Morning Oregonian. (Portland, Or.) 1861-1937, January 01, 1921, New Year's Edition, Section 4, Page 4, Image 28

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City Is Geographical Center of Greatest Area of Merchantable Timber on Continent; Largest Portion of Forest Lands of States of Oregon, Washington and Idaho Tributary to Portland
far Air
Wsj fern Jief Cef&rt Source of Jttppfy for Mors
PORTLAND is destined soon to be
come the lumber capital of
America. Portland is the geo
graphical center of the greatest area
of merchantable timber on the Ameri
can continent, and it is bound to be
come the financial and commercial
center for the development of these
In fact Portland already is the cen-,
ter of the great Douglas fir and
western pine industries of the Pacific
Gradually, as the timber directly
tributary to Portland is developed,
the importance of Portland as a lum
ber center will grow and an ever-increasing
proportion of the country's
lumber business Wmt be done through
this market.
The three northwestern states of
Oregon, Washington and Idaho con
tain, it is estimated, 818.000.000.000
feet of standing timber, of whih ap
proximately 600.000.000.000 i jet is
tributary to Portland.
The greatest of these species, of
course, is Douglas fir, of which Ore
gon, according to the estimate of the
United States forest service, contains
255.000.000,000 feet. Washington 132.
000.000,000 feet and Idaho ;10.000.000,
000 feet. Virtually all the merchant
able fir In Oregon and approximately
SO per cent in Washington is tribu
tary to Portland. The fir in Idaho is
of a comparatively inferior quality,
but it doubtless will be marketed
through Portland as much of the lum
ber produced in Idaho now is sold
through this markett.
Western white pine Is next in im
portance, both in the volume of avail
Able supply and in general usefulness.
The forest service estimates a stand
Of feet of this species
in Oregon with 20.O0ft.GO0. 000 in
Washington and feet in
Idaho. Portland is the center of the
western piue industry, as much of
this cut from both Washington and
Idaho', as well as practically all the
cut from Oregon will be marketed,
either directly or indirectly through
w ' r . J J i i . i i
J -r i it I if
y x LJ a 1 C I S w f l . l l
331. 000, 000, 000 Ir Pernf.
WtsffTsi Yellow Pins, 125, ooo,o0O,oco Jr of
Sferj Cezjfafri 90, 000, 000, 000 Fee
Other i"Tirv Import nut.
Other important commercial spe
cies in the three states are western
hemlock. 90,000,000.000 feet; western
red ceiiar. feet, and Sitka
spruce. 15.000.000,000 feet. These spe
cies, as a rule, grow intermingfed
with Douglas fir west of the Cascade
range in Oregon and Washington and
the proportion of each tributary to
Portland Is about the same as that
of Douglas fir.
In the southwestern part of th
state Is an important supply of Port
Orford cedar which is being de
veloped for many special uses and
which is marketed, in large part,
through Portland.
As these timber resources are de
veloped Portland will develop. While
it is not likely that any considerable
portion of this timber will be manu
factured into lumber within the city
itself, virtually all of it will be mar
keted here, and the industry, to a
large extent, will be centered here.
Much of the ever-increasing export
trade will be handled through this
port and other ports on the Colum
bia river.
Within the last few years the im
portance of Portland as a lumber
market has been accentuated by the
removal to Portland of a large num
ber of lumber sales offices from other
points iii the northwest. The own
ers of sawmills In distant parts of
Oregon, Washington and Idaho have
established their offices for sale and
distribution of their products in j
Portland. At the same time a great I
many eastern concerns that buy lum
ber in the northwest for distribution
in distant parts of the country, have
opened offices here. The movement
in this direction is certain to grow
as the timber in the northwest is cut
and placed on the market.
Three or four of Portland's largest
office buildings am nearly filled with
lumher sales offices, lumber whole
salers and lumber brokers. The av
erage lumberman in the east and
middle west, when thinking of Doug
las fir and other species of lumber)
produced in the northwest, naturally
thinks of Portland.
But Portland is not yet the leading-
lumber market in the country.
That honor now is divided between
several southern and middle western
cities, through which the great bulk
of southern pine lumber is sold.
