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In The News
Douglas County Mill Owner Passes Away
On Thanksgiving Day, D.R. Johnson passed away at the age of 83. Johnson was the owner of D.R. Johnson Lumber Company in Riddle, Ore. The company started small in 1951, with one mill in Riddle, and 10 employees producing 30,000 board feet of lumber a day.
Today, the organization consists of six affiliated companies staffed by 400 employees, with a daily production of one million board feet.
Douglas County Commissioner Doug Robertson says, "D.R. was known as a tough businessman, hard-nosed, could be a bit gruff at times," said Robertson. "But under that exterior, he had an enormous capacity for generosity towards individuals who needed help, certainly a compassionate commitment to his community, to his country. He gave very generously of his resources."
Big Biomass Facility in La Pine
A 25-megawatt biomass plant looks like it will be coming to Oregon. The $60 million La Pine Biomass plant will be built at the Finley Butte Industrial Park.
"There are a few different reasons why we need that plant," said Rob Broberg of Bio-Green Sustainable Energy. "From an environmental standpoint, we have timberlands that have been mismanaged and some adverse conditions created on them by dense pine populations that don't allow for optimum wood growth.They end up creating significant ladder fuels for forest fires."
Some interesting facts about the project: 99 percent of the pollutants will be removed before emissions vent; 20 percent of the cost of the project is dedicated to pollution control; up to 25 jobs will be created; and $1.3 million will be spent annually in the local economy.
U.S. Moves to Reopen Softwood Lumber Dispute
In October, the U.S. government initiated consultation under the U.S.-Canada Softwood Lumber Agreement regarding violations of the terms of the agreement by British Columbia.
Springboard, a WCLA publication, reports, "At issue are British Columbia's practices that have led to a dramatic reduction of stumpage costs for B.C. Interior lumber producers through a massive increase in the share of logs classified as "Grade 4" and, therefore, eligible for the minimum stumpage rate of C$0.25 cents per cubic meter. The additional subsidy provided by this violation is worth hundreds of millions of dollars and represents a clear circumvention of the Softwood Lumber Agreement that must be addressed and remedied."
B.C. officials argue that it is the same market-based pricing system that was written into the softwood lumber agreement, which both countries agreed to.
Housing Starts Rise in September
Single family housing starts across the nation were up 4.4 percent in September.
Overall, things are looking good. Housing starts are up 28 percent from their bottom in April 2009. However, they are still down 73 percent from their peak in January 2006 and 40 percent below the 1 million annual rate that analysts say is consistent with a healthy housing market.
Although the demand for new homes is on the rise, the big obstacle is credit. "A major limiting factor for a housing recovery continues to be builders' inability to access credit for new construction," says Bob Jones, chairman of the National Association of Home Builders.
Closing Doors after 91 years
Idaho-based Lloyd Lumber will close its doors after a 91-year run. Falling housing prices and a construction slump are to blame.
Lloyd Lumber had planned for a new location on Karcher Road, but that plan recently fell through.
"We needed a couple of things to happen that didn't happen, so rather than keep fighting this economy, we decided to close up shop and liquidate," said Bob Jacobsen, owner of the longtime Nampa firm. "It's a little tough to do, you know, when you're a 90-year-old company. We just can't ride the economic downturn any longer."
Lloyd Lumber was started by Northwest Nazarene University founder Eugene Emerson in 1919.
McGraw-Hill Construction Forecasts Recovery in Building
McGraw-Hill Construction is forecasting that in 2011, the value of new projects that start construction will climb to $445.5 billion -- an eight percent rise from 2010.
The forecast goes on to predict more new development of single-family houses, apartment buildings, and commercial properties, but less building of new highways, bridges, and other public works due to federal stimulus monies waning.
These numbers don't come close to the 2006 high of $689.3 billion, but in this economy, any increase is good news.
Oregon Prepares for Climate Change
The Oregon Department of Forestry is making climate change a part of their plan for reducing future forest fires.
The Mail Tribune reported that the department has been working with foresters and landowners, encouraging them to plant native trees that are drought and fire resistant.
The ODF isn't the only organization planning ahead when it comes to climate change. Both the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service are also looking for ways to make forests more resilient to those changes.
$71 million Biomass Cogeneration Project
The Peninsula Daily News reported that the Port Angeles, Wash., City Council upheld a decision allowing Nippon Paper Industries USA to continue toward its $71 million biomass cogeneration project.
Nippon is far from finished when it comes to permitting. It still needs air quality permits from the state, and waste discharge, stormwater and building permits from the city.
The cogeneration project is expected to produce steam for paper production and about 20 megawatts of electricity, said Nippon's attorney Thomas Backer.
The power will be put back into the Bonneville Power Administration's grid, earning credits for the paper mill, said Harold Norlund, mill manager.
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