Climate Change, Wood Bioenergy and Carbon Emissions to be Explored at Forest Sustainability Conference

Wednesday, January 27 2010

Written by Sue McMurray

MOSCOW, Idaho – Forest managers, landowners, conservationists, and federal, state and private agencies will benefit from a natural resource conference focusing on climate change, bioenergy and sustainable forest management.

The conference will help people connect global-scale issues – regarding renewable energy, carbon emissions and more – to potential effects on forests in Idaho and Montana.

The conference is sponsored by the University of Idaho, the Society of American Foresters and 11 other natural resource collaborators. It takes place March 3-4 at the Washington Group Plaza, 720 E. Park Blvd. in Boise, and is open to the public. Registration details are available online at

Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter will open the conference. Breakout sessions designed to encourage participants to discuss strategies for sustaining forests and the services people expect from them, which later will be published as conference proceedings, include:
  • Ecologically Sound – Identifying and Restoring Desired Conditions in Idaho and Montana Forests
  • Economically Feasible – Role of Industry Infrastructure to Accomplish Forest Restoration Goals
  • Socially Desirable – The “Social License” for Making Federal Forest Land Management a Reality
  • Moving Forward Towards Sustainability Who? Where? How?

Current conditions in the forested areas of Idaho and Montana put forests at risk of all-consuming wildfire as well as insect and disease outbreaks. While management actions could improve forest conditions and help meet renewable energy and carbon sequestration goals, they must be ecologically sound, economically viable and socially desirable to be sustainable, conference organizers say.

“Forest managers can take action to meet these three sustainability conditions only after attaining ‘social license’ for implementation,” said Jay O’Laughlin, director of the University of Idaho Policy Analysis Group. “Several efforts are underway in this region to create such licenses, and one of our conference objectives is to consider what is needed to build additional social license or cooperative capacity.”

The conference is the second in a series of conferences. Information from the first conference, held at the University of Montana, is available online at
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About the University of Idaho

Founded in 1889, the University of Idaho is the state’s flagship higher-education institution and its principal graduate education and research university, bringing insight and innovation to the state, the nation and the world. University researchers attract nearly $100 million in research grants and contracts each year; the University of Idaho is the only institution in the state to earn the prestigious Carnegie Foundation ranking for high research activity. The university’s student population includes first-generation college students and ethnically diverse scholars. Offering more than 130 degree options in 10 colleges, the university combines the strengths of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. The university is home to the Vandals, the 2009 Roady’s Humanitarian Bowl champions. For information, visit

About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit