Logging

Recent flash flooding in the Methow Valley area in northeast Washington state has critics asking the state to stop logging there.

brewbooks / Flickr

Shortly after this year's deadly Oso landslide, investigative reporters revealed that loggers had clear-cut in a no-logging zone directly above the hillside that collapsed.

That logging, back in 2004, removed trees in an area scientists had said could worsen the risk of landslides.

A report out Tuesday from the Department of Natural Resources leaves unanswered the question of why logging took place on what should have been forbidden ground.

brewbooks / Flickr

Washington state essentially prohibits logging on unstable slopes - since removing trees can worsen erosion and landslides. But it's not always obvious which slopes are unstable.

State officials Wednesday adopted a more cautious approach around slopes like the one that collapsed onto the town of Oso in March. That deep-seated landslide killed 43 people.

Snohomish County / Flickr

How to prevent unsafe logging on steep slopes that could cause future landslides will be at the center of discussions tomorrow in Olympia.

In the wake of the Oso tragedy, the state’s Forest Practices Board is in the process of updating permitting guidelines. The board is rewriting the section of its manual that deals with unstable slopes, based on the latest and best advice from a panel of geologists. State Forester Aaron Everett says while the guidelines are not binding, they should make it harder for companies seeking to log in unsafe areas.

No Logging Moratorium In Wake Of Oso Landslide

May 13, 2014
Snohomish County / Flickr

In the wake of the deadly landslide near Oso, Wash., there will be no immediate moratorium on logging around unstable slopes. Some conservationists and regulators wanted to push for that. Environmental lawyer and activist Peter Goldman of Seattle was one of them. But Goldman says the state Forest Practices Board learned Tuesday it doesn't have the authority to impose a logging moratorium.

Washington Governor's Office

A federal geologist doubts the cause of the deadly landslide near Oso, Wash. will ever be fully pinned down. During testimony in Olympia, USGS scientist Jonathan Godt said heavy rains in February and March certainly contributed to the slide. Geologists have also ruled out an earthquake as a trigger. But Godt says a big missing piece is groundwater flows, for which there's no data.

Washington Department of Natural Resources

State officials say they didn't approve clearcutting inside a no-logging zone directly above Saturday's deadly landslide in the town of Oso.  But aerial photos show a clearcut extending into the zone where a loss of trees would heighten the risk of landslides. 

Oregon Department of Forestry

Conservation groups want timber companies to know they'll sue if an endangered seabird's habitat is threatened by logging. The groups object to the potential privatization of the Elliott State Forest in Oregon's coast range.

2013: A Good Year For West Coast Log And Lumber Exports

Feb 24, 2014
Sean Mack / Wikimedia Commons

Lumber and log exports from the West Coast rose about 20 percent last year, with demand peaking in the fourth quarter.

Most of the West Coast logs shipped overseas are going to China, although Japan has upped its demand, as well. With limited forestlands of their own, these countries rely on the United States’ timber supply.

Timber industry and environmental groups will make a stab at collaboration to boost both logging and habitat restoration in the Olympic National Forest.

Pages