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

Washington DNR wants to ramp up forest thinning across the state

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Momentum could be growing for more active management of Washington’s state-owned forests. After a record wildfire season last year, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is asking for $20 million over the next two years to thin forests and other forest fire protection, a leap over the $4 million that DNR got from the Legislature the last time … Read More

Plum Creek, Pope Resources lead the way on land conservation

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Two major land deals that will preserve working forests in Washington moved forward in the last few days, and Washington timber companies are at the heart of both transactions. Plum Creek Timber Co.’s sale of 48,000 acres of forestland along Interstate 90 in Washington (as well as 117,000 acres in the Blackfoot River Valley in Montana) just became final last … Read More

Congress adjourns without progress on timber legislation

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There was some momentum for this post-election “lame duck” session of Congress on timber issues. Namely, Republicans will be taking over the Senate next month, and so Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., had only weeks to make his mark before he lost his chairmanship of the Senate Finance Committee. Wyden has been trumpeting his bill on Oregon timber reform (which would … Read More

Groups push to bridge the generation gap in forestry

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The aging of the nation’s small forest landowners is an industry truth that’s inescapable. We wrote last year about several efforts to attract younger folks to forestry and a program from the Pinchot Institute for Conservation to help older forest landowners pay their medical bills in exchange for carbon credits. This week the Associated Press tackled the issue with a … Read More

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