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

Northwest timber festival shows hope of younger generation

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The forestry industry is well aware that it needs to get younger as many of its leading professionals age without enough replacements on the way among Millennials, Generation Y or Generation X. One of the most promising avenues to reach this critical audience is logging shows. Teenagers and 20-somethings, many of whom were already interested in working in outdoor and … Read More

Wildfire legislation moves in Washington Legislature

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Wildfire prevention is a big topic in Olympia right now. We wrote recently about the state Department of Natural Resources’ request for $20 million over two years to thin forests and protect them from fires, and while that’s still under debate, the Legislature is also considering several bills that would give more power to local residents to fight wildfires on … Read More

Lack of federal timber payments felt across Washington

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Congress didn’t get much done in the waning days of its session last year, especially on timber issues, and nothing was felt more strongly than the lack of action taken on the Secure Rural Schools (SRS) program. For the last 15 years, the program has sent federal subsidies to timber counties hurt by the decline in the federal timber harvest, … Read More

Higher education is perched among the trees

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The future of the forestry industry depends on cultivating the next generation of foresters, and on that note, we have some positive developments in the Northwest this month. The good news rolled in this week with the announcement from Washington State University that it will restart its forestry major after a four-year hiatus. The major was shut down because of … Read More

Forests & Fish Law is celebrated before state lawmakers

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It’s not often that advocates get an hour in front of the Washington Legislature to celebrate the success of the historic Forests & Fish Law, but that’s exactly what happened this week. Leaders from the timber industry, environmental community and state, county and tribal governments commemorated the 15th anniversary of one of the toughest sets of environmental regulations in the … Read More