Vol. 30, No. 10 - October 25, 2018

Review of EPA draft report on biogenic carbon accounting

On August 29, 2018, the EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) released a draft review of a 2014 draft report from EPA on accounting for biogenic CO2 emissions from stationary sources. The EPA had requested the SAB to review a revised framework for accounting for biogenic carbon emissions, which the agency defines as "CO2 emissions related to the natural carbon cycle, as well as those resulting from the combustion, harvest, digestion, fermentation, decomposition, or processing of biologically based materials." In September, NCASI provided the SAB with comments on its draft review and highlighted four points.

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Mapping tree cover loss versus deforestation

A recent article in Science may put to rest some of the widespread confusion caused by scientific papers that report widespread deforestation. The research by Curtis et al. (2018) was funded by The Sustainability Consortium and World Resources Institute. It noted that data used by Global Forest Watch (and produced by Matt Hansen, one of the authors of this work) “does not distinguish permanent forest conversion associated with a change in land use [i.e., deforestation] from other forms of forest disturbance that may be associated with subsequent regrowth (i.e., forestry, shifting cultivation, wildfire).”

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US Fish and Wildlife Service proposes threatened status for freshwater mussel

Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced a 12-month finding on a petition to list the Atlantic pigtoe (Fusconaia masoni) as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act. The Atlantic pigtoe is a freshwater mussel native to Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. After reviewing the best available scientific and commercial information, the Service has concluded that the Atlantic pigtoe is threatened by water pollution coming directly from sites such as sewage treatment plants, road drainage runoff, private wastewater discharges, or other sources; erosion; or dams that affect mussel populations by disrupting natural flow patterns, scouring river bottoms, changing water temperatures, and fragmenting habitat. The Service will consider all comments on the proposed listing rule, proposed designated critical habitat and associated economic analysis, and proposed special rule under section 4(d) of the ESA that are received or postmarked by December 10, 2018.

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Study finds that harvest induced edges do not increase predation risk for birds

NCASI recently collaborated with Mississippi State University (MSU) and Weyerhaeuser Company to determine if edges between different stand types influenced apparent predation risk for breeding birds in a managed forest landscape. Results from the study, which was conducted in Mississippi, were recently published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. The authors include Jenny R. Foggia and Scott A. Rush of MSU, Darren A. Miller (with Weyerhaeuser at the time of the study), T. Bently Wigley of NCASI, and James A. Martin of the University of Georgia. The authors report that negative edge effects on breeding birds were largely absent and apparent predation risk in newly established pine stands was less than other stand types. Thus, the authors concluded that their results were consistent with the hypothesis that young and mid-aged intensively managed pine forests that develop after clearcut harvest can benefit some birds, particularly those using early-successional forest conditions during the breeding season.

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US Fish and Wildlife Service proposes threatened status for Coastal Distinct Population Segment of the Pacific Marten

For several years, the taxonomic and conservation status of marten have been undergoing review in the Pacific Northwest. Recently, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has proposed to list the Coastal distinct population segment (DPS) of Pacific marten (M. caurina), a mammal species from coastal California and Oregon, as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA). The proposed rule appears in the October 9, 2018, issue of the Federal Register.

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