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The Editors Mailbox

Teddy Roosevelt's Lumber Legacy

comments (3) July 23rd, 2010 in blogs

moscowfield Mark Schofield, managing editor
thumbs up 23 users recommend

A salvaged log from Panama
The excavation of the Panama Canal, as seen here in October of 1913, resulted in the inundation of an extraordinary amount of valuable hardwood.
A salvaged log from Panama - CLICK TO ENLARGE

A salvaged log from Panama

Photo: Courtesy of Coast Eco Timber

An underwater jungle the size of Montreal is being harvested from a lake created in 1913 to supply the Panama Canal. When the Chagres River was dammed in 1913 by Theodore Roosevelt it created what was then the largest man-made lake in the world. At the time, tropical lumber seemed limitless and no one thought twice about drowning the old-growth trees. A century later, a Canadian company, Coast Eco Timber, is using hydraulic chain saws that run purely on vegetable oil to reclaim the perfectly preserved lumber. Species include Cedro Espino (South American cedar), Espave (white mahogany). Zapatero (Maracaibo boxwood) and Lapacho (ipe). The first container of rescued lumber arrived in North America in June and the boards are now available for sale. Hobbyist woodworker quantities are available from Bow River Speciality Woods priced at $11-13/bf. Not cheap, but definitely a talking point for your next project.

More on Reclaimed Lumber

• Working with Reclaimed Lumber 
• Furniture from Reclaimed Lumber 
Ancient Lumber from New Zealand and South Carolina

posted in: blogs, reclaimed, salvaged, tropical wood

Comments (3)

Ed_Pirnik Ed_Pirnik writes: Beachton - Straight to the inferno! No joke. Roosevelt HATED this place! I kid. I kid. Nice catch guys, and some welcome humor.
Posted: 1:28 pm on August 10th

Beachton Beachton writes: "the Chagres River was damned"

I'm pretty sure it was dammed. The forest was damned.
Posted: 10:49 am on August 10th

Tamarlane Tamarlane writes: It makes an interesting mental picture...Teddy Roosevelt damning a river...wonder why he was so upset with it....
Posted: 10:45 am on August 10th

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