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Port Gamble historic town. Also portgamble.com


Pope and Talbot Announces Agreement to Sell Three Pulp Mills to Sinar Mas Group

Agreement subject to approval by US Bankruptcy Court and Canadian Court allows for competing bids to be considered before sale is finalized.


(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Pope & Talbot, Inc. (Pink Sheets: PTBT) today announced that it has agreed to sell three pulp mills to one or more affiliates within the Sinar Mas Group. The value of the transaction to Pope & Talbot is approximately $225 million, including the assumption of certain liabilities and $100 million of working capital proceeds that is not subject to the sale, to be realized after closing.

The three pulp mills, located in Nanaimo, British Columbia, Mackenzie, British Columbia and Halsey, Oregon are producers of high-quality softwood pulp. "We are delighted with this development, as this is an important milestone in maximizing value for our stakeholders." said Harold Stanton, Pope & Talbot President and CEO.

"The past 6 months have been very trying on our folks and it is exciting that they will have the opportunity to join a world class pulp and paper producer like Sinar Mas Group."

The sale is subject to approval by the US Bankruptcy Court and the Canadian Court, and will be effected under procedures that provide for opportunity for other parties to submit competing proposals subject to court approved bidding procedures and protections for the purchaser(s). The transaction is also subject to customary regulatory approvals in Canada and the United States, and Pope & Talbot expects to receive such approvals and close the transaction in the first quarter of 2008.

Pope & Talbot is a pulp and wood products business. The Company is based in Portland, Oregon and trades on the Pink Sheets under the symbol PTBT. Pope & Talbot was founded in 1849 and produces market pulp and softwood lumber at mills in the US and Canada. Markets for the Company's products include the US, Europe, Canada, South America and the Pacific Rim. For more information, please check our website at poptal.com/.

Sinar Mas Group is a global enterprise with significant interests in pulp and paper in Indonesia, China and elsewhere. Sinar Mas is the largest producer of pulp and paper in Asia and is one of the top five in the world.

A spokesperson for Sinar Mas Group stated that "Sinar Mas is pleased to have entered into this agreement since it represents an important step in our global strategy for pulp and paper. We look forward to working closely with management, labor unions and employees to ensure that the pulp business of Pope & Talbot is stabilized, strengthened and enhanced through the obvious synergies and growth potential presented by our existing pulp and paper business."

Caution Regarding Forward-Looking Statements

This press announcement and other Pope & Talbot communications may contain statements relating to future performance of Pope & Talbot that are forward-looking statements.

These statements relate to Pope & Talbot's future plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and may be identified by words like "believe," "expect," "may," "will," "should," "seek," or "anticipate," and similar expressions.

Pope & Talbot cautions readers that any such forward-looking statements are based on assumptions that it believes are reasonable, but are subject to a wide range of risks including, but not limited to, risks associated with being a debtor in possession in a chapter 11 proceeding and a debtor company under the Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act (Canada), including the satisfaction of conditions precedent to funding, fluctuations of the borrowing base and other limitations that may affect Pope & Talbot's continued ability to borrow under its debtor-in-possession credit facility to finance its operations, the occurrence of a termination event thereunder, court approval of the proposed sale, Pope & Talbot's relationship with and payment terms provided by its trade creditors, additional financing requirements, the results of renegotiating certain key commercial agreements, the effect of commodity and raw material prices, foreign currency fluctuations, the effect of U.S. housing market conditions and other uncertainties previously detailed in Pope & Talbot's filings with the SEC.

Due to these uncertainties, there is an inherent risk that actual results will differ materially from any forward-looking statements.

Pope & Talbot is under no obligation to (and expressly disclaims any such obligation to) update or alter any forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.


Pope and Talbot, Inc. - Company Profile, Information, Business Description, History, Background Information on Pope and Talbot, Inc.

Pope and Talbot, Inc., is one of America's oldest and most successful wood-fiber products companies. The firm makes and markets wood pulp, softwood lumber, consumer tissue, and disposable diaper products. Pope and Talbot serves a variety of markets, including the housing industry, newsprint manufacturers, printing and writing paper manufacturers, supermarkets, mass merchandisers, food and drug distributing firms, and drugstores. The company's Ultra Thin disposable diaper has become one of the leading products in the consumer tissues market.

Andrew Jackson Pope and Frederick Talbot, two ambitious young men from Maine, arrived in San Francisco on December 1, 1849, after a grueling 51-day journey around South America on a number of different steam ships. Although they were exhausted when they stepped ashore, the excitement of San Francisco, which had grown from a population of 6,000 to 20,000 in just six months, overwhelmed the two Easterners. Pope and Talbot immediately recognized the potential for starting a new business, and on the following day, they joined with partners Lucius Sanborn and J. P. Keller to establish a company to operate barges in San Francisco bay.

A short two months later, the partners were able not only to pay for the cost of their new barges and boats, but also to turn a profit of more than $800. After buying out Sanborn's interest, Pope, Talbot, and Keller decided to enter the lumber business. A number of disastrous fires in San Francisco had convinced the partners that demand for lumber would remain high. Soon they opened a lumber yard and began transporting consignments of the product from one area to another. A stroke of good fortune occurred when Frederick Talbot's older brother, W. C. Talbot, arrived in California with his brig, the Oriental. A large, sea-worthy vessel, the Oriental provided the firm with a greater range of transport. When Frederick Talbot decided to permanently return to the East Coast and open a business in New York, his older brother replaced him as a partner in the company.

For a short time, the partners shipped lumber from Maine to California through arrangements with Pope's relatives. They found this impractical as a long-term strategy, however, especially given the enormous demand for lumber in and around the San Francisco area. They built their own mill in the Oregon Territory on Puget Sound, on a site that Native Americans called Teekalet, or "Brightness of the Noonday Sun" settlers renamed it Port Gamble. By 1853 the partners' mill was producing nearly 2,000 board feet of lumber per day. Four years later production had jumped to a total of eight million board feet for the year, and the company was known as the largest and most successful business on Puget Sound.

The late 1850s brought an Indian war, a gold rush that destabilized the labor market, and a short period of overproduction as a result of new lumber mills established on Puget Sound. Yet the mill at Port Gamble, now called the Puget Mill Company, continued to prosper. In response to a growing demand for lumber during and after the Civil War, the Puget Mill Company added new equipment and began to acquire smaller mills in the area, including important mills on Camano Island and Port Ludlow. By 1879 the company was producing more than 200,000 board feet per day and nearly 70 million feet per year.

As the nineteenth century progressed, leadership of the firm changed hands. J. P. Keller died in June 1862, and was replaced as a partner of the firm by mill superintendent Cyrus Walker. Andrew Pope died in September 1878, and Captain Talbot in August 1881. William H. Talbot, the son of Captain Talbot, had been groomed by his father in every aspect of the lumber business, and when the elder Talbot died, the son quickly became the driving force behind the company, relying heavily on Cyrus Walker's 28 years of experience in the mill. In 1882 the total capacity of all the Puget Mill operations amounted to 99,000,000 board feet of lumber per year. In 1885 the number of cargoes of lumber shipped from the mill at Port Gamble alone reached 49 by 1888, the number had risen to 78. The company also owned one of the largest shipping fleets for the transportation of its lumber, with fourteen ships carrying lumber to customers in Japan, Hawaii, Australia, South America, China, Korea, India, and South Africa. During this same period, the Puget Mill Company was also purchasing enormous tracts of timberland in order to maintain a reliable source of wood for its mills by 1892, the firm reported ownership of 186,000 acres.

During the 1890s and the years immediately following the turn of the century, Puget Mill Company expanded its marketing operations and opened three new offices in San Francisco. The development of railroad traffic heralded even greater prosperity for the company, since it transformed the isolated state of Washington into America's largest distributor of lumber. As timberlands in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota were depleted, demand for Washington's lumber skyrocketed. The number of mills in Washington had grown from 46 in 1870 to 310 by 1890. By 1906 there were more than 900 lumber mills in the state producing 4,305,000,000 board feet of lumber.

Beginning in 1907, however, the Puget Mill Company suffered a series of setbacks. When the state of Washington levied a tax increase on the acreage of timberland held by the company, Puget Mill's extensive holdings nearly became a liability. In addition, equipment used in the company's mills had become antiquated, and Puget Mill's operations were running inefficiently. In 1908 the company sold the last of its aging fleet of schooners, once the largest lumber armada on the West Coast. The company joined an organization that chartered the tonnage for shipment, thus relieving Puget Mill Company of the burden of maintaining its own fleet. By the end of World War I, the company had grown large, diverse, and somewhat cumbersome, with some 15 corporations under the direct management of Puget Mill. Labor unrest, which occurred throughout the Northwest region during this time, affected all of the company's holdings.

In July 1925, William Talbot, exhausted and in ill health, decided to sell Puget Mill Company to the Charles R. McCormick Lumber Company. McCormick, a native of Michigan, had arrived in Portland, Oregon, in 1901. He renovated a dilapidated millsite at St. Helens on the Columbia River, and from there he created a lumber empire that grew to become one of the largest on the Pacific Coast. McCormick purchased all of Puget Mill Company, including mills and timberlands, at a price of $15,000,000. Talbot, known as a shrewd businessman, made McCormick agree to build a new mill at Port Gamble, with Puget Mill Company holding a mortgage on all the mills, timberlands, and logging camps operated by McCormick.

From the beginning of the takeover, McCormick's management team made serious errors and miscalculations. Modernizations and improvements at Port Ludlow and St. Helens, as well as the new mill at Port Gamble, were plagued by cost overruns. McCormick soon faced rising interest rates, amortization payments, and annual taxes of more than $1 million. As his debts steadily increased, McCormick devised a strategy of expansion, hiring a larger sales staff and increasing production. Costs continued to outrun revenues, however, and by the start of the Depression in 1930 the company had posted a loss of $858,587. The company's situation only worsened with the economic problems brought on by the Depression.

After William Talbot died, George Pope, Sr., assumed the position of president of Puget Mill Company and began to pressure McCormick to resign. When McCormick's expansion strategy failed to revitalize the company, he vacated his position in December 1931. Pope was then elected chairman of the board of Charles R. McCormick Lumber Company, with the intention of protecting the interests of the Puget Mill Company. He immediately appointed managers who exemplified his own financially conservative viewpoint, and began to reduce the debt incurred by McCormick. By 1937 all the bank loans and a significant portion of the mortgage bonds were retired. In 1938 the Puget Mill Company brought a suit of foreclosure against the Charles R. McCormick Lumber Company. Unable to pay its obligations of over $7 million, the McCormick Company was forced to cede all of its holdings to the owners of Puget Mill. The principals of the foreclosure suit, George Pope, Sr. George Pope, Jr. Frederic C. Talbot and Talbot Walker, all descendants of the original owners, reacquired the company their forefathers had labored to build.

George Pope, Sr., became president of the company, which was renamed Pope & Talbot, Inc. Before any analysis and reorganization of the lumber operations and steamship activities could take place, however, World War II began. George Pope, Sr., became chairman of the board, allowing his son, George Pope, Jr., to assume the position of president and deal with the demands of the war years.

Pope & Talbot mills operated at full capacity during the entire war. The company produced lumber for panel bridges used in the invasion of Europe, tent poles, and Signal Corps material for communication lines. Company lumber was used for the construction of naval housing, and the company's fleet of steamships made vital contributions to the American war effort. Pope & Talbot vessels transported the supplies necessary for waging war in every area of conflict, and stopped at ports including Murmansk, Bizerte, Salerno, Guadalcanal, and Okinawa. The company also suffered casualties: four ships were sunk during the war, including the S.S. West Ivis, which lost its entire crew. During the height of worldwide hostilities, Pope & Talbot was responsible for more than 75 ships. The war helped improve the financial position of the company, which was one of the three largest lumber producers in the entire Northwest by the end of the war.

The future appeared especially promising for the company's steamship operations during the postwar years: industry along the Pacific Coast needed large quantities of bulk materials, while the East Coast needed lumber and other products from the western United States. However, volatile labor relations plagued the company. In 1948 a three-month strike by dock workers cost the firm more than $1,250,000, and a series of strikes in 1954 caused Pope & Talbot to lose a significant portion of its steamship cargoes. By 1958 the company was down to one shipping route, and another year of strikes in the maritime industry during 1959 brought its vessels to a standstill. Competition from the railroad industry also began to take business away from shipping. As a result, in 1963 Pope & Talbot decided to terminate shipping operations by selling the four remaining vessels in its once-proud fleet.

In contrast to its shipping activities, the company's lumber operations were highly successful. Having purchased a large tract of timberland near Oakridge, Oregon, in 1946, management assured itself of adequate timber holdings for the foreseeable future. By 1950 the company owned over one billion board feet of timber ready for cutting, and during the next decade it opened new mills in the United States and Canada. Pope & Talbot also implemented a diversification strategy which included building a particleboard plant, a veneer mill, and a wood treatment facility, and in 1961 the company purchased a plywood plant. These moves brought the company closer to fulfilling its goal of a fully integrated wood products program.

