In the news
Two Mills Close Their Doors
Colorado to Remove Roadless Designation
The USFS formally announced it’s beginning to establish a new rule for managing Colorado’s roadless areas. The change is the result of a petition submitted by Governor Bill Ritter, on behalf of Colorado, requesting specific regulatory protections with certain management flexibility.
Free Access to National Forests
If S2438 passes and is signed into law, there will be no charge to park, hike, fish, and hunt in national forests in Northern California, and no fees will be charged at Angeles, San Bernardino, Cleveland, and parts of Los Padres national forests. It will also eliminate the program to automatically raise entrance fees at national parks every three years. Under the new law, the Forest Service could charge fees only if six listed amenities are available permanent toilet, trash can, picnic table, interpretive sign, designated developed parking, and security services. The Forest Service is studying the bill and has not yet responded.
Final Year of Payments under the Secure Rural Schools Act
“This is the seventh and final year of payments as authorized under the Secure Rural Schools Act and Community Self Determination Act of 2000, as extended by PL 110-28 for one year,” said Conner. “The Forest Service has distributed more than $2.5 billion dollars under this legislation, since 2001, to assist counties in maintaining and improving local schools and roads.”
Since 1908, 25 percent of Forest Service revenues, such as those from timber sales, mineral resources, and grazing fees, have been returned to states in which national forest lands are located. Due to the fluctuation of receipts from timber sales, the Secure Rural Schools and Community Self- Determination Act of 2000 was developed to stabilize payments to counties. The funds have been used for schools and roads, as well as to create employment opportunities, maintain current infrastructure, and enhance forest ecosystems, improving land health and water quality. Authority for the Forest Service to make the payments expired at the end of fiscal year 2007.
Commitment to Reduce Green House Gases by 90%
by its members to a 90 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The announcement from USCAP’s members also includes a mid-term commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 45 percent from 1990 levels by 2020.
It’s the first consortium of major businesses to make such a commitment to yield policy decisions to accelerate the deployment of zero-emission technologies and energy efficiency.
USCAP’s members include many US market leaders such as Alcoa, BP, Caterpillar, ConocoPhillips, Dow, DuPont, Ford, General Electric, General Motors Corp., Johnson & Johnson, PepsiCo, PG&E, Shell, and Xerox. USCAP has produced a comprehensive set of principles and recommendations for scientifically effective, socially responsible climate policy. This document is titled A Call to Action. www.climateactionpartnership.org
Logging Practices in Question
Some believe heavy logging contributed to the destruction in particular, a 106-acre clearcut on a steep slope along Stillman Creek. Approximately three years ago, Weyerhaeuser asked state officials for approval of the clearcut. Weyerhaeuser geologists found “no potentially unstable areas,” and the state approved the logging.
“This storm was a catastrophic event, a natural disaster,” said Frank Mendizabal, a Weyerhaeuser spokesman, noting that a Stillman Creek gauge recorded nearly 20 inches of rainfall in a 24-hour period. “That said, what I can tell you is that we are going to look at this particular unit and others, and see what effects the storm had, and see if we need to make any changes in our practices.”
The state Department of Natural Resources is also reviewing the damage to learn from it and make changes, if necessary, in how they regulate logging practices. Meanwhile, Lewis County is focusing on recovery.
Family Invests in Bankrupt Pacific Lumber
It will be April before the Texas Bankruptcy Court will decide. Before a decision can be made, the various plans must be presented to the court on January 30. In addition to Maxxam’s plan to retain control, and the Fisherbacked bid, it is likely that bondholders will present a plan to sell off some, or all, of the 200,000 acres securing their debt.