Private timber harvest is up, but federal harvest still lags behind

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If recent news coverage and town hall meetings are any indication, anger is growing in rural communities over the lack of timber activity in Northwest federal forests. U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., has actually done more than most federal lawmakers to try to reform federal forest management, but that didn’t stop him from getting an earful from constituents at a … Read More

Young loggers bring promise to the forestry industry

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If you’re looking for signs that the future of the forestry industry is in good hands, look no further than Billy Zimmerman. The 25-year-old from Rainier, Ore., just across the Columbia River from Washington, recently started his own logging company, according to a recent story in the Longview Daily News. It’s no secret that the forestry industry is aging, and … Read More

Frustration boils over as Congress stalls on timber and wildfire reform

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The wildfires raging across the West are spurring calls for congressional action to change the way that wildfires are funded, but they are also raising a lot of complaints about congressional inaction. When community leaders call on Congress to pass one of the bills that would free up more money to fight wildfires, they are also making their pleas with … Read More

Northwest wildfires spur call for improved forest management

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The wildfire season in the Northwest this summer is unprecedented. Eighteen large fires have burned 900,000 acres in Washington and Oregon, including the largest single wildfire in Washington state history. The Carlton Complex Fire has raged across north-central Washington since July 14, burning more than 250,000 acres and destroying 300 homes. The fire, burning for 11 days, is still only … Read More

Tall wood buildings are imminent in the U.S.

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The momentum behind the rise of tall wood buildings around the world is impossible to stop. The positive developments just keep coming. A Yale University study showing the massive environmental benefits behind wood construction. The U.S. federal government spending $1 million to train architects and developers about the benefits of large wood buildings, and another $1 million on a design … Read More

Forest collaboratives need willing partners and mutual goals

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We’ve written a lot over the years about forest collaboratives, in which local and federal leaders, along with timber companies and conservation groups, band together to reach common solutions. In an age of lawsuits and federal forest mismanagement, these collaboratives could be the future of forestry. When even the New York Times op-ed page calls for more active management of … Read More

Calling out frivolous lawsuits in the forests

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Just about every week comes news of a lawsuit from an environmental group trying to stop a timber project. If you watch the news closely, it can appear like some environmental groups have never met a forestry project that they didn’t want to challenge in court. The situation has become so ridiculous that many environmental groups themselves have said, “There … Read More

Breaking down the myths about forest management

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For people who don’t understand how sustainable forestry works, it can be easy to issue wide proclamations like “Don’t cut down any trees!” or “Don’t print that email!” When you have no idea timber can be harvested sustainably and help improve forest health or how much timber contributes to our world, perhaps it’s inevitable that you would fall back on … Read More

Obama’s wildfire funding plan stirs debate and party tension

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A proposal by President Obama to change the way wildfire fighting is funded has received bipartisan support in Congress from Western lawmakers, support from many Western governors and support from many editorial boards. According to the Twin Falls (Idaho) News-Times, Obama’s plan would “treat and fund the increasing number of catastrophic fires around the country as natural disasters, ultimately freeing … Read More

Pacific Northwest sawmills get some uplifting news

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Sawmills are an integral part of their local communities. In many cases, employees have worked there for decades, with different generations of the same families taking jobs at the local mill. The mills are also an important driver of the critical manufacturing sector in the Pacific Northwest, even while high-tech companies often get the headlines. Which is why it’s so … Read More