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Comments Recieved at Raleigh

image: seeds of a red maple

The table below captures the comments collected during the breakout session at the Raleigh public meeting. Comments are grouped by major forces of change. Specific subregions of applicability are listed where provided.

  Northern VA is different in how they organize against/for natural resource issues (by groups of municipalities vs. by subregions) No.VA
Consider immigration reform—Hispanic immigration. Land ownership changes. National woodland owner survey PI/CP
Consider changing political climate. As we become more urban and less rural: People making policy connections that are less connected to the forests, perhaps more favorable for the urban populace PI/CP
The new generation doesn't have a background in science so, also for that reason, policies regarding the forests will reflect that understanding (or lack of it) PI/CP
Less representation for land-based issues (more for urban issues) PI/CP
Evaluate the effects of forest fragmentation. -- limits the range of forest actions that can be taken, and makes it less economic to manage it. Consider the effects on wildlife. Also, takes the wood out of the market because people won't be as inclined to sell the timber PI/CP
Consider watershed planning. Need to preserve land around watershed to preserve the water-- this may also affect the availability of land for timber access and production PI/CP
Evaluate market changes. Financial markets global trade. PI/CP
Evaluate energy policies. Renewable fuels. Mandates for renewable fuels PI/CP
Evaluate tax policies, property and estate PI/CP
Evaluate Ecosystem Services. Provide economic incentives for landowners. Emerging market for carbon trading—will provide landowners an incentive to manage and establish new forests. If the U.S. adopts some climate change policy there is also potential. If carbon trading gets underway what will the impact be? PI/CP
Evaluate new forest products/tree species PI/CP
More and more people are becoming less and less connected to the land, This affects votes in the legislature PI/CP
Newcomers have a different notion of land use. People come here because they like it, but they aren't concerned that it stay the way it was. They don't understand how it got there enough to keep it that way. Creates a land-use conflict. Some of newcomers don't hold some of the traditional values (like timber harvesting.) This will also have an impact on perceptions of prescribed fire (and thus a decreased ability to use the tool.) PI/CP
May need to increase awareness, educate the public, to continue to practice forestry. Public doesn't equate timber harvest with the products and values they value. It depends on how we ask the questions of the public and how we help the public to understand the values. Need to survey the publics in a way that presents information and helps them learn PI/CP
Kids not getting in the outdoors like they used to. Forests will be used/valued in a museum sense. People won't be actually using the forests like they used to PI/CP
The changing demographics haven't fully taken hold yet, but will in the next 20 years. PI/CP
Hunting and other recreation pressures will increase at the same time the amount of land decreases PI/CP
Increased wealth translated into large lots: Ranchettes tends to parcelize--fragment the land even more and create less likelihood that those forests will be managed PI/CP
We are missing an opportunity to encourage landowners to keep their forests in forests. Water could be the incentive. Everyone understands the value of water, especially in times of drought like we've just been through. As water quantity / air quality (ecosystem services in general) is threatened we may see more value given to forest management. That may be the way to strike a chord that the general public understands. Supposed negative forces of change could be met with forestry as the solution! But will there be enough forests left to be able to come to the rescue? PI/CP
We should use the Futures Project to raise the awareness of the broadest public. Let's capitalize on this opportunity to start forming better understanding by the public of what is happening and how it threatens the services and functions forests provide. PI/CP
We are seeing a more multi-state approach to natural resource and land-use problems (longleaf pine, cogon grass issue). That is a positive trend. PI/CP
Younger landowners with different values and poorer markets may result in less forest management so we may be setting our land up for health impacts on the forests. Results will be unhealthy forests like in the West PI/CP
Land values are so high now that average folks can't afford to buy anymore. May result in parcelization PI/CP
Urban population is out of touch with forests. Has to be met with better education/exposure of publics PI/CP
We may see global competition to the degree that it might reduce the size of the forest products industry in the south. This could reduce the markets for products from lands which would reduce the incentive to keep forests in forests PI/CP
Deployment of capital / capital flow is changing. Middle East, Exxon Mobil have capital to invest. Where will they be investing it? Who's got the capital and what is their intent in investing it. Would they invest in the Southern U.S. or somewhere else? Think both capital coming in and leaving the South/U.S.. (e.g.. IP invested in Brazil) PI/CP
