Page images

The following statement of Dant & Russell, Inc., Portland, Oreg., reflects the relative lumber shipments from the four great lumber ports of the Nation for the first 3 months of 1946:


Portland 4, Oreg., April 24, 1946. PORT OF Coos BAY,

Coos Bay, Oreg. GENTLEMEN : In regard to the statement made at the hearing at Coos Bay on the subject of the urgent necessity for deeper water in order to properly take care of water shipments from this port, we are listing below statistics obtained from the Pacific Lumber Inspection Bureau showing water shipments for the first 3. months of 1946, from the principal lumber ports in Oregon and Washington : Coos Bay :

Grays Harbor:

Feet January 27, 573, 349 January

12,011, 862 February 22, 894, 670 February

9, 457, 438 March 30, 490, 010 March

9, 966, 303

[ocr errors]


80, 958, 029

Total -

31, 435, 603

Columbia River :

March -

25, 892, 643
16, 992, 694
38, 806, 996

Puget Sound:


12, 926, 245 14, 159, 860 14, 812, 224


81, 692, 333

-- 41, 898, 329 You will note from these figures that shipments from Coos Bay exceeded those from Puget Sound and Grays Harbor combined, and fell short of the Columbia River shipments by less than 1,000,000 feet. This is in the face of the fact that some vessels refuse to call at Coos Bay on account of the controlling depth of water there, with the result that some shipments were railed from Coos Bay to the Columbia River to connect with ocean-going vessels there. We believe that if adjustment were made for this condition, the shipments from Coos Bay would exceed those from the Columbia River also.

These figures illustrate the necessity for deeper water on the Coos Bay bar and in the Coos Bay Channel. If this water were now available, ships would be saved the doubling back to the Columbia River and Puget Sound, and material savings would result to the vessels. Very truly yours,


Included in the lumber shipped from the Columbia River, viz, 81,692,333 feet board measure, was approximately 5,000,000 feet that was manufactured on Coos Bay, but shipped to Portland, on the Columbia River, by rail because of the fact that vessels refuse to call at Coos Bay. Actually, Coos Bay is now the principal lumber shiping port of the Pacific coast, despite the tremendous handicaps of insufficient water depths and increased shipping costs.


When the foregoing statistical data, setting forth the water-borne traffic originating from Coos Bay during 1945 and 1946 to April 1, 1946, is considered and analyzed, the conclusion is obvious that the development and improvement of the Coos Bay waterway is critically necessary and of major importance.

The following communications, recently submitted by shipping interests, visualize the handicaps to this port by reason of shipping losses occasioned, due solely to the fact that the Liberty- and Victory-type vessels are not now able to load to cargo capacities due solely to insufficient water depths :

POPE & TALBOT, INC., Portland 9, Oreg., April 19, 1946. PORT OF Coos BAY,

Coos Bay, Oreg. GENTLEMEN : With reference to the authorization bill which we understand is now before the Rivers and Harbors Committee of Congress, regarding the harbordeepening at Coos Bay.

As you will recall, our company gave testimony at the hearing before the United State engineers in May 1945, supporting the improvement of the harbor, and it has occurred to us that it would be interesting as well as helpful to all concerned for us at this time to review our operating experience since the war in loading vessels at your port.

We have loaded cargo on three vessels at the port of Coos Bay during the months of February and March of this year. All of these vessels had to double back to the Columbia River in view of the shallow condition of the Harbor not permitting them to sail fully loaded from Coos Bay. In other words, our normal operating procedure would have been to finish loading at Coos Bay and proceed south down the coast. Therefore, we estimate the difference between a normal operation and doubling back to the Columbia River to complete loading has caused a loss of 112 days to each vessel, or a total of 412 days on three vessels which, multiplied by $1,750 per day operating costs, would amount to a total operating loss of $7,875.

In addition to this we suffered an additional loss of one-half day to each vessel by reason of the fact that it was necessary to make a special trip to Wilmington, Calif., for fuel oil. By this we mean that normally our vessels fill their oil tanks for the round voyage at Wilmington on the in-bound trip when they are. discharging cargo; but when our vessels are to load out-bound cargo at Coos Bay, we do not impose upon them the extra weight of fuel oil by loading same at Wilmington before proceeding to Coos Bay for out-bound cargo, due to the insufficient depth of channel. Therefore, by not loading fuel oil at Wilmington on the in-bound trip, it is necessary for us to make a special trip there on the outbound trip, after the vessel has loaded at Coos Bay. This loss of one-half day to the three vessels we have loaded during the months of February and March, makes an additional loss of $2,625, which added to the above-stated $7,875, makes a' total loss of $10,500 to the three vessels due to shallow harbor conditions at the port of Coos Bay.

This actual experience substantiates our testimony and that of others at the hearing of the United States engineers, and we think that the information might be interesting and informative to the congressional committee which is now deliberating upon the matter of improving the harbor. Very truly yours,

Vice President and Northwestern Manager.


