As many have said, the Evergreen pulp mill shut-down will reverberate through our local economy. In the Sept. 5th edition of the Times-Standard, Evergreen's Rex Bohn talked about how the company was installing new machinery to help them split and chip whole tanoak logs for pulp. Green Diamond was hoping to sell them Tanoak logs for which there has previously been little demand.
Tanoaks have long been considered a pest by the timber industry after the industry ramapantly clearcut huge swaths of Humboldt forests following World War II and did next to nothing to help the land recover. The Tanoaks grew rapidly following the logging, in many areas they shaded out the formerly dominant Redwood or Douglas Fir. The Tanoaks are considered practically worthless by the industry and are usually burned, herbicided and/or cut and left to rot.
”We're able to take logs that usually just stay in the forest,” said Rex Bohn with Evergreen Pulp.
At the time of the article, Green Diamond Resource Company (GDRC)was negotiating a contract with Evergreen.
"Green Diamond Resource Co. is working on a long-term contract to provide tan oak logs to Evergreen," said company Vice President Neal Ewald.
I'm wondering how much GDRC was banking on this. I believe they have logged so rapidly that they are depleting their inventory of large second growth Redwood trees and in doing so are gambling with the future of this county. The second growth was somewhat lower quality wood then the slow growing Old-Growth Redwood but passable as a lumber product. The rapidly grown third and fourth growth Redwoods are flimsy and the wood is not red. GDRC and their ilk are destroying Redwoods reputation on the lumber market as a high quality rot resistant wood.
North Coast Journal 1/27/05:
The problem, according to (Michael) Evenson and others, stems from even-aged management, the practice of clearcutting many acres at once, replanting redwoods, then clear-cutting again as early as 40 years later.
"With their relatively short [logging] rotations, these trees aren't getting that big," says John Rogers, president of the Institute for Sustainable Forestry (ISF)"[The wood] has lots of knots [and the quality] is not that good." -source
I fear GDRC may be soon heavily reliant upon residential subdivisions to make ends meet as we saw in the final days of Pacific Lumber before the bankruptcy.
picture: Tanoaks killed with herbicide by Pacific Lumber in the Mattole.