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Pinchot News

News Releases

Dec 17, 2013
Experiment to manage federal lands through local collaboration gets mixed review
An Independent Science Panel has issued its evaluation of a decade-long experiment with locally-driven management of three National Forests in northern California, finding that the experiment fell short of goals set for the number of projects completed, expected timber volume, and associated employment.  The experiment was mandated by federal legislation spearheaded by Senator Diane Feinstein (D-CA) and former Congressman Wally Herger (R-CA), involved environmental groups, timber companies, county governments, and others in US Forest Service decisions on the management of parts of the Lassen, Plumas, and Tahoe National Forests.  The Independent Science Panel report, also mandated as part of the Herger-Feinstein Quincy Library Group Forest Recovery Act of 1998, was released today by the Pinchot Institute, a conservation think tank based in Washington, DC, which coordinated the study and prepared the report to Congress.
Oct 29, 2013
Stakeholders Address Sustainability at Critical Moment in the Growth of Wood Energy Trade
Europe is expected to import up to 60 million tons of wood pellets annually in the next 20 years, most coming from the U.S. South. To address this growing trade in wood energy, over 60 experts and stakeholders representing conservation organizations, government agencies, universities, and the forest and renewable energy industries in nine different countries gathered in Savannah, Georgia, last week.
Oct 25, 2013
V. Alaric Sample Address at the 20th Anniversary of the European Forest Institute (EFI)
Pinchot Institute President V. Alaric Sample addressed the Annual Conference of the European Forest Institute at its 20th anniversary in Nancy, France, on September 24, 2013.
Apr 16, 2013
Connecting Carbon Credits to Health Care:
PacificSource Administrators partners with Pinchot Institute for Conservation to create first-of-its-kind ATreeM™ Card improving health care access for family forest owners
Mar 15, 2013
The Role of Communities in Stewardship Contracting
New report from the Pinchot Institute conveys findings and recommendations from the FY 2012 Programmatic Monitoring and Evaluation of the role of local communities in the development and implementation of stewardship contracts and agreements on the National Forest System and lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management.
Mar 15, 2013
Gifford Pinchot Documentary Screening at the DC Environmental Film Festival
The 21st Annual DC Environmental Film Festival will include a free screening of Seeking the Greatest Good: The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot on Thursday, March 21st at 5:30pm at the National Portrait Gallery.
Mar 13, 2013
V. Alaric Sample Testifies Before House Subcommittee on National Forest Management and its Impacts on Rural Economies and Communities
Pinchot Institute President V. Alaric Sample testified before the House Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy, and Forestry.
Feb 21, 2013
Anita Mielert, Paul Wilson Named to Pinchot Institute Board of Directors
Washington, DC – February 21st, 2013 – The Pinchot Institute for Conservation today announced that Anita Mielert of Simsbury, CT and Paul H. Wilson, Jr. of New York, NY, have been elected to the Institute’s board of directors.

