Sponsored by Lane Powell
Home Archives August 2009 Timber cash stuck in the muck

Timber cash stuck in the muck

| Print |  Email
Thursday, July 23, 2009

There has been a lot of hopeful hype this summer that timber may be poised for a comeback.

The optimism has nothing to do with economics. Lumber prices and production are down more than 25% from a year ago, and they weren’t that strong then. The housing slump has pulverized demand for building products, and no state has suffered more than Oregon, the largest lumber producer in the nation.

So it’s not surprising that forestry companies are lining up hungrily for federal stimulus money to put their people back to work preventing wildfires, converting wood scraps into biofuel and fixing bridges, roads and culverts.

Over $123 million worth of Oregon-based stimulus projects had been approved by the U.S. Forest Service as of July, including a $3.25 million youth jobs program, tens of millions of dollars worth of various fire prevention efforts, $1.25 million to restore sand dunes on the coast, $2 million to improve fish habitat in Douglas County, $5 million for the Warm Springs tribe’s woody biomass enterprise and $5 million for a new wood pellet plant in Grant County.

But the money has been slow to flow, clogged by a process that Jim Geisinger, executive vice president of Associated Oregon Loggers, calls a “bureaucratic nightmare” with “a lot of talk but very little action.”

Geisinger says only two forestry projects have received stimulus money, and both were simply expansions of previously approved fuel reduction projects in the Deschutes National Forest.

Peggy Kain, an assistant director at the Forest Service’s Portland office, says, “Everyone on all sides is really scrambling to get things finished, but it’s still a little ways out before they can go.”

Months have already passed. Not long after the passage of the $789 billion stimulus bill in February, the Oregon Department of Forestry compiled and submitted a list of 217 projects worth $252 million to be considered for federal stimulus funds in the spring.

As of mid July, none of these projects had launched, and the return of the fire season makes it unlikely any of the fire prevention projects will be completed this year, ODF spokesman Rod Nichols says.

ODF is also applying for $14 million in stimulus money from NOAA Fisheries to hire contractors to restore streams and improve fish habitat. As of mid July, none of those projects has launched either.

BEN JACKLET
 

More Articles

Interview: Dr. Mark Goulston

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 10, 2014
JustListenBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Tom Cox interviews Dr. Mark Goulston, author of Just Listen, Discover the Secret to Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone.


Read more...

Podcast: Interview with Pete Friedes

Contributed Blogs
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

082714-thumb friedesbookTom Cox interviews Pete Friedes, author of "The 2R Manager," about becoming a Best Boss.


Read more...

Private liberal arts education: superior outcomes, competitive price

Contributed Blogs
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
0826 thumb collegemoneyBY DEBRA RINGOLD | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

Why has six years become an acceptable investment in public undergraduate education that over-promises and underperforms?


Read more...

Tight and Loose

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JENNIFER MARGULIS

As schools implement more rigorous academic standards, holistic and flexible approaches to K-12 education flourish.


Read more...

Two sides of the coin

Contributed Blogs
Monday, August 25, 2014
0825 thumb moneyBY JASON NORRIS | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Ferguson Wellman’s investment views on the economy and capital markets.


Read more...

Portland rises

News
Monday, August 18, 2014

IMG 2551Portland is in the middle of another construction boom, with residential and office projects springing up downtown, in the Pearl and Old Town. OB Web Editor Jessica Ridgway documents the new wave.


Read more...

Fast Food Slows Down

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

The ubiquitous fast-food restaurant may be on the decline.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS