This article from the Spokane Spokesman-Review, “Colville National Forest poised to set records as both timber harvest, restoration increase,” notes that “The forest is expected to yield 120 million board feet of forest products in 2018, compared to 70 million board feet in 2017, said Colville forest supervisor Rodney Smoldon.”
“Compare that to the two years before 2017, when the forest’s output didn’t reach 50 million board feet; or since the late 1990’s, when it struggled to offer 40 million board feet per year.
“Those advances haven’t come overnight, and have spanned several White House administrations and leadership changes in Congress.
“Smoldon said he credits the advances to a mixture of local collaboration and use of innovative management tools Congress has provided, including those in the 2014 Farm Bill. Those resources were motivated, in part, by hopes of expanding forest restoration work necessary to reduce the risk of wildfire in northeast Washington.”
Lots to discuss in the article, including the words of Mike Garrity, executive director of the Wild Rockies Alliance: “corporate welfare.” His group lost in court, so far, on a challenge of the project.
Jeff Juehl, national forest chair of Upper Columbia River group of the Sierra Club, raises a good point: that the Forest Service doesn’t have the budget to monitor the contractors doing the work (Vaagen Bros.). Does the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition do some monitoring?
FYI, I picked a year at random to check past volumes — 1988, when the Colville cut 127 million BF.