Top Navigation  
U.S. Flag waving
Office Hours Momday - Friday  8 am - 5 pm Pacific 1-800-835-2418
Facebook   YouTube   Twitter
 Home Page
 Current Issue
 Article Index
 Author Index
 Previous Issues

 Kindle Subscriptions
 Kindle Publications
 Back Issues
 Discount Books
 All Specials
 Classified Ad

 Web Site Ads
 Magazine Ads

 BHM Forum
 Contact Us/
 Change of Address

Forum / Chat
 Forum/Chat Info
 Lost Password
 Write For BHM

Link to BHM

Letters and email from readers about Backwoods Home Magazine and the BHM website


Archive for May, 2009


“The path to another Depression”

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

I just have to comment on your online article The path to another Depression by John Silveira.

I live in a small farm in central Alberta and my husband and I have discussed the automaking industries woes many times, as the situation here in Canada is the same as south of the border for the auto industry.  We have both said many times – “let them go bankrupt, it’s the only way they’ll get the unions out and truly become competitive in the world market”!  We have opened from scratch (& without bank financing), grew our small business to 5 times it’s original square footage, and maintained it and turned a decent profit every year for 13 years (then we sold it), so I feel that we have the right to say this.  Business owners MUST have the ability to cut costs, cut people, change suppliers, etc. as needed to keep their company profitable – unions null and void this ability on many fronts.

Over and over in government, it’s individuals who have no ‘real world’ business skills who are in power.  Could they, on their own, open and run a successful small business in a competitive industry? I believe that for most of them, the answer would be no.  If they can’t manage a small business successfully, how can we possibly expect them to manage an entire country?

This is the first time I’ve come across your website and must say – so far I’m very impressed with the common sense advice that is being given!

R. Dixon
Alberta, Canada


Building steps

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

I appreciate your article on trail building. How did you make your steps? You mention stakes in the article but I’m not sure what you mean. I can’t tell from the photos how the steps were constructed, and that aspect of the trail is not addressed much.

I would like to build a path down an extremely steep slope and will need to negotiate around several retaining walls.


William Schmieding

Steps are very simple (unless your ground is particularly rocky or your soil iron-hard). Just cut the basic shape of a step in the ground, then place a ground-contact treated 2 x 6 or 2 x 8, cut to the appropriate length, along the vertical edge or “riser.” Secure the board with two stakes driven into the ground until they are firm.

If you plan to gravel your path, let the wood stick up far enough over the soil to contain the gravel.

If your soil is very loose, you might use more stakes or drive them deeper.

That’s it. Of course you can make your steps much more elaborate if you wish — for instance, making them out of flagstone. But this method is simple, inexpensive, and do-able by almost anyone.



Good news for would-be loggers!

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

Dear Dave,

Something good might come out of this recession after all:  Good for do-it-yourselfer log-home builders that is. Because lumber prices have fallen so drastically, logging companies are NOT bidding for areas to log. It costs more to log than they can sell the logs to lumber mills for. It’s a sad state of affairs, but this may be a window of opportunity for ambitious hard-working people to go get their logs to build a house with because the competition is temporarily out of business.

I called around today to several USFS Ranger Districts and BLM Districts (entirely separate branches of the federal government), and found out that here in southern Oregon there ARE stands of trees (Lodge-pole Pine and Douglas Fir) that can be cut with a permit and the cost is minimal (5 or 6 cents a linear foot I was told). The trees vary from 6″ to 8″ diameter, which is sufficient for house-building (6″ at the small end).

Dave Orban  at the BLM office in Chemult Oregon said he can be contacted  at 541-618-2200.  Would-be loggers seriously interested in cutting trees down for enough logs for a medium-sized house can make an appointment with him to check out his area of Douglas Fir stands. He mentioned the Plumb Creek area near Shady Cove, Oregon as another possibility.

Gina Duggins at the Prospect Ranger District didn’t have any cutting areas open for sizable poles in her district but she was very helpful and gave me numbers to call for several other districts who might have trees to cut, namely lodge-pole pine (desirable because they grow straight and tall and have very little taper).

Here is the list she gave me:

USFS Ranger District in Chiloquin:  541-783-4001
USFS Ranger District in Chemult: 541-635-7001
USFS Ranger District in Diamond Lake: 541-498-2531
USFS Ranger District in Klamath Falls: 541-885-3400
BLM District in Klamath Falls: 541-883-6916
BLM District in Roseburg: 541-440-4930  (lodge pole pine mentioned)
BLM in the North Umpqua area: 541-496-3932 (lodge pole pine mentioned)

I suggest also checking out Butte Falls, Rogue River, and the Applegate BLM and USFS Ranger Districts, and districts near where YOU live in Oregon or any other state. I have found that sometimes if the USFS doesn’t allow any cutting in a particular area, the BLM might have an area nearby where they WILL allow cutting. It doesn’t make any sense to me, but you must try BOTH sources. Don’t give up just because one of them says no.

Good luck!

Dorothy Ainsworth



Friday, May 8th, 2009

One of the biggest injustices today is the family court judge. He has more power than the president.

I am fixing to have to go to court, and it looks like the lawyers have written the laws where the judge will probably award half of my property, which I owned before my marriage, to my soon to be x-wife. One of the things the judge will consider in determining if my property was transmuted to marital property is if we treated the property as marital.

One man should not be able to do what a family court judge can. The lawyers have written the laws where they can tie a case up in court for as long as they want, and before it is over the lawyers will own everything.

What can be done?

Marshall Jackson



Copyright © 1998 - Present by Backwoods Home Magazine. All Rights Reserved.