December/January, 2002

 

 

 

 

In The News

No DNR Mill Survey
This year will be the first time in 30 years that the DNR
will not be publishing their Washington State Mill Survey.
Due to a budget shortfall of $20,000, DNR was unable to
complete the piece.
For those familiar with the survey, it has contained
useful data affecting forest products manufacturers. Any
questions or comments can be directed to Dr. Bruce Glass
at (360) 902-1679.


NWF Favors FSC
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) came out in
favor of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the
highest standard in independent forest certification. The
report, created by a team of national forestry experts,
compared two certification processes the FSC and the
Sustainable Forestry Initiation (SFI).
Both the FSC and SFI continue to battle it out to see
which will certification process will arise as the dominant
on for the forest industry. If you would like more information
on the comparisons done by the NWF, you can
find the report on www.merid.org/comparison.


Amphibians Abound
It has been the consensus of scientists that amphibians
in forest habitat are highly sensitive to the effects of logging.
But a recent study in western Washington revealed
the same diversity of amphibian species in intensively
managed landscapes as in older forests.
"This was a surprise to us," says study author Keith
Aubry, research wildlife biologists with the USDA Forest
Service Pacific Northwest Research stations. "I specifically
chose landscapes that had been intensively managed
and were now devoid of residual old-growth stands.
Ken Brauner, a lifelong resident of Oregon, is a full-time artist whose paintings are found throughout North America.
Ken has firsthand knowledge of the forest industry having worked for years as a sawmill worker and sales manager.
I wanted to stack the deck to make sure what we measured
were amphibians habitat relationships in managed forests.
Aubry found to his surprise, that all of the species that
were found in older forests used in the study were also present
in the younger, managed stands.


Charging Activists For Trees
The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) is taking a
creative approach to discourage anti-logging protesters -
billing them for the trees that can't be harvested because
they grow too close to the tree-sitters' aerial platforms.
ODF is also checking to see if it's possible to assess damages
to the folks that provide the tree-sitters food and
water.
"We've asked the (state) Department of Justice to look
into it and see whether it's an option for us," ODF
spokesman Jeff Foreman said. "I think the goal is to try to
discourage people from these kinds of protests."
The tree-sitters say they won't be discouraged by the
possibility of being billed for the trees, but we'll see what
they say if they ever get an invoice.


No Roadless News Until Spring
On September 10, the period for public comments
regarding the controversial Clinton-era Roadless Area
Conservation Rule came to a close. It won't be until next
spring though before we will hear the Forest Service's decision
on how it will proceed with the plan.
The Forest Service circulated a document containing 10
questions concerning the management of the roadless areas.
Topics included, among others, how the government
could balance the competing interests while protecting
the health of the forest.
Because of the immense amount of input received
from both those for and against the ban, officials estimate
it will take four to six months before they will be
able to release the proposed revisions.


Interior Appropriations Bill Passes
On October 17, the Interior Appropriations bill for
Fiscal Year 2002 passed by a wide margin by both the
House and Senate and went to the President for his signature.
The bill provided increases to what both Houses'
originally requested, totaling $19.1 billion for the
Department of the Interior "and related agencies,"
including the Forest Service. The Bureau of Land
Management will receive 1.87 billion, with the Forest
Service's share coming to $4.13 billion. The Congress
did not reduce key Forest Service appropriations,
which would indicate their heightened awareness for
active forest management to promote healthy forest
ecosystems.
The bill also contains a rider allowing the Forest
Service to surpass the 15-year deadline for redoing forest
management plans, if a need is demonstrated.


Hampton Buys Summit Sawmill
Hampton Associates, based out of Portland, Ore.,
will be buying Summit Timber Co.'s Darrington
sawmill. The plan now is to invest funds in the mill
and make it more competitive and profitable.
The mill, once purchased, will remain idle while
improvements are made. The mill now employs 160
people and improvements will eliminate some jobs.
But Hampton says they hope to add a second shift and
will eventually employ the same number as before.
With the improvements, Hampton hopes to increase
production by 180 million board feet a year.


Salvage Sales
The Kootenai National Forest has auctioned three
fire-salvage sales covered under the Pink-Stone EIS,
which was recently finalized.
The sale included the removal of nearly 50,000 tons
of timber and other material, with the bids generating
almost $700,000 in stumpage receipts. The contract also
includes 49 miles of road reconstruction to improve
drainage in anticipation of increased runoff from the
burned areas. Environmentalists have yet to file a suit
to stop the sales and the more time that passes the harder
it will be for them to stop the forest restoration.
Also in regard to salvage operations, Washington
State Senator Bob Morton joined three eastern
Washington county commissioners in Wash. D.C. to try
to expedite salvage efforts for the 2001 fires in northeast
Washington.


Equality in Rivers
This past October, a hearing was held by the House
Resources Subcommittee on National Park, Recreation
and Public Lands to discuss the equal application of
law or ESA double standards. Chairman George
Radanovich (R-CA) pointed out the Potomac River outside
D.C. and the Klamath River in Southern Oregon.
Corporate engineers are allowed to
dump 200,000 tons of sediment in the
Potomac while in South Oregon, farmers
are facing bankruptcy.
NMFS's Administrator Bill
Hogarth's defense was that there wasn't
enough information to determine if
the dumpings were negatively affecting
the listed fish in Oregon.
However, data was released the same
month from the EPA that should allow
NMFS to make more informed and
economically feasible decisions in the
future.


New Mill In Yakima
The Yakima Nation held a blessing
ceremony this past October on the site
where their new large-log mill will be
built.
At a price tag of $35 million dollars,
the Yakima Nation plans to have the
new mill in operation as soon as June
2002. The nation already runs a log
sorting yard and a small-diameter log
mill at their White Swan complex. The
new operation is estimated to double
employment, bringing it to 300
employees.


Lobbying For Forest Plan Changes
Jeff Willis reported in the News-
Review that Ross Mickey, Western
Oregon regional manager with the
American Forest Resource Council has
indicated that timber industry leaders
are ready to lobby for changes to the
Northwest Plan. Their goal is to free
up promised timber sales.
"The Northwest Forest Plan won't
stay in effect forever," says Mickey. "It
was a template . . . (for) forest plans
that are supposed to be reviewed
every10-15 years . . . If I thought the
Northwest Forest Plan was going to be
in effect forever, without changes, then
I would say there was a very big
problem."
Mickey argues that the forest plan
is unrealistic and doesn't work as
intended. The initial plan was to have
81 percent of the forest in reserve and
12 percent available for harvest.
However very little of the 12 percent
has been released. In addition, the
goals in species survey and management
are unreachable as well as the
lawsuits associated with aquatic
species.
"All the biology is behind this. It's
administrative and legal stuff we have
to clear up," says Mickey. "With this
administration we hope . . . people
will see . . . common sense.

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