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

WFPA and Green Diamond leaders take to airwaves to advocate for working forests

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It was great to hear some strong advocates for working forests talk about the value of forest jobs on local radio recently. Cindy Mitchell, Senior Director of Public Affairs for the Washington Forest Protection Association (WFPA), and Patti Case, a Public Affairs Manager for Green Diamond Resource Co., appeared on KMAS Newsradio in Mason County, Wash. As Mitchell and Case … Read More

Should feds kill one owl species to help another?

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For two years now, we’ve known the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was planning to kill competing barred owls as part of a larger set of proposals to help the endangered spotted owl. This owl killing plan seemed outrageous to many people, both in the timber industry and environmental groups. This week, the Fish and Wildlife Service released details about … Read More

Logging roads bill passes the House but more steps remain

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When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in March in favor of the timber industry on a key logging roads case, the decision was rightfully hailed by advocates of working forests. But unlike many other issues, the question of whether logging roads are “point sources” of stormwater pollution did not end with the Supreme Court’s ruling. Despite losing in the highest … Read More

Sawmills take flight with beetle-killed trees

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One of the reasons that bark beetles have spread through forests across the West is because those forests haven’t been managed correctly. When forests aren’t thinned, the beetles have an easy time going from tree to tree. But the beetle-ravaged trees also need to be harvested, and that has been a boon for some sawmills in the West. Pine from … Read More

Skamania County gets its moment in the timber spotlight

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Most of the attention — from media and politicians — the last couple years has gone to cash-strapped timber counties in Oregon, but Washington timber counties like Skamania, Klickitat, Lewis and Grays Harbor are also in dire straits. Skamania County Commissioner Chris Brong (who recently wrote an opinion piece in the Seattle Times about his county’s financial situation) is aware … Read More

Pope Resources leads on Wash. forest conservation

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Poulsbo’s Pope Resources has long been a timber company at the leading edge of forging partnerships between the forestry industry, local government and conservation groups. The company’s spirit of collaboration was on display again this month with the announcement that the company is selling 1,355 acres of forest to Kitsap County that will more than triple the size of Port … Read More

Rural communities get legal victory in Oregon timber case

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Oregon has been a proving ground for a couple years now for much of the debate over federal forest management and whether all the stakeholders can come up with a solution to increase the federal timber harvest. In Oregon, the federal timberlands are named “O&C lands” because they used to be owned by the old Oregon & California Railroad. Sen. … Read More

Forest certification monopoly would kill timber jobs

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One of the most striking things about the fight between the two leading forest certification systems, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), is that FSC and the environmental groups that support it want a monopoly. They don’t want forest landowners to have choice; they want the lucrative market of forest certification all to themselves. But … Read More