Tax policies create incentives, but sometime there are unintended consequences (e.g., tax policy was basis of divestiture of industry) PI/CP
Consider collapse PI/CP
Evaluate increased fragmentation PI/CP
  Consider forestry landowners Summits in NC NC
In NC, tax breaks are being proposed for non-forest product purposes (e.g., wildlife habitat) which may endanger the forestry tax break, an incentive for keeping forested land NC
Private landowners own most land; increased taxes and less cost-share from government puts lower value on private lands. The cost of land ownership is higher and the perceived return is lower PI/CP
Other uses besides forest products have perceived value PI/CP
Public is looking at forest land for more than fiber (clean water, air, etc) no or little tax incentive for non-fiber products PI/CP
Need simpler policy for easements PI/CP
We are dealing with a crop that may be multi-generational—hard to see the return PI/CP
Forest programs (e.g., tree planting) are under funded PI/CP
County planning and tax policy is about 10-15 years behind what is currently happening PI/CP
Evaluate the lack of incentives for landowners to hold on to land long term when they can sell to developers—urban sprawl PI/CP
Assess local government planning –forests help maintain quality of life—need for green space, cost of energy high, water quality is important PI/CP
Mills are generally not technologically current—need competitive markets for forest products PI/CP
People advising landowners need to be professional in their field (forestry) PI/CP
Inheritance taxes (tax structure) can be an impediment to land staying in private ownership PI/CP
Lost market share in furniture industry in NC—how has that affected forest products? PI/CP
Scattered approach to alternative energy—too many different things going. The effort is not organized PI/CP
Need education to change public perception of forest management PI/CP
Need to make extra effort to reach forestry associations, tree farmers, etc., with the Futures Project. The non industrial private landowners need to be targeted through mailing lists, etc PI/CP
Markets are the most important thing for keeping land in trees PI/CP
Brett Butler, FS-FIA, is doing landowner surveys of folks with FIA plots PI/CP
Need tax breaks for non-forest product benefits from forested land PI/CP
Tree planting programs are not diverse enough for restoration work (e.g., lack of longleaf pine seed) PI/CP
Tax policies have a great affect on corporate decisions (some unintended consequences as well) PI/CP
Immigration reform effects labor in the forest industry PI/CP
Need a bigger institutional toolbox—one thing by itself will not solve the problems. We need a variety of opportunities (tools) PI/CP
Need to maintain forest research capacity—train the next generation. PI/CP
Consider trade policy implications from a consumer-driven economy PI/CP
US producing wood pellets and shipping them to Europe PI/CP
Forest and farm programs tend to be feast or famine. Need better communication of programs to landowners, especially with changes PI/CP
Consider training, education of future forest managers—numbers and quality PI/CP
Long-term funding of county level services is basis for land taxes—when federal dollars decrease, it puts the pressure on land taxes. Keeps land forested and in forestry present use value. Counties go after private landowners about present use values. PI/CP
As land use ownership has changed, there is less interest in R&D for forest productivity PI/CP
Energy policies could have a negative effect on forest industry and land ownership patterns PI/CP
Weaker markets for forest products—importing wood will reduce profitability for our own sawtimber market. Could potentially depopulate rural areas because can't make living off the land PI/CP
If markets for domestic wood are no longer here (i.e., pulp & paper), the sawtimber markets will be affected PI/CP
In Virginia, the State Forestry department is emphasizing more of water quality than the forestry aspect. Private landowners need to hire consultants rather than deal with State Forestry VA
Land Uses
  As land is parcelized it is more difficult to get small tracts of land logged PI/CP
Consider that landowner coops or farm based logging systems are an answer PI/CP
We need more tools for keeping forests in forest. Conservation easements and government acquisition, for example PI/CP
Consider frustration of counties with developers and their use of ordinances PI/CP
Tax Policy is a force of change, a driver. Conservation easements tie into this. PI/CP
Consider property taxes—based on use (or lack thereof) PI/CP
Urbanization—need to find markets (e.g. portable sawmills) PI/CP
Crop prices—artificially elevated prices are driving conversion to Ag-land PI/CP
Fragmentation has caused increased difficulty in communication PI/CP
The need for biofuels materials may lead to conversion of marginal ag-lands to forest PI/CP
Evaluate use of clones/genomics for biofuels PI/CP
Will we continue to further depopulate rural areas as employment opportunities decrease? PI/CP
Consider global environmental policy initiatives (e.g., Montreal, Kyoto, Cartegena) PI/CP
Land Uses/Forest Management
  NC has one of the highest population growth rates in the South (by 2030 equivalent of population of SC will be moving in to NC). This increases fragmentation. NC
