Timber reform now subject to delicate negotiations in D.C.

bryanBLOG

Timber and environmental leaders agree that meaningful federal timber reform in Washington, D.C., is closer than it’s ever been. Describing the situation, Nick Smith, a spokesman for Healthy Forests Healthy Communities, a pro-timber group, used a football analogy. “It feels like we’ve taken this thing all the way down to the 5-yard line,” he said. “Now we’ve got to take … Read More

Congress ends legal battle over logging roads

bryanBLOG

With the passage of a new Farm Bill this week, Congress ended a legal battle over logging roads that started all the way back in 2006. The issue started eight years ago, when an environmental group filed a lawsuit against an Oregon timber company, claiming the company’s logging roads were “point sources” of stormwater pollution and therefore subject to federal … Read More

Tiny crystals could be a boon to paper and pulp industry

bryanBLOG

Who knew that nanocrystals could be so important to the paper industry? Cellulose nanocrystals, a microscopic material produced by processing wood pulp, are at the forefront of what the U.S. National Science Foundation says could become a $600 billion industry by 2020. The crystals are stronger than stainless steel, carbon fiber or kevlar. And they’re incredibly plentiful in wood and … Read More

Wild Olympics proposal is revived

bryanBLOG

Wild Olympics is back. The proposal to make 126,000 acres of Olympic National Forest off-limits to logging and also name 19 rivers and seven tributaries as wild and scenic is up for consideration again in Congress. This new version, sponsored by new U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer and veteran U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, was introduced on Friday and is pretty much … Read More

Grays Harbor paper mill closes down for good

bryanBLOG

The Aberdeen Daily World this month made it official: Harbor Paper is not going to reopen. The story of the Hoquiam, Wash., paper mill is long and its ending especially sad, given the importance of the mill to Grays Harbor County, where the mill had been one of the largest employers. Grays Harbor County has the third-highest unemployment rate in … Read More

Salvage logging is a different story on federal forestland

bryanBLOG

Wildifires are tremendously destructive, with the largest fires burning miles and miles of forestland and sometimes property. For private forest owners, one of their priorities in the wake of the fires is to salvage whatever timber they can. Seattle’s Plum Creek Timber Co. is in the process now of salvaging what it can among thousands of acres of the company’s … Read More

Timber counties searching for an answer from Congress

bryanBLOG

Northwest timber counties got some good news over the holidays when federal leaders announced that new federal timber subsidies won’t be subject to the budget cuts known as sequestration. But the counties’ financial situation is still dire. In Josephine County in Southwest Oregon, the local budget is so thin that sheriff’s deputies only respond to “life-threatening situations.” With so few … Read More

Wyden’s committee move could imperil Northwest timber reform

bryanBLOG

U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden is an ace up the sleeve for timber issues in the Northwest. The Oregon Democrat took over as chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee in January 2013, and since then, he’s championed timber reform. His proposal to increase the timber harvest in Oregon, released last month, may not be receiving widespread support from … Read More

How do we protect the future of family forests?

bryanBLOG

One unavoidable truth in the timber business is that our country’s small forest landowners are getting older. According to the U.S. Forest Service, 20 percent of U.S. family forestland is owned by people 75 years and older. Another 30 percent of family forests are owned by people between 55 and 65. There is already a movement afoot to attract young … Read More

Impact of bark beetles is deeper than just dead trees

bryanBLOG

The bark beetle epidemic that has spread across the West in the last 17 years is unmistakable. Forty-six million acres of forests in the U.S. have been affected. In British Columbia, 576,000 acre feet of trees have been killed, which is the same amount of timber that’s harvested over a normal 10-year period in B.C. But the impact of the … Read More