Can this forest coalition succeed?

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Will a new collaboration between government, the timber industry and environmentalists in Northeast Oregon succeed where others appear to have failed? All those parties are on the verge of forming coalitions that “would work out differences that might otherwise hold up work on timber projects” in the Umatilla National Forest and the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest, according to the La Grande … Read More

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There is a lot of anger right now in rural communities across the Northwest. Local governments are out of money, and unemployment is rampant because of massive declines in the timber harvest, and yet the federal government seems to want to only make things worse. A proposed spotted owl habitat designation would double the amount of critical owl habitat and … Read More

EPA weighs in on logging roads case, but more steps remain

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Good news this week on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision on logging roads, but it’s likely just another chapter in a longer battle. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency just announced it will regulate runoff from logging roads with state-managed best management pratices instead of the heavy-handed federal regulation suggested by the Ninth Circuit decision. The court’s decision last … Read More

Local impact of spotted owl habitat plan takes shape

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The impact of the proposed spotted owl habitat designation released in March by the federal government continues to ripple across rural communities in the West. As we described last month, the habitat designation would more than double the amount of critical owl habitat and extend that habitat to private land for the first time, leading to the loss of thousands … Read More

Wild Olympics moves ahead with important changes

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The “Wild Olympics” campaign to expand the borders of Olympic National Park in Washington has been waged for years. But timber companies were rightly wary of the proposal because it would have taken valuable land out of potential harvest. Now there is some good news to report. The leaders of the campaign, as well as U.S. Rep. Norm Dicks and … Read More

Forestry industry fights on in Washington

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state’s pulp industry produced a total of 3.9 million bone dry tons of products ranging from bleached and unbleached paper, newsprint (newspapers), other paper and market pulp. The total was 10 percent more than produced in 2008. More than 99 percent of the western redcedar logs, used to manufacture cedar shakes, came from tribal forests. In 2000 waste paper made … Read More

Lack of timber payments felt around the Northwest

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The effort to extend congressional payments to timber-dependent counties in Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho and Montana continues, but in many of the states, the damage is already done. A bill to extend the payments for one year is still stuck in the House, and there is some speculation that Rep. Peter DeFazio, D-Ore., being appointed to a committee considering the … Read More

Environmental groups flip flop on biomass

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The biomass industry continues to rise in Washington. Plants are being built or planned across the state, and just weeks ago the Legislature passed a bill that makes electricity produced from older biomass facilities eligible under Initiative 937, the state’s renewable energy mandate. Last month State Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark released a report showing that 3 million tons … Read More

Forest owners should focus outreach on women and city residents

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Just last fall, Larry Selzer, the CEO of the Conservation Fund, gave a speech that eloquently described how timber companies, environmentalists and other stakeholders can work together. He also spoke about how the message on the importance of working forests should be reframed to accentuate that forests are infrastructure, just like highways or rail lines. Now another influential figure who … Read More

Spotted owl habitat plan would decimate rural communities

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When the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service released its preliminary habitat designation for the spotted owl plan, timber leaders were strongly opposed. The Fish and Wildlife Service said it planned to more than double the amount of habitat set aside for the owl, removing millions of acres of forestland from any potential harvest and also including private forests for the … Read More