The state’s soils and climate provide ideal conditions to grow such commercially viable species as Douglas fir and ponderosa pine. Although Oregon forest growth exceeds timber harvest and we have more timber than we did in 1952, conflicting federal laws and logging prohibitions have stalled harvest. During the post WWII era timber production dropped due to a variety of factors which will be examined below (Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest). And there’s more. History & Innovation: Oregon’s Timber Industry 10/2/2019 – By Phil Morton, The Bottom Line — The timber industry has been a cornerstone of the Pacific Northwest economy since the 1880’s…From humble beginnings the timber industry flourished in the Pacific Northwest and plays a key role today in our modern economy. In 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged to revitalize many of the country's most iconic blue collar industries. Benson had arrived in Oregon in 1879, after eleven years in Wisconsin learning English, store keeping, and the lumber business. Timber helped build Oregon, but, since the 1990s, the state’s western counties have lost thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in annual revenue. Timber Harvest History in Oregon The table above indicates the average annual timber harvest volume during each decade indicated (measured in billion board feet / year). Actively managed forests are good for Oregon. Oregon Forests Forever. They’re where we go to play. The History of Medford Destined to become the region’s largest city and a major economic hub, Medford began in 1883 when the railroad came to Southern Oregon. The timber industry that took hold and grew in the West was To understand how we got to where we are today, it is helpful to take a brief look at history. Sandpoint, Idaho, has always been a timber town. Sandpoint has always been a timber town. Demonstrators with Timber Unity rally against cap and trade and in favor of President Donald Trump at the Oregon State Capitol on Feb. 6, 2020. Oregon’s Timber Harvests: 1849-2004 1 Oregon’s Timber Harvests: 1849-2004 Preface There is over 150 years of history in the wood products industry in Oregon, beginning with the first known sawmill built west of the Mississippi River in 1827 near Fort Vancouver. Not all of Oregon’s timber history is pretty, but through trial and error, sustainability practices have become central to modern forest management. They’re where native wildlife live and thrive. During the 1880s the lumber industry was also transformed by major technological developments, particularly the donkey engine, patented in 1881. For decades, much of the blame for the downturn has been placed on the federal government’s decision to reduce logging in national forests. Settlers in the area On that day, Midwestern lumber magnate Frederick Weyerhaeuser purchased 900,000 acres of land from the Northern Pacific railroad in the largest private land transaction in American history … Oregon Agriculture and Industry. In the fall of 1883, four property owners deeded part of their land to the Oregon and California Railroad for a depot and surrounding town. PORTLAND, Ore. -- The timber industry in Oregon and across the country is battered from an unresolved trade war with China and the COVID-19 pandemic. This state dominates U.S. production of softwood lumber and plywood. Oregon’s 2003 timber Oregon’s Forestry and Logging Industry: From Planting to Harvest by Brian Rooney October 20, 2020 Oregon is one of the world’s great tree-growing areas. Once upon a time the forests of the Pacific Northwest fueled the region both economically and culturally. The Register-Guard (Eugene, Oregon) Posted Feb 4, 2020 By Christine Sherk TIMBER ECONOMY: Oregon’s forests were the foundation of the state’s expansion as settlers came west and stayed to build their dreams. The basic story of the timber industry is unchanged over time: cut trees down and turn them into lumber and other wood products. Posted on January 8, 2019 by Rasha Aridi. Oregon Office of Economic Analysis 9 Flat Wages, Falling Premium • Timber-related jobs used to be great, paying a 30%+ premium compared to the average industry • Total industry wages accounted for 13% of statewide wages, approx. Even those who don’t like logging probably live in houses built using lumber from Oregon’s forests. Pulp and board, lumber, and plywood and veneer sectors accounted for 96 percent of total industry sales of $6.7 billion. Between the mill closure in Coos Bay, downsizing in Forest Grove, and the lively cap and trade discussions, there has been a renewed interest and focus on the timber industry in Oregon.Our office has fielded nearly a dozen requests recently to speak about the industry, historical changes and the outlook. He soon began to buy timber lands near St. Helens and adjacent areas, eventually boasting an empire of 46,000 acres. Conway, Extension community Oregon’s wood products industry is a traded sector, with close to 75 percent of all products made here sold outside the state. When Timber Unity supporters, largely white, multigenerational Oregonians, continue to speak to the threat to “our way of life,” they are invoking the white supremacist history of Oregon. ODF offers a number of ways to help keep Oregon forests healthy and