New Effort Forms Over Olympic National Forest

oldgrowthSeveral environmental and timber groups are forming a partnership to find ways to boost timber harvests in Olympic National Forest while also improving forest health. U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer on Tuesday announced the formation of the Olympic Peninsula Collaborative.

The Democrat from Gig Harbor says it will attempt to build consensus and avoid previous bitter disputes between the timber industry and environmentalists over the use of Northwest forests.

The collaborative will look for the most efficient ways to increase timber harvests and provide economic benefits while also improving forest habitats and environmental conditions.

More than a dozen groups are on board, including the Olympic Forest Coalition, the Mountaineers and American Forest Resource Council.

The Olympic National Forest is managed by the U.S. Forest Service.

December 3, 2013/AP