Biomass stays strong as source of renewable energy

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The delay of a biomass project in Port Townsend is being billed as a major victory by environmental groups, but the reality is, biomass is a clean and renewable energy source with widespread support. Port Townsend Paper Corp. expects to still finish a $55 million expansion of its biomass cogeneration plant, just in 2014 or 2015, a year or two … Read More

Global timber market is not just about China

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The global timber trade is a large and complex network of competing countries, policies and forests from around the world, of which the Pacific Northwest is an integral part. It was a mixed third quarter for West Coast timber exports, with log exports going up 9 percent and lumber exports going down 8 percent. Each uptick or downtick in the … Read More

Logging roads case hits a roadblock

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Things looked like they were humming along for the federal logging roads case that has captured the attention of the timber industry, environmental groups and local officials across the West. The U.S. Supreme Court was all set to hear arguments in the case earlier this month and a wide swath of political leaders had indicated they supported the timber industry’s … Read More

Logging roads case needs an airtight solution

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The U.S. Supreme Court is not expected to rule on the federal logging roads case until next summer, but the issue is still moving along. The Missoulian newspaper in Missoula, Mont., provides a nice update on the logging roads question this week. (We last wrote about the issue here.) The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the case on … Read More

LEED building standard hit by criticism, hard times

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Times continue to be tough for the U.S. Green Building Council and its LEED green building standard. Last we checked, the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) was pushing back against the building council’s refusal to use any other wood-certification programs besides the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Just in the last few weeks, the pressure continues to mount on the U.S. Green … Read More

Spirit of collaboration marks WFPA annual meeting

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There was a constructive and conciliatory mood among the many speakers at the Washington Forest Protection Association annual meeting this week in Olympia. In the wake of the Nov. 6 election, lawmakers – both current and former – from both sides of the aisle talked about the importance of working together to overcome differences and reach solutions. This spirit was … Read More

Reopening of shuttered WA paper mill cause for celebration

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It was incredible this week to see the reopening of the Harbor Paper mill in Grays Harbor County, Wash. With the economic downturn, good news has been hard to find, but here it was on the Washington Coast. Grays Harbor County has the highest unemployment rate in the state (12 percent) and it was just over a year ago that … Read More

Olympic Peninsula brimming with timber issues

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The Olympic Peninsula in Washington is busy right now with timber issues, including a key congressional race and the ongoing Wild Olympics proposal. In the political race, the great-grandson of the founder of Weyerhaeuser is running for Congress in the 6th District, which covers the Olympic Peninsula, most of the Kitsap Peninsula and most of Tacoma. Bill Driscoll, whose great-grandfather … Read More

Finding a Northwest timber solution will be a challenge

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U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Oregon, knows that things are bad for Northwest timber counties. It’s why he is part of a group of federal, state and local officials trying to come up with a plan to increase the timber harvest on federal lands in Oregon, a proposal that could be a model for other Western states. But he thinks that … Read More