Railroads & Clearcuts


Exporting Forests and Jobs

The Railroad Land Grants and The Log Export Trade

Among the largest log and chip exporters are the corporate heirs of the 19th century railroad land grants.

The two largest holders of Northern Pacific Railroad grant lands are Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek Timber. These railroad grant lands include more than 1.5 million acres of Weyerhaeuser land in Washington State, and Plum Creek's holdings of 1.6 million acres in Montana and Idaho and 330,000 acres in the Washington Cascades. Both corporations have used their profits to acquire additional lands elsewhere, and both Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek export hundreds of millions of board feet of raw logs and are involved in chipping operations. Both use their export profits to bid against independent mills for timber on the National Forests. If Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek stopped exporting the logs from the railroad grant lands they control, small mills would have access to more timber.

For more information on raw log and chip exports, see Railroads & Clearcuts News # 3

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Big exporters' land holdings