Tucked away in the Derwent Valley, Butch Booth has seen it all before. He’s been here for the good times, the bad times and he just might bear witness to the resurgence in Tasmanian timber…
Covered by Jason Ross, Marketing and Communications Officer for Responsible Wood
A 4th generation saw miller, Butch has been plying his trade as a hands on director in charge of the Karanja Timbers saw mill, located on the banks of the Jones River in remote Karanja.
And for Butch it’s all about keeping it in the family.
“My father taught me the trade, I have passed on the tricks of the trade to my son who will maintain the legacy.”
“When I started, the Valley was full of independent saw millers but that has all changed,” Mr Booth said.
In some ways Karanja Timbers cuts a lonely figure in a once vibrant timber community.
Once known as saw mill alley, saw millers have had to adapt to the changing environment or perish.
“Social consensus is the marketing buzz word but when I think of timber and what it means to communities I think of my saw mill which has been located in the community for more than 60 years.”
“And I think of my neighboring saw mill down the road which has provided gainful employment opportunities to our local community.”
“We’ve had our knocks over the years but we’re survivors, and with the growing demand for hardwood timber in Tasmania and on the mainland resource security is key,” Mr Booth said.
Right Butch is, demand for timber is growing both at home and abroad, and Tasmanian hardwood timber is on the lips of every architect, engineer and developer.
Think Blackwood, Huon Pine, Myrtle, Plantation Ash, Silver Wattle, Tasmanian Blue Gum and Tasmanian Oak. The list goes on and on and on.
Karanja Timber is one of 30 local Tasmanian licensees that participate in the Fine Timber Tasmania Chain of Custody system.
Managed by Brueckner Leech the system operates a Responsible Wood Chain of Custody scheme that verifies the origin of Tasmanian hardwood timbers from the forests, through the saw mill, the merchants and retailers.
Along with the Responsible Wood ‘trust mark’ licensees are invited to use the Fine Timber Tasmania ‘Chain of Custody’ logo which verifies the Tasmanian origins of the timber.
For Butch, Responsible Wood certification is a must.
“It’s a no brainer for me. Not only do my clients demand it but the forest certification is a must if we are to maintain the supply of our Tasmanian timbers for many generations to come,” Mr Booth said.