Vaagen Brothers Lumber is a fourth-generation business based in Colville, Washington, east of the Cascades. Today, we specialize in processing small logs, and in so doing we produce a good quantity of chips and bio-energy feedstocks, but the company has undergone many changes in size, scale, and shape since our beginnings in the 1920s, when my great-grandfather, Valmer Anderson, began setting up a series of small sawmills to cut products for the family’s homestead about 20 miles east of Colville, as well as for other homesteaders in the region. We have been doing business as Vaagen Brothers Lumber since 1952, when my grandfather, Bert Vaagen, and his brother, Bud, applied their growing knowledge base to modernize production and expand capacity and our product line. My father, Duane Vaagen, began leading the company in the 1980s.Continue
Another volley has been lobbed in the back-and-forth legal drama over who will pay the $24.5 million that jurors awarded a now-defunct Missoula logging company that sued First Interstate Bank. The bank then sued its insurer, Columbia Casualty, for refusing to cover the payout under its policy and for allegedly misleading the bank into thinking it shouldn’t settle for far less money.
The largest potential economic impacts to communities from timber sale lawsuits come in the form of lost jobs, labor income and federal, state and local taxes, according to a study by the University of Montana’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research. The report was paid for by an agency that often has to defend itself against timber sale lawsuits, the U.S. Forest Service, and a pro-timber industry coalition, the Montana Forest Products Retention Roundtable.
A young company in Columbia Falls is finding success in developing new construction material, and they’ve just received a federal grant to help push that success to the next stage. Earlier this month, Smartlam Technologies, in Columbia Falls, received a $250,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.