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Featured Article

Opinion: We have a land management problem, not a fire problem 

Opinion: We have a land management problem, not a fire problem 

While reasonable people might disagree on any number of issues, we agree that Theodore Roosevelt was right. Our public lands belong to all Americans and are best managed under federal protection. Roosevelt defied convention and courageously acted to save America’s diminishing natural resources, bringing 230 million acres of public land under increased protection as national forests, refuges, parks and monuments.

He and Gifford Pinchot, whom Roosevelt appointed first chief of the U.S. Forest Service, are credited with establishing the modern “conservation ethic” by using scientific management principles that have become the bedrock of public land management policy. Indeed, their vision that conservation means promoting resource management along with strict protection is well reflected in our diverse system of national parks, forests, wilderness and public lands.

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Timber skyscrapers aren't fantasy--here's the research that proves it

Timber skyscrapers aren’t fantasy–here’s the research that proves it

For years, architects have flirted with the idea of tall buildings made from mass timber, an engineered wood product that some argue is more sustainable than resource-intensive, nonrenewable steel. “Every design firm out there is trying to find more sustainable ways to build—it’s a good business practice,” says Benton Johnson, a structural engineer at SOM. Johnson has been working with Oregon State University to develop and test these new mass-timber structural systems, hoping that his research will help mainstream what’s currently an alternative and novel construction methodology.

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Burned: poor planning and tactical errors fueled a wildfire catastrophe

Burned: poor planning and tactical errors fueled a wildfire catastrophe

The Canyon Creek fire was mismanaged despite the Forest Service being on red alert. Weather forecasters were calling for abundant lightning and strong, gusty winds. Months of drought and record-breaking summer temperatures had left the eastern Oregon forest tinder dry. Conditions were so extreme, the forest’s managers applied for and received emergency money for extra firefighting crews.

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Is conflict brewing between mass timber and concrete?

Is conflict brewing between mass timber and concrete?

Many engineering experts contend that recent technological advances have made mass timber products a safe and viable construction material for mid-rise buildings. This development promises to boost the use of timber for multi-storey projects in particular, and provide the construction industry with a sustainable, endlessly renewable building material.

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