The byproduct of industry: The West is one of the largest sources of used lumber in the United States. The source: gigantic wooden snow fences. These elaborate wooden snow fence structures provide protection for roadways from the hazards of blowing snow throughout the winter. There are hundreds of miles of these vast wooden structures. The science and design of these massive fences cause the howling wind carrying the snow to change direction causing it to dump the snow to the ground rather than carrying it on to the highways.

These fences consequently save lives and bundles of money in snow plowing that doesn’t have to happen.

(The “Blizzard Wizard” is the nickname given to the scientist, Dr. Ronald Tabler, who pioneered the design and usage of these snow fences.)

As with most structures, these structures require routine maintenance so the structures maintain their structural integrity. Whole sections are systematically disassembled and new built in their place.

The repurpose:
The primary members of these structures are rough sawn, pressure-treated 2” x 6” fir and pine boards.


As you might imagine, this reclaimed lumber has all kinds of outdoor, structural re-uses.

In the country, building barns and outbuildings with this lumber is quite popular. Using them to build fences and corrals is likewise popular.

They are also ideal for decking on raised walkways in wetlands and in parks. In urban settings these 2x6’s are used to build raised garden beds. PD

Damon Carson is founder of Colorado-based Repurposed Materials, which has a diverse selection of “repurposed” products for sale. Click here to visit the website, click here to email Carson or call (303) 478-6193.

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