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Timber Harvesting Safety

This spring’s catastrophic tornado season continues at this writing, with the storm system that had already caused great loss of life and property now moving from Kansas and Oklahoma into Arkansas. In terms of damage to forest assets, the late April storms inflicted their worst damage in Alabama, with State Forester Linda Casey citing losses of “tens of thousands of acres of forests.”

On May 24, the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration and Related Agencies approved a bill that would eliminate funding for the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP), the controversial measure that currently provides price supports to biomass owners delivering qualified harvested biomass to eligible bio-energy facilities, as well as subsidies for the establishment of dedicated biomass crops.

We were pleased to observe the Minnesota Department of Transportation, this March, publishing a two-page summary of the major conclusions of its lengthy 2006 study, Minnesota Truck Size and Weight Project: Final Report, concluding with as clear an endorsement of the Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2011 as any advocate could wish for:

The impacts of the extreme cyclones that lashed the South in several separate storm systems during April have taken a catastrophic toll in human life across several states.

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