22 Mar 2008, 7:25pm
by admin
Comments Off

Old-Growth Forest Science, Policy, and Management in the Pacific Northwest Region

Beck, Paul H., Timber Manager, Herbert Lumber Company, Riddle Oregon. Old-Growth Forest Science, Policy, and Management in the Pacific Northwest Region — Testimony to the Subcommittee on Public Lands and Forests of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, March 13, 2008.

Full text [here]

Follow-up questions [here]

Selected excerpts:

Chairman Wyden, Senator Smith, members of the committee, good afternoon and thank you for inviting me here today; my name is Paul Beck and I am the Timber Manager for Herbert Lumber Company in Riddle Oregon. I am a fourth generation sawmill worker. The Forests of the Umpqua and the Rogue have not only been my office of thirty years, they have been my home and my recreation for over fifty three. I am here today representing Herbert Lumber, Douglas Timber Operators (DTO) and American Forest Resource Council (AFRC). My goal here today is to help you better understand our company, our industry, our community, our forests, and the true history of those forests.

There are many myths surrounding all of these things. My desire is to dispel those myths.

The timber wars of the last twenty years in Oregon are full of villains and heroes, which vary by storyteller. But as policymakers, I urge my senators from Oregon and other Members of Congress to separate reality from mythology.

Myth 1

If manufacturers would convert to only small log operations then we could thin young stands to provide all the material necessary to supply society’s needs for wood products.

Just as you cannot build a house out of one dimension of lumber, say 2×4’s, you cannot build an industry that produces nothing but one type of wood. If you walk through a house under constructions you certainly will find a lot of 2×4’s. This is a primary framing component. But if you look closer you will see a vast number of various other grades and dimensions. The timber industry of the Northwest has evolved to fill the needs of this market.
more »

14 Mar 2008, 6:42pm
by admin
leave a comment

The Forest Carbon and Emissions Model (FCEM)

Bonnicksen, Thomas M. The Forest Carbon And Emissions Model. 2008. The Forest Foundation, Auburn, CA

FCEM Report No. 1 — Overview and technical information (beta version). Full text [here]

FCEM Report No. 2 — Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Four California Wildfires: Opportunities to Prevent and Reverse Environmental and Climate Impacts. Full text [here]

Review with selected excerpts by Mike Dubrasich:

The Forest Carbon and Emissions Model (FCEM) is a mathematical method (model) for estimating the amount of greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4, N2O) emitted by forest fires. FCEM requires minimum input of stand data, the number of acres burned, and the percent understory and overstory mortality. From those FCEM computes carbon stored and the emissions from fire combustion and from subsequent decay of dead wood.

FCEM is based on the (scientifically) reported biomass for various forest types and species, and the reported partitioning of that biomass into above-ground and below-ground components, as well as into trees and shrubs. Other components include equations that estimate the biomass lost to combustion and subsequent decay, the carbon stored in harvested trees, and the biomass stored in post-fire forest regrowth.

At this time FCEM (the beta version) is a deterministic model. That is, it outputs a value, not a range of probable values. However, by adjusting the inputs a user may generate a range of output values.

FCEM also provides a comparison of the output value to passenger car per year equivalents, megawatts of coal-fired power plant equivalents, as well as comparing them to total greenhouse gas emissions in California.
more »

6 Mar 2008, 10:16am
by admin
leave a comment

NAFSR Budget Recommendations for the USFS FY2009 Budget

George M. Leonard - Chairman, Board of Directors, National Association of Forest Service Retirees (NAFSR)

Recommendations to the Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Regarding the FY2009 Budget for the U.S. Forest Service

Full text [here]

Selected excerpts:

The following recommendations relate to all programs of the U.S. Forest Service. In developing these recommendations, we used the FY2008 Omnibus appropriation, as enacted, as the starting point. We find the Administration’s FY2009 budget proposals for the Forest Service to be irresponsible. We believe the base funding for all programs should be the FY2008 appropriation level adjusted for pay act and other uncontrollable costs (an increase of $77 million across all program areas). …

