In The News

Managed Forests Contribute to Carbon Mitigation

Washington State’s actively managed forests are critical to mitigating climate change and addressing global carbon emissions. In its Sixth Assessment Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) found that the use of wood products contributes to carbon mitigation in two distinctly different ways: carbon storage in wood products and material substitution.

Wood products and the managed working forests that supply the wood are climate-friendly building materials. That’s because when the sustainably harvested wood is used for the manufacture of wood products, the carbon remains stored throughout the wood product’s lifespan. Wood that is substituted for other building materials that are not renewable, or require more energy to produce, helps communities achieve sustainability goals, including climate neutrality by 2050.  

“Washington is one of the major timber producing regions in the United States, manufacturing and supplying long-lived wood products from harvested trees. To meet the needs of our growing population, we need to grow and manufacture wood in our region, which has some of the highest level of environmental regulations in the nation,” said Jason Spadaro, Executive Director of the Washington Forest Protection Association.  

Elliott State Forest Compromise Finally Codified

It has taken several years and a lot of negotiating, but a deal has been reached to keep Elliott State Forest in public ownership and preserve it for future generations. The 91,000-acre forest is located east of Coos Bay in southwest Oregon.

A state senate bill signed by Oregon Governor Kate Brown will transition the Elliott into a research forest but will also allow some logging.

The Elliott State Forest is full of old-growth trees and is a habitat for several endangered species. Since 1930, timber sales from the forest were part of funding K-12 education in Oregon.

In Senate Bill 1546, the state will pay more than $200 million to the common school fund; in exchange, the forest will no longer be counted on to financially support public schools.

“Some thought the Elliott Forest would not be able to contribute to the future of Oregon’s education system,” Governor Brown said at the ceremonial signing in Salem, “but through this decoupling effort, the full value of the forest will be there for Oregon school children for decades to come.”

It was a heavy lift for a lot of the people who attended the Salem ceremony. A number of competing interests came together over the past three years to create a comprehensive plan for the forest.

“A research forest with the scale and diversity of the Elliott is unique in the United States, and it’s rare in the world,” said Ed Feser, Oregon State University provost and executive vice president.

NASA Releases Breakthrough Forest Biomass-Carbon Product

NASA’s Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) mission has reached a major milestone with the release of its newest data product, which provides the first near-global estimate of aboveground forest biomass and the carbon it stores—filling a key gap in climate research.

The data enables research into how Earth’s forests are changing, what role they play in mitigating climate change, and the regional and global impacts of planting and cutting down trees.

GEDI is a high-resolution lidar instrument designed specifically to measure vegetation. From its vantage point aboard the International Space Station, GEDI rapidly bounces laser pulses off the trees and shrubs below to create detailed 3D maps of forests and land formations. The resulting data product, processed and gridded at a 1-km (0.39-square mile) resolution, allows researchers to study questions about forest ecosystems, animal habitats, carbon content, and climate change.

In its first three years in orbit, GEDI has captured billions of measurements between 51.6 degrees north and south latitudes (approximately the latitudes of London and the Falkland Islands, respectively).

Private Forest Accord Ends Timber Wars

An historic agreement between the timber industry and environmental advocates that the Oregon state legislature recently passed into law forms a comprehensive set of changes to the Oregon Forest Practices Act and is the result of months of negotiations facilitated by Gov. Kate Brown in which, among others, Roseburg Forest Products directly participated.

Known as the Private Forest Accord (PFA), negotiations started in early 2020 when a delegation of Oregon timberland owners and conservation groups began working together in mediated sessions to update the state’s Forest Practices Act based on best available science. After nearly two years of work, the group reached agreement October 2021 in a move heralded as the end to the Timber Wars waged in the legislature and the ballot box over the past several decades. The legislature passed three bills that emerged from the PFA, codifying the agreement into state law.

“This agreement is an investment in the long-term viability and sustainability of our industry in Oregon,” Roseburg President and CEO Grady Mulbery says. “Through the Private Forest Accord, we minimize the risk of unscientific ballot measures and never-ending bills before the legislature in favor of long-term certainty that allows us to maintain our commitment to our timberland resources in this state.”

Signatories to the agreement from the timber industry perspective include Campbell Global, Greenwood Resources, Hampton Lumber, Lone Rock Resources, Manulife Timberland & Agriculture (formerly Hancock), Oregon Small Woodlands Association, Port Blakely, Rayonier, Roseburg Forest Products, Seneca Sawmill Company, Starker Forests, and Weyerhaeuser.

Microsoft Taps Freres Biochar

ACT’s Freres Biochar CO2 Removal Project was selected by Microsoft for its 2022 Carbon Removal ProgramFreres Engineered Wood is certified as a Carbon Removal Supplier through the marketplace for its biochar product, which stores carbon and has a half-life of thousands of years.

ACT helps organizations around the world reduce their carbon footprint by backing high-impact climate projects that generate renewable certificates and carbon credits. As part of the path to its carbon negative goal by 2030, Microsoft will purchase biochar-based carbon removal credits from Freres via ACT. 

Freres is affirming its leadership role in the wood products industry as a responsible steward of the environment with its biochar program and is committed to investing part of the sales proceeds from this project to the research and development of biochar production, among other sustainability initiatives.  

ITD Releases Upgraded 511 Mobile App

Idaho Transportation Department’s (ITD) 511 mobile app for traveler advisories and information has been upgraded! The new and improved app features roadway events, road conditions, traffic cameras, weight limit restrictions, and much more.

Mirroring the 511 website, users can now create or log in to their already existing personalized accounts, giving people the ability to save cameras or locations and receive text or email alerts on their mobile device.

Truckers who currently use the CARS Hwy app will be notified through a pop-up display directing them to switch to the new app. Existing users of the CARS Hwy app can still use it but are encouraged to make the change.

The free app will be available on iOS and Android devices through the App Store. Improving the user interface will allow Idahoans to control their trip planning and daily driving habits. It’s the next step in giving people the freedom to make safe decisions when hitting the roads.

Over the summer of 2022, more features are scheduled to be rolled out, including electronic signs, share events and cameras, weather radar overlays, and much more.

TimberWest November/December 2013
May/June 2022

Tioga Logging field testing the Tigercat 180

 A Simple Plan in a Complicated World
According to Ray Driscoll, owner and operator of Wood River Timber in Klamath Falls, setting out on a logging career path “just happened.”

Tioga Logging – Spearheads Tigercat 180 Field Testing
Extracting timber from steep hillsides has become more challenging and more expensive. To that end, Tigercat Industries developed its first model for cable logging operations: the Tigercat 180 swing yarder.

Firebreak Column – Putting Infrastructure Cash to Work
The federal government is finally implementing Confronting the Wildfire Crisis: A Strategy for Protecting Communities Resilience in America’s Forests.

Third-Generation Loggers
Founded in 1953, Hiett Logging is a third-generation logging company that operates out of Skagit County, Washington.

Restoring Forests to a Natural and Healthy State
According to Connor Craig, the owner of Wildfire Home Protection and Wildfire Safe, the best wildland firefighting is done before a potentially catastrophic wildfire threatens forests and other wildlands.

All Around Logging Mean All Around Customer Service
All Around Logging LLC was selected the 2021 Northwest Oregon Operator of the Year. Principal owner Aaron Silbernagel feels he was simply doing what he is supposed to do.

Tech Review - Drones
A look at a variety of drones on the market and services companies provide.

Guest Column – Why Anti-forestry’s Fight over Old Growth Won’t Work this Time
As if the old Timber Wars never ended, anti-forestry groups are waging a new well-funded and organized campaign to ban logging of “old-growth” forests.


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