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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Fire burns lumber mill near Athol

Fire erupted at a sawmill along U.S. 95 Wednesday morning, sending plumes of black smoke into the air and suspending operations as firefighters arrived.

Shortage of logs shuts down Usk mill

Vaagen Brothers Lumber has shut down its sawmill in Usk, Washington, as a result of a sluggish national housing market and a wildfire season that created a regional shortage of logs.

National forest logging suspended by shutdown

Federal budget troubles spilled into the woods this week, with logging contractors receiving notices to stop harvesting timber on national forests. The shutdown halted about six timber sales that Vaagen Brothers Lumber Co. had purchased on the Colville National Forest, and it could trigger future work furloughs at the company’s two sawmills in northeast Washington, said Russ Vaagen, the firm’s vice president.

Colville National Forest awards 10-year stewardship contract

The Colville National Forest has awarded a 10-year stewardship contract to a Northeast Washington sawmill owner, allowing logging in return for restoration work. Vaagen Brothers Lumber Co. was the sole bidder on the contract, which is valued at up to $30 million.

Forest has ‘too many trees’

Can cutting trees help save a forest? In northeastern Washington, a broad coalition of loggers, environmental groups, government officials and others think so. They’ve put together a forest restoration grant proposal that would step up timber harvests in the Colville National Forest over the next 20 years.

Vaagen Brothers Lumber Co. deal will reopen sawmill

Vaagen Brothers Lumber Co. plans to restart a sawmill in Midway, B.C., through a cross-border deal that should help timber workers in both the U.S. and Canada. The Midway mill had sat vacant for three years before residents in the town of 630 decided to buy it. Boundary Sawmill, the local corporation, has signed a 10-year lease with Vaagen Brothers, which will run a small-diameter log mill similar to its operation in Colville.

Proposal for Colville National Forest a collaborative effort

A proposal to designate 215,000 acres of new wilderness areas in the Colville National Forest is drawing support from a broad coalition of forest users. The plan would expand the existing Salmo-Priest Wilderness in Northeast Washington and create new wilderness along the Kettle Crest, protecting six peaks that are each over 7,000 feet tall. The acreage represents some of the most remote, untouched land left in the lower 48 states. It’s home to grizzly bears, lynx and woodland caribou. And it’s an important wildlife migration route that connects the Rocky Mountains to the Cascades, environmentalists say.