Louisiana timber industry sees financial impact from drought, wildfires

By Colin Vedros
December 21, 2023
Category: Business & Politics
Region: United States, US East

LEESVILLE, Louisiana — The timber industry in Louisiana suffered major losses as a result of weeks-long wildfires and ongoing drought. Most of the damage comes from Vernon Parish and surrounding areas, where timber normally thrives. “It’s very important,” said Dustin Robison, procurement manager for WD Clips. …WD Chips produces hardwood chips and pine chips to make paper, but because of the lack of rainfall mixed with wildfires, the mill saw water levels get critically low. Robison said it is something the mill has never experienced. …The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry (LDAF) reports $71 million lost in wildfire damage this year. Across the state, the timber industry as a whole lost approximately $325 million to $350 million. LDAF Commissioner Dr. Mike Strain said about half of the losses in the timber industry statewide come from Vernon Parish and surrounding areas.

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