Forestry Position Now Open
The position of Director of the USDA National Agroforestry Center (NAC) is now available on the Forest Management Staff within the Office of the Deputy Chief for Research and Development (R&D) in the Forest Service’s National Headquarters. If you are interested in the position or want to learn more, please Click Here.
USDA Releases Report on Efforts to Expand Agroforestry Practices
USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack released the first-ever report on USDA's role in advancing agroforestry. "Agroforestry: USDA Reports to America" details how agroforestry practices are helping farmers, ranchers and woodland owners enhance agricultural productivity, protect the environment and increase profits.
Agroforestry is a management approach that intentionally combines agriculture and forestry to create more sustainable land-use systems. For the last five years, USDA has assisted landowners financially and with technical guidance to establish roughly 336,000 acres of windbreaks, riparian forest buffers and alley cropping; about 2,000 acres of silvopasture; and about 500 acres of forest farming. Those acres represent less than one- percent of the potentially suitable land for applying those practices, suggesting there is an opportunity to significantly expand the application of agroforestry in the United States.
Click here to read the full press release and for a link to the report.
In addition, USDA is launching a new, enhanced agroforestry section of its website, and has established an email account, agroforestry@USDA.gov, where customers can send questions and comments about the report and USDA's role in agroforestry.
NACD, eResource, 10/29/13
2013 SAF Convention
Last week, NACD Forest Resource Policy Group (RPG) member Tom Crowe presented at the 2013 Society of American Foresters (SAF) Annual Convention in Charleston, S.C.
Crowe's presentation highlighted ways in which forestry professionals can work with conservation districts and other state and local partners; Crowe has been a consulting forester in Indiana for nearly three decades.
"The forester can provide the conservation resource professional with a better understanding for general management concepts, so the professional is informed when discussing program options with landowners," Crowe said.
The SAF Convention also highlighted advancements in agroforestry. According to National Agroforestry Center Director Andy Mason, more than a dozen panels covered the topic – a sign of increased interested in how agroforestry is helping farmers, ranchers and woodland owners make better use of their land.
Click here for more information.
NACD, eResource, 10/29/13
Joint Forestry Team Gathers at NASF Meeting in Virginia
Leaders from the four partner organizations of the Joint Forestry Team (JFT) gathered in Hot Springs, Va. last week at the National Association of State Foresters' 2013 Annual Meeting to sign an extension for the JFT's memorandum of understanding (MOU); NACD was represented by First Vice President Lee McDaniel, who spoke to the attendees about the importance of strong partnerships and shared resources.
The JFT includes representatives from the U.S Forest Service, NRCS, NASF and NACD. It was chartered in 2007 to make recommendations that result in coordinated interagency delivery of forestry and conservation assistance for working forests, farms, and ranches. JFT participants seek to improve the sustainability of the nation’s forests in order to provide optimum levels of public benefits and ecosystem services. NACD is represented on the JFT by Johnny Sundstrom (current chair) of Oregon, Charles Holmes of Alabama and Tom Crowe of Indiana.
Since its creation, the JFT has been responsible for helping forest leaders come together to tackle a number of projects, including the development of a common forest management plan template. The JFT has also helped encourage state-level MOUs across the country; at present, forestry leaders in more than 20 states have signed documents showing a willingness to work across jurisdictional boundaries.
NACD, eResource, 10/1/13
Sustainable Forestry Initiative Annual Conference
Forestry leaders gathered in San Antonio, Texas last week for the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Annual Conference. Forestry Specialist Mike Beacom represented NACD at the three-day conference focused on the future of wood certification and the challenges sustainable forestry will face in the coming years.
Conference sessions explored sustainable forestry on government and tribal lands, how European issues may affect American forest markets, and how developments in science are assisting sustainable forestry.
SFI is an independent, nonprofit organization that is solely responsible for maintaining, overseeing and improving the internationally recognized SFI program. Across Canada and the United States, more than 240 million acres (nearly 100 million hectares) are certified to the SFI forest management standard. For more information, visit sfiprogram.org.
To learn more about how conservation districts are engaged in forestry activities, click here.
NACD, eResource, 9/24/13
Shortleaf Pine Initiative Off to Successful Start
NACD recently participated in the first of several meetings planned for the Shortleaf Pine Initiative, an effort designed to raise awareness for the needs of the forest ecosystem.
