100-Year Anniversary – 1921-2021

Mason, Bruce & Girard is excited be celebrating our 100-year anniversary in 2021! Throughout the year we will be updating stories on our news and events page about the history of the company. Also, check out our historical timeline on the About page.

David T. Mason from April 1921 Timberman article

David T. Mason was born in 1883 in New Jersey. He graduated from the School of Forestry at Yale in 1907 and was employed by the U. S. Forest Service from 1907-1915 first in Colorado then in Montana. There, he rose through the ranks to Forest Supervisor of the Deerlodge National Forest and then Asst. District Forester overseeing silviculture and timber sales across the Inland region. In Montana, he first met and worked with his future business partners, Donald Bruce, and Jim Girard.

In 1915, he became the first Professor of Forest Management at the newly formed forestry school at the University of California at Berkeley. World War I soon intervened, and he spent two years as Captain, then Major, with the famed 10th Engineers, Forestry Regiment in France.

Shortly after returning to Berkeley in early 1919, he was appointed to head the newly created Timber Valuation Section of the U.S. Bureau of Internal Revenue. There, he assembled a team to research and draft regulations applying income tax provisions to the forest industry. It was during this time that he gained a deep understanding of the economic plight of the industry and began to outline the factors involved in reducing overproduction of lumber and establishing operating plans for implementing scientific forestry and sustained yield management on private lands.

A few months after returning to Berkeley in 1921, he resigned to open an office as a consulting forest engineer. Identifying Portland, Oregon as the epicenter of forestry in the West, he relocated to Portland and, in May, opened his consulting business in a one-room office in the Northwestern National Bank Building (later known as American Bank Building). His goal was to assist timber landowners with the protection and utilization of their timber while promoting the adoption of “permanent forest management.” His first client was C. R. Johnson, head of Union Lumber Company, Marysville CA.

Over the next four decades, Mason and the firm he founded would be leaders in fulfilling his vision of sustained yield management in the U.S. In 1952, Frederick K. Weyerhaeuser would write of David Mason that, “no single person has been more influential in promoting sound forest management on private lands than he.”

MB&G – A History

MB&G has built a stellar reputation for providing exceptional consulting services to clients requiring our skills in natural resource assessment, management, and regulatory compliance. Our areas of expertise include forestry, wildlife, fisheries, wetlands, and geospatial services. Our work is characterized by the highest level of client service, the application of the best science and technology, quality processes and results, our integrity, and our respect for the natural environment.

David Mason chose Portland, Oregon as his headquarters for a reason. He studied the location of timber in western North America stretching from California to British Columbia and eastward to the northern Rockies of Montana, where he began his career. Portland, he concluded, was the timber epicenter west of the Mississippi River. Mason owned and worked for the firm until 1973, and in that time became a zealous crusader for the forestry policy that would become his legacy: sustained yield management. Sustained yield is an evolution in forestry practices, led by Mason in the United States, that focuses on delivering continuing, renewable harvests of timber and fiber to benefit companies and timber dependent communities. In his 52 years with the company he created, Mason helped grow the business from a one-person shop to the more than 65 employees it has today. Through the years, Mason had a few different partners, but his most influential were Donald Bruce and James Girard, which is why the firm is proud to continue to use their names and follow the course they set.

“We wouldn’t have been able to achieve this success without the devotion, support, and loyalty of our team; past and present,” said MB&G President, Roger Lord. “Several members of our staff have over 20 years’ experience in practice and with MB&G, providing invaluable knowledge and expertise to clients.”

As Mason, Bruce & Girard ventures into its next one hundred years of professional practice, new challenges in forestry, geospatial services, wildlife, fisheries, and wetlands management will emerge. Exactly how the company will innovate, adapt, and operate in the next century is yet to be seen, but the company’s committed respect for the natural environment and science-based approach will ensure a continuity of sound and successful stewardship.