Episode 15: After 2022 mid-term elections, what to expect on forestry issues in the next Congress
The 2022 mid-term elections have concluded, and divided government is returning to Washington D.C. Republicans have gained a slim majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, while Democrats will retain a slim majority in the U.S. Senate. The make-up of the next Congress and its leaders will have a major impact on forestry and federal land management in 2023. What does the new Congress mean for forestry, timber and issues like wildfire mitigation? To help us understand the meaning of the 2022 elections, what to expect on Capitol Hill, and which leaders to watch, our resident political expert, AFRC Government Affairs Director Heath Heikkila, joins the podcast.
November 23, 2022
Episode 14: How the squeeze in PNW timber supply affects industry, public lands and climate change
The Pacific Northwest's forests sector is facing strong headwinds in timber supply. USFS Region 6 timber outputs declined again in FY 2022, registering its lowest output in nearly 20 years, at the same time the agency is receiving record funding for forest management and hazardous fuels reduction. In Olympia, the Washington DNR is moving forward with a carbon offset scheme on state trust lands that will reduce timber volume by 400 MBF and result in $500 million in lost economic activity and reduced funding for public services. Meanwhile, anti-forestry groups are pressuring the Biden Administration for a new Roadless-style rule to set aside more federal land from active management, under the guise of "protecting" mature and old growth trees. What does this squeeze in timber supply mean for forest management, wildfires, climate change and our Pacific Northwest forest sector? To help us understand these challenges, AFRC President Travis Joseph joins the podcast.
October 27, 2022
Episode 13: Improving wildfire response in California and throughout the West
Wildfires in California represent a national emergency with far reaching public safety and national security implications. Since 2020, more than 3.4 million acres of U.S. Forest Service land have burned across the Golden State, a figure that includes the destruction from this year's Mosquito and McKinney Fires. Fueling these fires are increased tree mortality, insects and disease- a situation made worse by the driest conditions California has experienced in 1,200 years. Our partners at the California Forestry Association are urging federal and state agencies to react more quickly to these fires, with more resources and with more efficiency than ever before. Matt Dias, CalForests’ President and CEO is our guest in Episode 12. Matt made national news by calling on the government to use military resources to fight fires when needed. But that is just one part of a comprehensive strategy Matt says is necessary to respond to this wildfire and forest health crisis.
September 26, 2022
Episode 12: Defining old-growth and mature forests amid America's wildfire and smoke crisis
On Earth Day, President Biden issued an Executive Order (EO) on “Strengthening the Nation’s Forests, Communities, and Local Economies” focused on protecting “mature and old-growth forests on Federal lands.” The EO followed months of pressure by anti-forestry groups seeking to end logging on public lands. However, instead of identifying logging as a threat to older trees on federal lands, the EO identified “climate impacts, catastrophic wildfires, insect infestation, and disease” as the primary threats to all forests, including older forests. Nonetheless, the Administration directed the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to initiate a process to define and inventory old-growth and mature forests on federal lands within one year. In August the agencies issued a Request for Information from the public to inform how to proceed with meeting this direction. Joining us to discuss this process is Bill Imbergamo, executive director of Federal Forest Resource Coalition in Washington DC. FFRC is the national non-profit representing purchasers of federal timber, conservation groups, and county governments.
August 29, 2022
Episode 11: Saving Our Sequoias: Forest Health Crisis in the Southern Sierra Nevada
In recent years severe wildfires have killed up to a fifth of the world's Giant Sequoia trees. Those who live and work near the famed Sequoia groves in California have warned for years that overstocked conditions and high tree mortality on federal forests would someday threaten these iconic trees. Approximately 85 percent of pine in the Southern Sierra Nevada have died due to insects, disease and fire. As 2022 brings more severe wildfires to the region, the federal government is taking action to implement forest management treatments in Yosemite National Park and surrounding national forests. Kent Duysen of Sierra Forest Products is a longtime advocate for forest health in Southern Sierra Nevada and recently testified to Congress in support of the Saving Our Sequoias legislation, which would expedite management activities including thinning and prescribed fire. Kent joins the AFRC podcast to discuss the crisis and what's needed to save our forests for the future.
July 27, 2022
Episode 10: Freres at 100 years- wildfire recovery and a focus on innovation and sustainability
Celebrating 100 years as a family-owned business, Tyler Freres joins The AFRC Podcast to discuss his company's history and its focus on sustainability and innovation for the future. In addition to manufacturing advanced, engineered wood products, the company is supporting Microsoft's Carbon Removal Program and provided building materials for the new Portland International Airport terminal, which utilizes wood salvaged from the 2020 Labor Day Wildfires.
