Bear Creek Lumber

Quality. Value. Expertise. Since 1977

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Volume 18 Number 7
July 2004

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In This Issue:
Welcome Bear Creek Babies!
Winthrop: Evolution of a Cowboy Town
Industry News
Is There A Spa In Your Future?
July Inventory Specials
Yellow cedar interior paneling wraps an eyebrow feature to the left. It is offset by a thin old growth red cedar trim. The window is framed in clear vertical grain Douglas fir. More pictures of this home can be seen below.
Pictured right and left: Yellow cedar (cypress) paneling and clear fir trim. The cabinet doors to the right are mahogany. Flooring is jatoba.
Photos by Ela Bannick, Winthrop Home

Bannicks Win 2nd SBA Award
Cloud & Ela Bannick,owners of Bear Creek Lumber, were honored by the Small Business Administration of Spokane WA for being the Businessperson Team of the Year for all of Eastern Washington State, in 2004. They were also nominated for the statewide award.

Poles, Posts and Beams
Looking for small to medium size logs ?
Bear Creek Lumber can supply freshly cut or air dried rails, posts and poles in sizes from 1-inch to 12-inch in diameter, in lengths up to 24 feet.
Bear Creek Lumber has a sustainable managed tree farm that produces Doug fir and Ponderosa pine products. The forest features a mixed age stand that has been logged for 80 years. Within the stand are trees three hundred years old. Note the decayed log that is a nurse tree for young seedlings coming up in its duff.
The forest is seasonally thinned. This produces tight grained log products that can be used for vegas, poles, character logs, rails or posts. They can be hand hewn, or shipped (to certain states that allow them) with their bark on.
Larger diameter products are also available, but Bear Creek Lumber does not typically supply log home size logs in quantity, as the forest has a limited cap city to produce that size of logs.
The net effect of this logging program is a steady supply of forest products, while thinning reduces fire danger for both the timberland and the recreational uses in the area.
Unpeeled Fir or Pine Poles
3 inch diameter $2 LF
4 inch diameter $3.50 LF
5 inch diameter $4 LF.
6 inch diameter $6 LF
7 inch diameter $7 LF
8 inch diameter $8 LF
9 inch diameter $9 LF
10 inch diameter $10 LF
11 inch diameter $11 LF
12 inch diameter $12 LF
Discounts available on quantities!
Peeled Log shown to the left, and sustainable managed forest shown to the right.

Bear Creek Babies Born
Bear Creek Lumber welcomed two new members to its family this spring. Anthony James Witkowski was born March 31. It was baby number two for webmaster Omaste and freight manager/salesman James Witkowski. Anthony James joins his sister Natalie, who is now age 4. Anthony is also the first grandson for Cloud and Ela Bannick.
Steven Michael Edwards was born May 5, and is baby numero uno for administrative assistant Kristie and driver/special projects co-ordinator Pete Edwards.

Winthrop: Evolution of a Cowboy Town
Winthrop, WA is probably best known for being a Old West Town. Originally featured in the first (circa 1890) Western novel ever written, "The Virginian", it has had a variety of incarnations. Originally a trading post for trappers, it became a hot spot during the gold rush era. This was probably its most colorful era. The town still celebrates its 49-ers Day every spring. Pioneers came into the area to settle in, cutting down timber to make way for farms and ranches. Lumber mills popped up, giving the locals steady work even when crops or mining failed. Dairy farmers also became plentiful. For a while, the county lived on its butter receipts.
Orchards were planted in the 1920's and 30's, and were successful until they eventually froze out in winter of 1968. The trees were torn out, and hay fields were planted. Hay was always an iffy crop, with spring and summer rains inevitably washing away any profit. Today, most of them have been divided into minimum lot sizes. Land that was once $100 per acre is now $25,000 an acre.
A major ski hill was planned, but after a twenty year battle with no growth advocates, the plan was dropped. In 1985, the last major lumber mill closed.
Recreation remains the last best hope, as farmers and ranchers dwindle away. Today fewer than a dozen farms and ranches remain in the valley, but the construction of vacation and retirement homes have kept the community coffers filled, especially during this era of low interest rates.
Although there is no major ski resort, a community trail system has spread across the landscape. It provides access to all manor of athletic activities from mountain biking to cross country skiing, horseback riding to snowshoeing.
Various fishing seasons provide anglers with both lake and river fisheries; fall brings hunters in for bear, deer, cougar and occasional elk. Back country horse and packing trips are available. Photographers can be seen shooting all times of year. Climbing, both mountain and ice, are popular. River rafting enjoys a brief season in early summer. Music (rhythm and blues, classical and blue grass) and art festivals have become regular summer occurrences, as well. (For seasonal pictures of the Methow Valley, see our website by clicking on the Bear Creek Lumber name at the top of the website main page)
Ever evolving Winthrop is an interesting place to visit any time of year!

