January February, 2004

 

 

 

 

In The News

New Environmental Education
This past fall Washington state agencies teamed up with businesses, non-profits and academia. Through the Pacific Education Institute (PEI), students will use the environment to meet state learning goals. "We believe that the Pacific Education Institute will make an important contribution to education in Washington state," said Commissioner of Public Lands Doug Sutherland, who also leads the DNR. "Students will learn about the complexity of natural resource issues from a variety of perspectives. The students we reach today are the decision-makers and natural resource stewards of tomorrow." Dr. Jeff Koenings, Director of WDFW, said, "Students will be able to use skills learned in different disciplines, and then apply them to real world situations. This hands-on learning experience will help them meet state standards and, at the same time, develop a strong ethic of environmental stewardship."

Opening Tongass
In December, the Bush Administration reversed a Clinton-era policy, announcing it would open 300,000 acres of Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to road building and, possibly, logging. The decision allows 3 percent of the forest's 9.3 million acres, which were put off-limits to road-building, to have roads built on them and perhaps to be opened to use by the timber industry. Supporters of the decision see it as a step toward helping the state’s struggling timber industry. "It's something that the meager timber industry in Alaska needs to operate," said Tom Partin, president of the American Forest Resource Council.

Plan to Reduce Gifford Pinchot Fire Danger
Twenty thousand bug-infested acres in the Gotchen area on the southern flank of Mount Adams are in danger. A lightning storm could potentially touch off hundreds of acres of dead and dying trees. A proposed plan includes logging to reduce fire risk, and to remove some of the dead and unhealthy trees. "Washington in general, and the Gifford Pinchot in particular, has dodged the bullet," said Susan Jan Brown, an environmental law instructor who formerly headed the environmental group Gifford Pinchot Task Force. "I don't think Washington is going to escape that bullet for too much longer." Bob Dick, Washington manager of the American Forest Resource Council, is in full agreement. An environmental impact statement was recently adopted at Gifford Pinchot, which included thinning 7.5 million board feet in the area. Forest Service officials say the project will include subsequent thinning, controlled fire and monitoring over several years. Brown and Dick are looking for support of U.S. Rep. Brian Baird, D-Vancouver, to support the long-term commitment.

Dillard Expansion
Over the next two and a half years Hoover Treated Wood Products Inc., operating in Dillard, Ore., will be expanding into the west coast market. The company that specializes in fire retardants and preservatives for wood products, plans to construct three buildings in Dillard, including a 15,000 square foot treatment plant. The expanded facilities will cost approximately $1.6 million and will include wood treating cylinders, dry kiln and a lumber stacker. The company plans to hire five to 10 more employees initially, and work up to a 50-worker total.

Lematta Donates $1 million
Nancy Lematta, wife of Columbia Helicopters chairman and co-founder Wes Lematta, gifted $1 million to create an endowed professorship in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. The Wes Lematta Professorship in Forest Engineering at OSU will enhance teaching and research in methods of safely and efficiently removing timber from forests while protecting water, soils, and other resources, and will help resolve other engineering challenges relating to forest management. "I am delighted by this investment in the future of our students, programs, and faculty," said Steve Tesch, head of the Department of Forest Engineering. "This gift helps ensure an excellent education for forest engineering students."

Boise Aquires OfficeMax
On December 9, Boise Cascade announced that at a special meeting, shareholders voted favorably for the acquisition of OfficeMax, Inc. The acquisition proposal required a majority of votes. The transaction has been completed.

Dillard $17 Million Upgrade
The Roseburg Forest Products sawmills in Dillard, Ore. will be upgraded at a cost of $17 million. This upgrade should double the capacity of the mill. The expansion will allow the mill to produce as much as 500 million board feet in 2005. A majority of the wood will be shipped to large home-improvement stores. The company had to cut 450 jobs in April and idle 220 employees in June. The expansion will mean 32 new jobs for the community.

Forest Products Management Development
The colleges of Forestry and Business at Oregon State University will be presenting Forest Products Management Development on February 22-25, 2004 in Corvallis, Ore. Because of the shortage of highly-qualified managers in the forestry industry, this course is designed to help prepare the next generation of management executives for the industry. For more information call (541) 737-2329, or log on to http://out-reach.cof.orst.edu/ .

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, September 28, 2004