Volume 22, No. 02 - March 13, 2010

EPA revises Reregistration Eligibility Decision for sulfometuron herbicides

Under federal law, EPA must conduct reviews of the human health and environmental effects of registered pesticides to determine whether the pesticides are eligible for reregistration. After reviewing a pesticide, EPA prepares a Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED) in which the agency may propose new restrictions on use of the pesticide. In September 2008, EPA issued a RED for sulfometuron methyl in which the agency proposed a number of risk mitigation measures that would have drastically curtailed uses of Oust® in forestry operations.

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Forest wildlife and herbicides in the Pacific Northwest

NCASI is distributing Technical Bulletin No. 970, Forest Herbicide Effects on Pacific Northwest Ecosystems: A Literature Review. This report addresses concerns about the effects of herbicides on wildlife and biodiversity in managed forests with emphasis on studies conducted in the Pacific Northwest. The authors summarize a substantial body of research which shows that direct toxic effects to wildlife are not expected when herbicides are used in accordance with legal requirements. Much less is known about indirect effects of habitat modifications associated with herbicide use in wood production systems.

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Wigley honored by Mississippi State University

Dr. Ben Wigley of NCASI has been named the 2010 Alumnus of the Year by the Mississippi State University College of Forest Resources. The Alumnus of the Year program recognizes and honors those whom each College at the university deems as having achieved the highest levels of accomplishment in their professions.

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Elk habitat modeling workshop

NCASI and the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service are developing new elk habitat evaluation models for coastal and Cascades rainforests and for inland forests of Oregon and Washington. The project has gathered virtually all telemetry data collected in the region since 1990 for developing new statistics-based models. In addition, the models will integrate elk nutrition data collected by NCASI from 2000 to 2007 to produce the first nutrition-explicit elk habitat models. The project includes two workshops to receive input and to disseminate the models to potential users.

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Forest technology research priorities of the southern forest sector

The southern forest sector needs an expanding base of scientific and technical information to prosper in the 21st century. Research to provide this information is under threat, however, from reduced funding directed to forest technology topics and recent declines in industrial research infrastructure. As part of its response to these challenges, NCASI’s Forest Productivity Working Group conducted a survey to identify forest technology research priorities of forest products companies, industrial timberland owners, and the consultants and businesses that support them. Survey results are presented in “Enhancing forest technology: Research priorities of the southern forest sector” (Southern Journal of Applied Forestry 34: 38-45).

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Effectiveness of streamside management zones in Maine

Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) have been developed, tested, and implemented through public-private partnerships to protect water quality and aquatic habitats. Streamside management zones (SMZs) are an important component of BMPs. A recurring topic of discussion in BMP programs is the appropriate SMZ prescription in small headwater catchments. This question was addressed in a recent field study in Maine conducted by scientists with the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences. Results from this study are presented in “The effectiveness of different buffer widths for protecting water quality and macroinvertebrate and periphyton assemblages of headwater streams in Maine, USA” (Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 67:177-190).

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Correction

Our recent article “AGU meeting covers key environmental issues” (Vol. 22, No. 1) included an incorrect citation for a paper about “Zhang Curves” that describe changes in water yield that may occur with land use conversion from forest to grasslands. The correct citation is: Zhang, L., W.R. Dawes, and G.R. Walker. 2001. Response of mean annual evapotranspiration to vegetation changes at catchment scale. Water Resources Research 37:701-708.

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