Northwest logging

U.S. Forest Service

Loggers are packing up and leaving timber sales uncut across the Northwest as a result of the partial federal government shutdown. Timber companies say even if a deal is reached soon at the nation's Capitol, the effects from the logging hiatus could be felt all the way into next spring.

Timber companies received letters from the U.S. Forest Service telling them to cease operations after employees who oversee and inspect timber sales were furloughed.

Big Dipper 2 / Flickr

Dozens of prominent environmental groups including the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth are asking President Obama for help protecting old-growth forests in the northwest.

Steve Holmer, with the American Bird Conservancy, says a new rule designating critical habitat for the northern spotted owl has loopholes.

Restoration projects in Eastern Washington’s Colville National Forest are a model for the nation; that was the word from U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack two years ago.  

And now those efforts are netting nearly a million dollars in new federal funding.

At the same time, funding has been renewed for another project in Washington: the Tapash Sustainable Forest Collaborative, near Yakima.

Three environmental groups intend to take Oregon's Department of Forestry to court over the effect logging has on a threatened seabird.

Oregon's timber dependent counties are still hoping for a federal rescue. But they're creating contingency plans in case Congress doesn't come through with a replacement for historic timber revenue.

Officials from eight counties met with Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber Monday to discuss their options. Some counties say they could become insolvent in the next year without additional funding.

Chris Lehman / KPLU

SALEM, Ore. - The Oregon Land Board gave the go-ahead Tuesday to a plan that will dramatically ramp up logging in a state forest in the Oregon Coast Range. The action came amid protests.

Environmental groups bused in protesters from Portland and Eugene. Long-time activist Tre Arrow led the group in a sing-along outside the Land Board headquarters.

Tre Arrow: "The time is now for the people to rise up."

Medford, Ore. – The Pacific Northwest exported almost a billion board feet of unmilled logs to Asia in the first half of 2011.

That's enough to build about 70 thousand homes. It's also a 79 percent increase from 2010 exports, according to second quarter trade data just reviewed by Forest Service economist Debra Warren.