In May, USDA issued a permit for ArborGen to plant field tests of genetically modified Eucalyptus trees on 28 sites in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas. The goal is to use the fast-growing trees for pulp and biomass. A coalition of environmental groups have filed suit to stop the planting, charging that USDA granted ArborGen the permit with minimal environmental review.
The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has released the 4th draft of their forest certification benchmarks open for public comment. Deadline for input is 5:00pm PST, July 4. If approved by USGBC, the Benchmark will be the collection of criteria against which forest certification systems will be evaluated to determine which are recognized in the LEED green building certification program.
Oregon's new Gilchrist State Forest was dedicated this week by Gov. Ted Kulongoski, marking what is considered a long-term investment that eventually will support government operations with timber sale money, provide wildlife habitat, make fire protection easier, assure public access and stave off checkerboard development.
The practice of combining farming and trees, known as agroforestry, has caught the attention of more farmers in recent years. And Missouri, with its ample forests and one of the country's premier agroforestry research centers, is leading the way into the woods.
A new study released by a coalition of farm and timber groups says stopping deforestation in Brazil, Indonesia and elsewhere could increase revenue for U.S. farmers and the forestry industry by $190 billion to $270 billion between 2012 and 2030. The report, "Farms Here, Forests There," looked at what would happen if landowners in Brazil and other major areas of deforestation were given carbon offset payments to keep land in forest.
The newly launched Forest Legality Alliance brings together conservation groups, government agencies, and corporations including Staples Inc. and several other wood and paper products retailers to reduce demand for illegally harvested forest products.
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