“There has been great creation and innovation brought to bear in the work of PFT.”
—Dan Esty, Yale University, PFT’s Forest Fete 2010 Keynote Speaker
Headlines for 2012
December 6, 2012
On November 14, the California Air Resources Board officially established a price per ton of carbon with the State’s first-ever auction of greenhouse gas emission permits, known as the cap-and-trade program. The Planning Report presents the following edited transcript of a November 19th press call in which Chairwoman Mary Nichols outlines the aims and results of the auction, taking questions from the Sacramento Bee, the San Jose Mercury News, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Associate Press, and others. Nichols expresses confidence in the market’s future and relief that the permits were sold without issue.
November 14, 2012
A recently published article in the journal Nature Climate Change depicts some of the bleakest projections yet for the future of California's water resources. The study, spearheaded by Stanford climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh, suggests that continuing population and emissions growth will have a drastic impact on snowpack in California's Sierra Nevada range.
Big Plans to Create a Conservation Network in 10-million acre Klamath Cascade Region with Prestigious Climate Adaptation Fund GrantNovember 5, 2012
The Wildlife Conservation Society’s Climate Adaptation Fund announced its 2012 grant awardees—organizations with on-the-ground projects promoting wildlife adaptation to climate change—including PFT’s Creating a Connected Conservation Network for Climate Adaptation project.
November 5, 2012
Last week marked another success for forests and renewable energy in California. On October 31st, the California Energy Commission (CEC) voted to approve the first three-year investment plan for the Electric Program Investment Charge, or EPIC. This program dedicates funding for renewable energy development in California, and includes specific allocations for sustainable energy generation from forest restoration and fuels reduction.
October 10, 2012
"Unless we can find ways to make it economically viable for private landowners to keep their lands forested, we're going to continue to see that loss." In the most recent issue of Forestry Source, Tim Tidwell, the Chief of US Forest Service (USFS), speaks on the importance of preserving America’s working forests.
September 5, 2012
Great news for forests and forest owners! UPDATE... AB 2169 and AB 1492 were officially signed into California law this week; we'll post updates as we have them. Paul Mason, PFT's V.P. of Policy followed last week's end-of-session scramble in Sacramento. Here's a brief rundown of wins for private forest owners and forest conservation:
August 21, 2012
Help keep our private forests as working productive forests! Forest Legacy Program funds can go a long way towards saving private forests from development, but the current approval process is onerous and inefficient. The Assembly approved a solution last week: AB 2169. California Governor Jerry Brown has just a few days left to sign Assemblymember Chesbro's the bill, which streamlines the approval process for California's Forest Legacy Program. Right now, approvals for Forest Legacy projects must jump through an extra and unnecessary hoop: The state Public Works Board. No other conservation easement program requires this step, since the Wildlife Conservation Board already uses a stringent review process.
USDA Undersecretary Weighs In on California Renewable Energy Investment Program, Voices Support for Rural Forest BiomassAugust 3, 2012
High-level USDA officials from Washington, D.C. will be descending on Sacramento this week as the California Energy Commission (CEC) kicks off its work crafting the first triennial investment plan for the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC). They will be lending their voices to this ambitious effort, which holds great potential for promoting sustainable energy generation from forest biomass. Specifically, the CEC will be soliciting stakeholder input on how best to invest EPIC funds to promote renewable energy development in California. Read more.
June 25, 2012
With the Senate version of the 2012 Farm Bill already passed, the fight to improve Forest Legacy moves to the House. Building upon the progress made by Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine and Democratic Senator Jeff Merkley of Oregon, who introduced an amendment that will drastically increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the USDA Forest Legacy program, PFT is working to get the same amendment added to the House Bill to secure the benefits of conservation that the Forest Legacy program provides for the future.
June 18, 2012
With the leadership of California Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA 20th), a bi-partisan effort including Congressmen Dan Lungren (R-CA 3rd), Mike Thompson (D-CA 1), and Jeff Denham (R-CA 19) has been launched in Congress to authorize the addition of about 1,600 acres of forest to Yosemite National Park. The Yosemite Expansion Act of 2012 (H.R. 5907) would allow the Park Service to include these lands within Yosemite and is waiting for a companion bill in the Senate.
June 6, 2012
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has just released its final decision regarding the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC). With this decision, the CPUC officially establishes EPIC as a replacement for the renewable energy funding formerly provided by California’s public goods charge (PGC), which sunset on January 1st of this year. This decision represents terrific news for the future of renewable energy in California, and will be a critical component of promoting energy generation from forest biomass.
June 1, 2012
California Congressman Jim Costa (D-CA 20th) is working with a group of several conservation organizations to improve the flexibility and effectiveness of the USDA Forest Legacy program. One of the most important funding sources for the conservation of private forests, Forest Legacy helps landowners conserve their lands through the use of conservation easements. While the program is a powerful tool for the conservation of working forestlands, it currently is constrained by the fact that only governmental entities are allowed to hold the easements it funds. Read more.
