The Watershed Center – Hayfork, California
Jim Jungwirth of Hayfork, California, discovered he could make a small business work by making flooring out of forest restoration by-products. Jim’s business, The Watershed Center, benefits from rural areas hit hardest by the decline of logging on our national forests and he utilizes the wood resources that in the past were thought to have little value. He does this while making a profit and also helping improve the health of our forests.
Jungwirth started making value-added products in Hayfork, six years ago when the primary lumber manufacturing market went dry. “I thought I could create jobs by making products that are beneficial to the forest,” he said. He uses small-diameter timber, some western hardwoods and recycled barn furniture to produce profitable niche products. He started his business with a $25,000 investment and two employees. The company’s income has increased more than 80 percent since their first year and now employs nine full-time and three part-time employees.