Douglas Fir Gaining.
Southern pine continues to be the
dominant species in the American
lumbar market. This condition will
contihue for five and perhaps ten
years until Douglas fir gains the as
cendancy. Douglas fir is being pro
duced in greater volume every year.
It is gradually gaining on southern
pine. When the time arrives that
Douglas fir is produced in greater
volume than southern pine, then fir
will predominate the market and
Portland will indeed be the lumber
capital of America.
While it is true that the production
of southern pine is declining and will
continue to decline every year for a
iffecade or more, the decline is not
nearly so great, according to a care
ful analysis of the situation recently
made by the National Lumber Manu
facturers' association, as some people
have, apparently been led to believe.
For a good many years now, the
northwest has heard the cry that the
supply of southern pine is just about
exhausted, that the mills in the south
have but a few more years to run be
fore being forced to close for lack of
raw material, and that the country
then will be forced to come to the
northwest for its lumber require
ments. That Is only relatively true. The
Chang is taking place surely, but so
gradually that it is hard to detect it
at ail except when viewed over a
period of a few years at a time.
The southern pine mills now cut
from 12,000.000,000 to 15,000.000,000
feet per year, and the best authori
ties agree that within the next five
years the net decline of these mills
will be .about 3,600.000,000 feet annu
ally, and that by the 'end of 1930 the
annual production in the south will
j have diminished by an additional
3,500,000.000 feet. Thus, by the end or
the next decade the south will be cut
ting only about 7,000,000,000 to 8,000.
000,000 feet annually instead of the
13,000.000,000 to 15,000,000,000 now
being produced.
Annual Consumption Large.
Everyone is agreed that under nor
mal requirements the annual con
sumption of lumber in the United
States will continue at approximately
30,000,000.000 to 35,000,000.000 feet,
including hardwoods as well as the
various species of soft woods.
If the production of the nation's
principal soft wood species is going
to be diminished by say 7,000,000,000
feet a year, the nation will be forced
to come to that market where a simi
lar supply of soft woods can be ob
tained. And that market is in the
ereat Pacific northwest, of which
, Portland is the geographical, finan
cial and commercial center.
But the excess demand upon the
northwest will be even greater than
is indicated by this reduction of
7.000,000,000 feet in the supply of
southern pine.
The south is developing faster than
any other section of the country just
now, and during the next ten years,
it is estimated,, will increase its own
annual lumber requirements by at
least 1,000,000,000 feet.
At the same, time the production in
eastern spruce, northern pine and
other soft wood species In New Eng
land, Minnesota, Wisconsin and other
long - established lumber - protfuclnjr
districts will decline another 1,000,V
000,000 feet annually.
Export demand, in the past, has
taken only about 8 per cent of the
lumber produced in America, but this
demand, during the next ten years,
will Increase sufficiently to require
an additional 1,000.000,000 annually.
Whether this export business comes
to the northwest or not is unimpor
tant, because it will take just that
much lumber out of the country every
year. If it goes out of the south, the
northwest will step In and sell its
lumber to those markets from which
the south is forced to withdraw to fill
these export needs.
Oregon Must Fill Gap.
So, with the 7.000,000.000 feet de
cline In southern pine production, ths
1,000,000,000 feet decline in production
of other soft woods, the 1,000,000,000
feet of increased requirement in the
south and the 1,000,000,000 feet addi
tional for the export trade, the coun
try will begin to look to the Pacific
coast during the next ten years for
about 10.000,000,000 feet more lumber
every year than is being produced
right now.
This is just about equivalent to the
present annual production on the en
tire Pacific coast, including Califor
nia and British Columbia.
Of course, in meeting this increased
demand, California and British Co
lumbia will play their part, for both
have tremendous resources in stand
ing timber.
But Oregon ami those parts of
Washington and Idaho that are com
mercially tributary to Portland will
contribute the greatest volume sb
well as the greatest proportion of
this increased development, for it Is
in these sections where stands the
best and biggest supply of merchant
able timber.
"Oregon is potentially the greatest
lumber-producing factor on the
American continent," said the report
made less than a year ago by the Na
tional Lumber Manufacturers asso
ciation after a thorough survey of
the timber resources of the country.
