Wahkiakum County's revenue from the harvest of time off state managed trust timberland will be better than anticipated this year, representatives of the state Department of Natural Resources reported Tuesday.
The agency originally estimated the county's revenue off the Hayduke Sale on Bradley Mountain would generate $1.1 million for 2012.
However, as the sale nears completion, the total will be closer to $1.375 million, said DNR District Manager Steve Ogden.
Ogden attributed the increase to the DNR's new process for handling sales. The agency acted as the general contractor and hired subcontractors to do the cutting, yarding and hauling. It also used different mills for different sorts of wood. Normally, the agency awards a bid to a contractor who handles all the work and marketing of logs and pays either a percentage or a lump sum to the agency.
For 2013, the agency has prepared a similar sail, Practice Burn, which is on land adjacent to the Hayduke site. That sale is expected to generate $1.26 million.
County officials say they need $1.2 million in timber revenue to maintain the current level of service in county government.
For 2014, the agency has two sales planned that should generate around $1.27 million, Ogden said.
Commission Chair Dan Cothren commented that the agency needs to be able to harvest some of the timber in the Skamokawa block. This is an area that has been withheld from harvest since 1999 because it has large trees that qualify as nesting habitat for marbled murrelets, an endangered species.
The DNR had announced a plan for selective cutting in the block under conditions of a habitat conservation plan, but a consortium of environmental groups have sued to stop the logging.
The county has joined the DNR in litigating the suit.
"We need to get into Middle Valley," Cothren said.