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Policy Update Week of October 3, 2011

SAF ACTIONS

  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

In the Administration

  1. National Landscape Conservation System Releases 15-Year Management Strategy
      Bureau of Land Management Press Releases, October 6th

    The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) today released a 15-year strategy to guide National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS) land management efforts in coming years. "By continuing to collaborate and successfully develop new partnerships, the BLM can ensure that future generations of Americans have the chance to use and experience these incredible lands just as we do today," said BLM Director Bob Abbey. The NLCS, which includes some of the most spectacular and special lands in America, is part of the more than 245 million acres administered by the BLM. Managed for multiple uses, America's resource-rich public lands provide the nation with vital commodities and host remarkable landscapes, ecosystems, and natural and cultural resources. To read more of this article link to: http://www.blm.gov/wo/st/en/info/newsroom/2011/september/NR_09_30_2011.html

Back

This Week in Congress

  1. U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, Other Congressmen to Host Forestry Meeting
      Wausau Daily Herald, October 4th

    Seventh District Congressman Sean Duffy and three other U.S. Representatives from the Midwest will host a forestry policy conference in Rhinelander. The conference is meant to bring together leaders in the forestry and timber industries to discuss industry challenges, utilization of forest resources and job creation, according to a news release issued today by Duffy. U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell will speak at the conference and host a listening session. Other Representatives involved include Reid Ribble of Wisconsin, Dan Benishek of Michigan and Chip Cravaack of Minnesota. To read more of this article link to: http://www.wausaudailyherald.com/article/20111005/WDH0101/110050546/U-S-Rep-Sean-Duffy-other-congressmen-host-forestry-meeting

  2. Committee Passes Bill to Increase Border Security on Federal Lands
      Natural Resources Committee Press Release, October 5th

    Today, the House Committee on Natural Resources passed H.R. 1505, the National Security and Federal Lands Protection Act, by a vote of 26 to 17. The bill prohibits the Department of the Interior (DOI) and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) from using environmental regulations to hinder U.S. Border Patrol from securing our border on federal lands. "H.R. 1505 is a common sense solution that addresses one of the prevailing issues preventing us from gaining full operational control of the border - the U.S. Border Patrol's lack of sufficient access to millions of acres of federally owned land. We are now one step closer to ensuring that Border Patrol has the necessary access to deter and apprehend dangerous criminals that have long used our federal lands for safe passage into the United States. I look forward to working with my colleagues as this bill is considered further and ultimately brought to the floor of the House for a final vote," said National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Subcommittee Chairman Rob Bishop (UT-01). To read more of this article link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=263057

  3. Timber Payment Renewal Bill to be introduced in Senate
      The Register-Guard, Published by Jeff Barnard, October 6th

    A bill renewing the federal payments that have sent billions of dollars to rural timber counties hurt by declining logging on national forests will be introduced in the U.S. Senate next week. But prospects for the program remain uncertain in the Republican-controlled House, with its tough budget rules. The Secure Rural Schools Act has sent more than $5 billion to 700 counties in 41 states since it was enacted in 2000. The program's renewal will be introduced next week with bipartisan backing by Energy Committee Chairman Sen. Jeff Bingaman, said Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore. It calls for renewal for five more years, with payments declining by 5 percent each year. To read more of this article link to: http://www.registerguard.com/web/newslocalnews/26984906-41/counties-payments-timber-percent-sen.html.csp

National News

  1. U.S. Wins Forest Policy Award
      U.S. Department of State Press Release, September 23rd

    For its 2008 Amendments to the Lacey Act, the United States on September 21, 2011 was recognized as a winner of the World Future Council's 2011 Future Policy Award in New York City. The Lacey Act is a 100-year-old law amended to curb international trade in illegally harvested timber products. Daniel Reifsnyder, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Environment and Sustainable Development at the U.S. Department of State, accepted the award on behalf of U.S. Government at a ceremony held in New York City's Central Park Zoo. The Republic of Rwanda and the Republic of The Gambia also received awards for their forest management policies. To read more of this article link to: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2011/09/173923.htm

In the States: Oregon and Vermont

  1. Magistrate Recommends Vacating Ore. Logging Plan
      Chron.com, Published by Jeff Barnard, September 29th

    A federal magistrate recommended Thursday that a Bush administration plan to double logging on some federal lands in western Oregon should be vacated. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hubel found that the Bureau of Land Management failed to properly consult federal biologists over the potential harm to endangered species like the northern spotted owl before adopting the Western Oregon Plan Revision, known as the WOPR. His recommendation must be approved by a federal judge. If it is endorsed, the Bush-era plan would be replaced by the Northwest Forest Plan, which was adopted in 1994 to settle bitter court battles to protect spotted owl and salmon habitat from logging. That plan cut logging by more than 80 percent. To read more about this article link to: http://www.chron.com/news/article/Magistrate-recommends-vacating-Ore-logging-plan-2195791.php

  2. ANR Secretary, Foresters Meet to Review Policy Following Irene
      Brattleboro Reformer, Published by Chris Garofolo, October 6th

    Secretary Deb Markowitz with the Agency of Natural Resources met with Vermont's county foresters Wednesday afternoon to report on damage following Tropical Storm Irene and provide an update with the state's infrastructure and working landscape plans. Two dozen forest officials attended the luncheon in the Ray Pestle Room at the UVM extension in Brattleboro for their annual meeting. This was the first time the ANR secretary attended the event. "I'm really here to meet you all, I wanted to get a sense of the challenges you see and the opportunities you see for the agency, particularly after Irene. But even so, we were facing some significant challenges before Irene," Markowitz said. The event was billed as an opportunity for county foresters to hear about the leadership's priorities, but the conversation quickly shifted to the early setbacks after the Aug. 28 storm. To read more of this article link to: http://www.reformer.com/ci_19051218?source=most_viewed

Last Week in Congress

  1. House Approves Stopgap Spending Bill
      New York Times, Published by Robert Pear, September 29th

    The House on Thursday gave quick approval to a stopgap spending bill that will finance the government for the first four days of October, until lawmakers can return and vote on a more ambitious seven-week spending bill. The stopgap bill, passed Monday by the Senate, goes now to President Obama, who is expected to sign it. The House action came in a brief session attended by just a few lawmakers. Both houses of Congress are in recess, holding only pro forma sessions like the one on Thursday. A partisan fight over the stopgap spending bill had raised the possibility that the government might have to shut down many of its operations starting on Saturday, the first day of the new fiscal year. To read more of this article link to: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/30/us/politics/house-approves-stopgap-spending-bill.html?_r=1

Wildfire Update

  1. Crews Protect Northern Nevada Town from Wildfire
      Las-Vegas Review Journal, October 4th

    Wildfires burning a vast area of Northern Nevada prompted the evacuation of the tiny mining community of Tuscarora while crews bulldozed fire lines to protect homes. Federal Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Lesli Ellis-Wouters in Elko said Tuesday that no structures burned and no injuries were reported after the evacuation late Monday of the unincorporated town north of Interstate 80. Residents were ordered out while more than 550 firefighters battle the Izzenhood, Chukkar Canyon and Indian Creek fires. To read more of this article link to: http://www.lvrj.com/news/crews-protect-northern-nevada-town-from-wildfire-131071003.html

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