In This Issue ...
1. Vermont Publishes New Timber Harvesting Guidelines
2. Warmer, Drier Climate Altering Forests Statewide
3. Future of Iowa's State Forest Nursery Uncertain
4. Oklahoma: $220,000 Black Kettle Project to Thin Invasive Cedars
5. Oregon: Conservationists, Loggers Team Up on Forest Health
6. Op-Eds by SAF Members
1. Century-Old Law Returns to Fund Forest Communities
2. Oil, Gas, and National Forests
3. Federal Land Transfer Debate Hits the Legislature
4. FWS Proposes Special Rule to Focus Protections for Northern Long-Eared Bat
5. Forest Service Begins Burns in Talladega Woodlands
1. UK: Critical Phase in Fight against Tree Disease
2. Russia's Forests Overlooked in Climate Change Fight, Scientists Warn
3. In "Charcoal Landscape," Data on Deforestation, Emissions Hidden in the Ashes
1. US-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement to Expire in 2015
2. Hardwood Checkoff Proposal Moves Forward, with Controversy
3. Irving Submits Plan to Develop, Preserve 51,000 Acres around Northern Maine Lakes
4. Judge to Weigh Indian Company's Interest in Bucksport Mill
5. British Columbia Wood Product Companies Look to Rebound from Recession
1. Biomass: Michigan's Homegrown Energy Solution
2. Process Converts Biomass Waste into Lucrative Chemical Products
3. Seeing the Forest for the Trees ... and Pellets
4. RusForest Engages Hekotek to Build Pellet Plant in Siberia
5. Dogwood Alliance Establishes Itself in Georgia to Campaign against Biomass
1. The Forestry Source Seeks Comments, Student Essays, and Photos
2. Southeastern SAF Publishes Book: How Forestry Came to the Southeast; The Role of the Society of American Foresters
3. SAF Launches New Membership Portal
4. 2015 North American Forest Ecology Workshop Call for Abstracts-Deadline Extended
5. SAF Meetings
GMOutlook.com (January 22) - Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder has announced new harvesting guidelines that, while voluntary, will help maintain forest health and sustainability in the state for humans and wildlife.
The 62-page report, "Voluntary Harvesting Guidelines," includes important instructions on "conducting a harvest, protecting water quality, protecting soil health and productivity, biodiversity and wildlife habitat, and planning for uncertainty."
Members of the state's Act 24 Advisory Committee, working with various experts, examined current forest practice research and then drafted the guidelines for review based on widely accepted forest practices.
The guidelines are available on the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation website.
Newscenter.berkeley.edu (January 20) - A team of scientists from the University of California-Berkeley, UC-Davis, and the US Geological Survey compared unique forest surveys collected by UC Berkeley alumnus Albert Wieslander in the 1920s and 1930s with recent US Forest Service data to show that the decline of large trees and increase in the density of smaller trees is not unique to the state's mountains.
The authors found that the density of large trees declined in all regions of California, with declines up to 50 percent in the Sierra Nevada highlands, the south and central Coast Ranges, and northern California.
The increased density of smaller trees is usually attributed to fire suppression statewide. Scientists debate the cause of the decline of larger trees, which has been observed in other parts of the world as well, but many suspect that larger trees need more water than smaller trees to withstand droughts and disease.
Gazette.com (January 21) - Changing land-use patterns and economic realities have forced the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to consider shutting down its nearly 80-year-old state forest nursery.
In the late 1990s the nursery, with plots in Ames and Montrose, was raising and selling more than four million tree and shrub seedlings per year, according to State Forester Paul Tauke.
Driven in part by shrinkage of the Conservation Reserve Program, demand since has fallen to about 1 million seedlings per year, and the DNR is losing more than $500,000 a year.
Tulsaworld.com (January 15) - Another blow will be delivered in the never-ending battle against invasive eastern red cedar trees in Oklahoma, thanks to National Wild Turkey Federation volunteers and state and federal agency cooperation.
This time the hit is significant, in the form of $220,000 aimed at the 30,000-acre Black Kettle Wildlife Management Area in western Oklahoma's Roger Mills County.
Dailyastorian.com (January 16) - Two years ago, John Day, a town of 1,700, almost died. Its lifeblood, the sawmill, was about to close. So few logs were coming off the nearby Malheur National Forest, the mill's owners decided it was time to shut down.
But the mill and the town's economy were rescued by a detente between the timber industry and environmentalists-foes since the battles over logging that erupted in the Pacific Northwest three decades ago. The sides uncovered a shared goal: thinning overgrown forests to prevent catastrophic wildfires.
Buck Vandersteen: The State of Louisiana's Forests
TheTownTalk.com (January 21)
"Trees cover half of our state and forests are the single greatest land use in Louisiana. It is still the most valuable agricultural crop although tree farmers certainly don't have a harvest every year. The latest figures from the Louisiana State University AgCenter show forestry is an $11 billion industry providing about 45,000 jobs in the state and generating about $700 million in state and federal taxes."
Note: Vandersteen is general chair of the 2015 SAF National Convention, which will take place in Baton Rouge November 3-7, and treasurer of the Louisiana SAF.
Peninsulaclarion.com (January 20) - At the end of last year, Congress failed to renew Secure Rural Schools (SRS) funding, which had provided states and territories roughly $330 million annually. SRS funding was intended to offset the lack of funds received by communities dependent on income from national forests.
Because SRS funding failed to pass, many states will now receive money from the Twenty-Five Percent Fund Act of 1908, which had previously provided communities with a portion of 25 percent of the proceeds earned by national forests, before states started receiving SRS money.
Central Oregon Counties to Lose Millions in Federal Timber Payments
Bendbulletin.com (January 21)
Timber County Payments Fall after Expiration of Subsidy
Statesmanjournal.com (January 16)
Peninsula Counties Hope for Timber Subsidy to Stave Off Impacts on Road Departments
Peninsuladailynews.com (January 21)
USFS Withdraws Oil and Gas Drilling Approval in the Gunnison National Forest
Enewspf.com (January 20) - Conservationists have settled a lawsuit that challenged the US Forest Service's approval of a new natural gas drilling project in Colorado's Gunnison National Forest without conducting the legally required analysis of environmental impacts. Following the conservation groups' opening brief in the case, the Forest Service agreed to withdraw approval of the project.
Group Challenges Permit for Oil Pipeline in National Forest
Miningjournal.net (January 15) - The Sierra Club has filed a lawsuit that accuses the US Forest Service of breaking the law when it granted a new permit for an underground oil pipeline in a Michigan national forest without conducting an environmental analysis.
The suit focuses on section of the pipeline that goes through part of the Huron-Manistee National Forest in Oscoda County, in Michigan's northern Lower Peninsula. A US Forest Service special-use permit for that section expired in 2012.
The Forest Service issued another permit last month, even though it hadn't prepared an environmental analysis. The National Environmental Policy Act requires US agencies in most cases to perform one of two types of investigations to determine how an important action will affect the environment.
Greatfallstribune.com (January 18) - Over the past few years, some in the West have begun pushing for state takeover of federal lands, arguing that states can manage their land better than people in Washington, DC.
The idea isn't new. It has its roots in the Sagebrush Rebellion, which rose in the 1970s under the same states-rights philosophy.
But now, in the age of the Internet, proponents of the idea are more organized and can spread their ideas to eager listeners who have grown weary of an ineffective Congress.
FWS.gov (January 15) - In response to the rapid and severe decline of the northern long-eared bat - a species important for crop pest control-the US Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing a special rule under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would provide the maximum benefit to the species while limiting the regulatory burden on the public.
If finalized, the rule, under section 4(d) of the Endangered Species Act, would apply only in the event the Service lists the bat as "threatened." The Service's proposal appeared in the January 16 Federal Register, opening a 60-day public comment period.
For species listed as threatened, the Service may issue a 4(d) rule to provide protections that are deemed necessary and advisable for conservation of the species. Such a rule ensures private landowners and citizens are not unduly burdened by regulations that do not further the conservation of the species and are exempted from take prohibitions when conducting activities that actively benefit the species.
Sen. Thune Calls on FWS to Continue Normal Forest Management
Kelo.com (January 15)
Annistonstar.com (January 21) - Dead leaves, pine straw, choking vines-it was all going up in smoke in a controlled burn of the Talladega National Forest, according to a release from the US Forest Service.
Karen McKenzie, district ranger for the Shoal Creek District, confirmed the agency would be carrying out prescribed burns of 587 acres of forest-a small portion of the nearly 115,000 acres of protected woods the Forest Service plans to scorch during the year.
BBC.com (January 12) - Forestry Commission Scotland is working with contractors to clear around a million tons of timber affected by Phytophthora ramorum.
It was first found in larch trees in the region in 2010.
Although larch only makes up 7 percent of the total forest area, its impact is said to be significant.
