Responsible Timber Harvest

A balanced approach on O&C lands, while including protections of special places, clean drinking water and wildlife habitats, must also include responsible timber harvest. Timber is an important contributor to our state’s economy and any plan for the O&C lands should recognize that reality.   

For decades in the Northwest, we clearcut our ancient forests, believing that we could reestablish our forests and the species that lived there.  As we learned more and realized more of the damaging impacts that our actions had on our forests, wildlife, and clean water, we learned to change.  We can harvest more selectively and preserve habitat while still economically harvesting trees.   Responsible timber practices can ensure a predictable, sustainable supply of timber and forest products while also protecting our natural heritage.  We have examples of these types of practices throughout the state and we need to replicate them on the O&C lands.

The great thing about our timber industry is that it is adaptable.  It is managed by people who care for the land.   Many of them are hunters and fishermen.  They enjoy the outdoors and cherish the wild areas of our state.  They want wildlife to flourish and clean water for everyone to drink.  The industry has adapted to severely reduced timber harvests and survived.  But there is a better way to manage our timberlands, somewhere between “no harvest” and “clearcutting.”  Working together, we can find that careful balance.

At the end of the day, any plan must ensure a predictable, sustainable supply of timber and other forest products to help maintain the stability of local and regional economies, and contribute to supporting healthy, vibrant communities.

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Protecting the O&C Lands