June 5, 2009
Climate Change Action continues in the House - Following the House Energy and Commerce Committee passage of HR 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the bill was referred to several other House Committees, including the House Agriculture Committee. The Agriculture Committee has scheduled a hearing for Thursday, June 11th at 2pm, and could take further action on the bill within the next two weeks.
Now is the time for family forest owners to speak up, calling on Congress to make improvements to the legislation. Otherwise, there is a risk that family forest owners will be left out of the market and incentive opportunities in the legislation.
Representatives on the House Agriculture Committee are particularly important right now. If your Representative is on the House Agriculture Committee please take the following steps:

1) call them and ask to speak with the staff that handles agriculture issues, and

2) relay key messages detailed here

For an AFF report on the role of family forests in addressing climate change click here

Oregon Family Forest Owner calls on Congress to Address Pressing Challenges -- In testimony before the House Agriculture, Forestry Subcommittee, AFF Board member, Tree Farmer, and member of Oregon Small Woodland Owners Association, Clint Bentz, called on Members of Congress to secure the future of the nation's family forests by addressing pressing challenges like development pressures and invasive species and ensuring access to economic incentives for sustainable management.
To read the testimony Click here .
AFF testifies on Green Building in Pennsylvania - In testimony before the Joint Conservation Committee, AFF certification manager, Victoria Lockhart, pointed out the need for new, emerging green building markets to include renewable wood products from Pennsylvania's vast tracts of family-owned forests. Lockhart raised concerns with existing green building standards like the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, that excludes wood grown on American Tree Farm System® certified forests.
To view AFF's testimony click here.
Senate Committee Action on Renewable Electricity Standard - The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee continued action this week on a large draft Energy bill, approving a Renewable Electricity Standard requiring the generation of 15% of the nation's electricity from renewable sources by 2021. The draft legislation defines what forest biomass is considered a "renewable source" of electricity under the Standard. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Lincoln (D-AR), the definition has improved, with overly complicated federal practice requirements removed. However, further improvements are necessary, allow all sustainable forest biomass from family forests. There is no timeline yet for Senate floor action on the bill.

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