Logging industry on the brink

By Peter Aleshire
The Payson Roundup
May 17, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

The painstakingly developed capacity to thin the forest and save communities from wildfire is dangling by a thread, say the loggers. The leaders of the state’s cobbled together, now-endangered mill and timber industry vented their frustrations at the monthly meeting of the Natural Resources Working Group. The group was organized to facilitate forest restoration and save a dying timber industry. But long delays by the Forest Service, soaring interest rates, rising inflation and a long, wet winter have pushed the whole, fragile forest-industries network to the brink, said loggers and mill owners. …The Forest Service tried for a decade to find a single contractor to thin millions of acres in the 4-Forests Restoration Initiative footprint. The Forest Service squandered years trying to find someone who would make a huge investment and turn a profit on not only small logs, but the 17 tons of biomass that comes off each treated acre.

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