Parts of Courthouse Creek spared logging

Asheville Citizen Times 12/16/2013
Excerpt:       “
WAYNESVILLE — Environmentalists reached a compromise with the government on Monday that will spare some of the most sensitive areas of Courthouse Creek from logging.   The agreement with the U.S. Forest Service means 54 acres of mostly high elevation trees in the Pisgah Ridge National Heritage Area are off the table.

The entire project, which the forest service has said is necessary for habitat improvement and forest health, will now included 368 acres in a bowl-shaped zone in the Pisgah National Forest visible from the Blue Ridge Parkway and Devil’s Courthouse.  ….”
Read entire article at http://www.citizen-times.com/article/20131216/NEWS/312160045/Parts-Courthouse-Creek-spared-logging

Collaboration conundrum Wilderness advocates sharply divided on ‘consensus’ proposals

Great Falls Tribune 12/15/2013
Excerpt:           “
At a June 8, 1997, gathering in Kalispell, former U.S. Forest Service Chief Jack Ward Thomas foretold a vision of the future for national forest management in Montana.According to a newspaper account of Thomas’ address to the Montana Logging Association, President Bill Clinton’s former forest chief predicted a “golden decade of conservation” in which environmental groups and timber interests would work side by side to reach “consensus” on the future of management of federal forest land.  ….”
Read entire article (lengthy) at http://www.greatfallstribune.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2013312140020&nclick_check=1

Scientists Oppose Logging Bills in Congress

Associated Press 11/3/2013
Excerpt:      “
RENO, Nev. — More than 200 biologists, ecologists and other scientists are urging Congress to defeat legislation they say would destroy critical wildlife habitat by setting aside U.S. environmental laws to speed logging of burned trees at Yosemite National Park and other national forests and wilderness areas across the West.

The experts say two measures pushed by pro-logging interests ignore a growing scientific consensus that the burned landscape plays a critical role in forest regeneration and is home to many birds, bats and other species found nowhere else.   …”
Read entire article at http://www.flatheadbeacon.com/articles/article/scientists_oppose_logging_bills_in_congress/36344/

Forests: Does salvage logging in beetle-killed forests make economic sense for the Forest Service?

Summit County Voice 10/22/2013
Excerpt:       “FRISCO — A new Forest Service study confirms the conventional wisdom that, under current market conditions, salvage of beetle-killed timber in Colorado is not good for the agency’s bottom line.

 

The researchers evaluated potential potential revenues from harvesting standing timber killed by mountain pine beetle across the western United States. Positive net revenues are possible in regions with strong timber markets, including along the West Coast and in the northern Rockies.  The central Rocky Mountain states of Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming — which have the largest volume of standing dead timber — would not generate positive net revenues by salvaging beetle-killed timber, the study concluded.  ….”
Read entire article and find link to research report at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/10/22/forests-does-salvage-logging-in-beetle-killed-forests-make-economic-sense-for-the-forest-service/

New forest-restoration contract, same old problems

Arizona Republic Editorial 9/22/2013
Excerpt:     “
A new day is dawning for the nation’s most ambitious forest-restoration project.  Will it be as dismal, overcast and unproductive as all the previous days of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative? Despite ample reason for skepticism, we remain hopeful.

The U.S. Forest Service recently announced that after a two-month review, it has agreed to transfer the contract of a company hired to thin 300,000 forested acres in Arizona over 10 years. After nearly a year and a half on the job, the original contractor had thinned barely 1,000 acres and failed to secure financing to build a sawmill for its products.  …”
Read entire editorial at http://www.azcentral.com/opinions/articles/20130917forest-plan-needs-smarts-speed.html

Debate continues to swirl on managing public lands

Miami Herald 8/10/2013
Excerpt:       “
Ask U.S. Sen. Mike Crapo where the discussion on managing Idaho’s federal lands should start, and he doesn’t hesitate.  “Collaboration,” said Crapo, a Republican who has championed bringing Idaho ranchers, loggers and motorized recreationists together with environmentalists to find compromise.

Crapo met with members of the Clearwater Basin Collaborative group last week in Lewiston to discuss the next step now that they have reached a broad agreement on how to manage the Clearwater-Nez Perce National Forest — all 4 million acres of it.
Read entire article at http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/08/10/3551222/debate-continues-to-swirl-on-managing.html

Tipton’s healthy-forest bill makes it through House panel

Durango Herald  7/31/2013
Excerpt:          “
A U.S. House committee advanced Rep. Scott Tipton’s bill to accelerate logging in national forests Wednesday, although Democrats on the panel said it will never become law.

Tipton, R-Cortez, has pushed his healthy forests legislation for two years. It allows states and local governments to nominate areas for more logging, allowing for them to brush aside the Endangered Species Act, legal challenges and lengthy environmental reviews. The bill also sets mandates for the Forest Service to produce higher timber harvests and to share its revenues with rural school districts.   ….”
Read entire article at http://www.durangoherald.com/article/20130731/NEWS01/130739875/-1/news01&source=RSS

Forest Contract Bombshell

Payson Roundup  7/23/2013
Excerpt:       “
Amid fresh furor, the U.S. Forest Service is considering letting a troubled timber company transfer the biggest forest restoration project in history.

The Forest Service announced on Monday that it has received a request from Pioneer Forest Products to transfer the 10-year, Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) contract to thin 300,000 acres in Northern Arizona to another, unnamed company…..”
Read entire article at http://www.paysonroundup.com/news/2013/jul/23/forest-contract-bombshell/

MLB, U.S. Forest Service decreases bat shatter rate

Caswell Messenger 7/12/2013
Excerpt:         “
As the 2013 Major League Baseball (MLB) season slides into the All-Star break, U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the results of innovative research by the U.S. Forest Service, and funded by MLB, that will result in significantly fewer shattered baseball bats.

“This innovative research by the U.S. Forest Service will make baseball games safer for players and fans across the nation,” said Secretary Vilsack. “The U.S. Forest Products Laboratory has once again demonstrated that we can improve uses for wood products across our nation in practical ways – making advancements that can improve quality of life and grow our economy.”    …”
Read entire article at http://www.caswellmessenger.com/sports/article_dfc87a04-eaff-11e2-970f-001a4bcf887a.html

Environment: U.S. Forest Service plans to transition away from old-growth logging in the Tongass National Forest

Summit County Voice 7/9/2013
Excerpt:       “
FRISCO — The U.S. Forest Service says it will back away from logging old growth in the country’s biggest national forest — Alaska’s 17-million acre Tongass — but not until after completing the  already approved Big Thorne timber sale.

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack the agency’s plan to to conserve the old-growth forests by speeding the transition to management of second-growth forests. Vilsack said the goal is to increase second-growth timbers until they make up the vast majority of logging projects withing 10 to 15 years. Read the full memorandum here.   ….”
Read entire article at http://summitcountyvoice.com/2013/07/09/environment-u-s-forest-service-plans-to-transition-away-from-old-growth-logging-in-the-tongass-national-forest/