Forest Products
With our roots in the Northwest, Tonkon Torp is especially experienced and skilled at representing the interests of the forest products industry. Clients include privately held and publicly traded companies involved in timber growing and harvesting. Our clients appreciate our deep knowledge of real estate, land use and environmental law, all of which are relevant to forest products issues. We also draw on our extensive corporate and litigation experience when advising private timber companies and sawmills, timberland owners and others.

We represent clients in matters related to the National Forest Management Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, and state and local regulations. We are also experienced at negotiating with organizations such as the U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management.

Our services for the forest products industry include:
  • Acquisition, disposition and financing of timberlands, mill facilities and related assets
  • Natural resources preservation and environmental issues
  • Land use planning
  • Corporate and general business counsel
  • Contract preparation, negotiation and enforcement
  • Trade association lobbying
  • Litigation and alternative dispute resolution
  • Wealth planning for management and donors
  • Antitrust and marketing advice
  • Employee benefits and labor relations

Sale of Linn County Tree Farm

Represented the seller of a Linn County, Oregon tree farm that had been family-owned for some 60 years.

Stormwater Compliance Counseling

Regularly represent a variety of manufacturing and commercial operations to come into or maintain compliance with state, municipal, and local stormwater regulations.

Federal and State Administrative Order Negotiation

Helped negotiate and implement an administrative order for the $6 million cleanup and removal of PCB-contaminated cooling pond at a former sawmill and plywood plant in Montana.

Environmental Audit Oversight

Conducted environmental audits of manufacturing facilities.

Lacey Act Compliance

Wrote a protocol for and assisted in compliance with a lumber importer's compliance with the Lacey Act, which prohibits the importation of illegally harvested forest products.  

Transfer of Contaminated Property

Counseled landowners and developers throughout the country on federal and state environmental laws associated with the sale and purchase of contaminated commercial and industrial property.

Forest Practices Compliance

Represented timber owners with respect to federal and state  forest practices compliance.

Lumber Mill Redevelopment

Counseled clients in the decommissioning of old lumber mills in Oregon, Idaho and Montana and preparing them for different land use.

Offsetting Civil Penalties Through Supplemental Environmental Projects

Successfully negotiated reductions and settlements of environmental enforcement actions, including offsetting penalties by supplemental environmental projects.

Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Defense

Helped client resolve multiple claims by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and others related to a PCB boiler fire in Montana.

Clean Air Act Defense

Defended forest products client against alleged air quality violations, resulting in withdrawal of the Department of Environmental Quality's enforcement claims.

Acquisition of Two Saw Mills in Idaho

Represented Stimson Lumber Company in acquisition of two saw mills, and related timberlands, located in Plummer, Idaho and St. Maries, Idaho. 

Idaho Timberlands Purchase

Represented major forest products company in purchase of 17,000 acres of Idaho timberlands, including associated agreements and acquisition of ancillary property rights.

In re Bonavia Timber Company, LLC, and Nevada First Corporation

(Bankr. D. Or.) - Bonavia Timber Company and Nevada First Corporation conduct extensive ranching operations in Oregon and Nevada. They were confronted with a multi-million dollar lawsuit that threatened their ability to continue operations. Tonkon represented the companies in their Chapter 11 case that resulted in a settlement of the lawsuit and confirmation of a Plan of Reorganization within eight months of the filing date.

Stimson Lumber Co. v. International Paper Co.

In Montana, assisted Stimson in the negotiation and implementation of an administrative order for the $6 million cleanup and removal of a PCB-contaminated cooling pond formerly owned by Stimson. Successfully asserted claims against prior owners of the cooling pond under CERCLA, recovering past and future cleanup costs.

In re Lumber Products, Inc.

(Bankr. D. Or.) - Lumber Products was a manufacturer and distributor of building products. Tonkon represented the company in its Chapter 11 case. The company was sold through a 363 sale and a plan was confirmed within six months of the petition date.

Building Product Manufacturer Representation

Represented a building product manufacturer for over 20 years, including playing an oversight role in its defense of numerous construction defect claims and related insurance coverage issues arising out of its hardboard siding product.


Obtained partial reversal on appeal of adverse summary judgment concerning the availability of insurance coverage for the settlement of several class actions relating to the sale of hardboard siding. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Americans With Disabilities Act

Represented Georgia-Pacific in an appeal establishing standards for when a return to work performance test constitutes a medical examination subject to the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. (Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals)

Hawkins v. Stimson Lumber

Successfully defend against statutory and common law claims arising from serious workplace injury.

In re Pope & Talbot, Inc.

(Bankr. S.D.N.Y.) - After this venerable Portland-based forest products company filed its bankruptcy case in the Southern District of New York in late 2007, Tonkon represented the buyers in two different acquisitions. Al Kennedy orchestrated the acquisition of Pope & Talbot's operations in South Dakota and Wyoming by a strategic buyer. Leon Simson represented a private equity fund in the acquisition of Pope & Talbot's Oregon pulp mill.

Medical Use of Marijuana Reasonable Accommodation

Successfully obtained summary judgment on employer's obligation to reasonably accommodate medical use of marijuana which was upheld on by State Supreme Court.

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Representative Matters

Sale of Linn County Tree Farm

Represented the seller of a Linn County, Oregon tree farm that had been family-owned for some 60 years.