NC is the first southern state to have a renewable energy portfolio ~7.5% of energy (70-80% of that from wood) NC
We're likely to see more engineered building materials PI/CP
Decrease in intensive forestry plus increased urbanization could lead to decreased production PI/CP
Intensity will shift to marketing and merchandizing of products—both traditional and non-traditional (e.g. wood and recreation) PI/CP
Expect changes in timber sales—more high tech PI/CP
Closing of pulp mills may lead to conversion to bioenergy facilities PI/CP
Consider implications to available workers: e.g., the lack of “ready reserve” firefighters may lead to use of other workers less qualified PI/CP
Evaluate social effects: more migrant workers in planting (and timber?) PI/CP
More use of remote sensing may mean fewer employees running more technological equipment PI/CP
Increased urbanization may lead to demand for more forest preservation and recreational use PI/CP
Transition to TIMO's and REIT's has led to direct and indirect decreased research (and interest in funding it.) Consider reluctance of TIMO's to fund anything other than very short term. PI/CP
Consider implications of renewable energy portfolio: Environmental opposition? Pulp mills? Coal plants? Raises questions about supply and transport. If energy prices get high enough this becomes less of a problem. PI/CP
Evaluate market for “locally produced wood” and regionally consumed wood PI/CP
Growth and urbanization are high in the Piedmont and right along the coast PI/CP
Flipping of forested land from large timber industrial ownership to TIMO's/REIT's. Trend is for land to continue to be further parceled. PI/CP
Suggested resources for SFFP: University of MI—Wildland Urban (finer resolution than county). NC State—mapping. NC “one map" PI/CP
Forest Management
  Evaluate market pressures: we are seeing more forestland selling for development vs. keeping in forest PI/CP
We are seeing the effect of fragmentation/parcelization on forest management PI/CP
Carbon credits will impact forests PI/CP
Water protection/ecosystem service credits. Will those $30/acre credits be enough to keep forests in forests? PI/CP
Because of the new markets in general, forest management recommendations may be out of date. Need good advice. Foresters need updated training. PI/CP
“Right Practices Forestry Acts”. What are the effects on more rules on landowner freedom to manage land. Consider difficulties of satisfying different ordinances in City, County…Quilt of ordinances. Lack of understanding of forestry by authors of ordinances (is a result of disconnect with natural resources) PI/CP
Consolidation of markets results in increased transportation costs to markets PI/CP
Evaluate emphasis on subsidy of bioenergy and how it could influence management? PI/CP
Subsidies and incentives can create an uneven (not level) playing field in markets PI/CP
Consider generation of income for share owners. Will forest be kept in forests? Will capital be redeployed (pensions)? PI/CP
Have had one-size fits all to forest management--may need new approaches in management. Evaluate harvesting to deal with fragmentation PI/CP
Need to move away from industry-based guidelines and toward those geared to small operators PI/CP
  Coastal Plain issue—Sea level rise in coastal plain can more quickly affect landscape if it has been ditched and drained CP
In the Piedmont, will we still have forestry? how long will be it be viable with all the urbanization? PI
Reintroduction of American chestnut into the Piedmont, national organizations hopefully will have seed in 2012, and how do we manage it? PI
What is the resilience of forests given increasing severity of weather events and interactions with insects and disease--related to biodiversity of the forests and their landscape patterns PI/CP
Consider breeding systems of trees changing; this will affect forests PI/CP
Primary effects of changing weather will affect tree growth; then secondary effects of policies to address these issues will be implemented. –(Droughts lead to burn bans for longleaf forests or site prep; changing climate affects population patterns, which lead to other policies) PI/CP
Policies can affect what we do with the forests both positively and negatively\ PI/CP
We may some day be paying people for water credits--with the unpredictability of it all being the most distressing part PI/CP
Is the South at risk for large events (landscape scale) that affect forests, such as Hurricane Hugo, such as sea level rise, invasion of the mountain pine beetle PI/CP
Salinity in rivers (drought, sea level rise) can affect paper mill production PI/CP
Energy costs can affect costs of fertilizer, pesticides, and, in turn, forest management operations PI/CP
If biofuels become economically feasible, then it can become economically feasible to thin stands, thus affecting fire PI/CP
Switching from fuel oil to firewood can change how that product competes with other traditional markets PI/CP
Urbanization effect of people moving in to the countryside can affect the ability to manage remaining forests, new residents being less tolerant of forest management activities PI/CP
Severe climate events and urbanization affect the spread of invasive plants through corridors PI/CP
Urbanization in the I-85 corridor makes it hard to get wood, introduces invasives, and affects prevention of fire PI/CP
When biofuels market kicks in, how much will boiler fuel go up? PI/CP
