We've been practicing forest management for more than a century in Washington State.
Wood from Washington's working forests is a renewable, sustainable natural resource.

Collaboration is the key at 2015 WFPA Annual Meeting

Collaboration was the word on everyone's mind at this year's annual meeting of the Washington Forest Protection Association in Olympia on Nov. 19. The theme of the event was "A Spirit of Collaboration: New Partnerships for Working Forests," and it lived up to the title. 

Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark titled his talk as "A Spirit of Collaboration Against Wildfire" and said it's critical for the timber industry to support his request for $24 million from the Legislature for increased firefighter training and coordinated firefighting command, including $6 million for thinning and forest restoration to prevent the fires from ever happening. "I don't want to have a 1-million-acre fire season (like 2015) again," Goldmark said.

Goldmark's deputy in the Department of Natural Resources, Mary Verner, reiterated during a panel discussion later in the day that DNR does not accept that wildfire seasons are going to always be horrendous like in 2015, the so-called "new normal."

"This can't be normal," Verner said. "We need to change it."

Kevin Martin, a director for the Pacific Northwest Region of the U.S. Forest Service, said for our forests to become healthier and less prone to fire, state, local, federal officials and timber and environmental groups must all come to the table to reach solutions. "We can't do it alone," Martin said. "We have to be working together."

Mark Doumit, executive director of WFPA, said the timber industry prioritizes collaboration, especially after the approval of the landmark 1999 Forests & Fish Law, which brought "together people who were once enemies to the table." Getting policy approved now isn't as much about policy details as people think, Doumit said. It takes about 75 percent good relationships and 25 percent actual policy and science.

"Developing relationships is critical to the process," said Frank Jongenburger, a forestry engineer at Weyerhaeuser.

Bringing all the stakeholders together, each of them with disparate interests, and finding common ground means not coming in with preconceived notions, said Nate Putnam, Chief Forester for SDS Lumber Co. "For a minute, put away the finer points of the rules and and listen - really listen." 

For more information about the past year in the Washington timber industry, read WFPA's 2015 Annual Report.

Counties and schools receive the Forest Harvest Excise Tax (FET) and property tax

Public and private timber harvesters pay the FET in addition to the property tax on timberland.

Private landowners help fund wildfire costs

Private landowners share the burden of preparing for and fighting wildfire.

Wood is our Most Natural Resource

Wood from sustainably managed forests provides the best low-energy building material.

Forest Products Industry Jobs Impact

More than 41,000 direct jobs are supported by the forest products industry.

Forest Products Industry Economic Impact

Washington is the 2nd largest lumber producer in the nation, paying wages, taxes and providing environmental benefits for Washington State.

Forest Landowner RMAP Accomplishments

From 2001 through June 2013, landowners have removed an impressive 5,641 barriers to fish passage, restoring 3,893 miles of historic fish habitat.

Dr. David Montgomery - UW Geomorphology Professor and GEER team scientist

Anatomy of a Landslide: Published on Sep 22, 2014 GEER—Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance—is a team of volunteer scientists who visit natural disasters to determine causes and help prepare for or prevent future disasters.

GEER Report One of the largest causes of the slide was extreme rainfall.

Landslide Mobility Hazards: Implications of the 2014 Oso Disaster Near record rainfall gave Oso its destructive force.

WSDOT Geotechnical Study on SR 530 and Geotechnical Soil Characterization of Intact Quaternary Deposits Forming the March 22, 2014 (Oso) Landslide Drilling information in the reports show a more complex stratigraphy than was assumed prior to the slide, showing that surface activity, such as forestry, likely had nothing to do with the deep-seated landslide.