Dustin Hack: Local Craftsman, Local Materials

Dustin Hack (right) and Shawn Smith (left) mill a round of yellow cedar at their worksite on Japonski Island.

Dustin Hack is not your typical entrepreneur. Instead of making his living by sipping lattes, yapping on cell phones, and playing the stock exchange, Hack makes his living the old-fashioned way, with his own two hands.

Hack, 31, originally from Plainfield, IL, recently started a new business in Sitka entitled the Alaska Beam Company. The business utilizes dead and downed yellow cedar from the Sitka Ranger District in the construction of local buildings, fencing, boat interiors, and other hand-crafted products. It's a business model that, as Hack explains, "just makes so much sense!"

On his most recent project, the Alaska Beam Company was contracted to construct a yellow cedar fence to enclose a newly developed property on Japonski Island. The materials used in the construction of this project were all recovered, transported, and milled locally.
Hack's processexemplifies the ideals of sustainable forestry, and illustrates how small scale timber harvest can support small business, the local Sitka community, and the forest we call home.

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