By Bonnie Stichart
Logging is an integral part of the economy here in the northwest, and it is equally important to the Hansen family. The Hansen family, doing business as Hansen Logging, LLC, has been working in the logging industry since 1974.
Based in Chewelah, Washington, Hansen Logging covers all of northeast Washington: Stevens, Ferry, Okanogan, Spokane, Pend Oreille, and Lincoln counties.
John Hansen, co-owner with his wife, Sherri, grew up in a logging family. His father, Ed Hansen, started contract logging back in 1951. His experiences of logging, and the changes in the business over the years, were featured recently in the industry periodical Loggers World. John bought his father’s busines s in 1977. The business has continued to grow, sprouting business opportunities for family members.
The specialized logging equipment used by Hansen Logging makes logging much safer than in the past. With the exception of very large trees, all the steps in logging are mechanized, while the logger stays safely inside the cab. Not only is mechanization safer for the employees, it provides efficiency, which is cost-saving for customers.
Just as the chainsaw was an improvement over the two-man crosscut saw, which in turn replaced the ax, the tree shearer is the latest in safe, efficient technology. There are also skidders, log loaders, and log processors which delimb and cut logs to size. John Hansen was one of the first to put swinging grapples on the skidders to make them safer.
Starting with just family and a few employees, Hansen logging now provides employment for forty people. Many of the employees have worked with the Hansens for over 20 years. “When we started, we didn’t expect it to grow this big,” Sherri commented. The Hansen brothers work side-by-side with their employees. John works with his crews, often as a low-boy driver; his brother, Tony, runs one of the logging sites; their brother, Rob, is the heavy equipment mechanic.
As the logging business has grown, the family has branched out. Having all that equipment and experience, they logically went into heavy equipment and truck repair, log hauling – both long and short – and heavy equipment hauling on low-boys. They also do road construction, which includes new roads, driveways, and reconditioning existing roads. They install bridges, culverts, and fish pipes and do site preparation. Family ownership of two rock quarries and a top soil site facilitates their construction work. The Hansen’s son-in-law, Eric Chalmers, is the manager of the rock products division.
The family also owns Beacon RV and Mini Storage in Chewelah, managed by daughter Christine Chalmers.
Hansen Logging is recognized as an industry leader. They were named the Logging Business of the Year by Timber Harvesting Magazine in 2000. Every year they qualify for Washington Master Logger Certification, a voluntary continuing education program of the Washington Contract Loggers Association. The program has classes in sustainable forestry, safety, forest practices, business, and forest management. They are members of the American Loggers Council and the Better Business Bureau.
The Hansen family contributes in a variety of ways to the community of Chewelah. They are members of the Chamber of Commerce, which named John and Sherri as the city’s Honored Citizens in 2013. They also participate in the Chewelah Community Radio Guild, the Chewelah Scholarship Foundation, Chewelah Arts Guild, and the Chewelah Cougar Boosters. They are active in the Chewelah School District, donating time and effort on the school bond issue, Future Farmers of America, and sports.
Sherri Hansen was recently elected national chair for the Log A Load for Kids Foundation advisory board. She has been actively involved in the state Log A Load for Kids committee for eighteen years. Each state forestry association sponsors Log A Load for Kids; the money raised goes to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals. Fund raisers here in Washington include an annual auction and dinner.
“Hansen Logging is proud to be actively protecting the health and longevity of Washington forests for generations to come.” That statement on their web page puts into words the work they do every day. The Hansen family is also proud of the quality of work they have done for their customers. Whether the job is large or small, or whether the client is a private land owner or a company, Hansen Logging provides the same high-quality, reliable service.
To see pictures of the work which Hansen Logging does, and to see the equipment they do it with, visit their website www.hansenlogging.com. Hansen Logging can be contacted through the website, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be reached by phone at 509-935-4515.
When you talk with the good people at Hansen Logging, be sure to tell them you read about their business in the Huckleberry Press!