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|Articles - April 2013|
|Monday, April 01, 2013|
Page 1 of 4
BY DAN COOK
In John Day last August, the Ochoco Lumber Company was looking for allies to help keep its milling operations open. Steve Pedery, conservation director for Oregon Wild, was there to lend his support. Pedery had spent years at odds with timber companies. In eastern Oregon, however, a consensus around forest management has been building among politicians, wood products companies, environmentalists and local communities. Pedery is among those on the conservation side (including the Nature Conservancy) who believe an increased timber harvest on federal lands will lead to healthier forests. So he was happy to ally himself and his organization with the timber company.
But in western Oregon, prospects for such a coalition remain dim. “There will continue to be this knock-down, drag-out fight in western Oregon over the logging of large- diameter trees,” he says.
Most people associated with the attempts to balance logging and environmental concerns in Oregon’s forests agree with Pedery: Progress will be made in the east while gridlock will prevail in the west. That there has been any movement at all toward a consensus can largely be attributed to the efforts of U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. He has persistently pushed for federal legislation to open up federal forestlands to more timber harvesting.
Now, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, he has the power to steer a groundbreaking forest-management bill first introduced three years ago through the committee and onto the floor of the Senate. There, chances are good that it will be positively received. If Wyden can drive his plan, called the “Oregon Eastside Forests Restoration, Old Growth Protection, and Jobs Act,” through the legislative process, Oregon may at last have a road map for where the state’s wood products industry is headed. But the likelihood is that the drama will unfold very differently in the two halves of the state.
The efforts of Gov. John Kitzhaber must be recognized as well. Kitzhaber has become the champion of timber interests and rural communities ravaged by the industry’s decline. He has offered a “menu” of actions and policies designed to lead to increased harvesting, especially in the west. But Kitzhaber’s strategy remains more a theoretical range of options than a concrete plan. While it has inspired hope in the hearts of many who advocate for more felled trees, it has yet to take any actionable shape.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER
Les Schwab has put a premium on customer service since 1952, when legendary namesake Les Schwab founded the company with one store in Prineville. (Schwab died in 2007.) But if the corporate principles remain essentially the same, the world around this iconic Oregon business has changed dramatically.
Tuesday, April 08, 2014
BY HANNAH WALLACE | OB BLOGGER
It may be obvious, but most farmers don’t make a lot of money. According to preliminary data from the 2012 Agriculture Census, 52% of America’s 2.1 million principal farm-operators don’t call farming their primary occupation. Farm cooperatives may offer a solution.
Thursday, March 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB WEB EDITOR
Watch this OB Original Video about three Oregon companies and how crowd-funding "kickstarted" their business ideas.
Tuesday, February 25, 2014
BY JAKE THOMAS
An ancient institution moves slowly into the digital age.
Tuesday, March 04, 2014
BY DEBRA RINGOLD | GUEST CONTRIBUTOR
How can we strengthen the performance of institutions charged with teaching what Francis Fukuyama calls the social virtues (reciprocity, moral obligation, duty toward community, and trust) necessary for successful markets and democracy itself?
Friday, March 28, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
The next mysterious (or disastrous) event could be one that you or your team might suddenly need to respond to, probably under intense scrutiny.
Thursday, February 27, 2014
Our 100 Best Companies project turned 21 this year, so pop open the Champagne. Our latest survey gives us plenty to cheer.
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