President Obama praises spirit of the Oso community

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When President Obama visited the site of the Oso landslide this week, he saw the American spirit at its best. About 900 people, many of them local volunteers, have helped in the search and recovery effort since the March 22 slide. Obama gave his public remarks in the Oso firehouse, standing under a banner that read “Oso Strong,” next to … Read More

The rise of wood building helps sustainable forestry

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One of the best things about all the recognition that wood building has received in recent months is that decision-makers are beginning to realize the value of sustainable forestry. Yale University and University of Washington just released a study showing that “using more wood and less steel and concrete in building and bridge construction would substantially reduce global carbon dioxide … Read More

Scientists study the origin of the Oso landslide

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Nearly three weeks after the Oso landslide, scientists are still studying what caused a massive hillside to break away, travel over the Stillaguamish River and spread out over a mile – all in just 60 seconds. A team from the U.S. Geological Survey is leading the effort to understand what happened. Richard Iverson, a hydrologist at the USGS’s office in … Read More

Darrington, forestry industry gather together after Oso landslide

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The city of Darrington and the forestry industry are so intertwined that they are practically one and the same. The mascot for the Darrington Middle and High School is the Loggers. The school’s gym, which also serves as part of the Darrington Community Center, “tells you a lot about this town,” said KING 5’s Chris Daniels in a recent story. … Read More

Overcrowded forests are hurting drought-stricken communities

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Smart forest management is a need that gets more important every year. Because our country’s federal forests aren’t being actively restored and managed, they are dying from insects, disease and massive wildfires. These forests are dangerous to their neighbors – so overcrowded that they’re a tinderbox for increasingly destructive wildfires, and fires or not, filled with disease-riddled trees that could … Read More

Wood skyscrapers begin to gain traction in the U.S. – and the Northwest

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What a big week for the future of tall wood buildings. It was three years ago that the U.S. government announced it would promote wood as a green building material, and it has spent more than $2 million on emerging wood technologies through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Products Laboratory. Using wood for construction is one thing, but using … Read More

Northwest voices rise in support of forest management

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It’s encouraging to see Northwest voices come out in support of active forest management. As we wrote last month, forest management is sometimes pushed aside in the discussion over forest health and climate change, and that’s unfortunate. Steve Mealey, a vice president of the hunter and conservation group Boone and Crockett Club, wrote in the Eugene Register-Guard recently about how … Read More

Departure of Hastings and Wyden from key positions will impact federal timber reform

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Doc Hastings is a Republican, and Ron Wyden is a Democrat. But both members of Congress are from the Northwest and both care deeply about increasing the federal timber harvest. Which is why some impending changes to their status in Washington, D.C., could have major implications for the Northwest’s clout on environmental issues, especially federal timber reform. Rep. Hastings, from … Read More

Wood products firms find new ways to succeed

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The timber business is one of the oldest industries in the country, particularly in the West, but it never stands still. Just last week, the media profiled four wood products firms that are using innovation to not just survive, but thrive. To start, Rice Logging in Sweet Home, Ore., isn’t as old as most timber firms (founded in the 1980s) … Read More

Our federal forests can be saved with active management

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There is one thing our local, state and federal governments can agree on: our nation’s federal forests are in poor health. We are facing a record wildfire season this year and federal forests across the West are diseased by pine beetles, spruce budworms and root rot. But what’s lost in the shuffle is the fact that more than anything, active … Read More