Bear Creek Lumber

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Volume 19 Number 8
August 2005

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In This Issue:
Why Yellow Cedar Sells
From Our Email File
Fastest Growing Cities
Homes: Quality, Not Quantity
Industry News
Summertime Specials
Bear Creek is home to a variety of wild and domesticated residents and visitors
A young redtailed hawk recently released from a predatory bird shelter can be seen above visiting our timber footbridge on Bear Creek. The young hawk has been raised in captivity since he was found as a young chick. He had apparently fallen from his mother's nest, and has lived at the shelter (next door to the bridge) since.
Once released, he flew away immediately, but decided that this bridge offered a nice variety of menu choices. The dog pictured above didn't seem to be one of them, although the two had "words" when they first met. You may remember this bridge from an earlier issue of TIMBERLINE. It still has the tree lying across the bridge from the windstorm that laid it there. It has become a popular place to perch, for people as well as birds. Perhaps this tree and bridge combination also was interesting to the hawk. The bridge, built of western red cedar, has weathered to a nice grey, blending in with the stone walls and aspen trees that surround it. The hawk also blended into the color scheme. When I first came across him, I almost didn't see him sitting there. But he definitely made me stop in my tracks when I did!
The bridge area is home to a variety of migrating song birds as well as field mice, bull snakes, raccoons, squirrels, white tailed and mule deer ( many fawn along the creek in the heavy shrubbery), coyotes, cougars, and bears. Golden eagles, falcons, and great horned owls also cruise this opening in the forest canopy for quick lunch and dinner items, but none have ever let me get as close for a picture.
Zeus, the Labrador pictured above, considers the bridge area his own personal swimming hole. During the hot summer months, he can be found in the cold waters of Bear Creek, alligator- like, with just his nose and eyes sticking out of the water. This day, hawk and dog quickly agreed to share the space. A few days later, the young hawk returned to the shelter, apparently not ready for prime time.
Pictured at left: Bear Creek Lumber can offer these red or yellow cedar 10 x 12 ft. outdoor cooking shelters as pre-cut, ready-to-assemble kits. For more information, call (800) 597-7191. Introductory price: $6,000

Americans are often unfamilar with Alaskan Yellow Cedar, a species that is found in Southeastern Alaskan and in Southern British Columbia.
This is because it is so popular with Asian builders that much of the production is shipped overseas. The Asian market has always recognized the value of yellow cedar. Strong as Douglas fir, it is as rot and weather resistent as western red cedar or redwood. Its bright yellow color is not unlike pine, but its straighter grain is more uniform.
Yellow cedar is especially popular with boat builders, builders of truck beds, boat docks and stadium seats. Its durablity is legendary. The important factor, as with all naturally resistent species is the amount of heartwood in the board. The sapwood is prone to the same sort of rot/bug infestation that most other softwoods have naturally. In a grade that has sapwood, treatment to minimize deterioration should be used.
In Hawaii, yellow cedar is very popular as an alternative to pressure treated pine. It is highly termite resistent, as proven by studies by the University of Hawaii.
Yellow cedar is actually a cypress product, as is Port Orford cedar. But because they grow in the Northwest, they are more commonly referred to as cedar products.
What Can Yellow Cedar Do For You?
With home owners, Yellow cedar is popular as an interior finish material, used on ceilings and walls ( as pictured), as well as trim. On the exterior, it is popular as a decking material because it does not splinter. It also makes excellent pergola timber.
Whatever use you put yellow cedar to, it will last. We do recommend UV protection for all woods because just as sun damaged human skin, it also effects any wood face. Leaving your wood natural will not cause it to rot or deteriorate, but it will discolor unevenly which in 20 years, depending on your tastes, may make you uncomfortable with its looks. Yellow cedar will turn silver grey as opposed to darken, as red cedar would.
Bear Creek Lumber now has an extensive yellow cedar inventory, with practically every grade and size available. We can also custom mill if the product you need is not available. On the Google search engine, Bear Creek Lumber comes up first when it comes to Alaskan yellow cedar. We sell more of it than any other lumberyard in the USA!
From Our Email File
Dear Sage,
I received my order last week and it was perfect - nice clean Alaskan Yellow Cedar.  AYC clear interior tongue and groove (shown to the right). Thanks for your assistance - I’ll definitely look to Bear Creek Lumber next time.
Grant Johnson, Anchorage AK
Yellow cedar select grade
in Hawaii (shown Below)
A back country yellow cedar mill (shown below)
1. Gilbert, Arizona
2. Miramar, Florida
3. North Las Vegas, Nevada
4. Port St. Lucie, Florida
5. Roseville, California.
6. Henderson, Nevada
7. Chandler, Arizona
8. Cape Coral, Florida
9. Rancho Cucamonga, California
10. Irvine, California.