"Many of the larger holdings," con
tinues the report, "are in the hands
of men with ample capital to operate
them. Oregon's timber stand of more
than 500,000,000,000 feet is large
enough to sustain the increased pro
duction necessary for this state to
carry its share of the castorn and
southern deficit for many years."
And the same mieht have been said
of those portions of Washington and
Idaho that market their lumber prod
ucts through Portland.
Buniu wiii nuii liiwn ij mumiiwittiiiiuuiium
Nearly 170,000 Head of Cattle and Horses and 685,000 Sheep and Goats Were
Permitted to Graze in 14 National Forests of State in 1920.
By K. Kavanarb. Assistant Iklrlrt
I .rr-ii-r in Charge of Grazing.
IN THE high country of Oregon
along the Cascades and in the Blue
mmintnjn. winter comes early.
While the valleys below are still
bathed In sunshine and the leaves on
the trees are just beginning to show
the colors of autumn the first snows
of winter can be seen on the peaks
and on all the higher elevations.
While the farmers in the low country
re seeing to the harvesting of their
bay or grain, the picking of apples or
the other duties involved In the rais
ing of crops, the stockman is back
Jn the hills seeing to the removal of
his eatUe or sheep before the snow
Most of the fat Jambs have been
Bent to market, the others and their
mothers have been held back to get
a little more feed, if the weather will
permit, and to await the time when
the winter pastures or winter range
re In shape for use. The. fat cat
tle that are to be sold have mostly
fceen rounded up and are in the mea
dows and pastures at the home
ranches, if they haven't taken the
last long ride to the butcher. Here
and there through the glades and
meadows up in the mountains bunches
of stock still remain, loath to leave,
and these are the oaes which Mr.
Cowman has to round up and bring
out before winter catches them un
awares. While the stocktpen are moving the
last of their cattle or sheep, if the
forest fires are not claiming their at
tention, you will find the forest
rangers also riding the range. They
are making their fall inspection to
learn how the range has withstood
the summer grazing; they are look
ing for areas of unused feed or placet
that perhaps have been grazed too
closely, liie purpose of their riding
being to see whether any changes in
range or methods of handling stock
must be made the following season.
Their reports will be made to the
forest supervisor, who will in turn
make a more general report to the
district forester of grazing conditions,
the losses of stock from poisonous
plants, predatory animals, or other
causes, the cost of hay, and many
other things that have a bearing
upon the use and allotment of range
to the different classes of stock on
his forest.
Work Directed From Portland.
From the district office in Portland
the supervisor will receive his in
structions for handling grazing work
during the coming season. These in
structions are based on the super
visor's report of conditions and the
still wider general knowledge of the
district office men concerning con
ditions generally throughout the
state or the northwest.
Along about this same time the
stockman is also beginning to plan
for next year, and shortly after the
first of the year sends in to the for
est supervisor his application for tho
number of stock he wishes to graze
on the government s ranges, a cer
tain date is set by the supervisor on
or before which time all applications
must be in his office. Having given
public notice of this date he then
proceeds to allot the range to tin
applicants in accordance with theii
known qualifications.
An effort is made to allot the range
only to those who can and have ade
quately cared for their stock during
the winter. Many things are con
sidered by the supervisor in connec
tion with this work, and frequently
difficult situations arise. The de
mand for government forest range is
far in excess of the supply. It in
often difficult to decide between cer
tain applicants for range privileges.
This work is, however, oftentimen
simplified by calling into consulta
tion a representative committee, called
an advisory board, of the stockmen
using the particular range. In fact,
in many ways the work of the forest
service in handling the grazing on
the' national forests has been mado
easier through co-operation by the
stockmen through their association!!
and advisory boards.
Many Cattie Craze.
At about this same time officers o
the stock associations are busy col
lecting from the members assesments
for the purchase in wholesale quanti
ties of salt for the next season, for
paying the expenses of hiring rang,
riders to look after the stock durinff
the summer, and for the other ex
penses, of which there are many.
