TIMBER INDUSTRY EXPLOITS NORTHERN WILDFIRES

Larry Harrell fotoware at jps.net
Fri Aug 25 13:58:38 EST 2000


Mike H. <mhagen at olympus.net> wrote in message
news:39A6A232.F5799A5B at olympus.net...
> There's another factor which will soon be appearing in utilization specs
> - low pulp and small log prices due to oversupply.  They cost to cut and
> haul - so contracts get written which boost sale stumpage by leaving
> say, any stick of 50, 20 or 10 bf standing or piled on site.  It's a
> throwback to the 70's, a high grade and a tinderbox.
>

I think it's already here, Mike. On most of our timber sales, cull logs need
to be removed and there is really no value there. Some chip producers are
only paying for the transportation of the logs to the chipping site. Also,
yes, bids on federal timber sales are adjusted accordingly to account for
the extra costs involved. This is where the American public has to decide
whether to "sweeten the pot" by including some larger trees (up to 30" in
diameter). These kind of trees can be thinned out from groups of larger
trees and can make the difference in offering a commercial timber sale which
makes money AND gets the essential thinning of underbrush and thickets done,
as opposed to a service contract where we all pay the logger to thin out the
unmerchantable trees and reduce the brush that puts the forest at risk. Both
of these types of projects will cost the taxpayers because of the prep and
admin costs.

I do perceive the (timber) pendulum swinging back towards the middle but, I
hope the fires won't swing it all the way back to over-cutting again.

Larry,    hoping to ride the pendulum into the middle

--
       Larry Harrell Fotoware
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