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Mar 4, 2015 BY mark

Building with Natural Resources in the San Juan Islands

San Juan Island

There is a renewed interest in the San Juan Islands and the nation at large in growing, harvesting, and building with local trees. The thin soil and limited rain in the San Juan Islands provide slower-growing trees. When trees have slower growth, they provide builders with tight, clear grain — ideal for trim, flooring, and even furniture.

The San Juan Islands once supported a booming timber industry because farmers were clearing the land and had easy harbor access to sell and transport the logs. Unfortunately, these natural resources were quickly exhausted and the economy was forced to shift its direction. In the recent past the forests have regrown to offer high-quality timber at economically viable prices, reigniting the industry.

Today there are a growing number of businesses that deal in local wood. They are part of a larger ethic of forest stewardship that look to the island’s forests as a resource and a vital part of the community’s health. The timber economy is growing with the help of safeguarded forests and sustainable harvesting practices.

We have been lucky enough to work with quite a few local companies. Below is a list of our favorites. Please try them out for all of your San Juan Island building needs.

Equipment Operators

Dave Hall

Orcas Island, WA
(360) 376-3088

Dave Hall provides great logging and boom truck services. We are always thrilled to work with him.


The Woodsmen – Professional Tree Service, Native Landscaping, Property Management

Monty Cofey
72 Parkwood Drive, Eastsound, WA 98245
(360) 376-3812 or (360) 298-2909 c

The Woodsmen offer a wide variety of services. They specialize in tree services, native landscaping services, and San Juan Islands property management. They also offer storm cleanup, water feature builds, and masonry.

Woodworkers and Builders

Island Woodcraft

Joe Ciskowski
190 Commercial Park Road, Eastsound, WA 98245
(360) 376-2146

Island Woodcraft offers custom woodworking, cabinetry, and turned bowls. Contact them for beautiful work.

Architects and Consultants

Stoltz Kau Architects

Susan Stoltz & David Kau
1846 Orcas Road, Eastsound, WA 98245
(360) 376-7521

Stoltz Kau Architects specializes in “creative, responsible design that is uniquely suited to modern island living.” They focus on building in the San Juans with sensitivity to local resources, materials, and the microclimate.

Mills and Sawyers

Bond Lumber Mill

Andrew Stevens
4779 Pt Lawrence Rd, Olga, WA 98279
(360) 376-5868

The Bond Lumber Mill provides a mobile dimension saw, Small Ford 800 log truck with a Ramey self loader, and an old Newman four-head planer. They offer dimensional framing lumber, rough sawn lumber, timbers, flooring, trim, logs, sawdust, firewood, planer shavings, and topsoil.

Heartworks Construction, LLC

Kaj Enderlein
P.O. Box 684, Eastsound WA, 98245
(360) 376-7635

Heartworks Construction, LLC provides custom sawing services, milling your logs at your location. From decking, siding, fencing, beams and framing lumber to live edge bars and counter tops, they can do it all. Their licensed general contractor has 15 years of sawmill experience and also offers forest consultation services.

West Sound Lumber Co. LLC

Jack Helsell & Pete Helsell
155 Lime Quarry Road, Eastsound, WA 98245
(360) 376-7744

The West Sound Lumber Co., LLC provides custom-milled, rough-sawn lumber (mainly Douglas-fir and Western Red Cedar) to island crafters. They produce great quality timbers, siding, and flooring. They sell by-products like sawdust, planer shavings, and firewood. They focus on sustainably harvesting their family-owned forest, emphasizing good forest stewardship. their Douglas-fir is slow growing and makes for exceptional flooring and trim.

For even more San Juan Island natural resource businesses, see this directory.

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