The Forestry Source - January 2013 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
January 2013 • Vol. 18, No. 1
The Agony of Engine 57: Documenting the Esperanza Fire
Book Details Arsonist’s Conviction for the Murder of Five Firefighters
I N T H I S I S S U E
Forest Carbon Marketplace: The business case for California forest carbon offsets A decade of experimentation in voluntary carbon markets yielded important lessons for the development of a domestic compliance market. However, these early experiences also generated fatigue among many landowners, foresters, and service providers who invested their time and talent as the first compliance market for domestic forest offsets materialized. Page 7. Society Affairs: Lopez, Hayes, and Hoss elected to SAF Council Three SAF members were elected last year to fill three-year positions on SAF Council: J. Lopez, District 3; Andrew J. Hayes, CF, District 6; and Gregory A. Hoss, District 9. Their terms began January 1. Page 9. SAF core language: Evolving forest management since 1900 SAF embarked on a nine-month process to reinvigorate the organization through understanding its core purpose and by examining our aspirations for the future. Page 10. GIS for Foresters: OruxMaps: Mapping with Android devices This article describes the reviewer’s experience using Android tablet computers in conjunction with OruxMaps software to assist with this land cover mapping activity in cocoa landscapes in Ghana and Indonesia. Page 13. Field Tech: An iPhone paired with a laser rangefinder? The presentations on forest resilience and the many scientific and technical sessions on various topics at SAF’s National Convention in October were as good as or better than those at any other national convention. Here’s a brief look at a few of the products on display. Page 14.
By Steve Wilent ohn N. Maclean’s The Esperanza Fire: Arson, Murder, and the Agony of Engine 57 is not a book about a wildfire. It is much more than that. With a keen eye and ear for detail and raw emotion, Maclean dissects the tragic circumstances surrounding the deaths of five firefighters in 2006 after a wind-driven fire burned over their position on a ridge amidst a sea of chaparral and a few trees. Whether or not you’ve ever been on the front line of a wildfire, this book is a gut-wrenching, compelling narrative. It reads like a taut murder mystery, a whodunit novel you can’t put down, with a cast of fascinating characters that includes shady suspects, a dogged detective, DNA evidence, a divided jury, and the victims’ grieving family, friends, and colleagues. The fire, started by an arsonist on October 26, 2006, burned about 42,000 acres and destroyed 34 houses. The arsonist was caught, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. Maclean, a seasoned journalist with storytelling in his blood, spent six years piecing together the story of the crime. As for the deaths, he also answers the question, “Why?” as well it can be answered—Why did the crew of Engine 57 hold its position on that hilltop, with a fire driven by Santa Ana winds below them? And was anyone, other than Raymond Lee Oyler, the arsonist, ultimately responsible for the deaths?
A firefighter visits the remains of US Forest Service Engine 57, where five of his colleagues died in 2006 during the Esperanza Fire in Southern California.
Maclean worked as a writer, editor, and reporter for the Chicago Tribune for 30 years. During that time he helped his father, Norman, edit Young Men and Fire, the elder Maclean’s account of the 1949 Mann Gulch Fire in Montana and the 13 men who died there. (Norman Maclean, who died in 1990, may be best known for his book, A River Runs Through It and Other Stories, and the 1992 film based on
the title story, directed by Robert Redford.) In 1995, John Maclean left his job with the Tribune to write Fire on the Mountain: The True Story of the South Canyon Fire, an account of the deaths of 14 firefighters in Colorado in 1994. Since then he has written Fire and Ashes: On the Front Lines of American Wildfire and The (See “Maclean” page 3)
EPA Issues New Rule as Supreme Court Hears Forest Roads Case
he US Supreme Court heard oral arguments on Monday, December 3, in Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC), an appeal of a controversial decision by the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit that
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Editor’s Notebook Letters Industry News Society Affairs Science and Tech Continuing Ed. Calendar Classifieds
Does storm-water runoff via ditches, culverts, and channels require an Environmental Protection Agency permit? In December, the US Supreme Court held a hearing in a case that may decide the issue.
involves Clean Water Act permits for runoff from forest roads. However, the last-minute issuance of a rule by US Environmental Protection Agency clarifying that such permits are not required was greeted with surprise and irritation by Supreme Court justices and complicates what might have been a relatively straightforward appeal. The Ninth Circuit ruled in 2011 that “stormwater runoff from logging roads that is collected by and then discharged from a system of ditches, culverts, and channels” is industrial activity and therefore “a point source discharge” that requires a permit from the EPA. Many forest managers and landowners were concerned that the new requirement would result in high compliance costs and delays in conducting timber sales and other forestry activities. In 2012, SAF submitted a brief to the court stating that existing state bestmanagement practices (BMPs) are effective approaches to managing storm-water runoff and that EPA permits are not needed (see “SAF Briefs Supreme Court: With BMPs, EPA Road Permits Not Needed,” October). On November 30, the Friday before the Supreme Court hearing, the EPA published a “prepublication” copy of its new rule. On (See “EPA” page 5)
Walters Elected SAF Vice-President; Cox Steps Up to President
he results of SAF’s national elections are in: William D. Walters (left) was chosen as SAF’s vicepresident and three SAF members were elected to three-year positions on the SAF Council: J. Lopez, District 3; Andrew J. Hayes, CF, District 6; and Gregory A. Hoss, District 9 (see page 9 for more about the new Council members). Joann Meyer Cox (right), who served as vice-president in 2012, became SAF’s president for 2013. She succeeds William Rockwell Jr. A message from Cox to SAF members appears on Page 6. Walters will serve as president in 2014. Walters has been an SAF member since 1981. He has held several SAF leadership positions, most recently as a Council member representing District 9 from (See “Elections” page 11)
Gina Ferazzi,Los Angeles Times
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - January 2013
The Forestry Source - January 2013
Forest Carbon Marketplace
SAF Core Language
Science and Tech
GIS for Foresters
Continuing Ed. Calendar
The Forestry Source - January 2013