In The News

Oregon to Pay $1B to Counties for Under-harvesting Timber

On November 20, a jury awarded 13 Oregon counties more than $1 billion from the state of Oregon as a result of the state under-harvesting timber in those counties.

Jurors reached their decision after a month-long trial in which the counties and 151 local entities claimed the state owed them two decades’ worth of payments for not developing timber resources as much as it could, according to a report in the Oregonian.

The settlement includes $674 million the counties say they missed out on since 2001 and $392 million in future damages.

The judgment will accrue nine percent interest each year, including during an appeal by the state, the Oregonian reported.


Final EIS on Tongass National Forest

The final public meetings on the proposed alternatives for the Alaska Roadless Rule wrapped up in mid-November, leaving a future exemption for Tongass National Forest yet to be determined.

According to the Cordoba Times, the last of 17 public information meetings hosted by the U.S. Forest Service were held on Nov. 14. Public comment on the six proposed alternatives, including one to exempt all of Tongass National Forest from the 2001 Roadless Rule, are being accepted through midnight Alaska time on Dec. 17.

Alternative 6, the designated preferred alternative of the Forest Service, would remove all 92 million acres of inventoried roadless areas and convert 165,000 old-growth acres and 20,000 young-growth acres previously identified as unsuitable timberlands to suitable timberlands.

Under this alternative, conservation of roadless values would be covered through other means, including a Tongass Land Management Plan, while Chugach National Forest would remain under the 2001 Roadless Rule.


Bitterroot Forest Project OK’d

The enormous Bitterroot National Forest’s largest vegetative management project became official November 15, 2019.

The project proposes commercial timber harvest, non-commercial thinning, and prescribed fire on about 9,500 acres along a 10-mile reach in the Sapphire Mountains, from St. Clair Creek at the south end to Burnt Fork Creek on the north.

Of the 9,500 acres slated for vegetative treatment, approximately 4,800 will be commercially logged in four or five timbers sales that are expected to be completed over the next decade.


OSUOSU Celebrates Grand Opening of A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory

The Oregon State University (OSU) College of Forestry recently celebrated the grand opening of its A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, a facility dedicated to furthering research and collaboration in the timber design, engineering, fabrication, and construction sectors. 

The 17,500-square-foot lab is part of the Oregon Forest Science Complex on OSU’s Corvallis campus and is the new home of the TallWood Design Institute, an interdisciplinary partnership between OSU’s colleges of Forestry and Engineering and the University of Oregon’s College of Design. TallWood’s focus is the advancement of structural wood products and mass timber design in constructing high-rise and other multistory buildings.

“The institute has close links with Oregon’s manufacturing community, and we are proud to have worked with both of the state’s mass timber producers, DR Johnson and Freres Lumber, during their product development efforts,” said TallWood Design Institute Director Iain Macdonald. “We have also been able to conduct structural, fire, acoustic, and durability testing for many of the mass timber building projects that have taken shape around Oregon and beyond.”

The grand opening featured live demonstrations of state-of-the art manufacturing equipment, including a KUKA robot milling cell, tours of the laboratory, and remarks from U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and Interim Forestry Dean Anthony S. Davis. 

“These new facilities represent a critical step in the pathway towards using renewable materials in new ways,” Davis said. “Our mission is to use this space as a model of how we can pair Oregon’s intellectual capacity with our natural resources and capitalize on our spirit of innovation. Today, we are better equipped than ever before to welcome the challenge to elevate advanced wood products for diverse use, and we greatly appreciate the opportunity this amazing new lab presents us with.” 

TimberWest November/December 2013
November/December 2019

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Small Woodlands Owners —Finding a Niche and Shaping the Future
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Redwood Region Resource Rally
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Emergent Technologies Column
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Tech Review
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Guest Column
The Public Need to Know How Anti-Forestry Policies Affect Them

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