Bear Creek Lumber

Quality. Value. Expertise. Since 1977

small arrow image Home  small arrow image Timberline Newsletter

Volume 20 Number 3
March 2006

Click Here to Download
the PDF Version of this Newsletter
( kb)

Just click on any one of the pictures on this page, and you will be directed to a larger, slower to load, image which will show better detail.
In This Issue:
Oh Tannenbaum
Welcome Back, Dick Garing
New Voices, Faces at BCL
Industry News
Affordability Hits Home
Be Afraid/Consumer Spending
Snow's gone/March Clean Up
Western Red Cedar
Sidewall Shakes
Our favorite part of our new house is the way the outside looks. Everyone loves the cedar shakes. We put it up together and were so happy with our finished project! Thank you, Bear Creek Lumber, for our beautiful new home( seen left)!
Mike and Darlene Weber Attica, NY
Product Profile:
One of the most popular lumber species Bear Creek Lumber sells is Alaskan Yellow Cedar. It is a medium sized softwood of the Pacific coast of North America, from southern Alaska to Oregon. The timber dries well with low shrinkage, although surface checking can occur. It is easy to work with all tools,very stable ( although gluing can be difficult) , it finishes extremely well and provides a good base for coating systems. Staining of the surface may occur if worked with iron tools when the wood is damp. The material is easy to work, accepts coatings well and finishes beautifully. Adhesive bonds are better achieved with resin types rather than non-resin types.
Heartwood is a pale clear yellow, ,with the sapwood white to yellowish white in a very narrow band which is difficult to distinguish. The texture is fine and even, the grain is straight with very close growth rings which are not prominent and the timber is virtually splinter free.
Alaska yellow cedar is highly prized in North America and Japan because of its high durability and relatively high strength to weight and high resistance to acid. It is used in all exterior applications, particularly for high quality indoor and outdoor joinery, boatbuilding, marine piles, building poles, posts, cladding, paneling, patternmaking and veneers. Alaska yellow cedar is commonly used for decking, external joinery, cladding and outdoor furniture. It is also listed as a Termite-Resistant timber under the alternative common name of Nootka Cypress or Pacific Cypress.
Yellow Cedar At Bear Creek
All sizes available in both rough cut, and planed materials from 3/4 inch thickness and larger, up to timbers 12 x 12. Lengths and widths vary by size.
Yellow Cedar Timber Properties:
• Density (average): 500 kg m3 dry
• Durability: Class 1
• Strength Group: S6 green; SD6 dry
• Hardness Rating (average): 1.7 kN green; 2.6 kN dry

Welcome Back, Dick Garing
Salesman Dick Garing started working at Bear Creek Lumber in 1983 when the company was still relatively young (7th year) and had only a handful of employees. He left in 1999 to pursue other opportunities, but has recently re-joined the staff. He will be working with sales manager Joe Hammer, and his fellow sales staff members Merle Kirkley, Sage Bannick, Jennifer Smith, and distinguished sales mentor and Hawaii specialist, Cloud Bannick. The team will be providing services that include project estimating, free quotations, freight information and custom milling assistance. See the corbel to the right as an example of custom milling Bear Creek can provide.
Please feel free to contact Dick at (800) 597-7191 or by cell phone at (509) 322-4722.
His email address is
New Voices, Faces At Bear Creek
Pictured above: left to right, Dick Garing, Sheils Ward, Tammy Pennock and Clark Grass.
Picture by Melissa Hughes
In addition to Dick Garing, Bear Creek welcomes several other recent employees.
Sheila Ward joins our customer service department. Her primary job will be answering phones and emails as well as filling requests for catalogs and other information.
Tammy Pennock will be assisting Melissa Hughes and Omaste Witkowski with invoicing, as well as payable and receivable in the accounting department.
Clark Grass steps in as the new number two driver. He will be splitting his time between delivering lumber and working in the yard helping build orders.