In 1963 George Pope, Jr., resigned as president of the company and was replaced by Cyrus T. Walker, a descendant of one of the company's early partners. In 1966 Pope & Talbot reported that its lumber division provided 61.6 percent of its revenues, plywood 13.9 percent, veneer 7.1 percent, particleboard 6.2 percent, and hardboard 6.2 percent. Net earnings increased from $717,000 in 1965 to $1,203,000 in 1966. In 1968 sales increased an astronomical 73 percent over the previous year, totaling $3,025,238. The company's success lay in the fact that management was moving quickly to take advantage of growing markets for new wood products. In 1969 the firm continued its expansion strategy by purchasing another mill in Canada, procuring cutting rights to more than a million acres of timberland in Canada, and constructing a new log utilization plant.

The company changed leadership in 1971 when Cyrus Walker retired and the fourth generation of Popes and Talbots assumed control. Peter T. Pope was elected chairman of the board, and Guy B. Pope was appointed president and chief operating officer. Under their tenure, the firm continued to grow. In 1972 Pope & Talbot was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and the following year the company surpassed $100 million in revenues. When the housing and construction industry was hit hard by a recession during the mid-1970s, Pope & Talbot made plans to enter the pulp and paper industry, which would allow the company to utilize all of the yield from its timberlands. Consequently, in March 1978, the firm invested $24 million in a joint venture with American Can Company to operate a bleached kraft pulp mill near Halsey, Oregon.

During the 1980s, Pope & Talbot insulated itself as much as possible from the cyclical nature of the housing and construction industry. The pulp mill at Halsey took the company into a entirely new, and highly profitable, direction. Pulp is made from softwood chips, hardwood chips, and sawdust, and is used to manufacture newspaper and printing and writing grade paper. Soon the company had major contracts throughout the Pacific Northwest to sell its pulp. Not content with just pulp production, Pope & Talbot began to diversify into the consumer products market by either acquiring or building diaper and tissue plants. By the early 1990s, Pope & Talbot listed two tissue plants and six diaper plants as part of its holdings. Manufacturing an entire line of napkins, paper towels, and facial and bath tissues from 100 percent recycled paper for private label customers became highly profitable. The Ultra Thin disposable diaper developed into the company's most lucrative product. By 1993 Pope and Talbot's wood products were bringing in approximately 48 percent of revenues, while its pulp, tissue, and diaper products were generating 52 percent.

Throughout its history, Pope & Talbot has demonstrated the ability to divest itself of unprofitable operations and diversify into growing, productive markets. Led by new generations of Popes and Talbots, the company is heading into the future with strong leadership and the expectation of continued prosperity.


History of Pope & Talbot, Inc.

One of the oldest forest products companies in the United States, Pope & Talbot, Inc. specializes in pulp and wood products. The firm operates three pulp mills in Oregon and British Columbia that have an overall yearly capacity of 830,000 metric tons. These mills produce northern bleached softwood kraft chip and sawdust pulp for use in the production of newsprint, tissue, and coated and uncoated paper. Pope & Talbot's pulp business, which generates about 60 percent of overall revenues, distributes its products to customers in more than two dozen countries, including the United States and Canada as well as nations in South America, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific region. The company's wood products side includes three sawmills in British Columbia and one in South Dakota with a combined annual capacity of about 640 million board feet of lumber. These four sawmills produce dimension and board lumber, wood chips, and other byproducts. The primary customers of Pope & Talbot's wood products business are in the United States and Canada.

Early History: Quickly Becoming the Dominant Lumber Company on Puget Sound

Andrew Jackson Pope and Frederic Talbot, two ambitious young men from Maine, arrived in San Francisco on December 1, 1849, after a grueling 51-day journey around South America on a number of different steam ships. Although they were exhausted when they stepped ashore, the excitement of San Francisco, which had grown from a population of 6,000 to 20,000 in just six months, overwhelmed the two Easterners. Pope and Talbot immediately recognized the potential for starting a new business, and on the following day, they joined with partners Lucius Sanborn and J.P. Keller to establish a company to operate barges in San Francisco bay.

A short two months later, the partners were able not only to pay for the cost of their new barges and boats, but also to turn a profit of more than $800. After buying out Sanborn's interest, Pope, Talbot, and Keller decided to enter the lumber business. A number of disastrous fires in San Francisco had convinced the partners that demand for lumber would remain high. Soon they opened a lumberyard and began transporting consignments of the product from one area to another. A stroke of good fortune occurred when Frederic Talbot's older brother, W.C. Talbot, arrived in California with his brig, the Oriental. A large, seaworthy vessel, the Oriental provided the firm with a greater range of transport. When Frederic Talbot decided to permanently return to the East Coast and open a business in New York, his older brother replaced him as a partner in the company.

For a short time, the partners shipped lumber from Maine to California through arrangements with Pope's relatives. They found this impractical as a long-term strategy, however, especially given the enormous demand for lumber in and around the San Francisco area. They built their own mill in the Oregon Territory on Puget Sound, on a site that Native Americans called Teekalet, or "Brightness of the Noonday Sun" settlers renamed it Port Gamble. By 1853 the partners' mill was producing nearly 2,000 board feet of lumber per day. Four years later production had jumped to a total of eight million board feet for the year, and the company (which had been christened Puget Mill Company in 1852) was known as the largest and most successful business on Puget Sound.

The late 1850s brought an Indian war, a gold rush that destabilized the labor market, and a short period of overproduction as a result of new lumber mills established on Puget Sound. Yet the mill at Port Gamble continued to prosper. In response to a growing demand for lumber during and after the Civil War, the Puget Mill Company added new equipment and began to acquire smaller mills in the area, including important mills on Camano Island and Port Ludlow. By 1879 the company was producing more than 200,000 board feet per day and nearly 70 million feet per year.

As the 19th century progressed, leadership of the firm changed hands. J.P. Keller died in June 1862, and was replaced as a partner of the firm by mill superintendent Cyrus Walker. Andrew Pope died in September 1878, and Captain Talbot in August 1881. William H. Talbot, the son of Captain Talbot, had been groomed by his father in every aspect of the lumber business, and when the elder Talbot died, the son quickly became the driving force behind the company, relying heavily on Cyrus Walker's 28 years of experience in the mill. In 1882 the total capacity of all the Puget Mill operations amounted to 99 million board feet of lumber per year. In 1885 the number of cargoes of lumber shipped from the mill at Port Gamble alone reached 49 by 1888, the number had risen to 78. The company also owned one of the largest shipping fleets for the transportation of its lumber, with 14 ships carrying lumber to customers in Japan, Hawaii, Australia, South America, China, Korea, India, and South Africa. During this same period, the Puget Mill Company was also purchasing enormous tracts of timberland in order to maintain a reliable source of wood for its mills by 1892, the firm reported ownership of 186,000 acres.

During the 1890s and the years immediately following the turn of the century, Puget Mill Company expanded its marketing operations and opened three new offices in San Francisco. The development of railroad traffic heralded even greater prosperity for the company, because it transformed the isolated state of Washington into the nation's largest distributor of lumber. As timberlands in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota were depleted, demand for Washington's lumber skyrocketed. The number of mills in Washington had grown from 46 in 1870 to 310 by 1890. By 1906 there were more than 900 lumber mills in the state producing 4.3 billion board feet of lumber.

Following Setbacks, Sale of Company in Early 20th Century

Beginning in 1907, however, the Puget Mill Company suffered a series of setbacks. When the state of Washington levied a tax increase on the acreage of timberland held by the company, Puget Mill's extensive holdings nearly became a liability. In addition, equipment used in the company's mills had become antiquated, and Puget Mill's operations were running inefficiently. In 1908 the company sold the last of its aging fleet of schooners, once the largest lumber armada on the West Coast. The company joined an organization that chartered the tonnage for shipment, thus relieving Puget Mill Company of the burden of maintaining its own fleet. By the end of World War I, the company had grown large, diverse, and somewhat cumbersome, with some 15 corporations under the direct management of Puget Mill. Labor unrest, which occurred throughout the Northwest region during this time, affected all of the company's holdings.

In July 1925, William Talbot, exhausted and in ill health, decided to sell Puget Mill Company to the Charles R. McCormick Lumber Company. McCormick, a native of Michigan, had arrived in Portland, Oregon, in 1901. He renovated a dilapidated millsite at St. Helens on the Columbia River, and from there he created a lumber empire that grew to become one of the largest on the Pacific Coast. McCormick purchased all of Puget Mill Company, including mills and timberlands, at a price of $15 million. Talbot, known as a shrewd businessman, made McCormick agree to build a new mill at Port Gamble, with Puget Mill Company holding a mortgage on all the mills, timberlands, and logging camps operated by McCormick.

From the beginning of the takeover, McCormick's management team made serious errors and miscalculations. Modernizations and improvements at Port Ludlow and St. Helens, as well as the new mill at Port Gamble, were plagued by cost overruns. McCormick soon faced rising interest rates, amortization payments, and annual taxes of more than $1 million. As his debts steadily increased, McCormick devised a strategy of expansion, hiring a larger sales staff and increasing production. Costs continued to outrun revenues, however, and by the start of the Depression in 1930 the company had posted a loss of $858,587. The company's situation only worsened with the economic problems brought on by the Depression.

Rebirth of Independent Pope & Talbot: Late 1930s

After William Talbot died, George Pope, Sr., assumed the position of president of Puget Mill Company and began to pressure McCormick to resign. When McCormick's expansion strategy failed to revitalize the company, he vacated his position in December 1931. Pope was then elected chairman of the board of Charles R. McCormick Lumber Company, with the intention of protecting the interests of the Puget Mill Company. He immediately appointed managers who exemplified his own financially conservative viewpoint, and began to reduce the debt incurred by McCormick. By 1937 all the bank loans and a significant portion of the mortgage bonds were retired. In 1938 the Puget Mill Company brought a suit of foreclosure against the Charles R. McCormick Lumber Company. Unable to pay its obligations of over $7 million, the McCormick Company was forced to cede all of its holdings to the owners of Puget Mill. The principals of the foreclosure suit, George Pope, Sr. George Pope, Jr. Frederic C. Talbot and Talbot Walker, all descendants of the original owners, reacquired the company their forefathers had labored to build.

George Pope, Sr., became president of the company, which was renamed Pope & Talbot, Inc. in 1940. Before any analysis and reorganization of the lumber operations and steamship activities could take place, however, World War II began. George Pope, Sr., became chairman of the board, allowing his son, George Pope, Jr., to assume the position of president and deal with the demands of the war years.

Pope & Talbot mills operated at full capacity during the entire war. The company produced lumber for panel bridges used in the invasion of Europe, tent poles, and Signal Corps material for communication lines. Company lumber was used for the construction of naval housing, and the company's fleet of steamships made vital contributions to the American war effort. Pope & Talbot vessels transported the supplies necessary for waging war in every area of conflict, and stopped at ports including Murmansk, Bizerte, Salerno, Guadalcanal, and Okinawa. The company also suffered casualties: four ships were sunk during the war, including the S.S. West Ivis, which lost its entire crew. During the height of worldwide hostilities, Pope & Talbot was responsible for more than 75 ships. The war helped improve the financial position of the company, which was one of the three largest lumber producers in the entire Northwest by the end of the war.

Developing into Fully Integrated Forest Products Company in Postwar Era

The future appeared especially promising for the company's steamship operations during the postwar years: industry along the Pacific Coast needed large quantities of bulk materials, while the East Coast needed lumber and other products from the western United States. However, volatile labor relations plagued the company. In 1948 a three-month strike by dock workers cost the firm more than $1.25 million, and a series of strikes in 1954 caused Pope & Talbot to lose a significant portion of its steamship cargoes. By 1958 the company was down to one shipping route, and another year of strikes in the maritime industry during 1959 brought its vessels to a standstill. Competition from the railroad industry also began to take business away from shipping. As a result, in 1963 Pope & Talbot decided to terminate shipping operations by selling the four remaining vessels in its once-proud fleet.

In contrast to its shipping activities, the company's lumber operations were highly successful. Having purchased a large tract of timberland near Oakridge, Oregon, in 1946, management assured itself of adequate timber holdings for the foreseeable future. By 1950 the company owned over one billion board feet of timber ready for cutting, and during the next decade it opened new mills in the United States and Canada. Pope & Talbot also implemented a diversification strategy which included building a particleboard plant, a veneer mill, and a wood treatment facility, and in 1961 the company purchased a plywood plant. These moves brought the company closer to fulfilling its goal of a fully integrated wood products program.

In 1963 George Pope, Jr., resigned as president of the company and was replaced by Cyrus T. Walker, a descendant of one of the company's early partners. In 1966 Pope & Talbot reported that its lumber division provided 61.6 percent of its revenues, plywood 13.9 percent, veneer 7.1 percent, particleboard 6.2 percent, and hardboard 6.2 percent. Net earnings increased from $717,000 in 1965 to $1.2 million in 1966. In 1968 sales increased an astronomical 73 percent over the previous year, totaling some $3 million. The company's success lay in the fact that management was moving quickly to take advantage of growing markets for new wood products. In 1969 the firm continued its expansion strategy by purchasing another mill in Canada, procuring cutting rights to more than a million acres of timberland in Canada, and constructing a new log utilization plant.

Late 1970s and 1980s: Expanding into Pulp, Tissue, and Diapers

The company changed leadership in 1971 when Cyrus Walker retired and the fourth generation of Popes and Talbots assumed control. Peter T. Pope was elected chairman of the board, and Guy B. Pope was appointed president and chief operating officer. Under their tenure, the firm continued to grow. In 1972 Pope & Talbot was listed on the New York Stock Exchange, and the following year the company surpassed $100 million in revenues. When the housing and construction industry was hit hard by a recession during the mid-1970s, Pope & Talbot made plans to enter the pulp and paper industry, which would allow the company to use all of the yield from its timberlands. Consequently, in March 1978, the firm invested $24 million in a joint venture with American Can Company to operate a bleached kraft pulp mill near Halsey, Oregon. (It took full control of this mill in 1983.)