May 7, 2012
Forests are critical to mitigating the effects of global climate change because they are large storehouses of carbon, but there are significant uncertainties about the actual behavior of many of their sinks and sources, according to a recently published textbook, Managing Forest Carbon in a Changing Climate. The book, written by faculty, students, and alumni of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, is a comprehensive review of the science of carbon sequestration in forests, management of forests for carbon mitigation and poverty alleviation, and the socioeconomic and policy implications of managing forests for carbon. Read more.
April 18, 2012
Wildlife will have 1,445 more acres of connected—and protected—lands to roam in Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, thanks to willing landowners who sought out the Pacific Forest Trust’s help in adding lands they own within CSNM boundaries to the Monument. Our latest addition to the CSNM links the Oregon Gulch Research Natural Area to areas of BLM-owned land with old growth forest characteristics. The newly protected parcel was a high-priority for funding, thanks to its location within a key watershed—the Jenny Creek—that protects at-risk salmon and other species. Endangered Northern Spotted Owls nest on BLM lands roughly half a mile away. Read more.
April 13, 2012
The Pacific Forest Trust (PFT) has been honored by the Climate Action Reserve (CAR), as a "champion" for forests in California's pioneering climate program. CAR develops regulatory-quality accounting standards for greenhouse gas emissions reductions and is the parent of The Climate Registry, the nation's largest carbon registry and offset verification program. PFT President and Co-Founder Laurie Wayburn was presented with a prizefighter's belt and high praise from CAR President Gary Gero at the organization's 10th anniversary celebration in San Francisco Tuesday night. Read more.
March 14, 2012
Coalition Working to Leverage Markets for Carbon Offsets to Pay for Forest Certification
PFT is continuing to demonstrate how forest landowners can benefit from the emerging market for ecosystem services through our work with the Carbon Canopy, a consortium of companies (including Staples and Coca Cola), forest land owners, and NGOs that have joined to leverage markets for ecosystem services with the aim of increasing the area of southern U.S. forests certified as sustainably managed.
March 8, 2012
The Climate Action Reserve (CAR) has assembled a stellar line-up of speakers and panels for its 10th Anniversary Navigating the American Carbon World conference, coming to San Francisco’s Palace Hotel on April 10-12. PFT is proud to be a supporting organization of this year’s conference, known as the preeminent U.S. event for those seeking updates and insights into climate policy and carbon market information. March 14 is the deadline for registration so don’t miss your chance to sign up before late fees apply. Read more.
March 6, 2012
A diverse network of forest land owners, state officials, environmental groups and land trusts are urging lawmakers to make it easier and more cost-effective for state agencies to conserve land by partnering with land trusts. The USDA Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program provides money to states to pay for public-private conservation efforts with fees generated by offshore oil and gas leases. It has conserved 2.2 million acres since its creation in the 1990 Farm Bill, but could do more if state agencies responsible for implementing the program could call on qualified land trusts to help hold and maintain conservation easements funded by the program, according to 40 groups from across the country who reached out to leaders and ranking members of the Senate and House Agriculture committees, which are holding hearings to reauthorize the next Farm Bill. Read more.
February 2, 2012
The Pacific Forest Trust and Roseburg Resources are celebrating the successful closing of our working forest conservation easement on the 8,230-acre Bear Creek Working Forest in Siskiyou and Shasta counties. Rare Pacific Fishers, Bald Eagles, Northern Goshawk, and more than 180 other species will have assured habitat including riparian areas, mature forests and wet meadows. The easement will strengthen protection of more than 50 miles of waterways providing drinking and irrigation water to millions further south. These benefits and more come from investing in stewardship and forest operation of Roseburg Resources—the second largest employer in a county where jobs are hard to come by, even when the economy is on even-keel. Read more.
February 1, 2012
The USDA Forest Service recently announced its 2012 Forest Legacy Program grants, which will provide $5.2 million to protect more than 90,000 acres of working forestland from development in 17 states across the country. Since its creation by the 1990 Farm Bill, the Forest Legacy Program has conserved 2.2 million acres—a potent symbol of what can be accomplished when private landowners, state agencies and conservation groups work together. We could do much more, with a small but important change to the way the program is administered. Read more.
January 18, 2012
Deforestation hasn't rated very high on the U.S. political agenda since federal climate legislation stalled in 2010. But that doesn't mean forest loss—nor its climate damage—has stopped. We're still losing about 90,000 acres of forestland, along with its capacity to safely absorb and store greenhouse gases, every day around the world. Which is why it's encouraging to see that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has released a report detailing the potential of forests to combat global climate change. Read more.
January 5, 2012
We're pleased to kick off 2012 by sharing a story that ran over the holidays about encouraging progress the Pacific Forest Trust (PFT) and other conservation groups are making in California. In "A Bright Spot in Gloomy Times," the San Francisco Chronicle reports on the silver lining of recent economic trends that have encouraged conservation rather than development. The story notes our recent success with the Bear Creek Working Forest Project, which was approved for $7.8 million in funding from California's Wildlife Conservation Board last month. Read more.
January 5, 2012
Reading the summaries of what happened in the early morning hours of the closing session of United Nation’s climate talks (COP 17) in early December leaves one baffled. Will the planet really get any better from all this? Fortunately forests continue as one of the key negotiation tracks still making progress. Get a deeper perspective from PFT Board Secretary Andrea Tuttle—a longtime observer and participant in international climate negotiations. Read more.