ACF Firday Update

Don Staples dstaples at livingston.net
Fri Sep 11 09:47:02 EST 1998


-       Congressional Activities in Turmoil.

The recent developments in the ongoing saga of President Clinton have
disrupted the
legislative calender, slowing the needed passage of key appropriations
and budget items.  At
this time the fate of several key appropriations bills, including the
Interior Appropriations bill
which provides funding for the Forest Stewardship program, as well as
the entire Forest
Service, is unknown.  Unless action is taken by the end of this month,
it is possible that
Continuing Resolutions will be needed to keep government in business,
otherwise a
government shutdown is possible.  Also unknown are the fate of bills
that may bring tax relief to
forest landowners, as well as the reauthorization of the Endangered
Species Act.  Congress is
expected to adjourn in early October so that members may return to their
districts to campaign
for reelection.  Chances are that only appropriation and budget bills
will be worked on during
the next several weeks.  The arrival of the Special Prosecutor's report
on the Hill yesterday is
certain to dominate activity for the next several weeks.

-       Tree Farm Task Report on Building Quality Inspectors nearing
completion.

This week, the Tree Farm Task Force examining ways to improve and
increase the number of
inspectors in the program completed the last of four conference calls
discussing the subject.
The results of the ACF Survey of members regarding their involvement in
the program weighed
heavily in the report.  A special thanks is extended to all those who
responded.  A number of
ACF members commented in the survey that they did not know that Tree
Farm Program needed
inspectors and would like to be involved (an analysis of the ACF survey
will be included in next
weeks Friday Update).  This fact prompted Bob Simpson to include in his
report a need to
emphasize the recruiting of new of inspectors.  One interesting fact
that was divulged by the
Tree Farm Program was the overwhelming dependence of the program on
state forestry
agency employees to complete inspections.  Well over half of all Tree
Farm inspections and
reinspections are performed by public foresters.  This dependence on a
subsidized work force
that is constantly facing downsizing, reduced budgets and priorities in
new areas was part of
the reason why a shortage of inspectors was recently experienced.  If in
the future state
forestry agencies decide to further reduce their role as inspectors, the
Tree Farm program
could face a serious dilemma in trying to find new inspectors.  

-       Loren Larson to meet with the National Association of
Professional Forestry Schools and
Colleges Executive Committee

As part of their enhancement of national level activities, the Deans of
the professional forestry
schools and colleges will meet for their Executive Committee meeting
next week prior to the
commencement of the Society of American Foresters national convention in
Traverse City,
Michigan.  The ACF has been invited to participate in a "stakeholders"
round table discussion to
help the Deans focus on collaboration with their partners.  Loren Larson
will represent the ACF
at this meeting and bring a message to the Deans.  Part of the message
will include an offer
from the ACF to have its members available to provide outreach to
students to introduce them
to the Consulting Forestry profession.  Many ACF chapters report they
are currently involved in
such activities.  In addition, concerns about the preparedness of
graduating students will also
be discussed.  In the past, many ACF foresters have expressed a concern
that students
graduating from forestry schools do not have the basic skills needed to
enter into a field
forestry position.  If any member would like to suggest additional
messages to take to the
Deans, please submit them to the national office as soon as possible.
-- 
Don Staples
UIN 4653335

Web Offerings:  http://www.livingston.net/dstaples/



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