The wildifre breaking out in the State of Washington is the worst on record and has been making national news. Watch video below.
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by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers
Sen. Wyden Seeks Tribal Forests: Oregon US Senator Wyden (D-OR) introduced two bills that would establish tribal ownership of two forests. The ‘Canyon Mountain Land Conveyance Act (S.1415)’ would deed 17,826 acres of BLM forestland for the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe. The ‘Oregon Coastal Conveyance Act (S.1414)’ would deed 14,804 acres of BLM forestland for the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw. The bills would reclassify public domain and O&C land to re-balance acreages.
Senators Call for Forest Management Reform: A bipartisan group of 17 Senators wrote to Energy & Natural Resources Committee Chair Wyden (D-OR) and Ranking Member Murkowski (R-AK), in December calling for reform of federal forest management laws. The letter cites the “need to reform the management of the National Forest System” saying “the status quo on our federal forests is unacceptable.” After lauding the short-term extension of county payments, the letter says “We look forward to legislation to restore the health of all of federal forests and strengthening communities.”
During a Day of Action with events in Washington, D.C., and in more than 60 congressional districts across 25 states, the American Farm Bureau Federation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Partnership for a New American Economy, Business Roundtable and other groups are urging Congress and the administration to work together to enact immigration reform.
At a press conference in the nation’s capital, farm leaders and top business association CEOs discussed the critical need for immigration reform to drive job creation and economic growth in the United States, while representatives from state and local employer associations, state Farm Bureaus, local businesses and other industry leaders made a similar case at local events in Arkansas, California, Indiana, Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and more than 10 other states. The coordinated events cutting across various industries, sectors and communities show how wide and deep the need for immigration reform runs.
Michael Cairn’s recent criticism of rural county governments in his Statesman Journal op-ed deserves a response. Mr. Cairns lives in Polk County, where I serve as a County Commissioner charged with balancing the budget in the face of declining revenues. As one of 18 O&C timber counties, it’s our responsibility and challenge to fund basic services despite declining support from the federal government.
Mr. Cairns’ opinion exemplifies the “hands-off” approach to forest management and the tactics of environmental litigation and obstruction that helped create the mess we are now trying to fix. Though I can agree that there have been poor management practices in the past by public and private land managers, I continue to maintain that significant progress has been made toward sustainable timber harvests that are in balance with conservation values. Citing spotted owls as a “canary in the coal mine” is short sighted and simply not true considering current landscape management practices in Oregon. Even with the steep decline in federal timber harvests, spotted owl populations have declined due to predation by barred owls which the federal government is now spending millions to eradicate.
by Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager
Associated Oregon Loggers
Lawsuit Threat Faces Land Purchasers: Environmental groups filed a notice of intent to sue two private landowners—claiming timber harvest of marbled murrelet seabird habitat would violate the federal Endangered Species Act. The 1,453 acres, formerly part of the Elliott State Forest, were purchased in May from the Oregon Dept. of State Lands by Seneca Jones Timber Co. and Scott Timber, for a combined $4.2 million. The State Land Board will sell two additional Elliott land tracts this fall—totaling 2,728 acres sold this year to support Common School Fund K-12 education.
The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association and the Public Lands Council filed comments on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ “interpretive” rule. The rule will make the Natural Resource Conservation Service a regulatory compliance agency, resulting in cattle producers putting less conservation on the ground.
The interpretive rule was published in the Federal Register the same day as the agencies’ proposed rule to redefine “waters of the United States” under the Clean Water Act. The rule’s intent is to interpret what Congress meant when it included a statutory exemption for “normal farming, silviculture and ranching activities” under the 404 Dredge and Fill Program.
Natural Resource News Note:
With Washington legalizing pot stores this week, it is expected that like Colorado, Washington border sales will see an increased sales to out-of-state buyers. Watch the KOIN-TV news interview below.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture has suspended the license of a commercial pesticide operator based in Eugene following an incident that has left an estimated 1,000 bees dead at a north Eugene apartment complex this week. The action taken against Glass Tree Care and Spray Service comes as ODA continues to investigate violation of the Oregon Pesticide Control Law. The company must comply with specific conditions before the license will be reinstated.
ODA’s investigation has found that an employee of the company applied a pesticide product containing the active ingredient imidacloprid on the grounds of the apartment complex earlier this week, including 17 linden trees– the same tree species involved in bee death incidents last year in Oregon. The trees in the Eugene incident were in full bloom and attracting pollinators. Most of the pollinators impacted by the pesticide application were bumblebees. However, some honeybees were also found dead and dying following the application.
By Rick Sohn, PhD
Umpqua Coquille LLC
Timber Industry Report
Seasonal changes in the stud and log price relationship are accompanied by lower Housing Starts and Building Permits. This slow recovery could last 4 more years. Statistics from recent years for lumber manufacturing, home construction, and housing markets are compared.
Lumber prices went up April to May, and log prices dropped, making a more favorable business climate for mills in May. Lumber prices continued to drop slightly in June and log prices can be expected to drop as well, as the summer progresses. But $674 at this time of year is still a strong log price. This is a typical pattern as more private landowners add their logs to the available summer supply.
Hillary Clinton seems to be everywhere these days and this week she spent over an hour at the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) convention in San Diego chatting with BIO president and CEO Jim Greenwood, a former congressman from Pennsylvania.
The wide ranging discussion touched on a variety of topics, including agricultural biotechnology. Greenwood asked Mrs. Clinton where she stood on the use of genetically modified crops. “I stand in favor of using seeds and products that have a proven track record,” said the former first lady, adding that the case needs to be made for those who are skeptical. “There is a big gap between what the facts are and what the perceptions are,” she said, receiving applause from the packed crowd that included as many as possible of the 15,000 attendees at the convention.
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