May June 2005
 

 

 

 

IN THE NEWS

Possible Gremqpeal for Oregon
The Oregon Department of Forestry is looking into offering its own brand of lumber. The goal would be an environmental certification for Oregon forests, a kind of green seal of approval that could help set the state's wood apart and help Oregon compete against imported lumber. Currently Oregon requires replanting logged lands, limits clearcut sizes and uses other measures meant to keep cutting sustainable. The certification would recognize those rules that demonstrate the state’s environmentally sound logging practices. The Oregon Department of Forestry has signed a $60,000 contract with the Pinchot Institute for Conservation to examine whether all forests in the state — private, state and federal — could be certified according to global principles.

New Wood Chip-Fired Biomass Heating System
Jemez Mountain School in New Mexico is the state’s first large-scale, biomass-fired heating system utilizing wood chips from small-diameter tree thinning projects. "We are very excited about this project and grateful to all who made it happen," said Robert Archuleta, Superintendent of Jemez Mountain School District. "Our schoolchildren benefit because our teachers have added this to the curriculum so they are learning about renewable energy. And our citizens benefit because it is less expensive to operate — more money that we can put back into the classrooms." Because of the school’s high propane costs for heating, it was awarded a $450,000 Forest Service- Economic Action Program grant in 2001 to design a biomass heating system for the campus. The grants provided under the National Fire Plan were established to reduce the risk of wildfire and improve forest health. "This is a model project for smalldiameter utilization, and also a model for community and interagency partnerships in rural New Mexico," said Gilbert Zepeda, Santa Fe National Forest Supervisor. "If proven sustainable, it will open the door for similar renewable energy projects throughout New Mexico and the Southwest."

U. S. Forest Service Sues in Oregon
A group of U.S. Forest Service employees filed a lawsuit against the federal agency. They state that the USFS is allowing companies to log forests recovering from wildfires in violation of environmental laws. The land in question is a piece of the 5,839 acres burned July 2002 in a fire in the Malheur National Forest. The group alleges that the Forest Service, an agency of the Department of Agriculture, "has decided to log 'dying trees' in the Easy Fire Recovery Project that are, in fact alive and well." Chris West, vice president at the American Forest Resource Center, said harvesting timber in burned areas aids in the recovery of forests, wildlife habitats and watersheds.

Timber Sale in Olympic Forest
A timber sale in the Olympic National Forest will yield money for habitat restoration work in the Skokomish River watershed. A timber sale about 10 miles up the Skokomish Valley has the support of the timber industry, environmental groups, the Skokomish tribe, private landowners, county officials and the U.S. Forest Service. Under a typical sale, the proceeds would revert back to the U.S. Treasury. However, Congress in 2003 granted the Forest Service the use of the logging revenues for restoration work, if diverse interest groups within the community could agree on the sale, and on how the money will be spent. This year the diverse groups came together over on Flat Timber Sale, which will remove about 2.5 million board feet of timber by thinning a crowded timber stand. The sale is expected to raise $300,000 to $500,000 for environmental projects on the forest, said Kathy O'Halloran, a Forest Service natural resources staff officer for Olympic National Forest.

ODF Makes Changes to Timber Sale Contracts
The Oregon Department of Forestry has made changes to the ODF Timber Sales Contract. Beginning with state forest timber sold during March 2005, loggers will note a new format and altered provision. Most changes, however, are reorganization rather than changes to the contract requirements. Major changes include: hold harmless, insurance requirements, conditions of areas of operations and violations, suspensions and cancellation. To access a sample contract, visit www.odf.state.or.us/divisions/management/asset_management . Questions can be directed to (503) 945-7381 or emailed to dcorgan@odf.state.or.us

DNR March 2005 Forecast
Compared to the November 2004 Forecast, predicted revenues over the entire forecast period (FY 2005 through FY 2009) increased by $33.8 million. Projected revenues are up by $5.7 million for the current 2003-05 biennium, by $23.2 million for the 2005-07 biennium, and by $4.9 million for the 2007-09 biennium. For the entire forecast period, projected timber revenues are up by $52 million — $42 million of this increase came from higher forecast timber prices and $10 million from higher forecast removal volumes. The $52 million increase in forecast timber revenue is partially offset by an $18 million reduction in forecast nontimber revenue.

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This page was last updated on Tuesday, August 09, 2005