Hillary Frantz is the head of the Washington State Commission of Public Lands and she is working diligently to find ways to shorten the state’s forest-fire season, with a special focus on Eastern Washington. To that end she has developed and is executing a 20-year forest health plan to restore 1.25 million acres of land by removing dead, dying and diseased trees, underbrush and trimming dead branches to prevent canopy fires. Those dead or diseased trees and trees of a smaller diameter often are discarded or ignored by timber mills as useless, because they cannot be converted into boards, Franz says. However, a new building material that is rapidly gaining popularity in the U.S. may hold the key to eliminating that waste. The new building material? Cross-Laminate Timbers (CLT). Working with both of Eastern Washington’s CLT manufactures, Vaagen Timber and Katerra Inc., Frantz has found working partners to help consume the source of forest-fires materials and at the same time to help to continue to develop an environmentally friendly building product.
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