Nov 13, 2012
Call for Abstracts: Healthy Forests = Healthy Waters
How valuable are forests--whether in the city, country, or wilderness-to the management of water resources? Join the Pinchot Institute at the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) 2013 Summer Specialty Conference June 26-28 in Hartford, CT.
Aug 13, 2012
New report provides guidelines for building a successful water quality trading program
Water quality is one of the most significant environmental issues facing watersheds across the country. States have used different forms of water quality trading over the last decades as a flexible tool for meeting water quality goals. This report gathers those successes, failures, and valuable lessons learned from pioneering groups to help new trading programs lay the groundwork for success.
Jul 12, 2012
New Approach Promotes Pathways to Forest Sustainability
Producers of wood pellets in the United States will need to meet or exceed sustainability standards set by the European Union and individual European countries to protect the health of forests, while accessing expanding export markets.
Jun 8, 2012
LandServer Adds Land Trust Feature for Maryland Landowners
LandServer has added a new feature for Maryland landowners to help connect with land trusts.
Jun 5, 2012
Common Waters Fund Receives Grant from DuPont Clear Into the Future®, for Watershed Research
The Pinchot Institute for Conservation’s Common Waters Fund has been awarded a $10,000 grant from the DuPont Clear Into the Future® Program.
May 17, 2012
New Resource for landowners, policymakers, and others on sustainable biomass
The Forest Guild and the Pinchot Institute are pleased to announce a new website presenting a series of videos about forest biomass harvest and retention guidelines.
Mar 1, 2012
Tracking the Growth of Stewardship Contracting in Federal Forests
Pinchot Institute releases FY 2011 report on stewardship contracts and agreements
Nov 18, 2011
Trees Improve Air Quality and Protect Human Health
New data shows that trees can significantly improve air quality in metropolitan areas like Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC by filtering out pollution that is damaging to human health.
Oct 24, 2011
Pinchot Institute Partners with American Carbon Registry for Forest Health–Human Health Initiative
The Pinchot Institute and Winrock’s American Carbon Registry (ACR) announced today a partnership to pilot the Forest Health-Human Health Initiative, the world’s first demonstration of linking forest carbon projects with affordable health care services for forest landowners. 
Sep 19, 2011
Letter from six retired chiefs of the Forest Service to ranking members of the Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee
Six retired Chiefs of the Forest Service call on Senate to extend stewardship contracting authority.
Sep 2, 2011
Vernonia Forest Project Tests Groundbreaking Laser Technology
In collaboration with the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, forest scientists from Oregon State University are testing a new ground-based light detection and ranging (LIDAR) technology on the city of Vernonia's municipal forest lands.
Jun 7, 2011
Forest Chief Urges Stronger Conservation Partnerships
Forest Service Chief Tidwell Urges Stronger Conservation Partnerships at Land Conservation Policy Symposium in New Haven


Media Coverage

Feb 14, 2014
Forest-health ‘ATreeM’ cards offset health care spending

The spirit of rebirth is as evergreen in Columbia County, Ore. as the timber that has sustained the county’s economy for centuries.

Perhaps nowhere is that more apparent than in the city of Vernonia, which endured two 500-year floods in 11 years — 1996 and 2007 — and in many ways is still recovering. The most recent flood caused $120 million in damage in rural Vernonia (pop. 49,300), according to county Commissioner Tony Hyde, the city’s former mayor.

Continue reading at County News...

Oct 16, 2013
Plaudits for a Pinchot Institute Climate Change Initiative in the Upper Delaware
The River Reporter praised the Pinchot Institute's efforts to empower local communities in the Upper Delaware Basin to adapt to climate change. The Institute's ongoing scientific assessment will help protect forests and economies avoid the worst effects of a changing climate.

Read the River Reporter's editorial here.
Oct 16, 2013
PIC Research Fellow Leila Pinchot Delivers Keynote Address at Centennial Conservation Expo
Dr. Leila Pinchot delivered the keynote address, at the Centennial Conservation Expo in Knoxville, TN. Pinchot, the great-granddaughter of Gifford Pinchot, who directed the National Conservation Exposition held in the same park 100 years ago this month, is a noted conservationist herself, involved in the study of the blight-ravaged chestnut tree, and a alumna of the University of Tennessee. Read her keynote address at Metropulse.com.
Apr 20, 2013
Documentary Points to Hope on Environment
The environmental news seems particularly grim this spring. Southern California continues in a drought; from desert to coast the land is brittle brown.

Dry too are the Sierra mountains, where the snow pack is well below normal. That's really bad news for Central Valley farmers and L.A. industry and residents dependent on its runoff for water. The latest data from NOAA and the EPA suggest this dry spell will continue in an era of changing climate, deepening our anxieties about how to live in this land of little rain.

One could easily (and understandably) lose hope, and give in to the Green Blues, a term one of my colleagues coined to describe the dispiriting response to the multi-layered environmental problems associated with climate disruption.

Continue reading on The Sun...

Apr 19, 2013
Forest Restoration Workshop for Pike-Monroe Woodland Owners Group
A Forest Restoration Workshop is scheduled from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, April 20, at the Milford Experimental Forest, a privately owned 1,191-acre research forest on Schocopee Road in Milford. In December 2006, the Delaware Highlands Conservancy helped several members of the Pinchot family, headed by Peter Pinchot, complete negotiations to protect this land.

