50 Years Plus
- 1957 Boise Cascade - created by a merger of Boise Payette
and Cascade Lumber - begins construction of its Wallula
pulp and paper mill on a 500 acre site on the Columbia River
in Walla Walla County. It was in the midst of resources
vital to the firm’s entry into the pulp and paper
business. The area provided access to a nearby natural gas
line, cheap electric power and transportation. The site
was at the junction of two major railway lines and was centrally
located among the company’s seven sawmills.
- 1959 The Wallula mill began full scale operation - with
crews working around the clock to produce 170 tons of paper
a day. Its product mix included corrugated containers used
to ship fruits and vegetables raised by nearby growers.
- 1961 Added capacity included the historically named “Princess
Sacajawea” paper machine to provide paper required
for corrugated containers for the company’s container
plant in Wallula.
- 1971 Construction begins on a 6,000 square foot addition
to the #2 paper machine building to house equipment to produce
dried pulp from the mill’s linerboard machine. The
dried pulp was shipped as “market pulp.”
- 1977 Boise announced a new $260 million expansion at Wallula
with nearly $6 million dedicated to building a new paper
- 1979 W1 was converted to producing baled market pulp,
and by Christmas, W3 produced the first rolls of white paper.
- 1991 With wood fi ber supplies dwindling, the company
developed its own fiber farm using fast-growing cottonwood
trees developed by Washington State University and the University
- 1994 Boise sells it paper, forest products and timberland
assets to Madison Dearborn for $3.7 billion. As a result,
Boise combined its own office product distribution business
with OfficeMax, a super store chain acquired a year earlier.
The company went private and the Wallula mill began operating
under the divisional name Boise Paper.
- 2007 Boise funded an $80 million overhaul of W3, enabling
it to make uncoated and specialty coated papers. The makeover
was a key element in Boise’s effort to become a leader
in the flexible packaging industry.
- 2008 A new public company, Boise Inc., was formed following
the Aldabra 2 Acquisition Corporation’s purchase of
the paper and packaging assets of Boise Cascade, L.L.C.
Boise Inc. is traded on the NYSE: BZ
- 2011 W3 transitions to producing 100% specialty
BOISE BY THE NUMBERS
$42.8 million total payroll 2010
$76,000 average annual salary 2010
$1.9 million WW County property taxes 2011
County ag industry grows economy, creates
3,900 jobs annually...
The value of Washington
State’s 2010 agricultural production reached
the second highest value in record - second only to
2007. According to the USDA’s National Agricultural
Statistics Service, crop values reached $8.25 billion,
13 percent higher than 2009 and topped only by 2007’s
While production values for Walla
Walla County were reported as part of the NASA summary,
it did suggest that three of the county’s major crops - apples, wheat and grapes - were among
the top 10 commodities listed.
Totals revealed by Pat McConnell,
general manager of retail operations for The McGregor
Company, suggest that Walla Walla County produces
some $344 million in marketed crops annually. Farms
in the county, McConnell says, average 734 acres,
about twice the state average.
Port of Walla Walla Commissioner Ron Dunning
says the county’s growing farm production values
contribute significantly to the health of the local
Among other things, an analysis of
farm labor for 2010 showed that nearly 3,900 workers
found full-time and seasonal jobs in Walla Walla County
in 2010. That represents an estimated 13.5% of the
county’s total employment.
In addition, Dunning points to the
Port’s long time commitment to the ag industry
as a measure of its overall contribution to the area’s
economic well being. He cites as examples an historic
involvement in the development and protection of river navigation,
the ongoing support of four-laning of US 12 and the
successful completion of the Railex terminal to facilitate
speedy shipment of produce to the East Coast. In addition,
the Port has provided direct assistance to Broetje
Orchards, Tyson Fresh Meats and the Walla Walla Valley
Most recent commodity acreages for
Walla Walla County, as compiled by the Washington
State Department of Agriculture and reported by McConnell