All of these matters are adjusted
by the stockmen after a time and the
supervisor notified. Each permitted
must also pay a stated price per head
to Uncle Samuel for grazing stock
on his forest, and when this has been
paid and the grazing permit finally
issued by the supervisor heis free
to drive his stock In on the opening
date of the season for which he has
Each year this procedure is re
peated for the 14 forests of Oregon,
on which in 19:0 nearly 170,000 head
of cattle and horses and over 685,000
sheep and goats were allowed o
graze. These figures do not include
the young stock under six months
of age at the time of entering the
forest, as these are not counted or
charged for. If we were to include
them the totals above given would
be Increased about 25 per cent for
the cattle and horses and approxi
mately 90 per cent for the sheep
and goats. The cattle and horses on
the national forests of Oregon were
owned by 2327 different owners and
the sheep and goats by 494 owners.
In addition many stock were grazed
withoi L permit In email numbers on
the different forests, no permits be
ing required for milk and work stock
actually In use in numbers less than
ten head for each owner. Approxi
mately one-eighth as many more
cattle and pearly one-third as many
more sheep as were permitted .could
not be provided for on account of
lack of government range.
Pnrenred Stock Increases.
Among the permittees using the
national forests of Oregon are some
of the most progressive stock men
of the west. The number of pure
bred animals is rapidly increasing
and the best possible care is taken
of them both winter and summer.
It is becoming a common instead ofj
an unusual sight to find registered
animals out on the forest range.
There is a growing pride among , the
stockmen in the quality of their
stock, Instead of the quantity or
number as in the days gone by; and
even though the past two years have
been a period of exceptional hard
ship, due to the high production costs
and low selling prices for their prod
ucts, there is every reason to be
lieve progress and betterment will
To many stock owners the summer
time is a vacation a vacation from
worry. His stock are away in the
mountains, nearly always on good
feed, and while even then he may
sustain grievous losses the chances
are that he will not, especially If
he Is a cowman and belongs to an
association that hires riders to look
after the stock, salt them, shift them
from one range to another as feed
conditions warrant, and generally see
that they are handled to the best
possible advantage. Or if he is a
sheepman and has responsible em
ployes loyal to him who have a pride
in their own-'work, his worries are
less in the summer than at any other
The national forest ranges mean
much to the stock owners of Oregon.
With continual settlement of the
range country they will mean even
more. Most of the permittees realize
their dependence on these ranges and
a feeling of personal responsibility
regarding the use and condition of
their allotted range Is becoming gen
eral. A majority of the stockmen
belong to associations which co
operate closely with the forest service
in range administration. Some of
these associations have spent thou
sands of dollars in the past few years
fencing and improving the ranges.
They do this because federal appro
priations for this purpose are not
available, even though these improve
ments virtually become the property
of the government, due to the Imprac
ticability of removing them. A great
deal of dependence is also placed by
the service on the stockmen in con
nection With the prevention and sup
pression of forest fires. Many fires
are put out by the stockmen or their
employes which the forest officers do
not get to and valuable assistance- la
given in the suppression of the larger
fires that frequently occur in the for
Several million dollars' worth of
beef and mutton move to market each
fall from the forest ranges of Ore
gon. Much of this has actually been
grown upon these ranges and' conse
quently their wise use Is a matter of
grave importance not only to tho for
est service and to the stockmen, but
to all the people of Oregon who are
interested in or dependent upon one
of its most stable industries, the rais
ing of livestock.
Few people who are not personally
familiar with the stock business are
aware of the trials and tribulations
of the stockman. The average per
son vizualizes the stockman from the
standpoint of $20 shoes and $S0 suits
of clothes, but in doing so grievously
wrongs him, for of these amounts his
share is extremely small. In spite of
rain or snow, in sunshine and shadow,
whether the day is long or short, the
stockman stays with the game, most
ly because he loves it. He is fol
lowing the oldest of Biblical occupa
tions and he furnishes many of the
necessities of life.
mtiiiiiiiiitiitiiTMiiiiiiiiiiiitmiiitrirrinnniniHiTnimi muiKtmunJ
Standing Timber East of Cascades Totals 90,000,000,000 Feet, Chiefly of Western
White Pine Lumber Industry Distinct From 1 hat of Coast.
By A. W. Cooper, Secretary Western Pine
Manufacturers' Association.
