March, 2001





In The News 

Sierra Plan 
In January the U.S. Forest Service unveiled severe changes for the Sierra region. Onethird of the Sierra Nevada lands will be protected as older forests, as will high mountain meadows and woods that buffer streams. In the late 80's, Sierra timber harvests reached nearly one billion board feet. Over the last three years the average annual cutting has dropped to 200 million. Within the forest service plan, logging could drop to as low as 100 million board feet, with most cutting aimed toward thinning and reducing fire risk. Before the plan can become a reality, it has to overcome opposition from the timber industry, some rural residents and members of congress. 

2000 Panel Production Up 
The Engineered Wood Association (APA) reported that North American structural wood panel manufacturers set another production record last year - 40.3 billion square feet, up 100 million feet from 1999. Plywood production, however, fell 319 million feet to 19.68 billion, while OSB output rose 432 million feet to 20.65 billion. Consumption data indicates that industry production might actually have been down for the year were it not for a quantity of Canadian OSB that was produced as inventory. 

Energy Crisis 
Unfortunately it took an energy crisis for the Los Angeles Times to recently publish a proharvest article. The January 2 article "Decline in California Logging Takes Its Toll on Biomass Power Plant," by Eric Bailey, criticized the recently announced shutdown of northern California's federal forests in terms of impact on biomass power generation. He noted the shutdown's positive effect on air quality impact and landfill overflow, as well as its providing forest fuel reduction and efficient harvest byproduct utilization. Bailey acknowledged that California's entire biomass industry (31 plants) accounts for a mere 1.5 percent of California's electricity, "but in these tough times, every megawatt counts ." 

The Dock 
Those buying and selling equipment may want to check out The Dock - a new online marketplace integrating industrial equipment and services. Log onto www.thedock. com and you can see firsthand. Buyers and sellers can purchase and list assets and services under their own names and brands in a marketplace featuring multiple sales channels that mirror real world practices. "Our site was designed to include all the players in an open format. With no hidden identities, buyers and sellers can choose which provider offers the best product or service to fulfill their requirements," says Michael Hackman, president and cofounder of The Dock. 

Swiss Needle Cast Research 
Forest policy analyst Rex Storm of Associated Oregon Loggers announced that Oregon State University recently published a report outlining progress made to diagnose the 295,000 acres of Douglas fir defoliation caused by Swiss Needle Cast fungus. "Current findings suggest a variety of management options to treat damaged stands, based upon the severity, species mix, stand age and location," says Rex. "In some cases, accelerated harvest is suggested ." The group will continue research on the Swiss Needle Cast. If you would like to review the report Silviculture & Swiss Needle Cast: Research and Recommendations in full, copies are available from the OSU Forestry Publications office at (541) 7374271. 

Oregon Governor Travels to Mexico 
Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber spent February 1114 in Mexico to discuss increasing Oregon's exports, which are reaching nearly $1 billion today. Of that $1 billion, $21 million is in wood products. While state officials have explored trade opportunities in Mexico before, this high level trade mission will be Oregon's first. About 20 delegates are expected to accompany Kitzhaber. "It's a market we cannot ignore," says Samuel Saenz, international trade manager with the State. "I believe the delegates will come back with purchase agreements ." 

Looking For Energy Assistance? 
Washington Manufacturing Services (WMS), a "not for profit" organization dedicated to helping Washington manufacturers become more competitive, has announced that they now provide industrial energy assistance to manufacturers (which includes the entire wood products industry) through a cooperative agreement with the Washington State University Cooperative Extension Energy Program. "Our agreement with WSU's Energy Program allows us to provide Washington's manufacturers with the vital assistance they'll need to cope with the current energy crisis," said Nigel Moore, Manager of Field Operations at WMS. If you are interested in more information you can call (800) 6374634 to find a project manager in your area; or log onto their website at

