TIGARD – West Coast Lumber Inspection Bureau (WCLIB) is proud to announce that structural design values for timbers and dimensional lumber have been approved for the species Western Juniper. Western Juniper is a softwood that is commonly found in the high altitude and mountainous regions of Eastern Oregon, Eastern Washington, California, Nevada, and Idaho. Western Juniper in its current water-scarce biome is overgrowing other plants in the understory like sagebrush; a vital staple in the sage-grouse diet. The approval of Western Juniper structural design values and its promoted use will now make it easier to manage the Western Juniper population and expand market opportunities for companies that produce Western Juniper lumber and timbers.
In 2015, WCLIB and the Oregon State University Wood Science & Engineering Department (WSE) were contracted by Sustainable Northwest via funding from the USDA Rural Development, Oregon Department of Transportation, and Business Oregon to establish structural design values for Western Juniper. Under the supervision of Dr. Arijit Sinha, Byrne Miyamoto, a graduate student of the WSE program, conducted the Western Juniper test program. WCLIB’s Director of Technical Services, Henry Morris, and Executive Vice President, Don DeVisser, analyzed the test data and generated reports that were submitted to both the USDA Forest Products Lab (FPL) and the American Lumber Standards Committee Board of Review (ALSC BOR).
On February 1st, 2018 at the quarterly meeting in Washington DC, the ALSC BOR approved the proposed values after reviewing the FPL analysis of the WCLIB reports. Currently, Western Juniper has been used in nonstructural purposes such as fencing, siding, molding, and millwork. With this approval timber and lumber manufacturers can grade Western Juniper using WCLIB’s grade stamp. Also, architects and engineers can now design with Western Juniper using published allowable property values.