Forestry industry fights on in Washington


state’s pulp industry produced a total of 3.9 million bone dry tons of products ranging from bleached and unbleached paper, newsprint (newspapers), other paper and market pulp. The total was 10 percent more than produced in 2008.

More than 99 percent of the western redcedar logs, used to manufacture cedar shakes, came from tribal forests.

In 2000 waste paper made up 5.19 percent of the total raw material for Washington’s pulp mills. In 2010 wastepaper was 14.7 percent of the total raw material — an increase of nearly 1 million tons of recycled
paper per year.

Beyond the numbers, the Northwest timber industry is made up of hard-working people who care about the land and often have long history with the woods. This story from KGW TV in Portland has an unfortunate headline and approach, but the final quote from logger Mike Pihl says it best.

“To the average schmuck it probably is the worst job. You gotta get up early. The pay really hasn’t been changed in 25 years but it’s in your blood,” he said. “I mean, if you grew up as a logger that’s all you ever want to do. It’s all I want to do.”