USA

National Committee of the USA

Chair
Mr. Donald N. Grubich
10105 White City Road
Britt, MN 55710
USA
phone:  +1 218 741 2813
e-mail: dngrubich (at) gmail.com new!

Secretary
Dr. Thomas J. Malterer
2201 Vermilion Road
Duluth MN 55803
USA
e-mail: tmalter2 (at) d.umn.edu 

Annual Report 2018

The US National Committee (USNC) met several times during 2017. Three goals were addressed during the year. The first goal: to continue to work with the US Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS has nationwide responsibility for collecting and publishing yearly data on peat production and use. They are dependent on a voluntary reporting system by peat producers. The USNC has given the USGS contact information for companies and encouraged peat producers to report on their production. We have also reviewed yearly estimates with local resource managers.

The second goal: to maintain (refresh) contacts with state and federal agencies that regulate horticultural peat harvesting and the preservation of peatlands. Given the ever-changing personnel in these agencies, personal contact is essential, so that IPS perspectives can be presented and weighed as part of regulatory decision-making. Seven agencies were contacted. Under the current federal Trump Administration, the regulatory environment is being drastically reduced, and it is in a high state of flux. Under this uncertainty, the USNC remains active in communicating with regulatory agencies acting in an educational capacity, by providing agencies with reference publications and through discussions of peatlands during site visits.

The third goal: to increase IPS membership in the USA. IPS membership remains low among peatland experts and companies. Promotional efforts were directed at contacting current and past individual members and attracting new members who belong to scientific organizations (e.g., Society of Wetland Scientists). We emphasized the benefits of IPS membership in a local, state and world context. Results of our efforts are mixed. Some individuals and companies expressed interest in joining, while others stated that their interests were better served by other organizations.

Annual Report 2017

The U.S. National Committee (USNC) met several times during 2017. Three goals were addressed during the year. The first goal: to continue to work with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The USGS has nationwide responsibility for collecting and publishing yearly data on peat production and use. They are dependent on a voluntary reporting system by peat producers. The USNC has given the USGS contact information for companies and encouraged peat producers to report their production. We have also reviewed yearly estimates with local resource managers.

The second goal: to maintain (refresh) contacts with state and federal agencies that regulate horticultural peat harvesting and the preservation of peatlands. The ever changing personnel in these agencies require personal contact so IPS perspectives can be presented and weighed as part of regulatory decision-making. Seven agencies were contacted. Under the current federal Trump Administration, the regulatory environment is being drastically reduced and it is in a high state of flux. Under this uncertainty, the USNC remains active in communicating with regulatory agencies acting in an educational capacity by providing agencies with reference publications and through discussions of peatlands during site visits.

The third goal: to increase IPS membership in the U.S.A. IPS membership remains low among peatland experts and companies. Promotional efforts were directed at contacting current and past individual members and attracting new members that belong to scientific organizations (e.g. Society of Wetland Scientists).

We emphasized the benefits of IPS membership in a local, state and world context. Results of our efforts are mixed. Some individuals and companies expressed interest in joining while others related that their interests were better served by other organizations.

Annual Report 2012

The US National Committee (USNC) continued support of the Strategy for Responsible Peatland Management. Through direct communications, and the Wise Use of Peatlands publication, the USNC provided regulatory agencies, concerned organizations and news outlets with balanced information on utilization of peatlands as well as on the protection of valuable and unique peatlands.

In the US, peatland restoration and rehabilitation remains a very important issue to the peat industry. Federal and state regulators require peat companies to re-wet post-harvested fields and revegetate these fields with specific peatland plants as a condition of issuing new harvesting permits, or reissuing existing harvesting permits. The USNC advocates for sound lowcost restoration methods that give long-term success. These methods have been developed in the worldwide IPS community. At nearly all regulatory levels, these methods are being accepted to meet permitting requirements.

The USNC met several times to strategize on how to: 1) increase IPS membership and 2) educate consumers on the beneficial use of peat in gardening and landscape applications. The USNC plans to sponsor and lead a peatland restoration tour as part of the Society of Wetland Scientists national meeting, to be held in Duluth, Minnesota. The IPS will be strongly promoted on this tour. The USNC plans to sponsor and lead two tours of peat production facilities in 2013 in Minnesota. The audience is master gardeners and commercial landscapers.

Tom Malterer and Donald Grubich participated in the 14th International Peat Congress in Stockholm. At the Congress, Tom was given a certificate naming him an Honorary Member of the IPS. Receiving this recognition, along with 2 colleagues from New Brunswick, Canada and Helsinki, Finland, was the highlight of his 34 year involvement with the IPS.