"Green" Hardwood Lumber Co. 
In response to the demand for sustainably harvested wood, EarthSource Forest Products announced the San Francisco Bay area's first, totally "green" hardwood lumber company. It features a variety of certified, sustainably harvested hardwoods and wood products, including flooring. "The Bay area has long been an epicenter of positive social change, so where better than Berkeley to introduce the region's, and quite possibly the entire state's, first allgreen hardwood lumber outlet," said EarthSource's Sales and Marketing Manager Larry Percivalle. "Timber is our only renewable natural resource, and individuals and businesses, particularly high volume specifiers such as architects and designers, can go a long way toward ensuring its longevity by using only wood products harvested in a sustainable manner. EarthSource is committed to ensuring that such socially responsible products are readily available ." 

Tougher Regulations to Reduce Infested Wood 
Logs infested with harmful insects are continuing to arrive in China despite inspections and quarantine rules requiring logs to be pestfree. Several government departments have issued a joint notice urging the adoption of stricter regulatory measures. Keeping the bugs under control is harder than it looks, due to the large quantity and size of imported logs. Experts have determined that 70 percent of imported logs carry harmful insects. These logs come from 36 countries and regions. Since 1996, Chinese entry ports have detected 252 species of insect pests in imported logs. The joint notice will give specific, enforceable measures to ensure and verify that exporters treat the logs effectively prior to export, and prescribe action in the event of noncompliance. For details on measures taken you can go to 

Delay of RoadBuilding Ban 
When President Bush took office in January he ordered a halt or slow down to a series of regulations and rules the Clinton administration issued in its final days. On Feb. 5 the Bush administration delayed the controversial roadbuilding ban, changing the plan's effective date from March 13 to May 12. Under the plan, roadbuilding is banned on 58.5 million acres of federal forests where no roads currently exist. The forest restrictions were published in the Federal Register before Bush took office, so he can't block or alter them without going through a new rulemaking process. The forest plan is still under review by the Agriculture Department, said USDA spokesman Kevin Herglotz. "No decision has been made," he said. The Chairman of the House Resources Committee, Rep. Jim Hansen, RUtah, has appealed to Bush to work with Congress on rolling back the plan. Hansen called the
129 logging restrictions "one of the most egregious abuses by the Clinton administration ." 

Greenpeace Activist Speaks Out in Favor of the Logging Industry 
Patrick Moore is speaking out on keeping things green, but not as he once did as a Greenpeace activist. He says keeping the world green means cutting "more" trees, not less. "This is the correct path. Not: Cut fewer trees, use less wood. But: Grow more trees and use more wood. Increase productivity of land so there's more wood per acre," says Moore, a consultant to the Forest Alliance of British Columbia. Moore, a cofounder of the ecoactivist group Greenpeace, has been dubbed an "ecoJudas" by fellow Greenpeace founder Paul Watson. In a recent appearance at the Northeastern Retail Lumber Association conference held at Boston's World Trade Center, he lashed out at environmentalists who are "stuck in the '70s" and who see forestry as the "Darth Vader" of ecology. "I wanted to be involved in sustainability and solutions," Moore said in an interview. He outlines those solutions in his self published book "Green Spirit: Trees are the Answer ." He argues that clear cutting and reforestation can be beneficial both for forests and for humans, "contrary to conventional environmental wisdom ." Moore believes that if properly managed, logged forests will regenerate, that wood fuel is far better for the environment than fossil fuel, and that the real threat to biological diversity is one crop agriculture. That's quite a step for a former Greenpeace member. 

$500 Added to Reward 
C.C. Crow Publications said it will contribute $500 to the reward fund for the conviction of ecoterrorists, and challenged environmental foundations and the forest products industry to do the same. The contribution was motivated by an arson fire that destroyed the office building of Superior Lumber Co. in Glendale, Ore. The Earth Liberation Front (ELF) claimed responsibility and has committed numerous other terrorist acts. Total loss todate may have reached more than 20 million dollars.


This page was last updated on Monday, November 10, 2003