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On Timber Job Loss in Western Siskiyou County

by Karuk Tribal member James A. Waddell, 10/26/10.

“JOBS of the Timber Industry Past”, HAPPY CAMP, CA and western Siskiyou County: Report on the number of jobs that had been in Happy Camp when the timber industry had jobs in logging, timber falling contractors, log trucking, lumber trucking, veneer hauling and logging clean up. 

I do not report companies that did tree-planting or the US Forest Service employees in this tally.  I do not include grocery stores or equipment stores such as Littrell Parts or other supporting jobs such as 2nd Hand Stores, taverns, suppliers’ deliveries or school teachers when families with children left town and such. 

Also I did not try to learn of the men and women of gold mining so they are not included; even though they represent a lot of economic dollars in business.

I did not try to include any data of the Karuk Tribe of California even though many of the loggers, truckers and mill workers were members of the Karuk People of the Klamath River.  Karuk Tribe of California seems to be a secretive entity that has brought greater job loss by anti-working-folks-actions in troubled times of repeated compromises for ESA, Wilderness Activists, Political Obstructionists and five-fold increases in dishonest government agencies and agents. 

This abbreviated report has been done by James A. Waddell on 3/13/2010.

Sierra Pacific/ Southwest Forest/ Stone Forest sawmill NE Happy Camp; employed 124 mill workers.  (Sierra Pacific became Southwest Forest in 1975 and later was Stone Forest Ind.  Carolina Pacific also became Southwest Forest and then part of Stone Forest Ind.)  All gone down to bare dirt and cement pads.

Carolina Pacific/ Southwest Forest veneer mill below Hwy 96 NE Happy Camp… used to have 85 mill workers, now all gone; now bare land.

Willamette Plywood at the 5-mile of Indian Creek Road had an estimated 100 workers including company loggers.  Bare ground!

Hi-Ridge Lumber Co; of Seiad Valley under Gearhart Bendix; moved to Yreka in the 1960s: shut down later with an average crew of mill workers of perhaps 40.

Sharps Mill/ Agee & Beck Mill at the 6 mile of Indian Creek from the ’50s& 60s and later into the 1970 and 1980s; was sawmill of partners Agee & Beck; and Partners of McLane and Landrum; burned down; perhaps had 25 mill jobs as an average at any one time over the years.

Loggers were: V&K Logging of Benny Vinson and Verne Keller; logging and road building in partnership with Foley Roads; had a combined work force of about 25 -30 jobs in CA and more in OR;

also had some partnership or co-op with Gerry German Rock Crushing that worked in Happy Camp for a while.

            Page Timber Co.; about 10 logging crewmen. 

            Wes Bagley Logging of Happy Camp; had some 30 loggers. Wes retired and Bud Eastlick formed E&A Logging with Willie Attebery and Harold Smith formed his logging company and Klamath River Construction.

            E&A Logging Bud Eastlick and Willie Attebery of Happy Camp; crew of 16.

            Harold Smith Logging & Klamath River Construction Company; crew of 20.

            Indian Creek Logging of Verl Biggins; a logging crew of 14.

            Lucas Logging of Chic Lucas of Seiad Valley; a logging crew of 20, I believe.

Ted Jenson Logging of Happy Camp; crew of about 14… Ted who died young c. 1974 and some of his crew went to work for E&A Logging.

            Herman Logging of Norman Herman; off and on crew of 10.

            Croman Corp. Skyline, Cat-logging & Helicopter logging business; logging jobs on local timber sales and the gone again to other helicopter jobs; intermittent crews of 24

            Erickson Air Crane helicopter loggers out of Central Point OR: crew 24.

BLM Logging; Don Beard, Larry Lighthill, and Bill McKinnon; 3 jobs. 

Tommy Crocker, Bud Titus and Don Zink 3-man Logging company; crew 3.

H&H Logging of Verne and Andy Hughes; logging crew of 15.

DuPaul Logging of Happy Camp; crew of 14.

            Dutch Pierce – Log Buyer & Log Seller; jobs 1.

Lehman Logging in Happy Camp crew of 9.

George Zeigler Logging of Hi-Lead; crew of 8.

            Roger Williams Logging of Orleans and Ukonom; crews of two operations; 16.

            Wright Logging, Hank and Irwin; by Skyline Yarders; logging crew of 11.

            Swiss Baco Logging became Northwest Skyline: crew of 6 and then of 15.

            Dale Foster Logging of Happy Camp; logging crew of about 12

            Mark Crawford Logging; Mark had been timber falling contractor for E&A and then made his own logging company; crews of perhaps 10

            Darrell Crawford, Timber Falling contractor with a crew of ‘bout 5.

            Jack Layton Logging; Jack worked as timber faller here and there, then formed his own little logging company; crew of 5.

Mark Thomas Logging; logged, loaded and cleaned up by himself; crew of 1.

            McCulley & Garrett Logging of Happy Camp; crew of 9.