The workshop will focus on how landowners can improve the forest health, using American chestnut reintroduction as an example. This will be presented by Leila Pinchot, a research fellow with the Pinchot Institute for Conservation, who has a Ph.D. in chestnut restoration.

Leila is the great-granddaughter of Gifford Pinchot, the first person to head the United States Forest Service. Participants in the workshop will learn how to mark timber, implement a harvest and plant chestnuts and oaks. You can attend all day or pick the morning or afternoon sessions.

Continue reading at the Pocono Record...
Mar 19, 2013
USFS head calls for stewardship contracting, warns of sequester impacts
Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell yesterday urged Congress to permanently authorize an expiring program that allows proceeds from timber sales to be used for forest restoration, arguing it enjoys broad bipartisan support.

Tidwell said a recovering housing market has generated more demand for wood products, which could allow the agency to raise more revenues to fund forest restoration projects.

At a hearing before the House Agriculture Subcommittee on Conservation, Energy and Forestry, Tidwell also discussed the effects of sequester cuts, the success of collaborative planning and the Bureau of Land Management's new hydraulic fracturing rule.

Continue reading...


Mar 1, 2013
New Documentary Film on the Life and Legacy of Gifford Pinchot
Starting in March, keep your eyes peeled for Seeking the Greatest Good: The Conservation Legacy of Gifford Pinchot on your local PBS affiliate (check your local listings here). Seeking the Greatest Good is a documentary produced by the public television station WVIA that links Gifford Pinchot’s conservation philosophy with the Pinchot Institute for Conservation’s (PIC) efforts to address contemporary environmental issues.

Continue reading on the Forest History Society blog...

Feb 28, 2013
Forest Service Chief Talks Climate Change -- in Washington and on the Ground
On climate change, the Obama administration seems to be finding its voice.

That was not always the case: because President Obama was not about to let climate change disrupt his second-term chances, during his first term he sat quietly as Republicans vociferously attacked anyone trying to construct an effective climate-change policy for the nation.

These assaults, Anthony Leiserowitz of Yale's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies told Bill Moyers recently, were part of a larger "disinformation campaign" that the fossil-fuel industry has funded: "I mean, they're very happy, thank you very much, with the status quo," delighted with the results of their actions "to get people to believe that the experts do not agree."

Among those who deferred was the Obama administration, and that's still true to some extent. In mid-February more than 40,000 climate activists rallied around the White House as part of the nation's largest such fossil-free rally ever, but the president was a no-show. Instead, he was on a Florida golf course, shooting a sunny round with oil-and-gas executives.

This tone-deaf moment aside, off the links President Obama and the executive branch are starting to speak about the urgent need to protect life on Earth.

Continue reading on KCET.org...

Feb 15, 2013
Under climate change, some ecosystems may be lost - Forest Service Chief

The loss of certain forest ecosystems may be inevitable in a future shaped by climate change, the chief of the Forest Service said yesterday.

Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell delivered his frank assessment of the challenges posed by global warming yesterday as the guest speaker for the 2013 Pinchot Distinguished Lecture, hosted by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation at the Cosmos Club in Washington, D.C. He stressed that his agency, now more than a century old, will need to adjust its standards and practices quickly to keep up with the rapid pace of ecosystem change under global warming.

"I can't stress this enough: The things we learned in school -- what's right for this stand of trees, what's right for this watershed -- might not work in the future," he said.

Among the changes, the Forest Service may have to suspend its long-standing mandate of restoring ecosystems that have experienced disturbance events, he said.

"There are certain areas that we are not going to be able to maintain. There are places we've seen where aspen [trees] have been lost, and we've gone in and tried to restore them, when the reality is, we've lost the site, it's not coming back."



Read the full article on ClimateWire (paywall)

Jan 3, 2013
Growing Forests For Health Care
Instead of selling or logging their land to pay medical bills as they age, could family forest owners trade carbon credits for health care?

A new pilot program in Columbia County is trying to find way for small forestland owners to pay for healthcare without cutting more trees. It’s next in a series on innovative environmental ideas.

Collectively, small private landowners own a lot of the tree-covered turf in the U.S. But a lot of that forestland – an area the size of Idaho, according to the Pinchot Institute for Conservation – is at risk of being lost to development as owners age over the next 20 years.

