November December, 2004
 

 

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Bush Rejects Kyoto Treaty
President Bush continues to reject the Kyoto Treaty and its
mandatory curbs on greenhouse gases, despite a new report
from 300 scientists in the U.S. and seven other nations that
shows Arctic temperatures are rising.
Scientists project that industrial gases such as carbon
dioxide will warm the Arctic further, raising the level of the
seas and making the earth hotter.
"President Bush strongly opposes any treaty or policy that
would cause the loss of a single American job, let alone the
nearly 5 million jobs Kyoto would have cost," said James
Connaughton, chairman of the White House Council on Environmental
Quality.
The treaty, which requires industrial nations to reduce
emissions to their 1990 levels, will go into effect in 2005 without
U.S. participation.

Joining Forces for Certification
The Associated Press reported that private landowners
in Washington state might be joining forces to obtain affordable
certification under the Forest Stewardship Council system.
They feel the members of the group could bear the
expenses of the third-party audit collectively.
An owner of 100 acres told the AP that the five-year FSC
contract for his portion of this group certification would cost
"at most" $1,000, not including any expenses he may incur if
changes to his management are necessary. The group says
they represent seven members and 2,900 acres so far, but
have a two-year goal of growing to 50 or 60 members with
45,000 acres.

HFI Used Against Invasive Species
In October, the U.S. Forest Service chose the town of
Prineville, Ore. to unveil a national effort to prevent and control
invasive species and non-native plants spreading across
the country.
It is part of the Healthy Forests Initiative to restore forest
and rangeland health and protect communities from wild
land fire.
"Millions of acres of public and private lands are at risk
from non-native species," said Mark Rey, Department of
Agriculture undersecretary for natural resources and environment.
"Each year, the United States loses 1.7 million acres
to the spread of these invasives, in addition to spending billions
of dollars on control measures."
Prineville is the site of the Forest Service's new threat assessment
center designed to develop user-friendly technology
and do research on invasive species, and is to open in
early 2005.
"This national strategy will help to prevent, find and contain
the spread while working to rehabilitate and restore
ecosystems," Rey said.
There will be a focus on four key elements: prevent invasive
species before they arrive; find new infestations before
they spread; contain and reduce existing infestations; and
rehabilitate and restore native habitats and ecosystems.

No Mobile Machinery Excise Tax
The FRA (Forest Resources Association) reported that on
October 8, the "Jumpstart Our Business Strength" (JOBS) bill
passed both the House and the Senate—including a provision
denying the Internal Revenue Service the authority to
assess new excise taxes and heavy vehicle use taxes on most
mobile machinery used on logging jobs.
"This was a crucial win for the whole wood fiber supply
chain," stated Richard Lewis, President of the Forest Resources
Association. "The IRS proposed taxing mobile logging
equipment $200 million each year and applying it to
the Highway Fund. Congress said ‘no.’ Highway and bridge
maintenance must be supported by the vehicles that actually
cause the wear on highways and bridges—not by mobile
delimbers, log loaders, and chippers."
This decision came after the Forest Resources Association
and the American Loggers Council organized all their members
to oppose this new tax. It was a 22-month-long fight
with a successful resolution. There was worry that the provision
would be lost in larger negotiations over the JOBS bill,
but Senator Michael Crapo (R-Idaho) championed the provision
in the House-Senate conference.
"My hat's off to all of the ALC and FRA members who
called, faxed and wrote their representatives . . . and I would
especially like to thank all of the members of Congress and
their staff who responded to our concerns by including specific
language to include ‘timbering’ operations which will
give clarity to the intent of the law," said ALC Executive VP
Danny Dructor.

Oregon Rejected Measure 34
On November 2, the voters in Oregon state rejected Measure
34 — 62% to 38%. Measure 34, if passed, would have required
the state to set aside 50 percent of the Tillamook and Clatsop
state forests (503,993 acres) from commercial management, returning
management initiative to the Department of Forestry.
The acres constitute nearly 65 percent of Oregon's state-owned
forests, and reduction in harvest would have had severe consequences
for local industries and for state tax revenues.

Breaking up the Ninth Circuit Court
In early October the U.S. House of Representatives passed
an amendment that would remove Arizona from the jurisdiction
of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. If passed by the
Senate and signed by the President, Arizona would be added
to the Twelfth Circuit with Nevada, Idaho and Montana.
The Ninth Circuit is the largest in the nation, serving 57
million people, with a burgeoning caseload that cannot provide
justice to all of its constituents, says Congressman Rick
Renzi (R-Ariz.). This circuit also has the most numbers of
appeals filed, the highest percentage increase in appeals
filed, the most number of appeals still pending and the
longest median time until disposition.
"It takes over a year for a case to be heard by the court and
then they issue confusing opinions," says Renzi. He hopes
adding Arizona to the Twelfth Circuit will better reflect the
values and traditions of rural Arizona.

The Bush Christmas Tree
On a visit to Northwest Plantations west of Olympia,
Wash., Chief White House usher Gary Walters chose an 18
1/2-foot noble fir as the official White House Christmas tree.
He also chose an 11-foot noble fir for the Oval Office and a
10-foot noble fir for Camp David.
John and Carol Tillman, owners of the wholesale Christmas
tree business, were chosen to provide the president's
interior holiday greenery on the basis of a tree they submitted
in a contest sponsored by the National Christmas Tree
Association.

TW

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, December 28, 2004