The Northwest Forest Plan is the troubled legacy that haunts both the timber industry and environmental groups. Neither side was happy with the plan when it was approved 21 years ago, and neither side has a clean sheet two decades later. Environmentalists defend the plan, but even they have to admit that the plan did nothing to save the spotted owl, which is doing worse than ever before. The environmental groups also have a hard time defending the abject poverty that the Forest Plan created in rural communities across the West. The timber industry, meanwhile, was hit hard by the massive reduction in the federal timber harvest caused by the plan, which never produced even its promised timber yield, let alone anything resembling the harvest levels before the plan went into effect.
In the last couple years, the pendulum -- however slowly -- seems to be swinging back the other direction. Republicans now control both houses of Congress, and even some Democrats are recognizing that the federal timber harvest is woefully inadequate to support our rural counties. Several bills have advanced in Congress to create more active management of federal forests, though none have yet to be signed into law.
And now the Northwest Forest Plan itself, long in the tooth after 20 years, may be in its death throes.
Environmental writer Paul Koberstein writes in the Portland Tribune this month that the U.S. Forest Service (controlled by a Democratic president) is planning to revise the Northwest Forest Plan or even ditch it altogether.
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. UW geomorphology professor David Montgomery was part of the team that visited Oso and prepared a report on their findings. We hear from Montgomery about what the team discovered.
GEER Report One of the largest causes of the slide was extreme rainfall.
Landslide Mobility Hazards: Implications of the 2014 Oso Disaster USGS finds near record rainfall gave Oso its destructive force.
Forests and Fish collaborators support DNR and the Governor's funding request for Adaptive Management
The Adaptive Management Program supports the science and accountability foundation of the Forests & Fish Law.
WFPA supports extension of tax credit for biomass to produce renewable energy
Use of forest-derived biomass produces energy, and can help reduce the threat of wildfires by paying for the cost of thinning to improve forest health.
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
Nearly 40,000 direct jobs are provided 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 5,587 barriers to fish passage, restoring 3,811 miles of historic fish habitat.