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

The shy and scared spotted owl

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No one seems to be happy with the new draft spotted owl plan released by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.  We have outlined why the plan is bad policy, and the federal government received innumerable comments from interested parties before the public comment period ended last week. But it’s not just timber companies and timber communities that are criticizing … Read More

Delving into the impact of the spotted owl

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The same week that the public comment period ended on the new federal spotted owl plan, The News-Review in Roseburg, Ore., did a seven-part series on the impact of the listing of the spotted owl 20 years ago. The series is illuminating, describing everything from death threats and lost jobs to how the city of Roseburg and Douglas County have … Read More

Big news on biomass and green building

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Big news was announced on two issues that we have been following closely: the Environmental Protection Agency’s attempt to limit the biomass industry, and the ongoing battle over what forest certification systems the U.S. Green Building Council should use. Both issues have high stakes for the timber industry. If the EPA’s proposed rule passes, it could stop the burgeoning biomass … Read More

Port Blakely leads the way

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As the debate continues over the proposed new federal spotted owl plan, the Oregonian takes an in-depth look this week at a unique arrangement between a timber company and the federal government over protecting the owl. The headline alone for the story indicates this isn’t going to be a typical tale of timber companies and environmentalists duking it out: “In … Read More

Easing regulations in Washington

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The Washington Forest Protection Association, the trade association for the state’s private forest owners, had its annual meeting last week, and the conversation veered from green building and the EPA biomass rule to development rights and conservation easements. But the buzzword was regulations, or rather, the desire for fewer regulations and a more predictable permitting process for forest landowners. “We … Read More

More time to have say on spotted owl plan

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As we wrote here and here, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is getting close to issuing a revised spotted owl plan and is taking public comment on the proposed plan. That 60-day comment period would have ended about now, but the feds just announced that the comment period is being extended another month, until Dec. 15th. This is good … Read More

What is the EPA up to?

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This week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued guidelines for how states should interpret its new rules for greenhouse gas emissions. Earlier this year those proposed new rules were announced and if passed, they would have killed the burgeoning biomass industry because they treated biomass plants just like coal and other fossil fuels. The new guidelines released this week at … Read More

LEED: “A new and unloved standard”

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The U.S. Green Building Council is now in the midst of voting (Oct. 25-Nov. 23) on new rules that could potentially let other forest certifications into the LEED green building standard. But it appears that no one is happy with what the building council is considering. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and some environmental groups aren’t happy because they want … Read More