Vancouver, Wash., April 18, 1946. PORT OF Coos BAY, c/o Mr. J. C. Kendall,

Portland, Oreg. GENTLEMEN : Due to the fact that the draft on the Coos Bay bar limits the loading of vessels to 23 feet, it is necessary for us to return our vessels to the Columbia River to complete loading. The deviation and expense involved in doubling back to the Columbia River amounts to $2,500 per vessel in actual operating costs.

In view of the limited draft at Coos Bay and the necessity for leaving that port on an even keel, in order to load the maximum cargo, we are forced into certain practices which are not good steamship operation; for example, filling fuel tanks with ballast water in order to trim vessel, working cargo forward or aft also to trim vessel instead of working maximum number of hatches, etc.

Further, the limited draft at Coos Bay makes it definitely a subport by reason of the fact that vessels must complete loading at one of the other major Pacific coast ports. This does not seem reasonable in view of the position it occupies with reference to available lumber supply, hence, cargoes.

Since the resumption of the intercoastal trade, our company has had seven vessels in Coos Bay, and the eighth vessel will berth there on April 22, 1946. All of these vessels have had to return to the Columbia River district to complete their cargoes due to the limited draft on Coos Bay bar. It is our intention to berth all of our intercoastal vessels at Coos Bay. This means 18 vessels per year. We will also have a large number of off-shore vessels loading for our account. These vessels likewise will have to proceed to one of the other major Pacific coast ports to complete their cargoes, for reasons stated above.

As mentioned above, the additional operating costs are actual costs only. However, in addition thereto, there are many intangibles which would materially increase the foregoing figure.

The matter of deepening the channel on Coos Bay bar is a matter not only of
utmost commercial importance but also related to our national security. We,
therefore, urge that this matter be given early favorable consideration.
Yours very truly,

S. P. FLEMING, President.




Since the time of the May 1945 hearing before the United States Army engineers, and anticipating the improvement of the Coos Bay waterway, as contemplated by the recommendations contained in the review report of the United States Army engineers, the local interests and industries have made extensive plans for the establishment not only of new industries, but also the increase of the production capacities of existing operations.


At the 1945 hearing, this company, over the signature of its executive vice president, presented the following communication :

MAY 3, 1945.
District Engineer, Corps of Engineers,

Portland, Oreg.
DEAR SIR: Weyerhaeuser Timber Co. is the owner of a large area of timberland
tributary to Coos Bay. It has never been a producer in the area. Recently,
however, it has acquired additional timberland, and mill sites, and is in the
process of studying the engineering and forestry problems involved in establish-
ing here an operation predicated on the sustained yield principle.

There remain many unknowns in our situation, such as how to reach the remotest timber with transportation facilities which will bring it economically to Coos Bay, and what disposition is to be made of the public and other timber intermingled with our own.

We confidentialy expect to establish facilities to produce logs at the rate of 100,000,000 feet a year. We also expect to convert those logs into lumber and other articles of commerce in manufacturing facilities yet to be built on Coos Bay.

Our company is already engaged in the manufacture and sale of forest products at other locations. Important among our sales facilities are our six assembly and distributing yards located on the Atlantic coast at Baltimore, Newark, Boston, Portsmouth, Philadelphia, and New London.

It will be a part of our development here to build dock terminal facilities capable of handling 75 percent of our lumber production for water transportation. It will also be part of our plan to assemble, through these facilities, lumber from inland points for shipment to these eastern distributing yards.

Our company is also engaged in certain development work which bids fair to lead to the manufacture of useful products from wood waste. It will be part of our plan to extend such manufacture, when practical, to operations on Coos Bay.

All of these activities depend to a great extent upon establishment of adequate water transport facilities. Well-rounded development of our resources requires the widest possible markets, both foreign and domestic.

Great benefit will accrue to the locality and to the general consuming public from improvements which will be used not only to cheapen transportation, but also, in fact, to make frequent service possible where it was not before.

Our company wishes to vigorously add its plea to those already before you, for approval of the project under consideration for improvement of Coos Bay.

We can say, with candor, that without such improvement the degree of product
refinement and waste recovery will be limited, and probably the time for any
development of our properties will be delayed.
Yours truly,


Executive Vice President.

Since the filing of this communication with the Corps of Army Engineers, the Wewerhaeuser Timber Co. has continued its plans for industrial development and lumber production at Coos Bay, Oreg. It has acquired an additional sawmill site, fronting on the Coos Bay ship channel between the cities of North Bend and Coos Bay. Indicative of its program and plans for the future, we submit the following communication :


Tacoma 1, Wash., April 19, 1946. Mr. FRANCK SHAW, Chairman, Port of Coos Bay,

Coos Bay, Oreg. DEAR MR. SHAW: It has been almost a year since Colonel Tudor's hearing at Coos Bay brought out evidence as to the desirability of the Government's improving the bar and deepening the channel as an aid to navigation,

Since then our company has vigorously promoted its investigations and has acquired at considerable investment an additional mill site more suitable to its purposes. It has located roads, built fire-protection access roads, studied the forestry aspects of the problem, and promoted within the limits of its ability an exchange which will block its timber. All of these things represent progress in its effort to achieve operating status. Sawmill design studies have also been promoted. The state of the market is such that lumber from a plant on Coos Bay is needed. Our program is dependent on the recommended port improvements being made. Yours very truly,


Executive Vice President. operation and production, is the owner of one of the largest and most extensive operation and production, is the owner of one of the largest and most estensive areas of commercial saw timber tributary to Coos Bay, and when it completes its construction program, the ultimate lumber production should produce water-borne traffic, increasing lumber shipments from the Coos Bay Harbor in excess of 75,000,000 feet b.m. per annum.

