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

Collaboration is just the beginning of improved timber management

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It was just two months ago that a panel of experts talked about the power of forest collaboratives at the Washington Forest Protection Association annual meeting in Olympia. As we noted then, the experts cited not just the benefits but also the numerous challenges when the timber industry, environmental community and local, state and federal government come together. Agreeing to … Read More

Can the states lead the charge on federal timber reform?

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There is no shortage of innovation about how to better manage our federal forestland, to increase the timber harvest and boost rural communities while still protecting the environment. The trick, though, is that even if one environmental group opposes a plan, it’s difficult to pass timber reform through Congress. This is doubly frustrating because across the West, plans to increase … Read More

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