Conservation leaders felt a need to protect shortleaf pine, due to its impact on the forest products industry and the contributions it offers to wildlife habitat and recreation. Over the past three decades, shortleaf pine has experienced a 50 percent decline, which can be attributed to a combination of pine beetle outbreaks in poorly-managed stands, changes in timber management practices, altered fire regimes, disease, and land use changes.
The Initiative represents a broad range of public and private organizations, as well as key state and federal agencies currently working in the shortleaf pine ecosystem. The group's advisory committee and planning team will develop a range-wide conservation plan for shortleaf pine by September 2014.
NACD Forest Resource Policy Group (RPG) Chairman Charles Holmes sits on the group's 14-person advisory committee (Holmes also represents NACD as an advisor to America's Longleaf Restoration Initiative).
For more information, visit shortleafpine.org.
NACD, eResource, 9/10/13
Research may offer insight into Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was recently detected in Georgia, the 20th state in which the forest pest has been found. EAB has destroyed tens of millions of ash trees in the U.S. since it was first detected in Detroit more than a decade ago. The larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, disrupting the tree's ability to transport water and nutrients.
Researchers from the U.S. Forest Service and Cornell University recently conducted a study of woodpecker populations in the Detroit area, and compared their findings with five other Midwestern metro areas where EAB has been less severe. The data shows a higher population of red-bellied woodpeckers and white-breasted nuthatches where EAB is most prevalent.
“One of the easiest ways to find an infested tree when you’re out in the field is to find a tree that’s been heavily attacked by woodpeckers,” said U.S. Forest Service Insect Scientist Andrew Liebhold, a co-author of the study. “They destroy the bark of the tree, preying on the emerald ash borers.”
Scientists do not believe woodpeckers can eliminate EAB, only slow its growth; another study has shown woodpeckers will eat up to 40 percent of the available larvae and pupae.
For more information on EAB, visit emeraldashborer.info.
NACD, eResource, 8/27/13
NACD Forest RPG meeting Showcases Southeast Landowners
The NACD Forest Resource Policy Group (RPG) had a chance to view some of the country’s best-managed private forestland during its annual summer meeting held in central Georgia. The general session covered wildlife habitat, trends in wood certification, wildfire management in the southeast, and findings from the National Woodland Owner Survey.
Attendees also learned how southeast resource professionals are working to re-establish longleaf pine. Thanks to the efforts of groups like the Longleaf Alliance and America’s Longleaf Restoration Initiative, longleaf is making a comeback. Forest RPG Chairman Charles Holmes has been planting longleaf on his Alabama farm for the past decade, and RPG member Dan Dixon re-introduced 10 acres of longleaf on his family forest in central Georgia.
During the field tour, Forest RPG members and partners were able to view a longleaf planting site and visit a pair of National Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year, including famed musician and nationally-recognized conservationist Chuck Leavell.
To learn more about the NACD Forest RPG’s summer meeting, look for the latest issue of Forestry Notes later week. Click here if you do not receive the publication.
NACD, eResource, 8/13/13
2013 Partners in Community Forestry National Conference
The 2013 Partners in Community Forestry National Conference will be held November 6-7, at the Westin Convention Center in Pittsburgh, Penn.
Community forests continue to play an increasingly powerful role in the health and sustainability of our cities, towns and rural landscapes. The Partners Conference serves as the annual learning and networking opportunity for all who impact community trees and offers diverse presentations on sustainable partnerships and collaboration models.
This year's event will also feature several partner events and trainings, including The Alliance for Community Trees, Society of Municipal Arborists, Utility Arborist Association, and The Nature Conservancy.
Visit the conference website for more information on the Partners Conference and these events.
NACD, eResource, 8/13/13
USFS Webinar: Conservation Planning Tools and Resources
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) hosts a monthly webinar series where natural resource professionals, land use planners, private landowners and others hear from experts about current issues facing forestlands – both public and private - and learn about opportunities and strategies to conserve open space.
This month’s webinar, “Conservation Planning Tools and Resources,” will be held Wednesday, August 21 from 2-3:30 p.m. (ET). This session will continue the dialog between conservation planners and land use planners by exploring conservation planning tools and networks available for sharing knowledge, tools, and data. The webinar will feature speakers from NatureServe, Conservation Biology Institute and Western Governors’ Association.
