In an article by Andrew Creasey, reporter for Herald and News in Oregon, he inadvertently lays out a future blueprint guiding the business of Forestry. He also points to declining forest harvests and continued budget cuts further exacerbating this ongoing conflict between commercial land managers and environmentalists.
In Oregon where commercial logging is a big part of the state’s economy, they’ve witnessed dramatic declines in harvests. “In 1986, the total timber harvest in Oregon was 8.7 million board feet. By 2010, that figure had dropped to 3.2 million board feet.”
Creasey maintains the primary reason for these declines is the ever increasing cost of doing business. He further points to litigation or threat of litigation as one of the more significant factors. That said, environmentalists by their advocacy do provide the checks and balances that ultimately protect all our natural resources. However, the costs associated with compromise does make it difficult for small independent contractors to compete.
“Land management agencies are also required by the National Environmental Policy Act to conduct environmental modeling studies and impact studies prior to a proposed sale, a sometimes costly process that can amount to 60 or 70 percent of the total cost of a timber sale,” said Kevin Birch, director of forest resources planning at the Oregon Department of Forestry.” This of course puts a premium on quality data sets.
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Both public and private land management agencies strive to produce reliable, precise forest data. Forest Managers now demand highly accurate as well as current data sets for tree inventory, timber cruising, tree heights, engineering/surveys, as well as mill operations.
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Read the article from Herald and News.