A Eugene-based forest products company that has a large footprint in Douglas County dating back 30 years is celebrating the planting of its 40-millionth tree.
Seneca was founded in Eugene in 1953 by Aaron Jones. The company owns more than 100,000 acres of land in Douglas County and employs 12 forestry professionals at its office at 556 NE Rifle Range Road in Roseburg, said Casey Roscoe, Senior Vice President–Public Relations. Seneca also has contracts with more than 100 Douglas County businesses, she said.
Seneca has about 400 employees and owns about 167,000 acres of timberlands total.
The bulk of Seneca’s timberlands in Douglas County were acquired with two purchases. The first was the Wolley Tree Farm in 1989, Roscoe said, and the second was from Champion International in 1992.
“My grandfather, Aaron Jones, purchased the land with second growth timber on it,” Roscoe said. “It was a young tree farm and a major investment in the land base, and an investment with a very long term vision.
“Due to the precedent he set, we manage our tree farm on a 50-year horizon, meaning we have a plan for every year from now to 50 years from now. We currently have 92% more stock on our timberlands than we had 25 years ago. He always planned for the future to be better than the present. He cared about strong healthy trees, but he also cared about wildlife (he helped found the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation which has conserved more than 7 million acres to date), water, soil and recreation. His vision has come to fruition and will continue for generations to come.”
Owners Becky Jones, Kathy Jones-McCann and Jody Jones oversee a family of companies consisting of: Seneca Sawmill Co., Seneca Jones Timber Co. and Seneca Sustainable Energy, which has the cleanest running biomass plant in America, creating enough sustainable energy to power 13,000 homes, Roscoe said.
“I’m so excited about the planting of the 40 millionth tree! This is a huge milestone for our family,” Becky Jones said in a press release. “That soil is the native soil of the Douglas fir, but as the fourth generation of our family plants trees in it, it feels like the native soil of our family as well.”