Oh Tannenbaum
In the days after Santa Claus has come and gone, most Christmas trees end up in landfills, while others get a second life as garden mulch. In the future, however, thousands may end up as part of a lifesaving drug.
The needles of pine, spruce and fir trees contain a fairly high concentration of shikimic acid, the main ingredient in Tamiflu. Countries all over the world are stockpiling the drug in anticipation of a bird flu pandemic.
Most shikimic acid is obtained from star anise, a cooking spice from a tree grown in China. Prices of the spice skyrocketed when anxiety over the possibility of a human outbreak of avian flu escalated.
A small Canadian company, Biolyse Pharma Corp., is now processing thousands of discarded trees to retrieve the acid.
“It’s an urgent matter, and we should be starting production -- not once the pandemic hits, but before that,” said chemist Brigitte Kiecken, Biolyse’s CEO.
Worldwide, the World Health Organization has confirmed 149 cases, 80 of them fatal and most of them in Asia. Turkish officials say they have confirmed around 20 cases in their country.
Biolyse has experience in creating drugs from plants. It produces paclitaxel, a drug taken by breast and lung cancer patients that is made from the needles of the Canadian yew bush.
The Swiss pharmaceutical company Roche holds the patent on Tamiflu. Biolyse is negotiating sales of shikimic acid, not the drug, to developing countries not covered by the Roche patent.
Biolyse’s Kiecken said she believes more needs to be done. “Government and industry have to work together now. We’ve been warned for ample time, and it [a pandemic] is bound to happen.”
Sources, such as Christmas trees, and other forest by-products that contain shikimic acid, may be crucial when it does.
Source: CNN

Industry News
Affordability Hits Home
Even in the face of record home ownership ( 69 per cent nationwide), the issue of affordable rental housing is quietly disrupting the lives of working class families throughout the country. Looking at two urban areas on the West Coast highlights the situation.
The high cost of renting apartments in Ventura County, California has become so bad that it’s threatening working people and making it difficult even for young college graduates with good jobs to settle here, according to officials who attended a housing forum this week.
“We see thousands of people each year who are in danger of eviction, and have to choose between car repairs and their rent, or prescriptions and their rent,” said J.R. Jones, executive director of Lutheran Social Services of the Central Coast. “They are just on the fringe. They know they are in trouble, but many don’t realize how close they are to being homeless.”
Demand for rental apartments is high, with only a 2 percent vacancy rate countywide, officials said. To buy a house is totally out of reach.
In Washington State, more than 405,000 workers do not have a decent, safe and affordable place to live. More than 51,000 individuals are homeless and more than 50,000 households are on the waiting lists of public-housing authorities. In the nine largest agricultural counties in the state, the shortage of farmworker housing is so severe that farmworker families are forced to crowd into substandard units, sleep in their cars, or camp along the riverbanks during the harvest season.
Ventura County authorities said someone earning minimum wage would need to work more than 100 hours a week to afford a one-bedroom apartment in eastern Ventura County. On average, a one-bedroom costs $1,040 a month countywide. It would take an income of about $50,000 a year to afford a two-bedroom apartment with an average rent of $1,400 in the county, according to the Area Housing Authority of Ventura County. That means people are spending half to three-quarters of their income on rent, said Chris Poynter, program and development director for the Lutheran organization. In the past, most renters could expect to spend thirty per cent of their income on housing.
In Washington State, the wage necessary to afford a decent place to live is almost double the state’s minimum wage, which at $7.36 is the highest in the country. That far outpaces the median wage earned by many working families.
According to the census, real wages have not kept up with inflation, while home prices and rents have consistently grown. A minimum-wage worker would have to work at least 79 hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment in Washington state. The working families who drive this economy can’t afford a place to call home. Current housing costs can exclude newcomers and young people starting out in careers that are essential to the community, including nursing, education and law enforcement, as well as agricultural workers.
For the construction industry, conventional wisdom said that 2005 would down in numbers from the year before, a cooling off period. Surprise! New home sales for all of 2005 climbed to an all-time high, marking the fifth year in a row of record sales.
In all, 1.28 million single family houses sold last year, representing a 6.6 percent increase over 2004's 1.2 million units sold. In December 2005 alone, new home sales increased 2.9 per cent from November's figures.
Housing has been the bright star in the American economy. Overall consumer spending, which accounts for 70 per cent of gross domestic spending in the United States, grew only at 1.1 per cent in the fourth quarter of last year. Overall the growth rate for the entire economy was 3.25 for the year.
Home ownership is strongest in the Midwest and South, withe the Midwest leading with 73.8 percent home ownership. The South is at 71 per cent. In the California, ownership is at 56.9 per cent and in New York it is just above 50 per cent.
Investing in the affordable housing stock is not only good policy, it’s smart money. Last year, nonprofit housing development in King County, WA alone generated $77 million in local income, 1,300 jobs and $9 million in tax revenue.

Editor: Ela Bannick