Home Back Issues October 2007 Timber woes continue in east

Timber woes continue in east

| Print |  Email
Archives - October 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007

{safe_alt_text}

EASTERN OREGON Recent lumber mill closures announced in three eastern Oregon counties have sucker- punched the region’s economy. Approximately 198 jobs have dried up with the closings of the Grant Western mill in John Day and the Wallowa Forest Products mill, both operated by D.R Johnson, and the Louisiana-Pacific mill in Hines. State forest officials say that the number of mills operating in the east this year dropped from 13 to 10, and the region’s timber harvest declined to historic lows. Factors include a decline in local timber supplies, spiking gas prices and falling timber prices.

Those 198 jobs in counties where the total population is about 22,000 is the equivalent of the Portland metro area losing more than 26,000 jobs, according to state calculations. In Harney and Grant counties, which already have among the highest unemployment rates in the state, the loss of well-paying mill jobs is especially acute. In 2006, Harney’s annual unemployment rate was 8.2%, and Grant’s was 8.4%; the state average was 5.4%.

Coupled with fires that are ravaging forests and drought that is hurting farming and ranching, a coalition of eastern county officials recently gathered under the rallying cry of “enough is enough,” says Harney County judge Steve Grasty. But the issue is longer-lived than just the recent fire and drought. Grasty says current federal timber policy has resulted in tinderbox stands of dead trees on federal land, while mills and jobs suffer. He says the coalition will advocate for forest practices that are beneficial to both forests and communities and allow more local timber to be cut. Some conservation groups oppose more logging in national forests.

“Our future is somewhere between doing nothing,” says Grasty, “and doing what we used to do.”

ROBIN DOUSSARD

Have an opinion? E-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


 

 

More Articles

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...

Managing family assets: The importance of planning ahead

News
Friday, August 22, 2014
Unknown-1BY CLIFF HOCKLEY |  OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

When business intersects with family, a host of  situations can arise. Without a clear vision and careful planning, hard-earned investments can become stressful burdens.


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...

Gender Code

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY COURTNEY SHERWOOD

Janice Levenhagen-Seeley reprograms tech.


Read more...

Downtime

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY

How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.


Read more...

A Taste of Heaven

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
BY VIVIAN MCINERNY

Craft beer comes to Mount Angel.


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