Who uses our national forests?

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When we hike or fish on federal forestland, we see the people around us, but it’s hard to tell in any comprehensive way how that forestland is being used or who’s using the land. But the U.S. Forest Service recently released a survey that shows how many people are visiting our country’s national forests and the demographics of those visitors. … Read More

Dealing with federal courts and endangered species

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With newspapers cutting their budgets every year, the Capital Press performs an increasingly valuable service of covering agriculture, including forestry, across the West. The Oregon-based paper recently interviewed William Ruckelshaus, the first administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (which we wrote about here), and now the paper has weighed in on similar issues with its take on the Endangered Species … Read More

Fighting for biomass and working together

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We wrote back in July about a tax exemption for woody biomass that is being threatened in Washington state. Despite an immense need for renewable energy, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) recommended that the 2009 tax exemption be allowed to expire in 2013. Just recently a citizen committee called the Citizen Commission for the Performance Measurement of … Read More

Northwest congressional delegation not satisfied with status quo for federal forests

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The Pacific Northwest congressional delegation is obviously not happy with the status quo when it comes to federal forest management and environmental regulations, and that is very good to see. Just in the past week, Rep. Greg Walden (R-Ore.) said there should be “big changes” in forest management, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) proposed a revamped Western Oregon forest plan, Rep. … Read More

Timber successes gain local and federal attention

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In the middle of a very tough week for the U.S. economy, it’s nice to read about a success story, especially one in the timber industry. Teevin Bros., a timber shipping company in Rainier, Wash., is doing gangbusters business, according to the Longview Daily News. One of the biggest reasons for success is owner Shawn Teevin, according to his employees. … Read More

Rediscovering the NW timber harvest

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Two opinion pieces this week from Oregon writers, one in the Wall Street Journal and one in the Oregonian, provide a valuable perspective on the importance of the timber industry to Northwest communities. James L. Huffman, dean emeritus of Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, writes in the Journal that the spotted owl recovery plan released in June by … Read More

Public recoils from court decision on logging roads

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We wrote earlier this month about a recent Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision that threw out 35 years of legal precedent and federal environmental policy by claiming for the first time that logging roads should be treated as if they were industrial sites. We also described the legislation that was introduced in Congress to overturn the decision. Local, state … Read More

Biomass exemption threatened in Washington state

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Even seemingly obscure legislative committees can have huge consequences for the timber industry, and no one should assume that the summer months will necessarily be quiet. In Washington state, the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) came out this week with a preliminary report that recommends allowing an exemption on sales and use tax for woody biomass, otherwise known … Read More

Viability of U.S. timber industry threatened by legal decision

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Sometimes what may seem like a narrow court case can have far-ranging consequences. A recent decision by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, originally made last year and affirmed in May, would threaten the viability of the timber industry in the West if allowed to stand. The decision upended 35 years of legal precedent and federal environmental policy by claiming … Read More

Newspapers weigh in on spotted owl

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The release last week of the final spotted owl recovery plan continues to reverberate. Newspaper editorial boards are beginning to weigh in, and the word is mixed at best. The Oregonian says the feds’ plan to kill some of the more aggressive barred owls with shotguns is not the greatest idea, but there may not be any other option. Of … Read More