Bear Creek Lumber

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Volume 17 Number 4 2003
April 2003

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In This Issue:
A Company with Mussels
Celebrate Arbor Day!
Industry News
Power of Trees
Book Review: Sell Yourself
Spring Product Guide / Specials

Pictured left: some of the 60,000 board feet of timbers from the Marshall Wells department store/warehouse formally located in Portland, Oregon. This building was built in 1915. The timbers were from the era of  old growth forests.This is all Douglas fir. It ranges in size from 25x25  to 6x11, including 6 x 22, 8 x 21, 11 x 19, 16 x 20, 25 x 25. Lengths are 6' to 18'. This material can be manufactured into other products such as paneling and flooring.
Why Use Reclaimed Lumber?
Reclaimed, or recycled, lumber is material salvaged from older buildings. It is often from the era when the timber came from larger trees with tighter growth rings. It is generally tighter grained and often clear.
Reclaimed materials are also part of the overall recycling potential of wood products which don’t have to be thrown in a dump. Instead they can be reborn into new projects where their beauty can be appreciated over, and over. More salvaged products listed on the back page!

Reclaimed Redwood
At near right: Redwood from a watertank which used to serve as the water storage tank for a town in the Alaskan Aleutians. This material is old growth, clear all heart including vertical grain.   The majority of the 15,000 board feet is 3x6. This served as the walls. It also contains some 3x10, 4x8 and 6x6 all heart which were the floor, joists and posts.  This material can also be remanufactured into other products.

More Sustainable Lumber Available
Builders, or architects who specify, are looking for sustainably grown lumber products have more choices than ever here at Bear Creek Lumber. The worldwide movement toward certified forestry has offered many new opportunities in everything from floorings to sidings to timbers. Shown to the left is a photo of sustainably grown balau timber. For more information about this and other certified products, call (800) 597-7191.

From our BCL Customer Files : Penn Cove Shellfish LLC
Bear Creek Lumber supplied timbers to Penn Cove Shellfish for their mussel rafts. Recently Penn Cove’s operation was featured in the Seattle Times. Here is an excerpt:
Penn Cove Shellfish is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, mussel-maker in the United States, producing both trossulus and Mediterraneans, which have different spawning cycles. Mussel production at Penn Cove has grown from about 200,000 pounds to around 1.5 million pounds annually. Sheltered by tall bluffs, more than 40 rafts growing 500 tons of mussels float in the south side of the cove.
More than 30,000 lines dangle in the plankton-rich waters. Harvesting is done on the Moule Mariner, a harvester that looks like an aluminum houseboat. It can process as much as 10,000 pounds of mussels a day.
Mussels at Penn Cove are harvested on a per-order basis. A mature mussel line, weighing up to 200 pounds, is reeled aboard and into a bin on the boat's stern. "Shakers" pound the mussels free of their rope and shovel the shells onto a conveyor-belt for sorting and cleaning. The mussels then shuffle back and forth over a bed of knurled rods that catch and pluck the beard, or byssus, the plant-like tentacles the mussel uses to hold on to good feeding spots, or for movement. Then pickers sort and bag mussels in onion sacks.
In refrigerated trucks, fresh mussels are shipped on the first ferry off the island. They are sent internationally, but local stores and restaurants order their share as well.
Denise Englade, seafood specialist for Town & County Markets that runs Shoreline's Central Market, says they sell hundreds of pounds of mussels a week. Penn Cove mussels are also popular at the Pike Place Market and seafood markets throughout the region.
Celebrate Arbor Day
"Trees can be a stimulus to economic development, attracting new business and tourism. Commercial retail areas are more attractive to shoppers, apartments rent more quickly, tenants stay longer, and space in a wooded setting is more valuable to sell or rent." -The National Arbor Day Foundation
The National Arbor Day Foundation urges volunteers nationwide to plant trees this month. To help, they have put together a Volunteer kit for tree-planting. The kit is fully illustrated with dozens of drawings and photographs. As part of the Volunteer Kit, a new Leadership Guide describes the benefits of trees and offers a wide range of suggested tree- planting events and projects, as well as advice on how to carry them out and tips on working with volunteers and the media.
The kit is available for $29.95 plus shipping and handling. For more information or to purchase the kit, contact The National Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, tel. 402-474-5655, or order online at

