Washington wildfire season is off to a blistering start

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The forest fire season in Washington has got off to such a terrible, destructive start that even a rain forest is burning. Before July had even begun, the Sleepy Hollow fire burned down 29 homes near Wenatchee. Several other wildfires still burn across Central and Eastern Washington, scorching hundreds of acres of forests. The Los Angeles Times commented that the … Read More

Exploring the nuances of forest collaboration

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Jim Petersen, the co-founder of the Evergreen Foundation, is a longtime and respected advocate for Northwest rural communities, forest landowners and timber professionals. His opinions have appeared on this blog several times before (here, here and here), and his Evergreen Magazine is still an invaluable resource for timber leaders after nearly three decades. Collaboration has also been a popular concept … Read More

Washington leaders tackle fish passage barriers

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Fish passages – those culverts you see underneath roads – are critical in allowing Washington fish to migrate both up and downstream. But what a lot of people don’t realize is that tens of thousands of these passages around the state don’t work correctly. Perhaps the culvert was built too small, too shallow, too high off the surface of the … Read More

Mill closures impact Washington rural communites

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The closure of sawmills and paper mills is always impactful to the small, often rural, communities in which many of them are located. As we saw with the final closure two years ago of the Harbor Paper mill in Grays Harbor County, Wash., the effect on people’s jobs and livelihoods is deep and wide-ranging. The closures put at least a … Read More

Alaska Airlines to complete flight powered by biomass

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It was just a few years ago that a coalition of aviation companies and other stakeholders were banding together to figure out a way to fly jetliners on fuel made from woody biomass generated by Northwest forests. And it was also a few years ago that Washington State Forester Aaron Everett said at the annual meeting of the Washington Forest … Read More

Power of Washington wood buildings moves into spotlight

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Wood is a powerful and versatile material, and sometimes it feels like the range of its uses is practically limitless. Just this week, a new study came out showing that computer chips are now being made of wood. Computer chips! Wood’s wide application was also on display with a long story in this month’s issue of Seattle Business Magazine. The … Read More

Studies show how timber lawsuits hurt local communities

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We’ve long known that lawsuits from environmental groups challenging timber projects can be damaging to rural communities and forest health, but now there is more evidence to quantify it. The University of Montana this month released a study showing that lawsuits in Montana have cost local communities and the U.S. Forest Service tens of millions of dollars. And this week … Read More

Pacific County couple wins Washington Tree Farmer of the Year

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When some people think of forestry of Washington they think about large timber companies, but in fact small forest landowners are a critical and overlooked part of the industry. Nonindustrial private forest landowners make up about 19 percent of forestland in the state. The smallest of this class, the family operations, can own anywhere from one to 3,000 acres. Many … Read More

Vaagen Brothers becomes national model for collaboration

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Vaagen Brothers Lumber is located in the small town of Colville in Northeast Washington, but its profile in the forestry industry now reaches far and wide. Vaagen Brothers was instrumental in spurring a spirit of collaboration between parties that don’t always get along, both timber companies and environmental groups, along with federal, state and local leaders. Vaagen helped bring all … Read More

Washington State Senate honors Billy Frank Jr.

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The legacy of Billy Frank Jr. endures. The environmental, tribal and civil rights leader, truly a giant in U.S. and Washington state history, died in May 2014 at the age of 83. But he won’t soon be forgotten. Just in the last couple months, a Salmon Totem Pole was built in his honor on the Nisqually reservation, near Olympia. He … Read More