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January 23, 2014
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County Scene: Mildred Kanipe, the lady was a logger

Big picture, some things don’t change too much. Ranching in Douglas County likely falls into that category.

For ranchers, the cost of acquiring land is clearly the biggest expense, so maximizing revenue from the land is critical for success.

Ranchers have always looked for ways to make money to sustain and grow their operations: raising stock, harvesting timber and Christmas trees, and selling rock are some of the enduring ranching activities in Douglas County.

Since the timber industry established itself and flourished in the early 1950s, many of Douglas County’s ranchers have actively integrated a timber harvesting, replanting and management component to their operations.

Mildred Kanipe, on her Oakland ranch, appears to be one of the pioneers and practitioners of this economic model.

I recently looked at a packet of 48 documents that were gleaned from the collection of Ms. Kanipe’s papers that reside in the Douglas County Museum. They range from early 1950 to late 1966.

There are: documents giving her permission to log; a letter from her attorneys attempting to collect on a logging performance bond; check stubs for logs delivered to local mills; many scaling tickets that compute the volume and grade of logs on individual truck loads delivered to mills; contracts to log on her ranch; harvest permits; letters outlining a disagreement she had with an individual logging her property; timber tax remittance reports; permits to harvest Christmas trees on the ranch; tree seedling purchased from the state of Oregon; letter from the Extension Service discussing pesticide purchase to increase her seedling survival rate; and a letter closing Mildred Kanipe — Logging’s Oregon Workers’ Compensation Coverage account, indicating that she had employees that logged.

Computing the scaling tickets and purchase statements, on only these 48 documents, totals around 423,000 board feet of logs.

Along with raising livestock, the lady was a logger. Likely, it was logging that paid for her land and gave her a measure of financial security. As with the vast majority of resource land owners in Douglas County, Ms. Kanipe showed great respect for her land and managed it to be productive in perpetuity.

The timber harvest that the county is contemplating is trees that are about 90 years old. The trees began to grow around the mid 1920s, when Mildred was in her mid-teens. During her logging years, these trees would have been between 30 to 43 years old, too young to log. It leads me to wonder if Mildred learned to log from her dad.

View the document packet at"_blank">

Douglas County Commissioner Susan Morgan can be reached at 541-440-4201, by email at or by writing to Douglas County Courthouse, Room 217, 1036 SE Douglas, Roseburg, OR 97470.

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The News-Review Updated Jan 23, 2014 11:25PM Published Jan 23, 2014 10:20AM Copyright 2014 The News-Review. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.