2019 Legislative Session Update: Bills supporting healthy, working forests advance

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With the 2019 legislative session beyond the halfway mark, now is a good time look at what bills affecting forestland owners are still under consideration. Wildfire prevention, investments to promote healthy forests and policies in support of working forests were just some of the legislation that Olympia lawmakers have focused on this 105-day session. Below are updates on some of … Read More

Fire Strong Workshops prepare Okanogan, Chelan county residents for wildfire season

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We’re just a few days into spring and Washington firefighters have responded to 50 wildfires in the state, with 49 of the fires west of the Cascades. Unseasonably low humidity, record-breaking March temperatures and high winds have created conditions that are normally seen in late August during Western Washington’s traditionally peak wildfire season. Weather forecasters anticipate that lower temperatures and higher … Read More

House unanimously passes bill aimed at reducing wildfires

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On the heels of one of Washington state’s most severe wildfire seasons, Olympia lawmakers have responded with legislation that aims to promote healthy and resilient forests. The House of Representatives unanimously passed 2SHB 1784which would require more fuel breaks on public lands to prevent severe wildfires and improve the overall health of state-owned forestland. The bill would build upon the … Read More

WSU, CRTC researchers investigate enhancing CLT with recycled carbon fiber

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The next generation of cross-laminated timber could further establish Washington state as a leader in mass timber. Washington State University recently announced that its researchers at the Composite Materials and Engineering Center(CMEC) are partnering with the Composite Recycling Technology Center(CRTC), a Port Angeles-based nonprofit organization, to develop a longer lasting and more moisture-resistant cross-laminated timber. The group will share its joint … Read More

Working, younger forests may be better at drawing more CO2 out of the air

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Younger forests play a vital role in reducing greenhouse gases in our atmosphere, according to a new study out of England. A University of Birmingham analysis found relatively young forests, where trees are less than 140 years old, sequester more metric tons of carbon per year than old-growth forests. Using 29 years of data and carbon storage models, researchers at the … Read More

Could Washington lead the way for engineered wood manufacturing?

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Plans for two engineered wood products factories in Eastern Washington could help establish Washington state as the national hub of the tall, wooden building movement. The Spokesman-Review reports that Menlo Park-based Katerra Inc. and Colville-based Vaagen Timbers will open mass timber factories this spring to meet the growing demand for cross-laminated timber (CLT) and glue-laminated beams (glulam). Vaagen Timbers’ 70,000-square-foot factory is … Read More

Well managed forests effectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions

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A provocative Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) report suggesting that Canada’s forestlands emit more carbon than they absorb is stirring controversy. The CBC article contends that assuming the nation’s forested lands are an “immense carbon sink” that absorb more greenhouse gas emissions than the country produces is false. Though sensational in its headline, the story is more nuanced than a cursory glance … Read More

WSU Extension offers landowners training to help maintain healthy, resilient forests

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Private forest landowners have an opportunity to gain skills and training in managing their woodlands later this month. The Washington State University Forestry and Wildlife Extension program will host its 2019 Western Washington Forest Owners Winter School on Feb. 23rdat Green River College in Auburn, WA. The one-day course, which aims to help forestland property owners address challenges facing them, will focus … Read More

Prescribed fires to increase in coming years

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Washington state says it plans to increase the number of intentional, low-intensity burns to better manage forest lands and prevent devastating wildfires, the Daily World reports. The plan comes on the heels of a report released by the Coalition of Prescribed Fire Councils and the Washington State Department of Natural Resource’s report to the legislature that recommends allowing for more prescribed burns … Read More

Report: Great progress in salmon recovery, but more work needed to protect and restore iconic fish

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Salmon are struggling to survive in six of the state’s designated salmon recovery regions despite efforts to prevent extinction, according to a comprehensive report from the Governor’s Salmon Recovery Office. While the report sites promising outcomes with Snake River fall Chinook and Hood Canal summer chum nearing recovery goals, salmon numbers continue to decline in most the of the state, including … Read More