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Collaboration Spurs Economic Growth

Monitoring demonstrates projects
that are good for our forests and economy

Colville, WA – Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition, a broad coalition that includes Vaagen Brothers Lumber, Columbia Cedar, Avista Utilities, Ponderay Newsprint, conservation groups, and other independent foresters and businesses, met with Colville National Forest Service officials in the field October 7 and 8 to review outcomes of completed collaborative projects in the Burnt Valley area east of Chewelah, and Bangs Mountain Project in eastern Ferry County.

“Both projects looked great,” said Coalition member Dick Dunton, a 35-year veteran of the DNR’s fire management program. “Our monitoring tours confirmed for all of us that we are on the right track to restore healthy forests and maintain a vibrant timber industry here in northeast Washington .”

Because the Coalition uses a collaborative, science-based approach, projects with the Coalition’s stamp of approval have received broader public support and have moved through the public process much more quickly, resulting in more wood getting to local mills in a timely way, while protecting clean water, forest health, and important wildlife habitat.

“The Coalition has helped streamline the process and literally save taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars,” said Lloyd McGee, president of the Forestry Coalition. “Our team of forestry professionals has collectively more than 120 years of forestry experience. Our interest is providing leadership to resolve forest management problems which is good for our forests and economy.”

The Bangs and Burnt Valley projects are two of over twenty projects the Coalition has collaborated on since the group was formed six years ago. The Malo-Eastlake Project in central Ferry County was the largest of these projects. Working with Colville National Forest officials, the coalition helped develop project objectives to reduce wildfire risk, restore healthy forests and improve wildlife habitat across 6,900 acres. Read the Bangs Mt / Burnt Valley Monitoring Report: CLICK HERE

According to McGee, the total economic value of the Malo-Eastlake and other coalition projects exceeds $50 million, with the Malo-Eastlake project alone expected to produce approximately $3.25 million of economic activity and additional forestry employment in Ferry County .

“Many of those dollars stay in local communities in the form of wages for loggers, mill workers, truck drivers, foresters, and other contractors, which supports hundreds of other jobs,” said McGee.

A recent economic analysis of the Coalition’s timber management proposal for the Colville National Forest conducted by Headwaters Economics found that “assuming a ration of 11 jobs/mmbf, the range of jobs from an additional 20-40 mmbf of timber harvested from the region’s National Forests could create anywhere from 220 to 440 new jobs in the wood products industry.” The report is available at Headwaters Economics, at the link below. For more information, contact Lloyd McGee president of the Coalition at (509) 680-1468.