As the industry rises, so does Weyerhaeuser

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Just as a new biography of its founder is published, Weyerhaeuser is riding high. Around its first-quarter earnings call last week, positive notices of the company have been published in Forbes, the Financial Times, Seattle Times and Motley Fool, among many other publications. Another Washington timber giant, Plum Creek Timber, also reported positive results in its earnings call. As Jon … Read More

Uncertainty is a daily reality for timber towns

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The headline out of Lane County, Ore., over the weekend was cheerful: “Resurgence in building boosts Lane County wood products industry.” The story in the Eugene Register-Guard, describing an upswing in the timber market, was similar to an article in the Wall Street Journal in February that also focused on Lane County, “Logging Towns Are on a Roll.” After some … Read More

Western political leaders call on their colleagues to act

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It’s good to see political leaders from the West show some leadership on the importance of our rural communities and rural economies, many of which are dependent on a healthy timber harvest. The Western Governors’ Association, which includes governors from 19 Western states, just sent a letter to U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, telling him that federal forests are mismanaged … Read More

Wild or Working Olympics?

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Bill Driscoll, the great grandson of Weyerhaeuser founder Frederick Weyerhaeuser, may have lost his race for Congress in Washington’s 6th District last fall. But the debates started in that race aren’t over. Driscoll has an op-ed in today’s Seattle Times that prods his former opponent to solidify his stance on the Wild Olympics proposal. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor, … Read More

The fight didn’t stop with Northwest Forest Plan

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There is no doubt a more collaborative approach in our Northwest forests than there was 20 years ago. As we write about often, timber leaders, environmental groups and local, state and federal government are coming together in communities to reach solutions that work for everyone. But that doesn’t mean everybody is working together all of the time. This week marks … Read More

A wood skyscraper? Yes, it’s happening

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It’s sad to think that a century ago, wood fell out of favor as a material for large urban buildings. So much so that wood mostly missed out on the later boom of skyscrapers rising in large cities across the world. Of course, there was one big reason behind this trend: large urban fires in the late 1800s that burned … Read More

Thinning and prescribed burns on tap in the NW

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Rural counties in the Northwest continue to struggle, and state and federal forests are still woefully out of shape, with very little management to protect from wildfires and disease. But it does appear that the tide is shifting, ever so slightly. Just in the last week, there has been a wave of media coverage about how state and federal officials … Read More

Illegal logging abroad also hits home

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It can be difficult to police timber, since so much of it is in remote areas. In Washington State, timber theft has been getting increased attention recently, with a story in the Seattle Times, a high-profile guilty plea in federal court and smaller timber thefts hitting the news, like this one near Longview. Reid Johnston, part of a family that … Read More

Timber counties still searching for answers

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In the short term, there are some positive signs in timber country. The Wall Street Journal just published a story, “Logging Towns Are on a Roll,” that highlighted how rising lumber prices are leading to a resurgence in sawmills and rural employment, especially in the West. The Eugene, Ore., area is typical. Swanson Group Inc. says it has rehired 200 … Read More

State highlights landowner program with new video

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Any small forest landowner knows that stewardship is a demanding but rewarding job, and it often feels like there isn’t enough time to get everything done on your own. The state of Washington is stepping in to offer some help. With new funding from the Legislature, the state Department of Natural Resources has revitalized the Family Forest Fish Passage Program, … Read More