Category Archives: Scott Lumber Company

Burney to participate in Bike to School Day May 10

At least 17 Shasta County schools will join schools from around the nation to celebrate Bike to School Day on Wednesday, May 10. Participating schools include Academy of Personalized Learning, Anderson Heights, Anderson Middle, Anderson New Tech, Bella Vista, Bonny View, Burney, Chrysalis Charter, Cypress Elementary, Lassen View, Happy Valley Primary and Elementary, Manzanita, Monarch, Redding School of the Arts, Shasta High, and Turtle Bay.

“We’re very excited to have 17 schools participate this year. It’s exciting to see how enthusiastic schools are about participating. Many schools choose to do more than just ride one day. They organize bike safety events, bike fix-it days, and participate in challenges,” says Sara Sundquist, Shasta Safe Routes to School Program Coordinator.

Bike to School events work to create safer routes for bicycling, and emphasize the importance of children getting physical activity, developing bicycling safety skills, and decreasing traffic congestion and air pollution around the school. The events also help to build connections between families, schools and the broader community. Most participating schools will form “bike trains,” which are supervised groups of students riding to school. “We encourage students to ride in supervised groups, and to wear a helmet,” states Sundquist.

Bike to School Day is organized by the Shasta County Safe Routes to School program, which works with schools in Shasta County to encourage and promote walking and biking to school. To assist with this event or the Safe Routes to School movement, contact Sara Sundquist at 245-6457.

This event is one of many happening during National Bike Month in May. For a full calendar of events, visit or more information about national Bike to School Day visit:


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Kevin Fletcher shares about 42 years of logging

The meeting room at Gepetto’s was full as Kevin Fletcher shared stories and insights from his 42 years of experience in the logging business at the Rotary Club of Burney-Fall River on Thursday, November 17.

Kevin Fletcher talks about logging to Rotary Club

Kevin Fletcher talks about logging to Rotary Club

Fletcher’s father was a logger and he began working with him as a teenager. One of his first jobs was planting trees. When he finished high school he began work as a logger and worked in that capacity supplying a number of mills in Northern California.

Over the years the process of logging has changed. In the early 1980’s most trees were hand-cut. More men were required for skidding, loading and transporting. In the 1990’s mechanization began to replace conventional logging. Large “doodle headed” processers, chokers and grapplers are used to harvest and process the trees.

Also the size of the trees has decreased and percentage of utilization of each tree has increased. In the past sometimes large trees were left lying on the forest floor if knots made cutting difficult. In the 1980’s they didn’t take trees smaller than 12 inches. Branches and tree tops were not necessarily processed. Now with mechanization, trees as small as 6″ are harvested and the entire tree is processed. Parts of the tree that can not be used for lumber are chipped and used for fuel.

Fletcher brought pictures of trees and equipment to illustrate his talk and peppered his remarks with a number of amusing personal anecdotes.

There were a lot of questions from the audience regarding restoration of mixed forests, clear-cutting verses selective cutting, beetle infestation, the effects of the drought, and various other aspects of forest management.

Fletcher explained that companies such as Sierra Pacific uses a 100 harvesting year plan that includes reforestation, maintaining the watershed, wildlife diversity, and fire prevention . In the state of California, clear cutting is limited, but sometimes useful to provide breaks that will help prevent the spread of wildfires.

Likewise in selective cutting the age and density of the forest managed may vary depending on the needs of local wildlife. Some animals, birds, and insects like younger forests, some like older, Some like denser woods, some like thinner.

In areas burned by wildfires, the rate of decay varies but all usable wood should be harvested within one year. Also when an area is replanted, the trees are planted relatively close together for survivability, but as they grow, the forest will be thinned to maintain the health of the forest.

He also discussed the varied use different species. Ponderosa pine is good for building as well as trim. White pine is softer so more suitable for trim although there are new treatment techniques that can harden the wood for other uses. He also discussed the uses of various species of  fir.

Drought has weakens the strength of the immunity of forest areas and contributes to beetle infestation. In managing a forest the companies try to remove infested trees as quickly as possible so that infestation will not spread. A forest that has been weakened by several years of drought will take several years to recover.

It is more profitable to harvest younger trees than giant old trees because a higher percentage of the wood can be used. Therefore, old growth trees may not be harvested which also helps to maintain a degree of  bio-diversity. There are also variations in the philosophies of forest management amongst private companies, the US Forest Service, and the National Park Service.

These are some of the topics covered during the presentation and discussion. When asked if he had any advice for young people who might want to pursue a career in logging, Fletcher said that, because the income loggers make has declined over the years, he recommended that people only pursue a career in logging if they really love the work.

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Alex Colvin talking with Steve and Suzie Knoch about the Berry Family and Scott Lumber Company

Visiting with Steve and Suzie Knoch, we got talking about my grandfather, Raymond Berry. As we talked, Linda turned on the camera to video the conversation. The early part where I talked about George Scott wasn’t recorded, so below the video there’s a little background information. Conversational reminiscences are not always accurate. This is just how the story came down the family tree to me.

In 1937, George Scott founded the Scott Lumber Company. Subsequently, he entered into an agreement with Raymond Berry, the legal representative of the Starr family who owned timber land in the area, to form a corporation. The Scott Lumber Company was incorporated in 1938. Jobs provided by the mill helped spur Burney’s population growth during World War II and through the 1950’s and 60’s.

Raymond Berry served as the general manager of the mill until 1967, when the mill was sold to Publishers Forest Products. Later, the mill was bought by Sierra Pacific Industries, which has continued to upgrade and operate the mill to the present.

Raymond Berry passed away in 1971. His wife Justine continued to live on the ranch for another year and then bought a home in Burney next to Burney Creek where she lived until 1998. She served on the board of Shasta County Bank until it was merged into Tri-Counties Bank.

After the Pit 1 swimming pool closed, Justine Berry was one of the parties, together with PG&E, who provided seed money for a community pool in Burney. The pool was named the Raymond Berry Community Pool in memory of my grandfather.  Justine Berry passed away in Burney in 1999.

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Filed under Burney, Pit River Area History, Scott Lumber Company, Video