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Charles E. Keegan, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, charles.keegan@business.umt.edu (Presenter)
Colin Sorenson, The University of Montana Bureau of Business and Economic Research, colin.sorenson@business.umt.edu
Jean Daniels, USDA Forest Service, jdaniels@fs.fed.us
Charles Gale, Bureau of Business and Economic Research, charles.gale@business.umt.edu

 

Researchers from the University of Montana, Bureau of Business and Economic Research (BBER) and the USDA, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station (PNW) examined changes in milling capacity overtime in Oregon, and 2008 - 2010 capability of the timber processing industry to efficiently utilize timber of various sizes. The authors also estimated the size of timber actually processed in Oregon. With the 2007-2009 recession and continuing weakness in U.S. housing markets, capacity to process timber in Oregon dropped from 1.2 billion board feet, Scribner in 2006 to just over a billion cubic feet in 2010. Capacity utilization fell from approximately 85 percent in the 2005 to an estimated 57 percent in 2010. Oregon’s industry is dominated by mills requiring timber >10 inches DBH, with over 80 percent of timber-processing capacity not able to operate efficiently on trees <10 inches DBH in “moderately” good markets. Twenty-two percent of the state’s remaining capacity is able to process trees over 40 inches DBH with 7 percent of that capacity being able to process trees with a maximum diameter of 60 inches DBH or greater.