Bill would boost forestry workers in rural communities

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A bill moving through the Washington Legislature, supported by timber companies, would pay for one year of higher education for rural workers in high-demand fields. House Bill 2177 would create the Rural County High Employer Demand Jobs Program in the 30 of Washington’s 39 counties that qualify as rural. “One year beyond high school is the tipping point for family wage jobs,” … Read More

UW magazine extolls the virtues of cross-laminated timber

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Columns, the University of Washington alumni magazine, has an in-depth story in its latest issue about the power and potential of cross-laminated timber, “a next-generation forest product that promises to revolutionize forest management, economic growth, architecture and the construction industry. And that’s just for starters. Its real superpower? The ability to sequester carbon from the atmosphere.” CLT could change how … Read More

Managed Washington forests have strong carbon benefits

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This year’s session of the Washington Legislature kicks off this week, and carbon policy is expected to be one of the primary issues under discussion by state lawmakers. Gov. Jay Inslee last month proposed a carbon tax to help pay for K-12 education, and the governor is expected to provide more details about his carbon plan on Tuesday in his … Read More

Wood products resonate in Cowlitz County

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Two stories came out this week in the Longview Daily News that show the long-lasting resonance of the timber and pulp and paper industries in Cowlitz County in Southwest Washington. First is news of a holiday gift drive led by Nippon Paper Industries, the owner of the Longview pulp mill. The local roots of both Nippon and the pulp mill … Read More

Smart forestland management can promote forest health, reduce catastrophic blazes

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Our previous blog post, which linked to a news clip describing a Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee report on the cost of fighting wildfires in Washington, said the season extends “typically between May and September.” But as noted in a recent KING-TV story, “In Washington, wildfire season is year-round.” So too it seems is the season for writing about … Read More

New Report Identifies State Agency Costs in Responding to Washington Wildfires

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A new legislative report indicates Washington’s Department of Natural Resources and State Fire Marshal spent nearly a half billion dollars fighting wildfires between 2010 and 2016. TheLens.News, an online offering from the Business Institute of Washington, a Bellevue-based nonpartisan nonprofit organization, covered the report by the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC) and the committee’s a Dec. 6th work … Read More

Forest Products Innovation Legislation Generating Support, Controversy

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Of the many issues that could affect forest products and timberland management, the looming Congressional battle over federal timber reform has gained most of the attention, as described in our blog post on Nov. 15. But other federal legislation affecting the forest products industry is generating strong support as well as controversy.  Alex Ulam writes in AN, The Architect’s Newspaper, … Read More

Deep-seated and shallow-rapid landslides: know the difference

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Washington State University earlier this month released a study on landslides and timberland in the Olympic Peninsula. One of the critical points to make about this study (but which has been absent in WSU’s press release and the media coverage) is that the study involves only shallow landslides, not the deep-seated landslides like what occurred in Oso in 2014. The Oso … Read More

Congress still at odds on federal timber reform

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The U.S. House on Nov. 1 passed the Resilient Federal Forests Act of 2017. Nick Smith of Healthy Forests, Healthy Communities writes that the legislation “reduces the cost and time of preventative forest health projects on at-risk forests and watersheds.” It also allows the Forest Service to access emergency funds when its wildfire suppression budget is exhausted. The bill seeks to safeguard … Read More

DNR releases plan to improve health of Eastern Wash. forests

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The Washington Department of Natural Resources, under the new leadership of Public Lands Commissioner Hilary Franz, just released a 20-year plan to restore the health of state forests in Eastern Washington. The plan has received generally good reviews from stakeholders. Jason Callahan, Director of Governmental Relations for the Washington Forest Protection Association, wrote in a blog post that DNR’s plan was encouraging. … Read More