Log exports; was field skills lacking?

Joseph Zorzin redoak at forestmeister.com
Sat Dec 13 18:23:03 EST 1997

Larry Stamm wrote:

> I'm sure the loggers did make good money, and those that still have work are
> still bringing in big bucks.  But what about those mill workers who don't have a
> job because of exported logs,  and the cabinet makers who don't have that
> potential local lumber to use, or the instrument makers who have to buy back
> spruce from Europeans after it was exported from the West Coast?  My point is
> that although it may make immediate financial sense to the owner of the timber
> to export it, that raw material is then lost for further manufacture in the
> local community, and the effects of that loss can ripple a long way.   For the
> community as a whole, it rarely is preferable to sell raw materials when it is
> possible to manufacture them further.
> And from my understanding of history, the fact that so much NFS timber was
> exported from the NW as raw logs in the 70's was fuel for the environmental
> movement against logging on NFS land.  Maybe the spotted owl would not have
> garnered so much support if more of that wood was being locally manufactured
> into quality products; if so, maybe today there would be more local mills still
> around to bid on today's export logs.  Making a quick buck usually means that
> somebody else at some other time pays the cost in lost opportunities.
> --

That all sounds good, but how are you going to make it happen? And if we
prevent logs from being exported perhaps we should also prevent some
imports; isn't that also going to be necessary?

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