Archive for October, 2008

US Forest Service Strategic Framework for Responding to Climate Change

The US Forest Service has drafted a Strategic Framework for Responding to Climate Change, which outlines a vision, guiding principles, goals and actions for working toward the mission of the Forest Service in a changing climate. The Framework is designed to guide the Forest Service in integrating climate change into its programs, policies, partnerships and processes.

The Framework emphasizes improving scientific understanding, engaging and educating citizens and employees, and coordinating action across ownership boundaries through partnerships with agencies and stakeholders at the national, state, regional and local level. The Forest Service framework acknowledges the opportunity to contribute to action and learn from existing partnerships, including the Rural Voices for Conservation Coalition.

The Forest Service’s Strategic Framework for Responding to Climate Change (adopted July 2008 by the National Leadership Council) is accessible through the Pacific Southwest Research Station website: http://www.fs.fed.us/psw/topics/climate_change/.
Among other climate change resources, you will find links to the Framework (version 1.0) and a Strategic Aspirations document (adopted September 2008).

The Pacific Northwest Research Station website: http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/research/climate-change/ offers additional resources related to climate change science.

And, as mentioned in an earlier digest, the US Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center website: http://www.fs.fed.us/ccrc/ also offers resources on climate change.


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Web resources:


“climate.bna.com is a continuously updated, complimentary, multi-media Web resource with news and information from around the world on climate change issues.”

Includes World Climate Change Report – “Current developments on all climate change issues. This comprehensive collection of news stories covers climate change legislative and regulatory developments, court and administrative decisions, compliance, state policy, federal government policies, international developments, emissions trading, trends and market information.”

The Candidates and Climate Change: A Guide to Key Policy Positions

“For the first time, both major party candidates for the presidency are deeply concerned about global climate change and publicly support a mandatory, economy-wide cap-and-trade system for reducing the U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions that contribute to global climate change. Global climate change now occupies a place of unprecedented importance in American politics, as the debate has advanced beyond the causes of global climate change to the actions needed to address it. This guide outlines key climate positions of Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, examines the records of their respective vice-presidential nominees, and details relevant portions of the Republican and Democratic Party platforms, with links to related resources focused on critical climate change policy issues.”


California Governor Signs Bill to Reduce Greenhouse Gases through Land-use Planning (10/01/2008)

CALIFORNIA:   Environmental justice group slams trading program on eve of plan’s release (10/01/2008)

… “The Environmental Justice Advisory Committee released a set of recommendations  last week that would turn the plan (California Climate Change Draft Scoping Plan 06/2008) on its side if implemented. It contains sharply worded arguments against a market-based trading system for CO2 emissions, the method California has chosen to reduce emissions from the electricity sector and oil and gas refineries, saying it would disproportionately affect low-income communities and small businesses.” …

MARKETS:  WCI unveils its market design to applause, despite low auction threshold (09/24/2008)

ALASKA:   Climate change forces Eskimos out of village   (09/30/2008)

New USFS Forest Policy on Ecological Restoration and Resilience

“Chief Kimbell has issued this policy as an interim directive for a new title to the Forest Service Manual (FSM). FSM 2000 – National Forest Resource Management, Chapter 2020 – Ecological Restoration and Resilience (.doc, 112 kb) articulates foundational policy for restoration of National Forest System lands and associated resources. The policy will guide achievement of sustainable management to continue providing a broad range of ecosystem services. Healthy, resilient landscapes will have greater capacity to survive natural disturbances and large-scale threats to sustainability, especially under changing and uncertain future environmental conditions, such as those driven by climate change and increasing human uses.”


Implications of Climate Change for Conservation, Restoration and Management of National Forest Lands (09/2008)
Rick Brown

“This paper is based on a review of key scientific literature on climate change and forests, in particular those aspects that appear to have the most relevance for management and policy related to national forests in the United States. Because policy is at least partly values-based, science cannot determine policy; however, basing policy on science increases the odds that policy will provide the values we seek.”

Forest fuel reduction alters fire severity and long-term carbon storage in three Pacific Northwest ecosystems (2008)
Mitchell S.M., Harmon M.E., & Oconnell K.E.B.

“Two forest management objectives being debated in the context of federally managed landscapes in the US Pacific Northwest involve a perceived trade-off between fire restoration and C sequestration. The former strategy would reduce fuel (and therefore C) that has accumulated through a century of fire suppression and exclusion that has led to extreme fire risk in some areas. The latter strategy would manage forests for enhanced C sequestration as a method of reducing atmospheric CO2 and associated threats from global climate change. We explored the trade-off between these two strategies by employing a forest ecosystem simulation model, STANDCARB, to examine the effects of fuel reduction on fire severity and the resulting long-term C dynamics among three Pacific Northwest ecosystems: the east Cascades Ponderosa pine forests, the west Cascades Western hemlock-Douglas fir forests, and the Coast Range Western hemlock- Sitka spruce forests.”

Rural Power: Community-Scaled Renewable Energy and Rural Economic Development (09/12/2008)

“The next 20 years could generate as much as $1 trillion in new renewable energy investment in rural America. This new Ford Foundation-sponsored study by John Farrell and David Morris provides a policy roadmap for states and the federal government that would encourage modest-sized renewable energy facilities and local ownership.”

Carbon Caps With Universal Dividends: Equitable, Ethical & Politically Effective Climate Policy (01/2008)

“Common to many proposals addressing climate change is a cap on carbon emissions or carbon content of fuels. A cap will generate a market value for carbon. A key issue is who will receive this value. Many agree that there should be a 100 percent auction of carbon permits, but there many opinions about how to disburse the money gained from selling these permits. This paper argues for a universal, equal dividend returned to each person.”

World Resources 2008: Roots of Resilience – Growing the Wealth of the Poor

“World Resources 2008 argues that successfully scaling up environmental income for the poor requires three elements:
* Ownership-a foundation of good governance that both transfers to the poor real authority over local resources and elicits local demand for better management of these resources.
* Capacity-making good on this demand requires building local capacity for development-in this case, the capacity of local communities to manage ecosystems competently, carry out ecosystem-based enterprises, and distribute the income from these enterprises fairly.
* Networks-the third element is establishing adaptive networks that connect and nurture nature-based enterprises, giving them the ability to adapt, learn, connect to markets, and mature into businesses that can sustain themselves and enter the economic mainstream.

The result is communities with increased resilience: economic, social and environmental.

Such outcomes take on added import as it becomes increasingly clear that the impacts of climate change are likely to have their biggest effect on those areas where most of the world’s poor live: drylands, low-latitude geographies and high-stress watersheds.”

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