Environmental groups side with FSC

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The SFI vs. FSC forest certification debate continues, with news that many environmental groups have signed on in support of the Forest Stewardship Council’s (FSC) effort to cut the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) out of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standard. According to a post at Treehugger, the Sierra Club, Greenpeace and other groups signed a letter that says … Read More

Seeing the signs

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It’s impossible to predict, but there are signs that the timber industry is at the beginning of an upsurge after taking a hit during the economic downturn. The Portland Business Journal recently wrote about new projections released by the Western Wood Products Association. Demand for lumber in the U.S. is expected to go up by 6 percent this year, bringing … Read More

Making forests pencil out

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It’s hard not to get excited about biomass. The wood waste from timber harvesting used to be burned off on-site, which was no use to anyone. But now that same wood waste is a critical and sustainable source of energy. It seems like not a day goes by without news of another exciting biomass initiative. The Chinook Observer on Washington’s … Read More

The power of participation

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We strongly encourage people to read these blog posts, and especially to read and provide comments, because sometimes it’s in blog comments, rather than initial blog posts, that key issues are whittled into kernels of clarity — or exposed as extreme bias — for all to see and understand. Progress often has to overcome such bias. It’s a sign of … Read More

Standing up for biomass

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The Oregonian recently tried to poke some holes in the idea that woody biomass is a positive thing for the environment. Problem is, the paper’s story seemed to make a better case that biomass is a good thing with wide support, rather than a bad thing that poses problems. No doubt, some environmental groups have raised some opposition to biomass … Read More

Good news in Olympia

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Plenty of positive timber news coming out of the Washington Legislature, which is finishing its regular session and going into special session next week. We wanted to mention two bills that passed and will help the cause of working forests. HB 2420 will go a long way toward promoting and protecting the green jobs of the timber industry. It requires … Read More

Overflowing with carbon

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A new study from the Wilderness Society shows that Pacific Northwest forests are the national leader — by a huge margin — in carbon storage. To get a sense of just how much, “carbon stored in the trees and soils of the moist national forests in Washington, Oregon and southeast Alaska totals some 9.8 billion metric tons. By comparison, one … Read More

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