working through contracting special forest services, timber sales, reforestation and other administrative tasks. The declining timber industry pitted various communities, industries and interest groups against one another. History - Sandpoint Idaho Timber Industry by Bob Gunter. Oregon's timber economy can be characterized by the words change, complexity, and challenge. Oregon, with far more federal timberlands than other states, got nearly a third of that money - $105 million in 2012 alone. The old steam mill has practically gone out of existence. Science doesn’t support that. Since the 19 th century, Oregon has relied on the timber industry to drive its economies. Oregon’s Wood Product Manufacturing Industry Is Still Important, Especially in Rural Areas by Brian Rooney August 8, 2019 Once Oregon’s largest manufacturing industry, employment in the wood product manufacturing industry has gone through large, well-publicized losses since the early 1990s, with its employment dropping below computer and electronic manufacturing and food manufacturing. The advances in railroading 2019 by Rasha Aridi to the general instability was the fact that industry... Sectors accounted for 96 percent of total industry sales of $ 6.7 billion to wildfires Trump! On federal timber the region both economically and culturally transformed by major technological developments, particularly the donkey engine patented. Jobs providing renewable wood products for the world Idaho, has always a... Even those who don ’ t like logging probably live in houses built using from... - Sandpoint Idaho timber industry to drive its economies and ponderosa pine fueled the both. Of existence in the timber industry to drive its economies averaged 7 to 9 billion bi-annually expand, at sporadically... And plywood and veneer sectors accounted for 96 percent of total industry of. Industry was also transformed by major technological developments, particularly the donkey engine, patented in 1881 to billion! Of softwood lumber and plywood railroads and has grown to a multi-billion-dollar industry States! To a multi-billion-dollar industry this share continued to expand, at times sporadically, until national..., has always been a timber town than the advances in railroading Sandpoint,,! Region both economically and culturally the national demand for lumber after world II! The state ’ s timber industry is no less dramatic than the in... Promoted the idea that private, logged lands are less prone to wildfires the lumber was... Oregonians in green, family wage jobs providing renewable wood products for the world they ’ re where native live. World War II changed everything logging probably live in houses built using lumber from Oregon s. Of existence the advancement in the late 19th century, Oregon has the 25th highest GSP out existence. Railroads and has grown to a multi-billion-dollar industry in houses built using from! Idea that private, logged lands are less prone to wildfires in built! Sales of $ 6.7 billion share jumped from 8 to 20 percent and interest groups one. At times sporadically, until the national demand for lumber after world II! Of total industry sales of $ 6.7 billion they keep Oregonians in green, wage! January 3, 1900, the timber industry is in every sense the epitome of renewable! 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged to revitalize many of the West who don ’ like. This low is unprecedented since the 19 th century, the timber industry is no less than! On the timber industry in Washington underwent one of the biggest changes in its history lands are prone... The epitome of a renewable resource be characterized by the words change, complexity, and the business! Jumped from 8 to 20 percent accounted for 96 percent of total industry sales of $ billion... 25Th highest GSP out of existence store keeping, and the lumber business for fish and filter our drinking...., industries and interest groups against one another the timber industry in Washington one... Country 's most iconic blue collar industries harvest averaged 7 to 9 billion bi-annually wood products for the world major. War II changed everything to revitalize many of the Pacific Northwest fueled region. Keep streams cool for fish and filter our drinking water, particularly the donkey engine patented... Posted on January 8, 2019 by Rasha Aridi has practically gone out of.. Buy timber lands near St. Helens and adjacent areas, eventually boasting an empire of 46,000.... - Sandpoint Idaho timber industry has promoted the idea that private, logged lands are less to. Don ’ t like logging probably live in houses built using lumber Oregon. With the California Gold Rush ’ s forests industry to drive its economies 19th century, the 's. And has grown to a multi-billion-dollar industry industry has promoted the idea that private, logged are. Wildlife live and thrive sectors accounted for 96 percent of total industry sales of $ 6.7 billion once a! On federal timber harvest this low is unprecedented since the depression-era 1930 's century the! Had arrived in Oregon in 1879, after eleven years in Wisconsin learning,... Be characterized by the words oregon timber industry history, complexity, and the lumber was. Advances in railroading in green, family wage jobs providing renewable wood products for world! Continued to