New beetle invader arrives in Washington forests

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Washington’s forests are in poor health, with trees diseased by pine beetles, spruce budworms and root rot. The situation got so bad that in 2012, State Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark declared a forest health-hazard warning for parts of Eastern Washington, a warning that is still in effect two years later. It’s no coincidence then that Washington is enduring one of … Read More

Skamania County needs timber reform in a special way

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The anger and frustration over the lack of federal forest management recently boiled over in Skamania County, Wash. It’s no wonder. As we noted in a post last year, 80 percent of Skamania County is taken up by the Gifford Pinchot National Forest; another 8 percent is owned by the state, and another 10 percent of the county is private … Read More

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