“Moisture means money”

While years of salvage-logging here in B.C. now find us somewhere past the peak of accessible beetle-killed wood, to the south, the effects of last year’s terrible drought and wildfires in East Texas have ignited yet another race to harvest before it’s too late. “East Texas, a 41-county region stretching from Red River County to the Gulf Coast, with 12.1 million acres of forestland, contributes more than two-thirds of the statewide industry’s production.”

Timber losses from wildfires alone in East Texas would have produced “enough lumber to build a 6-foot-tall privacy fence around the world 1.5 times.”  Drought losses, an “unfinished tally” are estimated at 500 million trees. Meanwhile, burned or drought-stricken trees are flooding the market, driving prices lower. “They’re trying to get something for their trees, and it’s flooded the mills,” District Forester Hays said. “It’s supply and demand, and right now with the building start numbers like they are, it’s hurting everybody.”

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