In the News
Lessons Learned from NWFP
“Fire is a more important factor of loss to old-growth than harvesting between 1993 and 2002,” says Tom Spies, a research ecologist and co-author of a study on the dynamics of older forests.
The study, published in Ecosystems, entitled The Relative Impact of Harvest and Fire Upon Landscape-Level Dynamics of Older Forests: Lessons From the Northwest Forest Plan, examined western Oregon and Washington and parts of the range of the northern spotted owl. The team used a 30-year satellite record to identify trends in the loss of large-diameter trees to harvest and fire on private and public land.
Other conclusions from the study included:
The economic downturn and weak market conditions have led to the closure of two mills. Three Rivers Timber, located in Kamiah, Idaho, shut down its sawmill indefinitely on November 10, and the planer was shut down on November 21.
In October, Stimson Lumber Co. informed employees it planned to close its sawmill in Arden, Wash., in 60 days. Company officials were, however, working on plans to maintain partial production at the plant.
Hancock Acquires Oregon Timberlands
Hancock Timber acquired the timberlands on behalf of its clients from Green Diamond Resource Company, a privately held company, but the terms were not disclosed.
The timberlands, located near the coast in northwestern Oregon, are populated largely with Douglas-fir and western hemlock. With the addition of these Oregon properties, Hancock Timber manages approximately 750,000 acres of timberland in California, Oregon, and Washington.
New Law Requires Companies to Declare Origin of Wood
For the first time, it forces companies “to ask the most basic question of, where is my wood from,” said Alexander von Bismarck of the nonprofit Environmental Investigation Agency.
The new law will affect many goods. It’s estimated that as many as 30,000 custom entries each day could require a declaration.
Endowment Announces Selection of Forest Investment Zones
The organizations and areas identified as Forest Investment Zones are:
From a cache of nearly 60 pre-proposals stretching literally from Alaska to Florida and from California to Maine, the Endowment identified three projects that capture a significant slice of the array of forest types, ownerships, and challenges facing rural America.
Under the Endowment’s Forest Investment Zone initiative, each partner will be granted up to $2 Million over five years. That money will be leveraged with other funds to test and implement strategies that yield healthier working forests, create local wealth, and provide economic opportunity, while assisting rural communities in charting paths to a more productive future.
Endowment vice president for community development Diane Snyder says, “This program hits squarely on all three legs of forest sustainability: ecological, economic, and social health. We are very excited to launch this new program. Our desire is to create a ripple effect that has positive impact on numerous forested areas across the nation, not just within the zones. We’ve spent months preparing for this journey.”
Highlights of some outcomes from the proposed partnerships include: