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Soper-Wheeler 2014 Champion of Yuba County

The new "Champion of Yuba County" billboard goes up on highway 65

The new “Champion of Yuba County” billboard goes up on highway 65

Appeal-Democrat – Sunday, April 27, 2014

Strawberry Valley-based Soper-Wheeler Co. has been selected as this year’s Champion of Yuba County during the Yuba County Perspectives 2014 breakfast to promote economic development in the county.

The family-owned, global lumber company received the honor at the annual Perspectives event organized by the county’s economic development program.

Soper-Wheeler owns and runs lumber operations on 100,000 acres in the state, including 21,000 acres in Yuba County. It has planted, grown and harvested trees out of its foothills headquarters for 110 years.

Dan Kruger, president of Soper-Wheeler, outlined the changing face of the timber industry during a presentation at the breakfast event. He said the company has been forced to diversify and is now involved in businesses ranging from cattle grazing to cell towers to small-scale residential developments.

In addition, the company has moved to exporting more lumber outside the state and to the world. Paul Violett, Soper-Wheeler vice-president, said that 15 percent of the company’s sales volume is to China.

Kruger said the company has also increased its long-term investment, most notably in the New Zealand Redwood Co.

“The regulation process is quite a bit different there,” he said, after earlier noting a long list of state and federal regulatory agencies his company has to deal with.

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