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

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