UNDOUBTEDLY many people who
live . in Oregon are accustomed
to thinkiner of tho lumber in
dustry of the state as something that
is confined to the coast territory west
of the Cascade mountains, and believe
that fir, spruce and cedar, the pre
vailing woods of this region, are the
only lumber products of the state.
It Is, of course, true that the for
ests of the coast belt comprise the
major portion of the state s standing
timber. It is equally true that there
are vast stretches of forest area east
of tho Cascade mountains. The for
ests in the eastern portion of the state
differ greatly in character from the
coast timber, being more open and
made up of different species, the bulk
of the timber being pine.
To give some idea of tho extent of
these forests, it is estimated by the
best authorities that there is over
90,000,000,000 feet of standing timber
in this portion of the state, or nearly
three times the present annual pro
duction of lumber in tho whole coun
try. During the past 20 years there
has been developed in eastern and in
central Oregon a lumber manufactur
ing industry separate and distinct
from that of the coast. Its chief prod
uct is pine and the pine is commonjy
known as western white pine.
The industry has developed mainly
in two localities, one centering
around La Grande and Baker, and the
other in central Oregon along the
Deschutes river valley. Ir these two
localities there are about 12 large and
a very considerable number of smaller
mills now in progress. The pine in
dustry produces approximately 400.
000,000 board feet of lumber annually,
and employs upwards of 5000 men.
Many of the lumber manlfacturing
plants located in this territory ara
among tho most up to date and mod
ern in the west, and a few of them
are among the very largest in the
co-untry. The product of the mills is
largely shipped east and has of re
cent years been taking tho place of
the eastern white pine formerly fur
nished by the lake states. Lumber
from eastern Oregon goes to neatly
all portions of the country and a
very considerable amount of it is be
ing shipped east of Chicago and as
far as the Atlantic seacoast. In fact,
Pickles, ships' masts, maca
roni these just happen to top
the list of products turned out
by the 34 manufacturing con
cerns in the North Portland in
dustrial district, 13 of which
have come there since 1917. They
employ over 3000 people and do
a total business of $125,000,000.
Among other commodities that
are made on the peninsula are
metal and wood pipe, sauerkraut,
tinned meats, stoves, furnitura,
ready-cut houses, boxes and
crates, wool, dry kilns, waxed
paper, steel bridges, patent roof
ing, paints, all sorts of lum
ber, shingles, wood containers,
from candy pails to giant tanks,
farm appliances, road-building
equipment and fertilizers.
a very appreciable amount of it goes
to New England.
In addition to the lumber pro
duced, nearly all of the larger manu
facturing plants operate their own
box factories and re-manufacture a
portion of their output into Box
shooks, supplying the fruit-growins
districts of Oregon, Washington and
Idaho with a large part of their fruit
boxes, the box industry in Itself be
ing by no means an unimportant part
of the whole.
The development of lumber manu
facturing on a large scale In the eaat
orn portion of the state Is of com
paratively recent date, although this
section is one of the oldeat lumber
manufacturing districts In the north
west. With the building of new railroads-
and an increasing demand for
white pine, it began a few years ago
to develop with rapidity, and It is not
unlikely that the next five to ten
years will see it increase to twice its
present size.
Some idea of its value to the state
and of its importance may be gath
ered from the fact that the present
value of ito product at the mill is In
the neighborhood of $16,000,000 a year,
and that it represents a capital in
ventment in timber and plants of
something in excess of this. In sev
eral instances the industry Ls the life
of thriving communities and upon its
future growth and development prin
cipally depends the Industrial develop
ment of the eastern sections of the
These pine manufacturing plants
are truly highly developed industrial
enterprises. Their huge sawmills
with from one to four handsaws,
re-saws, edgers and trimmers, their
live rolls to move the lumber, their
modern power houses, planing mills,
dry sheds, dry kilns, loading docks
and their lumber yards covering many
acres of land and, in some instances.
nun .ctei.j u...' ui f.i ' w .tis.i ...
and permanent industry.
The future lire or tne industry may
be readily gathered from the fact
that at the present rate of production
it would take at least 180 years to ex
haust the existing standing timber in
this part of the state.