The Forestry Source - March 2014 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
March 2014 * Vol. 19, No. 3
By Joseph M. Smith
n January 29, Resources for the
Future (RFF) hosted a seminar at
its Washington, DC, headquarters
on the "Contributions of Forests in the
Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Cosponsored by SAF, with additional support from US Forest Service Research and Development, the National Alliance of Forest Owners, the US Industrial
Pellet Association, the American Forest
and Paper Association, and the Biomass
Power Association, the event examined
the questions surrounding the ways forests
affect atmospheric carbon and carbon accounting systems.
Rodger Sedjo, RFF senior fellow and
event moderator, said that forests affect atmospheric carbon in two ways, because
they expand and contract.
"When they expand, they sequester
carbon. When they contract, they release
carbon. So forest management can play an
important roll in the overall set of policies
that are designed to address these gasses,"
The second way in which forests can
be important is in providing the wood
biomass that can substitute for nonrenewable fossil fuels. Yet, as Sedjo
noted, this substitution gives rise to "a
number of issues" regarding monitoring
Courtesy of Sandy Ngo/Resources for the Future
Seminar Examines the Contributions of Forests in
the Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions
T H I S
I S S U E
2014 SAF Leadership Guide
The SAF Leadership Guide, which lists
the contact information for SAF's national officers, the SAF Council, and
state society, working group, and task
force and committee chairs, appears annually in The Forestry Source so SAF
members can more readily contact the
Society's leadership and offer their
input about how the Society can achieve
its mission. Page 8.
Talking with Award Winners Jo
Ellen Force and Rachel Reyna
The Forestry Source speaks with 2014
SAF National Award winners Jo Ellen
Force and Rachel Reyna about their experiences with SAF. Page 10.
An Octocopter Helps Texas A&M
Forestry Research Take Flight
Researchers and students at Texas A&M
University are teaming up to equip an
octocopter-an eight-rotor unmanned
aerial vehicle (UAV)-with a camera
stabilization platform, autopilot, and
cameras with multispectral capabilities.
There is a growing interest in UAVs that
can be used in many areas, such as mapping floods and fires. Page 12.
Field Tech: Webinars for Dirt
Webinars for dirt foresters? Dirt foresters work in the woods and don't have
time for gazing at web pages, right? As
much as we might wish that were true, it
isn't. And that's a good thing, because
there are lots of webinars, or interactive
web-based seminars, that we can learn
from. Page 13.
Photos on Facebook Tell Stories
For Mike Leonard, a collection of photos
on Facebook tells many stories about his
work as a consulting forester in Massachusetts. Page 15.
D E PA RT M E N T S
Science & Tech
Roger Sedjo (left) moderates the discussion at the end of the RFF seminar on the "Contributions of Forests in the Management of Greenhouse Gas Emissions." Also pictured (left to
right): David Cleaves of the US Forest Service, Robert Malmsheimer of the State University
of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and William Stewart of the
University of California-Berkeley.
"One of the issues is how do we monitor
the emissions of carbon from bioenergy
facilities? One proposal is that each facility
be monitored separately. A related issue is
the regulatory issue. Should wood emissions
be treated the same as those from nonrenewable fossil fuels?"
Such questions also lead to discussions
of taxes, and whether such penalties imposed on fossil fuel emissions apply to
emissions from renewables.
"To me, some of the approaches to monitoring biogenic emissions have some
wrong-headed elements to them," said
Sedjo. "There are alternative ways of accounting for carbon released into the atmosphere. We can measure net emissions for a
forest by looking at the various individual
(See "Seminar" page 3)
Farm Bill Tackles Forest Roads, Stewardship Contracting
By Steve Wilent
hen President Barack Obama
signed the Agricultural Act of
2014, otherwise known as the
Farm Bill, on February 7, many observers
in the forestry community breathed a sigh
of relief. The bill settles two closely
watched issues: It enshrines into law the
US Environmental Protection Agency's
"Silvicultural Rule," which exempts most
forestry activities from Clean Water Act
permitting requirements; and it permanently reauthorizes the use of stewardship
contracts by the US Forest Service and
Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
The Farm Bill also includes funding for
a number of forestry-related conservation
programs, such as the Environmental
Quality Incentives Program (EQIP); reauthorizes the Biomass Crop Assistance
Program; explicitly includes forest products in the USDA's Biobased Markets
Program (also known as the BioPreferred
program); and encourages research on
wood as a green building material and
life-cycle assessment of wood products at
the Forest Service's Forest Products Laboratory.
"I've seen it hailed as the strongest
Farm Bill for forestry thus far, and that's a
pretty good characterization," said John
Barnwell, SAF's director of forest policy.
"Overall, we can be pleased with the pas-
A section of the 2014 Farm Bill exempts
most silvicultural activities from EPA Clean
Water Act permits, including nonpoint
stormwater runoff from forest roads.
sage of the Farm Bill and the treatment of
forestry within it. It's good to see that we
are getting this level recognition and support from Congress."
Dave Tenny, president and CEO of the
National Alliance of Forest Owners
(NAFO), has a similar view.
"If you look at it in its entirety, this is
as strong a Farm Bill for forestry as we've
seen in 20 years or more. It is an affirmation of forestry in this country," he said.
For NAFO members, the prospect of a
requirement to obtain Clean Water Act
permits for silvicultural activities was
chilling. In 2011, the US Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit ruled that EPA permits were required for "stormwater runoff
from logging roads that is collected by and
then discharged from a system of ditches,
culverts, and channels." The court also affirmed the right of citizens to file suit
against landowners who failed to obtain
these Clean Water Act permits or who violated the permits.
Although a March 2013 Supreme
Court ruling partially resolved the issue,
NAFO, SAF, and other parties urged Congress to pass a law permanently settling it
(see "Supreme Court Recognizes Merit of
BMPs, but the Need for a Legislative Fix
Remains," The Forestry Source, May
2013). The Farm Bill provides such a legislative fix by legally exempting a host of
activities from Clean Water Act permitting, including site preparation, reforesta(See "Farm Bill" page 4)
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - March 2014
The Forestry Source - March 2014
2014 SAF Leadership Guide
Talking with Award Winners Jo Ellen Force and Rachel Reyna
An Octocopter Helps Texas A&M Forestry Research Take Flight
Science & Tech
Field Tech: Webinars for Dirt Foresters
Photos on Facebook Tell Stories about Forestry
The Forestry Source - March 2014