Incense Cedar from Tribal Lands

We've partnered with the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians to provide local Incense Cedar, supporting an important program restoring traditional lands to the original stewards.

Nestled in the South Umpqua Valley, the Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians has slowly been re-acquiring lands that were taken from them. Although current holdings of more than 33,000 acres are a fraction of their Ancestral Territory, the Tribe has been able to use this land base to establish sovereign businesses that are significant contributors to the local economy.  Among these businesses is a sawmill that processes logs from their lands into beautiful lumber.  

Until recently, most of the logs from their lands have gone to other regional mills, but the recent influx of larger, fire damaged logs that neighboring mills simply don’t want, resulted in a shift of priorities.  The teachings of their ancestors to waste nothing the land provides has spurred their efforts to reclaim and utilze as much of the burned timber as possilbe. 

On a recent visit, our President Ryan Temple, was impressed by the incense cedar lumber that they are producing. This beautiful fine-grained wood is rot resistant and a worthy substitute to the Western Red Cedar more common in the Willamette Valley. Grades range from “pecky” to select tight knot to clear. One, often overlooked, aspect of sustainability is the necessity to utilize the full range of products and grades that the forest provides. In this spirit, we have committed to buying a diversity of products from the Tribe to help them find outlets for lumber that traditional markets do not consider. 

We invite you to come by the woodyard and take a look at the lumber, siding, and posts that we will have on hand. Join us in welcoming this lesser-known species to the market and support an important program restoring traditional lands to the stewards who have lived among them since time immemorial.

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