GLTPA's Director's Notes

11/06/2019

Greetings

 

November is a month with many special days including the beginning of daylight savings time on November 3rd, Veterans Day on November 11th, and Thanksgiving Day on November 28th.  It is also a month when many sportsmen take to the forest in search of a trophy buck or doe to put meat in the freezer in preparation for winter.  Other types of hunting are also open including grouse and woodcock season.

Revision of multiple states Forest Action Plans are in full swing.  Forest Action Plans must be renewed for state DNR’s to receive money from federal agencies for a variety of programs including research and private lands programs.  GLTPA and others have been involved by attending meetings and commenting on proposed plans.

During these meetings for the Forest Action Plans, the formation of the U.S. States Climate Alliance was brought to GLTPA’s attention.  The U.S. Climate Alliance is an organization with 25 members including Minnesota, Michigan and Wisconsin.  To be in the alliance, which was started in 2017, a state must prepare a Climate Action Plan by 2020 and agree to the principles of the Paris Agreement.  More about the Alliance can be found at http://www.usclimatealliance.org/   The governor’s offices are in control of the their states Climate Action Plan.  It’s not yet clear when the public will be asked to engage in the plan’s formation, but I’d be willing to bet they’ve already invited like-minded groups to be involved.

The following is taken from the Alliance 2019 fact sheet;   

Natural & Working Lands

“Alliance states have identified enhanced carbon sequestration on natural and working lands as a key near term opportunity for achieving its climate goals. Working together, Alliance states will identify best practices for land conservation, management and restoration to develop a carbon storage policy framework for implementation and chart an ambitious path forward for forests, farmland, ranchland, grasslands, wetlands, and urban land to mitigate the harmful effects of climate change.”

                Associated with the Climate Alliance is what is known as the Social Cost of Carbon. (SCC)What is the Social Cost of Carbon?  As explained by Kevin Rennert and Cora Kingdon in a paper called the “Social Cost of Carbon 101”, the social cost of carbon is “an estimate, in dollars, of the economic damages that would result from emitting one additional ton of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.”  In other words, it’s an economic value used to assist policy makers to determine the economic cost or benefits of proposed policies having an impact on decisions that may increase or decrease carbon emissions.

                The SCC is really a dollar amount used to determine how much economic damage global warming will cause because of greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles and power plants.  Whether or not a person believes in or agrees with global warming, the extremists and elitists have figured out how to use the cause to generate a great deal of wealth.  Unless non-believers can turn the ship on belief around, this an issue which requires total engagement by the forest industry.

According to an article in the New York Times written by Brad Plumer, the Obama administration in 2009 brought 12 federal agencies together to determine the best way to estimate the the SCC.  After producing a wide variety of estimates, the Obama administration in 2016 recommended the cost of damage from carbon emissions be set at $50 per ton for 2020.

When the new administration took office, President Trump signed Executive Order 13783 which disbanded the Obama Interagency Working Group (IWG) on the SCC stating this group did not reflect government policy.  After re-evaluating the costs, the Trump Administration came up with cost estimates between $1.00 and $7.00 per ton of carbon emitted.  Quite a spread from the previous administration wouldn’t you agree.

Why bring this to your attention, simple.  You can bet your bottom dollar that given the opportunity, the Climate Action Plan will have great influence on the Forest Action Plans being developed.  Our mission is to make sure implementation of sustainable forest management is recognized for what is has always been, the best and most renewable sequester of carbon there is and ever has been.  It’s scary when the Alliance fact sheet states they’re going to pursue “an ambitious path forward for forests” without explanation of what they mean.  It seems to me loggers and foresters have been on the right path for years and must be recognized for their work. 

The reality is that plans like these are being continuously developed and its high time the forest industry thinks enough of itself to ensure involvement.  Involvement takes people, time and money.  It’s amazing how many loggers and industry folks choose not to engage.  It’s understandable loggers and truckers want to stay trucking and logging and that foresters want to stay marking trees, because they’re demanding occupations.  It’s great to do daily work however, financial support of an organization through additional memberships is needed to afford increased representation.  It’s the only way to make sure your voice is loud and forest management is recognized as the asset it is.  Most organizations do a great job with what they have, but I can assure you things happen at the speed of light these days and its better to be at the table than on the menu.

Thank you to all the veterans who have given so much.  If not for all those past, present and future men and women who serve unselfishly, we’d likely not be able to engage in these types of issues as a free people.  Please thank a veteran every chance you get and honor them all on Veterans Day, November 11th.

On a personal note I can’t help thinking about how some children are being, in my opinion, exploited and used to promote the thought of the world coming to an end in a few years if we humans don’t get our act together about global warming.  That being, said we can agree on one thing, and that is the world will one day be much better, but it will be at the hand of the creator who’s the author of the oldest and most proven book there is, the Bible.

Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and productive hunting season.

Until next month, 

Henry

 

Join Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association today!

Learn More

The Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association (GLTPA)

Provides proven leadership in the Lake States Forest products industry for over 70 years. GLTPA is a non-profit organization proud to represent members in Michigan and Wisconsin and is committed to leading Forest Products Industry in sustainable forest management.

Sign Up For Our E-News