Swapping cement and steel for timber is the vision of a number of environmentally-minded architects who are planning high-rise buildings across the world. "Cutting down trees to make buildings doesn't immediately sound eco-friendly either, but if sourced from sustainably managed forests (like those in Europe and North America), it can be more environmentally sensitive."
The Heinz Center held a Congressional briefing on Capitol Hill this week to discuss the 2008 State of the Nation's Ecosystems, a report that presents 108 indicators describing the condition and use of ecosystems in the U.S. The findings -- updated since the 2002 report -- show that the acreage burned every year by wildfires is increasing, non-native fish have invaded nearly every watershed in the lower 48 states, and chemical contaminants are found in virtually all streams and most groundwater wells, often at levels above those set to protect human health or wildlife.
The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities has released a report entitled, Considerations for Creating a National Conservation Easement Database. The report is a follow-up to a meeting the Endowment hosted in early 2008 and the report, "Forest Conservation Easements: Who's Keeping Track?" that served to scope interest and the potential for a national database of conservation easements to enhance conservation and economic planning and investment.
Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has launched a new citizen component of "Marylanders Plant Trees," a program designed to greatly increase tree cover across the state through partnerships with businesses, communities and citizens to help fund and plant new tree cover. State agencies have a goal of planting 1 million new trees by 2011, and private citizens are being asked to plant 50,000 trees by 2010.
Texas forestry officials plan to launch a triage program in Galveston to determine how many of the 11,000 Hurricane Ike-damaged trees on city property can be salvaged. Removing the ravaged trees by the middle of September would allow the state to qualify for federal payments that could cover up to 75 percent of the city’s removal cost.
The nonprofit Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) has faced a stiff challenge in the marketplace from rival certification system the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). This week lawyers for ForestEthics filed administrative complaints with the Federal Trade Commission and the Internal Revenue Service challenging the credibility of the SFI label.
The Hardwood Forestry Fund seeks grant applications for hardwood seedling planting in state forests. Grant deadline is February 12, 2010. Please visit the HFF's website www.hardwoodforestryfund.org for grant guidelines and application form. Contact the HFF for more information at email@example.com.
The USDA Forest Service Southern Research Station has published, Estate Planning for Forest Landowners: What will become of your timberland?, with practical information about tax and estate planning and techniques involving forest properties (PDF). Tax, legal, forestry, insurance and other professionals will also benefit from the guidance offered in the book's 200-pages.
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