To build the cabins, the McGuires carefully selected trees from the property.

Since it was built in the 1980s, it's been called the Greensprings Inn. Now, with the addition of five new cabins, it's become the Greensprings Inn and Cabins.

Sitting a half-hour outside of Ashland on Highway 66, the Greensprings Inn has welcomed travelers since the 1980s. In 1994, Diarmuid McGuire and his family left the Bay Area and bought the inn. At that time, it consisted of a restaurant and an eight-room lodge.

"We decided the inn had to become a destination," McGuire said. "We added jacuzzis to most of the rooms in the lodge, and turned them into cozy get-away places. And, we built the Forest Room."

The Forest Room, a yurt-shaped meeting space, looks out onto an open lawn that borders the forest and is used for weddings, retreats, meetings, business conferences and school dances.

But McGuire had a vision of something more.

"I always imagined it would be wonderful to have some vacation cabins up here for people to enjoy the mountains," he said.

In 2004, McGuire got the chance to turn his vision into reality.

"I was approached by some gentleman who had traded with Boise Cascade (a wood products company) for the land adjacent to the inn," McGuire said. "They told me they were going to log it, and gave us the opportunity to buy it."

"We decided the most environmentally sound strategy was to build the cabins out of trees that are here on the property," he said.

McGuire's son, Padraic, added, "We wanted to put something on the property that wouldn't have a heavy impact on the land. Something that could help us sustain and afford owning the land."

After a year of planning and meeting with the county, the McGuires acquired a permit to build up to 15 cabins on the 145-acre parcel.

To build the cabins, the McGuires carefully selected trees from the property.

"We used trees that had reached their life span and were dying off, and we had to take some trees out to gain access to the land," the elder McGuire said.

"Boise Cascade had planted a lot of trees close together," said Padraic McGuire, "so we thinned out some. The trees we left are doing much better and are much healthier."

"We learned a lot at a class for small land owners given by the Oregon State University extension program," said Diarmuid McGuire.

"We milled and planed the wood into beams and boards in our workshop," McGuire added.

The large facility, powered by 10,000 watts of photovoltaic energy supplied by panels on the roof, is another example of the McGuires' commitment to sustainability.

"One of our hopes is that this forest will evolve back to the kind of forest that was here a long time ago — where the climax species, the giant trees, primarily the sugar pine, Douglas fir and incense cedar — will return and flourish," Diarmuid McGuire said. "The government is doing the same thing in the surrounding Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. They're putting capital into the land to keep it intact with the hope it will return to its natural state."

The McGuires used the wood from the trees for the flooring, decking, siding and beams in the cabins, as well as for the cabinets and shelving.

Most of the wood used to build the cabins and other new structures on the property, including the just completed "horse hotel," came from no more than a couple hundred yards from the structures themselves, Diarmuid McGuire said.

"It probably would have cost about the same to go to a lumber yard and buy the wood. But, by the time it finally got here, it would have been carrying a large environmental load," he said.

Ashland resident Anna Beauchamp and five of her women friends stayed in the Pilot Rock cabin in June.

"The cabin was beautifully decorated, and we were surprised at how well-equipped the kitchen was," she said. "We loved the Tempurpedic beds, the high ceilings, the views, spacious decks and great barbecue. It was high-quality all around. The wildflowers on the Pacific Crest Trail were wonderful."

"We oriented the cabins for maximum privacy," said Padraic McGuire, "and we oriented the jacuzzis out of the sight lines of the other cabins."

The cabins also feature on-demand hot water heaters, wood stoves and large windows, all of which lower the carbon footprint, according to Diarmuid McGuire.

"One the features many of our guests like is that there aren't any TVs in the cabins. People really appreciate the quiet up here," he said. "For guests going through withdrawal we'll bring a TV and some DVDs over. The cabins do have Wi-Fi and CD players."

For more information about the Greensprings Inn and Cabins e-mail info@greenspringsinn.com or call 482-0614.