- Associated Press - Saturday, December 24, 2016

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Some northern Wisconsin loggers are delaying timber harvests in the hopes the market will improve, creating uncertainty for counties that aren’t paid for sale contracts until the wood is harvested.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports (https://bit.ly/2hb24oP ) that prices for timber products have dropped over the past eight months. Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association Executive Director Henry Schienebeck said an oversupply of raw material on the market is leading some to consider their options.

“The guys are still able to produce the wood,” Schienebeck said. “Now, they’re trying to adjust their production levels to what the mill requirements are right now.”

Forrest Gibeault, an analyst with the forestry consulting firm Steigerwaldt Land Services in Tomahawk, said larger mills don’t have as much need for wood since they have full inventories.

Delaying harvests has increased uncertainty for northern Wisconsin counties that aren’t paid for timber sale contracts until the wood is harvested.

The number of contracts that haven’t yet been harvested has increased by about one-third in the last decade in Douglas County, said Jon Harris, the county’s director of forestry and natural resources.

Some sawmill owners say they need the surplus of wood to help drive prices down on the material they buy from loggers.

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Information from: Wisconsin Public Radio, https://www.wpr.org


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