Timber Business Collapse  

TOPIC: timber business collapse

== 1 of 4 ==
Date: Fri, Jun 20 2008 12:34 pm
From: ForestRuss@aol.com


Most of the discussions on the ENTS site deal with older forests, big trees
and many of the interesting and intrigueing aspects of identifying,
celebrating and quantifying our large trees and remnant old growth forests.

Just for a slight spin here are some points to ponder from the deepest
bowels of the Appalachian hardwood forests of West Virginia and Pennsylvania....

The cost of fuel now takes a larger part of the typical loggers expenses
than employee wages

Sawmills are closing right and left and loggers are dropping like flies as
the value of lumber drops, expenses go up and export markets stop dead

Black cherry has fallen so much into market disfavor right now that the only
way sawmills can sell it is at a relative loss just to trade the wood for

Property owners that were holding timber for better days are now trying to
dump it and sawmills are being overwhelmed with opportunities to buy the stuff
but the markets are so unsettled that the only competition between timber
companies is to see how fast they can run away from buying any timber.

The changes that the developing depression will wreak upon the forested
hinterlands of America could well be greater than anywhere else and I think that
we might see a very fertile period on the horizon for forest conservation or
preservation initiatives to move forward.

Russ Richardson

== 2 of 4 ==
Date: Fri, Jun 20 2008 4:22 pm
From: dbhguru@comcast.net


Dismal situation you describe. Yet, on talk radio, you'll never hear the Limbaugh dopes talk about the real on-the-ground situation. The Limbaugh dumbasses still parrot the fatboy's corporate party line. Oops, sorry for sounding so negative, but the country is going down fast.


== 3 of 4 ==
Date: Fri, Jun 20 2008 4:38 pm
From: Gary Smith

Is it possible for one to be both a libertarian and a greenie?

== 4 of 4 ==
Date: Fri, Jun 20 2008 6:33 pm
From: Matthew Hannum

I'd say it is oddly possible to be both a libertarian and a "greenie"
based upon this theory: libertarians believe that people should
generally be left alone if they aren't making any trouble. However,
fouling up the environment IS making trouble for others, and it comes
in many forms, many not as obvious as dumping toxic waste in
somebody's front lawn, etc. So, libertarians and conservationists are
not always at odds with each other.

The lumber industry collapse is in part caused by the collapse of the
housing market. While I feel sympathy for honest lumberman out of
work, I feel no sorrow over the collapsing housing market. America has
spent the past 10 years or so paving over everything in sight to build
as many grossly oversized and overpriced houses as possible - and that
is ignoring all the fraud in the real estate market (which is a topic
of plenty of blogs in its own right.) I drive through these new
developments, each packed with monstrous houses jammed next to each
other - no room for trees of any size, each house a sterile clone of
its neighbors, and nothing but chemically-soaked lawns to break up the
monotony of these horrid stucco and Tyvak prisons! Argh! No, the end
of the housing Bubble is a good thing. In the coming economic crunch,
people may have no choice but to conserve simply because they cannot
afford to continue to pave over the planet.

TOPIC: timber business collapse

== 1 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Jun 21 2008 4:48 am
From: Ren

Your dead right. As a tree farmer (40 yrs.) with operations in 4
states, growing both ornamental for the Nursery industry and timber
for specialty woodworkers, we seeing the effects every day. US logging
is in a tailspin which is good for US Forests and bad for local timber
economies. The big companies will survive, due to the rest of the
worlds continued demand for paper and OSB but the small independant US
loggers are selling out. www.lumbermenonline.com is full of ads for
auctions and logging equipment at bargain prices. Unfortunately the
market for tropical hardwoods is still strong and that's what really
needs to end as we're losing virgin rain forest at an ever escalating
rate. The largest part of the US timber market is now in planted
forests not wild cuts whereas in Brazil and SouthEast Asia wild forest
logging continues the rape of those environments. The high fuel prices
are offset by the cheapness of the labor and aquisition cost of
tropical timber, as with virtually no environmental forestry harvest
laws, sustainable management and widespread govermental corruption the
big trees continue to fall. The biggest thing that we in the US can do
is to enact import restrictions on tropical woods that are not
sutainably grown and harvested. As fuel cost continue to rise, the
shipping cost will also force timber production to get more local.
That's good. Despite the short term effects on personal finances and
belt tightening across the US and world economies, higher fuel proces
actually have positive longterm benafits that outweigh the negative
costs. The inventive incentive for new transportation, electricity
generation and heating/cooling technologies will favor the US market
and could respostion our country as the worlds leader in new energy
efficient technologies. That said the short term (10-30 year) price we
will all pay, will lead to global political instability and human
suffering. Tens of millions will die in the ensuing years of famine,
disease and wars caused by significant energy shortages. The faster
the US economy can retool. adapt and export NewGen the better the
whole world will be and the Forests will gain a respite.