For more information and to register, click here.
NACD, eResource, 8/6/13
NACD Applauds Weller Appointment; Harden and Bonnie Nominations Approved
Congratulations to Jason Weller, who was formally appointed as Chief of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) late last week. Weller had served as Acting Chief since December.
To read a full statement from NACD President Earl Garber, click here.
For more information about Chief Weller,click here.
Also last week, the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committee unanimously approved the nominations of Krysta Harden for Deputy Secretary of Agriculture and Robert Bonnie for Undersecretary of Natural Resources and Environment.
The nominees were approved on July 24, one day after a hearing to consider their nominations. The nominations must now be approved by the full Senate.
NACD, eResource, 7/30/13
Ag Retailers and Conservationists Survey on the 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship
The Fertilizer Institute recently released the results of a survey that examined the relationship between ag retailers and conservation districts, particularly when dealing with the 4Rs of Nutrient Stewardship and related practices.
The survey found that both ag retailers and district officials have common goals and initiatives in conservation, particularly the 4Rs. The 4Rs consist of:
- Right fertilizer source
- Right rate
- Right time
- Right place
According to the survey, both groups stressed the need for collaboration. Some retailers noted a lack of information-sharing and low awareness of district activities. They mentioned that information distribution is best done through field days. The study also found that ag retailers recommend the implementation of 4R practices more than conservation districts, which recommend a wide variety of many NRCS best management practices. For more information, visit nutrientstewardship.com.
NACD, eResource, 7/30/13
DeFazio New Ranking Member for House Natural Resources Committee
Last week, the Democratic Steering Committee elected Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) to serve as the next ranking member for the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee.
DeFazio, the 14-term congressman from Oregon, won the spot over Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), who withdrew his bid for the position to the full House Democratic Caucus.
For more information on the House Natural Resources Committee, click here.
For more information on DeFazio, visit defazio.house.gov.
NACD, eResource, 7/23/13
Public Comment Open on SFI Programs
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) invites stakeholders to comment on the SFI 2010-2014 program. SFI specifically asks for suggestions to improve the current program requirements.
The comment period will end on August 6 at midnight PDT. The next comment period will begin in January 2014 to review the proposed SFI 2015-2019 program.
Visit sfiprogram.org for more information and to submit a comment.
NACD, e-Resource, 6/11/13
U.S. Forest Service Announces Cost-Share Grant Program
Under the U.S. Forest Service, the National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council (NUCFAC) announced the posting of the U.S. Forest Service FY 2014 Urban and Community Forestry Challenge Cost Share Grant Program.
Through this program, the Council will award approximately $900,000 targeting urban and community forestry projects with national or multi-state application and impact. Matching funds are required 1:1 with non-federal sources, which can include in-kind donations, volunteer assistance, and private and public (non-federal) monetary donations.
The three grant categories for this program include:
- Making Urban Trees and Forests More Resilient to the Impacts of Natural Disasters and the Long-term Impacts of Climate Change
- Green Infrastructure Job Analysis
- Utilizing Green Infrastructure to Manage and Mitigate Stormwater to Improve Water Quality
Pre-proposals are due by July 15. For more information, visit U.S. Forest Service website
NACD, e-Resource, 6/4/13
Forestry Notes Insert-May 2013
Click here to view PDF
Forestry Notes-May 2013
Click here to view PDF
USFS Releases Report Highlighting Fire Risk at Edge of Wildlands
On May 10, the U.S. Forest Service released a report highlighting the fire risk for homes along the edge of wildland areas. Wildlands are a natural environment that has not been significantly modified by human activity.
The report found that approximately 90 percent of fuel reduction treatments on national forests were effective in reducing the intensity of wildfire while also allowing for better wildfire control. According to the report, residents can reduce excess vegetation within and around a community to reduce the intensity and growth of future fires and create a relatively safe place for firefighters to work to contain a wildfire, should one occur.
The report, “Wildfire, Wildlands, and People: Understanding and Preparing for Wildfire in the Wildland-Urban Interface,” synthesizes the latest research and provides examples of what communities in the wildland-urban interface can do to reduce their risk. To read the report, click here.
