Society of American Foresters

Northwest Regions

Northwest Issues and Actions

EPA Clean Power Plan

SAF is working to engage in discussions about the opportunities that woody biomass could present to states crafting plans that integrate new and existing sources of renewable energy into state plans. The EPA and the states will continue to explore the role of woody biomass in these plans and SAF will work to educate the states about the viability of woody biomass as an energy source as plans are developed over the next two years.   

 

Wood Pellet Plan in North Idaho May Reopen

A Pocatello-based company wants to operate a wood pellet plant in northern Idaho that has been closed since 1981. The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reports that Centennial Renewable Energy Solutions LLC has been working with the city of Potlatch for more than a year in hopes of taking over the former Potlatch Mill. The facility would create pellets from residual wood scraps and sawdust from area mills.

OSAF Submits Comment Letter on BLM Western Oregon EIS and RMP

In June, OSAF sent a comment letter to the BLM about its final EIS and proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the western Oregon O&C Lands.  The letter does not represent a formal protest in the RMP update process but it notes that many concerns raised by OSAF in its original comments about the draft EIS (submitted August 2015) persist in the proposed RMP.  Thus, the OSAF letter continues to stress the need for, and value of, active and flexible management to achieve diverse resource objectives, versus fixed land allocations where management is greatly and indefinitely restricted.

OSAF Submits Comment Letter on BLM Western Oregon EIS and RMP

In June, OSAF sent a comment letter to the BLM about its final EIS and proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the western Oregon O&C Lands.  The letter does not represent a formal protest in the RMP update process but it notes that many concerns raised by OSAF in its original comments about the draft EIS (submitted August 2015) persist in the proposed RMP.  Thus, the OSAF letter continues to stress the need for, and value of, active and flexible management to achieve diverse resource objectives, versus fixed land allocations where management is greatly and indefinitely restricted.

OSAF Members Help Host Tour for Public Leaders

In July, a team of state and local forestry professionals led an all-day field tour in Douglas County for state legislators and other public leaders.  The Oregon Forest Resources Institute was the lead sponsor and organizer of the tour.  OSAF was a co-sponsor and, throughout the day, SAF members played a prominent role in presenting current information and science-based concepts for managing both public and private forest lands in the region.

House FY 2017 Spending Bill Unveiled

Wildfire Suppression and Prevention: $3.9 billion for USFS and DOI 

-Fully funds the 10-year average of suppression costs

-Increases hazardous fuels management by $30 million  

-Does not implement any of the budgeting changes to allow for access to disaster funds, prevent transfers from other programs, and address the erosion of agency budgets due to the rapidly increasing 10-year average

 

Specific Programs

Research & Development: $291.98 million

Level funding from FY 2016 

SAF ask: $303 million  

 

Sens. Murkowski, Cantwell, Wyden, Crapo, Risch Work to Improve Forest Management and Wildfire Budgeting

Wildfire Disaster Funding 

--Allows access to limited disaster funding when all appropriated suppression funding (100% of the 10-year average) has been exhausted

 

Wildfire risk reduction projects

--In years when suppression funds are not exhausted, excess funds would be available for a variety of wildfire risk reduction projects

 

Community planning assistance

--Authorization language to use available funds to assist at-risk communities in planning and preparing for wildfires

 

Clean Water Act

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled that private landowners may challenge a federal agency's conclusion that a given piece of land is subject to regulation under the Clean Water Act, providing landowners with a greater ability to determine whether their property is subject to federal regulation and to challenge potentially overbroad assertions of jurisdiction.

Updates of OSAF Old-growth Position Statement and Position Booklet Completed.

OSAF has a newly updated position on “Managing Mature and Old-growth Forests” (see www.forestry.org/oregon/policy/position/). Old-growth forests remain an important issue for state and federal forestlands where interest in diameter-, age- and location-based harvest restrictions persists. OSAF continues to advocate for active management to achieve diverse benefits from older forests, versus inflexible directives that limit the effective application of local professional expertise and experience.

OSAF Submits Comment Letter on BLM Western Oregon EIS and RMP

OSAF has drafted a comment letter that was sent to the BLM on its final EIS and proposed Resource Management Plan (RMP) for the western Oregon O&C Lands. The letter is not a formal protest in the RMP update process but it emphasizes that many concerns raised by OSAF in its initial comments on the draft EIS (submitted August 2015) persist in the proposed RMP. Thus, the OSAF letter continues to stress the need for and value of active and flexible management to achieve diverse resource objectives, versus fixed land allocations where management is greatly and indefinitely restricted.

Updates of OSAF Old-growth Position Statement and Position Booklet Completed

Under SAF policy guidelines, unit position statements have a 5-year lifespan and OSAF’s “Managing Mature and Old-growth Forests” recently was the focus of a review and revision to remain current. In December the OSAF Executive Committee approved the updated position, which is now available at www.forestry.org/oregon/policy/position/