Huffingtonpost.com (January 15) - Russia's forests may lose their power to help curb global warming without stronger domestic protection and a place in a new global climate change deal, scientists have warned.
Russia has 19 percent of world forest reserves by surface area. But experts say the United Nations process drafting the climate change pact, due to be agreed on at the end of 2015, has concentrated mainly on tropical forests.
CIFOR.org (January 12) - In terms of its value to daily lives and livelihoods across Africa, charcoal is black gold. But as crucial as it is for cooking for millions of rural Africans, charcoal comes at a cost: the wood burned to create it comes from forests, generating substantial carbon emissions. Data on exactly how much has been hard to come by, but now there are hopes to change that.
IHB.de (January 16) - The agreement for Canadian exports of softwood lumber to the US will expire in October 2015. The agreement specifies higher duties on Canadian exports when softwood prices are low.
According to reports by the Vancouver Sun, the Canadian industry would like to see the current agreement renewed. US sawmills represented by the US Lumber Coalition are reported to oppose a renewal. If Canadian sawmills will have to pay new higher duties on exports to the United States, it is likely to affect trade flows to other markets including China.
Woodworkingnetwork.com (January 14) - Despite an opposition group's claim to the contrary, a "green light" has been given to the proposed Hardwood Checkoff program for further review by the US Department of Agriculture, says the committee sponsoring the initiative.
Checkoff programs are collective marketing efforts funded by the product producers and run by an industry-governed board; coordinated through the US Department of Agriculture. Under the Hardwood Checkoff proposal, as posted in the Federal Register, funding for the program would come from sawmills, producers, and kiln operating facilities with annual sales in excess of $2 million.
SunJournal.com (January 18) - State officials and the public got their first look at what Canadian-based J.D. Irving has in store for its 51,000 acres around the Fish River chain of lakes in northern Maine after the company filed its concept plan late last month.
The plan takes into account the existing camp and year-round homes along the lakes, working timberland, existing and potential areas for traditional recreational activities, sensitive ecosystems, and potential commercial development.
WCSH6.com (January 19) - The judge overseeing the antitrust lawsuit between Verso Corporation and a mill works union has called lawyers from both sides together to discuss a potential mill buyer.
Kejriwal Singapore International, a paper company based in Mumbai, India, submitted a letter to a US District Court Judge in Bangor, Maine, stating "strong interest" in operating the Bucksport mill.
In its letter, a representative for Kejriwal said it wants to, "acquire and resume operations at Bucksport if we are able to acquire it, potentially hiring several hundred people and sourcing Maine forest products."
VancouverSun.com (January 20) - With British Columbia's primary, commodity-based forest industry experiencing a rebound from the 2008 recession, a segment of the secondary, value-added sector is looking for some help to also take part in the resurgence.
They are mostly small makers of products such as cedar siding and paneling, specialty moulding, windows, and fascia boards and don't own the source of their raw material through tenure-based provincial timber or tree-farm licenses, and they suffered their own ravages for reasons other than the downturn that started with the decline in US real estate.
Mlive.com (January 22) - The Great Lakes state takes on a shade of green when it comes to forestry and biomass, with over 19 million acres of forestland within its borders-more than any other state in the country.
In this article, Gary Melow, director of Michigan Biomass talks about the production, uses, costs, and benefits of Michigan biomass-a forgotten renewable.
Environmentalleader.com (January 20) - A team of researchers from Purdue University's Center for Direct Catalytic Conversion of Biomass to Biofuels has developed a process that uses a chemical catalyst and heat to spur reactions that convert lignin into valuable chemical commodities.
Recorder.com (January 15) - After working for more than a year with woodlot owners around Franklin County, Massachusetts, and finding a need for help building up forest health, the regional government will join 11 other organizations in a conservation project to help region's economy-one that could even lead eventually to a wood pellet factory to help schools and municipal buildings convert to locally produced wood heat.
Biomass Magazine.com (January 20) - RusForest AB, a Swedish forestry company with operations in Russia, has engaged AS Hekotek, a mechanical engineering company, to build a wood pellet production facility at the company's Magistralny sawmill in eastern Siberia.
Savannah Now.com (January 20) - The nonprofit Dogwood Alliance has recently set up shop in Savannah to campaign against biomass, which it views as a new threat to Southern forests.
Over the past year, wood pellet exports from Southeastern ports increased 70 percent, making the southern United States the largest exporter of wood pellets in the world. Demand for the pellets is coming from Europe, where in an effort to mitigate climate change, the European Union included biomass in its renewable energy standards.
