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About Vernonia's voice. (Vernonia, OR) 2007-current | View Entire Issue (Nov. 1, 2007)
Pihl Logging Forester Tucker Williamson Retires
By Scott Laird
Tucker Williamson doesn’t look like a guy who is about
to retire. But he is. And he sure doesn’t sound like a
guy who is planning to slow down. And he probably
Tucker Williamson has spent the last forty years living
and working in Oregon as a Forester, after relocating
from Alabama. He has spent the last two and a half
years working here in Vernonia with Mike Pihl Log-
ging, but was calling it quits, so to speak, in October.
seeing Weyerhaeuser ads in the Saturday Evening
Post that showed these beautiful scenic views of Or-
egon and Washington. They really made an impres-
sion, and got me interested in this area, and that’s one
reason I headed out this way.”
a lot of forest management that goes on. You have to
manage the harvest levels, where to harvest, whether
to partial cut, or selective harvest. It really is as much
an art as it is a science. A lot of the time you say ‘ I
think this will work’, and you give something a try.”
Williamson found permanent work as a Forester in
the Bend Area, and spent the next thirty-five years
working for Crown Zellerbach, Willamette Industries,
Weyerhaeuser, and other companies during a series
Williamson told me a story about managing forests.
“We had a situation in Eastern Oregon where there
was a lot of damage being done to the Lodge pole
Pines by Mountain Pine Beetles. The Forest Service
lost a lot of their harvest, hundreds of millions of
board feet. I was in private industry, and we were
able to move quicker, make decisions, and try
some different techniques, and we saved almost
all our trees. I was really proud of the way we
managed our properties and were able save a lot
“I have really enjoyed working for Mike,” said Wil-
liamson, relaxing at the end of a workday in his of-
fice at Pihl Logging. “With Mike it’s about getting
things done, and that’s how I like to work.”
Williamson who at sixty-four years old is still tall
and slim with a full head of hair doesn’t look a
day over fifty, and looks like he could out-hike just
about anybody I know.
“I hope to continue to work a bit, maybe help with
replanting some properties that I helped log and
am pretty familiar with,” said Williamson when
asked about his plans for retirement. “My wife and
I hope to settle back in Central Oregon, maybe
around Prineville. We would like to travel some.
We plan to go to Texas, she wants to go to Austra-
lia, and I would like to get up to Alaska. I haven’t
been fishing for about ten or fifteen years, so I’m
planning on doing some of that. I enjoy Chucker
hunting. I might get in touch with the local Search
and Rescue, and see if I can get involved with
them. I don’t want to just sit around and wear out the
Williamson, who graduated from Auburn University
in 1967 with a degree in Forest Management, found
work at Fort Rock in the Deschutes National Forest
for two seasons on a fire crew. “I was always inter-
ested in the outdoors as a kid, especially the West,”
explained Williamson. “I remember growing up and
“The community of Vernonia is really a special
place,” said Williamson about his time here. “I
love to get out and exercise, and have enjoyed
using the Linear trail around the lake. There is
also so much community spirit and togetherness
here. There are so many activities, and events.
And to see the way the community rallies around
itself, and helps those in need, like the Schaum-
burg family, well that is just rare in the world these
of buy outs and mergers. In 2003 he went back to log-
ging and did some forestry consulting before finding a
spot with Pihl Logging in March of 2005.
“I did beginning forestry work, some logging, road en-
gineering, trucking supervision, land management,”
Williamson explained to me, when asked what exactly
does a forester do? “In the central and eastern Or-
egon forests where I spent most of my time, there is
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“I really enjoy being out on the ground, being di-
rectly involved in the production,” said Williamson.
“With the big companies, it was always endless
meetings. With Mike Pihl, a long meeting is five
minutes, maybe ten. I really liked the pace of things
here. Mike likes to find an opportunity, get the per-
mits, get together a crew, and get to work. It’s about
getting things done, and that’s what I like.”
It doesn’t sound like things are going to change much
in retirement for Tucker Williamson. Vernonia’s Voice
wishes Tucker the best of luck!
Columbia River Youth Corps
Works in Vernonia
The Columbia River Youth Corps has a new sponsor, the City of Ver-
nonia. Students from the education/work training program based in St.
Helens spent eight days in late September and early October learning voca-
tional skills and having instruction in trail building while helping construct
Phase I of the Vernonia Bicycle Skills Park.
“We are very happy to be a part of this project,” said Anna Vacca, direc-
tor of the program. “The students are really excited to be working on this,
and we are looking forward to helping get this new park up and running.”
The trail crew which consisted of seven crew members and a crew lead-
er, helped build trails, construct technical trail features, build bridges and
clear brush and debris at the Skills Park site.
Columbia River Youth Corps works throughout the state of Oregon on
a wide variety of projects that help youth, community and the environment
throughout the state.
The Vernonia Country Kitchen & Pizza
(On Bridge Street across from the High School)
Open 7 days a week
7am to 8pm
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Pizza Parlour - We deliver!
Suite with hot tub & private deck
Individual entrances, TVs
Rooms with hot tubs
Home of the famous "Skidder Hamburger",
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