New effort to increase logging, restoration in forests

DARRINGTON, Wash. (AP) — Timber industry, conservation groups and others say a new effort will work to increase logging as well as improve forest habitat in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest near Darrington.

U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, Darrington Mayor Dan Rankin and others announced the collaborative at a news conference in Darrington Friday.

The group will work together with the U.S. Forest Service to develop thinning and logging projects that also improve salmon habitat and water quality.

The collaborative approach seeks to avoid the logging conflicts during the Northwest timber wars of the 1990s.

Leaders say the effort grew out of trust and goodwill created between conservation groups and the local community following last year's deadly Oso landslide that killed 43 people.

The effort is modeled after other forest collaborations in the Northwest.