County Public Lands Policy To Be Discussed

Please read this entire message as there is an important opportunity on Monday, December 3rd, for the public to address the Lyon County Board of Commissioners (BOC) regarding wilderness areas in Lyon County.

Since our last eAlert the BOC met on Tuesday, November 13, 2012 and they are proposing that two elements of the current Public Lands Policy be rescinded.  First, rescind the "No additional Wilderness Areas shall be designated in Lyon County" language and second, rescind all "penalty" statements (related to violations of the Public Lands Policy).  The BOC will decided the fate of this proposed action at their December 6, 2012 meeting (agenda not yet published).  Obviously, passage of this proposal will mean the BOC would be released from past decisions and commitments to "no wilderness" as contained in County Code Title 10 Chapter 13 and past resolutions.


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West coast log exports up slightly in third quarter of 2012

China retains dominant position as largest importer of West coast logs

PORTLAND, Ore. November 27, 2012. Log exports from Washington, Oregon, northern California, and Alaska increased about nine percent in the third quarter of 2012, totaling 412 million board feet, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station. At the same time, lumber exports decreased about eight percent to 186 million board feet, compared to the second quarter of this year.

“Sixty-two percent of West coast log exports went to China during the third quarter,” said Xiaoping Zhou, a research economist with the station who compiled the data. “China increased its importation of West coast logs to over 257 million board feet, an increase of 30 percent from the second quarter of this year.”

According to Zhou, although China’s economy has slowed down during the last few quarters, the country will retain its dominant position in the West coast’s log export market for the next few quarters—or, even, the next few years.

Original author: USFS

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North Atlantic Storms: Medieval Warm Period vs Little Ice Age

In the words of Trouet et al. (2012), "an increasing number of high-resolution proxy records covering the last millennium have become available in recent years, providing an increasingly powerful reference frame for assessing current and future climate conditions," and, as might be added, for assessing the validity of the climate-alarmist claim that warmer conditions typically lead to increases in the frequency and/or ferocity of stormy weather. In the present study, therefore, Trouet et al. searched the scientific literature for evidence pertinent to their climate modeling concern, which also happens to be pertinent to the concern about global warming and what it does or does not imply about concurrent storminess. So what did the search reveal?

Original author: NIPCC

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Fuel management best practices report released

Scientists synthesize best practices for fuels management in dry mixed conifer forests

FORT COLLINS, Colo., Nov. 26, 2012 – USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station scientists along with collaborators from Humboldt State University, the University of Montana, and the U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, synthesized a vast array of information on the ecology, management strategies, and effectiveness of fuel treatments within the dry mixed conifer forests of the northwestern United States. Because dry mixed conifer forests cover such a broad and diverse region of forested landmass, researchers made site-specific visits to federal, state, and tribal land management organizations to conduct over 50 interviews with resource specialists in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Washington, Wyoming, Oregon, South Dakota, and California. By incorporating the most relevant scientific research and best practice approaches, scientists used this information to develop an organizational framework to support land management strategies. This collaborative effort, co-funded by the Joint Fire Sciences Program and National Fire Plan, is published in a technical report, “A Comprehensive Guide to Fuels Management Practices for Dry Mixed Conifer Forests in the Northwestern United States.”

Original author: USFS

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Little Change in Drought Over 60 Years

A new paper out in the current issue of Nature finds little evidence to support claims that drought has increased globally over the past 60 years. The authors write:

Drought is expected to increase in frequency and severity in the future as a result of climate change, mainly as a consequence of decreases in regional precipitation but also because of increasing evaporation driven by global warming. Previous assessments of historic changes in drought over the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries indicate that this may already be happening globally. In particular, calculations of the Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) show a decrease in moisture globally since the 1970s with a commensurate increase in the area in drought that is attributed, in part, to global warming. The simplicity of the PDSI, which is calculated from a simple water-balance model forced by monthly precipitation and temperature data, makes it an attractive tool in large-scale drought assessments, but may give biased results in the context of climate change6. Here we show that the previously reported increase in global drought is overestimated because the PDSI uses a simplified model of potential evaporation that responds only to changes in temperature and thus responds incorrectly to global warming in recent decades. More realistic calculations, based on the underlying physical principles that take into account changes in available energy, humidity and wind speed, suggest that there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.

What does this mean?

Original author: Roger

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