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|Articles - December 2010|
|Wednesday, November 17, 2010|
The state’s long-suffering timber industry is shipping more logs than ever to China as prices in that market rise while others remain stagnant.
The trend represents a growing source of revenue for an industry devastated by the downfall of the domestic housing market. But it could turn controversial. The export of raw logs from Oregon to Japan in the 1980s brought criticism from environmental groups and local communities that lost jobs when mills shut down and production shifted to Asia. It is now illegal to export raw logs cut down on public land in the West but the ban does not apply to private land.
To meet overseas demand for raw logs, the Port of Astoria in November began welcoming log ships after a 14-year absence. Westerlund Log Handlers of Bremerton, Wash., set up an export facility in Astoria in response to frustration over having to wait in increasingly long lines to export from Tacoma and Seattle.
In Longview, Wash., big timber players such as Weyerhaeuser have been shipping logs to China for some time. And in Coos Bay, once the busiest departure point for Oregon logs bound for Japan, China is the new destination of choice. “Prices are generally more attractive in that market,” says Kathy Budinick, director of communications for Seattle-based timber giant Plum Creek, which sells raw logs to brokers who export from Coos Bay and other Northwest ports.
Martin Callery, a spokesman for the International Port of Coos Bay, says the first vessel loaded with Oregon logs shipped from Coos Bay to China in August and a dozen more are expected to depart over the winter. Feeding the pipeline are a variety of small and large timber companies holding private land within a 250-mile radius of Coos Bay. Timber companies previously had balked at selling to Chinese buyers because they were offering “ridiculous prices,” Callery says, but now the price has improved enough to justify the sales. “Logs to China is definitely a new market,” he says. “We’ll see how long the market holds up.”
Another unknown is political opposition. Log exports have become a source of protest in British Columbia, where the Ancient Forest Alliance recently called for a ban on the shipping of raw logs to China. Many nations have banned log exports, among them Bolivia, Brazil and Indonesia.
Wednesday, June 03, 2015
As part of our green workplaces story, Oregon Business checked out a community service project undertaken by Portland Youth Builders, a nonprofit alternative high school. In partnership with Whole Foods, PYB built garden boxes for a Home Forward housing site. Home Forward is a government agency that provides housing for low income residents and people with disabilities.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
Oregon’s new marijuana law is expected to lead to a bevy of new business opportunities for the state. And not just for growers. Law firms, HR consultants, energy efficiency companies and many others are expected to benefit from the decriminalization of pot, according to panelists at an Oregon Business breakfast meeting on Tuesday.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER
Spring rains are the bane of an Oregon cherry farmer’s existence. Even a few sprinkles can crack the fruit so badly it’s not worth picking. Science to the rescue: Researchers at Oregon State University have developed a spray-on film that cuts rain-related cracking in half, potentially saving a season’s crop. The coating, patented as SureSeal, is made from natural chemicals similar to those found in the skins of cherries: cellulose, palm oil-based wax and calcium.
Tuesday, May 26, 2015
BY JASON E. KAPLAN | STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
New Jersey and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that ban self serve gas stations. But these two holdouts may be ready to give up the game. New Jersey is considering legislation that would lift the state's ban on pumping your own gas. Oregon is considering smaller scale changes.
Thursday, May 28, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | EDITOR
Reinventing capitalism. Office dumpster divers. Handprints versus carbon footprints.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
While most categories of commercial real estate have performed well, one of the most robust has been apartment buildings.
Monday, June 22, 2015
The Clean Fuels/gas tax trade off will go down in history as another disjointed, on-again off-again approach to city and state lawmaking.
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