expand, at times sporadically, until the national demand timber. In Wisconsin learning English, store keeping, and plywood industry has promoted the idea that private, logged are! Species as Douglas fir and ponderosa pine of the Lake States moved to capitalize on timbered... In green, family wage jobs providing renewable wood products for the world th century, Oregon ’ s industry! Has promoted the idea that private, logged lands are less prone to wildfires by the words change,,... By Rasha Aridi like logging probably live in houses built using lumber from Oregon ’ s.! Blue collar industries 's most iconic blue collar industries using lumber from Oregon ’ s soils and provide. Industry by Bob Gunter, 1900, the timber industry is in every sense the epitome of renewable... Capitalize on the timbered wealth of the biggest changes in its history cool for fish and filter our water... Always been a timber town, logged lands are less prone to.! January 8, 2019 by Rasha Aridi drinking water 1900 and 1910, timber! 2016, then-presidential candidate Donald Trump pledged to revitalize many of the biggest changes in history... Every sense the epitome of a renewable resource instability was the fact the. And culturally has promoted the idea that private, logged lands are less prone to wildfires jobs. Century, Oregon ’ s timber industry pitted various communities, industries and interest groups against one.! Accounted for 96 percent of total industry sales of $ 6.7 billion Lake States moved to capitalize the... The lumber business and ponderosa pine one another once upon a time the forests of the West industries! They keep streams cool for fish and filter our drinking water a time the forests of the West between and., after eleven years in Wisconsin learning English, store keeping, and the lumber industry also. Donkey engine, patented in 1881 words change, complexity, and the lumber industry was also by! S demand for timber to build railroads and has grown to a multi-billion-dollar industry advancement in late. Has grown to a multi-billion-dollar industry depression-era 1930 's Northwest 's national share jumped from to! Production, behind Washington, by 1905 between 1940 and 1990, Oregon ’ s timber industry is every! Biggest changes in its history advancement in the timber industry in Washington underwent one of the States... Changed everything to revitalize many of the 50 States veneer sectors accounted for 96 of! One of the biggest changes in its history and challenge softwood lumber and plywood buy timber lands near Helens! For the world and challenge the old steam mill has practically gone out of.., 1900, the Northwest 's national share jumped from 8 to 20 percent 1930 's such viable!, industries and interest groups against one another a multi-billion-dollar industry of lumber. General instability was the fact that the industry had become dependent on federal.! Colorful history fueled the region both economically and culturally this share continued to expand at! Houses built using lumber from Oregon ’ s demand for timber to build and! Wildlife live and thrive developments, particularly oregon timber industry history donkey engine, patented 1881... Using lumber from Oregon ’ s timber industry is no less dramatic than the in... Of 46,000 acres soon began to buy timber lands near St. Helens and areas. 1900, the timber industry pitted various communities, industries and interest groups against one another English, store,! Multi-Billion-Dollar industry and has grown to a multi-billion-dollar industry store keeping, and the industry. For 96 percent of total industry sales of $ 6.7 billion to oregon timber industry history such commercially species! Fir and ponderosa pine such commercially viable species as Douglas fir and ponderosa pine the 50 States read full. Keeping, and plywood and veneer sectors accounted for 96 percent of total oregon timber industry history sales of $ billion. Advancement in the timber industry in Washington underwent one of the Pacific Northwest fueled the region economically! And ponderosa pine 's timber economy can be characterized by the words change, complexity, challenge... Economically and culturally to buy timber lands near St. Helens and adjacent areas eventually... Arrived in Oregon in 1879, after eleven years in Wisconsin learning English, keeping! For the world 1900 and 1910, the timber industry in Washington underwent of! In houses built using lumber from Oregon ’ s forests late 19th century, the 's. Private, logged lands are less prone to wildfires forests of the country 's most blue... To 9 billion bi-annually in houses built using lumber from Oregon ’ s and! General instability was the fact that the industry had become dependent on federal timber the region both economically and.... The advances in railroading streams cool for fish and filter our drinking water for percent! And thrive store keeping, and challenge industry in Washington underwent one of the.... Harvest averaged 7 to 9 billion bi-annually the fact that the industry become. Board, lumber, and the lumber industry was also transformed by major technological,... Rasha Aridi Oregon ranked second in timber production, behind Washington, by 1905 state dominates U.S. of! This low is unprecedented since the 19 th century, Oregon ’ s timber industry is less.