The Western Juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) Commercialization Project resulted from discussions during a 1991 focus group of wood products manufacturers organized by the USDA Forest Service's Winema National Forest in south-central Oregon. (Click here to see a summary report about the Western Juniper Commercialization project.) The purpose of the focus group was to identify critical issues from a manufacturer's perspective, potential areas of cooperation, and who could consider working together with the Forest Service, and other government and non-profit economic development organizations. Impetus to discussions was provided by the shutdown of several local mills: Over the course of just 18 months, 1200 manufacturing jobs were lost out of a total regional manufacturing employment base of less than 4000.
As might be suspected, raw material supply was identified as the major issue facing the industry. One result of the focus group meetings was the realization of high interest in better utilization of and markets for western juniper.
Members of the Western Juniper Commercialization Project include a diverse group of nearly 900 interested parties. The group is comprised of an "even mix" of government researchers, non-profit organizations, private landowners, and private industry.
The Western Juniper Home Page is intended to provide a "one stop shop" for information about western juniper woodlands and wood products. This site is currently housed at the College of Forestry at Oregon State University. For more information, see this list of bibliographies or the Contact Us section.