During the 1980s, Pope & Talbot insulated itself as much as possible from the cyclical nature of the housing and construction industry. The pulp mill at Halsey took the company into an entirely new, and highly profitable, direction. Pulp is made from softwood chips, hardwood chips, and sawdust, and is used to manufacture newspaper and printing and writing grade paper. Soon the company had major contracts throughout the Pacific Northwest to sell its pulp. Not content with just pulp production, Pope & Talbot began to diversify into the consumer products market by either acquiring or building diaper and tissue plants. By the early 1990s, Pope & Talbot listed two tissue plants and six diaper plants as part of its holdings. Manufacturing an entire line of napkins, paper towels, and facial and bath tissues from 100 percent recycled paper for private label customers became highly profitable. The Ultra Thin disposable diaper developed into the company's most lucrative product. By 1993 Pope & Talbot's wood products were bringing in approximately 48 percent of revenues, while its pulp, tissue, and diaper products were generating 52 percent.

During this same period, the company gradually reduced its exposure to the timber market of the U.S. Pacific Northwest, where concerns over the environmental impact of logging was reducing logging activity and making the cost of the timber more expensive. In 1985 Pope & Talbot spun off to its shareholders its real estate and timber holdings in the state of Washington, creating a limited partnership called Pope Resources. Four years later, its sawmill in Oakridge, Oregon, was sold, and then in 1992 the company sold its remaining Oregon timberlands. Continuing to shift its wood products operations north of the border, Pope & Talbot purchased a large sawmill in Castlegar, British Columbia, from Westar Group Ltd. for $19.4 million. The shift away from the U.S. Pacific Northwest culminated on November 30, 1995, when Pope & Talbot closed its 142-year-old sawmill at Port Gamble. The company now operated three sawmills in British Columbia with total annual capacity of 465 million board feet, along with two smaller mills in the Black Hills region of the United States, in Spearfish, South Dakota and Newcastle, Wyoming.

Late 1990s and Beyond: Focusing on Pulp and Lumber

The company moved in the late 1990s to focus on two core areas of the forest products market: lumber and pulp. In February 1996 Pope & Talbot sold its disposable diaper business to Paragon Trade Brands, Inc. for $50.5 million in cash and $14.5 million in Paragon stock. The diaper business, which had come under intense price competition from industry giants Kimberly-Clark Corporation and the Procter & Gamble Company, had generated about $157 million of revenues in 1994, or 24 percent of the total of $660 million. Then in February 1998 Pope & Talbot sold its private label tissue business to an investor group for $147 million, completing its exit from the consumer products sector. The tissue operations had generated 29 percent, or $136 million, of the 1997 revenues of $468 million.

Seeking to expand its pulp operations, Pope & Talbot gained a 60 percent stake in Harmac Pacific Inc. by the end of 1998, through a hostile takeover. Based in Vancouver, Harmac operated a pulp mill near Nanaimo, British Columbia, with an annual capacity of 370,000 tons of northern bleached softwood kraft pulp. In November 1999 Pope & Talbot purchased the remaining minority stake in Harmac, which was subsequently merged into the firm's Canadian subsidiary, Pope & Talbot Ltd. Peter T. Pope stepped down as CEO at the end of July 1999 and was succeeded by Michael Flannery, who had been president of the company since September 1995 and before that had been head of the wood products operations for several years. Flannery became chairman as well in August 2000, although Pope remained on the board of directors. Also in 2000, Pope & Talbot closed its sawmill in Newcastle, Wyoming, because of reduced availability of public timber in the Black Hills region.

Pope & Talbot further bolstered its pulp production in June 2001 when it completed a $104.4 million acquisition of the Mackenzie pulp mill in northern British Columbia from Norske Skog Canada. This mill, which used chips and sawdust to produce a fine grade of northern bleached softwood pulp, had an annual capacity of 230,000 metric tons. Unfortunately, Pope & Talbot around this time began to be buffeted by the severe economic downturn that had a particularly depressive effect on pulp prices. Concurrently, a trade dispute erupted between the United States and Canada following the April 2001 expiration of the two countries' Softwood Lumber Agreement. The United States subsequently slapped duties on Canadian lumber imports, forcing Pope & Talbot to pay $14.1 million in lumber duties during 2002. One result of these developments was that the company posted net losses of $24.9 million and $21 million for 2001 and 2002, respectively.

During the first nine months of 2003, Pope & Talbot recorded a net loss of $19.1 million. The corporation continued to be affected by the lumber trade dispute and was further hurt by an appreciating Canadian dollar, which resulted in higher manufacturing costs for the firm's Canadian operations. Some potentially positive news for the company's future came late in the year with the announcement of a proposed agreement between the United States and Canada on the lumber dispute. Nevertheless, Pope & Talbot--because it was a small player in a consolidating industry increasingly dominated by global giants--was likely to continue to be forced to ride the cyclical ups and downs of its industry without having much in the way of resources to smooth out these fluctuations.

Principal Subsidiaries: Pope & Talbot International Ltd. (Canada) Pope & Talbot Ltd. (Canada) Mackenzie Pulp Land Ltd. (Canada) Pope & Talbot Mackenzie Pulp Operations Ltd. (Canada) Pope & Talbot Wis., Inc. Penn Timber, Inc. Pope & Talbot Relocation Services, Inc. P&T Power Company Pope & Talbot Pulp Sales USA, Inc. Pope & Talbot Pulp Sales Europe SPRL (Belgium) Pope & Talbot Lumber Sales, Inc. Halsey Cl02 Limited Partnership P&T Community Trust (Canada) P&T Funding Ltd. (Canada) P&T Funding Limited Partnership (Canada).

Principal Competitors: Weyerhaeuser Company Georgia-Pacific Corporation International Paper Company Bowater Incorporated Domtar Inc.


HistoryLink.org

Jefferson County, located on the Olympic Peninsula in northwestern Washington, was created by the Oregon Territorial Legislature on December 22, 1852 from a portion of Lewis County. It was named in honor of President Thomas Jefferson who, by commissioning the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806), was instrumental in the exploration of the Pacific Northwest. Jefferson County has a total area of 2,184 square miles 1,814 square miles of land and 369 square miles of water. Approximately 60 percent of the county comprises the Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest another 20 percent is under the jurisdiction of other federal and state agencies. The boundary lines were determined by the Washington Territorial legislature in 1877. It is bounded on the north by Clallam County and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, on the south by Grays Harbor and Mason Counties on the east by Hood Canal and Admiralty Inlet and the on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The county seat is Port Townsend.

Exploration and Contact

Although several explorers sailed along the shores of the Olympic Peninsula and into the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the most thorough work was accomplished in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver (1758-1798) of the British Navy who commanded an expedition into Puget Sound. Captain Vancouver charted and named many natural features: bodies of water, capes, headlands, inlets, and mountain peaks. His predecessor, Captain John Mears, a British mariner searching for the Northwest Passage, named the highest peak on the peninsula, Mount Olympus (7965 feet), after the mythical home of the Greek gods, on July 4, 1788. Captain Vancouver followed precedent and wrote the name “Olympic Mountains” on his charts. Eventually, the “Olympic” designation was extended to the peninsula itself.

For thousands of years the only occupants of the Olympic Peninsula were Coast Indians who lived in large communal longhouses, subsisting on fish, shellfish, and wild game as well as roots and berries. With the exception of periodic wars with other Coast Indian tribes, life was relatively quiet for many centuries. In the late 1700s and early 1800s the Indian population was decimated by disease transmitted through contact with white explorers. In some areas diphtheria, smallpox, and measles killed 90 percent of the Indians. By the time white settlers arrived some local tribes had populations of only a few hundred and were so depleted they could not effectively resist the intruders. In the mid-nineteenth century, Indian tribes located in what is now Jefferson County, included the Chem-a-kum (or Chimacum), Hoh (a subset of the Quileute), S’Klallam (or Clallam), Quinault, Snohomish, and Twana (or Quilcene). By signing of the Point No Point Treaty and the Quinault River Treaty in 1855, local Indian tribes ceded their lands and waters to the United States, reserving the right to continue fishing, hunting, and gathering in the ceded territories. After the treaties were signed, settlement proceeded rapidly.

Port Townsend

White settlers came to the north Olympic Peninsula in the mid-1800s but the rugged interior remained unexplored. Like the Indians, the settlers chose town sites along the waterways and were mainly occupied with logging, fishing, and farming. The first permanent American settlement on the peninsula was Port Townsend, founded on April 24, 1851, when Alfred A. Plummer (1822-1883) and Charles Bachelder selected homesteads and registered the claims with the surveyor general’s office in Olympia. They named the new town after the bay on which it was situated, so named by Captain Vancouver on May 8, 1792, in honor of the Marquis of Townshend -- the “h” in the original name was later dropped.

Port Townsend, on the Quimper Peninsula at the extreme northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, was perfectly situated for sailing ships. At a time when commerce and travel in the Pacific Northwest were almost entirely waterborne, it was the first safe harbor encountered on Puget Sound.

In 1854, the Treasury Department moved Washington Territory’s Port of Entry into the United States, from Olympia to Port Townsend. Sailing ships usually stopped for a least a few hours, both entering and leaving Puget Sound, to clear customs and await favorable winds and tides for continuing their voyage. Port Townsend residents believed their city was destined to become the San Francisco of the Pacific Northwest.

On January 16, 1860, the Washington Territorial legislature passed an act declaring Port Townsend a city, entitled to self rule. The city was officially incorporated by the legislature in 1861. But because the transcontinental railroad never reached Port Townsend, it never grew as expected.

The great land boom of 1889-1890 was predicated on the arrival of the Union Pacific Railroad, linking Port Townsend with the rest of the nation. Due to financial difficulties, the Union Pacific Railroad abandoned the project, causing the boom to collapse in 1891.

When the Panic of 1893 hit the nation, people in the city left in droves, abandoning their houses, buildings, and properties. Port Townsend’s economy went bankrupt and within months, the population dwindled from more than 7,000 inhabitants to fewer than 2,000. The city may have been perfectly situated for sailing ships, but steamships could proceed into Puget Sound without concern. The loss to Seattle of the U.S. Customs Office in 1913 was a final blow to Port Townsend’s grand ambitions.

The city languished until 1927 when the Crown Zellerbach Corporation built a kraft paper mill there, spending more than $5 million and employing 600 construction workers and later, hundreds of mill workers. Today, the Port Townsend Paper Mill remains the largest private employer in Jefferson County. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the year 2000, Port Townsend had a population of 8,334.

Fort Worden

In 1896, the federal government started work on the construction of Fort Worden on the high bluffs north of Port Townsend, which was an economic boost to the city. Activated in May 1902, the imposing fortification was one of three major Coast Artillery forts built around the turn of the century to protect critical naval installations and shipyards in Puget Sound. Along with Fort Casey at Admiralty Head and Fort Flagler on Marrowstone Island just south of Port Townsend, the three forts formed a “triangle of fire” that would rain death on any enemy vessel that attempted to enter Admiralty Inlet. The fort was named in honor of Admiral John Lorimer Worden (1818-1897), the captain of the ironclad vessel USS Monitor. From 1939 through 1953, Fort Worden served as the Harbor Defense Command headquarters for Puget Sound.

In June 1953, the Harbor Defense Command was deactivated, the fort was closed and put up for sale. On July 1, 1957, Fort Worden was purchased by the State of Washington for $127,533 for use as a diagnostic and treatment center for troubled youths. When the State closed the juvenile treatment center, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission acquired most of the fort’s grounds on September 30, 1971. The 433.53-acre Fort Worden State Park and Conference Center was opened and dedicated on August 18, 1973.

Marrowstone

Marrowstone is situated approximately three miles southeast of Port Townsend. The island, seven miles long and a half-mile average width, was named by Captain Vancouver on May 8, 1792, who noted in his log that the cliff behind the point was composed mostly of a whitish hardened clay called “marrowstone.” Eventually, the name was used for the entire island.

The first settlement on Marrowstone Island was founded in September 1892 by Peter Nordby, a Norwegian immigrant. He purchased 187 acres of land from Thomas Hammond, a Port Townsend realtor, and platted the acreage into 10-acre parcels. Nordby called the new town site “Nordland.” Ironically, Peter Nordby never lived on Marrowstone Island, but moved to Seattle, where he founded the Nordby Supply Company, a ship chandlery business.

Nordland is still the only town on Marrowstone and the general store is the only source of groceries and gasoline. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the year 2000 Marrowstone had a total population of 837.

In 1896, Congress approved construction of a fortification on 640 acres of land that had been reserved for military purposes on Marrowstone Island in 1866 by Executive Order. Construction began on the fortification in 1897 and was completed in 1899. Named Fort Flagler, in honor of Brigadier General Daniel Webster Flagler (1835-1899), it was the first of three major Coast Artillery forts built to protect Puget Sound. After World War I (1917-1919) the Army used Fort Flagler as a training center until 1953, when it was officially deactivated. Between 1957 and 1962, the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission purchased the 784-acre fort from the federal government for $36,473, for use a state park.

