Policy Update Week of
October 31st and November 7th, 2011
- 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
- SAF Comments on the Washington Office Merger of the Forests and Woodlands Management and the Rangelands Resources DivisionSAF 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
- The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program Annual Report ReleasedA national report released last week on first-year results of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) revealed beneficial returns for forests, jobs, water, and wildlife. The CFLRP was designed by the Forest Service as a tool to promote active management on the ground, and in 2010, $10 million was distributed among ten projects on National Forests throughout the country. The CFLR Coalition played an integral role is advocating for funding in fiscal year 2011, and support full funding on the program in the Fiscal Year 2012 budget. As identified in the report, one year the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program:
- Created and maintained 1,550 jobs;
- Produced 107 million board feet of timber;
- Generated nearly $59 million of labor income;
- Removed fuel for destructive mega-fires on 90,000 acres near communities;
- Reduced mega-fire on an additional 64,000 acres;
- Improved 66,000 acres of wildlife habitat;
- Restored 28 miles of fish habitat;
- Enhanced clean water supplies by remediating 163 miles of eroding roads.
The CFLRP annual report was produced by the CFLRP Coalition, which is comprised of 144 member organizations that includes private businesses, communities, counties, tribes, water suppliers, associations, and non-governmental organizations. The CFLR Steering Committee members include American Forests, The Nature Conservancy, The Society of American Foresters, Sustainable Northwest, and The Wilderness Society.
Copies of the 2010 CFLRP Annual Report can be requested from Jon Schwedler of the CFLRP Coalition at email@example.com.
Information on CFLRP can be found at the U.S. Forest Service's website: http://www.fs.fed.us/restoration/CFLR/
The SAF Task Force Report "Managing Forests because Carbon Matters: Integrating Energy, Products, and Land Management Policy" is available to read online.
To read the Task Force Report link to: http://www.safnet.org/documents/JOFSupplement.pdf
In the Administration
- New Forest Service Maps Link Healthy Drinking Water to Healthy Forests
USDA Forest Service News Release, November 9th
The U.S. Forest Service today unveiled a comprehensive series of maps that illustrate for the first time the crucial role forests play in sustaining the watersheds that are most important to the quality of American surface drinking water. The Forests to Faucets interactive maps also identify the extent to which those watersheds are threatened by development, fire, insects and disease. Communities can use the data to help determine the important role their forests play in providing clean drinking water to urban areas. The Forests to Faucets project will also help identify watersheds where a payment for watershed services project may be an option for financing conservation on forest lands. The cost of treating drinking water increases 20 percent for every loss of 10 percent of forest land in a watershed. To read more of this article link to: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2011/releases/11/water.shtml
This Week in Congress
- The U.S. House of Representatives is on recess until November 14th.
- November 10th - The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources held a markup hearing on public lands bills. To read more about this hearing link to: http://energy.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Hearings.Hearing&Hearing_ID=6a127429-9594-0516-8505-88d87456ee1f
- November 10th - The Arizona Wallow Fire Recovery and Monitoring act (S.1344) has been scheduled for debate. To read more about this bill link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-1344
- November 10th - The Devil's Staircase Wilderness Act (S.766) and the Tennessee Wilderness Act (S.1090) have been scheduled for debate. To read more about these bills link to: http://www.govtrack.us/users/events.xpd?monitors=misc:activebills
- Murkowski: Wilderness Proposals Should Come from States
Senate Press Release, November 10th
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today issued the following comment in response to the Interior Department's recommendation that 18 backcountry areas in nine states be designated as either wilderness or national conservation areas: "The appropriate process for creating new wilderness areas on federal land is to petition Congress after the federal land management agencies have completed their land management plans and recommendations," Murkowski said. "If a proposal has the support of a state's congressional delegation and the support of local officials, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee will give it full and careful consideration. Some of the areas included in today's recommendation by the administration fall short of that mark." To read more of this article click here.
