Clean | Green | Sustainable

Lumber Demand Drops 55%…So Some Call for More Public Lands Logging?

Posted by Matthew Koehler on October 29, 2009

A few days ago, the Missoulian ran an article titled, “Battered and Boarded: Recession rattles timber industry to its core.”

Here are some quick snips from that article:

“The Western Wood Products Association estimates that 45 percent of all lumber goes to new home construction. But new home starts have been more than halved since reaching a high of more than 2 million in 2005. Since that year, the nation’s demand for lumber has dropped 55 percent, the steepest decline in industry history.”

“National demand for lumber, which pegged 64.3 billion board feet in 2005, is predicted to fall below 30 billion board feet this year, with the amount of lumber used to build new homes dropping from 28 billion board feet to about 5 billion board feet. Making matters worse is the fact that log prices have not fallen at the same rate, meaning mills are paying more for raw materials while selling product for less.”

It’s interesting to note that all the economic reality contained in this article has been systematically ignored by Senator Jon Tester, his staff and those three or four conservation groups who actually support Tester’s Mandated Logging Bill. For more info on Tester’s Logging Bill, check out these links herehere here and here.

Just imagine, after decades and decades of over-consumption and over-development (which have caused a host of environmental and social problems in our country) we’ve come to a point in the public lands forest/wilderness movement where groups such as Montana Wilderness Association, National Wildlife Federation and Montana Trout Unlimited are actually looking to use their political connections to mandate more logging on public lands, despite the steepest decline in demand for lumber in our nation’s history.

With demand for lumber, excess packaging and disposable paper products (thankfully) in such a steep decline (and not expected to rebound anytime soon) wouldn’t sensible conservationists and progressives, if anything, advocate for less public lands logging at this very important point in our nation’s history?

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One Response to “Lumber Demand Drops 55%…So Some Call for More Public Lands Logging?”

  1. […] Lumber Demand Drops 55%…So Some Call for More Public Lands Logging? […]

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