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November-December 2015
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Welcome and thank you for viewing McShan Lumber Company's bi-monthly newsletter, the McShan Plane Dealer.    We welcome suggestions and new additions to our mailing list.  If you know of anyone that would be interested in the McShan Plane Dealer please use the "forward to a friend" option at the bottom of the newsletter.
Archived Plane Dealers can be viewed on our website newsletter page:  newsletter archive

What is Certified Lumber?
Third Party Auditor Tucker Watts, right, reviews harvesting records with McShan Lumber procurement representative Gee Allgood.  Review of documentation and on the ground site visits are part of the audit.

O f all the terminology used when discussing green products, sustainability might be most often misunderstood. Sustainability has been defined as "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs", a definition created in 1987 at the World Commission on Environment and Development, a division of the United Nations.

Products that contain wood in part or in whole present an opportunity for architects and builders to add sustainable practices to their work. Choosing windows, doors, flooring, siding and framing systems that are certified as sustainable not only helps the environment, but it can be a marketing hook as well.

To measure the sustainability level of lumber, two main attributes are evaluated: harvesting and chain of custody. The harvesting process is evaluated based on how trees are planted, grown, cut down and renewed to ensure the long-term health and existence of a forest. Chain of custody tracks exactly who or which company touched a piece of lumber, tracing it back to the company that employed the person or machine that cut down the tree.

McShan Lumber is certified "Sustainable" in both certification schemes......harvesting and chain of custody.  On October 29th-30th we completed our third party audit and were found to be in full compliance of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative 2015-2019 Standard. Our harvesting (fiber sourcing as described by SFI) was a full re-certification which is required every 3 years. Our Chain of Custody audit was an annual surveillance audit.

We have been committed to sustainable forestry long before these sustainability programs ever existed. However, if you need proof of our commitment and practices, we can provide it. The audit report  is available on SFI's website. 

The 2008 Housing Market Crash effects on Loblolly Pine

Since the vast majority of houses built in the United States are constructed of wood, it should be no surprise that saw timber harvests have decreased dating back to the housing market crash.

Lost Trees Found!
If you want to know how, here's the article:  

Now, an independent (not scientific) reply to the research:

2.6 trillion lost trees found - whole world owes carbon credits to whole world

Yale scientist's big new advance is to find the 2,600 billion trees humankind had not known about. Before now, 82% of the Earth's trees were not counted, unknown, missing. This increases the tally of known trees by 7.5-fold. Phew. They reckon there are now 3.04 trillion trees, or roughly 422 trees per person.

They also estimate that humans have deforested exactly 46% of the trees on the planet in the last 12,000 years. (How fortunate that tree density estimates and satellite records are still available from 10,000 BC.) Presumably, the human deforestation factor is around 46% plus or minus 100%. Pick a number. Spin the wheel.

The idea was dumb enough to be produced by Yale and published in Nature.

Seeing the forest and the trees, all three trillion of them

A new Yale-led study estimates that there are more than 3 trillion trees on Earth, about seven and a half times more than some previous estimates. But the total number of trees has plummeted by roughly 46 percent since the start of human civilization, the study estimates.

Using a combination of satellite imagery, forest inventories, and supercomputer technologies, the international team of researchers was able to map tree populations worldwide at the square-kilometer level.

Their results, published in the journal Nature, provide the most comprehensive assessment of tree populations ever produced and offer new insights into a class of organism that helps shape most terrestrial biomes.

Product Spotlight
1X12 McShan "Cutting Grade"       
   Split stock from Caribbean and Prime & Btr        grade where splits could not be eliminated with  4' or 2' trim.

View a Virtual Pack Inspection here!


Call Dina Fuller or Dusti Pritchett for tally, prices.  1-800 882 3712




Visit us at the 
2015 NAWLA 
Traders Market
November 4-6    
Booth 233

Since 1996, NAWLA Traders Market has focused almost exclusively on the lumber supply chain. For over two days, you'll have the opportunity to network with industry-leading manufacturers and wholesalers of lumber and lumber-related products to create business opportunities, grow relationships and hear insights from peers across North America. 

