When Martin Jurvasky, Senior VP Corporate Development and Strategy at Interfor, addressed a packed audience at the North American Wholesale Lumber Association Regional Meeting in Vancouver last week, he touched on the company’s expansion in Georgia. Who knew the state of Georgia has more timberland available for commercial use than any other state in the nation? Jurvasky noted that unlike the BC Interior, timber supply in the Southeastern U.S. has grown in recent years. “Who owns the trees?” asked Jurvasky during his presentation.
The Georgia Forestry Commission tells us here that of Georgia’s 37 million acres of land area, 24.8 million acres is forest land. Of this 24.8 million acres, 24.4 million acres is available for commercial use. “More than 92% of Georgia’s forests are privately owned and Georgia boasts more private acres of forest land than any other state in the nation. Georgia’s forests are about half hardwood and half pine.”
Chris McIver, VP Lumber Sales and Corporate Development at West Fraser, confirmed recently at the COFI Conference in Kelowna that Canadian sawmill expansion in the Southeastern U.S. is known there as the “Canadian Invasion”.
“Interfor, which is headquartered in Vancouver, Canada, has grown its total lumber production capacity to 2.6 billion board feet, making it one of the top five lumber producers in North America. With 880 million board feet in Georgia, Interfor is the state’s largest lumber producer.”