Juniper may be a native species around Wallowa County, although years of fire suppression has vastly increased the number of acres dominated by the aromatic tree. When Juniper takes over, native bunchgrass are squeezed out, and soil water availability drops faster than a rock off the top of Ruby Peak. Fortunately, the Natural Resources Conservation Service has started a project to remove Juniper from about 4500 acres in Wallowa County.
The only problem is what to do with all that material. Integrated Biomass Resources (IBR), the sawmill in Wallowa, exclusively uses material from restoration projects anyway and has stepped up and started making products from juniper trees removed from the landscape, effectively diverting those trees from a burn pile.
IBR is currently producing posts and dimensional lumber.
The posts are beautiful, especially the pink hue of the Rocky Mountain Juniper that we have in Wallowa County, and are naturally rot resistant so they’ll last as long as a treated post without the toxic chemicals. The lumber isn’t too shabby either.
IBR is also working on a new product line of erosion control socks (also called wattles) for limiting runoff from construction sites, roadsides, or post-wildfire lands, using the shavings and especially the juniper bark as the stuffing for the socks.
Contact Matt King at matt@wallowaresources if you’re interested in buying locally sourced and manufactured juniper products.
The information on this website is from sources deemed reliable, but it is not guaranteed by the agent or the broker.