Mules, Wagons and Trains
J.T. McShan

Prior to 1898 it took a full day to go by mule and wagon from this area to Columbus, MS where the cotton crop was loaded on steam boats and shipped via the Tombigbee River to Mobile, AL. After the Mobile and Ohio railroad was completed in 1898 the cotton could be loaded at what is now the town of McShan and delivered to Mobile much quicker. This branch of the railroad ran from near Columbus, MS to Montgomery, AL which was a distance of over 160 miles through a virgin forest. With a means of transport what was of little value became an asset. Wholesale lumber men from the North saw this opportunity and encouraged the locals to become lumber producers and in some instances became operators themselves.
The M & O had stations about 7 or 8 miles apart where there was a station agent who handled the paperwork & shipping and sold passenger tickets. There were also telegraph operators who made the only available fast communications. Each of these stations had a side track where box cars could be loaded with lumber and other merchandise. There were four passenger trains each day so that from McShan you could go to Tuscaloosa, AL or Columbus, MS and return the same day. Even the town of McShan had a hotel to house the commercial people who came to sell their wares or the lumbermen who came to visit the mills. While the original passenger trains were pulled by steam engines, a later version from 1930 or so were pulled by diesel electric engines. Our local one was called "The Doodlebug" which consisted of a engine, mail and express car and a passenger car. Meeting the morning train was a big experience for me as I was allowed to carry a mail bag from the station to the post office.
At our present mill the side track was privately owned and box cars were located right at the planer mill so the lumber could be loaded directly in the cars, one piece at a time without re-handling. Working in the box cars in the summer was extremely hot - I know because I did.
This method of loading and shipping was pretty much the same until after World War II. Prior to that our market was largely the Midwest and was shipped by rail. After World War II local timber for lumber was scarce and Western species were available and of good quality so there went the Midwest market.
Then lumber trucking appeared - our market was now closer and trucking provided quick delivery and on less quantity - with the advent of the lift truck, the method of loading and unloading one board at a time ended. Gradually loading rail cars faded from use and our rail siding deteriorated to the point that it was useless and of no benefit. Fortunately the railroad agreed to accept it and now maintains it.
Now with rail cars designed for carrying lumber, making for easier loading and more distant markets, we are pleased to be shipping by rail.

Eugene Koenig remembered, again.

The article below was run in our McShan Plane Dealer newsletter back in 2008.  We spent some time at the Eugene Memorial Forest this month cleaning and sprucing up the marker sign and marveling at the lush growth that has occurred over the past seven years. It won't be long now until the memorial forest will be turning into memorial lumber and then we can start it all over again.  
View the Koenig Forest


Eugene Koenig Remembered

     Eugene Koenig was in charge of North American sales, service, and distribution of sawmill equipment from the Esterer Company of Altotting, Germany up until his death from a stroke in 2008.  Much of McShan Lumber Company's secondary breakdown machinery was supplied by Eugene through Koenig Sawmill Machinery of Memphis, TN and we were fortunate to have both a professional and personal relationship with Eugene since our first edger purchase in 1987.  Eugene had a unique gift of common sensibility and lovability that made time spent with him a time to be cherished whether it was on the floor of the sawmill or sitting in a cafĂ© in Germany.  His demeanor was predictably optimistic regardless of the situation and a query of "how are you, Eugene?" always got the same response.  "I am fine.  You know me, I am always fine."  And he meant it.  His attitude was contagious and had a way of making everyone feel just a little bit finer too.
     When Eugene passed away we wanted to do something to honor his memory and considered planting a tree or small orchard on company property that would serve as a reminder of his friendship and generosity.  About the same time we were in the process of replanting pine on a recently harvested company timber tract and procurement manager Grover Allgood suggested we name the newly planted ground the Eugene Koenig Memorial Forest and that is exactly what we did.  Instead of tree, Eugene appropriately got a forest.  Hunter McShan visited Eugene's wife Angela and long time friend Bobbye Blake at the Koenig office in Memphis Tuesday to present a book outlining the development of the forest and a framed photograph of the sign that stands at its entrance.  That visit shall serve as the official dedication and opening of the Eugene Koenig Memorial Forest and it is our hope that friends and family of Eugene will enjoy visiting in future years and that those pines will grow to serve our environment and our industry in ways that would make Eugene proud.
Hunter McShan at the Eugene Koenig Forest
George Washington's
           rules of
Civility & Decent Behavior

