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Olympic Peninsula Collaborative

December 3rd, 2013 - 11:19am

(PORT ANGELES) Congressman Derek Kilmer announced a new coalition of commercial and environmental interests aimed at resolving some age old conflicts that have centered on the use of National Forest timberland.

During a conference call Tuesday morning, Kilmer announced the formation of the “Olympic Peninsula Collaborative”, which will bring together stakeholders from the timber industry, the environmental community along with federal and local government representatives in hopes of providing the best economic benefits to the Peninsula.

The collaborative laid out their goals to include:

· Increasing the amount of acres treated and total harvest volume produced in forest restoration projects under the Northwest Forest Plan and increasing the number and footprint of aquatic and other non-thinning related restoration projects.

· Creating a framework of agreement on the type and locations of forest restoration treatments that benefit the ecosystem and provide for increased harvest levels under the Northwest Forest Plan.

· Improving treatment effectiveness and working to reduce the time and cost required to plan and prepare projects through increased efficiencies for the Forest Service.

· Creating a framework of agreement around innovative forest practices, treatments and techniques that integrate ecological, social, and economic goals, and exploring whether the Adaptive Management Area (AMA) established under the Northwest Forest Plan provides an opportunity to test these alternative approaches.

· Collaborating on specific projects, as needed, to create an environment that reduces conflict and seeks to achieve a common vision about the future of the Olympic National Forest.

· Creating a forum for addressing any problems that stand in the way of accomplishing our stated goals with the active involvement of federal elected and agency officials.

Organizations that have joined in the collaborative include:

American Forest Resource Council American Whitewater Cosmo Specialty Fibers Green Creek Wood Products Interfor Merrill & Ring The Mountaineers Murphy Company Olympic Park Associates Olympic Forest Coalition Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society Pew Charitable Trusts Sierra Pacific Industries Simpson Lumber Company Washington Wild Wild Olympics Campaign

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