Evergreen State College Archives

Accession 1976-32

Academic Affairs: Academic Deans: Tom Womeldorff: Loggers and Spotted Owls: The Political Economy of the Olympic Peninsula

Student Films and Videos

Label Info:
July 22, 1991 - Logging - Logger
Interviews. Johanna Cornish-Standish Pt. 1
Case Info:

July 22, 1991
Logging - Logger interviews
Cover Shots
Morter [Dellstrom] - Mill
Derrel Graham - Logger

Timber Industry - Greys Harbor County

Johanna Cornish-Standish Pt.1

Hi8 Tape
Run Time:
2:03:26 (note: the counter resets!!)
Tape Synopsis:

Footage of logging town followed by three interviews. One interview with a Lumber Mill worker in Grey's Harbor, another with a Logger from Aberdeen, and the first part of an interview with Johanna Cornish-Standish.

Description of Content:
Cover Shots (Footage of Grey's Harbor, WA)

Sign reads: "D&M State of the Art Cutting Equipment 249-3366" above building with trucks parked outfront.

Shots of an old grey house with a white bow on it's door. A zoom is given to the window with a bright neon-greenish yellow sign reading "This Family Supported By Timber Dollars". Various other houses shown bearing the same signs. One of the houses bears a "For Sale by Owner" sign.
Business storewindows shown with similar "We Support The Timber Industry" and "This Business Supported By Timber Dollars" signs.
Barnes Florist sign/billboard reads "Closed Til Aug 1 To Protect Endangered Species The Owners".
Shots of machines working in the lumber yard.
Rusty old building with sign reading: Thompson Welding & Logging Supplies.
Sign reads: "Greys Harbor County - Home of America's First Tree Farm 1941-1991"
Morter [Dellstrom] - Mill (Interview in Grey's Harbor, WA)
Interview with man in Timber mill. Seems to be some camera audio troubles and some noise. Talks about the "spotted owl conspiracy". Talks about being fed up with trying to talk to politicians. He talks about solutions laying in the nation's supply and demand for wood and timber. The subject of free trade & imports are brought up. Mentions he's 42 years old and doesn't think his chances of finding a new job would be too good. Talks about relations with Warehauser. Talks about sawmills that have shut down. Being unable to offer new jobs to qualified people coming in. Question about whether the community in Greys Harbor is "unraveling", he responds by saying that poverty has brought in social programs and some people have moved here to get on the social programs. (says something off camera). Mentions the Mill being in business for 13 years, mentions another mill that's been around 33. Issue about "big corporations" comes up. Talks about the mill being ranked 5th on a pollution list. Talks about salmon problems. Talks about Japanese Corporations vs. American Corporations.
Talks about his father and how he was a building contractor and how he discouraged him to go into the timber industry. Talks about how it was easier to find work in Greys Harbor in the "old days". Mentions something about elk and deer depletion due to lack of logging. Shows a pessimism for the future in 20 years.
(cut in the tape causes counter to re-set itself here)
Derrel Graham - Logger (Interview in Aberdeen, WA)
Interview with Derrel Graham. Describes himself as a working class Democrat with calouses on his hands. He says that fishing and contracting doesn't work for him and he would like to stay in logging. Talks about changes in the timber industry. Talks about the community and the way the changes are effecting them. Talks about other jobs he's had to do when the money isn't in timber such as house building, treetopping, and the like. Talk about the spotted owl issue (he seems to be more able to see both sides on this one, mentions greed and mismanagement from the timber industry). Feels the environmental movement is going about things wrong (i.e. it would be better to put "phase outs" rather than "stops" on the industry).
Talks about mismanagement coming from the "big people" (i.e. big corporations). Death of 15 loggers the year before and abandonment of saftey rules from corporations. Comparisons to the mining industry made. Talks about people going into jobs at 18 with one trade and no one wanting to hire them into other jobs in thier 40s when they only have that one industry behind them. Seems a little more optimistic however about being able to find "other ways out" in the way of other trades and jobs incase timber collapses. Job training programs discussed, undesirability of the lower paying jobs that those kinds of programs get people into. Question about possible positive outcomes of this situation. Mentions his father being a tramp-logger who got hurt in the woods and "never worked another day in his life". Talks about the effect that had on his family.
Confrontation of pride issues and whether environmentalists are overlooking that aspect. He says that he doesn't really know much about environmentalists but percieves that they must not bear some of the same worries as workers in timber do. Talks about being "out voted" by bigger cities. Mentions he grew up around the area (Aberdeen) and talks about the town dying. Old Mills. Talks about Unions. Closes with saying that people in the city don't know the logger's side and how loggers don't really know people in the city's side. Urges loggers not to raise thier children to become loggers. Asks about media.
Johanna Cornish-Standish (Interview [Olympia, WA]) Pt.1
Johanna Cornish-Standish Interviewed. Talking about ability/inability to identify numbers of people and businesses effected by closes in timber industry. Mentions that there has been a decline of about 40% in the past 10 years in the timber industry gradually due to automation and other measures by the companies to stay competative. Talks about other factors effecting economy of the area. Talks about trauma in the Fishing industry and Boat Buy-Back Program.
Talks about fear and anger in the face of having to change thier careers and life styles. Talks about people not seeing options or other life styles that might be availible to them. People used to cyclacle downturns but not ready for permanent changes. Talks about re-training options, trying to avoid having to have these people move in order to take up new jobs/career. Mentions that people feel they are "traitors" if they abandon thier own careers/lifestyle of logging for other options. Talks about autonomy and survival skills of the people, they can help diversify the economy (easier for entrepeneurship from the inside rather then businesses coming in from the outside).
Talks about how she expected people in training programs to go back to school but was surprised by the ideas from those people about small business ventures. Talks about the availibility of small business loans (mentioned that they are hard to come by). Talks about the Community Resource Council and unemployment insurance. 44 member organization, three employer representatives, three labor representatives, and representatives from other social services such as DSHS, United Way, Alcohol Treatment, etc. Asked for Unemployment extention benefits but got Timber retraining benefits (they have to be in training to get the benefits).
Talks about safety nets for people who get thier "pink slip" from timber industry. Discussion of counciling, schooling, and training options. Talks about the port being a viable alternative to logging in the areas of bulk cargo transfer. Mentions Seattle focusing their port more on pleasure class rather than fishing boats and such. Talks about Olympia being able to take up some of that business.
end of tape.