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State reaps most timber since 2006. Logging harvest intake tops 4 billion board feet
Herald and News 7/16/14
Klamath County harvested the most timber east of the Cascade Range, with 124 million board feet.The total 4.2 billion board feet harvested statewide in 2013 represents a 12-percent increase from the year before and marks the fourth consecutive year of increases since the recession low of 2.7 billion board feet in 2009.
The state Department of Forestry said in its annual harvest report that the increase can be tied to a strong export market and a domestic housing recovery.However, the upward trend might not continue in 2014 because housing forecasts have been revised lower and the export market recently cooled, said Brandon Kaetzel, the top economist at the department.
Oregon’s timber harvest was 9.74 billion board feet in 1972 but fell during the economically troubled late 1970s and early 1980s before rebounding above the 8 billion mark. Volume plunged in the 1990s as environmental issues led to cutbacks in logging on federal lands.Sixty percent of Oregon’s forest land is federal. Industrial and family owned lands comprise another 34 percent and the rest is divided between entities such as the state, counties and tribes. Percentage-wise, the largest harvest spike in 2013 was on non-industrial private forestlands, where the harvest increased 61 percent to 511 million board feet.
“This is most likely due to small forestland owners taking advantage of higher prices as a result of a still-strong export market in 2013,” Kaetzel said.The harvest on industrial forestlands increased 8 percent, from 2.56 billion board feet in 2012 to 2.75 billion board feet last year. Lane County, with 620 million board feet, was the state’s top producer in volume, followed by neighboring Douglas County.
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