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

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