Association News

Washington State Legislators Tour Mills

AFRC staff organized recent mill tours for Washington State legislators to learn more about the wood products manufacturing sector and the importance of the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) timber sale program. Hosted by Sierra Pacific Industries (SPI), the first tour took place August 13 at SPI’s new Shelton mill followed by a second tour August 21 at its Burlington mill.

Senator Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) attended the tour in Shelton where SPI showcased the state-of-the-art facility and outlined the most pressing issues facing our industry, including log supply and workforce development.

The DNR timber sale program was front and center during the Burlington tour, where the mill relies on DNR timber for a large portion of its log supply. In addition to touring the mill, local legislators were given an overview of the DNR timber sale program.

In July, Washington legislators participated in tours of the Colville and Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forests. The tours provided legislators a greater appreciation of the major policy, legal, and implementation issues limiting forest management activities on federal lands.


Students in Hard Hats in the Woods

The Sierra Cascade Logging Congress Sierra Cascade region held their two-day In-Woods demonstration in May 2019, hosting more than 950 students and teachers. Participants wore hard hats sponsored by Crown Motors, Sierra Pacific Industries, Creekside Logging, Blue Ridge Forest Management, Bejac Corporation, Papé Machinery, and Peterson Cat. Fresh water and restrooms were provided by Snow Mountain Spring Water and Big Valley Sanitation.

Of special interest was the demonstration by Rick & Rock—Ron and Jeannie Gallagher’s team of log hauling horses, who displayed power and strength with a calm and patient demeanor. Students were educated about the valuable contribution horses played in logging’s past, and the importance of caring for their health and wellness.

Shasta College Heavy Equipment Program, Shasta College Timber Sports Team, and EMT/Firefighters presented stations during the event, and participants witnessed demonstrations such as the hot saw, timber faller, tree planting, road building equipment, and a chipper that could be operated by remote control—which is said to have been a HUGE hit with the students!


Endangered Species Act Regulations Released

The AFRC reported that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NFMS) issued final revisions to regulations implementing the Endangered Species Act (ESA), which are designed to bring implementation consistency across the two agencies.

The final rules apply to ESA Sections 4 and 7. FWS rescinded its Section 4(d) rule, which allowed threatened species to receive all the protections that endangered species receive through Section 9 of the ESA. The Section 4 rules also clarify factors for listing and delisting a species. Finally, the rules require FWS and NFMS to evaluate whether areas that are occupied by a species are sufficient to support conservation of the species before designating essential unoccupied critical habitat — meaning they are “reasonably certain the area will contribute to the conservation of the species and the area contains one or more of the physical or biological features essential to the conservation of the species.”

The final rules went into effect in mid-September and can be found at www.fws.gov/endangered/improving_ESA/regulation-revisions.html

TimberWest November/December 2013
September/October 2019

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