The Forestry Source - April 2012 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
April 2012 • Vol. 17, No.4
T H I S
I S S U E
Forest Products Marketplace Capital spending by sawmills: on the rise or in the tank? During these difficult times, did sawmills decide to hunker down in survival mode with little or no capital spending? Or did mills elect to retool during the downturn—a time w hen lost production during mill upgrades can be more of a blessing than a curse and when improvements can allow a mill to position itself to take advantage of a rising lumber market. Page 7. Regional data: US forest products sector still reeling. Following on the January article in The Forestry Source, “Forest Sector Reeling during Economic Downturn,” a series of regional papers is being prepared to update the earlier data and provide more detailed regional analysis of the extent of the downturn, with a particular focus on trends in forest sector economic activity and employment across the United States. Page 10. Minnesota SAF’s first remote meeting a success (but traditional meetings are here to stay). The Minnesota SAF recently held its first remote meeting—and it all w ent off without a hitch. But that doesn’t mean more traditional meetings will become a thing of the past. Page 11. Field Tech Measuring trees with complex tops, and an introduction to the extended baseline method. Is there any real need to abandon what most timber specialists have assumed to work in favor of more expensive tools? This article is intended to help answer that question. Page 15. GIS for Foresters SNAP for ArcGIS: an interface for scheduling a network analysis program. Using modern scheduling and network algorithms, SNAP for ArcGIS can develop harvest schedules up to three time periods, with simultaneous consideration of alternative vegetation treatments, locations, and stump-to-mill transportation options. Page 16.
The Sagebrush Rebellion Renewed: Bills Aim to Create Trusts to Manage Federal Timber
By Steve Wilent n his 1993 book, Federal Land, Western Anger, R. McGregor Cawley describes the Sagebrush Rebellion as “a protest originating from three interrelated perceptions: first, that environmentalists had succeeded in gaining a dominant position in federal land policy discussions; second, that the environmental community’s influence had created an underlying bias in favor of preservation over development in federal land management decisions throughout the 1970s; and third, that the only way to counteract the increasingly restrictive character of federal landmanagement decisions was to precipitate an open confrontation.” The first shot in that confrontation was fired in 1979, when the Nevada state legislature passed a bill that sought to transfer control of 48 million acres managed by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM)— about 79 percent of Nevada—to the sta te. Although the bill was largely symbolic—to this day, the BLM retains control of those lands—several other states have since passed similar bills. In February, Utah fired a new salvo when its house of representatives passed the Transfer of Public Lands Act by a vote of 61 to 14. The bill, now under consideration in the state senate, would require the United States to transfer more than 30 million acres of federal land in Utah to the state, exclud-
Washington State’s Department of Natural Resources manages 2.2 million acres on behalf of public schools, universities, and other beneficiaries. Roughly 23 percent of the revenues go to the DNR for trust-management activities.
ing existing national parks and wilderness areas—an ar ea comprising nearly 57 percent of the state. If Utah should sell any of these lands, it would send 95 percent of the proceeds to the federal government and retain 5 percent in a state school fund. In addition, legislators at the federal level, sensitive to constituents in economically hard-hit rural communities and businesses surrounding federal forest-
lands, have recently opened a new front in the rebellion by crafting legislation designed to wrest control of federal forestlands from government agencies, or to force the agencies to increase harvests. The most prominent example is the Federal Forests County Revenue, Schools, and Jobs Act, introduced in February by Rep. Doc Hastings (R-WA), chair of the (See “Sa ge brush” page 4)
Forestry Helps Forge a Common Bond between Iranian and US Foresters
By Steve Wilent ver the years I have been privileged to meet many of the International Fellows at the World Forest Institute (WFI) in Portland, Oregon. I’ve met with and listened to presentations by foresters from Brazil, China, Ireland, Zambia, and other nations. A few of them
have contributed to The Forestry Source via the “Forestry around the World” col umn. These visiting scholars use sabbaticals at the WFI to investigate forestry and natural resources management in the United States and then carry that knowledge home with them. They also bring knowledge to the people they meet in the
D E PA RT M E N T S
6 7 11 15 16 18 Editor’s Notebook Industry News Society Affairs Field Tech GIS for Foresters Classifieds
Afforestation with Arizona cypress (Cupressus arizonica) near a suburb of Tehran, Iran.
United States, in the form of insight into forest management in their countries, as well as of societies and cultures that many US citizens know little about. In February I visited the Institute to interview an Iranian forester, Ali Malekghasemi, who is in the United States to study urban forestry. Malekghasemi hopes what he learns will help him to improve the management of Tehran’s trees and parks. In talking with him, I realized that foresters in the United States have much in common with foresters in Iran, despite the political discord between our two nations. As the interview began, we agreed to ignore geopolitics and focus on forestry. Coincidentally, we met the day after at a showing of A Separation, an Iranian film that won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Malekghasemi has seen the film three times. As we concluded our conversation, we agreed that, regardless of the political postures of our respective governments, the peoples of our two nations have a lot in common. Malekghasemi, 34, lives in Tehran, the capital of Iran and of Tehran Province. He earned a master’s degree in forestry with a major in GIS and land-use planning, and a (See “ Iran” page 5)
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - April 2012
The Forestry Source - April 2012
Forest Products Marketplace Capital Spending by Sawmills: On the Rise or In the Tank?
Regional Data: US Forest Products Sector Still Reeling
Minnesota SAF's First Remote Meeting a Success (but Tradtional Meetings are Here to Stay)
GIS for Foresters
The Forestry Source - April 2012