In spite of a milder summer, expect more forest fires and smoke in the future

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An unseasonably wetter and cooler summer – especially in traditionally drier parts of the state – is resulting in fewer and less intense wildfires this summer. The Lens reports that an “unusually high amount of rainfall in eastern Washington in the first part of August has helped keep this year’s wildfire season mild – even in the face of recent … Read More

Working forests, forest management key to reducing wildfires

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Well managed timberlands and effective forestry practices are vital to reducing the dangers associated with catastrophic wildfires. The Everett Daily Herald published an op-ed authored by Rep. Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) this week that urged us all to support evidence-based forest management strategies and to embrace opportunities to work in unison to lessen the impact of wildfires. Up until recently, … Read More

Smokey Bear celebrates 75 years

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One of the most recognized icons and the star of the longest-running public awareness ad campaign in US history celebrates 7½ decades of advocating for campfire safety and wildfire prevention this week. Smokey Bear, born on Aug. 9, 1944, turns 75-years-old today. Smokey Bear was born out of a collaboration between the U.S. Forest Service and the Ad Council to … Read More

Promoting healthy, resilient forests in Washington’s most populous county

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High-rise buildings, densely-zoned neighborhoods and traffic likely come to mind when you think of King County. With more than 2.2 million residents, it is by far Washington’s most populous county with cities like Seattle, Bellevue, Kent and Renton. But nestled among King County’s urban and suburban landscape is nearly 800,000 acres of publicly and privately-managed forested land. King County owns … Read More

Supporting family forests

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Safeguarding our economy, environmental stewardship efforts and quality of life are dependent on family-owned forestlands, according to an opinion piece published in The Hill. Thomas Straka, a professor of forestry and environmental conservation at Clemson University in South Carolina, asserted that while much attention these days is focused on wildfires, policymakers also should be mindful of the critical role privately-owned … Read More

Working forest industry grows trees, jobs

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Working forests play a vital role in supporting a healthy and diverse economy in our state, according to a 2017 study that looked at the contributions of Washington’s timber industry. Washington state is the nation’s second-largest lumber producer. Forestry represents Washington state’s third-largest manufacturing industry, providing jobs in all 39 counties and impacting a whole host of economic activities, including forestry, logging, … Read More

Wildfire season threats loom even with wet start to summer

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Wildfires remain a concern in Washington state in spite of rainy weather in recent days and less fire activity, say weather experts. The Seattle Times reports that even though July has been slightly wetter than normal, it’s not enough precipitation and moisture to impact the wildfire season overall. Said meteorologist Dana Felton: “It’s slowing things down, and we’ve seen a lot … Read More

Gov. Inslee increases culvert removal investments

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Removing culverts and improving salmon passageways must be prioritized, said Gov. Jay Inslee in a recent news release. Inslee announced that the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) would begin repairing or replacing state-owned highway culverts that impede on fish migration promptly. The directive, which is in response to a court order, increases culvert repairs to a total $275 million over … Read More

Future cities of innovation will require timber

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Cities of the future will rely on innovative products generated by the timber industry, according to Sidewalk Labs, a subsidiary of Google parent company Alphabet Inc. Sidewalks Labs unveiled Sidewalk Toronto – an ambitious plan that aims to transform a portion of the eastern waterfront (12 acres) within the major Canadian city into a global model for sustainable, inclusive and inventive … Read More

Wildfire season provides opportunities for collaboration, cooperation

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Wildfires have been synonymous with Eastern Washington summers for quite some time, said Rep. Tom Dent (R-Moses Lake) during a panel discussion last week at the Pacific Science Center (PacSci). “I can’t remember how long I’ve lived with smoke every summer,” Dent said. “It’s been probably about 30 years.” It was only a few years back that Washington residents thought of … Read More