Right-sizing the Forest Industry

Our federal forests suffer from the chicken and egg conundrum.  The Forest Service has reduced its harvest volumes over the last 30 years, which drastically changed the landscape of the forest industry.  Now we have large voids where mills used to dot the map.  We currently face a forest health where the Forest Service needs to create large, landscape-level projects to make a difference.  How do we do this without mills?  The answer is that we can’t.  New, right-sized milling infrastructure is required to pull this together.

Crane Log Yard
Small and medium-sized logs resulting from forest restoration projects.

It’s time to build a right-sized industry that adds value to the by-products of forest restoration.  We need to quantify which trees and how many need to be removed over time with new forest restoration programs. Then use that data to align with the mills.  These mills are the physical and financial tools needed to get our forests back to health. Many mills already exist, but more are needed.

Big projects require big investments

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Forest Service Policy

Washington DC has dominated headlines over the last year.  Some of it including Federal Land, but not much to do with the Forest Service. Forest fires being the possible exception.  It doesn’t mean things haven’t been going on behind the scenes.  With new leadership at the top, there seems to be some renewed optimism of accelerated management of our federal forests.  A policy review is a logical first step.

Leadership

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