We work with Sustainable Northwest Wood to source salvaged Juniper. This video and the excerpt below has more information on this valuable restoration project that we are excited to support.
Across eastern Oregon are green and grey trees dotting the landscape, sprinkled sparsely in some areas, thick and densely forested in others. This is Western juniper, Juniperus Occidentalis, an innate part of Oregon grasslands, an inherent part of the open range.
But it didn’t always look this way. Western juniper is a native tree that has become invasive, pushing out other plants and wildlife, lowering the water table, and transforming grasslands into desert. Juniper’s range has expanded across eastern Oregon. A century of fire suppression, grazing practices, and climate change are among the factors contributing to juniper’s excess proliferation. Today it’s acting more like an invasive species than a native son, and it’s hurting the landscape, wildlife habitat, and the livelihoods of farmers and ranchers.
There is agreement that invasive juniper needs to be removed in an environmentally sensitive manner from both publicly and privately owned lands to improve grazing conditions, discourage the spread of invasive weeds, increase water supplies, decrease wildfire risks in our communities, and restore available habitat for sensitive species like sage-grouse and mule deer. But harvest of this tree also has tremendous potential to create jobs, provide new economic opportunities to the timber and wood products industries throughout Oregon, and serve as a plentiful resource for biomass energy.
In July 2013, Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber launched the Western Juniper Utilization Group, a collaborative effort managed by Sustainable Northwest. The goal of this project is to restore ecosystems in eastern Oregon, and create jobs in juniper supply, and market chains in rural communities, the Portland metro area, and along the West Coast.