2013 Retreat: Forests and Public lands Committee


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2013 Retreat: Forests and Public lands Committee

  1. 1. Forests andRetreat 2013 Public Lands Committee
  2. 2. “The State of Ohio, containing about 40,000 squaremiles, was once a magnificent hardwood forest. Theforest types, thanks to the records of earlysurveyors, have been largely mapped. Yet it isimpossible to form an adequate picture, from anysurviving records, the appearance of that forest.The state has its full share of memorials-statues, libraries, institutions, some useful, somenot, some beautiful, many ugly. But somehow it neveroccurred to anyone to set aside a square mile, muchless a township six miles square, of primeval vegetationfor future generations to see and enjoy. Yet this couldhave been done for less than the cost of a single pile ofstone of dubious artistic and cultural merit.” p. 19
  3. 3. Ohio State Forests and parksare challenged--- Logging Drilling Biomass threats Climate Change A public that has limited connection to nature Underfunding for important support of public lands
  4. 4. But there are heroes Friends of state parks groups http://www.friendsofstroudsrun.org/ Conservation groups http://www.appalachiaohioalliance.org/ Advocates
  5. 5.  Mohican Advocates http://www.mohicanadvocates.org/ Businesses that draw attention to validate the economic import of forests and public lands:
  6. 6. Touch the Earth Adventures http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/ travel/the-impulsive-traveler-a-winter-hike- through-ohios-cantwell- cliffs/2013/01/31/3f18856a-6646-11e2- 9e1b-07db1d2ccd5b_story.html
  7. 7. USFS study linking health totrees http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/news/2013/01/t ree-human-health.shtml
  8. 8. Forests Ohioranks 47th in public lands available per capita Threepercent of all Ohioan lands are state public lands. The remainder of lands are private and therefore open to development with limited oversight.
  9. 9. Historic Forests Forests were destroyed for settlement, agriculture and charcoal to fuel the iron ore industry and wood products Much of the forests of Ohio fueled the Industrial Revolution 10% of presettlement forests remained in 1910
  10. 10. Ohio ForestsLess than .04 of 1 percent of oldgrowth forests remain in smallpockets aroundthe state.
  11. 11. Forests Priorto European Settlement 95% of Ohio was forested. Ohio is now ~31% forested 70% of these forests are in SE Ohio
  12. 12. Ohio Department of Natural Resources State forests and parks are “managed” and administrated by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Division of Forestry oversees forest management: http://www.ohiodnr.com/Default.aspx?alias=www .ohiodnr.com/forestry The agency oversees various programs as forests, parks, wildlife, as well as mineral resources: http://www.ohiodnr.com/mineral/tabid/10352/Def ault.aspx
  13. 13. Division of Forestry Bob Boyles, Chief of Forestry Northern District Greg Maxfield Southern District Nate Jesterhttp://ohiodnr.com/tabid/5158/Default.aspx
  14. 14. Ohio State Forests
  15. 15. Drilling Legislation introducedin 2011 Sierra Club- Campaign opposing, collaborative letter submitted to lawmakers, governor Columbus Dispatch survey 70% of Ohioans did not support Testimony house and senate, OEC lobby Day, collaborative BFC, OEC. Legislators passed against overwhelming public opposition
  16. 16. HB 133 Drilling on public lands includingstate parks, university landsHB 133 allows for the creation of the Oil andGas Leasing Commission (the“Commission”), which will oversee andcoordinate the leasing of land owned orcontrolled by a state agency, state university orcollege for the exploration, development, andproduction of oil and gas.
  17. 17. The commission Thecommission has not been appointed.Recently the governor’s energy advisor,Craig Butler stated that they knew theywere behind and they are having a hardtime appointing people on the commission.
