We’ve written quite a bit lately about “fire borrowing” — what happens when the Forest Service runs out of the funds it’s budgeted for firefighting, which are based on average wildfire costs over the last 10 years. Then it’s forced to start dipping into money meant for other programs, including those intended to reduce the risk and intensity of wildfires. Agency chief Tom Tidwell recently told the Coloradoan, “The reality of the last two years — and where we’ll be headed this year — is that we have to use almost all the (prevention) funding (to pay for firefighting instead). This is also the time of the year we do a lot of the planning for next year. That planning (won’t) get done.”Continue
After a weeklong trial in Missoula County District Court, a jury announced a nearly $17 million verdict in favor of a Missoula-based logging company and against its lender, First Interstate Bank. Kelly Logging Inc. alleged that First Interstate took $762,000 out of its checking account to pay off a note that was current, was not due and had not matured.
A U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) ruling is expected to benefit the nation’s forest products industry through a new preference in a government program for purchases of bio-based products. The USDA’s BioPreferred Program requires every federal agency to give a procurement preference to designated items composed of bio-based products…
The logging company many hope will protect forested communities from catastrophic wildfires continues to struggle to marshal a massive effort, but hasn’t yet cut much, participants at a conference on Forest Health learned. Steve Horner, who is seeking to fulfill the biggest forest restoration contract in Forest Service history, said Good Earth has permission to cut some 15,000 acres already and expects another 10,000 in task orders shortly.