Ron Finne’s Natural Timber Country combines 1970’s interviews with long time loggers with archival logging footage from Jesse Sill’s Webfoot Weekly newsreel series.
After reading about Natural Timber Country on 16mm Lost And Found, I discover that this lost film will be shown at the Whitsell on Monday, April 2, 2012 as part of NWFC’s Northwest Tracking/Essential Northwest series.
Director Ron Finne will be in attendance.
Here’s the description from 16mm Lost And Found:
Filmed by Oregon native Ron Finne, Natural Timber Country is the story of old-time logging in the forests of the Northwest. The film was originally available only by mail order from the director’s home in Springfield.
The film lacks a traditional narrator, instead giving us interviews with loggers taped in the field or their homes. To help us visualize the words of the loggers, Finne edits them together with shots of the Northwestern wilderness, both in Oregon and Washington. Also featured is old footage and photographs of loggers stump-rigging trees, skidding felled logs down greased tracks, and one of the first mechanical improvements in the logging business, a steam powered engine for moving larger timber. Also recalled are stunts and jokes of the loggers, such as standing at the very tip top of a limbed and topped tree, or jumping from one log to another as they rolled down a hill.
Above all, the message of the Natural Timber Country is an environmental one. As one man says at the outset of the film. “Timber all around you, you just never figure you’d use it up.”
I hereby claim Natural Timber Country as an Oregon film.
To brush up on this film’s antecedents, here’s a Handy Guide To Oregon Logging Films.