On November 15, 2007 WFPA hosted its 99th Annual Meeting in Olympia, WA. The Annual Meeting was a kick-off to the 100th Anniversary celebration in 2008. In this report, you'll be able to read messages from the executive director and Board President, along with other accomplishments from the past year.
The Washington Forest Protection Association will kick-off their 100th Anniversary celebration at this year’s annual meeting on Thursday, November 15, at the Indian Summer Golf & Country Club in Olympia. The meeting will highlight the successes and challenges facing the forest industry, while also focusing on the 21st century vision for sustainable forestry as WFPA looks to the next 100 years of business in Washington State.
Members of the Washington Congressional Delegation are supporting the goals and objectives of the nation’s first Habitat Conservation Plan for Family Forests, and are urging federal agencies to strongly consider the plan, which covers about 130,000 acres in Lewis County. Over 10 years, utilizing about $4 million in federal, state and private funds, Lewis County and the Family Forest Foundation have worked to develop the Family Forest Habitat Conservation Plan (FFHCP) in a collaborative process that also involved federal and state agencies, local tribes, and two independent scientific peer reviews. Lewis County submitted the plan on Sept. 4, 2007 to the US Fish and Wildlife Service and NOAA Fisheries.
The Washington Farm Forestry Association, an organization of non-industrial forest landowners, has joined the Washington Forest Protection Association as a co-sponsor of the Washington Tree Farm Program, an affiliate of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS) on September 13, 2007.
On August 28, Cindy Mitchell was promoted to a new position titled Senior Program Director of the Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA) by Executive Director Mark Doumit.
The Tacoma News Tribune published an editorial about how things are changing in Olympia in regards to timber harvesting. The article says, "With the support of environmentalists, key Democrats are proposing to spend $70 million expanding state-owned forestlands for logging... According to Sen. Karen Fraser, D-Olympia, and some environmental leaders, it’s a matter of forests – even forests subject to logging – being a whole lot better than strip malls."
An article in the Tacoma News Tribune highlights an how the larger more aggressive barred owl is taking over the territory of the Northern Spotted Owl in Washington State.
Marla Gisi, a Teacher/Librarian, at Tumwater Hill Elementary in Tumwater is one of nine teachers in western Washington who was chosen to participate in the 2007 Teachers on Summer Assignment program (TOSA). The program is designed to give teachers hands-on field study experience with forest products companies. Gisi is spending the six-week job assignment at Weyerhaeuser Company’s Vail Operations in Rainier, WA. She will be working side-by-side with people at Weyerhaeuser until August 10, 2007. Her experiences both in the field and in the office allow her to see the whole forestry industry first hand.
WFPA published an informational brochure titled, "A Guide to Forest Roads--An Overview of Washington's Construction and Maintenance Rules." This brochure highlights the Forest Practices Rules and requirements necessary for constructing and maintaining forest roads, the Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plans, and lists some best management practices when working on forest roads.
Bob Playfair & Thelma Fry, tree farmers from Stevens County, WA, were named the 2007 Western Regional Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year winners. The tree farm, Rafter Seven Ranch, in eastern Washington, has been certified by the Tree Farm System since 1962. The total acreage of the tree farm exceeds 2,800 acres. They are dedicated to using the tree farm as a way to educate the community that maintaining the family forest is essential if the family forest industry is to survive. Playfair is also a member of the Washington Farm Forestry Association. Next, Rafter Seven Ranch will be competing for the National Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year title, a title that was won by another Washington State tree farm in 2005.
Bob and LeRoy Burns were named this year's Washington State Tree Farmers of the Year. The two brothers were selected for this award at the Washington Farm Forestry Association's Annual Meeting on April 27. The Burns Family's 200-acre tree farm is located in Skamania County and has been in the family for 87 years.
Governor Chris Gregoire signed Senate Bill 6141 which is a new law to improve forest health conditions. The law recognizes the severity of Washington's declining forest conditions and it directs the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to develop a system for addressing this crisis in eastern Washington.
The National Marine Fisheries Service announced that Puget Sound steelhead will now be protected under the Endangered Species Act. The listing covers naturally spawned steelhead from river basins of Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) released the draft recovery plan for the northern spotted owl. With the release of the draft plan, it begins a 60-day comment period that will end June 25, 2007. There will also be four public meetings held in Washington, Oregon and California to better inform the public about the recovery plan and to hear their opinions on the plan.
Real results are happening on the ground because of the Forests & Fish Law. Through the Road Maintenance and Abandonment Plan (RMAP) about 1800 structures that block fish passage have been removed which open up more than 900 miles of streams for fish habitat.
The Court of Appeals released an amendment to its original opinion in the SEPA cases in response to the plaintiffs motion for reconsideration. The court did not alter its decision in WFPA's favor, and both of the amendments are consistent with what was asked for by WFPA.
The U.S. Supreme Court has overturned a $79 million antitrust award against Weyerhaeuser Company. The lawsuit alleged that Weyerhaeuser tried to monopolize the hardwood lumber market in the Pacific Northwest.
The Daily World's Steven Friederich takes a look at how Mark Doumit is making the transition from Washington State Senator to WFPA's Executive Director.
Longview Fibre Company announced they have entered into a definitive agreement for Brookfield Asset Management to acquire 588,000 acres of timberlands in Washington and Oregon, along with a pulp and paper complex in Longview, and a network of 15 corrugated container plants located in 12 states.
Pope Resources agreed to delay timber harvest on 120 acres along Tarboo Bay to allow conservation groups time to secure funds to permanently protect the area. This conservation deal protects critical shoreline in Puget Sound and is a critical step in a larger conservation effort for the estuary.
The Animal Damage Control Program (ADCP) has released its 2006 Annual Report. The report includes program goals and purposes, activities and accomplishments, and research and evaluations.