More resources needed for record wildfire season

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While the prospect of federal wildfire reform this year died in Congress, the hope for change in the way Washington State funds its firefighting efforts is still very much alive. State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark is lobbying aggressively (including at last month’s WFPA annual meeting) for his request for $24 million for firefighter training and coordinated firefighting command, including $6 … Read More

Congress strikes out on timber reform in 2015

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Just a week ago, it appeared that after years of fits and starts, Congress would finally pass federal timber reform legislation. Momentum had continued to grow after this year’s record wildfire season. Legislators said they wanted to add more active management of our federal forests onto legislation that would change the way the U.S. pays to fight forest fires. In … Read More

Washington gathers its forces for cross-laminated timber

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Cross-laminated timber has long been a promising wood product in Washington, but now all the various stakeholders – from timber leaders and academics to architects and environmental groups – are formally getting together to hash out ways to promote CLT. This was on full display this month in an op-ed in the Puget Sound Business Journal. Anson Fatland, the associate … Read More

Tall wood buildings rise in U.S. and Canada

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When you’ve made the pages of the Wall Street Journal, you know you’ve truly arrived. It was the Journal that wrote earlier this month about the big news: the first tall, modern wood building in U.S. history is on its way. The 7-story office building will be constructed in Minneapolis, right next to Target Field, the home of the Minnesota … Read More

Collaboration is the key at 2015 WFPA Annual Meeting

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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” … Read More

Paper shines light on forestry in coastal Washington

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Sometimes it feels like forestry doesn’t get the media attention it deserves because so much of the work takes place in rural areas where large media outlets don’t exist and often don’t tread. Which is why it’s so gratifying to see the coverage of papers like the Daily Astorian and Chinook Observer, which cover the coastal counties of Southwest Washington … Read More

“Zombie” trees are not the Halloween treat states deserve

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The idea of zombie trees might seem too good to be true given that it’s Halloween, but the situation is all too true in Washington and Oregon. Analysis in both states show there is an alarming number of dead “zombie” trees, especially on federal forestland. The Oregon Forest Resources Institute sponsored research that showed 350 million trees are standing dead … Read More

Washington recognizes critical role of state’s forestry industry

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It’s appropriate that right around the time Washington Gov. Jay Inslee declared Washington Forest Products Industry Week, the state Department of Commerce installed former state legislator Brian Hatfield as the department’s first forestry sector lead. As the Commerce department describes, the state’s forestry industry plays an important role in Washington’s economy, so it makes sense that it would receive recognition: … Read More

Washington’s federal delegation brainstorms on forest policy

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It’s encouraging to see Washington State political leaders gather together to figure out ways to improve forest policy. This week three members of the state’s federal delegation got together in two separate gatherings. In the first, U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell (Democrat) and U.S. Rep Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Republican) didn’t let their political differences stand in the way of their meeting … Read More

Cross-laminated timber could help timber towns

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Things continue to look up for the planned $60 million Oregon Forest Science Complex at Oregon State University. First Seattle’s Plum Creek pledged a sizable donation to the new center, a complex designed to train forestry students and promote the use of innovative wood products like cross-laminated timber. Now Sierra Pacific Industries, a large timber company based in California but … Read More