The Dogwood Alliance rejects wood pellets as carbon neutral, particularly when the pellets must be transported thousands of miles away from where they're produced. Savannah organizer Rita Frost also cites concerns about the health and biodiversity of Georgia forests.
NZherald.co.nz (January 21) - To some, drones have a measure of infamy because of their military use, but an Auckland University of Technology senior lecturer and her postgraduate students are leading the world in drone-based environmental research.
UTsandiego.com (January 18) - With potentially thousands of commercial and police drones taking to the skies over California in coming years, state lawmakers in 2015 will again be charged with deciding how best to encourage the job-boosting industry while also safeguarding the privacy rights.
Drones are no longer just the machines of war used in Iraq and Afghanistan, and made by firms in San Diego County like Northrop Grumman and General Atomics. They're now small, cheap, and easy to equip with a camera and microphone, offering journalists, police, surveyors, shipping companies, and a vast array of others professions, including forestry, unprecedented business opportunities.
The Best Drones to Fly in 2015
Techradar.com (January 19) - An in-depth look at the current state of the art in floating, flying, camera-toting aircraft
Asiancorrespondent.com (January 12) - How do you conserve a species when you their habitat is so isolated or inaccessible that you can't even count them? Associate Professor Lian Pin Koh and colleagues specialize in using unmanned aircraft or drones to access and assess remote areas under threat from human activities such as deforestation and poaching.
Full-timeWhistle.com (January 17) - In a paper published this week in the Journal of Economic Entomology, researchers at Wright State University in Ohio reported that the emerald ash borer had attacked white fringe trees, the closest relative of the ash tree and an increasingly popular ornamental tree in the United States and Canada.
Earlier tests on walnut and hickory trees, which are more closely related, indicated they don't support the ash borer.
Good4utah.com (January 20) - The emerald ash borer, a tiny green Asian beetle, is on its way to Utah. First discovered in Michigan in 2002, emerald ash borers have spread throughout the East Coast and Midwest. Now, according to the Utah Division of Forestry, arrival of the insect in Utah is imminent.
Utah Cities Working on Proactive Plan to Fight Invasive Beetle
KSL.com (January 21)
Paherald.sk.ca (January 16) - A Saskatchewan battle to fend off the mountain pine beetle is being fought a province away.
Saskatchewan and Alberta announced earlier this week that they had have agreed to a three-year deal to work on mountain pine beetle management, renewing an agreement first signed in 2011.
Saskatchewan will provide $1.25 million this year to slow the spread of the voracious insects.
Blogs.usda.gov (January 15) - To address myriad issues facing our nation's aging landscapes, the US Forest Service has developed the Forest Health Advisory System, a web-based application that highlights potential future activity of more than 40 major forest pests and pathogens across 1.2 billion acres of treed lands.
Courierjournal.net (January 15) - Fire is one of the best tools available to promote wildlife habitat, but public misconception and negative attitudes regarding its use are prevalent.
Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers Continue to Surpass Expectations
WM.edu (January 20) - This past year was one of the most memorable and successful conservation leaps for the Virginia red-cockaded woodpecker population in recent history.
The Center for Conservation Biology has just completed the year-round monitoring of the state's only population of the woodpecker at the Nature Conservancy's Piney Grove Preserve. Surveys resulted in new milestones for number of breeding pairs and overall bird numbers.
Elk on Their Way to Black River State Forest
LacrosseTribune.com (January 18) - The agreement to bring a new elk herd to the Black River State Forest and bolster another in northern Wisconsin received the formal go-ahead earlier this month. Trapping efforts now are set to begin in Kentucky.
FWS Begins Report on Lynx That Doesn't Easily Give Up Secrets
Helenair.com (January 18) - Last week, the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) started its formal five-year status review of the Canada lynx. The review tries to answer the question: Is the Canada lynx threatened or thriving? If it's doing well, FWS could propose removing its "threatened" status. If it is in decline, it might be up-listed to "endangered." It could become a candidate for a formal recovery team effort similar to the interagency project to restore grizzly bears.
North Central Pa.com (January 19) - Ralph Elwood Brock became the first African-American to become a graduate forester of the Pennsylvania State Forest Academy's first class of 1906. He may well have been the first African-American to be educated in forestry in the United States.
Capitalpress.com (January 20) - Washington State University (WSU) is updating and re-establishing its forestry major beginning in the fall.
