Updated: DNR: County could receive $1.8 million
October 13, 2022
As Wahkiakum County officials head into development of 2023 budgets, they received Tuesday a fairly good report of probable revenue from harvest of timber off state managed trust timberland.
The trust timber revenue supports most courthouse departments. Revenue in 2022 should be about $1.7 million, and in 2023, the county could receive as much as $1.8 million, Department of Natural Resources District Manager Padraic Callahan reported at the weekly meeting of the county board of commissioners. Timing of small sales could increase or decrease these totals.
[Commission Clerk Beth Johnson has provided more precise numbers to clarify this report:
["The regular sale for 2023 is expected to be $1,291,720 in revenue to the county.
["The regular sale for 2024 is expected to be $1,518,750 in revenue to the county.
["The harvests for the next few years are a bit confusing because there are the two smaller sales that could be harvested in either year." --ed.]
Potential revenue for 2023 should be close to $1.5 million, he said. Changes in loggers' harvest plans could boost the estimates, perhaps even to $2.5 million in 2024, depending on timing of small sales.
The timber market is softening a bit, Callahan said, but department economists expect it to strengthen in 2024.
"There's not enough houses out there," he said.
Commissioner Dan Cothren raised the issue of the DNR's plan to set aside timber for marketing carbon credits and wondered how that might affect county trusts.
In response DNR Assistant Regional Manager Steve Ogden said it is unlikely that Wahkiakum County trust timber will be involved.
The agency will publicize its initial plans later this week, he said. Overall, 10,000 acres of DNR managed timber will be involved.
"What I will say is that there are little to zero candidate stands in Wahkiakum County," Ogden said. "A lot of the stuff that would be candidate is already tied up."
The agency is hunting for timberland that is for sale in the real estate market to add to county timber trusts, a program long championed by Cothren.
"We have a number of potential properties," Ogden said. "I don't know how far it will go."
Cothren and fellow Commissioner Lee Tischer have made suggestions of potential properties in the county.
"They go fast," Tischer commented.
County department heads have submitted budget requests for 2023. The auditor's office is processing them, and commissioners will review them with department heads starting October 25.