WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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City of Toledo looks to Mill Creek Forest area for future city income

Correction: Presentation on behalf of Oregon Coast Community Forest Association

What could become a delightfully home town boutique approach to forestry management producing elegant if not decidedly upscale wood products was presented to the Toledo City Council Tuesday evening during a council workshop. Oregon Coast Community Forest Association’s Chuck Willer told the council the city’s Mill Creek Forest could use a little thinning, including alder, which, when all is said and done, could produce an additional income stream to the city.

Willer said highly value-added timber and wood products could produce a specialty/boutique brand of beams and structural items, along with interior, decorative and art panels. Also marine components, food service products and framing. Willer said the Mill Creek Forest could be managed to produce specialty woods which would be sustainable out many, many years. Willer cautioned that it would never be a big money maker for the city but its income could be fairly steady, depending on management priorities.

Willer said up to thirty killowatts of power could be generated through a hydro-turbine placed at the base of Mill Creek Dam. That power would then be used to run a Toledo wood drying facility. The wood would be labeled through a tree-tracking system so as to create a “signature” piece of any product produced by the mill informing the buyer where, when and how the tree was harvested, processed and then sold to the customer. Willer said such Tree Tracking Marketing has great market appeal in the Willamette Valley, where most of the Mill Creek Forest wood products would likely be sold.

Willers told News Lincoln County that there are a number of privately held forests along the Oregon Coast that are growing very valuable trees that lend themselves to smart forestry management, specialty processing and milling, and are all aimed at upper scale markets. And of course, the entire enterprise would add to the local job base.

The city council appeared very pleased by Willer’s presentation and pledged their support for the idea of the project. Willer said that he’s in the process of figuring out how to make it all happen. He said the council will soon hear back from him with a more carefully vetted project proposal for their consideration and hopeful approval.

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