Bear Creek Lumber

Quality. Value. Expertise. Since 1977

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Bear Creek Lumber will be closed
President’s Day February 18th

Volume 16 Number 2 February 2002

In This Issue:

Customer Comments and Pictures
Industry News
Are You Ready For OSHA?
Build With Care Around Trees
Winter Inventory Clearance

Clear Alaskan Yellow Cedar

Chase Away The Blues
With The Sunniest of Lumber Products

There is no other wood as unique to Bear Creek Lumber as Alaskan Yellow cedar (AYC). It has been highly prized by wood carvers and boat builders for as long as it has been cut, but the demand from Asian markets traditionally kept most Alaskan cedar out of the hands of domestic buyers. Bear Creek Lumber inventories AYC because it has access to a number of sources of the product. It is available in products such as tongue and groove, timbers, framing material, and decking.

Alaskan yellow cedar is unique in many ways. It has a pleasing bright color that in its clear form is almost buttery with a very fine grain. The overall effect of this sort of paneling is uplifting, sunny, and relaxing. The product is particularly durable. It has been used as the flooring for train boxcars, and flatbed trucks since they were developed. It is also popular for stadium seating because it doesn’t splinter. It is bug resistent, with a high level of natural phenol oils. It’s is the strongest of cedars with a density equivalent of 29 lbs per cubic foot at 12% moisture content. Unfinished, it will weather to a light gray if exposed to moisture, but has the highest degree of resistance to moisture of all softwoods. Nail holding is excellent and increases with age. In short, this is a product, properly installed, that can last forever. Alaskan yellow cedar is worth trying for a number of applications from interior ceilings, to outdoor pavilions, decks to furniture. Bear Creek is featuring several AYC specials this month. Have at a look and see if any of them work into your future projects. More pictures can be seen online at

Cloud Bannick inspects cedar tongue and groove in the warehouse. Long lengths are problematic to ship in small quantities.

Minimum Quantity Orders

Many customers ask if Bear Creek Lumber has a minimum quantity order limit. The short answer is no but... The two problems with defining minimum order size is that there are practical limitations that are not easily specified. For instance, it is technically possible to send 1 x 6 tongue and groove in small quantities, but one piece twenty feet long would probably be damaged in shipping, so we just would say no to such a request. One 8 x 10 beam of that length, however, could probably be shipped because it would strong enough to take the stresses of shipping. Yet if that beam was of a species we don’t handle or was out of stock, again it would be problematic for Bear Creek to find and ship just that one beam. UPS is willing to take small bundles of wood up to eight feet in length, so we usually can accommodate requests for small amounts of product in that length or less, unless the product is out of stock or unavailable.
At Bear Creek, we make every effort to assist you as a builder with your speciality needs. We will price almost any project, but we can’t fill every request, especially if they are impractical or impossible for us to meet. We suggest builders try to bundle small needs with larger ones, both for the price break, and for the shipping and handling ease.

Customer Comments and Pictures

Every year, we send out a survey asking customers and readers to comment on the company’s performance , and send suggestions for the newsletter. This feedback keeps us honest and working harder in each coming year. If your comment or picture wasn’t used, it still was appreciated. We try to show a cross country snapshot of our customer base and product applications. Here is a sampling of 2001’s response:

What I Like About Bear Creek

All the people I had the pleasure to talk to and deal with have been very helpful, prompt and enjoyable. Quotes are prompt and correct. Special requests are no problem. My wife and I stopped by Bear Creek while on vacation back in May, and received a tour of the yard from Mark Buck. We were both impressed with the quantity and variety of stock you have. Mark took us on a short tour of the Methow Valley, which we both enjoyed. If we ever get out west again, we will be sure to stop in.
Gary and Melaney
Quakertown, Pennsylvania

• High quality product and fair pricing; customer-focused service; knowledgable staff. Keep up the good work!
K.H. Yung

• The friendly, laid-back manner of your people.
Stockton, California

• Great quality lumber products-
Kodiak, Alaska

Pictured above: The shingles and timber inside and out were furnished by Bear Creek. This home was built for $1.2million in 1995 and sold for $1.6 in 2001.

