Timber Processing magazine’s January/February 2017 issue features the 2017 Person Of The Year: Tim Biewer of Biewer Lumber Company in St. Clair, Michigan. Also featured is Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada’s Downie Timber and their diverse product offerings. A special article by Russ Vaagen of Vaagen Brothers Lumber discusses the U.S.-Canada lumber trade. Other articles cover the latest industry news, new projects and project updates, and new products and technology.
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Timber Processing magazine Associate Editor Jessica Johnson travels to St. Clair, Michigan to visit Tim Biewer of Biewer Lumber Company, our 2017 Person Of The Year. Well known for his strong leadership in a Midwestern family owned lumber business, which now includes a growth opportunity in the Southern U.S. starting up the newest and perhaps the most modern sawmill in the country, Tim Biewer of Biewer Lumber Co. is named Timber Processing’s 2017 Person Of The Year. When first contacted about the award, Biewer was hesitant in accepting it. He firmly believed he didn’t “deserve” it, saying instead it belonged to his father, Richard Biewer, who died just six weeks before the announcement was made in mid-December. Biewer credits his father for all the company’s successes over the years, pointing to the fact that if it wasn’t for the elder Biewer, the sawmill business wouldn’t exist.
Timber Processing magazine Contributing Editor Andrew Snook (Canadian Forest Industries magazine) has the opportunity to visit Downie Timber in Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada. Nestled on the Columbia River between the Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges is Gorman Bros. Lumber’s Downie Timber. The 60-plus-year-old sawmill is the 8,500-person town’s largest employer with about 300 employees between the mill and its on-site sister company, Selkirk Cedar. And with an annual sawmill consumption of more than half a million cubic meters of logs across four species, the mill sometimes needs creative ways to find its fiber. Back in 2007, when several ACC uplifts were granted to help with the mountain pine beetle epidemic, fiber was easier to secure. But those days are history, and there are many mills in the area looking for the same kinds of fiber.
Russ Vaagen of Vaagen Brothers Lumber in Colville, Washington discusses the U.S.-Canada lumber trade. Vaagen writes, “Here we go again. It’s the time where we have no lumber trade agreement between the United States and Canada. So, what does all of that mean? Who’s going to prevail? Is either side going to win? The Coalition for Fair Lumber Imports is going to see an increase in activity when prices move below $350. Prices at the start of 2017 are $359 per thousand board feet according to the Random Length Composite Average. If those prices drop, the Canadian mills will surely slow the shipments the US, right? If you’re reading this you already know the answer, but do you know why? That answer is simple and straightforward. If you’re not located near the border or doing business with Canada, you may not have been paying close attention to currencies.”
Larry Loffer, a Senior Technician at Wagner Meters, discusses the quality control on drying at Siskiyou Forest Products in Anderson, California. Loffer writes, “Siskiyou Forest Products in Anderson, Calif. is one company that disproves the old adage, “You can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” General manager Darren Duchi explains, “We buy undesirable, industrial-type grades of wood from sawmills that need to be reworked. We then eliminate knots and other imperfections and cut them up into short, clear parts. Since these parts are too short for manufacturers, we fingerjoint and glue them together lengthwise. We also take that blank and edge glue it or sell it as is as siding or trim.” Siskiyou Forest Products provides customers with a wide range of products from common industrial grade lumber to high-end fingerjointed and edge-glued material.”
(This article and photos appeared in the USNR publication, Millwide Insider, and appears in this issue of Timber Processing magazine with permission.) Norra Skogsägarna (Northern Forest Owners) is a private association in northern Sweden composed of 16,355 forest owners. Its roots date back to the 1930s. The association’s aim has always been to safeguard private forest ownership rights. At the time the association was created, trees were felled by hand and hauled off with horses and timber carts. Technological development has been sweeping, while the forests have also undergone change. Modern forestry has doubled the annual output. During the 1930s, average saw timber volume amounted to 2047 cubic feet per hectare (2.5 acres) and today to 4165 cubic feet in the coastal regions.
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