Hurwitz, Pacific Lumber is cutting Headwaters

Ron Wenrich woodtick at
Fri Feb 27 19:53:52 EST 1998


> In article <newkirk-1902981407340001 at>, newkirk at (Kirk
> Johnson) writes:
> >Make no mistake, Headwaters is being liquidated by a greed-head s.o.b.
> >named Charles Hurwitz.
> ---------------------------------------
> In the last decade, or so, we have seen an abrupt shift away from this
> intensive forest management and a trend towards liquidation of the resource.
> This is noted not only of large industrial forests but even small
> non-industrial private holdings.  The trend seems to have shifted back to the
> old "cut and get out" tactics of an earlier day.  The incentive to hold
> timberland for long term management and progressive income seems to have
> regressed - at least in the west.

> Assuming that most landowners/managers are not fools, but characteristically
> "know when to hold 'em and know when to fold 'em", in other words, are rational
> entrepreneurs (even Hurwitz), what factors caused, and are causing, them to
> "cash in their chips" and get out of the game?   What affect does this have on
> our national well being?  Has environmentalism played a roll in this?
> Politics?
> ------------------------------------------
> Seumas Mac Phadruig
> Industrial Forest Opns. Mgr. (Ret.)
> Inland Northwest, USA

  Liquidations occur here in the East as well, and has been going on for quite some
time.  Ignorance on the part of landowners is one of the biggest problems.
Hardwood timber will outstrip inflation by about 3%.  In recent years it has been
even better.  As a result, landowners have been liquidating stands, not only of
mature timber, but even good growing stock, all with "professional" supervision.
High grading is on the increase as loggers and landowners chase after dwindling
reserves.  Medium sized sawtimber (18-22" dbh) is consistently removed, and in some
areas, small sawtimber has been removed.  Stands are left with poor quality and
less desirable species as residuals, and seed sources.  Couple that with the
average landowner owns the land for about 7 years.  The timber is usually harvested
before the next landowner takes over and most new landowners have no idea about
forest management.  Very few have a timber inventory or appraisal or a management
plan when the land is purchased.  The forest industry is partly to blame, and so
are the NIPFs.  The industry would not cut timber in this manner if the NIPFs would
not allow it.  Growing timber will yield a higher return then in either bank
accounts or mutual funds, in the long term.  I think landowner ignorance does have
a lot to do with it.



More information about the Ag-forst mailing list