“I Remember When...” The Heyday of Logging on The Mountain
By Ty Walker
Lloyd Musser and his wife Maureen came to Mount Hood for their honeymoon and stayed for the skiing. It was the early ‘60s. Things were swingin’. The times they were a-changin’.
Timber harvesting was king in Oregon. Lloyd got a job with the U.S. Forest Service in the Mount Hood National Forest in silviculture planning timber sales.
Silviculture is the science of controlling the growth, composition and quality of forests to meet values and needs related to timber production.
“Looking southward from Timberline Lodge, you can see my handiwork,” Musser said. “All the clearcuts you can see are my planning handiwork for 25 years.”
The Mussers still live in their original Government Camp house but they have seen the landscape around them change since the’60s. Since retiring in 1998, after 36 years in the Forest Service, Lloyd has volunteered at the Mt. Hood Cultural Center & Museum, where he is curator.
Now 80, Musser hung up the skis 10 years ago: “I’m too old and stiff,” he said. But he loves collecting history and finding a museum audience to listen to his stories.
“It’s my hobby,” he said. “It’s my everything.”
He regularly gives lectures at the museum and is a contributing writer for The Mountain Times.
“I like collecting history and sharing that history with people on the mountain and through the newspaper,” Musser said.
It would be hard to find a more fitting old-timer than Lloyd Musser to kick off our “I Remember When . . .” series in which local longtime residents are asked to share their memories of living on The Mountain.
“I remember when you could see a continuous line of log trucks going down Highway 26 all day long,” Musser said. “You hardly ever see a log truck anymore. In the ‘60s, the Forest Service was selling lots of timber and there were log trucks flying everywhere.
“In the Morning, Huckleberry Restaurant and restaurants up and down The Mountain would be full of loggers eating before they go to work. It’s just all gone now. No timber harvest.”
“I don’t know where we’re getting our timber now. It must be coming out of Canada. But it’s not coming from the Mount Hood National Forest.”
Musser said timber is a natural resource we should be using more of today.
“It breaks my heart to see it fall down, die and rot away instead of being used,” Musser said. “That’s the way it is. You’ve got the spotted owl.”