POINT OF VIEW: Economy, taxing districts lose after timber harvest decision


Peninsula Daily News

DUE TO THE state Department of Natural Resources increasing marbled murrelet habitat conservation, Clallam County will see significantly lower timber harvests from state-owned timber lands through 2024 — and still lower harvests in the following decades.

There will be fewer harvest contracts for local logging companies, a diminished log supply to local mills, and fewer high-paying jobs for the forest products, transportation, and industrial products and services industries in Clallam County.

That puts downward pressure on our overall economy, on school enrollment numbers, and means not only decreased timber harvest revenues to local governments, but also smaller sales and harvest excise tax revenues.

We’ve seen this dreary movie before. Conservation efforts for the northern spotted owl resulted in dramatically lower federal and state timber harvests, with resulting dramatic negative impacts for our forest products industry.

Obviously, habitat preservation efforts to save the spotted owl have not yielded expected results. The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is now killing the barred owl, a competitive species, to decrease pressure on spotted owls. The jury’s still out on whether Olympic Peninsula spotted owl numbers will stabilize, let alone recover.