The Forestry Source - August 2009 - (Page 1)
Source News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters August 2009 • Vol. 14, No. 8 Court Strikes Down National Forest Planning Regulations IN THIS ISSUE L SAF to recognize award winners at national convention. SAF has announced the winners of its six national awards for 2009. The award recipients will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the forestry profession during a ceremony at this year’s SAF National Convention, to be held September 30– October 4 in Orlando, Florida. Page 8. Free online imagery: Google Earth and NASA’s World Wind. The Forestry Source takes a look at Google Earth’s free version and World Wind and evaluates their basic features. Page 12. Predator unmanned aircraft, decision-support tools help manage wildfires. In the not too distant past, most wildland fire incident commanders, who usually could not see the fire or their crews and equipment, worked with data hours or days old to draw maps, predict fire behavior, and plan suppression activities. Today, a suite of high-tech tools gives incident commanders an impressive array of near real-time data and imagery that can allow for much more rapid and effective responses to changing conditions. Page 13. Here’s how to manage forest roads for wildlife. Planting and maintaining woods roads (or logging roads) in quality forages can do more than prevent erosion and sedimentation, it also can provide a considerable amount of highquality forage for a variety of wildlife species. Page 14. House approves biomass offerings in climate-energy bill. After a flurry of lobbying and last-minute changes to the bill, the US House of Representatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 on June 26. Page 20. ast year, when the US Forest Service revised its rule for developing Land and Resource Management Plans, it was upbeat about the ramifications for the national forests and grasslands. The agency had just completed an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the updated rule, which it had been ordered by a court to prepare in 2007. “This preferred alternative [analyzed in the EIS] expands public involvement by requiring early and frequent public dialogue in all phases of the development, implementation, and monitoring of land management plans,” said David Dillard, then the agency’s director of ecosystem management coordination, in a 2008 press release. “This exceeds National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requirements for public involvement. Our goal is to create strong, relevant conversations that address local issues as well as incorporate the latest available science and technology in the plans.” On June 30, however, a US district court ruled that the 2008 rule satisfied neither NEPA nor the Endangered Species Act (ESA). “Because the EIS does not evaluate the environmental impacts of the 2008 rule, it does not comply with NEPA’s requirements,” wrote judge Claudia Wilken, of the US District Court for the Northern In light of the invalidation of the 2008 rule for national forest planning, the Shoshone National Forest in Wyoming has put its plan revision process on hold. A draft of the revised plan had been scheduled for release this fall. Shown here is the Shoshone’s Popo Agie Wilderness. District of California. She added, “Two courts have rejected US Department of Agriculture’s argument that the programmatic nature of the plan development rule necessarily means that it will have no ef- fect on the environment or protected species. The USDA has simply copied those rejected legal arguments in a new (See “Planning” page 6) Jensen: Forest Service To Take a Landscape Perspective Jay Jensen, an SAF member, was recently appointed deputy under secretary for natural resources and environment at the US Department of Agriculture. Bark Beetles, Germany, and Active Forest Management: An Interview with Peter Kolb O By Steve Wilent, Source Editor D E PA RT M E N T S 3 5 13 14 16 18 18 Letters Forestry News Briefs Science & Technology Here’s How to People in the News Classifieds Land Management Services U S Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in April that SAF member Jay Jensen has a mix of on-the-ground forestry and government experience that makes him highly qualified to serve as US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment, a position responsible for overseeing the US Forest Service and Natural Resources Conservation Service. “He is a forester and wildland firefighter with an extensive background in policy, management, and legislation,” Vilsack said. “I’ll be looking to Jay’s leadership as we address the health of our forests. This is a top priority for the USDA because it relates to several critical challenges—the intensity of forest fires, climate change, biomass and renewable energy, (See “Jensen” page 4) n June 16, Peter Kolb, Montana State University extension forestry specialist and an associate professor of forest ecology and management at the University of Montana, testified on SAF’s behalf at a hearing of the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water and Power on strategies for protecting the West from the mountain pine beetle. During his allotted time, Kolb discussed his experiences both in the United States and abroad, why shortterm solutions to the bark beetle epidemic may be short-sighted, and why the challenges facing the region’s forests will require a long-term solution that produces not only a thriving and productive forests, but a healthy and productive forest products industry as well. To learn more, The Forestry Source recently spoke with Kolb to hear how the United States might be able to benefit from what others have learned about creating more resilient forests. The Forestry Source: What are the major factors affecting forests in the West, and how are they contributing to the current bark beetle situation? Kolb: Bark beetles are a complex issue because there are a lot of things that impact their life cycles and their ability to become an epidemic. The major ones, as I outlined in my written testimony, are first, favorable climatic conditions for their reproductive cycle and their survival, which means longer summers, more extensive drought, and milder winters. Second, and equally important, are large contiguous landscapes with similar-aged, monocultures of susceptible host trees. Those are the two things that come together to create this situation in which we have an epidemic. Your testimony contained a good deal of information about how forests are managed in Germany. What message were you trying to convey to legislators who took part in the hearing? I went to Germany for five and a half months on a Fulbright grant, the basis of which was to look at the long-term impacts of forest management and, particularly, the long-term impacts of forest management on bark beetle epidemics. And, really, to compare Montana, with a relatively unmanaged forest landscape in the long-term sense, to Germany, which has a long history of management. I mean, you’re looking at 300 years of written, historical, planned management and probably 2,000 years of intensive human use of these forests. You often hear a lot of discussion that (See “Kolb” page 5) Jim Peaco/National Park Service
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - August 2009
The Forestry Source - August 2009
Forestry News Briefs
Science & Technology
Here’s How to...
People in the News
Land Management Services
The Forestry Source - August 2009
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