Wildfire

The topic of wildfire raises the level of awareness of our forests.  Some of this is good.  People become aware and then they are compelled to act.  Unfortunately, I’m not sure if they are going to act in the right manner.

Wildfire in the West

In the fire-prone forests of the Intermountain West, fire is part of life.  These forests have adapted to survive regular fire intervals for centuries.  Ponderosa Pines and Western Larch are prime examples of species that are specifically capable of withstanding significant fire.  Unfortunately, some of our actions have put even the most capable trees at risk.  These actions and subsequent inactions have put entire forests and massive ecosystems at risk.

Actions: Consequence

Overstocked forests
Overgrown forests from years of fire suppression and no management.

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A to Z Update

A to Z Hearing Video

Since publishing the A to Z blog post, readers have been asking how the court appearance actually went.  Many of you may know how to find these videos, but in case you didn’t here it is.  This is the 34-minute video of the appeal hearing.  It was quite interesting to be there in person.

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Prescribed Fire

There’s a great deal of talk in today’s forest management circles about the use of prescribed fire as a tool to manage forests.  Fire can certainly be a great tool to reduce forest fuels and maintain tree spacing.  It’s been used by mother nature for eons.  So much so that many tree species like Ponderosa Pine and Western Larch have become resistant to fire in order to survive the regular intervals of lightning caused fires.

Active Management and Prescribed Fire

Forest Restoration: Management then Fire
Active Management then Prescribed Fire

Prescribed fire should be used in conjunction with active forest management.   There are certainly areas where fire might be used on it’s own. It’s ideally performed in the front country with established road systems. In these areas we can commercially thin or log these areas to achieve historical spacing.  The next season it could be very beneficial to conduct prescribed fire.

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A to Z

What is the A to Z project?  This is a US Forest Service project that is very unique.  It’s located on the Colville National Forest in Northeast Washington State.

What makes A to Z Unique?

This project is a forest restoration project that is approximately 54,000 acres of forest land in NE Washington.  Most projects on federal land are sold after the Forest Service has conducted the necessary environmental analysis as part of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  This process can take many years to complete for a variety of reasons.  In this case the Forest Service sold the project prior to completing the NEPA process.  Hence the name, A to Z. Continue reading “A to Z”

NAHB Comments Highlight Need for Outreach

The following is from a Column that I write for Timber Processing Magazine and appears in the June 2017 issue.  Special thanks to Rich Donnell and the team at Hatton-Brown Publishing for providing the platform for me to share my thoughts.

A Hatton-Brown Publication
Timber Processing June 2017

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Europe Now, America Next

European Mass Timber Tour

May 22nd to May 26th, we had the opportunity to visit the epicenter of Mass Timber.  Europe has been developing the market for mass timber production and construction for more than a decade.  It’s not much of a surprise to see Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Glue Laminated Beams (Glulam) structures in most parts of Europe.  And that is continuing to grow. Continue reading “Europe Now, America Next”

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”