Old wood, new life, great cash 7/25/2007 1:20:13 PM

Heritage Salvage has a lumberyard on the river in Petaluma, CA selling reclaimed wood and milled windfalls, custom furniture, repurposed paraphernalia and building consultation. 100% of the wood products are sourced from windfalls or existing structures; chicken shacks, barns, houses, water tanks and other buildings destined for deconstruction.

Michael "Bug" Deakin is a well-connected environmentalist. In the 1970s, he traveled around with Greenpeace co-founder Bob Hunter, and recently he retrofitted a bus for Julia "Butterfly" Hill, who lived in a tree for two years to stop loggers.

A native of British Columbia, Deakin, 55, grew up in a small town and loved to go exploring the old cabins in the woods nearby. Many years later, driving around Sonoma County, he became interested in the old farm buildings in the area and a hobby gradually turned into a passion. A successful home builder, he decided to give that up to pursue his love of old-growth redwood full time.

Deakin chose Petaluma CA for his new business because of the many chicken coops, barns and other old wooden buildings in the area. They are the prime source of the dense, tightly grained old redwood he loves to work with.
Heritage Salvage, Deakinís enterprise, is an eco-friendly design, build and supply. One hundred percent of the company's wood products are sourced from windfalls or existing structures: chicken shacks, barns, houses, tanks and other structures that were either in danger, abandoned or no longer being used. 75% of this wood is old growth redwood. The material is graded, resold or used as is with its natural patina for remodeling, building, custom-trim, furniture, landscaping, garden sheds and all that you can think of!

When the first sawmill was built north of the San Francisco bay, there were 2 million acres of redwoods in Northern California. Now, more than 150 years later, that's been reduced 96 percent, to 85,000 acres. By reclaiming wood and building materials from barns and structures that would otherwise be unrecognized as reusable sources and repurposing the wood into beautiful new products, they contribute to save space in landfills, preserving trees, and our natural heritage.

He gets most of his wood by providing a removal service to property owners who need to get rid of old coops or barns. Much of this old wood comes from 300- to 500-year-old trees cut down 60 to 100 years ago. New, farmed redwood grows much faster and has a lot more water and air in it and can't compare to the old-growth wood in terms of beauty, strength and durability.

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