timber industry

Chris Lehman / Northwest News Network

A large state owned forest in Oregon might end up in new hands.

The State Land Board endorsed a proposal Tuesday to transfer ownership of the Elliott State Forest. But it's not clear who the new owners would be.

The Elliott State Forest in southwest Oregon is supposed to be managed to bring in as much money as possible. And that money is supposed to go to public schools. But the forest is actually losing money in the wake of restrictions on logging.

The Nature Conservancy

A conservation group has made the largest private land acquisition in Washington’s history, purchasing forest land in the Cascade Mountains from a timber company.

The Nature Conservancy bought nearly 48,000 acres of land in the Cascade Mountains, between Snoqualmie Pass and Cle Elum.

The lands are home to spotted owls, elk, salmon, and ponderosa pine. The purchase also encompasses the headwaters of the Yakima River.

John Ryan

Fundraising for this November's elections is kicking into high gear. That means candidates are cozying up to people with money. Sometimes, elected officials even get friendly with the companies they regulate.

The Oregon Department of Agriculture says a helicopter pilot allowed herbicides to fall onto homes in a rural community in southern Oregon.

That’s one of the conclusions of a nearly six-month investigation the department made public Tuesday. 

Timber Company Bids To Buy State Forest Land

Apr 4, 2014
Francis Eatherington/Flickr

A prominent timber family’s bid to purchase state forest land in Oregon could lead to old-growth logging near protected wildlife species.

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

Oregon U.S. Senator Ron Wyden says his latest proposal to increase logging on Oregon forest land will also respect environmental concerns. 

Oregon's Congressional members are working on a plan that would dramatically increase logging on some federally-owned forest land in the southwest corner of the state. A House panel advanced a measure Wednesday that would allow increased timber harvests in struggling timber counties.

camknows / Flickr

Timber industry giant Weyerhaeuser is about to get even bigger. The Federal Way, Washington-based company announced Monday that it's buying Longview Timber in a sale valued at more than $2.6 billion.

Some environmental groups say they're being unfairly targeted by legislation working its way through the Oregon capitol. A pair of measures take aim at protesters who get in the way of tree harvesting operations on state-owned forest land.

One bill would make it easier for timber companies to sue protesters. Another would increase criminal penalties for people who block logging operations.

Or, as Republican representative Wayne Krieger put it on the House floor, "The bill addresses environmental terrorism."

Oregon lawmakers want to increase penalties for protesters who disrupt logging on state-owned forestland. The Oregon House Monday approved a measure that makes it a crime to obstruct timber operations. But the bill would still allow protests that don't actually block logging crews.

Congress is back in session this week. The House will discuss two proposals that would increase logging in federal forests to raise money for struggling timber counties. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports.

Okko Pyykkö / Wikimedia Commons

An Oregon state representative has introduced a bill to try to curb the export of raw logs. A House committee held its first hearing on the bill today.

Judge Halts Timber Sale East Of Eugene

Mar 27, 2013
KLCC

A federal judge has blocked a proposed logging project on the Willamette National Forest, saying the government must first do an environmental impact statement, or EIS.

Hundreds of sawmill representatives gathered in Portland Monday for a trade association meeting. Thanks to a recovering housing market, the U.S. demand for lumber is increasing. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix has more.

Environmental groups want the Forest Service to reconsider a proposed timber sale just west of Crater Lake National Park. EarthFix reporter Amelia Templeton has more.

Oregon's financially beleaguered rural counties will suffer even more if the deep federal spending cuts known as "the sequester" are enacted. A program that provides money for counties with large tracts of federal land will be impacted.

Early Economic Recovery Leaves Rural Idaho Behind

Feb 25, 2013

New numbers out Monday show Idaho's rural areas experienced the post-recession years very differently from the state's cities. While places like Boise and Pocatello were on the mend, economic output in rural communities in Idaho declined.

At first glance, Idaho's rural counties appeared to be making an economic recovery with the rest of the state. But Idaho’s Department of Labor says when you take inflation into account, the output of goods and services from rural Idaho actually declined by $90 million in 2011.

The federal government’s across-the-board spending cuts could hit soon in western Oregon. Congressman Greg Walden says the feds plan to apply the so called sequester cut this week to a program for timber dependent counties. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports.

Mt Hood National Forest Withdraws Thinning Sale

Dec 12, 2012

The Mt. Hood National Forest has withdrawn a decision to thin trees in the upper Clackamas River watershed. Reporting for EarthFix, Amelia Templeton has the story.

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Monday in a case from Oregon over water pollution from logging roads. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix reports a last minute rule change may have made the case moot.

Lane County Releases More Jail Inmates Early

Nov 29, 2012
Rachael McDonald / KLCC

Thirty-two inmates walked out of the Lane County Jail Thursday morning without serving their full sentence. The Sheriff has closed more jail beds because of a lack of funding.

Gus Van Vliet / U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction halting 11 timber sales in Oregon’s state forests. The state is being sued by three conservation groups who say the logging projects imperil a federally protected seabird.

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber has created a panel to try to end a stalemate over federal forest lands that once belonged to a corrupt railroad. Amelia Templeton explains.

County Payments Included In Transportation Bill

Jun 28, 2012

Congressman Greg Walden says a one-year extension of federal payments for timber-dependent counties is included in the Transportation bill. Walden predicts the bill could come to a floor vote by Friday.

The proposal would secure $100 million dollars for places like Josephine, Curry, and Lane Counties. All three counties have struggled to raise revenue as timber harvests have dwindled. Walden acknowledged the revenue problems in timber country have dragged out over the years with extension after extension.  But he sees the issue coming to a head with this last payment.

Conservation Groups Sue to Stop Logging Project

May 8, 2012

Conservation organizations will proceed with a legal challenge of the Goose Logging Project in the McKenzie River Watershed in the Willamette National Forest. KLCC's Christina Kempster has more on the story.

Photo by Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

SALEM, Ore. -- Congress may be close to funding county timber payments for one more year. The senate passed a transportation bill Wednesday that included an extension of the rural aid program.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Oregon Senators, Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley, have secured their colleagues' support of several million dollars in aid to counties in timber country. As Oregon Public Broadcasting's April Baer reports, the Senate voted 86 to 12 in favor of an amendment to extend the Secure Rural Schools Act.

SALEM, Ore. -- Oregon lawmakers have passed legislation to help six southern Oregon counties that are near insolvency. The bill allows the counties to dip into money currently socked away in road maintenance funds. Amelia Templeton reports.

Photo Credit: Amelia Templeton / Northwest News Network

MEDFORD, Ore. -- Representatives from the Northwest released not one, but two controversial forestry bills Thursday. Both would channel funds from timber sales to rural counties. Amelia Templeton reports.

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