Posts Tagged ‘timber’

State lands accounted for 28% of the state’s timber harvest

March 12, 2012
Port of Olympia

Tug boats pull and guide the log ship "La Vie En Rose" into its berth at the Port of Olympia. In 2010, the port exported 117 million board feet of logs compared to 3 million board feet in 2008. Photo: Jim Wright/Port of Olympia.

DNR’s latest Washington Timber Harvest reveals the impact of export demand on Washington’s timber economy. Released in February, the annual report (now in its 57th edition) breaks out timber harvest totals by county and species. Based on annual Department of Revenue tax data, the report shows that exports kept many logging operations and shipping ports busy, even as domestic home-building (the chief market for West Coast softwoods) continued to struggle.

The exports even affected timber sales from state trust lands. By law, unprocessed timber–raw logs–from state trust lands cannot be sold for export, but with more of the privately owned timber heading overseas, DNR has become an important supplier to local mills.

Here’s a glance at the new timber report by the numbers:

1902 — When publication of state Timber Harvest reports began. (DNR has copies going back to 1940 and online versions back to 1990.)

2.74 billion — Board feet of trees (Scribner log scale) harvested in Washington in 2010.

2.39 billion — Board feet of trees (Scribner) harvested in Western Washington in 2010 (87% of state total).

1.82 billion board feet — Amount of logs harvested from private lands (industrial forest and small forest landowners) in 2010 .

Washington Timber Harvest - 2010

source: Washington 2010 Timber Harvest Report. Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

28 percent — Percentage of trees in state’s total harvest from DNR-managed state trust lands (all beneficiaries including counties) in 2010. In the western Washington counties where the majority of the timber was harvested, state trust lands accounted for 29 percent of the total.

The data for the Washington Timber Harvest Report came from statistics compiled by the state’s Department of Revenue which collects Forest Excise Tax. Since tribes don’t pay that tax harvest statistics from tribal lands were unavailable.

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Fire, tsunami, and Puget Sound restoration among top stories of 2011 on DNR’s Ear to the Ground

December 30, 2011

The Monastery Fire, the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and Puget Sound restoration were among the top stories of 2011 on Ear to the Ground.

A late-starting fire season still produced a few large wildfire incidents of note, including the Monastery Fire that burned more than two dozen homes and several thousand acres north of Goldendale. This year also was the 20th anniversary of the firestorm that burned more than 100 homes and 35,000 acres in eastern Washington, but also led to a new state mobilization process for major disasters.

Getting lots of readership in 2011 were our several postings about people damaging natural resources and public lands: a topic that (rightly) stirred a lot of readers to comment on DNR’s Facebook page, too. The year saw several incidents involving illegal off-roading that damaged state trust lands and, recently, an avoidable truck accident in Capitol State Forest that could have turned out much worse. DNR-managed state trust lands also experienced thefts of timber, metal gates and, even, concrete fence rails from a recreation area.

Our posting about the tsunami warnings following the 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan in March drew much interest. Thankfully, waves hitting Washington’s coastal areas were small and did not cause injuries or fatalities. Just a few weeks prior another popular posting emphasized earthquake and tsunami preparation. Our late March post showed the potential impact of a tsunami on Tacoma following a major earthquake on one of our regional faults. February, by the way, was the 10th anniversary of the 2001 Nisqually earthquake centered near Olympia that injured more than 400 people.

Blogs about wildlife and Puget Sound always draw lots of readers. One in particular shows off a large octopus temporarily landed (and safely returned) off of Cypress Island during a creosote piling removal project — one of several that DNR managed in 2011. Another popular posting described our Aquatic Resources Division’s work studying eelgrass beds — a major component of a healthy habitat in the Sound

When you think of Washington State’s natural resources, trees just naturally come to mind. Our foresters’ advice on managing trees, including those in urban settings, drew lots of readers. Our tips to avoid topping trees were popular, too. Many readers clicked on articles about wildlife, whether it was the birds (like sapsuckers) that rely on trees or other animals, such as Canada lynx, that inhabit the state trust lands DNR manages. We were pleased that many of you read our article about a program that seeks to rehabilitate low-risk offenders by training them to become arborists (and in the process get some more forest maintenance work done on state trust lands).

DNR’s latest Economic and Revenue Forecast is online

December 16, 2011
state trust land

Photo: DNR

DNR’s latest economic forecast makes only minor revisions to the department’s revenue expectations for upcoming quarters — which is not particularly good news. The November 2011 DNR Economic and Revenue Forecast raises the department’s expected revenue from timber for the 2011-13 Biennium by 1 percent from the previous outlook. Projected timber revenue in the 2013-15 Biennium is lowered slightly. DNR economists base their outlook on the probability that the U.S. housing market will not see a significant recovery for several years. They also anticipate an easing of the hot export market to China for logs harvested from private lands (state law prohibits export of unprocessed logs from state trust lands). 

