S. 2593, a bill to establish a program at the Forest Service and the Department of the Interior to carry out collaborative ecological restoration treatments for priority forest landscapes on public land, and for other purposes

Posted by Brad Johnson Tue, 01 Apr 2008 18:30:00 GMT

FY 2009 U.S. Forest Service Budget

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 13 Feb 2008 15:00:00 GMT

From E&E News:
The agency’s fire suppression efforts would get a $148 million increase – to just under $1 billion – under the plan, a total based on the 10-year average of fire suppression costs. Last year, the Forest Service spent $1.4 billion fighting fires, the National Interagency Fire Center said.

The Bush administration budget proposal would provide $297 million for projects to reduce hazardous fuels, down from $310 million in fiscal 2008. Fire preparedness would fall to $588 million from $666 million in fiscal 2008.

Several lawmakers last week slammed the proposed budget, saying it overemphasizes firefighting at the cost of fire prevention and forest restoration. . . Kimbell will be the sole witness before House appropriators on Wednesday. The chairman of the Interior subcommittee, Rep. Norm Dicks (D-Wash.), was also highly critical of the agency’s proposed budget cuts.

The Forest Legacy Program, which helps conserve threatened private forests, would be reduced $40 million, to $12.5 million. The budget would also eliminate $40 million that Dicks placed in the fiscal 2008 budget for road decommissioning and reclamation.

“The Forest Service has just gotten crushed,” Dicks said in an interview last week. “It’s cut 16 percent … and they don’t have enough money over there to do the trail work, the road work, the forestry with the states, the conservation.”

  • Abigail R. Kimbell, Chief, U.S. Forest Service

The Effects of Climate Change on Forest Resources

Posted by Brad Johnson Mon, 11 Feb 2008 19:00:00 GMT

The Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) invites you to learn about the likely effects that global climate change will have on the structure, function, and ecological dynamics of forest ecosystems in the United States. As Congress discusses climate change policies and legislation, it is important to develop a better understanding of these impacts.

  • Dr. Anthony C. Janetos, Director, The Joint Global Change Research Institute
  • Dr. Allen M. Solomon, National Program Leader for Global Change Research, U.S. Forest Service
  • Dr. Anthony L. Westerling, Assistant Professor, Sierra Nevada Research Institute, UC Merced

Changes in average annual temperature, precipitation, length and timing of the growing seasons, and other climate-related factors can result in a number of both short- and long-term changes to forests, including altered growth rates, changes in stand structure and dynamics, and shifts in geographic distribution of both individual tree species and forest types. In addition to these direct effects, climate change has the potential to indirectly change the structure and dynamics of the entire forest ecosystem by affecting insect infestations, wildfire patterns, and other key processes and components of forested landscapes. In 2005, mortality due to mountain pine beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae) alone affected over 3 million acres, and this number is rapidly increasing over a significant portion of the intermountain West. Recent studies have tied both increases in catastrophic wildfires and the rapid expansion of bark beetle infestations to climate change. These changes will have dramatic and far-reaching effects on biodiversity, ecosystem functioning, water management, and recreation and tourism, as well as the multi-billion dollar forest products industry in the United States.

This briefing is part of an EESI initiative focusing on sustainable forest bioenergy. To adequately assess the role that forests can play in addressing climate change, it is critical that we first have a firm understanding of the effects that climate change will have on forests. Biomass assessments and carbon sequestration formulae that pre-suppose static forest dynamics and processes will inevitably result in unreliable conclusions. As one of the key elements of the global carbon cycle, it is essential that the dynamic interaction between forests and climate must be taken into account when discussing bioenergy, carbon sequestration, afforestation or other forest-based solutions to climate change.

This briefing is open to the public and no reservations are required. For more information, contact Jetta Wong at 202-662-1885 (jwong@eesi.org) or Jesse Caputo at 202-662-1882 (jcaputo@eesi.org)

Forests and Climate Change

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 20 Sep 2007 22:00:00 GMT

Institute of Ecosystem Studies President Dr. William Schlesinger is going to be speaking at 6:00 pm this Thursday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., about his recent work on the interaction between forests and climate—and its implications for how and whether carbon offsets should be allowed.

Glenn Hurwitz has more at Grist.

Before coming to IES, Dr. Schlesinger served in a dual capacity at Duke University, as both the James B. Duke Professor of Biogeochemistry and Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences.

255 11th Street SE (close to the Eastern Market metro stop)

RSVP with Glenn Hurwitz (glenn dot hurowitz at ecologyfund dot net)