DNR: County timber revenue on track to 10-year average
October 3, 2019
Wahkiakum County should receive $1.5 million this year from the harvest of timber from state managed timberlands, Department of Natural Resources foresters reported Tuesday.
County officials rely on the revenue from timber trust harvests to support general courthouse offices. For a 10-year average, the county has received $1.44 million per year, said DNR representatives Padraic Callahan and Steven Ogden.
In 2020, the county should receive another $1 million from a timber sale going to bid this November, and in 2020, another sale should produce approximately $1 million.
"These are conservative estimates based on current market conditions," Callahan said. "We have seen some uptick in fir and hemlock which is what these sales contain."
The Peace Mill Sorts sales, which is producing this year's revenue, was estimated at $1.3 million and produced $1.5 million.
The agency is auctioning the sales in late fall. In the past, sales were offered in late winter or spring, but the agency has advanced the schedule to draw buyers' interest before they fill out their schedules.
"We're really appreciative that you've done that," said commission Chair Dan Cothren. "The mills are packed [with logs] now, but it's controlled by investment firms, and if they need money, they'll put it up for sale."
Callahan said the DNR regional staff will take a real hard look at sales to see that they're putting up sales that will meet county revenue expectations.
Ogden commented that the coming completion of the agency's long term conservation strategy for managing habitat for endangered marbled murrelets will aid the regional foresters.
"It's been in the works for 20-22 years," he said. The plan will bring stability to the management parameters and allow the foresters to plan sales with confidence.