The Forestry Source - August 2011 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
August 2011 • Vol. 16, No. 8
New Spotted Owl Plan Focuses on Main Threat: Barred Owls
I N T H I S I S S U E
SAF announces 2011 national award winners. The Society of American Foresters has announced the winners of its seven national awards for 2011. The award recipients will be recognized for their outstanding contributions to the forestry profession during a ceremony at the 2011 SAF National Convention. Page 8. Conservation Leadership School introduces high school students to the complexity of natural resources issues. Every summer, Mike Powell, conservation officer with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and forestry instructor and faculty representative for the SAF Student Chapter at Penn State University, spends a few weeks educating high school students about natural resources issues at the Conservation Leadership School, a week-long summer camp based at the university’s Stone Mountain Recreation Area in Petersburg, Pennsylvania. Page 10. Firewood movement: a threat to California’s forests? The movement of firewood has been implicated as a source of introduction and dissemination of invasive forest insects and diseases. However, minimal factual data and quantitative information are available about the interstate movement of firewood and potential forest pests. Page 12. Esri conference examines the business value of GIS for forest management. Maps give foresters a compelling means of communicating a great deal of information. Compared to a photograph of the same area, a map, based on data within a geographic information system, gives foresters a powerful management tool. These days, such tools often are indispensable. Page 14.
he northern spotted owl (NSO), the iconic Pacific Northwest bird that for more than two decades has been the object of discord over the management of federal forests in the region, is in decline. Under the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan, more than 7.4 million acres of federal land—about 30 percent of the US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land in three states—was made largely off-limits to active forest management, to safeguard habitat for the owl and other species. However, the set-asides and other recovery efforts have, so far, failed. “In spotted owl conservation and recovery, we face a formidable challenge,” said Robyn Thorson, director of the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s (USFWS) Pacific Region. “Science studies confirm that the spotted owl population is declining nearly 3 percent a year rangewide, a greater rate than previously anticipated.” Thorson was speaking at a June 30 press conference announcing the release of a revised recovery plan for the owl. Last year, 20 years after the listing of the NSO as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, a federal court threw out a 2008 recovery plan for the NSO and ordered the Fish and Wildlife Service to draft a new plan (see “Court Invalidates Northern Spotted Owl Recovery Plan,” October 2010). The new 2011 recovery plan, Thorson said, would involve a three-pronged strategy for recovery and eventual de-listing of the species: Management of the barred owl. A native of eastern North America, the barred owl has moved westward over the last century. It reached the range of the northern spotted owl in British Columbia by about 1959 and was first documented in Washington, Oregon, and California in the 1970s. Because the barred owl is considered a major threat to spotted owls, a range of actions, including killing barred owls, may be needed. “Because it is a larger, more aggressive bird, the barred owl is outcompeting the spotted owl for food and habitat,” said Thorson. “This is the pressing, short-term threat to the spotted owl.”
According to the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the barred owl is the “pressing, short-term threat to the northern spotted owl.”
Active forest management. “Active forest management is needed to make forests healthier and more resilient to the effects of environmental change that can result from catastrophic wildfire, invasive species, disease, insect outbreaks, and climate changes anticipated and already documented,” she said. “We believe, based on the best data available, that a hands-off (See “Owls” page 3)
Grant Advances Pyramid Mountain Lumber’s Biomass Energy Vision
By Steve Wilent n June 22, 2011, US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack announced nearly $3 million in grants to 17 small businesses and community groups to develop wood-to-energy projects. Grant funding ranged from $25,000 to $250,000, and each of the 17 recipients would have to provide at least 20 percent of the total project cost. The projects were required to involve the use of woody material removed from forests during fuels-management and forest-
health projects and that would then be processed in bioenergy facilities to produce heat and electricity. The grants, made via the US Forest Service’s Woody Biomass Utilization program, are aimed at helping such facilities get off of the proverbial drawing board by funding the necessary design and engineering services, cost analyses, and permits. Since the program was established in 2005, more than $33 million has been pro(See “Vision” page 4)
Pyramid Mountain Lumber Inc.
Beetle Outbreak in New Jersey: Yet Another Example of Why Forests Need Management
D E PA RT M E N T S
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Editor’s Notebook Letters Industry News Society Affairs Science and Tech Continuing Ed. Calendar Classifieds
Pyramid Mountain Lumber is planning to build a biomass energy plant at its mill in Seeley Lake, Montana.
By Ronald F. Billings and Bob Williams large faction of the American public has become convinced that the only way to conserve our prized forests on public lands is to stop harvesting, prevent wildfires, and restrict or exclude forest management. Too often this “lock it up and let it go” mentality can have unintended, disastrous consequences, as demonstrated across the nation in recent years. The extensive mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) outbreaks in lodgepole pine forests of the western United States and Canada, the bark beetle outbreaks in ponderosa pine forests of the Black Hills of South Dakota, and, most recently, the catastrophic wildfires in Arizona are examples. Add southern pine beetle (D. frontalis) outbreaks in Texas (1975– 1993), Tennessee (2000–2001), and now New Jersey to this growing list. As its name suggests, the southern pine beetle (SPB) is a major pest of southern pines from Texas to North Carolina. But (See “Beetles” page 5)
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The Forestry Source - August 2011
Science and Tech
Continuing Ed. Calendar
The Forestry Source - August 2011
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