June 29, 2022
Episode 9: AFRC's Travis Joseph to appear with Montel Williams on 'Balancing Act'
What do AFRC President Travis Joseph and celebrity talk show host Montel Williams have in common? They both think the way we currently manage our forests and protect our communities from wildfires don't make any sense. In Early May, Travis traveled to South Florida for a taping of Balancing Act, a program on the Lifetime Channel. Now in its 20th year, Balancing Act is described as a show that "delivers sensible solutions and essential information in a fun, entertaining format." Travis appeared in a segment with Montel and Olga Villaverde for a segment called "Be The Change." Travis joins The AFRC Podcast to discuss his appearance what the hosts learned about forest management.
June 01, 2022
Episode 8: Can Forest Carbon Offsets and Forest Products Co-Exist?
At all levels of government, policymakers are seeking ways to regulate carbon and greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. Several states have adopted cap-and-trade systems as a way to lower emissions. These systems have created markets for so-called “carbon offsets.” And thanks to the ability of our forests to sequester and store carbon, both public agencies and private interests are increasingly looking at buying and selling carbon offsets on public and private forestlands. What are carbon offsets? Are they effective? How do they impact the forest products industry? To help answer these questions, AFRC President Travis Joseph joins the AFRC Podcast.
April 29, 2022
Episode 7: How Russia's Invasion Could Impact Timber and Forestry in the West
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has resulted in a massive humanitarian crisis, with thousands of causalities and millions of refugees. It has also generated economic shockwaves that are disrupting the global economy. In the weeks after the invasion, prices for a wide range of commodities have spiked, including wood products. In recent years American consumers have been buying more finished wood products from Russia. The invasion is prompting American consumers and policymakers to consider where our wood products come from. AFRC President Travis Joseph joins the AFRC podcast to discuss how the invasion might impact forestry and timber in the West.
March 29, 2022
Episode 6: A Closer Look at Biden's 10-Year Wildfire Strategy
In January the Biden administration announced a new 10-year strategy called “Protecting Communities and Improving Resilience in America’s Forests.” To reverse the west's growing wildfire crisis, the strategy seeks to treat an additional 20 million acres of National Forest System lands over current treatment levels. It also comes as the Forest Service is working to implement the Bipartisan Infrastructure bill that includes about $6 billion for hazardous fuels reduction and forest restoration activities. Heath Heikkila, our Government Affairs director, joins The AFRC Podcast to discuss the strategy and what's needed for the Biden plan to be successful.
March 01, 2022
Episode 5: Washington State Forestry and DNR State Trust Lands
The State of Washington is a top producer of softwood lumber and home to some of the most productive forests in the world. These include over 2 million acres of trust lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources, which provides essential revenues for public school construction and county and community services. AFRC fights to protect and grow this program in Olympia and throughout the state. Matt Comisky, our Washington State Manager joins us to discuss the benefits of these unique lands and the challenges to their management.
January 26, 2022
Episode 4: Travis Joseph Previews 2022 Timber, Lumber and Public Lands Issues
2021 was a year of political change, devastating wildfires, volatile wood markets and a continued pandemic. What will the new year bring? On this special episode, AFRC President Travis Joseph joins the podcast to discuss key issues, challenges and opportunities on timber, lumber and public lands issues in 2022.
January 05, 2022
Episode 3: Forestry in the Courtroom
When it comes to federal forest management, it often seems decisions are in the hands of judges- not public lands managers- as litigation ties up forest projects throughout the west. The role of the courts will continue to loom large, even as elected officials at all levels seek to accelerate active forest management to reduce the risks of wildfire. To help us understand the process and impact of forest litigation, we are joined by Sara Ghafouri, AFRC General Counsel.
December 01, 2021
Episode 2: California Wildfires and the Push for Prevention
Wildfires burned over 2.4 million acres in California in 2021. In addition to taking lives and devastating communities, the wildfires burned through iconic National Parks, killed dozens of world-famous Sequoia trees, and shrouded much of the state in smoke throughout the summer. In this episode, we'll hear from Steve Brink of the California Forestry Association, who will recap the recent wildfire season and discuss state and federal efforts to accelerate wildfire prevention and forest management throughout the state.
October 25, 2021
Episode 1: Active Forest Management and the Northern Spotted Owl
For over 30 years, the Northern Spotted Owl has had a significant impact on federal forest management and rural communities in the Pacific Northwest. Yet decades-old policies are failing to recover the species, and researchers are learning more about the true threats to Northern Spotted Owl habitat and the species itself. AFRC Federal Timber Program Manager Andy Geissler discusses the latest science and how active forest management can provide better outcomes for owls and people.
September 30, 2021