Congress ends the practice of U.S. Forest Service ‘fire borrowing’

Ashley BachBLOG

It may not have been the comprehensive legislation that some forestry leaders wanted, but Congress last week finally approved significant federal timber reform. It’s been five years since a bill was first introduced to end the practice of “fire borrowing,” in which the U.S. Forest Service raids its own budget to fight massive wildfires. The practice has meant the Forest … Read More

Innovative carbon policy makes historic progress in State Senate

Ashley BachBLOG

By Jason Callahan Jason Callahan is the Director of Governmental Relations for the Washington Forest Protection Association. Missing from the headlines of the 2018 legislative session was passage of a bill that establishes a price on carbon. The carbon tax bill ultimately fell short. However, two senators should be applauded for their herculean effort to find a path forward for … Read More

Length of Northwest forest fire season continues to grow

Ashley BachBLOG

A new interactive report from the U.S. Forest Service shows the duration and intensity of last year’s wildfire season in Washington and Oregon, one of the worst in recent memory. According to KING 5’s coverage of the report: “It was a bad season…it didn’t set a record for how many acres burned but how long the season lasted – firefighters … Read More

Getting young people engaged in Northwest forestry

Ashley BachBLOG

Organizers of the Oregon Logging Conference knew there would be something perfect this year for its 80th annual event: a career day for the Northwest’s newest generation of forestry workers. So last week, the conference devoted one of its three days to its first-ever Future Forestry Workers Career Day. More than 600 students from 22 different high schools showed up … Read More

Northwest forest managers focus on sustainability

Ashley BachBLOG

Managing forestland means being a responsible steward of a renewable resource – trees. From family foresters who manage their land over generations to private forest landowners who plant millions of trees a year, long-term sustainability is paramount. Two recent stories shed more light on what it means to be a forest manager in the Pacific Northwest. Butch Tanzey, who manages … Read More

Scientists make wood into material stronger than steel

Ashley BachBLOG

Cross-laminated timber may be getting all the attention these days, but CLT is not the only new use for wood, one of the most incredible and versatile building materials in the world. Scientists recently discovered a process that uses a chemical bath and a hot-press to densify wood, making it stronger than steel. The process, and others like it, could … Read More

Colville now one of the most productive national forests

Ashley BachBLOG

Great news out of Northeast Washington, where not coincidentally Vaagen Brothers Lumber has been very active in working with federal, state and local leaders to improve forest health through active forest management. The Spokane Spokesman-Review: After decades of declining timber harvests and forest restoration projects, the Colville National Forest has turned a corner and is dramatically increasing both. According to … Read More

In search of the fisher in Washington

Ashley BachBLOG

The fishers are back in Washington, but are they here to stay? That was the question on the minds of scientists as they ventured into the South Cascade Mountains recently in search of the fisher, which is a large member of the weasel, mink and otter family. A team led by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. … Read More

Judges are changing their tune on forest collaboratives

Ashley BachBLOG

Jim Petersen, the co-founder of the Evergreen Foundation, is one of the most effective chroniclers and advocates of the Northwest forestry industry and those who work in it. One of his favorite topics to write about in recent years through his Evergreen Magazine is forest collaboratives. As we noted on the WFPA blog in 2015, Petersen came around to forest … Read More

Bill would boost forestry workers in rural communities

Ashley BachBLOG

A bill moving through the Washington Legislature, supported by timber companies, would pay for one year of higher education for rural workers in high-demand fields. House Bill 2177 would create the Rural County High Employer Demand Jobs Program in the 30 of Washington’s 39 counties that qualify as rural. “One year beyond high school is the tipping point for family wage jobs,” … Read More