Click here to continue reading this article from Ecotrope.

Aug 13, 2012
Reports address US pellet production, EU sustainability criteria
U.S. producers of wood pellets will likely need to meet or exceed sustainability standards set by the European Union for solid biofuels in order access the European export market. Two reports have recently been published that examine the economic, environmental and policy implications of the expanding wood pellet market...

Click here to continue reading this article from Biomass Magazine.

May 17, 2012
Biomass Markets and Sustainable Harvesting Guidelines
This all came to mind for me today as I viewed a new series of videos posted by The Forest Guild with the support of The Pinchot Institute.  The series is basically one story told from four perspectives; renewable energy production, forest management, conservation and environmental protection, and policy. I found it interesting to see how one basic message can be tailored to four different audiences, and I appreciate their foresight to produce the series in that manner.

Click here to continue reading this post on the Go Wood Blog.
Oct 6, 2011
Common Waters Fund Announces Grants to Forest Land Owners
Two dozen landowners across three states will share more than $175,000 in Common Waters Fund grants to develop forest management plans and implement sustainable management practices that protect water quality. The awards were distributed in September by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation.

Read the full article on The River Reporter's website.
Sep 1, 2011
Cemetery is testing ground for carbon valuation
VERNONIA — A cemetery may seem an unusual place to test the world’s first ground-based laser scanning forest carbon valuation system, but then again, a project that links carbon credits with health care is not the norm either.

Read the full article in The Daily Astorian or visit the Forest Health Human Health Initiative webpage to learn more.


Aug 12, 2011
How the Bay Bank Can Help Save Family Farms
Ecosystem Marketplace has published a two-part feature on the Pinchot Institute's Bay Bank, an innovative program to help landowners earn credit for conservation measures undertaken on their property. Part one focusses on how the Bay Bank can specifically help family farmers and small landowners; the second part profiles a landowner demonstration project featuring brook trout credits. For more information about the Bay Bank please visit the Bay Bank program page.
Jul 7, 2011
$250,000 in grants to Upper Delaware Basin landowners from Common Waters Fund
The Common Waters Fund, a project of the Pinchot Institute, recently awarded $250,000 in grants to forest owners in the Upper Delaware River Basin to develop forest management plans and implement sustainable management practices that protect water quality.

Visit the Pike County Courier for the full story.
Jun 30, 2011
Vernonia Biomass Project Receives USDA Grant
Plans for woody biomass facilities and other innovative energy projects in Vernonia are moving forward with the help of a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The USDA awarded the city $25,000 from its Forest Service Woody Biomass Utilization grant, part of a $3 million package of funding doled out to renewable energy projects nationwide.

Pinchot Institute Senior Fellow Catherine Mater has worked closely on the project, the first of its kind planned in the nation.

Read the full article here or visit the Pinchot Institue's bioenergy page to learn more.

Jun 28, 2011
Common Waters Fund Featured on Wayne Pike News
Wayne County Conservation District Watershed Specialist Jamie Knecht talks about the Common Waters Fund on Wayne Pike Now, a weekly radio show in northeastern Pennsylvania.  The Common Waters Fund is a $1 million fund to maintain and improve the forests of the Upper Delaware Valley.  The Common Water Fund is administered by the Pinchot Institute for Conservation.

For more information about the Common Waters Fund or to download a podcast of the interview, visit Wayne Pike News .
Jun 14, 2011
Health Impact Assessment Proposed for Delaware River Basin
A study of the potential health impacts of gas drilling has been proposed for the Delaware River Basin.  The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health proposed the Health Impact Assessment (HIA), believed to be only the third of its kind in the country.  The idea of an HIA came out of a December 2010 meeting of stakeholders in the Pinchot Institute’s Marcellus Shale Report, an overview of best management practices, current regulations and natural resource information.

Read the River Reporter article here .
Jun 10, 2011
Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell Interview with WNPR
Forest Service Chief Tom Tidwell spoke to WNPR about the centennial of the Weeks Act from the Pinchot Institute's Symposium, "Forest Land Conservation in the 21st Century" at Yale University's School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.  Listen to the interview here or learn more about the symposium and the Weeks Act Centennial here.



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