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TimberWest November/December 2013

November/December 2015

Photo of Bighorn Logging’s yarder taken by Lindsay Mohlere.

Emerald Valley Keeps on Keeping on
Resolve and flexibility are the hallmark of Emerald Valley Thinning

The Challenges of Change
Harve Dethlefs retired from electronics and began a career in logging

Don’t Overlook the Value of Alder
Defiance Forest Products discusses the marketability of Alder

A Lifetime in the Woods
Gardner Logging & Road Construction

Biomass Column
Colorado Woody Biomass Plant Plays Waiting Game

Pacific Logging Congress Review


In the News

Tech Review - Portable Grinders

Association News

Machinery Row

New Products

Guest Column








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Redwood — Growing Strong

Charlie JourdainBy Charlie Jourdain

For far too long now, many in our industry have operated with the misconception that redwood isn’t even available for sale anymore. They mistakenly believed that actions taken more than 30 years ago effectively limited our experiences with and enjoyment of redwood to the confines of protected parklands.


The truth is that redwood has never stopped growing and continues to be available as the sustainable lumber of choice for a variety of building projects. And it’s all thanks to careful forest management practices that have been in place far longer than many think.

A uniquely American-grown species, redwood trees can only thrive along a narrow strip of land that hugs the Pacific coast in Northern California. Humboldt County accounts for 20 percent of the total forest production for the entire state of California—nearly 1,500,000 acres of combined public and private forest in production. More than forty percent of all remaining old growth Coast Redwood forests, approximately 680,000 acres, grows in Humboldt County, the vast majority of which is protected or strictly conserved within dozens of national, state, and local forests and parks.


The majority of Redwood trees grown for harvesting and milling come from this area, which is subject to the world’s most stringent management and harvest practices. Both the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) require private forestland owners to have harvest plans and management operations audited, and both set standards relating to the licensing and training of forest managers as well as broad standards for forest resource conservation.

This certification program also requires water, air, soil, and wildlife habitat resources be conserved and sites to be replanted with native species. Nearly all our product-producing redwood forests are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council or Sustainable Forestry Initiative as sources of environmentally-sound building materials.

California forestry regulations also set high standards for sustainability and resource conservation, laws considered the most stringent in the world. In fact, a study by California Polytechnic University–San Luis Obispo found that California’s forestry regulations are as strict, or stricter, than the standards set by FSC and SFI.

This conscientious habitat management and replanting means there will be plentiful forestlands to sustain the native wildlife and provide lumber for generations to come. That is why redwood is still available to consumers; for each redwood cut down, hundreds are being planted in its place.


Today redwood is one of the most environmentally-friendly ways to build decks, fences, and some furniture. Redwood’s naturally sustainable features include:

  • Redwood trees are carbon negative, as they decrease carbon and then store more carbon than emitted in manufacturing. This is far less than any plastic composite product that puts a ton of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
  • Redwood can be refinished a number of times and is also biodegradable. Other materials can spend thousands of years in landfills.
  • Redwood’s tight wood grain means it holds its shape more consistently; it is also naturally resistant to insects, disease, and even fire.

With a healthy, responsibly-maintained growing stock, redwood is well-positioned to grow with demand as more consumers become aware of the characteristics of this wood and the availability of its lumber. To learn more about the many ways redwood can be used, visit

Charlie Jourdain is President of the California Redwood Association,,