The Tri-Area

Port Hadlock, located five-and-a-half miles from Port Townsend on U.S. Highway 101, was founded in 1870 by Samuel Hadlock, who owned several hundred acres of land at the head of Port Townsend Bay. In 1884, the Western Mill and Lumber Company built a large saw mill there. In 1886, the operation was sold to the Washington Mill Company of San Francisco, which liked the port because the docks could accommodate seven lumbers ships at one time. The mill employed about 125 sawyers and 30 stevedores to load the ships. It produced most of the lumber used to build Fort Flagler, Fort Worden, and Fort Casey on Whidbey Island.

But in 1907, the bottom dropped out of the lumber market and the company closed the mill. All but the office and commissary was destroyed by fire in 1913. A large distillery was built at Port Hadlock in 1911, using a new method of distilling alcohol from softwood sawdust, but the business was unsuccessful and the plant closed in 1913. Today Port Hadlock is the commercial core of the “Tri-Area,” which includes Irondale and Chimacum. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the year 2000 the Tri-Area had a total population of 3,476.

Irondale, just north of Port Hadlock, was so named because a large iron ore smelter was built there in 1879. Samuel Hadlock, along with other local businessmen, created the Puget Sound Iron Company. The plant employed some 400 men and produced high-quality iron, which was shipped primarily to San Francisco.

The plant closed in 1889, but was reopened several years later as the Western Steel Company. The president of Western Steel was James A. Moore, president of the Moran Brothers Shipbuilding Company in Seattle, which built the battleship USS Nebraska in 1901. Western Steel was supposed to be instrumental in building a railroad from Port Townsend to Portland, Oregon, and there was speculation that Moran Brothers might also establish a shipyard.

In 1909, the City of Irondale, one square mile platted in May, had a population of 1,500 and plans were made to accommodate a population of 20,000 within three years. One year later, the town the had a bank, a newspaper, three hotels, two brick buildings, 30 businesses, a hospital, scores of new houses, graded streets, electricity, telephones, a water and sewer system, and no unemployment. The steel mill, working around the clock, was producing approximately 700 tons of steel per week. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer declared in 1910 that Irondale had the potential “of becoming the largest and most important manufacturing city in Western America.”

But suddenly in 1911, Western Steel declared bankruptcy, causing Irondale’s collapse. After a brief period of operation during World War I (1917-1919) to use up stockpiled raw materials, the plant was dismantled. Today, Irondale is basically a residential area for the Port Hadlock Tri-Area.

Chimacum, just south of Port Hadlock and three miles east of Discovery Bay, is a community that was once the site of an Indian village. It was named for the Chem-a-kum, a now-extinct Indian tribe that once inhabited the valley. The tribe was ravaged by disease and then in 1857, annihilated by the combined forces of the Snohomish Indians and Indians from Barclay Sound on Vancouver Island.

The land was claimed in 1853 by William Bishop and William Eldridge, two sailors from a British naval vessel who jumped ship in Victoria B.C., and rowed across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the Olympic Peninsula. The fertile Chimacum Valley was once the largest and best agricultural area in Jefferson County. Today, Chimacum boasts a large consolidated school complex which serves east central Jefferson County. All the schools north of Quilcene and south of Port Townsend were consolidated in 1964 into Chimacum School District No. 49, which today services approximately 1,200 students from kindergarten through 12th grade. Only Port Townsend School District 50, with approximately 1,750 students, is larger.

Port Ludlow

Port Ludlow is a bay off Admiralty Inlet near the entrance to Hood Canal, approximately six miles south of Marrowstone Island. In 1841, Lieutenant Charles Wilkes (1798-1877), commander of the U.S. Exploring Expedition, named Port Ludlow in honor of Lieutenant Augustus C. Ludlow, who was killed in the War of 1812 during a battle between the HMS Shannon and USS Chesapeake. In 1852, San Francisco investors sent Captain William F. Sayward and John R. Thorndyke to the Pacific Northwest to build a sawmill. Thorndyke filed on a timber claim of 318 acres and built a steam sawmill on Port Ludlow Bay, and the ensuing community was named Port Ludlow.

In 1853, Andrew J. Pope and Captain William C. Talbot, two experienced and well-financed Maine lumbermen, formed a partnership and sailed from San Francisco to Puget Sound in the schooner Julius Pringle, seeking a site for a sawmill. Pope and Talbot stopped first at Discovery Bay, west of Port Townsend, then at Port Ludlow. Finding Port Ludlow already equipped with a mill, they set up operations in Port Gamble on the Kitsap Peninsula. During the 1870s, Port Ludlow was known more for its fine ship building than as a mill town. The town of Port Ludlow, population 200, consisted of a general store, a rundown sawmill, a hotel, a cookhouse, a shipyard, and a few houses and cabins.

In 1879, Pope and Talbot purchased the Port Ludlow sawmill at auction for $64,850. After the addition of new equipment, the mill, doing business as the Puget Mill Company, turned out 125,000 board feet of lumber a day and built ships. The town's population swelled to 500, but a depression hit the United States in 1890 and market gluts and poor prices caused the sawmill to close. In 1898, the lumber market rebounded and the sawmill was reopened. The Pope and Talbot mills at Port Ludlow and Port Gamble supplied much of the lumber for the rebuilding of San Francisco following the earthquake and fire of April 1906. Between 1890 and 1935, Port Ludlow was a boom-or-bust economy with a great demand for spruce for military aircraft construction during World War I (1917-1919) followed by the Great Depression (1929-1939). The mill closed permanently in December 1935 and the plant was dismantled.

During World War II (1941-1945), the company houses were barged from Port Ludlow to other locations to help alleviate housing shortages. By 1950, Port Ludlow's commerce was dead. On August 12, 1961, the Hood Canal Bridge opened, linking Jefferson and Kitsap counties. The Olympic Peninsula was now easily accessible and it became readily apparent to Pope and Talbot, Inc. that Port Ludlow had some real estate potential. In 1968, the Pope and Talbot Corporation repurchased their formerly held land and developed the planned community of Port Ludlow. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the year 2000 Port Ludlow had a population of 1,968.

Quilcene is a small community located at the mouth of the Quilcene River approximately 15 miles south of Port Ludlow in east central Jefferson County. It was named for the Indian tribe that once lived there, the Quil-ceed-a-bish, meaning “saltwater people.” In 1841, the Wilkes Expedition charted the place as Kwil-sid. In 1860, Hampden Cottle, a logger from Maine, and several other families settled here and eventually established a town.

Quilcene’s economy was based primarily on farming and logging and by 1880, had a population of 53. The town had great expectations for growth when it was learned that James G. Swan (1818-1900) was promoting a rail line from Portland, Oregon, through Quilcene to Port Townsend. In 1887, the Port Townsend and Southern Railroad was incorporated and began laying tracks south. In 1889, the Oregon Improvement Company, a subsidiary of the Union Pacific Railroad, purchased the track, promising to continue it to Portland. By August 1890, the track had been extended 20 miles to Leland Lake, but the Union Pacific Railroad had developed financial problems and there was no activity on the Portland end of the line. The Oregon Improvement Company, left to its own devices, declared bankruptcy in 1891, but work continued on the track another five miles to Quilcene and then stopped.

In 1902, the Tubal Cain Mining Company claimed that Quilcene would become the center for the smelting of gold, iron, copper, and manganese they expected to find in the Olympic Mountains. Mining exploration continued until the 1920s, but little ore was ever discovered. Today, Quilcene is primarily a residential community, in relatively close proximity to Bremerton, the U.S. Navy Trident Submarine Base at Bangor, and other population centers. In 2000, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Quilcene had a population of 591.

Brinnon, another small community, is located at the mouth of the Dosewallips River, 12 miles south of Quilcene. It is named for Elwell P. Brinnon who settled here in 1860 and married O-wota, (nicknamed Kate), the sister of Chetzemoka (1808-1888), called the Duke of York, chief of the S’Klallam Tribe, who lived near Port Townsend. Early settlers named the post office Brinnon, rather than Dosewallips because it was easier to spell. The first settler known to log the Brinnon area was Tom Pierce in 1859, and most early settlers were associated with the logging industry. Like other nearby towns, the prospect of a railroad through Brinnon stimulated settlement and more logging. Brinnon was more isolated than most towns on Hood Canal and the railroad would solve their transportation problems.

When the railroad failed to materialize, the citizens built a wagon road to the rail terminus at Quilcene in 1896, connecting Brinnon, by land, to other towns. Families continued to subsist off the land and the men earned money by working part-time at nearby logging camps and sawmills. During the early 1900s, excursions to the Olympic Peninsula were so popular that it wasn't long before Brinnon developed a tourist industry. The completion of U.S. Highway 101 in the 1920s further stimulated its economy by providing easy access to Olympic wilderness areas. Today, Brinnon, like Quilcene, is primarily a residential community. One third of the residents are age 65 or older the median age is 58. The U. S. Census Bureau reported in 2000, that Brinnon had a population of 803.

There is only one Indian reservation in Jefferson County, the Hoh, established by Executive Order on September 11, 1893. This reservation occupies only 443 acres, but has approximately one mile of beachfront on the Pacific Ocean, running south from the mouth of the Hoh River to Ruby Beach. Other tribes have disappeared from Jefferson County through a combination of disease, warfare, migration, intermarriage, and assimilation. The Hoh speak the Quileute language and was once one of the many Quileute villages. The Hoh, Quileute, and Quinault all signed the Quinault River Treaty of 1855 and were originally assigned to the Quinault Indian Reservation, but to preserve fishing and hunting rights, each tribe demanded their own reservation.

Most of the economy of the Hoh is derived from fishing and shellfishing, although a few artisans make and sell Indian artifacts. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the year 2000 the Hoh Reservation had a total population of 102, an increase of six people from the 1990 census.

Olympic National Park and Destruction Island

With the exception of the Hoh Reservation and a small corner of the Quinalt Reservation near Queets, the entire west coast of Jefferson County, approximately 30 miles, is part of the Olympic National Park, under the protection of the National Park Service. The 60 mile strip along the Pacific Ocean was added to the park in 1953.

Three miles off shore, between the Hoh Reservation and Kalaloch, is Destruction Island, a small, flat island that rises approximately 50 feet above the water. In 1775, Spanish explorer Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra named it Island of Sorrows in honor of six sailors who were killed by Coast Indians, while collecting fresh water. In 1787, Captain Charles W. Barkley, a British fur trader, sent five sailors ashore for fresh water at the mouth of the Hoh River. They too were killed by Indians who wanted their boat. Captain Barkley named the river “Destruction” but eventually the river’s name was changed to “Hoh” and the name “Destruction” was transferred to the island by Captain George Vancouver. A lighthouse was established on Destruction Island in 1892. Today, the island is closed to the public, but the lighthouse can be seen from a viewpoint on U. S. Highway 101, about one mile south of Ruby Beach.

A Place of Rain and No Rain

Jefferson County is a paradox on the Olympic Peninsula. In the rain shadow near Port Townsend, there are semi-arid areas that average only 18 inches of rain per year, and areas of the Hoh Rain Forest that average 140 inches of rain per year. Almost the entire population is concentrated along the east coast waterways of the county, with the majority living in the northeast quadrant.

The major industries are logging, manufacturing wood products, pulp and paper, construction, boat building and other marine related businesses, health, and education. But Jefferson County’s strongest economic growth is in tourism.

In 1871, according to the Washington Territorial Census, Jefferson County had a population of 1,236. In 1900, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that Jefferson County had a population of 5,712, and 100 years later, in 2000, a population of 25,953. Between the 1960 and 2000 census, the county grew at a rate of approximately 8 percent, a trend predicted to continue. Many retirees move here, attracted by the mild weather, beautiful scenery, recreational opportunities, rural settings, and a lower cost-of-living.

The State of Washington
Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation

Poles supporting nets to catch ducks, Port Townshend, 1792

Engraving by John Sykes, Courtesy UW Special Collections (Neg. NA3984)

Jefferson County, Washington

Courtesy U.S. Department of Agriculture

Cabin built in 1851 by Alfred A. Plummer and Charles Bachelder, Port Townsend, n.d.

Courtesy UW Special Collections (Neg. UW5082)

Port Townsend Customs House, 1893

Courtesy Jefferson County Historical Society

James Swan (1818-1900) in front of his Port Townsend office, ca. 1895

Courtesy UW Special Collections (UW3840)

National Paper Products Company mill, Port Townsend, 1930s


History of Papal titles

As mentioned above, the pope's titles include: Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, and Servant of the Servants of God.

The title "Vicar of Christ" refers to the pope's divine commission. The Second Vatican Council confirmed the titles "Vicar of Christ" and "Successor of Peter".

The term "Supreme Pontiff" can be traced back to the end of the 5th century. The addition of the phrase "of the Universal Church" is a more recent alteration of this title.

Finally, the title attached to the Pope, "Servant of the Servants of God", was used by Church leaders including St. Augustine and St. Benedict, though it was popularized by Pope Gregory the Great'. The documents of Vatican II reinforced the understanding of this title as a reference to the Pope's role as a function of collegial authority, in which the Bishop of Rome serves the world's bishops.

The titles "Primate of Italy", "Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province", and "Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City" are references to the legal and canonical authority of the Pope as defined by the laws of the Church and the Lateran Treaties of 1929.

The pope's signature is usually in the format NN. Benedict XVI.

