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Weyerhaeuser has owned timberlands in the Pacific Northwest since 1900, when the company purchased its first 900,000 acres of forestland in Washington. Today, we own approximately 3.7 million acres of timberlands in Oregon, Washington and Montana. The region's climate is wet and mild, with most of the annual precipitation falling during the winter months, making July through September relatively dry. Our timberlands range from a few hundred feet in elevation to as high as six thousand feet.

The geology of the region tells a compelling story. Chains of volcanic islands collided with the North American continent to become portions of western Oregon and Washington. The volcanic peaks that make up the Cascade Mountains testify to a long history of eruptions that continue today, with the Mt. St. Helens 1980 eruption being the most recent example. The rugged terrain is the result of continued uplift of mountains. As the mountains rise, they are subject to the erosive forces of weather and streams and rivers that carry sediment and nutrients to the ocean. It is the interaction of geology, topography, soils, biology and climate that make this region among the most productive conifer growing areas in the world. By contrast, Montana's geology is dictated by sediments from ancient seas and later by glacial activity which carved broad valleys and mountain landscapes. Soils created by these actions provide rich sedimentary types productive for tree and crop growth ranging from fine erosive lacustrine soils to rocky glacial till.

FOREST MANAGEMENT

Our timberlands in the western U.S. were historically dominated by Douglas-fir, still the primary species we plant and harvest. We cultivate several other native species, including noble fir, grand fir, Western red cedar, Sitka spruce, Engelmann spruce, ponderosa pine, western larch, lodgepole pine and red alder. All the timberlands we manage in the western U.S. have been harvested and regenerated at least once. In some locations, we are now planting our third generation of trees. We reforest by planting tree seedlings on nearly 95 percent of our harvest sites in Washington and Oregon within two years. In Montana, timberlands are primarily regenerated through natural seeding within three to five years.

Our intensive forest management includes planting seedlings produced through our world-class selection, breeding and field-testing program, fertilizing the soil where needed, preventing competing vegetation from overcrowding young trees in their first few growing seasons, and thinning stands during their growing cycle to support robust growth.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP 

Sustainably managing our forests is a core objective of our management strategy. We recognize that our practices affect flora and fauna that are dependent on the forests we manage. In Washington, Oregon and Montana, we have contributed more than 600,000 acres to conservation initiatives through land exchanges, sales, donations and conservation easements.

The forests we manage in the western U.S. host more than 250 native vertebrate species. This includes large mammals such as deer, elk, cougar, black bear, grizzly bear, lynx and bobcat. Also present are birds of prey such as goshawks, red-tailed hawks, bald and golden eagles, osprey and numerous species of neo-tropical migrant birds that return to the Pacific Northwest each spring to nest. Salamanders and other amphibians inhabit the uplands and riparian areas on timberlands, and streams on our forests provide productive habitat for native fish species including salmon and trout.

Different species groups are dependent on different forest age classes and associated forest structures. The matrix of forest stand ages across our lands means we can provide much of the habitat diversity they require. Adjacent to and intermingled with some of our ownership is public forestland, which includes stands with older age classes. At a landscape scale, this diversity of ownership, age class and forest structure provide a wide range of habitat diversity for native species.

RESEARCH AND PARTNERSHIPS

To sustainably manage our forests, it's important that we continue to learn about how our activities affect both the forest ecosystem and surrounding communities. We frequently partner with other organizations to ensure that our practices are consistent with the best available science and are meeting our conservation objectives. These research partnerships enable us to assess the effectiveness of our current management practices at protecting water quality and providing habitat for threatened, endangered and sensitive species. Partners include state and federal agencies, universities and non-governmental research organizations including the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement and Oregon State University.

We also participate in a number of conservation partnerships with state and federal agencies. In Montana, we are implementing a Native Fish Habitat Conservation Plan in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This plan (approved in year 2000) conserves the federally threatened bull trout as well as westslope cutthroat trout and Columbia River redband rainbow trout on over 700,000 acres of company lands. Conservation practices included upgrading old roads to reduce sediment delivery to streams, enhanced stream buffers and stream habitat restoration practices.

We also developed a Spotted Owl Habitat Conservation Plan with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for our Coos Bay Tree Farm in Oregon. This plan was first implemented in the early 1990s and continues today. The plan provides habitat for the owl on our timberlands and is designed to complement owl recovery efforts on state and federal lands in the Coos Bay region.

Send us feedback about our forests in the Western U.S.