DNR also generates revenue for state trusts from other sources, including agricultural leasing, aquatic leases, commercial sites and other sources, but timber sales account for a substantial majority of the total revenues.

With this latest forecast, DNR raises its anticipated timber revenues for the 2011-2013 Biennium from $359.5 million to $361.5 million. The Forecast, which is published quarterly, also lowers the expected revenue for the 2013-2015 Biennium by 5 percent, from $403.3  to $384.9 million. A substantial portion of these revenues go to state trust land beneficiaries including public school construction, universities and several counties.

Read more details in the full report and summary

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Off-and-on closures along part of Tiger Mountain Trail

November 14, 2011

state trust forestA timber harvest called KarisRun is scheduled on Tiger Mountain about 2 miles northwest of Highway 18. The timber sale contract also involves road work and replacing culverts with a bridge over a fish-bearing stream.

To protect public safety during the scheduled work and timber removal, Tiger Mountain Trail is temporarily closed from Middle Tiger Trail to the West Side Road. Alternative trails have been provided and rerouted to allow movement through the area. Tiger Mountain Trail in the harvest area is scheduled to reopen November 9 and reclose again in April to continue the harvest. It may seem inconvenient to hikers, but Tiger Mountain is a working forest.

Most of the forest is state trust lands, which are managed to earn revenue for specific trust beneficiaries. In this case KarisRun timber sale on Tiger is on State Forest trust and Scientific School trust lands. This means that part of the much-needed funds will go to county services and education in King County, and part will go to Washington State University.

Reaching more goals than just cutting some trees

When DNR foresters design a timber sale, they not only earn revenue for the trusts, but can accomplish many goals. (more…)

DNR’s latest economic forecast lowers revenue expectations

October 19, 2011
log piles in snow

The delayed recovery of the U.S. housing market will keep DNR timber stumpage prices down over the next two to three years. Photo: Danielle Munzing/DNR.

Released in final form this week, the September 2011 DNR Economic and Revenue Forecast lowers the department’s expected revenue from timber and several other natural resources for the 2011-13 and 2013-15 bienniums. DNR economists say the delayed recovery of the U.S. housing market could keep timber stumpage prices down for the next two to three years. 

Largely as a result of lower prices for timber, DNR lowered its forecast of timber revenues for the 2011-2013 Biennium by $18.1 million (five percent) to $359.5 million. The Forecast, which is published quarterly, also lowered expected revenue for the 2013-2015 Biennium by $6.6 million (two percent) to $403.3 million. A substantial portion of the revenue DNR generates goes to state trust land beneficiaries including public school construction, universities and several counties.

Read more details in the full report and summary 

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Recreation Alert: Timber harvest activities in Yacolt Burn State Forest may affect your plans

August 15, 2011
Bells Mountain Trail map

Click on the map for a larger view of area

Beginning immediately, the Bells Mountain Trail in the northwest part of the Yacolt Burn State Forest is temporarily closed during the week to recreation due to an active timber harvest beginning around mile 4.

The non-motorized trail is open on weekends.

You can access the Bells Mountain Trail from the north through Moulton Falls County Park or from the south by DNR-managed Cold Creek Campground.

Another timber harvest is taking place near the Cold Creek Campground and Day-use Area. This harvest will not create any closures, but it may affect traffic. Expect delays for up to 15 minutes on the 1300 Road. Flaggers will be on duty to manage heavy truck and public vehicle traffic.

For more information, contact Jessica Kimmick, 360-852-3390.

>> Download a map of the Tarbell, Bells Mountain trail system

 The timber harvest activity will continue until further notice.
>> Get updates on trail and facility closures and re-openings in Yacolt Burn State Forest.

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Recreation alert: Sections of Sadie Creek ORV trail and road temporarily closed

August 11, 2011
Sadie Creek temporary closure

Sections of Sadie Creek ORV Trail and PA-S 1000 Road are closed due to timber harvest activity. Click on the map for a larger view of the area.

Sections of a road and a trail in the Sadie Creek Off-road Vehicle (ORV) trail system are temporarily closed due to timber harvest activity in the area. For public safety reasons, DNR often closes access to certain areas of forests during timber harvests, especially areas that are popular for outdoor recreation. The Sadie Creek ORV Trailhead is located 8 miles west of Joyce, off Highway 112 in Clallam County.

What’s closed?
The Sadie Creek Trail closure begins where it intersects with the southern end of the PA-S 1300 Road in the southern part of the forest. The trail is closed all the way east to the southern end of the PA- S 1000 Road. The PA-S 1000 Road is closed up to north where it intersects with the PA-S 1450 Road. View a map.

