Logging moratorium in slide areas could be coming

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by DREW MIKKELSEN / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @Drewmikk

KING5.com

Posted on May 13, 2014 at 6:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, May 13 at 7:08 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. - The state board that sets logging and construction rules in forests Tuesday discussed establishing a ban on timber harvests in potential landslide areas.

But Forest Practices Board Chair Aaron Everett said he wanted Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson to determine if the board has the power to implement a moratorium.

Board member Dave Somers, who also is on the Snohomish County Council, brought up the idea in the wake of the Oso landlide in March.

It has not been determined if logging in the area above the slide zone contributed to the landslide which killed at least 41.

"I personally believe there are some places in the landscape where we have very high risk," said Somers.

Mark Doumit, Executive Director for the Washington Forest Protection Association, said a ban would be premature and unnecessary.

The board also discussed reviewing rules for logging in landslide areas, expanding the state's database for lidar maps and finding better ways to inform the public of landslide dangers.

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