Forests & Fish Law celebrates 20 years

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The Washington State Legislature marked the 20thanniversary of the passage of House Bill 2091 and companion Senate Bill 5896, more commonly referred to as the Forests & Fish Law, this week. The House Rural Development, Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee began its first full committee meeting of the 2019 legislative session by recognizing the importance of this landmark legislation. Committee … Read More

Joint letter from West Coast governors urge increased federal forest management funding

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Washington, Oregon and California’s governor sent a joint letter to Pres. Donald Trump this week urging his administration to direct the Department of Interior, Department of Agriculture and US Forest Service to double investments made in managing federal forestlands in the three states. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, along with Govs. Kate Brown and Gavin Newsom, praised the Trump Administration for Executive order 13855, … Read More

Conserving working forests under the stress of population explosion

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The effects of Washington’s booming population over the past decade has been impossible to miss or ignore. By whatever measure you choose, the result is clear: a lot of people have been moving to Washington and will continue to do so. The exploding population has created stress for almost all our systems in the state, including transportation, housing, mental health, … Read More

Lawmakers to consider DNR wildfire funding request

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With the 2019 legislative session just weeks away, Washington state lawmakers will be tasked with adopting a two-year budget, in addition to transportation and capital construction spending plans. One budget ask that has garnered quite a bit of attention in advance of the session is state Commissioner of Public Lands Hilary Franz’s $55 million request to fund wildfire response and … Read More

Timber poaching grows on Washington public land

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A man was sentenced to federal prison in January 2018 for cutting down bigleaf maple trees in Olympic National Park, in search of maple with a unique grain that is used to make electric guitars. That same month two men were arrested for illegally cutting down Douglas firs on Washington Department of Natural Resources state trust land in Snohomish County. … Read More

Congress gives huge boost to cross-laminated timber

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Legislation more than two years in the making that will give a huge boost to cross-laminated timber is now on the verge of becoming federal law. With the help of Washington State lawmakers like U.S. Rep. Susan DelBene, U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer and U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, Congress this week passed the Timber Innovation Act as part of the $400 … Read More

State building code council allows tall mass timber buildings

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What an exciting time for mass timber in Washington. Just last week the Washington State Building Code Council approved code changes that will allow for the structural use of mass timber in buildings as tall as 18 stories. This makes Washington the first state in the nation to allow tall mass timber buildings into its building code, without pursuing an alternate method. “We see … Read More

Washington charts a course on forest health

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Lens News dives into the growing momentum in Washington to make our forests healthier and less susceptible to wildfires. In reporter TJ Martinell’s story is a healthy dose of quotes and discussion from the Washington Forest Protection Association 2018 Annual Meeting in Olympia earlier this month. In fall 2017, the state Department of Natural Resources unveiled a 20-year forest plan … Read More

California wildfires point to need for active forest management

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The intense and deadly wildfires burning this month in California have shed light on the need for active forest management to make forests less susceptible to large fires. Russ Vaagen of Vaagen Timbers in Northeast Washington writes on his blog that forest thinning has to be part of the set of solutions to improving forest health. And that forest management … Read More

Benefits of working forests celebrated at 2018 WFPA Annual Meeting

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Working forests help address many of the state’s problems, from climate change and poor forest health to rampaging wildfires and struggling rural economies, attendees heard at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Washington Forest Protection Association this week in Olympia. Tesla gets a lot of positive attention for the environmental impact of its electric cars, but in fact working forests … Read More