The Build Local Alliance's mission is "to improve the vitality of local forests and related human communities by connecting local, responsibly grown and processed wood with local projects." The climate benefits are two-fold: localizing the wood market means less fossil fuel burned in transporting wood products, and forestry practices that grow more ecologically complex forests also sequester carbon.
We are comprised of forest owners and millwrights, retailers and distributers,designers and architects, craftsmen and builders, developers and homeowners, and other individuals who are interested in developing our local economy through responsible forestry.
Most organizations are born out of peoples' drive to creatively solve problems - and the Portland Build Local Alliance (BLA) is no exception. The people were local wood growers and local wood users - and their problems were twofold. Back in the summer of 2005, BLA cofounder, Stephen Aiguier, and fellow wood users were determined to use local, responsibly grown wood, but they were having problems finding it. At the same time, cofounder Peter Hayes and fellow forest owners believed that their forests were growing local, responsibly grown wood but had problems reliably connecting with wood users to whom this mattered. So they teamed up in hopes of creating a single solution to their two problems - and the BLA was born.
Recognizing the success of the Farmer-Chef Connection in solving a parallel pair of problems, Aiguier and Hayes asked each other, "why not adapt the idea and apply it to wood?" From the first exploratory meeting to today, the young organization's membership and energy have grown steadily.
Enthusiasm surrounding BLA activities and events is infectious and high. Contributions from builders, architects, wood workers, millers, distributors, foresters, and non-profit organizations have turned a simple idea into a successful reality.
Guided by an experienced, committed board and supported by its diverse, creative, and resourceful membership, the BLA is on track as an encouraging example of people coming together to solidly connect wood users to their local forests.
Find out more about the Build Local Alliance.
Meet the BLA Board of Directors