Colville National Forest and the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition Celebrate 15 years of success in the woods

Colville, Wash. (November 30, 2017) – The Colville National Forest (CNF) and the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition (NEWFC) celebrated 15 years of working together to make the Colville National Forest a healthy, productive forest while providing forest products to our local communities.

Prior to 2002, the management of the CNF was mired in gridlock and controversy. That has since changed as an alliance of timber companies, conservationists, business owners, and forestry professionals came together to find common ground and to move forward with new solutions to forest management problems. Together, this partnership has improved forest health, designed and implemented forest restoration and fuels reduction projects that demonstrate innovative approaches to forestry on over 360,000 acres of the CNF.

“It hasn’t always been easy, but the hard work by everyone involved with this process has moved the Colville towards a Forest that will continue to provide clean air and water, recreation, wildlife habitat and economic opportunities for our region. The success of the projects crafted together has proven that this model works,” said Rodney Smoldon, Colville National Forest Supervisor.

This model has demonstrated how a diverse coalition of stakeholders can work together to successfully promote restoration forestry and community protection from wildfire while protecting the values of conservation for future generations.

"Over the past 15 years NEWFC has come together and found common ground on forest restoration and in helping the communities surrounding the Colville National Forest. I believe our collaborative work is a great model that has helped establish collaboration across the national forest system," said Mike Petersen, Executive Director of the Lands Council.

The coalition continues to meet regularly to take on the challenge of restoring the health, diversity and productivity of the Colville National Forest for future generations.

“Work that’s worth doing is often hard yet rewarding. The collaborative efforts we’ve put forward with NEWFC, the Forest Service, and the community at large has been incredibly rewarding as we make a lasting impact on our forests and communities. Our forests and communities will benefit for generations from this important work,” added Russ Vaagen, President of the Northeast Washington Forestry Coalition.

In November, the Coalition recognized the CNF staff for excellence in collaboration. NEWFC specifically recognized Three Rivers District Ranger, Josh White for going “above and beyond” in his dedication to the collaborative process. The Colville National Forest, NEWFC, and other community groups continue to work to develop ways to improve the pace and scale of forest restoration while striving to improve all interests on the forest.

For more information on NEWFC please visit:

Rodney Smoldon CNF Forest Supervisor (center) receives award from Mike Petersen, Executive DirectorJosh White CNF Three-Rivers District Ranger (center) receives award from Russ Vaagen (left), NEWFC