Is this the future of America’s national forests, or will Congress wake up before it is too late?
All of these items and more appear in the "Featured News" section on the SAF home page
The Record (January 2) - Large swaths of the Highlands may be open to logging for the first time in more than a decade if the state Legislature approves a controversial bill next week that supporters say is needed to maintain the health of woodlands.
A spokesman for the state Department of Environmental Protection said the agency has not yet designated specific areas to be logged or decided how many trees will be cut down if the bill passes. Opponents said the agency would surely target parts of the forest-rich Highlands, which stretches from northern Bergen and Passaic counties to the Delaware River.
The State.com (January 1) - Although western and eastern woodlands differ in many ways, the amount of flammable material that has built up in the forests is a common concern to resource managers from New Mexico to South Carolina.
Wallstreetpit.com (January 2) - Wood products demand is far more sensitive to the economy than demand for almost any other product. The outlook for the next two years is moderately positive, at least compared to the weak domestic markets seen since the downturn began
Yorkregion.com (Ontario, Canada, January 5) - What's smaller than your fingernail, a beautiful shade of green, and destroying York Region's hard-earned leaf canopy? Why, it's Agrilus planipennis, better known as the emerald ash borer.
Over the next five to 10 years, the small, Asian beetles will kill virtually every ash tree in York Region-there are about 2.8 million of them-as they continue their assault across the Greater Toronto Area, southern Ontario, and most of the Midwestern and northeastern United States.
Camp Lejeune Globe.com (January 5) - Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune works hard to keep the forest healthy, and one of the ways that the base protects the forest is through controlled burns.
Federal Lands Management
Associated Press (January 4) - The Third US Circuit Court of Appeals has refused to reconsider a ruling last year that ended a ban on drilling in the Allegheny National Forest in northwestern Pennsylvania.
The appeals court ruled in September that the US Forest Service only controls surface rights, not the mineral rights below the forestlands. The court says the mineral rights are privately owned, and those owners should enjoy reasonable access to the surface to drill for oil and gas.
Rutland Herald (January 3) - The Green Mountain National Forest has approved a 15-turbine wind-powered electricity generation proposal for the Deerfield Wind Project in Readsboro and Searsburg but the decision is still subject to appeal.
ESPN.go.com (December 29) - Ski resorts on national forestlands are feuding with their Forest Service landlord over a water rights clause in updated ski area permitting regulations that keeps water rights tied to the land, not the resort operator.
Forest Products Industry
TheDailyNewsOnline.com (Washington, December 15) - The United States and Canada are prepared to extend the shaky softwood lumber trade agreement put in place seven years ago to benefit local mills. If approved, both sides will revisit the contract in 2015.
According to Zoltan van Heyningen, executive director of the US Lumber Coalition, the deal is designed to give US manufacturers a level playing field with subsidized Canadian timber.
Market Watch.com (January 3) - Forestry companies are evaluating the impact of a powerful storm in the final days of 2011, which brought down vast tracts of forest in Nordic countries.
According to an official at the Finnish Forest Industries, some 4 million to 4.5 million cubic meters of wood may have been felled in Finland by the storm that hit Sweden, Norway, and Finland on December 26.
Enviva Ships First Wood Pellets from Chesapeake Port
Tidewaternews.com (January 3) - Enviva, which is developing a wood pellet manufacturing plant in Courtland, Virginia, recently made its first shipment from its new port in Chesapeake. Now, the 28,000 metric tons of wood pellets are bound for one of Enviva's European utility customers.
Ameresco Facility Ready to Begin Full Operations
Aikenstandard.com (December 23) - Ameresco, the energy efficiency and renewable energy company that constructed a Biomass Cogeneration Facility on 38 acres of the Savannah River Site, was awarded its Final Acceptance Certificate from the Department of Energy and is ready to begin full operations.
And in a related article…
Biomass Facility at Savannah River Set to Save DOE Nearly $1 Billion
AOL Energy.com (December 28) - A biomass generation plant serving a giant Department of Energy installation has been delivered under the largest Energy Savings Performance Contract to date.
The 20 MW biomass power facility will provide roughly 30 percent of the 310-square mile Savannah River Site's power needs once it becomes fully operational in 2012. During six weeks of performance tests the biomass facility produced more than 3 million kilowatt hours of power.
Washington Post (January 4) - According to a study by Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce, the recent college graduates with the lowest rates of unemployment were those who earned degrees in health (5.4 percent), education (5.4 percent), and agriculture and natural resources (7 percent).
Associated Press (December 28) - The Bureau of Land Management has adopted an interim policy to protect the greater sage grouse in 10 Western states until it can implement long-term policies to preserve habitat for the mainly ground-dwelling bird..
Global Post.com (January 3) - Separate wildfires in Chile have burned more than 56,000 acres of forests across the country.
The largest blaze was in the central region of Bio Bio, where a huge fire forced Arauco, one of the world's largest producers of cellulose, used to make paper, to temporarily close operations.
