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

Spotted owl still just as relevant in the West

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Twenty-two years after the spotted owl was listed as a threatened species by the U.S. Fish and Wildfire Service, the owl continues to resonate across the West. Countless rural communities are in shatters and the timber industry has bled thousands of jobs, but the federal government’s policies on the owl still matter. Just in recent weeks, the spotted owl has … Read More

With wildfires blazing, Idaho governor calls for action

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Wildfire season in Washington is stretching out longer than ever this year, and that’s a big concern for state leaders. The Department of Natural Resources has extended the statewide burn ban until Oct. 15th, and the fires aren’t just in Eastern Washington. The state has issued a Red Flag warning for the west side of the Cascades and among the … Read More

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