Industry News
What bubble? The sharp rise in home prices will continue in 2006, according to an upcoming forecast by Douglas Duncan, chief economist for the Mortgage Bankers Association, the leading trade organization of the real estate lending industry.
“We’re forecasting that 2006 will be a trend growth year for the economy, with an increase of about 3.5 percent in the GDP,” said Duncan. That will help keep what he calls the “Don Ho real estate market” (“Tiny Bubbles”) percolating.
His one caveat is that the country has never experienced a housing market quite like this one. In the past, real estate prices have been closely tied to economic conditions, both national and local. But in recent years housing prices in many markets have far outgained other economic metrics.
Duncan predicts home ownership will further expand the next two years. He says the number of homes sold will set a record in 2005 for the fifth consecutive year. Helping drive this trend is the baby-boom generation, only 70 percent of whom currently owns homes.
“Typically, home-ownership peaks at about age 60,” he says, “ when 80 percent of Americans own their own homes.” That means boomers should do a lot of homebuying in the near future.
Adding to that factor will be very modest upward movement in long-term interest rates over the next two years, he predicts, keeping monthly housing costs affordable for many. “That means another great year for housing in 2006,” he says.
Sales of new homes in May climbed to the second highest level in history, but the median sales price fell sharply, the government reported Friday.
The Commerce Department said that sales of new single-family homes rose by 2.1 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 million homes. But the median sales price dropped 6.5 percent to a median $217,000, the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less.
The housing market has been red-hot this year with demand being driven by mortgage rates that have hovered near historic lows. However, the surge in demand has raised concerns that a speculative fever is creating a housing bubble similar to the stock market bubble that burst in early 2000.
The strong new home sales followed a report Thursday that sales of previously owned homes totaled 7.13 million units at an annual rate in May, a slight decline from the record April pace, but still the second fastest sales rate on record for existing homes. The median sales price of existing homes continued rising in April to hit a record of $207,000.
Size matters but according to the National Association of Home Builders, not as much as quality. Size demands are shrinking, finds a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders. High quality, state-of-the-art built-in features, and amenities are the primary buyer requests.
“One particular consumer trend stands out in our survey,” said Jerry Howard, NAHB president. “While homes do not appear to be getting bigger, they are definitely getting better. There is a marked increase in quality, with updated features and amenities.”
Most buyers want a kitchen with a large walk-in pantry, and island work area. They also want a special-use storage area in the kitchen and a built-in microwave. And they want the kitchen to be visually open to the family room, in some cases divided with a half wall.
Other popular features:
• A bathroom linen closet with exhaust fan, and separate shower enclosure.
• High 9-foot ceilings are popular - up from the previous standard of 8 feet. “Consumers say this provides more openness, more light, and makes the home feel bigger,” Howard said.
• Younger households prefer their washer and dryer to be located near the bedroom area. Older households prefer them near the kitchen.
• Low-maintenance homes built with natural materials, such as real wood and stone.
• Homes that are energy efficient, with security systems operative on the outside.
• Remote-controlled laundry, which allows the homeowner to monitor their laundry cycle from anywhere in the home using a remote device.
• A super-quiet dishwasher.
• Custom sinks, often handmade.
• Open air kitchens that have the same amendities as the primary indoor kitchen, often on an extended deck or patio. Bear Creek now sells all cedar outdoor cooking shelters, as seen on left.

Editor: Ela Bannick