Will Oregon panel reach a timber solution?

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Mixed news out of Oregon this week. A plan by Oregon Reps. Peter DeFazio, Greg Walden and Kurt Schrader to split key federal timber lands roughly 50-50 between preservation and harvest could have passed the U.S. House but is dead on arrival in the Senate, according to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber. The governor said that environmental groups were prepared to … Read More

New studies released on forest fire history and solutions

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Forest fire season continues to shine light on issues like federal and state forest management, thinning and forest health. In Central Washington, several wildfires are currently burning and a new study out this week shows that the forest fire season in the West is much longer and more severe than it used to be. Over the past decade, the average … Read More

West Coast timber industry gets a boost

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This has been a promising week for the West Coast timber industry. First, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill that creates a new tax on timber sales. Instead of timber industry regulation being paid for by fees on timber companies, like many other states, the regulation will be paid for by a tax on lumber buyers. From the Los … Read More

Wide range of groups support appeal of logging roads case

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Brian Boyle, Washington’s Public Lands Commissioner from 1981-1993, has an op-ed in the Seattle Times this week that advocates for a solution to the federal logging roads case that has wound its way through the courts for several years now. As Boyle points out, the case is now before the U.S. Supreme Court so a resolution is near. The court … Read More

Wildfires bring focus back on importance of thinning

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and federal forest management policy. The issue is hitting especially close to home this year, with the Taylor Bridge Fire (which was 100 percent contained only this week) burning 23,500 acres and destroying 60 homes an hour east of Seattle. Even federal officials are surveying the scene and saying that more active management is necessary to protect forests from wildfires. … Read More

Seattle Times: Taylor Bridge Fire shows need for more active forest management

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Resources has been trying to make that happen. In January, Peter Goldmark, state commissioner of public lands, formed an advisory committee on forest health. After its report was released in July, Goldmark proposed issuing a hazard warning for parts of Washington, including Kittitas County where the Taylor Bridge fire is burning… …The advisory committee’s report noted that in the past, … Read More

Wall Street Journal: West Coast logging makes a comeback

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Fueled by demand from China, the West Coast timber industry is on the rise, according to today’s Wall Street Journal. The story highlights the upswing in timber towns in California but notes that the same trend is happening in Washington and Oregon. Arnold, a town of close to 4,000 people, high in the Sierra Nevadas about 150 miles east of … Read More

Wash. DNR looking for forest owners for conservation program

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For forest owners in Washington State, the state Department of Natural Resources is looking for owners interested in the Rivers and Habitat Open Space Program. The program “buys conservation easements. Two types of habitat can qualify for easements: trees within a channel migration zone and trees within critical habitat for state-listed threatened and endangered species (like northern spotted owls and … Read More

Logging roads bill needs push over the top

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The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June to take the Ninth Circuit logging roads case was great news, but it wasn’t the whole story. Even if the Supreme Court knocks down the Ninth Circuit ruling, the high court’s decision won’t come until sometime next year. In the meantime, a temporary stay on the Ninth Circuit ruling, approved by Congress last … Read More

New study shows forest thinning helps the spotted owl

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The spotted owl has caused untold economic suffering over the last 20 years, as the Northwest timber harvest was cut down to a fraction of its former self and rural communities across Washington, Oregon and California lost jobs and livelihoods. Now a new study by Oregon State University and Michigan State University is saying well, never mind all that. According … Read More