WSU had phased out the program in 2011 as part of budget reductions. The Legislature instructed that the major be re-established in WSU's 2013-2015 biennial budget.
Industry members also supported re-establishing the program, said Keith Blatner, program leader for forestry and a professor at WSU.
Note: Blatner is a member of SAF's Board of Directors
HCN.org (January 19) - Humans' material reliance on the planet is undeniable, but shoehorning nature into modern capitalism makes for an uneasy fit. The challenge for ecosystem services, then, is to demonstrate our relationship with the natural world without letting its parts be bought and sold like scrap. To that end, sometimes the best way to calculate nature's value doesn't involve dollars after all.
Since its inception, The Forestry Source has endeavored to keep SAF members informed of the latest news and trends within the forestry profession and the Society. We (Source editor Steve Wilent and me, Joseph Smith) want to know: How are we doing? You can let us know by filling out the Reader's Survey we've printed on page 2 of the January 2015 issue. (You can also complete the survey online.)
The survey takes only a few minutes to complete and your answers will help ensure the Source stays useful and relevant for SAF members.
For more on the Survey, see editor Steve Wilent's "Editor's Notebook" in the same issue.
Wanted: Forestry Student Essays
The Forestry Student Forum is intended to increase engagement between students and other SAF members. The Forestry Source welcomes essays written by forestry students on topics of interest to other students, SAF, and the forestry profession. Submit essays of up to 1,000 words.
To send essays, or for more information, contact Source editor Steve Wilent; 503-622-3033.
Wanted: Forestry Photos that Tell a Story
The Forestry Source welcomes submissions of original photographs that illustrate important natural processes or good forest-management practices - or forest practices that aren't so good. If you have a photo or photographs that tell a compelling story, please send them to the email address below, along with a paragraph or two (no more than 500 words, please) that explain where and when they were taken and what story they tell.
To send photos, or for more information, contact Source editor Steve Wilent; 503-622-3033.
How Forestry Came to the Southeast; The Role of the Society of American Foresters, a new book published by the Southeastern SAF, offers a historical account of how forestry began in the United States and, particularly, in the Southeastern states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. In addition to its review of the past 40 years of forestry in the Southeast, the book includes commentaries on five aspects of forestry in the region today.
Copies of the book can be purchased through Amazon.com. Proceeds will be used to fund forestry education programs in the region.
For more information about the book, see the January 2015 issue of The Forestry Source.
In response to members' concerns about the functionality of the SAF website, the Society has launched a beta version of its new Membership Portal. Naturally, we want to know what you think about it, so check it out and send us your comments.
The portal is designed to offer easier access to SAF member services, expedite the renewal process, give up-to-date information about members' involvement with SAF (e.g., CFE credits, subscriptions, and so on), provide the latest forestry news, facilitate giving, and more!
To learn more, see the January 2015 issue of The Forestry Source.
NAFEW.org (undated) - The 10th North American Forest Ecology Workshop (NAFEW) will take place June 14-18 in Veracruz, Mexico. Organized by the Colegio de Postgraduados in association with Colegio de la Frontera Sur, the Mexican Academy of Forest Sciences, and the University of Veracruz, the workshop will offer forest ecologists from around North America a chance to share ideas, knowledge, experiences, and challenges on forest ecosystems of Canada, Mexico, and the United States. The program will include three days of oral and poster presentations, as well as one day of in-conference field trips. Oral presentations will consist of invited plenary speakers and volunteer presentations.
The deadline for abstract submission for both oral and poster presentations is February 28, 2015. The organizing Committee will work on making arrangements for a group of presentations to be published in a special issue of a top-ranked forest ecology journal.
For more information, see the Call for Abstracts on the workshop's website.
Southeastern Society of American Foresters Annual Meeting
January 25-27, Saint Simons Island, GA
Category 1-CF Hours: 8.0
For more information, contact: Sharon Doliver; firstname.lastname@example.org
2015 Multi-State SAF Conference
January 27- 29, Texarkana Convention Center, Texarkana, TX
Category 1-CF Hours: 12.0
For more information, contact: Eric Taylor
Kentucky-Tennessee SAF Winter Meeting
January 28-30, Hilton Hotel, Knoxville, TN
Category 1-CF Hours: 7.5
For more information, contact Jeff Holt
New England Society of American Foresters
95th Annual Winter Meeting: Changing Silviculture in a Changing World
Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee, Vermont on March 25-27
For more information, visit the NESAF website.
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