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Spotted Owl Critical Habitat
The AFRC reported that on November 21, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) released the final critical habitat designation for the spotted owl. The rule became effective January 3, and states that final critical habitat covers 9.29 million acres of mostly Forest Service and BLM lands with 291,570 acres of State of Oregon lands.
The final acreage is less than the draft rule, but the AFRC feels the proposal will have a significant impact on the ability to manage these forests.
AFRC strongly believes that the modeling process used has resulted in a flawed proposal.
AFRC staff and attorneys continue a thorough review of the 1,300-page final rule, to determine whether the final rule complies with the requirements of federal statutes.
Forest Health Means Economic Health
A reports entitled National Forest Health Restoration: An Economic Assessment of Forest Restoration on Oregon’s East Side National Forests looked into whether there was money in forest restoration.
The report prepared for Governor John Kitzhaber and Oregon’s legislative leaders was funded by the Oregon Forest Resources Institute, The Nature Conservancy, Sustainable Northwest, Association of Oregon Counties, and the Oregon Business Council asked the question “If Oregon doubled the average number of acres treated on its east side National Forests annually to benefit and restore forest ecosystem health on Oregon’s dry-side national forestlands, then what would that cost and what would be the benefit?”
The answer was not surprising — every $1 million spent on forest management treatment would generate $5.7 million in economic returns, and our forests would become healthier.
Another interesting finding — For every $1 the Forest Service spends on forest restoration, the agency avoids a potential loss of $1.45 in fire suppression.
FSC Plans On-Line Claims Monitor
The Forest Resources Association reported that the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has begun working with an outside contractor to develop an “Online Claims Platform,” to replace FSC’s current paper-based system for validating the affirmations of “certificate-holders”. For manufacturers that would mean that products bearing an FSC label would have to conform to the content stipulations of that label.
It’s believed the online claims platform should will be rolled out around August 2013.
According to FSC’s statement, “The OCP provides an innovative and efficient solution to maintain and increase trust in the FSC brand, whilst positioning the FSC as a world-leader in sustainability certification. Further, the OCP will be a valuable tool for companies wanting to show compliance with legality regulations such as the EU Timber Regulation and the Lacey Act in the U.S.” www.claims-forum.fsc.org.
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