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Policy Update Week of September 12, 2011

SAF ACTIONS

  1. SAF Supports a 10-Year Reauthorization of the Stewardship Contracting Authority

    On September 9th organizations including SAF, the National Association of Forest Service Retirees, The Nature Conservancy, Sustainable Northwest, The Pinchot Institute, Ecosystem Workforce Program, The Watershed Center, and others submitted a sign-on letter to the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies. The intent of the letter was to request a 10-year reauthorization of the Stewardship Contracting authority in the FY2012 budget. The undersigned organizations collectively agree that stewardship contracting reauthorization is essential to restore and foster healthy forest ecosystems and provide stability and employment to rural communities.

    To read the letter link to: http://www.eforester.org/fp/positionstatements.cfm#FFM

In the Administration

  1. US Forest Service Chief Tidwell Releases Statement
      PanolaWatchman.com, September 12th

    The Forest Service is working hard right now with our federal, state and local partners to combat fires in Texas, California and several other states. I want to assure the public that the Forest Service has ample aircraft strategically placed around the country to support on-the-ground teams combating this year's wildfires. To read more about this article link to:
    http://www.news-journal.com/panola/news/us-forest-service-chief-tidwell-releases-statement/article_f8bdb075-ef4a-5975-ae54-673c066951eb.html

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This Week in Congress

  1. September 13th - The U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing on bills regarding the designation of national monuments. The bills include: the "Preserve Land Freedom for American's Act 2011," the "National Monument Designation Transparency and Accountability Act," the "Montana Land Sovereignty Act," the "Idaho Land Sovereignty Act," and the "Utah Land Sovereignty Act." To read more on this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=258136

  2. Members Call for Limitations on President's Authority to Unilaterally Designate National Monuments
      House Natural Resources Committee Press Release, September 13th

    Today, the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a legislative hearing on six bills that would limit the President's authority to use the Antiquities Act to unilaterally designate new National Monuments within certain states. Last year, an internal document from the Interior Department revealed 14 areas of federal land that the Obama Administration has identified as worthy of National Monument designation under the Antiquities Act. The proposed designations would lock-up millions of acres of public lands in the West, without local input or Congressional authority, and could restrict access for energy production, recreation, and other job-creating economic activities. To read more of this article link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=259618

  3. September 15th - The U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing on several public lands bills. The bills include: the "York River Wild and Scenic River Study Act of 2011," the "North Cascades National Park Service Complex Fish Stocking Act," the "New York City Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act," and the "Fort Pulaski National Monument Lease Authorization Act." To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=258402

National News

  1. Forest Coalition Expands to Affect Federal Change
      Capital Press, Published by Matthew Weaver, September 12th

    A coalition of timber industry leaders is expanding to renew its focus on active management of federal forest land. The Federal Forest Resource Coalition recently announced a new presence in Washington, D.C., to increase the number and size of federal timber sales and address other issues that affect the industry. For example, board member Bob Boeh said, the federal government owns more than 60 percent of the land in Idaho but less than 5 percent of the timber volume there comes from federal timber sales. To read more of this article link to: http://www.capitalpress.com/content/mw-New-national-forest-coalition-091611

  2. Invasive Worms Damage Forests
      LaboratoryEquipment.com, September 14th

    Think of earthworms and a few things come to mind: they make great bait for fishing, they aerate the soil and they're an excellent addition to a compost pile. But what a lot of people don't know is many earthworms are actually invasive species. "The western Great Lakes region, which is the area we're focused on, has no native earthworms," says ecologist Cindy Hale, a research associate with the Natural Resources Research Institute at the Univ. of Minnesota in Duluth. Native earthworms in the region were all wiped out after the last Ice Age. The current population was brought by Europeans hundreds of years ago, (soil was often used as ballast in ships) and they're now changing the face of local forests. To read more of this article link to: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/news-invasive-worms-damage-forests-091411.aspx

In the States: Wisconsin and Maryland

  1. Loggers Face Massive Cleanup Job from Wisconsin Storm
      Forest Business Network, Published by Joe Taschler, September 8th

