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Policy Update Week of

May 14, 2012


SAF CEO Michael Goergen, Jr. to Testifies Before House Agriculture Committee - May 18th
Executive Vice-President and CEO Michael Goergen, Jr. testified on behalf of the Society of American Foresters at the House Agriculture Subcommittee hearing on the development of the Energy and Forestry Titles of the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2012 (Farm Bill). Mr. Goergen spoke of the need to permanently reauthorize the Stewardship Contracting Authority within the 2012 Farm Bill as the tool will expire in 2013. Mr. Goergen also talked to the devastation that we continue to see in the West due to the current bark beetle epidemic and why actions should be taken to manage the extensive forest mortality. Other panelists included: Mr. John Burke, III, American Forest Foundation; Mr. C. Randy Dye, National Association of State Foresters; Mr. Charles A. Holmes, National Association of Conservation Districts; and Mr. Richard Schwab, American Loggers Council and Southeastern Wood Producers Association.For more information on the hearing, visit http://agriculture.house.gov/singlepages.aspx?NewsID=1266&LSBID=44

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

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

  1. Obama Administration to Hire 20,000 Young People for Summer Work on Public Lands
      USDA, Published by Matt Lee-Ashley, May18th

    In response to President Obama's call to expand opportunities for summer employment for young people and connect them with the great outdoors, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley today highlighted summer work opportunities for more than 20,000 young people, ages 15-25, in national forests, national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.To read more of this article link to: http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome?contentid=2012/05/0160.xml&navid=NEWS_RELEASE&navtype=RT&parentnav=LATEST_RELEASES&edeployment_action=retrievecontent

This Week in Congress

  1. 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" To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=293546

  2. May 15th - Introduced: H.R. 5744 -"To address the forest health, public safety, and wildlife habitat threat presented by the risk of wildfire, including catastrophic wildfire, on National Forest System lands and public lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management by requiring the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of the Interior to expedite forest management projects relating to hazardous fuels reduction, forest health, and economic development, and for other purposes." To read more about this hearing link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/112/hr5744

  3. May 16th - Senate Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies: "Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2013 for the Environmental Protection Agency." To read more about this hearing link to: http://www.appropriations.senate.gov/events.cfm?date=5/16/2012

  4. May 17th - House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands:"Legislative Hearing on H.R. 1103, H.R. 3100, H.R. 3365, H.R. 4400 and S. 270"To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=294708

  5. May 17th - House Natural Resources Committee Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife, Oceans and Insular Affairs:"Legislative Hearing on H.R. 3065 and H.R. 3706" To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=294635

  6. May 18th - House Agriculture Committee Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry: "Formulation of the 2012 Farm Bill: Energy and Forestry Programs" To read more about this hearing link to: http://agriculture.house.gov/singlepages.aspx?NewsID=1266&LSBID=44

Upcoming in Congress

  1. May 21st - Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands Oversight Field Hearing on "Failed Federal Forest Policies: Endangering Jobs, Forests and Species" To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=295110

National News

  1. Report touts Endangered Species Act wins
      Summit Voice, Published by Bob Berwyn, May 21st

    Like it or not (and some people definitely don't), the Endangered Species Act does what it's supposed to do when it's implemented the way it's supposed to be, according to the Center for Biological Diversity.The conservation group last week released an analysis of how the ground-breaking environmental law has been effective in recovering at least some species that are threatened or endangered. To read more of this article link to:http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/05/21/biodiversity-report-touts-endangered-species-act-wins/#more-42687

In the States: Arizona, Colorado, Wyoming and California

  1. Arizona Governor Vetoes Bill That Demanded Federal Land
      Associated Press, Published by Paul Davenport, May 15th

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer vetoed legislation Monday that would have had the state join Utah in demanding that the federal government surrender control of millions of acres of public land.Supporters of the Arizona legislation argued that the states would be better managers of resources such as timber and minerals on land managed by the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. To read more of this article link to: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/ariz-gov-vetoes-bill-demanded-federal-land-16348361#.T7JPEcUpm58

  2. Clear-cut the rules, beetle foes say
      The Daily Sentinel, Published by Gary Harmon, May 15th

    U.S. Forest Service land managers need more latitude and the forest-management industry more certainty if the mountain pine beetle is to be repelled, or at least contained, in Colorado's high country, witnesses testified Monday before a congressional field hearing.The bark-beetle epidemic in Colorado's national forests is an emergency, eight of nine witnesses told the panel. The millions of dead and dying trees that turn red and then into denuded gray skeletons pose the threat of fire and economic disruption, they said.The hearing was conducted by members of the House Resource Committee's subcommittees on water and power and national parks, forests and public lands. To read more of this article link to: http://www.gjsentinel.com/news/articles/clearcut-the-rules-beetle-foes-say

  3. Wyoming takes Roadless Rule appeal to U.S. Supreme Court
      Casper Star-Tribune, May 15th

    The state of Wyoming formally petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its challenge of the federal Roadless Rule, Gov. Matt Mead's office announced Tuesday.It's likely the last legal appeal Wyoming can make in its lawsuit seeking to overturn the 2001 Roadless Area Conservation Rule. The Clinton-era policy prohibits roads on nearly 50 million acres of land in national forests across the U.S., including 3.2 million acres in Wyoming.To read more of this article link to:http://trib.com/news/state-and-regional/wyoming-takes-roadless-rule-appeal-to-u-s-supreme-court/article_d3145ade-ef49-5e2e-b295-caba64d5c0ce.html

  4. Lee Forest Service ordered to re-examine key wilderness areas in four Southern California forests
      San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Published by Steve Scauzillo, May 20th

    After losing a lawsuit brought by the state and several environmental groups, the U.S. Forest Service is under court order to re-evaluate how it manages about one million acres in four Southern California forests - including the local Angeles National Forest. The result could be the re-zoning of hundreds of thousands of acres of forest land into "recommended wilderness" areas, one of the most restrictive designations on the forest, and "back country non-motorized" areas. These designations could prohibit off-road recreation, decommission unused trails and roads, and help restore habitat for such endangered or threatened species as steelhead trout, the California condor and the arroyo toad, according to the U.S. Forest Service and groups participating in the 2011 settlement agreement. To read more of this article link to: http://www.sgvtribune.com/news/ci_20667450/forest-service-ordered-re-examine-key-wilderness-areas

Last Week in Congress

  1. 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

  2. May 8th - 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

  3. 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

Wildfire Update

  1. There were no relevant wildfire updates last week.

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