W e l c o m e
Our commentary this month discusses RECYCLING & RENEWABLE ENERGY in the context of remembering what the goal is and why we started these initiatives in the first place! This month's report explores the decades long debate over U.S. NATIONAL FOREST CERTIFICATION, how far we've come, and where we still need to go.
With spring in the air, and belated-wishes for a Happy Earth Day, the Dovetail team offers you this month's newsletter! Enjoy!
D o v e t a i l N e w s
New team members bring expertise in life cycle assessment and carbon standards
(Mpls, MN) - Dovetail Partners, a Minneapolis-based environmental group, announces the addition of new team members that add expertise in Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) and carbon standards science. Dovetail Partners has added Wayne Trusty as an Associate and Nick Martin as a member of their Board of Advisors.
Board members identify priorities and emerging opportunities
(Mpls, MN) - Dovetail Partners, a Minneapolis-based environmental think tank, recently held their annual meeting with their Board of Advisors. The goal was to evaluate the current state of environmental issues and to identify emerging leadership opportunities and priorities.
The two-day meeting held in St. Paul, Minnesota on April 2nd and 3rd resulted in the identification of 7 key areas of interest for Dovetail Partners, including green building, carbon science, certification, biomass energy, food systems, water sustainability, and the re-emergence of industrial centers as the economy recovers.
“We recognize the potential for dynamic change in the coming years, and the environment will be a pivot point for these changes. To chart a positive direction it is absolutely essential that science be the foundation of our policies and actions,” said Fernholz.
D o v e t a i l C o m m e n t a r y
A few weeks ago, I was discussing with a group of college students the importance of recycling and our relatively high level of success with recycling paper. I then noted that, contrary to common perception, the total harvest of trees is unlikely to be significantly reduced even if we maximize paper recycling to our highest current technical ability. In response, one student asked, “If it won’t reduce logging, then why bother recycling at all?” Good question, right? With all the reminders to “Save a tree, Recycle”, it is easy to assume from current discussions that reducing tree harvest must be the main goal of recycling, right?
However, if we think back to why recycling started in the first place, it was often out of concern over landfill capacities and the ability to manage our waste streams. We started recycling to save waste, not trees. Remarkably, the per-person amount of waste discarded in landfills is lower now than it was in 1960. So, overall it would appear that recycling has helped and lessoned the stress on our waste stream and landfill systems. Similar to the question of “why recycle” is the question of “why use renewable energy”?
Current debates often focus on the requirement for renewable energy to result in significant reductions in carbon emissions. This is a bit like pursuing a policy of recycling primarily to stop trees from being cut. The original goal of supporting renewable energy was to reduce all of the negative impacts of being dependent on non-renewable sources of energy. A current focus on carbon should not distract us from the many other reasons renewable energy is so important.
Read the full commentary at:
D o v e t a i l R e p o r t
Lead Author: Kathryn Fernholz
Forest management certification has been applied to virtually every type of land ownership around the world and in the United States, except for U.S. National Forests. The debate over the certification of federal lands, and National Forests in particular, has been wide-ranging. Forests within different categories of federal land in the US have been certified, including lands managed by the Department of Defense, National Park Service, and Fish and Wildlife Service. To date, however, there has been no certification of National Forests. There are several reasons for this situation, including opposition by environmental interest groups, barriers erected within FSC-US as a result of that opposition, and reticence on the part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Forest Service to pursue National Forest certification.
The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres (78 million hectares) of land and has 155 national forests. These lands comprise 8.5 percent of the total land area of the United States. Management activities that occur (or don’t occur) on these lands have environmental impacts as well as implications for businesses and local, often rural, communities.
This report explores the history of the discussion about certification of the National Forest System (NFS), potential challenges associated with certifying these lands, and the importance of moving forward.
To download the full report, visit:
Dovetail 2011 Report Collection
Printed in their original full color format and complete with all tables, figures, and citations, this 130+ page bound collection of 13 reports is a perfect reference source, current issues backgrounder, or gift for client or colleague.
Sold individually this collection would cost more than $90.00!
Environmental Education Videos
A number of informative videos/DVDs on environmental topics are available for purchase through Dovetail Partners. All videos are created for middle school through adult audiences. Several of the films have received awards of excellence and recognition.
Click here for additional information and to place an order
Access to expert speakers on diverse environmental topics
Staff and Associates of Dovetail Partners are available to speak on a variety of topics and offer diverse areas of expertise. Book a speaker for your next event today!
Dovetail Partners, Inc. & Growing Edge Facilitation are collaborating to provide “For Benefit” businesses the support they need to survive and thrive in today’s complex business environment.
Read more at: http://dovetailinc.org/content/helping-people
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“The Outlook” is the monthly e-newsletter of Dovetail Partners Inc, a 501c3 nonprofit corporation.
Dovetail Partners is a highly skilled team that provides authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions, including consumption choices, land use, and policy alternatives.
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