            Attebery & White Logging; Willie Attebery ended E&A and formed this skyline outfit with Tom White: crew of 12.

            F. L. Somers Co. road construction; road construction crew of about 10.

            F. L. Somers Co. rock crushers and dump trucks; crew of about 8.

            Rudy Murieen, Sr. Logging from Beaver Creek to Happy Camp; crew 5.

            Rudy Murieen, Jr. Logging and Horse Creek Landowner; Logging from Scott River to Scott Valley and Klamath River areas with a small gypo-logging crew of perhaps 5.

            Randy Murieen of Horse Creek landowner and small sawmill operator; crew 2.

            Hobbs & Bain of Dennis Hobbs and John Bain, Happy Camp gypo loggers; crew of ‘bout 7.

            Water-Dog; a fully equipped modern water trucks; Owner ?; crew of 3.

            Andy Nadig of logging clean up, fire-lines and water bars; crew of 4.

            Mark ?? of logging clean up, fire-lines and water bars; crew of ‘bout 3.

Log truckers were: Ivan Bann; Sam Hobbs; Fred Meinert; Lloyd Westby; Joe Selby; Cleve Kendall; Dan Feuleye; Dick Smith; Cecil McConkey; Tommy Day; Don Yeager; Danny Yeager; Jack Blotz; Tommy Long; Harry Raynor; Gary Hamilton; Lee Hamilton; Teed Casterline; Richard Lighthill; Richard Pratt; Hugh Robinson; Butch Robinson; Eddie Brimm; Marc Harding; Galen Hardy; Galen Hardy, Jr.; Vern Hibberts; Bill Hibberts; Chris Hibberts; Salmon River Sam George; Dave George; David Hayes; Jody Waddell; Bob Brown; Willie Wright; Ralph Archer; Jimmy Archer; Larry Turley; Larry’s father Turley; Andy Moore; Tommy McHenry; Mark Morgan; Bo Blackford; Bert Simmons drove one and had two other log trucks hauling; Larry Stidham had 10 trucks called Klamath River Transport… estimate from memory total  56 log truckers.

            Lumber & veneer trucks were mostly company owned by Sierra Pacific and Carolina Pacific and some independent contract haulers.  Company lumber trucks hauled to a company lumber transfer yard in Yreka or a plywood lay-up mill in OR.  Independent trucks usually hauled to a buyers’ point of destination or re-manufacturing places for doors, windows, moulding strip companies, ladies shoes and lumber lamination businesses.  Estimate 30 trucks.  (I don’t know about Willamette Ply?)

            Dump truckers were:  Earl Sakota; Harold Blotz, John Driskell, Walt Bassett, F. L. Somers Company; McCulley Logging; Earl Bryant; B. Smiley…  Estimate 8.

            Rock Crushers: F. L. Somers;

Trinity River Sand & Gravel;

Copeland Sand & Gravel…

crews of about 6 each and varied in timing of jobs; Estimate 18 jobs.

            Paving Contractors: O’Hare Paving; KLM Paving; Copeland Sand & Gravel; combined crews of about 22.

Total Tally of this Report: Happy Camp area Timber Industry JOBS lost… 916

The timber industry had timber harvests that varied from year to year, mostly due to periodic wildfires that killed million of trees. 

The Annual Allowable Harvest for the Klamath National Forest had been 260 million

board feet per year during the 1970s then decreased in the 1980s… down to only 30 million bf by early 1990s.  Now, harvests of US Forest Service timber have nearly halted.

The KNF’s annual timber growth rate was 471 Million board feet per year, as reported by the Forest Service.  So the 260 million board feet of annual harvest was about 55% of the annual growth rate except a bit more in fire salvage years.  The annual mortality rate of the KNF is about 1.2% of Timber Inventory 26 Billion board feet or roughly estimated to be 300 million board feet per year.

            Now, the failures of the US Forest Service management are allowing the fire-killed timber to go to waste and allow the brush to invade the land.  These areas will become dangerous fire hazards when the dead limbs and trees fall into the thickening brush.  Next wildfire… the land will burn very hot and kill the humus in the topsoil.

            From loggers to mill workers, teachers to gold miners and fishing guides all had to leave their homes and towns to find other work.  Gone from Siskiyou County and the Happy Camp town dropped from 3,000 to 847 people from 1986 to 1997 (info gathered by Mike Trombeta of Happy Camp Computer Center and put into a report by Jim Waddell of the HCCC in the winter of 1997-1998).  That is a population drop of 72%.

            James A. Waddell is a Karuk Member and a former long-time resident of Happy Camp, CA.  Jim Waddell has been a logger, log scaler, timber appraiser and timber manager in Happy Camp.  Interested people should buy Waddell’s book “Loggers Life”

James A. Waddell, 1101 Stone Canyon Dr. #1334, Roseville, CA 95661-4074.

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              Page Updated: Wednesday October 27, 2010 01:44 AM  Pacific

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