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Sunday, October 01, 2006

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The vast majority of Oregon’s timber harvest is happening west of the Cascades, as Eastern Oregon harvests decline to a point that’s threatening remaining mills there. Eighty-seven percent of the total harvest in 2005 occurred in the western third of the state, while total harvest in Eastern Oregon dropped 90 million board feet from 2004, according to a recent Oregon Department of Forestry report. Overall, state timber harvests were down slightly from ’04. Much of the westside timber came from private lands owned by timber companies. Meanwhile, harvesting on federal forests in the eastern portion of Oregon declined. “A beleaguered forest industry on the eastside of the state managed to keep the few remaining mills operating,” says Gary Lettman, a state forest economist. “But the possibility of industry decline is worrisome, as lumber prices fall, and the outlook for housing demand sours.”

 

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