LEED finally recognizes SFI forest certification

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The debate between the two leading forest certification systems – the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) – has been going on for many years. We have followed it closely, with a lot of posts and updates (here’s an example). But the funny thing about the debate is, it really didn’t need to be a debate … Read More

Campaign for wildfire reform continues in both Washingtons

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While federal wildfire reform died a last-minute death back in December, hope is not lost for meaningful legislation to change the way the federal government pays to fight wildfires. As we wrote in January, the issue that Republicans and Democrats can agree on is that the feds must end the practice of “fire borrowing,” where the Forest Service raids other … Read More

Port Townsend wood products co. wins federal award

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Edensaw Woods doesn’t just provide wood to boats around the world – it’s a pillar in the Port Townsend, Wash., community. The wood products company provides 45 jobs and countless donations to community groups and nonprofits. When you hear the story of Edensaw Woods and its co-founder James “Kiwi” Ferris, you won’t be surprised that Ferris was just honored as … Read More

Vaagen Brothers demonstrate collaboration

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Vaagen Brothers Lumber in Colville, Wash., has won national awards for its commitment to forest collaboration. Duane Vaagen and his sons Russ and Kurtis are true innovators in finding ways to bring timber groups, environmentalists and local, state, tribal and federal officials together in the pursuit of common goals. The collaborative that Vaagen Brothers helped create, the Northeast Washington Forestry … Read More

The legacy of Billy Frank Jr. endures

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Billy Frank Jr. was such a transcendent man in his lifetime that it’s no wonder his legacy is still growing two years after he passed away. Just in the last year, since we most recently wrote about Frank, here is what’s happened to honor the late environmental, tribal and civil rights leader:   President Obama honored Frank with the Presidential … Read More

Forest landowners can help protect the fisher

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The fisher, a large member of the weasel, mink and otter family, disappeared from Washington by the mid-1900s because of overtrapping and loss of habitat. But the fishers have returned to their historic home in recent years because of efforts by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other leaders to reintroduce the … Read More

Cross-laminated transforming timber industry

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Excitement, nervousness, anticipation. If you’re in the wood products industry, thinking about the prospects for cross-laminated timber (CLT) is like attending the first day of school or a new job. The momentum just keeps on growing every month. Newsweek Magazine recently took an in-depth look at not just one but three CLT projects built or planned in Portland. A bill … Read More

The Presidents and the Forests

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With this year’s presidential race in full swing (and Presidents’ Day on Monday), it’s an appropriate time to take a look at not just our country’s long and abiding relationship with forests but more specifically, the strong role that forests played with several U.S. presidents. The Sustainable Forestry Initiative has a great story this week about the special connection that … Read More

Enjoying a life of forestry

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It’s good to be a forester. Sometimes this fact can be overlooked amid economic upheaval or uneducated media coverage, but working in the trees is a great life. If we needed any reminding, three recent news stories from the Northwest did the trick. At a recent tree planting near Corvallis, Ore., there was the inspiring sight of 23 high-school forestry … Read More

Washington lawmakers propose reform in how state fights wildfires

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This year’s session of the Washington Legislature is about half over, and Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark’s request for an extra $24 million to fight wildfires is still active. Goldmark testified last month to a House committee, and a few days later, gave a videoconference address on the need for more wildfire funding. Lawmakers have not said no to the … Read More