By Steve Bowers, OSU Extension – Timber Harvesting Specialist
Well, look whose back: the Lane County forestry agent. But this one is a new, improved version of the former occupant. Things are looking up: a thinly veiled, pusillanimous effort at some sort of transition into log prices.
We’re glad you ask. The past couple years we’ve seen a substantial volatility in the log market. Why, you ask? Our guess is regional mills listen to the economists (1st mistake), drive-up prices in anticipation of a more robust building season (2nd mistake) only to be left with too much lumber manufactured from logs they paid too much money (3rd mistake).
The ramifications for woodland owners is to see that seasonal spike coming earlier in the year, followed by declining values with the progression of summer. And every year you hear about fire season and prices might rise due to logging restrictions. Occasionally, this can result in a leveling-off of values, or possibly a very slight increase. But in all the years we’ve been logging and working for extension, a person can count “shut-downs” on one hand.