Riders can still access the PA-S 1000 Road from the north via the PA-S 1450 Road.

How long will the trail and road sections be closed?
They are closed until further notice. We’ll update the Olympic Region Web page and post the reopening information on DNR’s blog. For more information, contact Wayne Fitzwater at 360-457-2570 ext. 222.

Timber harvests and recreation
Timber harvest activity on forested state trust lands can sometimes affect recreation access. It’s always good practice to be extra cautious while recreating on forest roads. Log trucks don’t stop quickly. Check DNR’s website for updates about timber activity impacts to recreation on DNR-managed lands at www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation

Do you have your Discover Pass yet?
The pass is your ticket to recreation access on nearly 7 million acres of state lands. Find out more at: discoverpass.wa.gov.

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Recreation Alert: Be extra cautious in Ahtanum State Forest this summer – timber harvest begins Monday

June 24, 2011
Picnickers and log trucks at Tree Phones Campground.

A log truck travels past Tree Phones Campground in Ahtanum State Forest. Photo: Toni Droscher/DNR

Beginning Monday, June 27, outdoor recreationists heading to Ahtanum State Forest can expect to encounter heavy equipment traffic as a timber harvest gets into full swing.

This summer, expect anywhere from 20 to 30 log or chip trucks each day, as well as road graders and water trucks. Always yield to these vehicles. They are big, and they don’t stop quickly.

Harvest activity will affect traffic near the Tree Phones Campground, along the Middle Fork Ahtanum Road to Tampico.

For safety reasons, DNR is closing the large parking area at Tree Phones Campground for use as a staging area for the chip trucks. You can still camp at Tree Phones Campground during the timber harvest.

The timber harvest will continue through late October, depending on weather conditions. Ahtanum State Forest is 30 miles west of Yakima.

If you have a CB radio, monitor channel 14 for truck traffic updates. For more information, contact Ken McNamee, DNR’s Southeast Region Alpine District Manager, 509-925-0937 (office); 509-899-2883 (mobile); or ken.mcnamee@dnr.wa.gov.

Wondering about other recreation areas?
DNR updates its web site with information about seasonal and temporary closures as well as other information you need to plan your outdoor adventure. Visit www.dnr.wa.gov/recreation.

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Recreation Alert: Timber sales will affect access to some trails on Tiger Mountain beginning Friday

June 23, 2011

Beginning tomorrow, Friday, June 24, timber harvest activity on state trust lands in the Tiger Mountain area will require DNR to temporarily close some trails. As a result of the harvest, traffic will increase on a forest road used for launch access by the paragliding community. The closures will likely continue from May to October this summer and next summer.

What you need to know
Road construction and timber harvest will require DNR to temporarily close a 1.6 mile section of the Tiger Mountain Trail from the Middle Tiger Trail junction south towards the West Side Road (#1000) trail junction. 

The Karisrun timber sale may also require DNR to temporarily close a segment of the West Side Road (#1000), just west of the Iverson Railroad Grade Trail, for a new road bridge installation over Holder Creek. 

Short-term, temporary closures of the west end of the Iverson Railroad Grade Trail may also be required during installation of the road bridge.

We will provide updated information on the timber sale and how it affects recreation access.

Alternate routes
Please use the Middle Tiger Trail and travel the West Side Road (#1000) to bypass the segment of the Tiger Mountain Trail closure. Be cautious and aware of truck and heavy equipment traffic on the West Side Road (#1000) Road.

Timber sales and recreation
Timber activity on state trust lands can sometimes affect recreation access. It’s always good practice to be extra cautious while recreating on forest roads. Log trucks don’t stop quickly.  You can check the web for updates about timber activity and recreation on DNR-managed lands at www.wa.gov/recreation. 

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Wood-based biofuels for aviation in the news

May 26, 2011
slash pile

Some of the logging 'slash' and other wood residues left after timber harvests could be converted into fuel for aviation. Photo: DNR.

Using forest biomass to create cleaner, sustainable energy — including jet fuel — is an emerging technology well suited to the Pacific Northwest. A news story on KLPU-FM describes the efforts of Sustainable Aviation Fuels Northwest, a regional consortium exploring the opportunities in producing sustainable aviation fuels.

A guest editorial from the consortium in The Olympian today describes the policy steps of developing a viable Northwest aviation biofuels industry.

The effort got a major boost in mid April when the 2011 Washington Legislature passed a bill authorizing DNR to develop a demonstration program to generate aviation biofuel from wood waste and mill residue. At a biomass conference in January, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark detailed the aviation biofuel component of DNR’s Forest Biomass Initiative, noting that jet fuel would be one of the highest and best uses for residual forest biomass.

DNR is conducting a forest biomass assessment to determine what volume of biomass from Washington forests is both economically and ecologically available.

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