SLA 2017

What does SLA mean?  For those of you that haven’t been in the lumber world, it means Softwood Lumber Agreement.  This is used to refer to the agreement that the United States and Canada had for 10 years starting in 2006.  Essentially it is the agreement between the two nations that regulate the trade of softwood lumber.

Complicated Issue

This issue it complicated because there are so many different details. Since we have two countries supplying the same market it is important the playing field is level.

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The Backcountry

Beautiful Places

Some of the most impressive places on our public lands are the vast and wild backcountry.  These snow-capped peaks, high mountain lakes, and untamed landscapes are special to most Americans.  Some of these areas deserve the protection of legislated wilderness or national monuments, while others should merely be recognized and managed for their wild characteristics.

Beautiful Kettle Crest Vista in Washington State

Regardless of the type, we should use collaboration to identify these areas that haven’t already been designated. You may wonder why we are going from Active Management in a previous blog post, directly to Backcountry.  During collaborative work within the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition we have found that by focusing efforts on the two bookends, the middle section (Conservation Management) shows itself. Continue reading “The Backcountry”

Forest Videos

Beyond Blogging

This medium is very important for sharing information and ideas about how we can successfully manage our forests.  Writing stories and posting pictures helps transport readers where the issue is front and center, the forest.  Forest Videos are the next step.

The world is changing around us and we must change our behavior and actions to keep up.  We live in a video dominated world.  Theforestblog has created a YouTube channel and will be creating video content.  These videos will focus on many of the topics you see here.  Like this one:

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North American Softwood Lumber: 20% Duty

Something finally happened.  The US government imposed a 20% duty on Canadian softwood lumber imports to the United States. Everyone seems to have an opinion.

Softwood Lumber ready for drying

For those that think this is something new, it’s not.  This dispute has been going on for decades and will continue far into the future.  Why, because both nations rely on each other, yet there are enough differences to cause market problems.  Let’s keep in mind that we just completed a decade-long (2006 -2016) Softwood Lumber Agreement that included duties and quotas on lumber entering the US marketplace from Canada. Continue reading “North American Softwood Lumber: 20% Duty”

Active Management

What does active management mean for National Forests?  When people hear this or read this for the very first time, there are many different thoughts.  For those that are in the Forest Industry, it sounds like a good plan that we should have been following for some time.  For those who care mainly about recreation, it can create concerns about how the landscape might change and affect areas they hold dear.  Anyone who’s primary concern is for the environment might fear that active management might mean developing or damaging some of the last great places on public lands.

All are valid thoughts and concerns.  Experience gained from the Continue reading “Active Management”

Federal Land Management 2.017

If we are going to get better at managing lands we need a better land allocation method.  All lands need to be inventoried and grouped together based on desired outcomes.  We see three necessary land designations. Actively managed lands, conservation managed lands and protected as backcountry.  In doing this we can align management that is appropriate for each specific landscape.  We need to create a management strategy that is efficient, compassionate, and effective.

With so many acres facing the imminent risk catastrophic fire, we need to develop a nationwide strategy for effective forest treatment.  Many collaborative groups have laid the groundwork for what is appropriate in their local areas.  By identifying which lands are eligible for active management and conservation focus we can assign the appropriate treatment for each area.  Continue reading “Federal Land Management 2.017”

Mass Timber Conference 2017

On March 28th & 29th in Portland Oregon, the second annual Mass Timber Conference took place.  Hosting approximately 800 attendees, speakers, and exhibitors to discuss everything to do with mass timber.  The well-attended conference was organized by the Forest Business Network.

Andrew Waugh shares his view of the “Timber Age”

Each day had a morning general session with keynote speakers that included renowned London-based architect Andrew Waugh.  His firm, Waugh Thistleton, has completed many of the largest timber structures including the world’s largest Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) building, Dalston Lane. Continue reading “Mass Timber Conference 2017”

Forestblog Update

Things have been very busy over the last month or so. We haven’t posted in a while because of some other pressing obligations. That doesn’t mean we haven’t been working. We have been drafting posts for more National Forest Management discussion. We have also attended the Mass Timber Conference put on by the Forest Business Network (great job guys!) and are working on a write up soon to come out.

Another topic that is important that will be coming is the difference between being right and getting results. So many people want to be right, but is that effective in supporting your interests?

Thanks for your patience while we get our content out. We look forward to more engagement.

The Need For Active Forest Management

I have been meaning to use more video to tell our story.  Here’s my first shot at doing that.  This is the active management portion of the Era of Megafires presentation that Paul Hessburg with the Pacific Northwest Research Station put together with North40 Productions, both from Wenatchee, Washington.  Vaagen Bros contributed much of the raw video.

I was interviewed along with Mike Petersen, Executive Director of The Lands Council.  As you will see in the video, Mike and his organization were not supporters of active management during the time known as the “Timber Wars”.  However, due to consistent collaboration with other community members in Northeast Washington, there is a new way of managing the Colville National Forest.  Mike and I believe that we are getting closer to fixing many of the problems of the past to create a new future for our forests and rural communities that depend on them.

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Keep Public Lands Public

Public lands can and should remain public, with a caveat.  These federal lands need to be managed appropriately. Currently, they are not.  There is a reason that so many people living in rural America are shouting for a change in ownership or management of public lands.  Much of that angst is directed toward the Forest Service, but other federal land management agencies get heat as well.

Is it warranted?  In my opinion, absolutely.  If the federal government cannot figure out how to manage the lands for the benefits of all citizens, or as the Forest Service says “the greatest good for the greatest number of people,” then another solution will be created.  If solutions aren’t brought to bear soon enough momentum could be created to insert new management or sell some of those lands to States, Counties, and other entities. Continue reading “Keep Public Lands Public”