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

Green Globes certification system is rising

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It’s easy to get caught up in the debate over forest certification when it comes to green building. The U.S. Green Building Council and its LEED system have rightfully been criticized for recognizing only the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and not the rigorous and much larger Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI). But what many people don’t realize is that LEED isn’t … Read More

SFI taking submissions for 2013 Photo Contest

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Any aspiring shutterbugs with an interest in forestry should consider joining the Sustainable Forestry Initiative’s 2013 Photo Contest. SFI, the country’s leading forest-certification system, is looking for entries in six categories: Biodiversity, Community, SFI-labeled Products, Conservation, Scenic Forests and Harvesting, with the photos for the last three categories only eligible if they were taken on SFI-certified land. Anyone can enter, … Read More

Timber solution still on hold in Oregon

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Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber’s 14-person panel of timber stakeholders did not come to an agreement about how to increase the state’s federal timber harvest – after three months of discussion. That’s an unfortunate fact. Reaching conclusions about the detente is harder to come by. The Oregonian says the lack of agreement is a failure, for Kitzhaber most of all, calling … Read More

Timber future is starting to look brighter

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As 2013 gets into full swing, the outlook is good for the Northwest timber industry. Weyerhaeuser Co., based in Federal Way, just posted its highest revenue in four years, with Q4 2012 revenue going up 25 percent to $2 billion. Spokane’s Potlatch Corp. also posted very positive fourth-quarter results, showing increased U.S. lumber demand, lumber prices and sawlog prices. According … Read More

LEED building standard criticized even from within

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The LEED green building standard is the most widely known green construction standard in the country. And Washington State is the seventh most prolific state for the LEED standard, with 10.5 million square feet of buildings certified last year. But the U.S. Green Building Council and its LEED standard have a lot of problems, especially when it comes to wood. … Read More