As noted in the foregoing communication, the program of future development and production contemplated by this company “is dependent on the recommended 'port improvements being made."


At the time of the 1945 hearing, this company was the largest lumber production operation on Coos Bay. It has effected substantial improvements to its present plant and is now planning additional areas on its docks for lumber originating in truck haul from outlying sawmills, to Coos Bay, to be ready for cargo shipments. The following statement from Coos Bay Lumber Co. is indicative of its plans for future development and production:


Portland 4, Oreg., April 17, 1946. The PORT OF Coos Bay,

Coos Bay, Oreg. GENTLEMEN : We are very much interested, as you might assume, in the action of the Rivers and Harbors Committee in considering the improvement of the bar and harbor of Coos Bay up to Isthmus slough, where our mill is located.

When Colonel Tudor, of the Army engineers, had the hearing on this matter last May 4, voluminous testimony was advanced in favor of such improvement, and I believe received the most favorable consideration of Colonel Tudor and the Engineers' Department. In the meantime our company has gone along on the lines that we said we were going to do in our port. Have already put the mill on two shifts and have been steadily loading cargoes primarily for California and the Atlantic coast, the record of which you have. We have also been planning additional area on our docks for lumber originating in truck haul to Coos Bay to be ready for cargo shipment. We have had numerous conferences with mill owners in the vicinity of Coos Bay, who are looking into the possibility of shipment of their product over our docks or over other docks that are planned on the harbor.

As you know, several Victory-type ships have been in there, and because of harbor and bar conditions have not been able to take out a full load.

This additional expense, as pointed out in the original hearings, would be completely eliminated.

We naturally hope that the Rivers and Harbors Committee will act favorably on this matter and that appropriations are available for this work at the earliest possible moment. Yours very respectfully,


This is a newly organized company that has recently acquired approximately 900 feet of frontage on the ship channel upon which it proposes to construct a general cargo dock for the use of the general public, with rates, charges, and facilities to be uniform and available to all on equal terms.

The estimated cost is from $150,000 to $200,000, and construction of this project is now well under way and should be completed by July of the current year.

Evidencing the intention of the parties interested in this project, we submit the following communication :


Coos Bay, Oreg., April 15, 1946. PORT OF Coos BAY,

Coos Bay, Oreg. GENTLEMEN : We are very much interested in the further development of the harbor of Coos Bay, Oreg., and wish to go on record to that effect and by expressing to you our desire to do what we can which will in any way assist you in obtaining further appropriations for this development work.

We have recently acquired approximately 900 feet of harbor frontage located in blocks 64 and 65, Bennett's addition to Marshfield, Coos County, Oreg., which property lies just northerly of the present ocean dock terminal facilities.

We contemplate a dock frontage of approximately 900 feet, with a depth of 325 feet, placing our construction out to harbor depth. We contemplate a total of expenditures at the present time in the amount of $150,000 to $200,000.

The actual construction work is now in progress, and we contemplate being ready for operations by July 1, 1946.

We are also contracting for the construction of railroad spur tracks to enable this facility to be available to our customers.

We intend to handle lumber and all other commodities usually shipped by water, and intend to establish warehouse facilities. The dock, when completed, should be capable of loading two Liberty ships at the same time, and should have a storage capacity of 275,000 square feet. This dock will be maintained for the use of the general public, and will be available at the same charges and tariff to all people alike and who might desire to use the same. Rates, charges, and facilities furnished will be uniform and available to all, of course within the limits of our capacity. It is therefore apparent that the further development of the harbor of Coos Bay is not only very vital to this community, but is very vital to our operations. We have such faith in the future shipping in this harbor that we feel justified in making this investment. The stockholders of this corporation have been residents of Coos County for the majority of their lives. Very truly yours,


Its Attorney. This development and investment is based upon the assumption and belief that the harbor improvements as recommended by the review report will be forthcoming in the near future.


Anticipating the necessity for adequate disposal areas upon which dredged material, in the construction of the new project, could be disposed, the port of Coos Bay has, since the 1945 hearing, purchased and acquired approximately 390 acres of tidelands adjacent to and fronting on the ship channel for such purpose, at an expense of $25,000.

Being unsuccessful in dealing with the owner, a suit to condemn approximately 280 acres if tidelands for such disposal area has been filed and a final determination of such condemnation action is expected in the near future. It is anticipated that cost of the acquisition of such additional tideland tract, to the port of Coos

« PreviousContinue »