Industry News
Construction of new homes and apartments rose in January to the highest level in 16 years, as low mortgage rates continued to power a housing boom. The Commerce Department said that work was started on 1.850 million units at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in January, up 0.2 percent from 1.847 million units in December. The gain reflected the fact that low mortgage rates, which fueled record sales of both new and existing homes in 2002, remained at enticing levels in January. Freddie Mac reported that the nationwide average for 30-year mortgages stood at 5.86 percent last week, only a tick higher than the 40-year low of 5.85 percent set in the first week of January.
The pace of new home sales in the United States plunged in January, the government said Thursday, as the housing market, one of the few bright spots in an otherwise murky economy, showed signs of strain. The Commerce Department said the pace of new home sales fell 15.1 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 914,000 units from a revised rate of 1.08 million units in December. Economists, on average, expected a pace of 1.05 million units, according to New home sales make up a relatively small part of the total U.S. housing market, compared with the approximately 5.5 million existing homes sold in 2002.

Lumber prices have slipped nearly 30 percent in the past two years, but homebuilders around the country are worried about increases as the United States and Canada re-enter trade negotiations over Canadian wood imports. If lumber costs rise, home buyers will eventually see an increase in home prices. At issue is a 27 percent duty imposed in May on Canadian softwood imports. Canadian softwood such as pine, spruce, fir and hemlock are used to frame houses. The duties were imposed to protect U.S. sawmills from competition with lower-priced Canadian imports, which are subsidized by the Canadian government. The two countries began discussions earlier this month. Talks have stalled since. Many U.S. builders had worried that the duties would drive up their costs. Instead, Canadian sawmills increased their production, and costs actually slipped. Now that the two countries are renegotiating to possibly eliminate the duty, the National Association of Home Builders says uncertainty in the market is already driving lumber prices higher.

What Builders Need To Know : Sell Yourself
What every builder needs to know is how to be his own publicity strategist. Successful public relations pros Debrah and Emily Johnson have done what the best do best: teach others how to do what they do. The mother-daughter team has written a book every builder should have: The Builders Publicity Builder (Taylor Johnson Associates at . In clear, direct language, the Johnsons define PR, then outline strategy. Their how-to explains what a news release is, teaches how to write one, and gives tips on providing artwork (which, if done right, gives you an edge on getting into print), and how to budget. The authors detail examples, samples, and tips from numerous interviews of top real estate editors. For example, St. Petersburg Times homes editor Judy Stark urges builders to think of themselves not as the subject of a story, but as a source for one.

Power of Trees : Little Known Facts About Our Leafy Friends
Some of the most startling facts about the relationship between people and trees have come from a series of research studies by social scientists Frances E. Kuo and William C. Sullivan. Illustrated here is one of their many findings - that the greener and more natural a girl’s view from home, the better she scores on tests of self-discipline. In turn, the greater a young girl’s self-discipline, the more likely she is to do well in school, avoid unhealthy or risky behaviors, and to behave in ways that foster success in life. Interestingly, boys showed no link between views of nature and scores on the same test. This is the first of several findings from Drs. Kuo and Sullivan.

"The net cooling effect of a young, healthy tree is equivalent to ten room-size air conditioners operating 20 hours a day." -U.S. Department of Agriculture

"Landscaping, especially with trees, can increase property values as much as 20 percent." -Management Information Services/ICMA

"There are about 60-to 200- million spaces along our city streets where trees could be planted. This translates to the potential to absorb 33 million more tons of CO2 every year, and saving $4 billion in energy costs." -National Wildlife Federation

Editor: Ela Bannick Feature Writer: Sage Bannick