Policy Update Week of
April 30, 2012
Comments on Stewardship Contracting submitted to the Senate Agriculture Committee - April 23rd
The Society of American Foresters was one of over ninety organizations to sign a letter delivered to the Senate Agriculture Committee asking for permanent reauthorization of Stewardship Contracting through the 2012 Farm Bill. The Senate side draft 2012 Farm Bill language from Chairwoman Stabenow released this week calls for permanent Stewardship Contracting reauthorization as is and is supported by SAF. For more information on the status of the 2012 Farm Bill, visit this link: http://www.ag.senate.gov/issues/farm-bill
To see the Stewardship Contracting letter to Senate Ag, click here: http://www.safnet.org/fp/Stewardship_Contracting_Letter_4-23-12.pdf
SAF and The Nature Conservancy Host Congressional Briefing: "Reducing Wildfire Dangers and Restoring Healthy Forests" - April 20th
The Society of American Foresters and The Nature Conservancy hosted a briefing Friday, April 20th for both the House and Senate. The three speakers included Dr. Wally Covington, Director of the Ecological Restoration Institute at Northern Arizona University, McCree Anderson, Interior Highlands Fire Restoration Project Manager for The Nature Conservancy, and Steven Brink, Vice President of Public Resources at the California Forestry Association. Topics discussed included the impacts of wildfires, the need for and benefits of forest restoration, and the positive effects of active forest management on forestry sector jobs and rural communities.
SAF Member Dr. Jim Bowyer Speaks on behalf of SAF at a Congressional Briefing: "What You Need to Know About Forest Carbon Dynamics and Carbon Accounting" - April 12th & 13th
The Society of American Foresters, in collaboration with the National Alliance of Forest Owners, Resources for the Future, and the Congressional Biomass Caucus held an educational briefing for House and Senate staff members to provide current expert research on forest carbon dynamics and carbon accounting. Dr. Jim Bowyer, Director of Responsible Materials Program at Dovetail Partners, Inc. and SAF member, spoke on behalf of SAF, presenting results of the recent SAF task force report "Managing Forests because Carbon Matters." Also presenting at the briefings were SAF members Dr. Roger Sedjo on behalf of Resources for the Future and Robert Perschel representing the Forest Guild.
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
- Proposed Rule: Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement
The Federal Register, Published by the USDA, May 1st
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is proposing to amend 7 CFR part 3201, Guidelines for Designating Biobased Products for Federal Procurement, to incorporate statutory changes to section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act (FSRIA) that were effected when the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 (FCEA) was signed into law on June 18, 2008.USDA is proposing to amend 7 CFR part 3201 for two reasons. The first reason is to incorporate statutory changes to section 9002 of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act made by enactment of the Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (FCEA) of 2008 on June 18, 2008. The second reason is to make improvements to the existing rule based on several years of operating experience. The remainder of this section presents a brief summary of the proposed amendments to the existing Guidelines and Section IV of this preamble presents more detailed discussions. To read more of this article link to:
- Agriculture Secretary and Colorado Governor Release Final EnvironmentalImpact Statement for the Colorado Roadless Rule
US Forest Service News Release, May 2nd
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper today announced the release of the final Environmental Impact Statement for the final Colorado Roadless Rule. The preferred alternative identified in the impact statement provides conservation for 4.2 million acres of National Forest roadless areas within Colorado. Today's announcement is the culmination of a seven-year collaborative process between the US Forest Service and State of Colorado. To read more of this article link to: http://www.fs.fed.us/news/2012/releases/05/coroadless.shtml
- What They're Saying: USDA's Colorado Roadless Rule Receives Widespread Support
USDA News Release, May 4th
On Wednesday, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper announced the final Environmental Impact Statement for the final Colorado Roadless Rule, which provides conservation for 4.2 million acres of National Forest roadless area within Colorado.The preferred alternative identified in the impact statement reflects the views and concerns of thousands of people through five public comment periods resulting in more than 310,000 comments. The final Colorado Roadless rule will be finalized a minimum of 30 days after the Final Environmental Impact Statement is published in the Federal Register.The final rule and the public collaboration have received praise from conservation groups and others. To read more of this article link to:
