“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

Seattle tech leaders discover the power of the forest

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We’ve written before about the need to educate the younger generations about forestry, from grade-school kids to college students. But what if the drive to get out to the forest was geared toward adults and not about finding employees for the timber industry but something more primal? That’s what going on with the new practice of “forest bathing,” in which … Read More

Cross-laminated timber gets kudos in Northwest and D.C.

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It’s been a big month for cross-laminated timber and tall wood buildings. So good in fact that we need numbers to list all the highlights. 1) The U.S. Department of Agriculture this week split its $3 million Tall Wood Building Prize among two high-rise projects (both still to be built) in Portland and New York City. The New York project … Read More

Learning from the Washington wildfire season

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While the wildfires in Washington still burn, wetter and cooler weather has slowed them down and firefighters are finally getting an edge up. This is an appropriate time to assess some of the lessons going forward. One of the most striking things was how shorthanded many of the fire crews were. This was a record wildfire season in Washington, to … Read More

Olympic Peninsula and Wash. DNR address unsold timber

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The recent closure of four mills on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula has some local leaders wondering what they can do to stem the tide. In 2014, Interfor closed two West End mills in Beaver and Forks; and Green Creek Wood Products closed its Port Angeles mill. This summer, Allen Logging closed its lumber mill. Officials in Clallam County say the problem … Read More

Wildfires shed light on lack of state wildfire funding

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As Washington faces one of its worst wildfire seasons ever, including the largest fire in state history, attention is turning back to the wildfire budget requests made earlier this year by Washington Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark. Goldmark asked the Legislature for $20 million for forest thinning and other wildfire prevention measures. Lawmakers gave him $10 million. Goldmark asked the … Read More

Washington, Oregon put out call for aid in wildfires

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The wildfire season is busy enough this summer that in both Washington and Oregon, many communities need help to fight the fires. For the first time in state history, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources is asking for volunteers to fight wildfires. The state needs volunteers to coordinate at centers in Omak, in north-central Washington, and Colville, in Northeast … Read More