Log exports; was field skills lacking?

Michael Hagen mhagen at mail.olympus.net
Wed Dec 10 23:28:09 EST 1997

Yes, at present this is off private land. In the not too recent past,
most state wood (DNR) was also exportable except cedar. In the dim
distant past, (the 70s) USFS wood except for Alaska Yellow Cedar was
exportable. Now exportable DNR sales are quite rare and not high
quality. These conditions are set on the prospectus. 

As far as competition from local mills, well, there aren't many and what
do manage an existance have specialized in the "domestic" grades,
meaning what used to be left here: rough 3S, pulp, now even 4S. A very
few specialty mills have eaked out a living cutting utility from cull
logs and hardwood but export was the way of life. And if you think it
didn't bring in the cash, loggers had a better income than most
"educated" city folk I knew! It was a harsh surprise for many of these
guys when logging played out and they had to learn "uhh, you want fries
with that?"

MHLarry Stamm wrote:
> On Sat, 06 Dec 1997 12:20:26 -0800, Michael Hagen <mhagen at mail.olympus.net>
> wrote:
> >Since most wood is exported and has to fit efficiently into a ship's
> >hold, straightness and clearness are important. In a way, this means
> >there is a stumpage penalty for "airspace". High sort logs fit together
> >as tight as bundles of pipe, lower sort wood has knots and sweep and
> >swelled butts separating the sticks in the bundle. And there is no
> >defect in the wood. That's all domestic, folks.
> >
> >So the hapless cruiser (working for a buyer) gets to call sorts over
> >grades and break logs accordingly when he looks at a tree. I carry a
> >notebook that lists from 5 to 12 sorts for each of the merch species and
> >that is just from one major buyer.
> Are you saying that most of the high quality logs from your area (Washington
> State?) are exported as raw logs?  Is this privately owned wood or off of
> National Forest land?  The net effect of this on the local economy is the same
> as if a portion of each truckload of logs was burned on the landing.  Are any
> government permits needed before wood can be exported as raw logs?  I'm
> surprised local mills aren't able to outbid foreign buyers for a lot of this
> wood.
> In BC, any raw log exports, whether from private land or Crown lands, must be
> approved by an Order in Council from the provincial government.  This is not
> necessarily difficult to obtain, but only if there is an equivalent value in
> lumber for remanufacture exchanged for the logs, or no mill within the province
> willing to pay fair market value for the logs.  That is the official policy,
> anyway.  There is always a way around official policies it seems.  But there are
> a growing number of domestic processors willing and able to outbid the Japanese
> for the logs, then sell the resulting lumber to the Japanese at a decent profit.
> At least, that was the case when the Japanese were still buying lumber....
> --
> Larry Stamm
> PO Box 561
> McBride, BC V0J 2E0

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