This Week in Congress
- May 3rd - House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Energy and Mineral Resources Oversight Field Hearing: "Federal Geospatial Spending, Duplication and Land Inventory Management" and Legislative Field Hearing on H.R. 4233 and H.R.1620." To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=290854
Upcoming in Congress
- May 8th - House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight Hearing: "The Science Behind Green Building Rating Systems". To read more about this hearing link to: http://science.house.gov/hearing/subcommittee-investigations-and-oversight-hearing-green-building-rating-systems
- May8th - House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular AffairsHearing: "Legislative Hearing on H.R. 3210 and H.R. 4171."To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=293478
- May 8th - House Judiciary Committee: "Markup of: H.R. 4970, the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2012; H.R. 4377, the "Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development Act of 2012"; and, H.R. 5512, the "Divisional Realignment Act of 2012" To read more about this hearing link to: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/Markups%202012/mark_05082012.html
- May 14th - House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Water and Power and Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands: Joint Oversight Field Hearing on "Logs in the Road: Eliminating Federal Red Tape and Excessive Litigation to Create Healthy Forests, Jobs and Abundant Water and Power Supplies" http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=293546
- Protection sought for rare woodpecker in Wyoming and other areas
Billings Gazette, Published by The Associated Press, May 7th
Smokey Bear has done such a good job stamping out forest fires the past half-century that a woodpecker that's survived for millions of years by eating beetle larvae in burned trees is in danger of going extinct in parts of the West, according to conservationists seeking U.S. protection for the bird.Four conservation groups filed a petition with the U.S. Interior Department on Wednesday to list the black-backed woodpecker under the Endangered Species Act in the Sierra Nevada,Oregon's Eastern Cascades and the Black Hills of eastern Wyoming and western South Dakota.It is the first federal petition to recognize the ecological significance and seek protection of post-fire habitat, an expert said.In addition to fire suppression, the groups contend post-fire salvage logging combined with commercial thinning of green forests is eliminating what little remains of the bird's habitat, mostly in national forests where it has no legal protection.To read more of this article link to:
In the States: South Dakota and Wyoming
- Supreme Court won't hear Norbeck logging appeal
The Rapid City Journal, Published by Ray Lengerich, May 2nd
The U.S. Supreme Court will not hear a petition from two environmental groups to have logging operations stopped in Norbeck Wildlife Preserve.It marks the end of Friends of the Norbeck and Native Ecosystems Council's battle against the U.S. Forest Service and the Norbeck Wildlife Project.The Forest Service has maintained that the project is important to protecting wildlife habitat, reducing fire risk and fighting the mountain pine beetle.Black Hills National Forest Supervisor Craig Bobzien said he understands that there are passionate people involved with the projects in and around Norbeck Wildlife Preserve, which is near Mount Rushmore and Custer State Park. With this decision, he said, the project continues, and those involved can see it through to the finish. To read more of this article link to:
Last Week in Congress
- April 25th - House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Rural Development, Research, Biotechnology, and Foreign Agriculture: "Formulation of the 2012 Farm Bill: Rural Development Programs." To read more about this hearing link to: http://agriculture.house.gov/singlepages.aspx?NewsID=1266&LSBID=23&RBSUSDA=T
- April 25th - House Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Commercial and Administrative Law: Hearing on H.R. 4377, the "Responsibly And Professionally Invigorating Development Act of 2012."To read more about this hearing link to: http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/Hearings%202012/hear_04252012_2.html
- April 26th - Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee Business Meeting: Markup of the 2012 Farm Bill. To read more about this hearing link to:
- April 26th - House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry: "Formulation of the 2012 Farm Bill: Conservation Programs." To read more about this hearing link to: http://agriculture.house.gov/singlepages.aspx?NewsID=1266&LSBID=23&RBSUSDA=T
- There were no relevant wildfire updates last week.
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