Harve Dethlefs, president of Bighorn Logging Inc. in Banks, grew up in a logging family.
oldest son, Dwayne, was one of the colorful loggers in TVs reality show "Ax Men.
thought the show was nonsense and didn't want any part of it.
has a solid reputation; in 2008 the Oregon Department of Forestry
company one of its "Forest Practices Operators of the Year" for building a berm to steer debris away from homes near a landslide-prone logging site.
Dethlefs left logging at one point and worked 20 years as a warehouse manager for Tektronix, the pioneering Oregon high-tech company.
came back to the woods in the early 1980s and started his
Until Ridge 77, Bighorn
was a contract logging outfit, cutting and hauling for the mills and bigger companies that could afford to buy timber sales.
was intrigued by the low minimum price for Ridge 77.
bid $570,438 or $205.86 per thousand board feet and dropped off the required deposit at the Clatsop State Forest's
district office in Astoria.
bid was well above the state's minimum and a gamble, but he
figured the market might recover by the time he
didn't expect to win.
"I told the gal, 'Well, we'll come back this afternoon to pick our bid deposit,'" he
returned, the woman said he
couldn't have his
check back -- he'd won.
"Holy mackerel," Dethlefs
Dethlefs, the company owner, waited as long as he could to log, watching the stumpage price rise and keeping an eye on the calendar.
By contract, he
had to finish by Oct. 31.
Seven others worked on the site in addition to the fallers.
By the time the crew finished hauling logs off the site this spring, mills were paying $400 to $450 per thousand board feet -- double what Dethlefs
"It worked out pretty good for us," Dethlefs
"Pretty good margin."