A growing economic crisis in the woods invites longer-term thinking about how we manage natural assets in the Pacific Northwest.

At the same time the chainsaws fall silent in the local forests, Weyerhaeuser and other private timberland owners are also all dressed up with no place to go. With the nation's housing market on life support following five years of runaway speculative building, some of America's best workers have been idled. For example, Weyco announced last week that it is laying off 50 of its 157-person workforce in Raymond and its mills there and in Warrenton have seen periodic shutdowns for months. Complete closures are by no means out of the question.

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