(June 5, 2012)
“Gov. John Kitzhaber has released a new draft of his 10-year energy action plan that outlines a host of regulatory and legislative measures to boost conservation and renewable energy and transform Oregon’s transportation sector to use less fuel and emit less greenhouse gases. The plan calls for meeting 100 percent of Oregon’s electricity demand growth during the next 10 years through expanded conservation and efficiency programs”
(May 30, 2012)
Red Lodge Clearinghouse/ Greenwire
A new study shows that the mountain pine beetles that have been boring their way through western forests since the 1990s are also contributing to air pollution in forested areas. This is because the beetles cause the trees to release up to 20 time more volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which combine with nitrogen oxides to create smog and can contribute to the formation of particulate matter. The tunnels created by the beetles allow VOCs to be released from tree trunks when they normally would not be, contributing to haze, and further affecting climate.
(May 28, 2012)
According to the US Drought Monitor, 96% of Colorado is experience some level of drought, with drought intensity in the NW part of the state (7.2% of it) extreme. A warmer and drier winter, together with a warm spring and earlier melting snowpack have caused streamflow levels to drop 5-15% across the state since April 1st.
(May 15, 2012)
The Daily Sentinel, Grand Junction, CO
Witnesses testified before a congressional field hearing that USFS land managers need more latitude of the mountain pine beetle epidemic it to be repelled, or at least contained. Witnesses stated that currently forest managers are hobbled by contradictory regulations and competing agencies, and are not able to keep pace with the fast-moving beetle. Suggestions were for consensus-building and collaboration to help forest managers create treatment plans that don’t draw challenges.
(May 11, 2012)
USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
To help simplify the complexity of climate change adaptation, the U.S. Forest Service has published a series of questions for land managers working to manage land on a changing landscape.
(May 16, 2012)
“A University of Montana study published in the international journal Climate Change discovered that late-summer streamflows have decreased in the western United States over the past half century because of higher air temperatures and earlier spring runoff.” The trend is beyond normal variability expected.
(May 11, 2012)
Global Change Biology: Bioenergy
This study suggests that the best strategy for using forests to curb climate change, is to leave them alone. The collection of wood for energy could significantly reduce carbon stocks in forests, accelerating the pace of climate change in the near term. “It takes more than 100 years for forests that lose trees to biomass energy to recover that carbon “debt” in most scenarios”, the lead author of the report stated. The report looked only at whole-log biomass production, and not production using forest thinnings or residues.