In The News
Employees Look at Purchasing
Employees at the Stimson Lumber Co.'s plywood mill in Libby, Mont., are taking
matters into their own hands. The staff is looking at purchasing the Stimson
plant to keep it operating, according to The Daily Interlake newspaper of
Kalispell, Mont. Stimson announced in October that it planned to permanently
close the plant at the end of 2002.
Biggest Harvest Since 1998
Relatively speaking, itís been a great year for the Rouge River and Siskiyou
national forests and the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management (BML).
Combined, they sold more in the past fiscal year than in any year since 1998.
When the fiscal year ended in September, figures were tallied. Altogether 101
million board feet were sold. In 2001 the total was only 5.6 million, and for
2000 it was 32 million. "Since the Northwest Forest Plan, more than 80 percent
of our acres treated commercially have been commercial thins," says Karen
Gillespie, BLM public information officer. "Those commercial thins have the
purposes of maintaining forest health, reducing fire hazard and providing a
sustainable supply of timber to local communities."
Weyerhaeuser has found itself on both sides of the Canadian softwood lumber
dispute. CEO Steve Rogel proposed a two-step solution to end the disagreement
between the U.S. and Canada. The first step was to establish a Canadian border
tax on softwood lumber exports to the U.S., end countervailing and anti-dumping
duties, and halt all petitions, litigation, and appeals. The second step was to
negotiate changes in Canadian log-pricing practices to more closely mirror those
in the U.S. The proposal did not win support of Canadians and talks broke down.
Rogel said he believes talks to resolve the dispute would begin in January.
Ban on Road Construction
This past December, a federal appeals court reinstated the Clinton era ban on
road construction on about 60 million acres of U.S. forestlands. The reason
behind the reinstatement was that repealing would open federal forests to
development and harm wilderness areas.
Weyerhaeuser Closes Timberland
In December, Weyerhaeuser closed its sale of about 123,000 acres of timberland
in Western Washington to Hancock Timber Resource Group, an international timber
investment and management firm headquartered in Boston, for about $211 million.
The acres were broken into four parcels ó 63,000 near Eatonville in Pierce
County, 42,000 outside Enumclaw in King County and 18,000 north of Morton in
Lewis County. The company plans to use the proceeds from the sale to help pay
down debt incurred with the purchase of Willamette.
Burning in Deschutes
To protect homes and watershed, Forest Service officials have suggested a plan
to log, thin and burn about 17,000 acres of Deschutes National Forest land
northwest of Sisters, Ore. Logging, thinning and burning, they say, will reduce
the chances of wildfire. Adraft environmental impact statement for the project
was filed in December. It outlined five alternatives for protecting the area,
which included old growth ponderosa pine forests, the Metolius Wild and Scenic
River and residential areas. It would allow the harvesting of trees up to 21
inches in diameter, but officials expect that the majority of trees there are
smaller than eight inches in diameter.
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