Meanwhile, the Torres del Paine National Park, a spectacular Patagonian wilderness visited by 150,000 tourists a year, remained closed today after flames destroyed pine forests covering seven percent of its area over the New Year.
Nogales International.com (December 28) - North of Albuquerque, the people of the Pueblo of Jemez may hold a secret to dealing with wildfires in the ponderosa pine forests of western New Mexico and eastern Arizona.
The tribe has lived in these forests since before the Spanish conquistadors explored the region in the 16th century. This long history makes the pueblo an ideal place for University of Arizona researchers to study how humans in the Southwest have dealt with wildfires over the centuries.
EPonline.com (December 16) - Large forest regions in Canada are apparently about to experience rapid change. Based on models, scientists can now show that there are threshold values for wildfires just like there are for epidemics. Large areas of Canada are apparently approaching this threshold value and may exceed it due to climate change. As a result, both the area burnt down annually and the average size of the fires would increase, write the researchers of the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and the University of Michigan in the American Naturalist journal. The strategies for combating wildfires in large parts of Canada should therefore be reconsidered.
Calgary Herald (January 4) - As logging in the sensitive Castle region in the province's southwest corner is set to begin, environmentalists are lamenting the expected loss of grizzly bear habitat.
Forest Inventory and Analysis Program
SAF supports full funding and full implantation of the Forest Inventory Analysis (FIA) Program. The FIA Program provides scientifically credible forest inventory data across all ownerships, and it is the only national inventory system that delivers current and consistent information about the status, condition, and trends of America's forestland. Because the program is a nationwide, science-based inventory and reporting program, SAF recommends the continuation of its operation under the direction of the US Forest Service.
Federal Tax Treatment of Private Forestland
SAF believes federal tax policies based on equality and certainty are required to encourage the nation's private forest landowners to make sustained, long-term capital investments in forest management. Tax policies need to recognize the unique and long-term intergeneration transfer of forest assets, to alleviate uncertainty in tax treatment. Sound tax policy will ensure the sustained environmental and social benefits within a predictable economic framework.
Northern California SAF Winter Meeting
The Northern California SAF Winter Meeting, "Getting to Consensus: How Organizations Collaborate to Solve Forestry Problems," will take place January 28, 2012.
The Program Committee is working to develop an interesting and informative agenda for the meeting. For more information, or if you would like to help, contact Anne Heissenbuttel, NorCal SAF Program Committee Chair, at (209) 296-2250.
New York SAF Annual Meeting
The New York SAF Annual Meeting will take place from January 25-27, 2012 at the Doubletree Hotel in Syracuse, NY. The theme of the meeting is "The Forest beyond the Trees," and general and technical sessions will focus on a variety of topics addressing questions such as: What is the outlook on forest product markets, both regionally and globally? How can we use silviculture to improve wildlife habitat? What's the latest on biomass opportunities and techniques? There will also be a discussion of timber harvest practices in New York State.
For more information or to register, contact Mariann Johnston, NYSAF Chair-Elect, at 315-848-2566 ext. 111, or visit the meeting website.
Want to know what your colleagues have been reading? Below are the top most downloaded articles from each of SAF's scientific journal publications for the month of November.
Emerald Ash Borer: Invasion of the Urban Forest and the Threat to North America's Ash Resource (Journal of Forestry Vol. 104, No. 3)
Modeling Crown Structure from LiDAR Data with Statistical Distributions (Forest Science Vol. 57, No. 5)
Effects of Basal Area Factor and Plot Size on Precision and Accuracy of Forest Inventory Estimates (Northern Journal of Applied Forestry Vol. 28, No. 3)
The Effectiveness of Forestry Best Management Practices for Sediment Control in the Southeastern United States: A Literature Review (Southern Journal of Applied Forestry Vol. 35, No. 4)
Shifting Public Values for Forest Management: Making Sense of Wicked Problems (Western Journal of Applied Forestry Vol. 14, No. 1)
To see the complete top 10 most downloaded article lists, visit the SAF website, click on the journal you wish to view, then click the "Most Downloaded Articles" link.
Your Gold- or Platinum-level membership in SAF entitles you to free access to all journal content, but you need to register with IngentaConnect to get it.
Questions? Contact Matthew Walls
The "Partners for Better Forests" initiative, a collaborative effort among the American Tree Farm System, the Society of American Foresters, and the Association of Consulting Foresters (ACF), aims to increase the number of engaged inspectors across the United States to provide landowners with the tools they need for on-the-ground support, and promote better forest stewardship.
Because members of ACF and SAF have traditionally been those who have volunteered their time to work as Tree Farm inspectors and committee members, Partners for Better Forests is rewarding participating foresters with membership dues support to their respective professional association.
In return for completing two reinspections or two initial inspections, the program will give foresters $100 to be applied toward the annual dues of ACF or SAF. The money will be paid directly to SAF or ACF and will result in a $100 dues reduction for the member forester.
For more information, visit the SAF website.
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