This is the seventh of eleven McShan Plane Dealer newsletters featuring 10 of the 110 rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.
By age sixteen, Washington had copied out by hand, 110  Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation . They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. Presumably they were copied out as part of an exercise in penmanship assigned by young Washington's schoolmaster. The first English translation of the French rules appeared in 1640, and are ascribed to Francis Hawkins, the twelve-year-old son of a doctor. 

Today many, if not all of these rules, sound a little fussy if not downright silly. It would be easy to dismiss them as outdated and appropriate to a time of powdered wigs and quills, but they reflect a focus that is increasingly difficult to find. The rules have in common a focus on other people rather than the narrow focus of our own self-interests that we find so prevalent today. Fussy or not, they represent more than just manners. They are the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all and the sake of living together. 

61. Utter not base and frivolous things amongst grave and Learned Men nor very Difficult Questions or Subjects, among the Ignorant or things hard to be believed, Stuff not your Discourse with Sentences amongst your Betters nor Equals.

62. Speak not of doleful Things in a Time of Mirth or at the Table; Speak not of Melancholy Things as Death and Wounds, and if others Mention them Change if you can the Discourse tell not your Dreams, but to your intimate Friend.

63.  A Man ought not to value himself of his Achievements, or rare Qualities of wit; much less of his riches Virtue or Kindred.

64. Break not a Jest where none take pleasure in mirth Laugh not aloud, nor at all without Occasion, deride no mans Misfortune, though there Seem to be Some cause.

65. Speak not injurious Words neither in Jest nor Earnest Scoff at none although they give Occasion.

66. Be not froward but friendly and Courteous; the first to Salute hear and answer & be not Pensive when it's a time to Converse.

67. Detract not from others neither be excessive in Commanding.

68. Go not thither, where you know not, whether you Shall be Welcome or not. Give not Advice without being Asked & when desired do it briefly.

69. If two contend together take not the part of either unconstrained; and be not obstinate in your own Opinion, in Things indifferent be of the Major Side.

70. Reprehend not the imperfections of others for that belongs to Parents Masters and Superiors. be continued

McShan Lumber product availability


Quotes on Change

It's often said that change is the only constant in life. Yet humans are naturally predisposed to resist change because of the risk associated with it. Despite this resistance to change, it is more important than ever. Napoleon once said, "One must change one's tactics every 10 years if one wishes to maintain one's superiority." In today's society the pace of change is immensely faster, and it will only continue to accelerate.

Organizations and people that don't embrace change are bound to lose ground and stagnate. When you are anxiously anticipating a change--or in the midst of a challenging one--grab one of these quotes to help you or your team plow through it.

1. Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. -Arnold Bennett

2. When you're finished changing, you're finished. -Benjamin Franklin

3. The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress. -Charles Kettering

4. If you don't like change, you will like irrelevance even less. -General Eric Shinseki

5. Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything. -George Bernard Shaw

6. He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery. -Harold Wilson

7. Your success in life isn't based on your ability to simply change. It is based on your ability to change faster than your competition, customers, and business. -Mark Sanborn

8. Our dilemma is that we hate change and love it at the same time; what we really want is for things to remain the same but get better. -Sydney J. Harris

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McShan Lumber Company | |
11180 Hwy 82  P.O. Box 27
Mc Shan, AL 35471