State looks at landslide mapping, emergency response after Oso slide

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Nine months after the tragic Oso landslide, a state commission convened after the disaster is about to recommend a series of reforms in land use, landslide mapping and emergency management. The 12-member commission, created by Gov. Jay Inslee and Snohomish County Executive John Lovick, won’t issue its final report until Dec. 15, but its recommendations are starting to circulate. It’s … Read More

Forest restoration in Washington still needs funding to succeed

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A new study from the U.S. Forest Service and the Nature Conservancy reveals that 3.5 million acres of forestland in Eastern Washington is overcrowded with small, fire-prone trees and needs to be restored. The study comes on the heels of Gov. Jay Inslee designating 720,000 acres of federal forestland in Eastern Washington for expedited and prioritized forest restoration. As we’ve … Read More

Plum Creek Timber makes huge move on NW forest conservation

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Seattle’s Plum Creek Timber Co. recently announced it was selling 48,000 acres of forestland along Interstate 90 in Washington, as well as 117,000 acres in the Blackfoot River Valley in Montana. The sale of the land in both states to The Nature Conservancy is another reminder that Plum Creek is a major player in conserving forestland for future generations. The … Read More

Wood building, Forests & Fish Law lead the charge in 2014 WFPA Annual Meeting

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The rise of wood as a construction material for tall buildings and the 15th anniversary of the landmark Forests & Fish Law were the most prominent themes at the 106th annual meeting of the Washington Forest Protection Association this week.About 140 people were on hand in Olympia on Nov. 6 for the annual gathering of the state’s timber industry. Several … Read More

Woody biomass enters a new phase with new technology

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Biomass is a big part of the timber industry’s future, but what most people talk about when it comes to turning woody biomass into energy is a process called cogeneration. This is pretty straightforward: wood waste or wood pellets are burned in a plant to create electricity. Now another type of biomass process is getting some attention: pyrolysis. The woody … Read More

Timber industry shows its impact with National Forest Products Week

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There may not be a more energetic time for the timber industry around the country than National Forest Products Week. The annual event, always the third week of October, is a tribute to the country’s forest products industry and the 900,000 American workers who make the industry such a critical piece of the U.S. economy. This years’s event, Oct. 19-25, … Read More

Skamania County declares a state of emergency over federal forests

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The lack of federal forest management is hurting rural communities across the West, and Skamania County, Wash., is among the worst hit in the country. Time after time, local leaders call on the U.S. Forest Service to start finally managing the surrounding Gifford Pinchot National Forest and make it the economic engine it’s set in law to be. Now, after … Read More

New video series highlights the benefits of using wood in large buildings

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Michael Green is a rock star of wood architecture. The Vancouver, B.C., architect is a pioneer in expanding the use of wood in large, modern buildings from the European cities where the practice started to the cities of North America. He designed the largest wood building in Canada, is working on several other large wood buildings (including at least one … Read More

Mark Doumit talks about benefits of Washington’s Forests & Fish Law

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This year marks the 15th anniversary of the landmark Forests & Fish Law, an innovative set of environmental protections that lays out how forestry is practiced in Washington. Since the law was passed, large forest landowners have improved tens of thousands of miles of forest roads, reopened nearly 3,300 miles of fish habitat and removed or replaced more than 5,100 … Read More

Biomass industry faces excitement and uncertainty

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In 2011, the Environmental Protection Agency said it was putting off a decision on potential greenhouse-gas restrictions on biomass for three years. The delay was considered a big victory for biomass proponents and a loss for environmental groups. Since then, biomass projects have continued to be built. The largest biomass plant in North America, using wood pellets, just opened in … Read More