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Writings by Andrea Watts

Articles on sustainable forestry, agriculture, and other topics

I-5 Improvements Ease Congestion

Construction Equipment Guide
September 2, 2016

Since the I-5 Madigan Access Improvement project’s start in October 2015, drivers traveling the stretch of I-5 alongside Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) had to contend with nighttime lane closures while users of Berkeley Street had to navigate construction on the southbound off-ramp and across the Freedom Bridge. With the construction finally completed in early July, drivers now have a safer southbound commute and are experiencing improved eastbound traffic flow into the Madigan Army Medical Center. Read more…

Broadway Bridge Replacement Under Way in Boise

Construction Equipment Guide
May 16, 2016

Broadway Avenue is billed as the gateway into Boise, and this gateway is receiving a makeover with the construction of a new Broadway Bridge that is slated to open later this fall. Since fall 2012, the Idaho Transportation Department (ITD) has shepherded this $20.2 million-dollar project through its design and environmental review phases, and earlier this year, construction finally began. Read more…

Flows of the Future: How will climate change affect streamflows in the Pacific Northwest?

U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Science Findings
July 2016

Much of the water supply in the Pacific Northwest originates in national forests. It sustains the region’s aquatic ecosystems, agriculture, hydroelectric power, and community water supplies. Understanding how climate change will affect water supply is one of the most pressing issues of our time.

Substantial changes are projected in the types of precipitation (rain vs. snow) that will fall in the region, as are smaller, but potentially important, changes in the total annual precipitation. Combined with earlier snowmelt, these changes could cause decreased summer streamflows, and some high-elevation streams may dry up. Read more…

Transitioning to the Next Generation

TimberWest
May/June 2016

After 35 years, R.L. Smith Logging has seen it all. The next challenge will be passing on the torch. Read more…

New Weyerhaeuser Headquarters Set to Open in August


Construction Equipment Guide
June 10, 2016

Weyerhaeuser will become downtown Seattle’s newest tenant when the company moves into its brand-new corporate headquarters in the coming months. This eight-story building is billed by Urban Visions, the Seattle-based real estate development firm responsible for the project, as “a keystone project for Pioneer Square.” Pioneer Square is a historic neighborhood currently undergoing a revitalization due to an influx of people and businesses moving to Seattle. For Greg Smith, president of Urban Visions, this building is a culmination of nearly 15 years of patience and envisioning the potential of the surface parking lot at 200 Occidental. Read more…

Drew Logging Fills the Thinning Niche

TimberWest
March/April 2016

Preston Drew says he “just slid into the industry.” Cutting firewood in high school turned into a career path that he hasn’t been able to shake. Forty years later, even after experiencing all the ups and downs in the industry and reinventing himself so many times to keep working, Drew does not regret his career decision. “If you can get through the bumps, it’s a great business.” Read more…

Washington Removes Barriers, Improves Fish Passage


Construction Equipment Guide
April 13, 2016

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is currently improving the traffic flow for a number of Western Washington residents. Yet these residents don’t use the roadways; instead they travel in the streams flowing beneath the state’s roadways and bridges. Just as improperly designed roadways result in backups or accidents when there are too many cars on the road, so too can improperly designed culverts impend a fish’s passage downstream or upstream — and in the worst case, lead to their death. Read more…

A Furrow Horse for the Community

Acres U.S.A.
March 2016

Washington couple trades their tractor for draft horses and finds a new appreciation for an old way of farming. Read more…

Rise and shine: How do northwest trees know when winter is over?

U.S. Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station Science Findings
March 2016

Trees bursting forth with new leaves signal the arrival of spring. Budburst for most temperate tree species occurs after a tree has been exposed to a sufficient number of chilling and forcing hours over the winter. Waiting until these chilling and forcing hours have accumulated is a survival mechanism.

To identify the chilling and forcing requirements of 11 common Pacific Northwest tree species, scientists with the U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station exposed seedlings to various combinations of chilling and forcing temperatures. Read more…

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