Rowan Moore Gerety / Northwest Public Radio

The Finnish hew saw at Duane Vaagen’s mill can make two two-by-fours from a tree no thicker than a loaf of bread. “The magic,” he says, as logs rattle by and emerge seconds later as finished lumber, “is being able to turn such small diameters into a high-quality, finished product."

2013: A Good Year For West Coast Log And Lumber Exports

Feb 24, 2014
Sean Mack / Wikimedia Commons

Lumber and log exports from the West Coast rose about 20 percent last year, with demand peaking in the fourth quarter.

Most of the West Coast logs shipped overseas are going to China, although Japan has upped its demand, as well. With limited forestlands of their own, these countries rely on the United States’ timber supply.

Hundreds of sawmill representatives gathered in Portland Monday for a trade association meeting. Thanks to a recovering housing market, the U.S. demand for lumber is increasing. Amelia Templeton of Earthfix has more.

Photo courtesy Creative Commons

You can stroll into any Home Depot in the northwest and walk out with a load of pine, fir, cedar, or maple lumber.

Ask for juniper, and you’ll probably get a blank look. But that may change. Juniper trees have overpopulated in eastern Oregon, and scientist say they are sucking the high desert dry.

A group of environmental entrepreneurs thinks the best way to restore the desert is by creating a commercial market for juniper. Amelia Templeton of EarthFix Reports.