In 2013, Oregon’s timber harvest rose to 4.2 billion board feet, marking four consecutive years of increase from the recession low of 2.72 billion board feet in 2009 said the Oregon Department of Forestry Thursday.
Timber harvest increases can be attributed to a strong export market for Oregon logs in 2013, coupled with a domestic market recovery, particularly in housing.
Whether this trend will continue for the 2014 harvest is uncertain due to housing forecasts being revised to lower numbers and a sudden cool-down in the export market that occurred during the second quarter of 2014.
Timber Harvest, Oregon
“This was the first harvest above four billion board feet in seven years,” said principal economist Brandon Kaetzel in the agency release Thursday. “And represents a 12 per cent increase over the 2012 harvest of 3.75 billion board feet.”
Approximately 49 per cent, or 30.2 million acres, of Oregon is forested. Federal forestlands account for 60 per cent of these forestlands, industrial forestlands for 19 per cent, family forestland owners own 15 per cent, state-owned forests comprise three per cent, and all other forestland owners (counties, Tribal, etc), three per cent.
The largest increase in harvest came from non-industrial private forestlands where harvests increased 61 per cent to 511 million board feet from the 2012 total of 318 million board feet.
“This is most likely due to small forestland owners taking advantage of higher prices as a result of a still strong export market in 2013,” Kaetzel said.
The harvest on industrial forestlands rose from 2.56 billion board feet in 2012 to 2.75 billion board feet in 2013, for an eight per cent increase in harvest.
Harvests on Native American forestlands increased five per cent from 2012 to 2013, rising from 63 million board feet in 2012 to a total of 66 million board feet in 2013.