The most critical issue that needs to be addressed in the Forest Service budget is the funding of fire suppression. The current procedure of including the ten-year average cost of fire suppression within the agency’s discretionary budget is destroying the capability of the Forest Service to carryout the remainder of its statutory missions. From 25 percent in FY2000, fire funding is now approaching 50 percent of the budget. The suppression cost trend means the ten-year average is going to continue to grow, further cannibalizing funding for other programs. While the overall Forest Service budget has increased nine percent over the last six years, the diversion of funds to fire suppression has had a major impact on the workforce available to carry out the multiple-use mission of the agency. The number of foresters, biologists, and other resource specialists, along with supporting technicians, is a good measure of the capability of a resource management agency to carry out its mission. As illustrated in the following table, the capability of the Forest Service has been seriously compromised. …

There is wide spread recognition of the need to thin our overstocked forests to reduce their vulnerability to fire, insects, and disease. Funding for hazardous fuel reduction is important and must be continued, but it is only scratching the surface. Annual growth on the currently roaded portion of the timberlands on the National Forests is about 4 billion cubic feet. Not all of the material that needs to be removed has economic value, but portions are suitable for conventional wood products. Much more is suitable for energy production, including ethanol. Capturing these economic values is essential for making real progress in improving the conditions of our forests. It can also contribute to meeting our energy needs. …

One of the primary purposes for which the National Forests were established is to provide favorable conditions of water flow. Our forested watersheds provide much of the water that meets the needs of our growing population, particularly in the West. Resource management specialists and supporting technicians available to protect and enhance our watersheds have declined by 44 percent in the last six years. This decline must be reversed. …

The National Association of Forest Service Retirees believes that the National Forests and Grasslands should be managed so they are an asset to the communities within and adjacent to these lands. In too many instances, rather than being an asset, the overstocked, insect-infested, poorly maintained, understaffed Forests are becoming a liability. We believe the funding increases recommended above will begin the process of restoring the capability of the Forest Service to provide proper stewardship for these national treasures.

5 Mar 2008, 12:16pm
Management Policy
by admin
leave a comment

The “Roadless Rule” and Global Warming - What You Should Really Know

Hageman, Harriet M. The “Roadless Rule” and Global Warming - What You Should Really Know. Wyoming Agriculture Dec. 2007/Jan. 2008

Full text [here]

Selected excerpts:

On Oct. 19, 2007 the parties to the ongoing dispute over the “Roadless Rule” appeared once again before Judge Brimmer to argue about whether the Rule violated numerous federal environmental statutes, including the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Wilderness Act. The current dispute is a continuation of the State of Wyoming’s 2001 lawsuit, and stems from Judge Brimmer’s 2003 decision (found at 277 F.Supp.2d 1197 (D.Wyo. 2003)) to enjoin enforcement of the Roadless Rule based on the fact that it violated NEPA and the Wilderness Act.

Despite Judge Brimmer’s injunction, and because of the numerous lawsuits that have been filed challenging any sort of active and effective forest management, many National Forest Managers have continued to adhere to the mandates of the Roadless Rule, thereby implementing an illegal, politically-driven, and ecologically-devastating policy.

In 2004 I explained in several editorials that the Roadless Rule is bad for forest health and is bad for Wyoming. It was developed in the waning days of the Clinton administration to deny access, management and use of, 58.5 million acres of National Forest lands (30% of the National Forests; 2% of the total land mass of the United States; 3.2 million acres in Wyoming). It was adopted following what was arguably the most truncated, superficial and scientifically-devoid NEPA rulemaking in history. The alleged “public process” associated with the Roadless Rule was politically driven rather than scientifically supported, with less than thirteen (13) months having elapsed between the announcement of the proposed Rule and publication of the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

It was an illegal, Washington, D.C. driven, one-size-fits-all approach to management of 1/3 of our National Forests. It was designed to ignore the physical aspects, management considerations, economic issues, and social/cultural dimensions that make each National Forest unique. It treated Wyoming’s National Forests exactly the same as the National forests in North Carolina and Puerto Rico, and violated the individualized Forest Management Plans that have been painstakingly developed pursuant to the National Forest Management Act (NFMA). The Roadless Rule bypassed scientific analysis; hijacked local participation in forest management; and anointed Washington, D.C. as the supreme authority on forest management decisions …
more »

  • Colloquia

  • Commentary and News

  • Contact

  • Topics

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta