Newspaper series on forestry goes off track

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The East Oregonian Co., which owns seven small newspapers in the Northwest, started a series of articles this week called “Fate of Our Forest.” The stories examine the changing face of the timber industry in Oregon and Washington, and we appreciate the coverage. Unfortunately, the newspaper company has already had its share of inaccuracies and distortions in the series. Here … Read More

Old hands contribute to timber industry’s future

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Jerry Franklin, a retired professor of ecosystem science at University of Washington, and Norm Johnson, a retired professor of forestry resources at Oregon State University, are veterans of the timber wars of the last few decades. They even helped write the Northwest Forest Plan, which is still in effect today. And now, in Roseburg and Medford, Ore., Franklin and Johnson … Read More

New spotted owl plan is rushed and off-target, forestry groups say

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Forestry groups representing timber companies across the territory of the spotted owl recently sent a joint letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service saying that the new owl recovery plan is coming out too soon and without the best science to back it up. The new plan is expected to be released any day now, and the federal government … Read More

The promise of biomass over coal

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The Seattle Times recently ran a laughable op-ed from an anti-biomass activist, full of wild and unsubstantiated claims about the industry. Duff Badgley tries, for instance, to claim that there won’t be enough woody debris to supply the biomass plants that are being built in Washington, when in fact the University of Washington just completed a study of the six … Read More

Taking a shotgun approach to a thorny problem

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The federal government just does not seem like it knows what it wants to do about the spotted owl. First, the Bureau of Land Management pulled out of a timber sale in Southern Oregon because it said the sale could not meet new logging restrictions designed to protect the spotted owl. This did not go over well with timber companies. … Read More

Three-year EPA delay is a big statement

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While biomass projects have recently made the news in Mason County and Thurston County in Washington state, the burgeoning biomass industry is also continuing to resonate on a national scale. The Boston Globe recently ran dueling op-eds, in favor and in opposition to biomass, and both pieces use as a jumping off point the EPA’s recent decision to put off … Read More

Beetles burrow in to crowded forests

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One of the most dangerous biproducts of not actively managing forests is the infestation of the bark beetle. This tiny, 5-millimeter insect loves to “attack evergreen trees, burrowing in, eating away, eventually leaving the tree a red-needled husk of itself,” according to Idaho’s Times-News. And when forests aren’t actively managed — because of federal forest policy or other restrictions — … Read More

Baby steps vs. real reform

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Earlier this month, we wrote about Hal Salwasser, the dean of the School of Forestry at Oregon State University. Salwasser described in an Oregonian article how our federal forestland is suffering from neglect and no longer offers any economic or social value. With a new spotted owl plan still being formulated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the question … Read More

Huge victory for biomass

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It was just last month that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced it was putting off a decision on biomass plant emissions from this month until April 2012. This alone was a nice win for the burgeoning biomass industry, whose existence has been threatened by the proposed new rules. Under the proposed rules, biomass plant emissions would have been … Read More

Turning back to our federal forests

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It’s frustrating – especially with a new and flawed spotted owl plan under consideration — to think about the failed dreams and wasted potential of our forestland. So many lives and communities have been ruined by onerous harvest limitations that don’t have any connection to science or reality. Hal Salwasser, the dean of the College of Forestry at Oregon State … Read More