== 2 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Jun 21 2008 4:54 am
From: Ren

I'm waiting for the day that the bulldozers start to smash the
Mcmansions down and farm land becomes more valuable for food
production than subdivisions. It's coming. Inner cities will be reborn
and the suburban lifestyle will end as we know it. Ren

== 3 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Jun 21 2008 6:37 am
From: James Parton


Pertaining to the US timber market. Where are their planted forest
plantations located? I know that pine plantations are scattered
throughout the southern US. Many are for pulp but some are lumber
plantations, or at least that is what I have been told. They are
common in the area of Abbeville County SC.


== 4 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Jun 21 2008 8:45 am
From: Ren

Georgia Pacific, Weyhouser, Westvaco, Simpson and Plum Creek among
many others all are offering REIT investments in planted forests all
over the US and Canada. Not to say that wild tracts are not still
being cut,but they're fewer and fewer and most of these are either
small private tracts, National Forest or BLM tracts. The majority of
logging in the US is now 2-4th generation stock and is pretty low
quality small 10-20" DBH. When I was starting out I cut White Oak and
Ash in Va. that was 48'-60", now except for a rare tract the big.trees
are gone.


== 5 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Jun 21 2008 9:29 am
From: Ren

In Va. Buckinham County, Campbell County, Northumberland County,
Taswell County Sussex County Bedford County, Amherst County and many
Va. and Wva. counties all have tracts of thouands of acres of tree
planatation type forest and while usually mono-culture have a benafit
to the land far more so than pavement and subdivisions.

== 6 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Jun 21 2008 12:20 pm

I wonder what the bulldozers will be running on then...

== 7 of 7 ==
Date: Sat, Jun 21 2008 3:01 pm
From: Ren

Good point!!! I'd guess that like many business big equipment fuel
users we'll still be running on diesel as with the switch of autos to
electric and hydrogen that will leave a surplus , abet pricey, of oil
for diesel users. Business uses can always be paid for as part of the
job costs. I fully expect $10.00 per gal within a few years. That said
one gal of diesel gets a lot of work done so can be justified. Ren

== 2 of 4 ==
Date: Sun, Jun 22 2008 5:02 pm
From: the Forestmeister

The timber markets will recover, eventually. With ever more people and
ever less forest land, the value of forests products must go up.

One solution to the increased costs of harvesting will be to grow far
more valuable trees!


== 3 of 4 ==
Date: Sun, Jun 22 2008 5:04 pm
From: the Forestmeister

That booming housing market was good for working class America- but
you're right that we can't keep paving over farms and forests. But we
need a thriving construction industry to rebuild the country- but
rebuilt on already built up by wasted landscapes of dying shopping
centers and other urban blight- to reconstruct the infrastructure of
the country to be far more energy efficient.


== 4 of 4 ==
Date: Sun, Jun 22 2008 6:33 pm
From: Carolyn Summers

That reminds me of a funny story. After Bush "won" in 2000, my brother
admitted to me (in sorrow) that he voted for the libertarian candidate
instead of Al Gore. He apologized for being na´ve enough to think you could
safely vote for the candidate of your choice (expecting the rest of us to
carry on and vote for the "safe" candidate Gore, I guess). So I asked him
whether he had actually read the libertarian platform, which among other
things, seeks to abolish the EPA. Of course he hadn't. I knew he relied on
an EPA website that gave air quality results for US communities when he was
looking to relocate; his son is asthmatic. He agreed that abolishing the
EPA would not be a good thing (even though it's been worse than useless
under Bush). Perhaps you share my brother's quandary.
Carolyn Summers