The Forestry Source - November 2011 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
November 2011 • Vol. 16, No. 11
Does Federal Forestry Have a Future in Spotted Owl Country?
Professors Jerry Franklin and K. Norman Johnson Say “Yes”
I N T H I S I S S U E
Michigan SAF tour brings firstterm representative into the field On June 8, the Michigan SAF held a field tour with Rep. Dan Benishek (R), a first-term member of Congress from Michigan’s 1st congressional district, to discuss several issues of concern to the state’s forestry community, including the effect of the recent US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruling regarding the impact of logging roads on water quality and the benefits of federal cost-share programs to private landowners. Page 8. West Virginia division’s summer meeting focuses on urban forestry At the end of August, the West Virginia Division of the Allegheny SAF met for its summer meeting in Bluefield, where attendees visited the area’s scenic and open-space assets to learn about the urban forestry successes and challenges that the greater Bluefield area has faced in recent years. Page 10. Scientists work to develop adelgid-resistant hemlocks The Alliance for Saving Threatened Forests, a working coalition of universities and agencies, aims to develop trees resistant to the hemlock woolly adelgid and offers a future for hemlocks in natural settings and in the nursery/landscape industry. Page 12. Juniper Systems’s Mesa notepad opens touchscreen territory Juniper Systems’s Mesa is a shockproof, waterproof, handheld computer with the Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional operating system and 4 gigabytes of internal storage, a GPS receiver with 2- to 5-meter accuracy, the ability to access wireless networks and the Internet, connectivity to other devices via Bluetooth, and USB ports for linking with other computers and peripherals. Page 14.
By Steve Wilent epending on who you talk to, Jerry Franklin and K. Norman Johnson are either heroes or villains for their work in developing the 1994 Northwest Forest Plan, an effort to preserve habitat for the northern spotted owl, which was listed in 1990 under the Endangered Species Act as a threatened species in Washington, Oregon, and California. The plan was designed to allow an estimated 1.1 billion board feet per year to be harvested from 24.5 million acres of federal land in the three states, far less than the allowable sale quantities of as much as 4.5 billion board feet annually in the region before the advent of the plan, and actual harvests since then have been a fraction of the 1.1 billion board feet target. This and other aspects of the plan remain highly contentious to this day. (For an overview of the plan, see www.reo.gov/general /aboutnwfp.htm.) In 1991, Franklin and Johnson, along with Jack Ward Thomas and John Gordon, were appointed by the House Agriculture Committee to a Scientific Panel on LateSuccessional Forest Ecosystems, which was charged with examining options for managing forests in the spotted owl region. This so-called Gang of Four was later enlarged to include Jim Sedell and Gordon Reeves. Ultimately, the committee produced no legislation, but its report
In their proposal for managing dry-forest types on federal lands in the Pacific Northwest, Jerry Franklin (left) and Norm Johnson explain that large, older trees will be left, while overall stand density is decreased.
remained influential in shaping the 1994 plan. Fast forward to the present: most of the timber cut on US Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land in the northern spotted owl region comes from thinning. Franklin, a professor at the University of Washington’s School of Forest Resources, and Johnson, a professor at
Oregon State University’s College of Forest Resources, say that thinning can be good, but the openings in the forest canopy created by regeneration harvesting are increasingly scarce. There is a deficit of early-successional habitat, they say, a deficit that can be eliminated only by al(See “Federal” page 3)
A High School “Environmental Science” Class Heads to the Woods
Consulting Foresters Enduring Hard Times
Text and photos by Steve Wilent he state of university-level forestry and natural resources education is a perennial topic of interest among SAF members. See, for example, “How Do Natural Resources Management and Forestry Programs Compare?” by Marissa
Kay Vereen, Tom Straka, and Terry Sharik in the October edition. But what about forestry and natural resources education in high schools? What types of courses are offered? How well do they prepare future (See “High School” page 4)
D E PA RT M E N T S
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Editor’s Notebook Letters Industry News Society Affairs Science and Tech Education Calendar Classifieds
When students ask Wolftree project leader Dale Baer (in orange vest) about a salmon carcass in the water near the shore of the Salmon River, Baer asks them a series of questions in return that are intended to stimulate critical thinking.
s the forest products industry struggles to weather a continuing economic downturn, many consulting foresters, too, have been hard hit, especially by the lack of a recovery in the housing market. While some are holding their own, others are just trying to hold on. When the housing market was up, Frank Borden and his partner, Jim Chapin, employed a handful of foresters and forestry technicians at Shasta Land Management Consultants in Redding, California. Today, Borden and Chapin are the only ones left. “Nobody’s building houses, therefore the value of timber is down. We had branched off into doing tree-management plans and oak-woodland conservation plans and things like that, but those are all dependent on development, and there’s no development, so business is slow,” said Borden. “But we haven’t gone to Walmart and gotten jobs as greeters, yet.” Mary Clapp, CF, president of Stevens Forestry Service Inc., in El Dorado, Arkansas, said her company is working hard to survive. “Timber sales are really down,” she said. “Thank goodness we’ve been able to pull in quite a few timber cruises and appraisals—that’s helping us stay afloat.” (See “Consultants” page 5)
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - November 2011
The Forestry Source - November 2011
Michigan SAF Tour Brings First-Term Representative into the Field
West Virginia Division's Summer Meeting Focuses on Urban Forestry
Scientists Work to Develop Adelgid-Resistant Hemlocks
Science and Tech
Juniper System's Mesa Notepad Opens Touchscreen Territory
The Forestry Source - November 2011