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Logging and the timber industry have a long history in the American West and still represent one of the largest extractive industries in the region. As happened in most other U.S. regions, logging began almost immediately upon the arrival of Europeans in the West. As much of the mountainous area of the West, as well as of the Pacific Northwest, is covered in forests, many immigrants to the region saw timber as the key to their future.
As early as the 1780s, British captain John Meares sailed up the coast of the Pacific Northwest and saw the region's tall trees as ideal for ship masts. By the early 1800s, fur trappers entered the region, and word of the natural bounty of the area began to spread. ...