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Richard Standiford, University of California, Berkeley, standifo@berkeley.edu (Presenter)

 

The North Coast is California’s largest timber harvesting area. Harvest in this area, stretching from Sonoma to Del Norte Counties, ranged from 1.4 billion board feet in 1978 to 160 million board feet in 2009. This represents approximately 30 percent of the state’s timber harvest. Old growth percent has decreased from 70 percent in the mid-1970’s to virtually none today. Real prices for young growth redwood and Douglas-fir in the North Coast showed an increasing trend from 1978 to 2002. Annual real price increases during this period averaged 5.3 percent for redwood, and 4.1 percent for Douglas-fir. Since 2002, prices have been flat for redwood young growth stumpage, and have declined by 3.1 percent for Douglas-fir. There has been a tremendous annual price fluctuations throughout this period, reflecting volatility and uncertainty for landowners. Changes from year to year varied from -40 percent, to +74 percent. The unique niche for redwood products and high consumer acceptance is expected to continue, and show greater strength than other species in the region. Douglas-fir prices are more of a commodity, tied in closely with pine and Douglas-fir from other regions, reflecting the strength of the housing market. This information will be useful in modeling anticipated trends of redwood and Douglas-fir stumpage prices.