News & Issues
On October 8, the White House Council on Environment Quality released its 79-page Climate and Natural Resources Policy Agenda, summarized on a six-page Fact Sheet, outlining programs to support the President’s Climate Action Plan announced last year.
As a direct result of Wood Supply Research Institute Board and Executive Committee action, WSRI has upgraded and expanded its Communications Tool Kit.
On July 17, FRA joined other sustainable forestry advocates on Capitol Hill for Forest Products Industry Day, staffing a display demonstrating the role of harvesting in forest renewal, with 2014 National Outstanding Logger Anthony Andrews, of Trenton, North Carolina, on hand to interact with Congressional staffers from his field-level perspective and knowledge base.
The July 28 Bangor [Maine] Daily News profiles the four-day professional development workshop which the Maine TREE Foundation and Project Learning Tree have co-hosted since 1998, to provide teachers in the state with the insights they need to help students assess career opportunities in forest-related work.
The Final Report of the Truck Size & Weight Study that Congress authorized in 2012, in place of immediately authorizing truck weight reform along the lines of the Safe & Efficient Transportation Act (HR 612), is due to be delivered to Congress this November, but we anticipate release of the “Technical Report” presenting the DOT study team’s data and its preliminary evaluation sometime during August.

Dovetail Partners has updated its 2005 report questioning claims implicit in the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED building standard about the supposedly favorable environmental impacts of using bamboo-derived products as substitutes for forest-based building materials such as hardwood flooring.

The Forest Climate Working Group, a coalition of 19 advocacy organizations, submitted six recommendations to the Obama Administration’s Climate Change Initiative, advocating a leading role for privately owned forests.

On March 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency published a proposed “Waters of the United States” rule, intended—the Agency explains—to clarify questions surrounding the definition of jurisdictional wetlands that arose following Supreme Court decisions in 2001 and 2006.

The main theme of House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp’s (R-Michigan) Tax Reform Act of 2014 is “simplifying and flattening” the federal tax code. Although the concept of “simplifying” the extremely complex current code has a basic appeal to business, many—including forestry interests—question whether “simplification” in all cases equates to “fairness.” The National Alliance of Forest Owners is especially concerned about some provisions proposed for elimination or revision:
The March 7 Wall Street Journal profiles some unexpected consequences of the world’s conversion to living on-line. The burst of demand for packaging materials, as a consequence of e-commerce, is a story that has been told before, but the Journal also notes that fine paper is also experiencing some sort of revival, at least in niche markets, as Americans are “buying more expensive stock for personalized holiday cards, announcements, and photobooks,” empowered by on-line vendors of the relevant technologies, such as Shutterfly, proposing a transformation of fine paper “from commodity to keepsake.”
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