As long-time readers of this blog may know, Washington’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is planning to aggressively boost logging in the state’s forests.
But yesterday a King County judge blocked the DNR’s logging plan on the grounds that it failed to adequately account for endangered species like spotted owls and steelhead. Apart from being a victory for conservationists—whose position was supported by the judge—the ruling is yet more evidence that the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) labeling isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on. (Despite weakening the definition of "old growth," reducing streamside buffers, and ratcheting up logging by 30 percent, the state still won SFI certification.)
For the time being, DNR must revert to its previous logging plan, which gives the state yet another opportunity to pursue meaningful certification—Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) labeling—for at least some of the public’s forests. For more on that, here’s an op-ed I wrote that appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer last summer.