Columbus Grove, Ohio

• Your individuality and integrity in being able to supply quality products and industry information. Joe Hammer was very helpful.
Bentonville, Arkansas

• (I like) the image inventory of speciality products (on the website) and the communication with the customer. Keep it coming,
Elida, Ohio
• High quality; the siding you supplied for a client’s home was outstanding!!!
Ortonville, Michigan

• Great products, great service, great newsletter. How about more articles about products such as how well which species perform in different applications, engineering issues, etc?
Oak Park, Illinois
We’re loving our Bear Creek Lumber cedar log home.
It was a long six years but it was worth it.
Thanks for all your help.
Charlie and Doris
Pictured above with the whole family
Wake Forest - North Carolina

Newsletter Comments
• Lots of industry news, great potential as a supplier of my higher end custom projects.
Al - McHenry, Illinois

• ( I like) Everything! Your newsletters are great, I love how you have information on your product, as well as facts from the past, lumber pictures, and stories are great, too.
Jaime - Driggs, Idaho

• Educational for a city bird architect.
Stanley - St. Louis, Missouri

• Dear Folks@ Bear Creek
Thank you for the Christmas/Housewarming gift from Molly’s Soaps. The cedar lumber you provided us looks great on our garage-a perfect match for our Lindel house. You do good work!!!
Christie and Paula - Oakland, Maine

Thanks for the Christmas Cheer package.  Attached is a photo showing that my dog, Sherman, likes the Bear Creek hat.  The siding and trim behind us is some of your cedar in place.
Merry Christmas,
Don - Sonoma, CA


Home ownership has surged to its highest percentage in over one hundred years. At 66% of all Americans, home ownership is at 69.8 million of the 106.5 million housing units in the United States. This represents a 5% increase in the past decade. Ownership has been increasing steadily since the 1940’s, a major component of the “American Dream”. More than 81% of all married couples in the U.S. own their homes, with 77% of couples with children owning their homes. This represents a 4% increase in the past ten years. Ownership also increased for single parents. Women with children who owned homes increased 7%, and single men with children increased 6%. The city with the highest percentage of ownership? Punta Gorda, Florida at 84%. In all but one percent of the nation’s counties, owners of homes outnumbered renters.

Are You Ready For OSHA?

Is your job site up to code? Although you might think that your business operation is a model of safety, statistics do seem to show that small builders account for a disproportionately large share of serious accidents. According to figures compiled by OSHA, nearly 70% of the deaths in residential construction between 1993 and 1997 occurred in companies with fewer than ten people.
If there is a hazard on the job site, the builder must explain it to employees, and teach them how to eliminate it, or at least work around it safely. It’s essential to keep written records that show when training sessions were held, what topic was presented, and who attended.
The National Association of Home Builders, armed with a grant from OSHA, has developed a free six-hour safety workshop for small builders that it will be offering in over a dozen U.S. cities this fall. Visit their web site ( for more information.
The training will help spare the small builder the expense of cutting a foreman loose from several days of work to attend an OSHA session for safety training. Most home-builders associations also offer free or low-cost training, and even for-profit firms like Craig Safety, which offers a soup-to-nuts OSHA compliance service, hold workshops for as little as $10 per pupil.
OSHA has recently published a study that shows for every training dollar spent, at least $4 comes back in the form of improved productivity. Also OSHA is more likely to lighten a fine, if a builder involved in an accident can prove that the company has been diligent about training job-site staff.

Industry News articles by Sage Bannick ( )

Build With Care Around Trees

Are you planning on building a new house this spring? Have you considered the trees on your lot? There are several benefits to keeping the existing trees on your property. Besides providing shade, the leaves of deciduous trees give off large amounts of water vapor that can lower surrounding air temperature through evaporation. In a cool climate, evergreen trees can help reduce winter heating costs by reducing air infiltration, and by protecting walls from cold winds. Other benefits of well managed trees include buffers from road noise, and neighbors.
When you start thinking about the trees on your building site, it is a good idea to contact an arborist. A certified arborist will have a wide range of experience in dealing with tree related issues. They can council you on which trees are worth saving, and the best way of getting rid of problem trees.
There are several myths about trees. The biggest being that a tree’s roots mirror the tree’s canopy. In reality, most of a tree’s root system lies within 18 inches of the surface. The most common mistake made by new builders is damaging the trees root system. If you damage a tree’s root system during construction your house and the tree dies, it will cost you ten times more to remove the dead tree with the house in place. A good site plan allows you to divide the trees on your lot in to three groups.
The first consist of trees that are far enough out of the construction zone that they will not be affected by the building plans. The second group consist of desirable trees that are threatened, but can be saved by taking the appropriate steps. The third are trees that are too near ground zero to survive.
The most common mistake made by builders is compaction. In order to convert stored sugars and starches in to energy the tree needs to take in oxygen and convert it in to carbon dioxide. The roots ability to breath depends on microscopic pores that are normally found between grains of soil. If the ground is packed hard by vehicular traffic or even by heavy foot traffic gasses can’t pass through the trees root structure and this will eventually suffocate the tree.

For more information contact a licensed arborist.

International Society of Arboriculture
P.O. Box 3129
Champaign, IL 61826-3129
(217) 355-9411

National Arborist Association
3 Perimeter Rd., Unit 1
Manchester, NH 03103
(800) 733-2622

American Society of Consulting Arborist
15245 Shady Grove Rd., Suite 130
Rockville, MD 20850
(301) 947-0483

Editor: Ela Bannick Feature Writer: Sage Bannick