New National Forest Program a Good Start
A national report released Nov. 7 on first-year results of the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program (CFLRP) revealed impressive returns for forests, jobs, water and wildlife. In 2010 the federal program split $10 million among 10 projects on National Forests throughout the country.
As identified in the report, in one year the CFLRP has:
- Created and maintained 1,550 jobs
- Produced 107 million board feet of timber
- Generated nearly $59 million of labor income
- Removed fuel for destructive mega-fires on 90,000 acres near communities
- Reduced mega-fire on an additional 64,000 acres
- Improved 66,000 acres of wildlife habitat
- Restored 28 miles of fish habitat
- Enhanced clean water supplies by remediating 163 miles of eroding roads
The results of the report were heralded by Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), original cosponsor of the act in 2009.
“The Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program is bringing communities from around the country together to create jobs, to restore forest and watershed health, and to reduce the costs of wildfire suppression at impressive scales,” offered Bingaman. “The program and its many supporters are charting a successful path forward for National Forest management.”
CFLRP is also a political success in that it has won bipartisan support in Washington—both the Senate and House budgets for 2012 have proposed funding CFLRP at the $30 million level. Bingaman, along with Senators Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Jim Risch (R-ID), is currently circulating a “Dear Colleague” letter supporting an increase to $40 million to allow more landscapes to participate.
Observers say the program is bucking the larger downward funding trend because restoration of National Forests is the new zone of agreement where traditional adversaries in the timber industry, conservation and local county governments are working to advance common goals. This new cooperative attitude links forest jobs to forest health and has emboldened key Western Congressional representatives to cross party lines and support it.
However, without additional support the benefits of CFLRP will be limited to the existing 10 sites, when 26 more sites around the country applied for the program in 2011.
National and local partners also heralded the report, and the benefits that American forests provide the nation.
“Besides the pleasure forests give us on a personal level,” offered Laura McCarthy of The Nature Conservancy, “they also cover one-third of the United States, store and filter half the nation’s water supply, provide jobs to more than a million wood products workers, absorb nearly 20 percent of U.S. carbon emissions, offer 650 million acres of recreational lands that generate well over $15 billion in economic activity annually, and provide habitat for thousands of species across the country.”
“This is an outstanding program because it simultaneously helps forests, water and jobs,” said Kelsey Delaney of the Society of American Forests. “Sometimes a healthy environment is falsely framed against a strong economy—CFLRP is proof that isn’t the case. It’s a win-win-win across the board for our nation.”
“CFLRP projects are cost efficient, mostly because of their long-time frame and larger scale,” added Scott Brennan of The Wilderness Society. “Selected projects are assured 10 years of funding as long as appropriations are available, which provided certainty for businesses their banks and other investors, time for workers to be trained and become skilled, and for product markets to be developed and expanded."
“This program is a new, bipartisan approach with a broad base of support,” said Rebecca Turner of American Forests.
Maia Enzer of Sustainable Northwest said, “CFLRP is about boots on the ground, creating jobs in rural communities. Now is the time to invest in rural communities and restore the health of our National Forests. CFLRP does exactly that.”
The 10 CFLRP sites in 2010 were:
1. Four Forest Restoration Initiative, Arizona, $2 million
2. Dinkey Landscape Restoration Project, California, $829,900
3. Front Range Landscape Restoration Initiative, Colorado, $1 million
4. Uncompahgre Plateau, Colorado, $446,000
5. Accelerating Longleaf Pine Restoration, Florida, $1.17 million
6. Selway-Middle Fork Clearwater, Idaho, $1 million
7. Southwestern Crown of the Continent, Montana, $1.03 million
8. Southwest Jemez Mountains, New Mexico, $392,000
9. Deschutes Collaborative Forest, Oregon, $500,000
10. Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, Washington, $1.63 million
CFLRP is especially needed now. A century of suppressing natural wildfires has resulted in unhealthy forests choked with small trees and brush that can lead to destructive mega-fires. Over the last 50 years the U.S. has only had 5 years with more than 8 million acres burned—all of them are in the last 7 years (including 2011).
Pests and pathogens are decimating wild, managed and urban forests nationwide. Bark beetles alone have killed a New Jersey-sized swath of trees.
A legacy of poorly planned logging roads, sprawling development and a changing climate with extensive droughts is further knocking forests off-balance.
The Nature Conservancy estimates 120 million acres of America’s forests—an area bigger than the state of California—are in immediate need of restoration due to this perfect storm of threats.
The CFLRP annual report was produced by the CFLRP Coalition, which is comprised of 144 member organizations that includes private businesses, communities, counties, tribes, water suppliers, associations and nongovernmental organizations.
Copies of the 2010 CFLRP Annual Report can be requested from Jon Schwedler of the CFLRP Coalition at [email protected]
For more information, click here.
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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