Newspaper series shines light on sustainability and technology of forestry industry

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It’s not very often that one can have a front row seat to the complex process of finding, harvesting and selling timber, but that’s exactly what the Vancouver Sun did with a recent multipart series of articles, videos and photos. The six-day series, called “The Journey of a Log,” follows West Fraser Timber as it surveys, harvests, mills and eventually … Read More

Timber payment extension is only tip of the iceberg

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Congress recently passed a one-year extension of timber payments to rural counties, with communities in Western states getting much of the funding. Oregon will get the largest share, and Washington counties like Skamania and Grays Harbor will also get payments for at least one more year. As we’ve covered on this blog for the last few years, the economic plight … Read More

President Obama criticized for threat to veto timber bill

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Reaction continues to come in after the U.S. House’s approval last week of sweeping timber reform legislation – the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act. The Capital Press says the bill’s passage is proof that natural resources are back on the radar of state and federal leaders. All of the sudden, logging is cool again. At the same time, … Read More

U.S. House passes sweeping package of timber reforms

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Today marked some of the best news out of Washington, D.C., in years: the U.S. House passed the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act, a sweeping set of timber reforms that would increase the federal timber harvest and restore rural communities across the West. By a 244-173 vote, which included 17 Democrats voting yes, the House approved the bill … Read More

Despite opposition, feds will start killing barred owls this fall

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As we wrote earlier this summer, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is moving forward this fall on a four-year project to kill barred owls in an attempt to help the endangered spotted owl. The feds will remove 3,600 barred owls from four sites in Washington, Oregon and Northern California. That includes 630 owls removed from the Washington site, located … Read More

Wildfires are a political problem in the states, not just D.C.

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The Rim Fire and other wildfires across the West this summer are once again pushing federal forest mismanagement and the need for forest thinning into the spotlight. The Rim Fire, for one, has burned 246,000 acres and is now Calfornia’s third largest wildfire ever. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack last week tried to defend the feds’ forest management, but his … Read More

Bummer of a summer for FSC

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It’s been a tough summer for the Forest Stewardship Council. George Mason University released a study showing that an FSC monopoly would cost tens of thousands of people their jobs, and several states are working to ban the LEED green building standard (which gives credit for only FSC-certified wood) from any public buildings. Now the editorial board at The Oregonian, … Read More

What will federal timber reform look like?

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There seems to be a lot of confidence in Washington, D.C., right now that some sort of increase in the federal timber harvest will be approved by Congress. A sweeping package of reforms called the Restoring Healthy Forests for Healthy Communities Act is moving through the House, and Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is working on his own legislation in the … Read More

The misperceptions of the marbled murrelet

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While the spotted owl continues to grab headlines, another Pacific Northwest bird is having a growing impact on the timber industry and rural communities. The marbled murrelet, a seabird that nests in coastal forests, was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act in 1993. Like the spotted owl, environmental groups have used the murrelet as a convenient hammer to … Read More

Sweeping timber reform package moves forward in U.S. House

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We’ve been writing for years now about two proposals to increase the federal timber harvest: one by Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash., to boost the harvest around the country and another by Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., to boost the harvest in Oregon. Lo and behold, both those proposals passed last week out of the House Natural Resources Committee (of which Hastings … Read More