From today’s Missoulian:
Montana lumber mills are bracing for an expected suspension of timber contracts on national forest lands Monday as part of the growing impacts from the federal government shutdown.
A Washington, D.C.-based agency spokesman confirmed Friday the agency plans to send out notifications that logging operations will be required to cease.
“Due to the federal funding lapse, early next week the U.S. Forest Service must notify 450 timber purchasers across the country that timber sales and stewardship contracts will be suspended,” said Forest Service communications director Leo Kay.
The agency plans to work with individual timber purchasers to suspend work in an orderly manner, he said.
“We regret the continued impact to the American public,” Kay said. “However, we must cease activities that require Forest Service oversight and management during the funding lapse.”
Kay said he was not able to provide details on how the suspension will occur, but several representatives from Montana mills said it appeared the agency would give loggers seven days to finish whatever work they could.
At this time of year, Montana mills are feverishly stockpiling enough logs to keep their operations running though the winter months and spring breakup.
Read the entire article here.