Tucked inside today’s News-Review is a special section that we encourage you to spend some time with. “Douglas County Timber: Past, Present, Future” is just what the name implies — a comprehensive look at the timber industry in the region, and the impact it has had on this community, over the decades.
The News-Review does several special sections a year, but the last time we produced one on logging was back in 2007. The idea for this special section originated with advertising saleswoman Amber Johnson. Johnson comes from a logging family and thought it would be a good idea to honor such families and their many contributions to our county with this publication.
The tab was initially supposed to be 32 pages but we had so much great content — OK, and we sold more ads than expected — that it was expanded to 40 pages.
Much of the credit for this special section goes to Erica Welch, Special Sections Editor at The News-Review. Erica came up with most of the story ideas, assigned them to our news team and then edited the entire section.
She also wrote the column introducing the section to readers and helped pull together the table of contents. If that wasn’t enough, Erica wrote a half-dozen profiles of well-known timber families, compiled a comprehensive timeline of timber in this region and shepherded a cool graphic showing the wood-making process from harvest to 2 X 4s.
As Erica wrote in her introductory column in the special section:
“Before Douglas County was established, when Roseburg was still known as Deer Creek and only a squatter named Musgrove called the present town-site home, sawmills were being built across the Pacific Northwest… Douglas County is built from the timber in our own backyard and it is the timber industry that has made Douglas County what it is today.”
Other featured stories in this special section include:
Sanne Godfrey writing about what it’s like to get a college education in Forestry in 2020. As Sanne says, it’s not your grandfather’s forestry school.
Carisa Cegavske takes a look at women running timber companies in the region. Spoiler alert — there are many.
Dan Bain writes about the Ford Family/Roseburg Forest Products and what it means for our community, as well as other communities in the state.
Scott Carroll covered the pioneering work being done by D.R. Johnson in Riddle. The plant is producing cross-laminated timber, or CLT, which consists of layers oriented at 90 degrees that are bonded using adhesives to form panels. These panels are strong, flexible and cost-efficient.
In 2015, D.R. Johnson was the first company in the nation certified to manufacture CLT. The company now has more than two dozen projects featuring CLT either completed or in the pipeline, including the new 80,000 square-foot building known as Peavy Hall in the College of Forestry at Oregon State University.
Other stories in the special section include a look at the history of chainsaws; a feature on Ireland Trucking, which dates back more than 70 years; a glimpse at the variety of jobs available in the timber industry; and a profile on the family-owned Lone Rock Resources, whose history dates back to 1950.
At a time when newspapers are facing unique financial challenges, The News-Review continues to produce these special sections as an added value for our readers. This year we are producing 11 special sections and we consider each one a treat. The next one, our popular annual Visitor’s Guide, is scheduled to be distributed on May 31.
“Douglas County Timber: Past, Present, Future” is the result of countless hours of hard work from The News-Review team. It is intended to have a shelf life, so you can put it down for a week then come back to it, and share it with visitors this summer.