Andy Kerr

Conservationist, Writer, Analyst, Operative, Agitator, Strategist, Tactitian, Schmoozer, Raconteur

Western Oregon BLM Federal Public Forestlands:

Nine Dinosaurs: Problematic Large-Log Mills in Western Oregon

Tom Tuchmann, the special advisor to the Governor on federal forest issues, has said that the Governor wants to keep all remaining sawmills open. As there are nine very-large-log mills in Western Oregon stuck in the past, the only way to do that is to produce very large logs that come from very large trees that come from very old forests on federal public lands.

The following is the executive summary of Logjam: Nine Oregon Logging Mills Stuck in the Past, authored by Andy Kerr, Senior Counselor, Oregon Wild with additional text by Sean Stevens, then the Communications Associate now the Executive Director of Oregon Wild:

The Oregon logging industry has changed many times since the first mills were built in the 1800s. Technological advancements, job outsourcing, booms and busts in the housing market, environmental safeguards, raw log exports, and shifting public opinion have all played a role. Today, logging companies and timber mills no longer have a social license to cut and process old trees. Unfortunately, some still try.

This report outlines nine Oregon logging mills that represent the greatest threat to remaining old-growth forests and the myriad benefits these forests provide. These nine mills process very large logs – in some cases specifically claiming that no log (and therefore no tree) is too big. These mills are stuck in the past.

As ecological restoration thinning of smaller diameter trees continues to gain acceptance among conservationists and forward thinking logging companies, these nine old-growth processing mills will grow more and more out of touch. It is time for these mills to retool and refocus on forest management that everyone can support.

Here are the nine dinosaurs by name, town, county and congressional district:

• C&D Lumber Company, Riddle, Douglas County, 4th.
• D.R. Johnson Lumber Company, Riddle, Douglas County, 4th.
• Herbert Lumber Company, Riddle, Douglas County, 4th
• Hull-Oakes Lumber Company, Monroe, Benton County, 4th
• Oregon Overseas Timber Company, Inc., Bandon, Coos County, 4th.
• Rough and Ready Lumber Company, Cave Junction, Josephine County, 4th.
• Starfire Lumber Company, Inc. Cottage Grove, Lane County, 4th.
• Swanson Brothers Lumber Company, Noti, Lane County, 4th.
• Zip-o-Log Mills, Inc., Eugene, Lane County, 4th.

As every one of the mills has a zip code that starts with 974, the problem is quite localized.