Jan Feb, 2003





In The News

Employees Look at Purchasing Their Mill
Employees at the Stimson Lumber Co.'s plywood mill in Libby, Mont., are taking matters into their own hands. The staff is looking at purchasing the Stimson plant to keep it operating, according to The Daily Interlake newspaper of Kalispell, Mont. Stimson announced in October that it planned to permanently close the plant at the end of 2002.

Biggest Harvest Since 1998
Relatively speaking, itís been a great year for the Rouge River and Siskiyou national forests and the Medford District of the Bureau of Land Management (BML). Combined, they sold more in the past fiscal year than in any year since 1998. When the fiscal year ended in September, figures were tallied. Altogether 101 million board feet were sold. In 2001 the total was only 5.6 million, and for 2000 it was 32 million. "Since the Northwest Forest Plan, more than 80 percent of our acres treated commercially have been commercial thins," says Karen Gillespie, BLM public information officer. "Those commercial thins have the purposes of maintaining forest health, reducing fire hazard and providing a sustainable supply of timber to local communities."

Rogel Attempts Resolution
Weyerhaeuser has found itself on both sides of the Canadian softwood lumber dispute. CEO Steve Rogel proposed a two-step solution to end the disagreement between the U.S. and Canada. The first step was to establish a Canadian border tax on softwood lumber exports to the U.S., end countervailing and anti-dumping duties, and halt all petitions, litigation, and appeals. The second step was to negotiate changes in Canadian log-pricing practices to more closely mirror those in the U.S. The proposal did not win support of Canadians and talks broke down. Rogel said he believes talks to resolve the dispute would begin in January.

Ban on Road Construction Reinstated
This past December, a federal appeals court reinstated the Clinton era ban on road construction on about 60 million acres of U.S. forestlands. The reason behind the reinstatement was that repealing would open federal forests to development and harm wilderness areas.

Weyerhaeuser Closes Timberland Sale
In December, Weyerhaeuser closed its sale of about 123,000 acres of timberland in Western Washington to Hancock Timber Resource Group, an international timber investment and management firm headquartered in Boston, for about $211 million. The acres were broken into four parcels ó 63,000 near Eatonville in Pierce County, 42,000 outside Enumclaw in King County and 18,000 north of Morton in Lewis County. The company plans to use the proceeds from the sale to help pay down debt incurred with the purchase of Willamette.

Burning in Deschutes
To protect homes and watershed, Forest Service officials have suggested a plan to log, thin and burn about 17,000 acres of Deschutes National Forest land northwest of Sisters, Ore. Logging, thinning and burning, they say, will reduce the chances of wildfire. Adraft environmental impact statement for the project was filed in December. It outlined five alternatives for protecting the area, which included old growth ponderosa pine forests, the Metolius Wild and Scenic River and residential areas. It would allow the harvesting of trees up to 21 inches in diameter, but officials expect that the majority of trees there are smaller than eight inches in diameter.


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This page was last updated on Tuesday, September 28, 2004