- Hasbro's New Paper Packaging Policy Supports Sustainable Forestry Management
Packaging Digest, Published by Lisa McTigue Pierce, November 4th
Hasbro Inc. has unveiled a new Paper and Forest Procurement Policy (PFPP) intended to ensure that procurement decisions align with the company's commitment to environmental sustainability and support sustainable forest management. The PFPP reiterates the company goal of industry-leading 90 percent usage of paper packaging and in-box game content derived from recycled material or sources that practice sustainable forest management by 2015. The policy also sets stringent vendor requirements for credible third party certification (such as the Forest Stewardship Council) of fiber. In addition, as one facet of the PFPP's standards related to avoiding fiber from controversial sources, the company is requiring that no sources of Mixed Tropical Hardwood (MTH) virgin fiber be used in products, including packaging. Earlier this year, Hasbro directed suppliers to stop using paper coming from unsustainably managed forests. To read more of this article link to:
- Study Confirms Biogenic Emissions Result in No Net Carbon Release
Biomass Magazine, Published by Lisa Gibson, November 10th
A new study with multiple co-authors, including researchers from the U.S. Forest Service, found that energy produced from forest biomass merely returns recently absorbed carbon to the atmosphere, and essentially results in no net release of carbon, provided overall forest inventories are stable or increasing. The report, "Managing Forests Because Carbon Matters: Integrating Energy, Products, and Land Management Policy," summarizes the most recent science regarding forests and carbon accounting, biomass use and forest carbon offsets. The authors, researchers from the U.S. Forest Service as well as several universities, natural resource and environmental organizations, hope their findings will lead to better policies, based on their findings. To read more of this article link to: http://www.biomassmagazine.com/articles/5958/study-confirms-biogenic-emissions-result-in-no-net-carbon-release
In the States: Alaska, Oregon, and Montana
- Federal Appeals Court Affirms Decision in Favor of Forest Service in Logjam Lawsuit
Sitnews.us, Published by Mary Kauffman, October 31st
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has ruled that the Logjam Timber Sale Project complies with federal environmental laws. In doing so, the court of appeals affirmed an earlier decision of a federal district court upholding the Tongass National Forest's environmental analyses of the project. In its decision Friday, the 9th Circuit found that the U.S. District Court properly granted summary judgment to the Forest Service. The 9th Circuit, summarily rejecting the plaintiffs' arguments, held that the plaintiffs failed to show that the Final Environmental Impact Statement under the National Environmental Policy Act was flawed, or that the Forest Service failed to take the requisite "hard look" at the environmental consequences of the Logjam Project. To read more of this article link to: http://www.sitnews.us/1011News/103111/103111_logjam.html
- Kitzhaber Seeks Comprehensive Policy
Capital Press, Published by Mitch Lies, November 10th
Gov. John Kitzhaber on Nov. 3 urged the Oregon Board of Forestry to work with federal and private foresters and conservationists to develop a statewide approach to forest management. Kitzhaber said the current framework for managing Oregon's forests does not meet species' needs, forest health or the economic needs of communities. "One of the central flaws in our current effort to develop a rational and balanced policy for managing forest land in Oregon is that we operate in silos, viewing state lands in isolation from activities on federal land and activities on private lands," Kitzhaber said. As part of his entreaty, Kitzhaber also called on the board to help end "the politically driven, seesaw management paradigm" that has eroded the state's ability to develop long-term sustainable forest policy. To read more of this article link to: http://www.capitalpress.com/orewash/ml-kitzhaber-forest-talk-11111-art
- USFS Asks Judge to Lift Hold on Logging Project
CBSNEWS.com, November 11th
The U.S. Forest Service has asked a judge to lift his block of a logging project near an endangered grizzly population in northwestern Montana, saying a new analysis shows bears don't frequent that area of the Kootenai National Forest. U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy blocked the Little Beaver logging project and two others in the Kootenai in June 2010, after the Alliance for the Wild Rockies sued the Forest Service over the potential harm to the estimated 45 grizzlies in the forest's Cabinet-Yaak area. Two of the blocked logging projects are inside a designated recovery zone for the fledgling grizzly population, and the Forest Service's request to lift Molloy's injunction does not include them. To read more of this article link to: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505245_162-57323396/usfs-asks-judge-to-lift-hold-on-logging-project/
Last Week in Congress
- Murkowski: Court Decision Should Spur More Timber Sales
Senate Press Releases, October 31st
U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today released the following statement in response to the federal court of appeals ruling that the U.S Forest Service's Logjam Timber Sale complies with federal environmental laws: "I congratulate the U.S. Forest Service on coming up with a successful template for responsible timber sales in the Tongass National Forest," Murkowski said. "Now that the Logjam sale has been cleared by the courts, the Forest Service should take this opportunity to help Southeast Alaska's struggling economy by offering new timber areas for sale. Additional timber sales would also help bring the Forest Service closer to meeting the 224 million-board-feet goal agreed to under the Tongass Land Management Plan." To read more of this article click here.
- November 2nd - The Sugar Loaf Fire Protection District Land Exchange Act of 2011 (S.278) was passed by the Senate. To read more about this bill link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-278
- November 2nd - The Box Elder Utah Land Conveyance Act (S.683) was passed by the Senate. To read more about this bill link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=s112-683
- Fire Crews Working to Contain Mark Twain Blaze
BND.com, Published by Bill Draper, November 5th
Dozens of firefighters were planning to work through the weekend to keep a large fire in the Mark Twain National Forest from re-igniting after rainfall calmed the blaze down temporarily. Forest Service officials believe three fires that started Wednesday in south-central Missouri were intentionally set. Forest Ranger Thom Haines said this week he thinks the fires, all of which started around the same time, were the work of locals who historically have had issues with absentee landowners who restrict access to their property for hunters. Haines said the biggest of the three fires, about 5,000 acres in diameter, is believed to be the largest such blaze ever at Mark Twain. To read more of this article link to: http://www.bnd.com/2011/11/05/1929795/fire-crews-working-to-contain.html#ixzz1dhu3E2Vh
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