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

Experts say this year’s wildfire season will be severe

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Forest fire season is upon us again, and this year is likely not going to be pretty. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is already preparing, huge fires are burning in Southern California and Colorado, and the Washington Department of Natural Resources just sued a construction company it said caused the Taylor Bridge wildfire that burned 23,000 acres in Central Washington last … Read More

Success means the arrival of timber jobs

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As we pointed out last month, Weyerhaeuser is doing very well. Earnings for the first quarter of 2013 were up 30 percent from last year, and the company’s profit of $144 million was more than three times higher than its profit in the first quarter of 2013. Now we’re starting to see that success translate in local communities. The Longview Daily News reports … Read More

Adding insult to injury for NW timber counties

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These are not good times for Josephine County in Southwest Oregon. With little federal timber harvest, the rural county is nearly bankrupt and jobs are scarce. In 1975, Josephine and neighboring Jackson County had 22 sawmills. Last month, the one sawmill remaining – called Rough & Ready – closed for good. In the last week, both the Associated Press and … Read More

Can Sen. Wyden get timber reform done?

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All eyes are on Sen. Ron Wyden. The Oregon Democrat just took over as the chair of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resouces Committee, which means he’s in the unique position of having both the federal power and the local experience to finally approve a plan to make a meaningful increase in the federal timber harvest and end decades … Read More

Land deals will protect Washington working forests

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Over the course of 24 hours this week, two forest land sales were announced that will protect Washington timberland from widespread development. The sales come on the heels of an even larger forest land sale that was announced in southeast King County in March. All three sales follow the same pattern: a nonprofit land trust or county government is buying … Read More

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