The pope's official seat or cathedral is the Basilica of St. John Lateran, and his official residence is the Palace of the Vatican. He also possesses a summer palace at Castel Gandolfo (situated on the site of the ancient city-state Alba Longa). Historically, the official residence of the pope was the Lateran Palace, donated by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. for hundreds of years, the pope's court (the Roman Curia) has functioned as the government of the Catholic Church.
The name "Holy See" (also "Apostolic See") is in ecclesiastical terminology the ordinary jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome (including the Roman Curia) the pope's various honors, powers, and privileges within the Catholic Church and the international community derive from his Episcopate of Rome in lineal succession from the Apostle St. Peter (see Apostolic Succession). As such, between 1309 and 1378, the popes lived in Avignon (the Avignon Papacy), a period often called the Babylonian Captivity in allusion to the Biblical exile of Israel.

  • Staff topped by a crucifix, a custom established before the 13th century.
  • Pallium (a circular band of fabric about two inches wide, worn over the chasuble about the neck, breast and shoulders and having two twelve-inch-long pendants hanging down in front and behind, ornamented with six small black crosses distributed about the breast, back, shoulders, and pendants).
  • "Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven", the image of two keys, one gold and one silver. The use of the sedia gestatoria and of the flabella was discontinued by Pope John Paul II, with the former being replaced by the so-called Popemobile.

In heraldry each pope has his own Papal Coat of Arms. With the recent election of Benedict XVI in 2005, his personal coat of arms eliminated the papal tiara a mitre with three horizontal lines is used in its place, with the pallium, a papal symbol of authority more ancient than the tiara, the use of which is also granted to metropolitan archbishops as a sign of communion with the See of Rome, was added underneath of the shield. The omission of the tiara in the pope's personal coat of arms, however, did not mean the total disappearance of it from papal heraldry, since the coat of arms of the Holy See was kept unaltered.


A. J. Pope and F. Talbot to Cyrus Walker, 10 December 1888, folder 133/12, and 5 September 1892, folder 137/4, Edwin G. Ames Papers, accession 3820-1, Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries.

. . . There is no question . . . [that] eventually we will have a good many of these concerns [companies] to compete with, but I think with the competition we will have a large market to supply, as the eastern business is bound to improve rapidly, and more and more lumber will be required for shipment east each year. The foreign business is gradually increasing for our timber, and if our ventures in the London market are a success, there will be no limit to what they will take.

We are using endeavors, also, to get the lumber into the East Coast market at Buenos Ayres [in Argentina], and have lately sold seven or eight cargoes this market is also a very heavy consumer, and our lumber is very much liked there. The West Coast will, I think, also consume an immense amount of timber for railroad purposes in the next year or two, as they are now about starting in on the Chili [Chile] railroads, and will necessarily require a great deal of lumber for their construction. Australia will also take its usual quantity, and the only thing we have to fear now is our inability to secure the necessary tonnage [of cargo ships] to supply all the orders. We are now looking for three vessels to Australia, with none offering.

[Signed,] A. J. Pope and F. Talbot

. . . We notice your remarks in regard to the . . . Blakely mills [Pope & Talbot's chief competitor in the Puget Sound region] purchasing all the logs they can buy in the market. Why they are doing it, we cannot tell, unless they propose to run their mill regardless of expense and loss. . . . As soon as the Railroads are completed in Washington, we may see better times in the lumber business. Should the Great Northern reduce the rates to Eastern points as Mr. Hill [manager of the Great Northern Railroad] has promised, there will be no question but that a large amount of lumber will be shipped that way, and the mills now disturbing this market [the West Coast lumber market] will have all they can attend to in taking care of their Eastern business.

[Signed,] A. J. Pope and F. Talbot

UW Site Map © Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest, University of Washington


Evergreen State: Exploring the History of Washington’s Forests

A Curriculum Project for Washington Schools

Developed by Connie Y. Chiang with Michael Reese Center for the Study of the Pacific Northwest University of Washington Department of History

I. Introduction

I. Introduction: How to Use this Packet

This curriculum packet consists of information and primary documents related to the history of Washington’s forests. These materials are intended to provide students with an opportunity to investigate attitudes toward and uses of this natural resource. Middle school students may find some of the documents to be challenging reading, but most of the documents could profitably be used in a middle school, high school, or university course about the history of the Pacific Northwest. Although these curricular materials deal specifically with events in Washington state, they could also furnish a useful case study for general U.S. history and geography classes. Teachers can use this packet in a variety of ways. They could use a handful of primary documents to supplement existing readings and lesson plans. This packet also contains sufficient materials to allow teachers to create a new teaching unit lasting anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Forests have shaped Washington’s history for hundreds of years. The forests were of utmost importance to the economic development of the state, but Washingtonians also relied on minerals, farmlands, and fish stocks. In many cases, the use of one natural resource was connected to another. Forestry and agricultural activities, for instance, have often damaged Northwest salmon runs because of soil erosion and pesticide run-off. Thus, an in-depth focus on Washington’s forests is intended to lead to broader consideration of the history of natural resource use in the Pacific Northwest and the United States. Students and teachers can, therefore, use this material as a doorway to other projects about natural resources.

The most important part of this packet is section VI. This section is a gateway to a collection of primary source documents on a wide range of topics related to forests, including the lumber industry, loggers and their unions, government forestry policies, and environmentalism. Testimonies from early explorers, pioneers, and lumber executives allow students to examine how people’s expectations of Washington’s forests changed over time. Photographs of logging operations and letters, diaries, and reminiscences from loggers give students the opportunity to assess the dangers and appeals of working in the woods. Papers from environmental organizations and government agencies let students explore how these groups approached the management of the forests. These documents thus offer many different points of view on Washington’s forests.

The other parts of the packet contain materials to help teachers use the documents in the classroom. Section II is an essay designed for teachers it examines the forces and events that shaped Washington’s forests from the late 18th century to the present. Section III is a timeline designed to help orient students to the basic chronology of Washington’s forest history. It will also help students place the documents in a particular time period. Suggestions for classroom activities based on the primary documents can be found in section IV. In addition, section V presents a bibliography of resources that could be used to supplement the documents in this packet. This bibliography lists books, videos, and Internet resources that teachers may find useful it also describes possible activities outside the classroom, including field trips to museums and guided visits to forest sites.

II. Seeing the Forest for the Trees

II. Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Placing Washington’s Forests in Historical Context

Washington’s forests have always been a prominent element of its history. Until the past 120 years, tall and dense stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, spruce, and cedar blanketed most of the area from the crest of the Cascade Range to the water’s edge. Ponderosa pines were prevalent in areas east of the summit of the Cascades. The presence of these trees has shaped Washington’s economic development for decades. The forests have helped define the identities of many Washingtonians and have served as a symbol for the Evergreen State. Nonetheless, the long history of Washington’s forests demonstrates that there has never been a simple, singular vision for this resource. Attitudes toward and uses of the trees have changed dramatically over time. Washington’s forests have been—and continue to be—contested and coveted by many competing groups and individuals.

The history of Washington’s forests can be divided into four broad periods. Until 1848 the vast forests sustained several Indian tribes and fascinated Anglo explorers. During this first period the lumber industry was still in its infancy, with the Hudson Bay Company erecting the first mill in the Pacific Northwest at Fort Vancouver in 1828. The beginning of the California Gold Rush in 1848 brought the second phase. At this time several outside investors, most from San Francisco, built mills along Puget Sound, propelling the lumber industry into the dominant role in the area’s economy

The third era, from 1883 to 1940, produced technological developments and large capital investments, which allowed lumber companies to intensively log areas they could not reach before. The expansion of the railroad to the Northwest fueled this process. This period of time was also characterized by the increasing involvement of government and labor in the lumber industry. Government implemented many reforms to ensure that the supply of trees would not be depleted in the future, and it preserved some forested areas from further development. Labor unions also became active, demanding higher wages and better working conditions. The last phase, from 1940 until the present, brought a decline in the lumber industry’s relative importance to Washington’s economy. Even as timber harvests reached record levels during and after the Second World War, the industry lost its position as the state’s largest employer. The postwar years also witnessed the growing power of the environmental movement, which sought to keep loggers out of large sections of Washington’s forests.

A. Washington’s Forests before 1848

Although Indian peoples did not harvest trees at the rapid rate of later lumbermen, they did actively manage the forests. Many Indian groups along the Puget Sound and the Pacific Coast used wood for harpoons, baskets, and mats. The red cedar was particularly important for the construction of homes and canoes. James Swan, a visitor to the Northwest in the mid-19th century, described, in intricate detail, the labor involved in canoe construction (see document 3). In addition, Indians set annual forest fires in order to encourage the growth of certain food crops. For instance, the Salish who inhabited Whidbey and Camano Islands burned the forest underbrush to increase the supply of berries and camas. Setting fires also improved hunting opportunities by maintaining and augmenting the amount of open land used by game animals. Out of the forests, the Salish and other Northwest Indian peoples actively created an environment that sustained their communities.

Many white explorers made special note of the vast stands of trees in the Pacific Northwest. The extent of the forests and the height of the trees amazed them. Aboard the Discovery, British explorer George Vancouver traveled along the southern shore of the Strait of Juan de Fuca in 1792 and described the landscape as “luxurious.” “The whole had the appearance of a continued forest extending as far north as the eye could reach,” he wrote, “which made me very solicitous to find a port in the vicinity of a country presenting so delightful a prospect of fertility.” Vancouver described other parts of the Puget Sound region as “inpenetrable wilderness of lofty trees, rendered nearly impassable by the underwood, which uniformly incumbers the surface.” As Commander of the United States Exploring Expedition of 1838-1842, Charles Wilkes visited the Northwest and made similar observations (see document 2). As he traveled through a “gigantic fine cedar forest” near the Nisqually River, he encountered trees that “although they are sapplings, were 6 feet in diameter and upwards of 200 feet in height.” He stated, “I could not control my astonishment” at the size of the trees.

Such accounts attracted white entrepreneurs and settlers bent on using the forests for profit. The Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) was the first significant developer of the region’s timber resources. In 1825 George Simpson, governor of the HBC’s operations in North America, transferred the company’s regional headquarters to Fort Vancouver, 80 miles above the mouth of the Columbia River. Because HBC ventures focused on the fur trade, Simpson found that ships and men were idle during the off-season. To utilize the company’s resources year-round, he initiated the construction of a lumber mill at Fort Vancouver and expanded the firm’s activities to the lumber trade in 1828. The HBC shipped much of its lumber to Hawaii, where missionaries and merchants needed building material. In little time, lumber gained a prominent place in HBC operations. However, after Great Britain gave up its rights to the mainland south of the 49th parallel in 1846, the company eventually sold its forts in the lands that became the Oregon and Washington Territories of the United States. Americans began to develop Washington’s lumber industry where the HBC left off.

B. The Rise of the Lumber Industry, 1848-1883

Beginning in 1848, the California Gold Rush created a huge surge in lumber production on Puget Sound, which boasted great stands of timber and deep, safe anchorages. Puget Sound sawmills provided San Francisco and other boomtowns with much-needed building material. By the mid-1850s, there were over two dozen mills in Puget Sound, many built by San Francisco investors, such as Andrew Jackson Pope, F. C. Talbot, William Renton, and Asa Mead Simpson. Many of these investors had roots in older lumbering regions, such as Maine. Pope and Talbot built the Puget Mill Company at Port Gamble in 1853. William Renton opened a mill at Port Blakely the same year. Many smaller mills opened along the shores of Puget Sound and Grays Harbor in the years that followed. By 1860 the Northwest lumber industry was centered in western Washington. Although there were many logging operations, their impact was initially limited: until the 1880s the cost of transporting logs over land confined logging to areas within a mile or two of the water’s edge.

To keep their Puget Sound mills running efficiently, lumber companies often established mill towns, where they were virtually free from the interference of the government, competitors, and labor organizers. Caroline Leighton, a writer who traveled around the Pacific Coast from 1865 to 1881, described the conditions in Washington Territory’s mill towns as “feudal” because “these great mill-owners have such authority in the settlements.” However, lumber firms concerned about the stability of their workforce tried to provide reasonable accommodations for their workers. The typical mill town consisted of a sawmill on the waterfront, a company store, a manager’s house, cottages for married workers, and a hotel for single employees and visitors. Most mill towns also had a school, a church, a saloon or two, and a baseball field. Millworkers received reasonably high wages and agreeable food (see document 11). Although the mill owners provided for basic needs, the workers’ lives were extremely isolated. The towns were mostly male worlds with little entertainment and limited contact with other communities. Not surprisingly, gambling, drinking, and fighting were common pastimes in mill towns.

Other workers lived in transitory and fairly primitive logging camps. After a timber cruiser surveyed an area and found a good logging location, the boss logger—the manager or owner—obtained a title to cut the trees and moved to the locale with his crew. They set up a camp, consisting of rudimentary bunkhouses and mess halls. There was often a main building split into two rooms, one for sleeping and one for cooking. To keep warm and eliminate the dank conditions, there was a round iron stove in the center of the bunkhouse. The camps were temporary and portable when the timber was cut in one area, the camps relocated to new forests. These places also lacked any semblance of family life, as almost all the workers were single men who migrated from camp to camp. (Document 34 and document 35 are photographs of lumber camps.)