NACD, e-Resource, 5/14/13
USDA and USDI Prepare for Western Wildfire Season
This week, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack (USDA) and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell (USDI) held a teleconference briefing on the preparations underway for the western wildfire season.
This year is predicted to be an above-normal fire year for almost all of Arizona, New Mexico, California, Oregon, and Idaho; as well as portions of Colorado, Montana Utah, and Washington.
"We are working together to preposition our firefighting teams and equipment to make the most effective use of available resources during this time of constrained budgets,” said Vilsack during the teleconference.
Jewell urged landowners and communities “to take proactive steps when it comes to preparedness, prevention and safety.”
Communities and residents can access educational resources available at fireadapted.org, and through the “Firewise,” and “Ready, Set, Go!” programs.
NACD, e-Resource, 5/14/13
CACD President Testifies at Forest Health Hearing
President of the Colorado Association of Conservation Districts and Southwest Region Chair for the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) Gary Moyer was a witness at theCongressional Western Caucusfield hearing, titled "Seeking State Solutions: Forest Health, Wildfires, and Habitat Protection" in Denver, Colo.
In his testimony, Moyer highlighted the importance of locally-led conservation efforts to actively manage forest health and mitigate the damage caused by wildfires in Colorado.
"We have seen a visible shift in forest management practices on public lands—from actively managing forests for forest health and timber production, to a 'let nature take its course' management practice," said Moyer. "Active forest management, including, wherever possible, dead timber removal on Forest Service, BLM, state, and private lands, is critical to ensuring forest health and reducing wildfire risk. With local perspectives and statutory authority, conservation districts can help develop working partnerships between agencies, industry, landowners, and policy makers to achieve this goal."
For more information, click here.
NACD e-Resource, 5/7/13
Rep. Matsui Introduces TREES Act
On April 26, Arbor Day, Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-Calif.) introduced The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act. The Act would establish a grant program to assist electric utilities with energy conservation programs that use targeted tree planting to reduce residential energy demand.
TREES seeks to save Americans significant amounts of money on their utility bills and reduce outside temperatures in urban areas, because shade trees help to shield homes from sun in the summer. Members of Congress Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) have co-sponsored the bill.
NACD would like to thank Congresswoman Matsui for introducing this bill, and keeping the work of conservation districts in mind. NACD encourages other members of Congress to support this legislation.
For more information on TREES, click here.
NACD e-Resource, 4/30/13
Forestry Notes - April 2013
Click here to view PDF
USDA Seeking Nominations for Forestry Research Advisory Council
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) intends to re-establish its Forest Research Advisory Council to provide advice to the Secretary and the Forest Service on a wide range of priorities.
The Council is seeking nominations for representatives from the following categories: federal and state agencies, industry, academic, and voluntary organizations.
For more information and to submit a nomination, click here.
Nominations for the Forestry Research Advisory Council are due Friday, April 29.
NACD, eResource, 4/16/13
Forest Resource Coordinating Committee Holds First Meeting
Last week, the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee (FRCC) held its first meeting in Washington, D.C. Doug Rushton of Washington State, a member of NACD’s Forest Resource Policy Group, represented conservation districts on the Committee.
During the meeting, the attendees worked to identify long- and short-term priorities, as well as a work plan, for private forestland conservation. The discussion included delivery of USDA programs and outreach and education.
The FRCC was created from the 2008 Farm Bill and serves as a Federal Advisory Committee to the Secretary of Agriculture. The FRCC is charged with setting priorities for private forest conservation by providing direction and coordinating actions with USDA, state agencies, and the private sector.
NACD President Earl Garber submitted a letter to the Committee for the official record. To read a PDF of the letter, click here.
For more information on the FRCC, click here.
NACD, eResource, 4/16/13
Forestry Notes - March 2013
Click here to view PDF
Community Forestry National Conference Seeking Proposals
The call for proposals for the 2013 Partners in Community Forestry National Conference is open until March 31. The program committee is seeking proposals for the general session, breakout sessions and the "Lightning Rounds."
This conference, scheduled for November 6-7 in Pittsburgh, Penn., serves as the annual national gathering for the urban forestry community. It continues to focus on encouraging collaboration between both traditional and new stakeholder groups. This is an excellent event for conservation/natural resource districts to showcase their work and partnerships in community forestry as well as to make new connections to enhance your programs.
