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TimberWest January/February 2011

September/October 2011

Transition to Stewardship Forestry

Stewardship pays off for Scott Logging

Keeping Their Eggs Out of One Basket

Tony Leonardo is Northern California’s one stop shop

Beetle Killed Biomass to Biochar

Biochar studies at the Fraser Experimental Forest will provide answers for timber industry

Computer Corner:

Your Domain Name Is Your Online Business Identity – Who Owns Your Name?

Woody Biomass Column

Will the Quest for Woody Biomass Really Set Off an International Land Grab?

Slivers and Springboards

The winners of the World Lumberjack Championshops

Tech Review: Wood Processing

Guest Column: Why a Steel Bridge? By Henry Kallis


In The News

Machinery Row

Association News

New Products


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$136 Million in Renewable Energy Grants

In September, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced five major agricultural research projects that would be aimed at developing regional renewable energy markets, generating rural jobs, and decreasing America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Altogether, the five-year program will deliver more than $136 million in research and development grants to public and private sector partners in 22 states. Vilsack made the announcement with partners from private industry, research institutions, and the biofuels industry at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

“We have an incredible opportunity to create thousands of new jobs and drive economic development in rural communities across America by continuing to build the framework for a competitively-priced, American-made biofuels industry,” said Vilsack. “Over the past two years, USDA has worked to help our nation develop a national biofuels economy that continues to help us out-innovate and out-compete the rest of the world while moving our nation toward a clean energy economy.”

Two of the projects are based in the Northwest:

  • A research team from the University of Washington received $40 million to focus on using sustainably grown woody energy crops to produce biogasoline and renewable aviation fuel. A consortium of eight organizations will work throughout the entire woody biomass supply chain to promote the financing, construction, and operation of multiple biorefineries, while reaching out to landowners and land managers, as well as regional students, to foster workforce development opportunities across the supply chain.
  • A research team led by Washington State University received $40 million to convert closed timber mills into bioenergy development centers, improving the economic potential of rural communities affected by the downturn in timber production. The team will focus on feedstock development, sustainable forest production and establishing new methods to identify the most promising plant lines for biofuel conversion. The project aims to develop a regional source of renewable aviation fuel for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

Oregon Asks Supreme Court to Take Runoff Case

Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager for the AOL reported that Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber announced that the State of Oregon will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review a flawed 2010 ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which had declared that forestry water runoff must be treated the same as factory and sewer runoff.

Northwest Environmental Defense Center had sued to seek federal water runoff regulation of forest roads. Kitzhaber said Oregon is “at a point in the history of our management of forest lands where we need to develop stability…not management by lawsuit.”

Vilsack Urges U.S. Builders to Prioritize Wood in Green Buildings
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the findings of a new U.S.F.S. study indicate that wood should factor as a primary building material in green building.

“This study confirms what many environmental scientists have been saying for years,” said Vilsack. “Wood should be a major component of American building and energy design. The use of wood provides substantial environmental benefits, provides incentives for private landowners to maintain forest land, and provides a critical source of jobs in rural America.”

The Forest Service report also points out that greater use of life cycle analysis in building codes and standards would benefit the environment. A combination of scientific advancement in the areas of life cycle analysis and the development of new technologies for improved and extended wood utilization are needed to continue to advance wood as a green construction material. Sustainability of forest products can be verified using any credible third-party rating system, such as Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Forest Stewardship Council, or American Tree Farm System certification.

“The argument that somehow non-wood construction materials are ultimately better for carbon emissions than wood products is not supported by our research,” said David Cleaves, the U.S. Forest Service Climate Change Advisor. “Trees removed in an environmentally responsible way allow forests to continue to sequester carbon through new forest growth. Wood products continue to benefit the environment by storing carbon long after the building has been constructed.”

Judge Recommends Vacating Oregon Logging Plan

The Oregon timber industry took a hit in September when. U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hubel recommended that the Bush administration plan to double logging on some federal lands in western Oregon should be vacated.

Hubel stated that the BLM had failed to properly consult federal biologists over the potential harm to endangered species before adopting the Western Oregon Plan Revision, known as the WOPR.

If a federal judge approves Hubel’s recommendations, the Bush-era plan will be replaced by the Northwest Forest Plan, which was adopted in 1994.

Warrenton Hampton Mill Reopens

In August, Hampton Affiliates reopened its Warrenton sawmill, after closing and upgrading the mill it purchased in January 2010 from the Weyerhaeuser Co.

Rex Storm, Forest Policy Manager for ALC, reported that, “Hampton invested millions to make the mill competitive and produce a variety of dry or green fir and hemlock dimensional lumber for export and domestic markets. The mill opened with a single 100-employee shift and intends to add a 2nd shift when domestic markets improve. Portland-based Hampton employs 1,600 in Oregon, Washington, and BC, with nine sawmills and 93,000 acres of forests.