Timber industry: BLM pilot project is a failure

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While the Bureau of Land Management pilot projects in Southern Oregon have shown promise for bridging the gap between environmental groups and the timber industry, not everyone is excited about the projects’ potential. In fact, while Interior Secretary Ken Salazar was in Medford this week to tour the “Pilot Joe” project site, the Oregon timber industry issued a statement (PDF) … Read More

BLM pilot projects show the promise of collaboration

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Good news out of Southern Oregon: three pilot Bureau of Land Management forestry projects led by retired professors are showing promising results so far. The projects in the Medford, Roseburg and Coos Bay forest districts, which we last wrote about here, “indicate it’s possible to retain old trees, protect watersheds and wildlife and still provide jobs,” said Jerry Franklin, a … Read More

Environmental groups swing and miss on timber payments

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It’s been months now since local and federal leaders started trying to figure out a solution for timber-dependent counties in the West that are facing the loss of federal timber payments. In the meantime, the affected counties in Washington, Oregon, California and Idaho are already feeling the pinch. In Lane County, Ore., the sheriff’s office is preparing to close half … Read More

More thinning on the way in federal forests

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Just days after announcing new management rules for federal forests, the U.S. Forest Service said it was undergoing an ambitious series of 20 forest management and thinning projects around the country. The two Washington projects are in the Colville National Forest and the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. What’s notable, according to KPLU Radio, is that the Forest Service is devoting millions … Read More

New forest laws debated on federal, state level

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The U.S. Forest Service just unveiled new management rules for federal forestland that its says will allow for faster approval of forest plans and preserve jobs in timber communities. The Forest Service also hopes that the rules – with their focus on multiple uses for the forests and cooperation between various interest groups – will hold up to lawsuits. Vilsack, … Read More

Biomass surges in Washington

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It’s been a good week for biomass in Washington. Biomass plants in Port Angeles and Longview received positive news, and a state lawmaker introduced a bill that would ensure the financial stability of biomass plants in the future. The good news began when a plant in Port Angeles planned by Nippon Paper Industries USA won an appeal to the state … Read More

Mount St. Helens guides federal timber projects

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A series of pilot projects on federal timberland, led by retired professors from University of Washington and Oregon State University, is now taking some lessons from Mount St. Helens. The projects, which we wrote about last year, could be an important step toward bridging the gap between the concerns of timber companies and environmental groups. The latest U.S. Bureau of … Read More

SFI scores victories and momentum

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Last we checked on the Sustainable Forestry Initiative–Forest Stewardship Council (SFI-FSC) debate, the U.S. Department of Agriculture had just chosen domestic wood as a preferred material for new construction, and the Forest Service said it would promote not just the LEED building standard but also Green Globes and the National Green Building Standard, both of which recognize SFI. The victories … Read More

Waiting on Congress to act

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If there was ever a time for the timber industry to be closely watching Congress, it is now. Lawmakers are considering legislation that would have massive importance on two issues of paramount concern to the industry: the Ninth Circuit decision on logging roads and the end of federal payments to timber-dependent counties in Oregon and Washington. Early word is encouraging … Read More

U.S. and Canada joust over timber future

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The U.S. and Canada haven’t been exactly buddy-buddy in recent years when it comes the lumber market. Certainly the economic downturn hasn’t helped matters, since there has been less market share to go around. But there could be some brighter days ahead. Both countries are likely to extend their softwood lumber trade agreement from 2013 until 2015, according to U.S. … Read More