McKenzie River Reflections - Make the McKenzie Connection!

Highway logs weren't just surplus

Local groups benefit from a clever idea

 

March 31, 2022 | View PDF

There were smiles in the McKenzie Station Pub last Wednesday when checks were given to support the O'Brien Memorial Library and the Vida McKenzie Community Center. In the photo (from left) Steve Schaefers, Mary Ellen Wheeler, Walt Wilson, Joel Zeni, Beverly Braun, Aiden Wilson, Priscilla Oxley, Cliff Richardson, and Connie Richardson.

McKenzie Locals Helping Locals vice president Cliff Richardson recalls that Joel Zeni, Project Manager for Suulutaaq, approached him last year with a novel idea. That proposal focused on what to do with hazard trees that were being removed from private properties.

"A lot of those folks that did not want to market their logs, didn't have enough to market," Richardson says, or they didn't have marketable logs.

Instead, under the plan, people could donate their resources to one of three non-profits: the O'Brien

There were smiles in the McKenzie Station Pub last Wednesday when checks were given to support the O'Brien Memorial Library and the Vida McKenzie Community Center. In the photo (from left) Steve Schaefers, Mary Ellen Wheeler, Walt Wilson, Joel Zeni, Beverly Braun, Aiden Wilson, Priscilla Oxley, Cliff Richardson, and Connie Richardson.

Memorial Library, the Vida/McKenzie Community Center, or McKenzie Locals Helping Locals.

Richardson agreed to facilitate the purchase orders and communication with the different local mills that would be receiving the logs, "since that was my occupation previously in another century," he jokes.

Suulutaaq then removed the logs in coordination with Jeff Brink, owner of Brink Land Management and a sub-contractor, to their sort yard at Thomson Lane and then to the mill facilities.

McKenzie Locals Helping Locals managed the paperwork, taxes and then at the year's end, dispersed the funds generated from the donations, by the percentage determined by Suulutaaq, to each of the non-profit organizations.

During the meeting at the Pub last week, the O'Brien Memorial Library was given a check for $17,324.21, The Vida McKenzie Community Center's received $5,776.18, and McKenzie Locals Helping Locals received $19,246.80 from the log receipts.

The process will continue this year until all the donated logs have been collected and processed.

 

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