    During nearly 50 years in the logging business, Max Ericson has seen trees - lots of them - blown down by the wind. What took place this summer in parts of Wisconsin's North Woods, though, shocked him. "I've never seen our forests so devastated as they are now," said Ericson, owner of Ericson Logging in Minong. "It's going to impact the timber industry for a least a couple generations." Across a swath of northwestern Wisconsin, an estimated 2 million cords of wood - $160 million worth by one estimate - are on the ground, blown down during a severe thunderstorm in July. To read more of this article link to: http://www.forestbusinessnetwork.com/7392/loggers-face-massive-cleanup-job-from-wisconsin-storm/

  2. State Offers $25 Coupons Toward the Purchase of Native Trees
      TheBayNet.com, September 16th

    Governor Martin O'Malley today reminds Marylanders there is help available to replace trees destroyed by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee. The State offers $25 coupons toward the purchase of a Maryland native tree through the Marylanders Plant Trees program. "We always encourage Marylanders to plant new trees, but replacing trees lost during storms is very important," said Governor O'Malley. "Mature trees absorb much more polluted storm water runoff and clean the air more effectively than younger saplings. The sooner we replant those trees we lost, the better it is for our natural world." Citizens concerned about planting new trees in light of the recent storms can learn best practices on selecting the location of new trees by visiting trees.maryland.gov/plant.asp. Contact a participating tree nursery for further tips and advice. To read more about this article link to: http://www.thebaynet.com/news/index.cfm/fa/viewstory/story_ID/24172

Last Week in Congress

  1. September 7th - Rep. Bishop [R-UT] introduced H.R. 2852: To authorize Western States to make selections of public land within their borders in lieu of receiving five percent of the proceeds of the sale of the public land lying within said States as provided by their prospective enabling aids. To read more about this bill link to: http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bill.xpd?bill=h112-2852

  2. Benishek Authors Bill to Promote Access to Hunting, Fishing, and Shooting
      U.S. House of Representatives Press Release, September 8th

    Congressman Dan Benishek (MI-01) introduced H.R. 2834, the "Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act." This bill would require federal land managers at the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to facilitate use and access for hunting, fishing and recreational shooting activities on federal lands. "In Northern Michigan, hunting and fishing is more than a sport or hobby-it is a way of life. My hope is that Congress will act to ensure that hunting, fishing and shooting rights are protected on federal lands for years to come," said Benishek, an avid outdoorsman and lifelong resident of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. To read more of this article link to: http://benishek.house.gov/press-release/benishek-authors-bill-promote-access-hunting-fishing-and-shooting

  3. September 9th - The House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands held a hearing on the "Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage Opportunities Act" and the "Cabin Fee Act of 2011." To read more about this hearing link to: http://naturalresources.house.gov/Calendar/EventSingle.aspx?EventID=258021

Wildfire Update

  1. Minnesota Wildfire Spreads to 100,000 Acres
      Reuters, Published by David Bailey, September 14th

    An out of control wildfire has charred 100,000 acres of a northeastern Minnesota wilderness area popular for canoeing and camping, though cooler temperatures and some rain slowed its growth on Wednesday. The new estimate of the scope of the fire's unprecedented growth from Monday to Tuesday came after a U.S. Forest Service flyover Tuesday afternoon gave a better view through the smoke, forest service spokeswoman Lisa Radosevich-Craig said. "There was so much smoke that they couldn't get a good parameter of the fire line," Radosevich-Craig said. To read more of this article link to: http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/09/14/us-minnesota-forestfire-idUSTRE78D59O20110914

  2. California Firefighters Make Advances in Battle to Contain Wildfires
      FoxNews.com, September 13th

    Thousands of firefighters and an aircraft fleet battled Tuesday to tame a string of lightning-caused wildfires that have burned 108 square miles of rural Central California brush and bush. No homes have been damaged. Evacuation of hundreds of Kern County homes were lifted at dawn, but fire spokesman Anthony Romero said there is still an evacuation warning in place for about 30 summer houses in the Breckenridge area some 20 miles northwest of Tehachapi. "We're looking pretty good right now," Romero said, noting flames are several miles away. "Engines are up there for structure protection." To read more of this article link to: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/09/13/calif-firefighters-make-advances-in-battle-to-contain-wildfires/#ixzz1Y4csMWrZ

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