Timber harvest declines to recession-era levels

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Friday, August 01, 2008

STATEWIDE Declining harvests from private forestland owners pushed the state’s timber harvest to its smallest levels since the recession-based record low in 2001.

An 11%, or 344-million-board-feet, decrease in volume from forest industry landowners was accompanied by a 43% decline in harvests on non-industrial private lands, according to the Oregon Department of Forestry. Federal harvests remained at historically low levels, accounting for less than 10% of the cut. The federal government owns 51% of Oregon, much of it forests.

The 2007 harvest dropped 12% from 2006, with a volume of 3.8 billion board feet.

“However, with relatively strong plywood demand and nonresidential construction, and fewer log imports from adjacent states, Oregon timber harvests declined less than half of the percentage drop in national housing starts,” says state forest economist Gary Lettman.


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