Sale of SDS Lumber Company Complete (WA)
This week three entities with strong Northwest ties and deep expertise in timberlands, forest conservation, and mill operations have acquired portions of SDS Lumber Company and SDS Co, LLC. The sale was finalized on November 17.
The unique consortium, comprised of Seattle-based Silver Creek Capital’s fund Twin Creeks Timber, LLC, The Conservation Fund, and Carson, Washington-based WKO, Inc., designed and put forth a purchase solution for the SDS Lumber Company and SDS Co, LLC that continues sustainable timber harvesting and mill operations while providing a path for the forestlands to be permanently conserved in the future for wildlife, recreation, and community benefits. Included in the transaction are over 96,080 acres of timberlands with environmental and community importance near the Columbia River in Washington and Oregon and the lumber and plywood mills and associated assets in Bingen, Wash.
Now that the sale is complete, each entity will solely manage its own specific acquired lands or assets. Of particular interest to the whitewater paddling community are the lands acquired by The Conservation Fund, through an affiliate, representing over 35,000 acres of the SDS timberlands, including important oak habitat, river frontage, and municipal drinking water sources. These lands include key parcels along the Green Truss run that will remain forested and maintain the wild character of this place. The traditional put-in for the Green Truss run and take-out for the Farmlands run are also part of the lands acquired by The Conservation Fund.
"Given the uncertainty over the future of these lands when SDS Lumber Company announced their intent to sell in September 2020, we are thrilled to have The Conservation Fund as the new owner for those lands that are of highest value to the whitewater paddling community," said Thomas O'Keefe of American Whitewater. "Of the many outcomes that could have occurred it is great to have a partner who understands the unique value of the White Salmon River to whitewater paddlers who both live in the community and travel from around the world to experience this spectacular piece of whitewater."
The purchase of these lands by The Conservation Fund provides time to fundraise, develop and implement a range of permanent conservation strategies with local partners that will seek to secure public recreational access, ensure sustainable timber harvesting, and preserve the natural, climate and community values of the land. American Whitewater looks forward to being a part of this conversation.
In the interim we ask that whitewater paddlers please respect these lands and particularly the access to the Green Truss Run. Interest in the river has grown considerably over the past several years and it is particularly important that we demonstrate our commitment to be responsible stewards of this place. As we enter into a relationship with a new landowner first impressions are important--let's make a good one!