Whether they lived in established mill towns or transitory logging camps, lumber workers performed demanding and dangerous work. Fallers, working in pairs, cut the trees by hand using axes and crosscut saws (see document 9). They had to use great care to make the trees fall in the proper direction in order to prevent breakage and to place the timber in the best position to be hauled. After the trees had been felled, buckers stripped the bark from the logs and sawed them into suitable lengths. Another set of workers then placed the logs onto oiled skids—small planks or logs—and hauled them to the main skid road, where bull teams of oxen would yard—drag—the logs to the mill or to a landing on a river or the Puget Sound (see document 13 and document 14). If the logs arrived at a water landing, boom men sorted the logs and formed them into rafts, which ships towed to the mills (see document 38). Millworkers took the logs out of the water, sawed them at the steam-powered mills, and loaded them aboard vessels bound for California, Hawaii, Australia, or other destinations along the Pacific. Loading lumber was a time-consuming process, often performed by Native American laborers. The lumber industry often used an ethnic and racial hierarchy to allocate various tasks. Falling and millwork paid the best, and these jobs were generally reserved for whites born in North America or northern Europe.

The lumber industry sustained many Washington Territory residents, but other Anglo settlers grew resentful of the dominance of the San Francisco-based timber firms because they wanted Washington to be a self-sufficient commonwealth of farmers. The forests, however, served as a decisive obstacle to their homesteading dreams. To make room for farms, settlers had to log the dense forests. Cut-over areas were sold as farmland, although many so-called stump farmers eventually gave up after trying to grow crops with little success. Settlers learned quickly that Washington’s heavily forested areas could not be converted into an agrarian paradise of small, prosperous farmsteads.

Because it was clear that Washington’s forests would not easily give way to bountiful farmlands, some boosters emphasized that the territory’s future would be sustained by its “inexhaustible” supply of timber. Asa Mercer—who settled in Seattle, became president of the territorial university, and served in the upper house of the territorial legislature—published a promotional guide to Washington Territory in 1865. He appealed to prospective emigrants by touting the region’s burgeoning lumber industry and the expanding markets for timber. “Here is now a great trade in lumber,” he remarked, “and every year will see it increase” (see document 5). Similarly, Ezra Meeker, another early settler in Washington Territory, described the region’s infinite timber resources, noting, “We need have no fear that [the supply] will ever be exhausted” (see document 6).

As the lumber industry expanded, political and economic conditions encouraged fraudulent land practices. Federal regulations prohibited the removal of timber from public lands, but many mills ignored such mandates, particularly since government agents were scarce. In the late 1850s, the federal government sent U.S. Attorney John Jay McGilvra to Washington Territory to combat the illegal cutting. After realizing that he could not stop the logging of public lands, McGilvra created a system to regulate the process: mill companies pled guilty to the theft of public timber and were charged a modest fine of 15 cents per 1,000 board feet they cut. The government again tried to end corruption by passing the Timber and Stone Act of 1878. This legislation allowed residents of Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada to acquire 160 acres of timber or mineral land at $2.50 per acre. Corporations could not file such timber claims because the law was designed to help farmers, but enforcement was inefficient, and lumber companies used the law to amass substantial landholdings. In the words of the historian Richard White, the Timber and Stone Act “had loopholes so large that entire crews of sailing ships walked through them and filed on timber claims that they immediately sold to the mill companies.”

Out of self-interest, the Northern Pacific Railroad took matters into its own hands and launched a campaign against illegal logging on the public domain. In 1864 the federal government had agreed to subsidize the construction of the railroad. It received a twenty-mile-wide strip of land on alternate sections (in a checkerboard pattern) for each mile of track laid in the states and a 40-mile strip for every mile of track in the territories. The Northern Pacific tried to locate its track through heavily timbered areas to maximize the value of its land grant. Because it stood to acquire so much valuable federal land, the railroad worried about timber theft. With the help of the attorney Hazard Stevens, the son of Washington Territory’s first governor, the Northern Pacific convinced the government to strengthen its efforts to catch timber poachers in the 1870s. Although illegal cutting did decline, the continued prevalence of corruption was demonstrated by the fact that the railroad later fired Hazard Stevens after he was accused of taking bribes and allowing mill companies to log government and railroad land.

C. Technology, the Railroads, and Capital, 1883-1940

In the 1880s the railroads gained even more power in the lumber industry. When the Northern Pacific completed its transcontinental line in 1883, it owned 7.7 million acres in Washington Territory, a figure that constituted 18 percent of Washington’s land area. The railroad initially reached its Tacoma terminus by way of Portland, but in 1887 it opened a direct route across the Cascade Mountains to Tacoma, providing efficient transportation to Puget Sound mills. The Great Northern Railroad quickly followed suit, finishing its line to Seattle in 1893. The arrival of the railroads was a significant development, allowing Puget Sound firms to sell lumber in eastern markets. The railroads also brought new settlers to the Pacific Northwest, which stimulated a building boom that depended on more lumber. Moreover, traditional lumbering centers around Puget Sound, such as Port Gamble and Port Blakely, lost some of their influence. New timber centers developed around Tacoma and Grays Harbor, and the new mills used the railroads to ship lumber to an expanded national market.

During the 1880s the lumber industry was also transformed by major technological developments, particularly the donkey engine, patented in 1881. As forests right next to the water became relatively scarce and logging moved inland, it became apparent that bull-team logging had to be replaced by a more efficient method. Consisting of a small steam engine set on skids and attached to a winch, the donkey engine pulled logs from the woods with cables (see document 15). It moved logs much faster and for longer distances than did oxen and horses. Thus, the donkey engine enabled companies to halve the cost of log removal. Sometime after 1905 loggers developed a new way to use donkey engines. Instead of yarding logs across the ground, workers could use donkey engines to haul logs through the air by suspending cables and pulleys from the top of a tall tree called a spar tree. This technique was called high-lead logging (see document 18 and document 19). It made yarding even more efficient and allowed firms to cut trees on steep slopes and in narrow valleys. However, the process of moving huge logs through the air above workers’ heads also increased the number of industrial accidents.

The development of narrow-gauge logging railroads was another important innovation. Though the donkey engine enabled loggers to haul logs considerable distances, there was no efficient way to move logs from the deep woods. Many mill owners wanted to harvest this timber in order to increase the timber supply and counteract rising prices. In the 1880s a few mills began to build logging railroads, opening up new stands of timber that were previously inaccessible because of the rugged terrain and the distance from the water (see document 16). Both the donkey engine and the logging railroads made mechanical power indispensable to the lumber industry. New technology, however, also ensured the dominance of large logging companies because small operations could not afford the new equipment (see document 17).

New technologies and railroad expansion reached the Pacific Northwest as lumber companies depleted the Great Lakes timber supply. The timber giants of the upper Midwest looked to expand their operations westward, as indicated by the establishment of the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company in 1888. Chauncey Griggs, a Minnesota grocer, and several associates created this mill through the purchase of 80,000 acres of timber from the Northern Pacific Railroad. It was the first mill to deliver its timber entirely by rail. Still shipping lumber by sea, the old San Francisco-based mills, such as Pope & Talbot’s Puget Mill Company, hoped that the new mills would be too busy with the eastern market to attempt to break into their traditional markets in California and other Pacific locales (see document 12).

Frederick Weyerhaeuser, another Minnesota investor, gave the Washington lumber industry a huge boost with his arrival in 1900. He bought 900,000 acres of western Washington timber from the Northern Pacific Railroad to become the second largest private holder of timber in the nation. After an additional transfer from the Northern Pacific in 1903 and several smaller purchases from other owners, Weyerhaeuser’s holdings encompassed 1.3 million acres (which was 26 percent of all private timberlands in Washington). Initially, the Weyerhaeuser Company’s main purpose was to acquire land and sell its timber to other firms. In the 1910s, however, the company began to take an interest in milling and manufacturing. It built mills in Everett, Snoqualmie Falls, Longview, Enumclaw, Aberdeen, and Raymond. Weyerhaeuser also experimented with pulp and paper production.

Technological developments, railroad expansion, and the arrival of large corporations transformed Washington’s lumber industry, making it the dominant player in the state’s economy. In 1879 the state’s lumber production was 160 million board feet by 1890 production had skyrocketed to over one billion board feet. In 1919 Washington produced 4.9 billion board feet of lumber. The timber industry became Washington’s largest employer: a 1910 study by the U.S. Bureau of Corporations found that 63 percent of the state’s wageworkers directly or indirectly depended on it for jobs. In 1905 Washington became the nation’s leading producer of timber, a position it held until the late 1930s, when it was surpassed by its neighbor to the south, Oregon.

D. Government and Unions Enter the Woods, 1883-1940

The rapid expansion of Washington’s lumber industry led many people to fear that timber companies would deplete the supply of wood. During the era of bull-team logging, Asa Mercer, Ezra Meeker, and others had claimed that Washington’s timber resources were inexhaustible, but new technologies and dramatically increased logging made these statements seem hopelessly naive. The federal government stepped in and implemented measures to conserve the nation’s forest resources. Passed in 1891, the Forest Reserves Act authorized the president to establish forest reserves on public lands. One of the primary purposes of the forest reserves was to protect western watersheds farmers feared that logging, forest fires, and overgrazing would destroy the forests that regulated the flow of rivers. Furthermore, the federal government hoped that the forest reserves would guarantee a steady supply of timber for future decades. President Grover Cleveland set aside millions of acres of reserves across the West in 1897, including a 1.5 million-acre forest reserve on the Olympic Peninsula.

Over the next decade the federal government expanded the forest reserves and created a system to manage these lands. The Forest Management Act of 1897 gave the Secretary of the Interior the power to regulate the uses of the reserves, including grazing, irrigation, and lumbering. In 1905 Congress transferred control of the forest reserves (which were later called national forests) to the Bureau of Forestry (which soon changed its name to the Forest Service). The first head of the Forest Service, Gifford Pinchot, became a major leader in the Progressive Era conservation movement and played a key role in shaping the management of national resources in the U.S. He derived much of his power from the fact that he was a close friend and advisor to President Theodore Roosevelt. Pinchot, who was the first American to receive an advanced degree in forestry, promoted a philosophy of conservation that advocated the scientific and efficient use of natural resources for the common good. He believed that if the Forest Service set proper harvest levels and required proper logging methods, the national forests would provide a continual source of lumber for the American people.

Many Western interest groups feared the growing power of Pinchot and the Forest Service. Even though Pinchot promised to expand logging and grazing on the national forests, many Western ranching and logging companies feared that the Forest Service’s conservationist policies would eventually restrict their access to natural resources. In 1907 Western Congressional representatives passed an amendment declaring that the President could not add lands to the national forest system in six Western states, including Washington state, without the consent of Congress. President Roosevelt strongly opposed the amendment, but he had to sign it into law because it was attached to a key part of the federal budget. However, Roosevelt and Pinchot figured out a plan to circumvent the amendment: on the eve of signing the amendment, they drafted an executive order that added millions of acres to the national forests. This executive order also created the Colville National Forest in northeastern Washington. Over the course of his administration, Roosevelt more than doubled the size of the national forest system in the Pacific Northwest. When he left office in 1909, almost 11 million acres of Washington state (25 percent of its total land area) was under Forest Service control. It was clear that the Forest Service would play a central role in shaping the future of Washington’s forests and its logging industry.

Although many Western interests despised Pinchot, he was quite successful at gaining the support of lumber companies. He recognized that lumber firms were hesitant to replant trees after logging and implement other conservation measures because of taxation and the threat of forest fires. Owners had to pay substantial property taxes every year on the forestlands they had not yet logged. Because they also faced the constant possibility that a fire would destroy their timber, they had an economic incentive to cut their lands as rapidly as possible. To address this dilemma, Pinchot advocated cooperation between federal, state, and local governments and private landholders to reduce forest fire destruction, and he also called for tax policy reform. At the same time, many lumber executives also began to implement their own conservation measures. They supported the establishment of the University of Washington’s forestry school in 1907 and created the Washington Forest Fire Association in 1908 and the Western Forestry and Conservation Association in 1909. Lumbermen were willing to develop conservation practices that complemented their economic interests, especially the need to prevent, detect, and fight forest fires.

Lumber executives also supported Pinchot because his ideas about forestry were fairly similar to their own. Like Weyerhauser and other corporations, Pinchot wanted to maximize the long-term output of lumber. According to his autobiography, he viewed “virgin forests” (which we would now call old-growth or ancient forests) as “inherently wasteful.” Because many of their trees were dead and most of the rest were hundreds of years old, the volume of wood in these forests increased very slowly, if at all. In addition, the old-growth forests of the Northwest contained many alders, hemlocks, and other species that were not valuable for lumber. Pinchot wanted to cut down these “wasteful” forests and replace them with managed forests that would produce lumber quickly. The ideal forest would be composed only of high-value trees like Douglas firs. Once these trees reached maturity and their growth slowed, they would be cut down and replaced by a new managed forest. As long as one did not cut more wood than the forest was producing, this system would produce sustained yields of lumber forever. Even after Pinchot left the Forest Service in 1910, the idea of sustained-yield forestry remained enshrined as the agency’s guiding principle. The notion of using the national forests to produce lots of lumber suited logging companies just fine.