  18. 18. HB 133 ODNR has been busy researching mineral rights as has the many state agencies where there is lands and mineral rights. Example-universities
  19. 19. Sierra Club sued last year Forinformation regarding the implementation of this law. The findings indicated that ODNR is very cozy with industry and that industry assisted in writing the legislation
  20. 20.  A recent Dispatch analysis of state-held mineral rights showed that Ohio could collect as much as $183 million in lease-signing bonuses. That’s if the state leased mineral rights it holds in 14 state parks and forests near areas where drilling is most active.”
  21. 21. Economic impacts to Ohio Many of these counties (32 Appalachian by the Appalachian Regional Commission) are in economic distress with tourism highly important to the economy. Over 50 million dollars estimated. Drilling on public and private lands will greatly impact the already stretched thin economies of this region.
  22. 22. 2011 Budget Bill legislatedlogging in parks The budget bill passed in 2011 by the General Assembly gives OSP the ability, for the first time ever, to commercially log state park lands under the guise of “implement[ing] sustainable forestry practices.” As a result of this new grant of authority, DOF has unveiled 5- year management plans for four state parks.
  23. 23. Opposition: http://www.protectohiosparks.org/ http://ecowatch.org/2012/fracking-state-parks/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1Xow6vVkG http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPC4CRiW1-w
  24. 24. Logging in State Forests The ODNR plans to increase logging to 50% of new growth by next year. We have seen an increase in logging bids this year, up by 1/3. The Sierra Club Forest and Public Lands Committee is working on a campaign to educate the public, involve their members in contacting ODNR and evaluating whether this violates their contract with the Forest Stewardship Council.
  25. 25. What does a logging bid looklike?
  26. 26. The case not to log or drill Ohio state forests and parks are much larger than private forests and therefore provide one of the rarest habitat types, un-fragmented, interior forest with old growth characteristics, important for the survival of a number of forest species of birds and mammals
  27. 27. Wayne National Forest BLM bid out 3,300 acres in the Wayne National Forest for hydraulic fracturing September 2011. After protests and actions, Wayne National Forest will implement The Review of New Information (RONI). This was to assist the Forest in making a decision whether the 2006 Forest Plan needec to be amended or revised and thereby impact further decisions on drilling on Wayne land
  28. 28. Wayne National Forest Most letters of protest to BLM recorded Lettersopposing by Athens county commissioners, city council, mayor, president of Ohio University, watershed groups and local governments. Over 3,000 letters delivered to Ann Carey Forest Supervisor agcarey@fs.fed.us
  29. 29. Wayne Opposition
  30. 30. Review of New Information RONI August 28, 2012 conclusion that BLM could lease parcels and that the 2006 Forest plan did not need to be amended. Decision by Anne Carey Forest Supervisor.
  31. 31. Our work 2012 Develop Coalition to protect Ohio Parks with Ohio Environmental Council, Buckeye Forest, Mohican Advocates Press event state house Hikes in state parks Webpage Electronic page to email legislators Collaborate with groups on Wayne opposition Direct work on fracking
  32. 32. Work 2013 New Chapter staff to assist in public land protections to HB 133 incorporating the Beyond Gas Campaign Collaborate with Buckeye Forest Council, Ohio Environmental Council and Mohican Advocates to continue the Coalition to Protect Ohio Parks. Goal to expand involvement to assist in protecting parks and forest from fracking Develop outings to raise awareness Hikes on Forests and parks threatened Slow down logging campaign Develop Forest Watch Program
  33. 33. Be present in the state house Aware of the legislation that may impact forests DOF budget cuts-impact?
  34. 34. What you can do to help Sign up for bids for logging parks. We have requested transparency on this for over five years. Greg.guess@dnr.state.oh.us Become a friend of a park or forest Spread the word. Write letters, talk to local officials, state officials, anyone about this issue!
  35. 35. What you can do to helpCall/email Bob Boyles chief of DOF Bob.boyles@dnr.state.oh.us Call/email Glenn Cobb Chief of Parks Call/email/ write Director Zehringer
  36. 36. What you can do to help… Bringyour skills and enthusiasm to the forest committee.
  37. 37. Go for a hike on public lands!
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