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Report: Locals should control forest investment process

‘Rights-based’ system should guide forest management

A new international report calls for more local control over forest investment and management.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Some conservative lawmakers in the U.S. oppose most international environmental initiatives as “unwarranted meddling,” with the most extreme right-wingers even espousing conspiracy theories about “black UN helicopters.”

But some Republicans may agree with one of the latest initiatives from the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, which calls for moving from a resource-led model to a rights-based system of locally controlled forestry, that places local control of forests at the heart of the investment process.

That ties in with recent efforts by some U.S. Republicans to turn over control of national forests to local or state governments. Several bills pending in Congress would give state governments more authority over planning and implementing logging and forest health projects. Continue reading

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Can forests offset some climate change impacts?

Forest Service researchers document trend toward more extreme weather

Forest Service research suggests that conversion from hardwood forests to pine could reduce runoff and water yield.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — U.S. Forest Service researchers in western North Carolina said they’re seen a shift toward more extreme precipitation patterns since the 1980s.

“We found significant increases in temperature and in the frequency of extreme wet and dry years since the 1980s,” said  Chelcy Ford. “These findings tied with those on management and streamflow have implications for managers in any area where changes in precipitation patterns could occur.”

The scientists at the Forest Service Southern Research Station used long-term data from the 5,600-acre Coweeta Hydrological Laboratory to examine the feasibility of managing forests for water supply under the changing weather conditions forecast for the future. Continue reading

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