While the Forest Service and lumber companies worked on conservation measures to ensure sustained yields, other parties became interested in the preservation of the forests from any future development. Unlike Pinchot and other conservationists, who believed in the practical use of natural resources, preservationists advocated the permanent protection of large tracts of public land, where logging, grazing, and dam building would be forbidden. Through the creation of national parks, they hoped to preserve the nation’s scenic landscapes. Their successful national park campaigns included the creation of Mount Rainier National Park in 1899. However, the park’s boundaries excluded the adjacent lowland, forested areas, which preservationist John Muir thought were equally worthy of protection. President Theodore Roosevelt subsequently set aside 615,000 acres from the Olympic National Forest to create Mount Olympus National Monument in 1909. But again, this was only a partial victory for preservationists. Unlike national parks, where logging was essentially prohibited, national monuments were administered by the Forest Service, which often allowed some grazing and lumbering there. Preservationists faced an uphill battle to protect forests because of their economic value.

Preservationists and conservationists were not the only groups to respond to the rapid expansion of logging in the Northwest. The growth of the lumber industry and its labor force sparked the formation of unions that fought for better wages and working conditions for white workers. In the 1880s the Knights of Labor, a national labor organization, worked to expel the Chinese from the West Coast lumber industry. The Knights were motivated by racial prejudice and a fear that the employment of Chinese loggers, who worked for low wages, precluded improved working conditions for whites. Facing pressure from the Knights, the Tacoma Mill Company and Port Blakely Mill fired their Chinese employees in 1885. In 1886 the Knights also launched a campaign to reduce the workday from twelve to ten hours. Strikers disrupted operations at several mills, and many mill owners adopted the ten-hour workday.

The ten-hour workday, however, did not address the high accident and fatality rates for those who worked in the lumber industry. Andrew Mason Prouty’s study, More Deadly than War! Pacific Coast Logging, 1827-1981 , documented the incredibly dangerous nature of the work. Prouty found that during the early 20th century, 1 in 150 loggers in Washington died every year. This fatality rate meant that one-third of all 18-year-old loggers would not live to become 65-year-old loggers. In addition, every year almost one in five loggers (and one in eight millworkers) suffered some sort of injury on the job. Some injured workers sued their employers for damages, and juries sometimes gave them generous awards. In most states, appellate courts limited employers’ liability and routinely overturned verdicts in favor of wounded workers. However, Washington voters had elected several liberal governors who appointed pro-labor judges to the Washington State Supreme Court. This court often sided with injured workers, leading Washington lumber executives to complain that they had become easy targets for lawsuits. To protect themselves from liability, most industry leaders decided to support a compulsory workers’ compensation program. In 1911 a committee of timber executives and representatives from the Washington State Federation of Labor drafted a bill to create the nation’s first compulsory workers’ compensation law, and the state legislature subsequently approved it. The law affected only certain industries with high accident rates, such as logging and manufacturing. It allowed injured workers to be reimbursed for most of their medical costs and lost wages. Employers paid half of the costs of the act, and employees paid a small payroll tax to cover the other half of the costs. By eliminating lawsuits, both employers and workers avoided attorneys’ fees.

Some unions eschewed the incremental approach to reform represented by the workmen’s compensation program and instead sought fundamental change. Labor activism intensified with the arrival of the Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.) in the Pacific Northwest in 1907. This radical organization’s ultimate goal was to overthrow the capitalist system, but it often fought for higher wages and better working conditions as important short-term aims. Members of the I.W.W. were known as Wobblies, and they espoused the notion that “the working class and the employing class have nothing in common” (see document 27). The Wobblies organized skilled and unskilled workers in all facets of the lumber industry. In March 1912 they led a walkout on Grays Harbor, closing virtually every plant on the harbor. The strike ended in April, but lumber executives feared the Wobblies would strike other areas next (see document 21 and document 22). Many lumber companies hired detectives in order to determine if I.W.W. leaders were infiltrating their workforces.

The Wobblies organized recruitment campaigns in various areas, most notably in Everett, a city whose economy depended almost entirely on its lumber and shingle mills. The city’s lumbermen wielded much political and economic power and yielded to few of the workers’ demands. In May 1916 shingle weavers went on strike, protesting wage cuts. (Shingle weavers worked in sawmills that manufactured shingles for roofs. Their job included steering blocks of wood through saws that shaped the lumber into shingles. It was often said that shingle weavers recognized one another by the fingers missing on their hands.) A few months later, James Rowan, an I.W.W. leader from Chicago, traveled to Everett and set up a street meeting to discuss the exploitative nature of the lumber industry. The police arrested Rowan for peddling pamphlets without a license and sentenced him to 30 days in jail or banishment from the city. This incident was followed by the arrival of other I.W.W. organizers and further conflicts with the Everett police, who quelled street meetings and expelled Wobblies from the city. The Wobblies made persistent efforts to return to Everett, but the police continued to deport them. In November approximately 250 Wobblies boarded a Seattle steamboat bound for Everett. When they arrived, they were met at the dock by an armed band organized by local mill owners. As the Wobblies crowded on deck to leave the boat, gunshots rang out. The steamer’s engineer backed the boat away from the dock, and after ten minutes of gunfire, the vessel was out of range. Forty-seven individuals, most of them Wobblies, were injured, and a dozen people died in what became known as the Everett Massacre.

Wobbly activism continued with an industry-wide strike in July 1917, closing most of the mills and camps in the Pacific Northwest. Strikers demanded an eight-hour day with no reduction in pay. This extensive, protracted strike demonstrated the volatile relationship that had developed between lumber barons and the individuals who worked for them. Employers were willing to meet some of labor’s demands, but they feared the radicalism that the I.W.W. represented.

America’s participation in World War I offered lumbermen an opportunity to defeat the Wobblies. The Woodrow Wilson Administration planned an airplane program that required large amounts of spruce, the best wood for airplane frames. Because the Olympic Peninsula was home to some of the largest spruce trees in the world, President Wilson returned half the acreage of Mount Olympus National Monument to the Olympic National Forest in 1915 in order to free up timber. Soon after the U.S. entered the First World War in 1917, the Wobbly lumber strike reached its peak. Desperately wanting to increase aircraft production, the Wilson Administration resolved to break the strike and step up spruce production. The army organized the Spruce Production Division, which assigned thousands of soldiers to build roads and railroads into the spruce forests of the Olympic Peninsula. In addition, the head of the Spruce Production Division, Colonel Brice Disque, established the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen (the 4L), an organization of employers and workers designed to increase production through patriotic appeals (see document 29). Disque used the 4L as a means to eradicate the Wobblies millworkers and logging camp employees were required to join the Legion, but known Wobblies were barred from membership. Furthermore, the soldiers of the Spruce Production Division frequently beat up suspected Wobblies and chased them out of lumber camps. In 1918 Disque convinced industry leaders to agree to an eight-hour day with no reduction in workers’ pay. He also convinced executives to improve living conditions in logging camps. Basically, the lumber industry agreed to the eight-hour day in return for the government’s virtual eradication of the Wobblies. (Document 28 presents an I.W.W. leader’s interpretation of these events.) The wartime repression of the Wobblies was a success: attempts to revive the power of the I.W.W. failed utterly. In the years after the war, lumber managers tried to turn the 4L into a company union under their control. However, loggers had little interest in a union controlled by management, and the 4L folded in the mid-1920s.

The spruce market plummeted after the war, but the lumber industry grew in other areas, particularly in pulp and paper production. Several pulp mills, which relied on cheap hemlock from the Olympic Peninsula, opened in the 1920s. These mills used new technologies to produce paper, particleboard, rayon, and other products made from wood pulp. The conversion to a peacetime economy and the development of new markets in Japan and on the Atlantic coast led to a boom in the early 1920s. While the new markets absorbed increased output, the expansion of the industry resurrected the problem of overproduction. Washington continued to produce over seven billion feet of lumber each year from 1924 to 1929 even though prices declined steadily after 1924.

The Great Depression dealt a terrible blow to an industry that was already struggling. Washington’s lumber production dropped from 7.3 billion board feet in 1929 to 2.2 billion board feet in 1932, the smallest amount since 1904. By 1933 over half of the loggers normally employed in camps and mills were out of work, while those who kept their jobs had reduced wages and hours. Shortly after he took office in 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt persuaded Congress to create the National Recovery Administration (NRA) to combat the Depression. The legislation that created the NRA guaranteed workers’ right to organize and bargain with management through their own representatives. Unions affiliated with the American Federation of Labor (AFL) gained strength during the 1930s, and AFL timber locals in 1935 formed the Northwest Council of Sawmill and Timber Workers. The AFL focused on organizing skilled workers, while the Committee for Industrial Organization (CIO), founded by John L. Lewis in 1935, advocated industry-wide unionization of both skilled and unskilled workers. The CIO also became influential during the Depression, especially after the International Woodworkers of America become an affiliate of the CIO in 1937. Labor was quite successful at pressing its demands at this time after a series of strikes, several AFL and CIO unions won recognition from management. These unions helped to increase the average hourly wage in Washington sawmills by over 20 percent between 1935 and 1938.

The NRA also enacted a system of industrial self-government, allowing industries to develop codes to govern fair competition, production, prices, and conservation measures. Lumbermen drafted and approved a code for their industry in 1933. Upon President Roosevelt’s request, lumbermen included a clause that required them “to carry out such practical measures as may be necessary . . . in respect of conservation and sustained production of forest resources.” The adoption of the lumber code coincided with the introduction of the caterpillar tractor and selective logging. Caterpillar tractors made it possible to select only the best quality timber, leaving the remaining trees for future use (see document 42). Lumbermen rejected selective logging, arguing that the Depression prevented them from buying new equipment. Still, their lumber code expressed a commitment to selective logging and sustained yield, although the resolution was not binding. Lumber firms worried that Roosevelt would use the code to impose conservation policies that would harm their business.

By early 1934 most lumbermen believed that the code needed drastic revisions. They complained about unfair treatment on conservation issues, arguing that the Forest Service was not doing its part to spend funds for fire protection and research. Large manufacturers, moreover, accused small operators of violating the production and price controls set forth in the code, and small companies complained that the code favored large corporations. The Supreme Court declared the NRA unconstitutional in 1935, and the lumber code was dismantled, much to many lumber operators’ relief. Many large and small lumbermen concluded that industrial self-government could not work because the industry was too large and diverse. It was next to impossible to develop a single point of view on any issue.

Although the collapse of the NRA did away with the lumber code and its conservation clause, the lumber industry still faced growing opposition from people who wanted to preserve some forests from harvesting. This battle between preservationists and timber interests was exemplified by the campaign to create Olympic National Park. Preservation groups wanted to create a large park by combining the existing national monument with adjacent national forest lands (see document 31). The ensuing controversy focused on the boundaries of the proposed park. Because logging was prohibited in national parks, the lumber industry feared that it would lose access to the Olympics’ vast stands of hemlock, which it needed for pulp and paper manufacturing. The Forest Service and local mill owners argued that including the hemlock stands in the park would ruin the local economy. They wanted to create a much smaller park would contain very little merchantable timber (see document 32 and document 33). Though the Forest Service sided with the timber industry, the National Park Service supported preservationists’ call for a large park. In 1937 President Roosevelt took a trip to the Olympics in order to resolve the dispute. Alarmed by the extensive areas of logged land that he saw, he came out in favor of a large park. In 1938 Roosevelt convinced Congress to establish a 648,000-acre Olympic National Park, and in 1940 he added another 187,000 acres to the park.

The creation of a large park was a victory for preservationists over the powerful lumber interests, but it also demonstrated the fierce conflict that had developed between the two groups. Even after the establishment of the park, the lumber industry continued to advocate reducing the size of the park and allowing logging inside its boundaries (see document 48). Washington’s forests were a precious commodity to conservationists, preservationists, and the lumber industry, and, in the decades that followed, these groups continued to fight about the proper use of the forests.

E. Intensive Logging, Environmentalism, and Owls: Washington’s Forests after 1940

During and after World War II, the lumber industry lost its dominant position in Washington’s economy. The industry did not really recover from the effects of the Great Depression until after the war ended in 1945. The postwar housing boom led Washington lumber companies to increase their harvests from 3.3 billion board feet in 1944 to 5 billion board feet in 1951. Though logging remained heavy for the next three decades, the industry never again reached the peak harvest levels of the late 1920s, when it cut 7 billion board feet per year. Many of the trees cut in Washington after the Second World War went to pulp mills because the demand for pulp and paper products was strong. Indeed, by 1960 the value of the state’s pulp and paper manufacturing was greater than the value of its lumber production. But paper and lumber were hardly the only industries that thrived during the period of postwar prosperity. Washington’s economy diversified during the 1940s and 1950s, when the state began producing substantial quantities of airplanes, aluminum, atomic weapons, cherries, financial services, and a host of other goods. In sum, even though the timber industry was growing, other parts of the economy were growing much more rapidly. As the lumber industry lost its status as the state’s largest employer, its political power consequently declined.

The postwar era also marked the end of a relatively cheap supply of timber. Years of logging had steadily reduced the amount of mature timber on private lands. As the supply of private timber diminished, its value increased rapidly. Because forestlands were becoming so expensive, lumber companies became more interested in conservation measures that would guarantee their future timber supplies. During World War II the West Coast Lumbermen’s Association and the South Olympic Tree Farm Company organized timber farms and began focusing on reforestation. Other groups followed suit.