Consider corridors for invasive plants will increase PI/CP
Prevention of fire, it's all in there together with invasives, urbanization PI/CP
Urbanization precedes climate change – number of people moving in, age stratification, these groups have different agendas that don't include green spaces PI/CP
Will a ten year drought reduce movement of people into the area? PI/CP
People in the cities will determine what we do with our water PI/CP
What good is land if there's no water PI/CP
Will we develop as dense urban cores or will we become more of a suburban environment, will zoning laws get more prevalent? PI/CP
Consider that recreation, ex-urban development will increase PI/CP
Might ranchettes, 50 acre tracts, be our best opportunity for forest management? PI/CP
Evaluate keeping in touch with tree farms, county associations, policies to protect forests PI/CP
Evaluate the percent of private landowners that will change hands soon, this is the largest turnover of wealth in the world in the next 20-30 years, it'll go to the highest bidder PI/CP
Timberland will turn over more rapidly and parcels get smaller at a greater rate than ever before, and none of this does good things for the values and functions PI/CP
Invasive species is a real unknown, there is little experience in dealing with it on a large scale PI/CP
Assess breeding of trees. Focus has been on growth, will this cause other problems such as shortened life? PI/CP
Hard to sort out which factors are most important (relative weighting), especially with interactions-such as which climate scenario you choose, this can overwhelm anything else PI/CP
Urbanization interactions will be responsible for 90% of the change over 50 years. True in both magnitude and certainty. Biological changes are less certain PI/CP
How are we going to deal with climate in the political environment – e.g.. Climate change policies may be solutions that impact forestry PI/CP
Policy decisions have tremendous effects on fire, such that right now we can't prescribe burn due to statewide burning ban PI/CP
An offshoot of burning ban is greater use of chemicals instead of natural systems that have their own impacts and these can be long term PI/CP
Physical issues are intertwined with political issues, to deal with climate, fire, etc. PI/CP
Policies in turn affect land management, how it's managed, or if they sell it PI/CP
Policies also affect invasives, such as Asian longhorn beetle, Emerald ash borer (regulatory fault) PI/CP
If there's a trend away from using fire as a tool, how does this affect rare and endangered species and restoration of historic ecosystems like longleaf or oak? PI/CP
Catastrophic insurance on forestland would affect planting decisions, because we have so much severe weather here, also true for invasive threats PI/CP
FIA data is going to reveal some things that need to be looked at, such as high grading effects on species mix, quality, stocking, or reduction in fire shifting species mix toward red maple PI/CP
Consider Phytophthora remorum (sudden oak death) PI/CP
Gypsy moth could severely impact what our forests look like if it continues on down through the south PI/CP
Southern pine beetle is cyclical, can be severe, we're due for another round PI/CP
Critically imperiled G1/G2 species, what will be done to protect them? PI/CP
Climate change will have winners and losers – species will climb up ridgelines and those already there will drop off PI/CP
Pine trees have responded with rapid growth to CO2, evaluate the possibility of increased growth? PI/CP
Global climate change folks use a concept called forcing, could help simplify forecasting tasks and make a shorter document, relates to weighting of factors. Evaluate. PI/CP
Loss of maritime forest due to building, loss of forests means loss of a wind break, more damage into the Piedmont from hurricanes PI/CP
Drought has brought lots of challenges – fires more prevalent and with more houses, harder to protect those houses, and without prescribed fire it's harder to stop them, mopping up takes a long time after a wildfire because of drought PI/CP
Is anybody looking into Central America to see what insects and disease might be coming next – this could include Dengue fever PI/CP
Markets, pollution, all these factors are important on a global scale, certainly over 50 years PI/CP
With climate change there will be pluses, we may be able to grow some species that we previously were not able to PI/CP
How do we educate ourselves so we can adapt to climate change PI/CP
Without as many pure biological scientists in the Forest Service as we used to have, will we be able to figure out solutions to climate change (such as carbon storage)? PI/CP
Burn biofuels, take the char in carbon, plow into ag fields and increase yields there through increasing soil carbon PI/CP
What if we figure out in 30 years that there is no climate change, that it gets cooler again? PI/CP
Harder to use fire with developments nearby, new residents are not comfortable with it even when it's good for them PI/CP
Strong state fire councils can help with resistance to fire use through education PI/CP
Virginia has fixed prescribed burn ban (after Feb 15, with other specifications) PI/CP
Counties can put more restrictive conditions than the state, despite favorable conditions PI/CP
Hemlock wooly adelgid affecting riparian corridors, water, etc. PI/CP
Consider a benchmark for amount of urban forest cover, such as 40% PI/CP