Published by David Steves, October 11th

    The Oregon Lands Board Tuesday unanimously approved a plan to increase logging on the only state forest that puts revenue directly toward education. The board - consisting of Gov. John Kitzhaber, Secretary of State Kate Brown, and Treasurer Ted Wheeler - signed of on the proposal as dozens of protesters assembled outside the State Lands Building in Salem. The marchers were able to watch the proceedings through a window. Before the three Democratic statewide office holders approved the plan, protesters briefly interrupted the meeting. The Elliott State Forest is 93,000 acre, located in the Coast Range between Coos Bay and Reedsport. Proceeds from timber sales go into Oregon's Common School Fund. The policy shift would increase school dollars by about $10 million a year, according to projections. To read more of this article link to: http://news.opb.org/article/sw_oregon_logging_plan_moves_ahead/

  3. 26 States Ask Supreme Court to Review Case on Stormwater Runoff from Logging Roads
      BNA.com, Published by Alan Kovski, October 18th

    Twenty-six states joined in asking the Supreme Court Oct. 17 to overturn a ruling requiring regulators to treat logging roads as "point sources" of pollution whenever stormwater runoff from the roads is channeled (Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center, U.S., No. 11-338, 10/17/11. The states said a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit disregarded the intent of Congress and failed to respect the Environmental Protection Agency's reasonable interpretation of the Clean Water Act. The appeals court incorrectly reclassified silviculture-the growing and harvesting of trees-as industrial rather than agricultural activity, the states said. The appeals court also failed to recognize that Congress clearly wanted states to define and promote best management practices for forest road runoff while treating that runoff as a "non-point source" of pollution, the states said. To read more of this article link to: http://www.bna.com/26-states-ask-n12884903912/

  4. Proposed Tonka Timber Sale Key Stewardship Project for Forest Service
      Tongass National Forest News Release, October 19th

    The Supervisor for the Tongass National Forest has signed and released a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for a timber sale project on the Petersburg Ranger District. The Tonka Timber Sale DEIS proposes to harvest up to 53.4 million board feet (MMFB) of timber in the Tonka Timber Sale project area (62,150 acres) located on the Lindenberg Peninsula of Kupreanof Island. Timber volume would be offered through the Tongass timber sale program, and is designed to implement direction contained in the 2008 Tongass Land and Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan) and the Tongass Timber Reform Act (TTRA). The DEIS describes four alternatives that would make between 25.2 and 53.4 MMBF of timber available for harvest. The significant issues addressed by the alternatives include Timber Supply/Timber Economics, Inventoried Roadless Areas, and Wildlife Habitat. To read more of this article link to: http://www.fs.fed.us/r10/tongass/newsroom/111019TonkaNR.pdf

Last Week in Congress

  1. Noem Asks Public to Press White House on Beetle Policy
      Rapid City Journal, October 7th

    Rep. Kristi Noem called Thursday for a letter-writing campaign to pressure the White House to change its policy toward mountain pine beetles. Noem wants President Barack Obama to expedite the U.S. Forest Service decision-making process to allow pine beetle responses without first completing environmental studies. The Republican congresswoman said she asked the White House for expedited pine beetle responses in July and didn't receive a response until September, when her request was denied. Some activists have suggested that any Forest Service responses, such as logging pine beetle-infested trees, will be ineffective and only cause more destruction to the forest. To read more of this article link to: http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/noem-asks-public-to-pressure-white-house-on-beetle-policy/article_e0ec6ea8-f0a7-11e0-a1bc-001cc4c03286.html#ixzz1ahkNKl7i

  2. October 12th - Senator Jeff Bingaman [D-NM] introduced S. 1692: A bill to reauthorize the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self-Determination Act of 2000, to provide full funding for the payments in Lieu of Taxes program, ad for other purposes. To read more about this bill link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1692

  3. October 12 - Senator John McCain [R-AZ] introduced S. 1689: A bill to preserve the multiple use land management policy in the State of Arizona, and for other purposes. To read more about this bill link to; http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1690

Wildfire Update

  1. NFPA's Firewise Program Participates in Congressional Briefing
      Fire Engineering, October 12th

    The time to act for wildfire safety is now, according to national experts. The National Fire Protection Association's (NFPA) Firewise® Communities Program together with members of the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and the National Association of State Foresters (NASF) brought wildfire safety messages to a Congressional Briefing on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, October 11, sponsored by Congressman Raul M. Grijalva (AZ-7) and Congressman Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30). The three organizations, which have partnered nationally to promote individual and community wildfire preparedness, delivered "Wildfire Safety - What We Can Do to Protect our Homes and Communities" to approximately 25 congressional staffers. The briefing took place during NFPA's Fire Prevention Week, a national public awareness campaign established in 1922 to commemorate the Great Chicago Fire, and to keep the public informed about the importance of fire prevention and safety. To read more of this article link to; http://www.fireengineering.com/articles/2011/10/nfpa-firewise-congress-briefing.html

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