With private supplies of trees in decline, lumber companies became more dependent on Washington’s national forests Throughout the 1940s and 1950s, logging firms clamored for access to more national forest lands, and the Forest Service was happy to give it to them. Ever since the time of Gifford Pinchot, Forest Service officials had wanted to cut down their old-growth forests and replace them with managed forests. But the flood of new timber sales and the pressure on Forest Service managers to accommodate the demand for trees was unlike anything the agency had experienced in the prewar years. The postwar period ushered in a new era of national forest administration, one that emphasized rapid logging and intensive management. The Forest Service became overly optimistic about the amount of timber production that the national forests could sustain. Even though a 1969 study warned that the old-growth forests of Washington and Oregon were being cut at a rate that could soon cause a 30 percent decline in timber harvests, Forest Service managers believed that technology and scientific expertise could circumvent depletion and make the forests more productive. The Forest Service was supposed to ensure the integrity and sustainability of the national forests, but its postwar policies maximized timber harvests, undermining its efforts to implement sustained-yield forestry and environmental protection.

New technologies facilitated the rapid harvest of the forests. Most logging companies had begun using gasoline-powered chainsaws by the start of World War II. This piece of equipment greatly reduced the amount of labor and time required to cut down a tree, making large logging crews obsolete (see document 43). One faller with a chainsaw could do the work of 15 fallers with axes and crosscut saws. Moreover, by the early 1960s, log trucks had replaced logging railroads in removing timber from the deep woods (see document 44). Because log trucks could haul loads of more than 100 tons, they precipitated the construction of an extensive network of logging roads into the national forests and private holdings. The Forest Service had become the nation’s most active
road builder by the 1970s. In the 1970s the forest-products industry in Washington faced problems with slowdowns in housing construction, depleted timber supplies, and competition from other lumber sources in British Columbia and the American South. Still, logging in the national forests of Washington and Oregon continued at a rapid pace. During the 1960s and 1970s, forest management plans continually increased the annual allowable cut, and in some forests, managers allowed harvests to exceed the allowable cut. The plans assumed only slight losses in soil productivity due to erosion and overestimated how much science and technology could increase harvests. As a result, timber harvests on federal lands reached an all-time high in 1987.

As the Forest Service continued its intensive management of the national forests, the environmental movement gained power. Before the Second World War, only a very small percentage of Americans were preservationists. But as incomes increased and people had more leisure time, the popularity of hiking, camping, fishing, and other types of outdoor recreation skyrocketed after 1945. More Americans became interested in preserving forests for recreational purposes. In addition, many of the people who moved to Washington after the war had been attracted by the state’s environment—its mountains, beaches, and forests. The heavy logging of national forests in the postwar period, therefore, alarmed many Washingtonians. Preservationist groups such as the Audubon Society and the Sierra Club were able to recruit thousands of new members (see document 51). By the mid-1960s it became clear that the proliferation and growth of organizations devoted to preserving wilderness and reducing pollution demonstrated the emergence of a powerful environmental movement.

Environmentalists fought several battles to preserve more of Washington’s forests. After a long campaign, environmental groups successfully pushed the Wilderness Act through Congress in 1964. This bill allowed for some federal lands to receive a wilderness designation that prohibited all forms of development except the construction of hiking trails. Concerned about logging, environmentalists also led a successful drive to create the 1.3 million-acre North Cascades National Park Complex in 1968 (see document 49 and document 50). In addition to a 685,000-acre national park, which is managed as wilderness, the complex includes the Lake Chelan and Ross Lake National Recreation Areas, which permit tourist development but not commercial logging.

The passage of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) in 1973 was another environmentalist victory. The law required the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to identify threatened plants and animals, and it required federal agencies to take actions to promote the recovery of these species. The ESA recognized that all species were members of ecosystems and worthy of some protection. Its passage indicated a growing interest in biodiversity and ecosystem science. During the postwar years, scientists and environmentalists also developed an appreciation of old-growth forests as biological treasures. Though Gifford Pinchot and other foresters had derided old-growth forests as unproductive, scientists discovered that these forests were actually dynamic, complex ecosystems that served as habitat for thousands of species of microorganisms, fungi, insects, plants, and animals. Old-growth advocates argued that managed forests—composed primarily of recent clear-cuts and even-aged, single-species stands of timber—lacked this diversity.

The passage of the ESA and the increasing interest in ecology set the stage for a heated battle over the forests of the Pacific Northwest. In 1990 the Fish and Wildlife Service declared the northern spotted owl, which lives in the old-growth forests of Washington, Oregon, and northern California, a threatened species. In March 1991 United States District Court Judge William Dwyer issued an injunction to halt state and federal timber sales until further studies on the owl’s habitat were completed Dwyer also restricted logging on most national forests and many private timberlands in the region. After a court order, the Fish and Wildlife Service designated 11.6 million acres outside parks as critical habitat for the owl because many scientists argued that the species needed large areas of old growth in order to survive. William Dietrich, a reporter for the Seattle Times, noted that the spotted owl thus acted as a “surrogate for old-growth protection.” There were no laws that protected endangered ecosystems, so environmentalists and concerned scientists used the endangered status of the owl as a way to preserve the last major stands of old growth in the national forests.

For those who lived and worked in logging communities, the protection of the spotted owl threatened their livelihood and way of life. By 1990 approximately 65 percent of the Olympic National Forest had been set aside for owl habitat, and the Forest Service announced that it was selling virtually no timber in that forest. Coupled with the recession of the 1990s and rising log exports to Japan, restrictions on logging resulted in mill closures in 1990 alone, more than 50 mills closed in the Pacific Northwest. As mills closed, thousands of people were laid off. Though the problems facing the timber industry were multifaceted, environmentalists and spotted owls made convenient scapegoats for the industry’s woes (see document 53 and document 54). Residents of lumber communities staged rallies in both Seattle and Olympia in May 1991 to express their growing outrage and their opposition to owl-protection measures.

Instead of blaming the spotted owl, many individuals dependent on the lumber industry began to explore other ways to sustain themselves and their communities. One Forks couple shut down their logging business and began to lead school children on science and nature trips. Darrington city planners began to promote tourism, instituting weekend crafts markets and festivals and encouraging the construction of new parks, restaurants, and inns. Aberdeen, Forks, and other towns in western Washington started programs for loggers to retrain them for new careers and to help them get their high school diplomas. Unfortunately, the jobs created by tourism and other economic development efforts generally paid less much less than logging or millwork. In addition, the number of new jobs did not even approach the number of jobs lost. Unemployment rates remained very high in timber-dependent communities throughout the 1990s, and many families had to move elsewhere to find work.

As the spotted owl and old-growth controversy intensified, President Clinton organized the Northwest Forest Summit in April 1993 in the hopes of resolving the issue. Along with Vice President Al Gore and four Cabinet members, scientists and representatives from environmental organizations, timber communities, and lumber mills gathered in Portland for a discussion of the future of the Northwest’s old-growth forests (see document 52). Clinton unveiled his forest policy three months after the summit. His plan included an annual harvest of 1.2 billion board feet of timber in the national forests of western Washington, western Oregon, and northern California the establishment of old-growth reserves and conservation areas to protect threatened species some salvage logging and thinning and funds to aid lumber workers and timber-dependent towns with job retraining and economic development (see document 55). Loggers complained that 1.2 billion board feet was too little—it was about one-quarter of the harvest levels in the late 1980s. Environmentalists, on the other hand, claimed that 1.2 billion board feet was too much and that salvage logging and thinning opened the door for destructive logging. The White House later revised the plan by scaling back annual timber harvests to 1.1 billion board feet, setting aside more land for reserves to protect owl habitat, widening the no-logging buffer zones along streams from 50 to 100 feet, and slightly increasing the economic aid for timber-dependent communities. In June 1994 Judge Dwyer lifted his ban on most logging in the national forests, and in December he upheld Clinton’s Northwest Forest Plan. Though they did not get everything they wanted, environmentalists still considered the adoption of the new forest policy to be a substantial victory.

The Northwest Forest Plan marked an important policy shift, but it did not end the struggles over the region’s forests. Several Pacific Northwest runs of cutthroat trout and coho, sockeye, and chinook salmon were listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act in 1998. These listings have brought more restrictions to logging activities and imposed penalties if salmon streams are damaged. After further reductions in logging levels in 1999, the timber industry has claimed that the Northwest Forest Plan has failed to provide a steady, reliable supply of wood for the region’s mills. President George W. Bush’s recent efforts to increase commercial thinning and salvage logging as a way to reduce forest fires have initiated another round of debate and conflict.

The recent controversies surrounding Washington State’s forests are a reflection of this natural resource’s long, complex history. Since the 18th century, the Pacific Northwest has been associated with vast forests and the lumber industry. Washingtonians have coveted the state’s forests, but they have valued them for widely different reasons. The beliefs and actions of people in the past have shaped the forests we have today. Native peoples used fire, and other groups have employed axes, donkey engines, railroads, tractors, chainsaws, and logging roads—as well as publicity, presidential proclamations, soldiers, labor unions, lawsuits, and wilderness-protection rules—to change the forests. In turn, the forests have shaped the economy of the state and the identities of its residents. However the forests may change in later years, it seems to safe to say that they will continue to play a key role in the future of the Evergreen State.


Pope and Talbot - History

Structure Type: built works - dwellings - houses

Dates: constructed 1936

The tandem of William W. Wurster and Thomas D. Church designed this two-story residence and its garden for a significant lumber executive in the exclusive San Mateo County suburb of Hillsborough, CA.

Building History

Wurster and Church collaborated on the designs of many distinguished Bay Area houses from the 1930s-1960s. George A. Pope, Jr., President of the Pope and Talbot Lumber Company, an important producer of timber in CA and the Pacific Northwest, commissioned the two to design this house during the generally torpid economic period of 1932-1934.

Pope owned a 16,000-acre ranch, the El Peco Ranch, outside of the Central Valley town of Madera, on which he raised champion thoroughbred race horses. Wurster also designed this notable El Peco Ranch house. (See Ed Levine, “Madera County Rivals Kentucky’s ‘Blue Grass Belt’ for Fine Horses, Madera Tribune, vol. 71, no. 94, 09/25/1962, p. 12A.)


Pope & Talbot Plans To Shut Down 142-Year-Old Washington Sawmill Dwindling Timber Supplies, High Log Prices Blamed For Closure

Workers who returned from a 10-week layoff at the Pope & Talbot Inc. sawmill here Monday learned the mill is being closed permanently, victim of higher prices for logs and lower prices for lumber.

“You come back to work, and get your notice,” said Chuck Blem, an engineer at the 142-year-old mill.

“This decision has been long and hard,” said Michael Flannery, general manager for Pope & Talbot’s wood products division. “We’ve been here through fire, pestilence, civil war, two world wars and a couple of depressions.”

The announcement to employees in the town auditorium was greeted with stunned silence. The mill already had laid off its second shift and dropped responsibility for maintaining the town and its historic homes. It was restarting Monday after a 10-week shutdown, the latest in a series of stints of idleness. But employees had returned hoping the work would last.

Though some had seen this coming, the announcement was a blow to employees.

“I came as close to crying today as I’ve been in a long, long time,” said Tom Hard, a carpenter at the mill for 15 years.

Established as the Puget Mill Co., the sawmill, on an inlet about 12 miles west of Seattle, is said to have been the first big mill on the west side of Puget Sound in Washington state.

Under its namesake founders William C. Talbot and Andrew J. Pope, two young entrepreneurs from Machias, Maine, it quickly became the largest enterprise in the Puget Sound. As it prospered, it sprouted a quaint town of colonial homes that remains carefully preserved today.

In the early 1980s, the company overhauled the once-anachronistic mill with the latest in technology for high-volume output. In the last seven years, Flannery said, the company spent $12 million on new equipment at the mill, including a new lumber kiln and an ill-fated plant to make pellets for wood-burning stoves.

But the mill had been in a tailspin for about 10 years, Flannery said, down to 1,200 logs being processed daily from 5,600 logs a day in the early 1980s.

Driven by demand for high-quality raw logs overseas, timber prices have risen to $600 to $1,200 a log, about 25 percent more than the company can afford to pay, he said.

At the same time, lumber prices have been dropping for the last year, partly because of competition from Canadian mills. Pope & Talbot’s three mills in British Columbia are prospering, company officials said.

A third factor has been dwindling timber supplies, partly because of environmental restrictions, after decades of heavy logging.

“I don’t see any evidence of these changing,” Flannery said.

Pope & Talbot, which now buys trees from private owners and state-owned lands, has 18 million board feet of logs en route to the mill, normally about a four-month supply. Flannery said some would be cut into lumber and the rest sold as raw logs.

The final shutdown is scheduled for October.

A recent study by Paul F. Ehinger, an Oregon timber analyst, shows that from 1989 to last April, 166 mills closed in Oregon and Washington.

Shutdown of the Port Gamble mill is “just one more in the whole chain,” Flannery said. “It won’t be the last.”

“You kind of feel part of you is going away,” said Francis Richardson, a pipefitter and third-generation mill worker.

The five-mill company, based in Portland, was founded as Puget Mill Co. by Talbot and Pope in September 1853. It quickly became the largest enterprise in the Puget Sound region.

The town it spawned still features a picturesque assortment of Colonial homes, some rented by mill workers for as little as $250 a month.

Layoff of the entire evening shift in May had left 96 employees, 75 of them union workers.

“We kept hoping it would turn around again. The timber market’s always a roller coaster,” shipping superintendent Roger L. Rogers said. “I thought we’d last longer. I thought we’d go another three years.

“It’s just like getting kicked in the gut.”

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Watch the video: Pope u0026 Talbot (June 2022).


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