Certification issue rages on

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Efforts to discredit valid and widely accepted green standards for forest products continue to generate news, as they have drawn the attention of Canadian forest interests in addition to many across the U.S. Recent One Voice blog posts (“Staying Green with SFI” and “Charcoal to the Rescue“) discussed efforts by the Washington Forest Law Center to destroy the Sustainable Forest … Read More

Charcoal to the rescue

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The prospects for biomass, both as an economic and environmental driver, are so high that it seems like new discoveries and developments are announced nearly every day. The Tri-City Herald just wrote a story about biochar, which is a type of charcoal that is produced when biomass, including wood waste, is burned through a low-oxygen method called pyrolysis. Pyrolysis decomposes … Read More

Trees are getting fat

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The Washington Post had an interesting story recently about a group of researchers who spent 22 years documenting the thickness of trees on the East Coast by literally hugging 250,000 of them. It raised two important points as we continue to monitor the well-being of working forests. The first thing to take away from the article is that the researchers … Read More

Staying green with SFI

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The Seattle Times published a story over the weekend about Weyerhaeuser’s use of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) standard for its wood and paper products. An advocacy group called the Washington Forest Law Center, led by millionaire Peter Goldman, filed a complaint way back in the fall seeking to revoke Weyerhaeuser’s SFI certification. The complaint is part of an all-out … Read More

Landowners left behind

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The Washington Legislature is debating the future of the Forest Riparian Easement Program (FREP), which compensates small forest landowners for the value of trees they can’t cut down because of regulations. According to this KPLU story, the program was suspended last year because some landowners were apparently abusing the system. The so-called abuse was by property owners that never had … Read More

More cooperation in the forests

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The headline, even with a question mark, is provocative. Is it possible that the forest wars that have been waged for decades are over? Well, that remains to be seen, but the story from the Payson Roundup in Arizona raises some interesting issues. The article describes a visit to Payson from U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack designed to highlight … Read More

A fight over carbon in California

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The Center for Biological Diversity, an Arizona environmental group, has been very busy lately suing government agencies. Over the course of a few days, the group filed a notice to sue the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for its cleanup of toxins on a Pacific Ocean atoll, sued the state of California over its fish hatchery program and then sued … Read More

Another way to use wood

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A lot of people outside the timber world don’t even know what the word “biomass” means, but that probably won’t be true for much longer. Biomass — the woody material left over from timber harvesting or thinning — has the potential to be a potent source of energy, and everyone from the federal and state governments to the business community … Read More

Maintaining a balance

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Maintaining working forests is not an easy job, and what just about everyone can agree on is that keeping the forests rather than selling them off for development is a good thing. HB 2541, which is now making its way through the Washington Legislature in Olympia, would give forest landowners more flexibility in how they maintain their property. As this … Read More

Pledging “Wood First”

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It’s not just in the U.S. that logging towns are coming up with bold new solutions to keep their lifeblood going. For decades, the timber industry provided jobs, security and a sense of community for towns across the West. Why give that up? Campbell River, a city of 32,000 people on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, just adopted a “Wood … Read More