Learn more about the conference and submit your presentation proposal online at arborday.org.
NACD, eResource, 3/26/13
Supreme Court Rules on Forest Roads Case
Last week, the Supreme Court ruled 7-1 reversing the Ninth Circuit’s 2011 ruling on Decker v. Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC).
The high court’s decision reverses the rule that required mandatory EPA permits for point source on forest roads for logging activity. This ruling validates EPA’s interpretation that logging activities constitute industry activities and as a result are not subject to mandatory point source permits on forest roads.
While the Court’s ruling addresses the Ninth Circuit’s ruling on this particular instance, the Court did not rule on how to treat the roads in the future. NACD remains engaged with the National Alliance of Forest Owners (NAFO) to address this issue.
To read the full Supreme Court decision, click here for a PDF.
For more information on the ongoing activities involving forest roads, click here.
NACD, eResource, 3/26/13
Joint Forestry Team Convenes in Washington, DC
On March 20, the Joint Forestry Team (JFT)—a forestry delivery team made up of NACD, National Association of States Foresters (NASF), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and U.S. Forest Service (USFS)—held a meeting in Washington, D.C.
The JFT met with USFS Chief Tom Tidwell, NRCS Acting Chief Jason Weller, NACD President Earl Garber, and NASF Secretary/Treasurer Carl Garrison to continue ongoing discussions on how to better deliver forestry conservation to private landowners.
The team discussed a variety of issues, including evaluating the Memorandum of Understanding, Farm Bill status and programs, the Forest Resource Coordinating Committee, Forest Stewardship Coordinating Committees, and ongoing communication efforts.
For more information on the Joint Forestry Team, visit jointforestryteam.org.
NACD, eResource, 3/26/13
Forest Health Hearing before House Agriculture Committee
Last week, the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry, held a hearing titled “National Forest Management and its Impacts on Rural Economies and Communities.” U.S. Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell testified, along with representatives from the Society of American Foresters, the Pinchot Institute, the Association of Consulting Foresters of America, and the Forest County Economic Development Partnership.
Forest management for private and public lands is critical for rural economies, Chief Tidwell explained, with more than 20 percent of Americans relying on drinking water that originates on national forest lands. There is also a significant concern for restoration; between 60-85 million acres need to be restored, due to bark beetle and other forest pests.
Tidwell and the panelists also articulated the importance of stewardship contracting and the need for its reauthorization.
"It's a tool where there's strong support across the board," Tidwell said. "The first thing would be able to get it reauthorized so that our folks know we're going to be able to continue to have this authority."
To read the full testimony from the hearing, click here.
NACD, eResource, 3/19/13
Western Forestry Leadership Coalition Meets in Guam
The 2013 Western Forestry Leadership Coalition (WFLC) Pacific Island Committee held a meeting in Guam from March 4-7. NACD's Western Issues Specialist Mark Truax traveled to Guam to present and participate in the meeting.
During the meeting, Guam's NACD Board Member and Northern Guam Soil and Water Conservation District Member Roland Quitugua and Truax had the opportunity to sit down with Guam's Lt. Governor Ray Tenorio. Quitugua and Truax spoke with Tenorio about NACD's mission and locally led conservation priorities, such as invasive species, forestry, and capacity needs.
The meeting attendees were made up of nearly 60 forestry professionals, including local and state foresters of the Pacific islands as well as representatives from the U.S. Forest Service. On Monday, Truax gave a presentation about NACD's forestry activities and the benefit of working with conservation districts on forestry and other conservation needs.
Other presentation topics included: how forestry can help with water quality and erosion; invasive species including, Little Fire Act and Coconut Rhino Beetle; and the Micronesia Challenge.?
For more information on the Western Forestry Leadership Coalition, click here.
NACD, eResource, 3/12/13
Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax Now Available Online
The latest publication in the series of income tax handbooks for nonindustrial private forest owners, Forest Landowners Guide to the Federal Income Tax, is now available online.
While the handbook does not provide guidance on establishing or managing forest stands, it fosters good forest management by combining relevant information for analyzing investments in forest management and an explanation of the federal income tax law associated with those investments. The handbook also contains new information on the disposition of depreciated property and like-kind exchanges.
For more information, visit timbertax.org.
NACD, eResource, 3/5/13