Blog

Oct 28 2020

Western Juniper - Sustaining Oregon Communities

By Lynn Morgan

Western Juniper - Sustaining Oregon Communities

The first in a series of virtual events, Sustainable NW Wood is hosting Sustainable Wood Stories featuring the unique qualities of Pacific NW wood species, their origins, customer projects, local suppliers, environmental challenges facing our society,  and methods our industry is using to address them. 

Western Juniper lumber is gaining a reputation with gardeners, landscape architects and contractors for its natural rot resistance, durability, and rustic beauty. Eastern Oregonians live in the midst of encroaching forests of ‘native-invasive’ Juniper, which has taken over much of the rangeland ecosystems due to decades of fire suppression. In an already arid climate, this thirsty tree has displaced the habitat of the threatened Greater Sage Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Responsible removal of Juniper is helping restore the grasslands, returning water to important tributary streams, improving habitat for wildlife and humans alike, and simultaneously providing economic opportunities for both rural and urban Oregonians.

Juniper lumber is being harvested by a dozen small, family-owned sawmills in Eastern Oregon and finds its way to our lumberyard in SE Portland by the truckload on a regular basis.  The Sustainable Northwest Wood team is honored to be a bridge between our rural and urban communities,  between ecosystems and the built environment, and to provide a service to those in need of ways to nourish and sustain their families in these challenging times.

Come hear stories from (in order of appearance)

  • Dr Tony Svejcar, Ph.D. -  Rangeland Ecologist, Eastern Oregon Agricultural Research Center  (1:48 - 13:15)
  • Herb Winters - Gilliam Soil & Water Conservation District  (13:39 - 16:20)
  • Damon Brosnan - USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (16:20-23:15)
  • Chris Gannon -  Crooked River Watershed Council  (23:30 - 29:50)
  • Jim Epley - owner of JNB Sawmill, Wheeler Counter Oregon (30.03 - 33:22)
  • Levi Littrell - owner Levi's Sawmill Services, La Pine, Oregon  (33:29 - 43:00)
  • Jennifer Hake -  homeowner & Juniper enthusiast Beaverton, Oregon (44:00 - 50:43
  • Jim Desmond - The Nature Conservancy - Portland, Oregon  (51:05 - 58:31)
  • Moderator:  Terry Campbell, Sustainable Northwest Wood, Portland OR