News

3/2/20 The hottest thing in sustainable building is, uh, wood.  by Dave Roberts, Vox, Jan 15, 2020.  The many, many benefits of using wood in place of concrete and steel.  Discusses the development and use of CLT (cross laminated timber).

2/21/20 Last ditch effort for harvest plan consensus. The Lens, February 19, 2020.  TJ Martinelli.

It’s been five years since the Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) first submitted its alternative harvest plan to the Forest Practices Board (FPB) as part of the 1999 Forests and Fish Law that would allow certain foresters to log more timber on their land without harming fish habitat.

However, last November that process hit a snag when the Timber, Fish, & Wildlife (TFW) Policy Committee overseeing the plan for eventual recommendation announced it would not consider the scientific research included with the proposal. After protests by forestry members, TFW last week formed a new technical work group composed of field experts from private, state and tribal organizations who will further examine most of the prescriptions for stream buffers contained in the harvest plan.

2/20/20     Timber workers and environmentalists: Steven Beda examines the historical conflict.  Around the O, University of Oregon, January 21, 2020.  As Steven Beda was fishing for steelhead and salmon over the course of a few recent seasons, he caught onto an unexpected pattern in the forests of the Pacific Northwest.  The University of Oregon assistant professor of history kept encountering timber workers who also ventured into the woods to fish, hunt, and enjoy the outdoors. As they traded small talk, Beda noticed the loggers discussed nature and the wilderness in a way that was very similar to that of environmentalists.

11/19/19  Forest stakeholders: Science should inform water typing rule.  T.J. Martinelli, The Lens. The state Forest Practices Board for 20 years has been working on a water typing rule that determines where fish habitat protected by state law from timber harvesting begins and ends. The board last week voted to approve a slightly modified version of recommendations from a work group set up earlier this year to help resolve disagreement among stakeholders.

11/14/19 Foresters cry “end run” around harvest plan. T.J. Martinelli, The Lens.  The Washington Farm Forestry Association (WFFA) for more than four years has been working with the state on its alternative harvest proposal for small forestland owners included in the 1999 Forests and Fish Law. Now, some WFFA leaders are crying foul over a recent announcement by a policy committee overseeing the plan that it will not evaluate the scientific research included in the proposal.

11/13/19  Extension Foresters expand stewardship education to save Washington forests.  This fall, Washington State University Extension Foresters are partnering with state and federal agencies to help owners safeguard their forests. Two new projects, funded by more than $600,000 in national and state grants, are expanding stewardship education and helping landowners create and use master plans for healthy forests.

11/10/29 Forest health is a delicate dance of life and death, experts say.  Yakima Herald-Republic, Nov. 10, 2019. Chris Brandon and Brendan Cockrum, foresters with the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, talk about the importance of the Elk View timber sale for improving forest health by reducing the number of trees with thinning.

11/4/19 New timber factory in Spokane Valley will help economize forest health, create jobs, Washington leaders say. State officials and business people gathered in Spokane Valley on Friday to celebrate the opening of the largest manufacturing facility for cross-laminated timber (CLT) in North America, owned by Katerra.

10/13/19 Forest consultant planted with no plans to retire. An article in the Spokesman Review featuring Maurice Williamson, forestry consultant in eastern Washington and former WFFA state president.

8/26/19 Japanese legislators hear from Washington foresters. WFFA Past President Ken Miller hosted a tour for Japanese legislators on his tree farm and described the active management strategies and long-term planning necessary to prepare a crop of trees for harvest 40 years later – along with lessons learned from the state’s 1999 Forests and Fish Law.

5/1/19  Passing on insights learned from decades in the woods. Boyd Norton earned respect for his woodland wisdom and put up with a few gnome jokes along the way. DNR Stewardship Forester Boyd Norton retires.

4/29/19  Washington Farm Forestry Association Annual Meeting celebrates 20th anniversary of Forests & Fish Law.  US Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen to speak.

4/28/19 A new website State of America's Forests: an Interactive Guide offers a graphical view of data from the U.S. Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis unit.  It is a story of regrowth, renewal, and abundance.

4/19/19 Unanimous support for our forestland bill. A bill to study the economic health of Washington small forestland owners has cleared the legislature with unanimous support. ESSB 5330 sponsored by Sen. John Braun (R-20) received a “thumbs up” from the state House on April 17, following its passage in the Senate on Feb. 27.

2/27/19 On the Rise: Local factories part of tall wood building movement. Spokesman-Review Feb. 26, 2019. Katerra Inc. is on track to open an engineered wood products factory in April in Spokane Valley. Vaagen Timber also has a facility to produce cross-laminated timber in Colville.  Oregon has one producer. Most of the rest are in Canada.

2/11/2019 Promises still unmet for small forest land owners. TJ Martinell, The Lens.  Two decades after the state legislature passed the Forests and Fish Law to protect fish habitat, it is still unclear to what extent the regulations have negatively impacted small forestland owners. At the same time, forestry groups and state officials have highlighted the insufficient technical and financial assistance given to those landowners that was promised as part of the original bill.  Legislators are seeking to address those problems via SB 5330.