According to the Department of Forestry, the statewide timber harvest rose to 4.2 billion board feet, making four consecutive years of gains. The majority of that increase is on private, industrial lands, where yield rose 61%.
Experts say the growth is due to a strong export market and recovering local housing market, leading more landowners to sell their land for logging.
“When the export market took off last year to two years, a lot of the private timberland, industrial owners took advantage of that market,” said Dave Schott, President of the Southern Oregon Timber Industry Association.
Schott says the growth in harvest is good, but gains on federal lands were meager. He also says harvest on federal lands still falls way below annual forest growth.