Mountain bike picture by Methow Valley Sports Trail Association. For more information about the community trail and events, see
Pictured on left: Covered wagon and horseback trips offered by Methow Adventures For reservations email or call 888-802-3284

Industry News
Construction spending registered its best month on record in April, fresh evidence of the economy’s momentum as it heads into summer. The Commerce Department reported mid-June that the value of buildings put in place rose by 1.3 percent in April from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $970.4 billion, the highest level on record.
In a preliminary decision hailed by Canada, the Commerce Department, in June, recommended that the United States cut in half steep tariffs on imports of Canadian softwood lumber. The decision has no immediate impact, because a final ruling will not be made until December, but Canadian officials said it could severely weaken the American lumber industry’s case for punitive duties averaging 27 percent on Canadian lumber.
“This shows that the duties imposed on the Canadian industry were unreasonable,” said Canada’s international trade minister, Jim Peterson. “I’m pleased with the finding, but I won’t be satisfied until all unfair duties are removed and the money is given back to our industry,” Peterson said.
In the face of protests by conservationists and federal environmental officials, the Bush administration yesterday scaled back the largest sale of federal timber from the Pacific Northwest that has been proposed for years. In the area blackened by the Biscuit fire in southern Oregon’s Klamath-Siskiyou region in 2002, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) had originally proposed to cut enough timber to build nearly 35,000 homes. Instead, the agency will allow cutting of enough to build about 24,000 homes. The 370 million board feet to be logged still represents a huge chunk of federal wood. In this single sale, the Forest Service will unload more timber than the annual totals for multiple timber sales on all national forests in the Northwest dating back to 1999, USFS records show.
Is 8 per cent the magic figure? Real estate agents are predicting sales of new and used homes to remain hot until interest rates slide above 8 per cent.While he doesn’t see a crash, real estate agent Bell Wheaton says higher rates will cool this seller’s market. “As long as we stay under 8 percent, we’re still going to see a very active mid-range market,” said Bell. “Beyond the 8 percent, for some reason, that’s a psychological barrier for many people.”

Is There A Spa In Your Future?
As life becomes increasingly tense in our world of terror and trauma, more people are turning their homes into a place of refuge. Be it a sunlit sitting room or a book-lined den, homeowners are looking for somewhere to go to to escape the latest bad news rolling from their hectic life.
What is the newest, and maybe the most therapeutic new remodel craze is the home spa. Designed to emulate the commercial spa experience, the home spa can include a sauna or a steam room, a soaking tub, heated tile floors, a massage chair or an aromatheraphy delivery system to scent the entire space with lavender.
Going beyond the traditional master bathroom, the home spa is the latest must have for high end home owners. Bathrooms have always been the most popular, remodel but today's project is essentially designed to be a world unto itself. Our aging population is willing to sacrifice space in other parts of the house to create more comfort in the bathroom. It serves as a space to escape not only the pressure of day-to-day life, but also the immediate family. Builders mention that intimate private spaces are increasingly sought after. This follows the trend of the "great room" which was designed to bring the family together, but left some big homes feeling 'too big'
Another popular part of the home spa is the super shower, which can substitute for a whirlpool or hot tub in a limited space. These mulitple head shower systems include side body jets, rainfall shower heads, built-in music and mood lighting. The newest kick this writer has heard of is Chromatherapy: A new bathtub feature by Kohler uses color to calm. Press a button and bath water is awash in different relaxing colors that fade in and out.
Natural wood and stone, as well as tile and earth tone paints, have become part of the craze. Anything to connect homeowners to the sense of the natural world they are increasingly distanced from in their commuter world. Additional features such as mirrors, custom cabinets, heated towel racks and similar upgrades are more affordable and popularthan ever.

Bear Creek Lumber can help with your spa remodel
We provide:
• Natural cedar or redwood panelings, trim
• Sauna Packages
• Steam room Packages
• Cedar floorings
Whereas bathrooms used to be designed for personal cleanliness, today's spa bathroom is designed for personal wellness

Editor: Ela Bannick Feature Writer: Sage Bannick