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

Lands Commissioner makes push for Wash. forest thinning

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Peter Goldmark isn’t happy with the state of affairs when it comes to Washington wildfire funding. The state Public Lands Commissioner requested from the Legislature $20 million over two years to thin forests and other wildfire protection, but so far, state lawmakers are balking. The House proposed biennial budget includes just $5 million for forest thinning, while the Senate budget … Read More

Federal timber changes could include spotted owl uplisting

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The U.S. Forest Service is planning to essentially throw out the Northwest Forest Plan after 21 years. As we noted earlier this year, the tide seems to be turning (ever so slowly) among even some Democrats that the federal timber harvest is woefully inadequate to support rural communities. Once the changes are complete, the Northwest Forest Plan, the source of … Read More

Reforestation is fundamental to sustainable forestry

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In pure numbers, forestry in Washington produces far more trees than it harvests – for every tree harvested, three are planted in its place. Private forest landowners are more aggressive in reforestation than the 3-year time frame that state law requires, replanting trees in 12-18 months before wild plants can swoop in. Reforestation doesn’t get mentioned much by those who … Read More

Tall wood buildings spread around the world

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CNN this week covered the trend of tall, modern wood buildings being constructed in countries around the world. As so many countries, cities, architects and developers are discovering, tall buildings can now be built with a type of wood called cross-laminated timber (CLT) that is much more efficient, attractive and environmentally friendly than concrete or steel. Quoted in the CNN … Read More

Oso remembers one-year anniversary of fatal landslide

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Sunday, March 22 marks the one-year anniversary of the Oso, Wash., landslide that killed 43 people and had a severe impact on several Snohomish County communities, including Darrington, Arlington and Oso itself. The communities will honor the anniversary with a series of events and remembrances this weekend. The focus is on healing, but according to local leaders, true recuperation will … Read More

Warm, dry winter could lead to bad wildfire season in Northwest

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The relatively balmy winter in the Northwest may have made it comfortable to be outside, but it’s done no favors for this year’s wildfire season. The warmer, drier conditions have already led in the past week to a 100-acre fire in Eastern Oregon and a 150-acre fire south of Spokane. The Eastern Washington fire in particular, as well as smaller … Read More

Debate gets heated over timber lawsuits

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Lawsuits are a difficult subject in forestry. Some environmental groups see lawsuits as a necessary method, while timber leaders grow frustrated with how the legal challenges slow down what is already a relatively paltry federal timber harvest. The debate is especially heated in Montana right now, but lawsuits over timber harvests have also been reported twice (here and here) just … Read More

Northwest Forest Plan could be on the verge of crumbling

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The Northwest Forest Plan is the troubled legacy that haunts both the timber industry and environmental groups. Neither side was happy with the plan when it was approved 21 years ago, and neither side has a clean sheet two decades later.Environmentalists defend the plan, but even they have to admit that the plan did nothing to save the spotted owl, … Read More

Forestry and environmental leaders seek common ground

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Can environmental groups and the forestry industry co-exist? It’s a question still relevant two decades after the timber wars fought over the spotted owl and Northwest Forest Plan. And it’s a question still being asked by leaders from the environmental and forestry communities, as well as federal, state and local political leaders. Strictly speaking, the answer to the question is … Read More