2012 Forest Products by State Table

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Thanks to the folks at the Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory for this table! This shows that Georgia is the top timber-producing state in 2012 based on MCF of all products. But many things of interest are in here. Here is a link to the table. timber table

I was curious about the assertion that Oregon was the top timber-producing state.

19 thoughts on “2012 Forest Products by State Table”

  1. Montana, Idaho and Wyoming, among others appear to be missing, which does not make any sense as they all had at least some harvest in 2012. Montana harvest was roughly 350 MMBF. Idaho would have been around 1 billion board feet. That’s all in Scribner, of course, not international 1/4 inch rule. Sharon, could you post the webpage where you go this report?

    • Chelsea, we’ve had an offer to walk you through how to access the database.. if you email me and I will give you the details. That is assuming that you haven’t already figured it out.

    • Chelsea…here’s something you might be interested in. It was my epiphany. Maybe you’re aware of it. It’s the Northern Region “acres harvested by cutting method” table. The Northern Region has kept track of how many acres were logged, for every year, on every forest, by what silviculture method (including wildfires),back to 1945 (2012 was just added). The NR is the only region I know of that has it listed on it’s website. ALL regions should have this table on their website. I’ll give you a link…but here’s how to step your way through the website to find it.

      Go to Northern Region home page. Click on (>) land and resource management (left hand column), then click on (>) “land resources”>timber sale summary reports > “acres harvested by cutting method.”
      Here’s the link directly to the table:


      Must warn you…some members of the blogging audience may get depressed.

      • Derek, I couldn’t find the definitions.. I understand “clearcut” but “fire” not so much. Does anyone on forests have any ideas as to the reality of these figures?

  2. For what it’s worth, the table includes information from only 14 of the 50 states. Also, of the 14 states listed Oregon produces the most saw logs (by far) and of the 14 states listed, Oregon is #2 in total behind Georgia, which is #1 largely because of all the pulpwood. As an aside, I often hear people refer to “timber” and “saw logs” interchangeably, so honestly claiming that Oregon is the top timber-producing state isn’t really incorrect, depending on what’s meant by “timber.”

  3. Hmm. OK, so to be clear, from now on we can talk about the “sawlog” industry just to be clear, as many folks have grown up with the “timber industry” being whatever products, lumber, manufactured board, chips and pulps for various purposes.

    It’s funny because just my mental image of “sawlog” would be a 50-200 employee, locally owned mill. No more intimidating than the microbrew industry, and with fewer environmental impacts than the education industry…;)

  4. Meanwhile…I thought I’d share with you the first half of FY 2013 results for timber sold by the FS.

    In the last six months, the Northern region sold a “grand” total of 15.5 MMBF…52% of it firewood. But in a stunning reversal from previous reports…40% was “sawtimber”…while only 10% was “non-saw.” Out of the 6.3 MMBF of sawtimber…4.5 came from the Bitteroot. Pathetic. Four forests sold NO commercial timber…and four sold less than 1 MMBF.

    Meanwhile the FS in Colorado sold 32 MMBF…only 10% of it firewood…and 85% was sawtimber. For a state that has two major sawmills (no offense to the little guys), one of them in Saratoga Wyoming, while Montana has 7 mills of comparable size.

    Could someone get a hold of the Regional forester for the Northern Region and get her to come on this blog and “explain the why” of the pathetic performance on the Northern Region. Of course, maybe she can’t comment because she can’t comment on “current litigation.” Last I heard, there were 11 lawsuits currently on the Northern REgion…could she at least disclose to the people how many board feet is currently tied up in litigation? They have disclosed this in the past.Transparency my a**.

    What’s also disgusting…is this is a job of the vaunted media…and the Montana Media doesn’t even know how much was cut. Doesn’t anyone from the timber industry issue press releases anymore? Ahhh…the invisible truths those who fancy themselves intelectuals choose to ignore. The GAO needs to step in and investigate the whole Northern Region situation.

    For a little perspective…If I was a radical enviro…I would be feeling pretty good about myself knowing the Northern REgion is being managed exactly as I would like it.Everything is going according to your plan.

    • Derek: If a Regional Forester comes on this blog, they would probably want/have to use a pseudonym. Too bad — it would be an ideal way to both demonstrate and profit from meaningful public outreach and insightful (and totally well intended) public discussion.

      Your numbers are both “stunning” (as you say) and disturbing. So have been the reactions of our Congressional “leaders” to these obvious problems during the past 20 years.

    • Derek, it is possible to generate different kinds of numbers. For example, when we were working on Colorado Roadless and trying to show RACNAC (the FACA committee) the differences between Colorado and Idaho, we were able to generate this chart.

      Conceivably, that could be (is currently?) done for every state. Note that this was for 2005 so wouldn’t match what you came up with..
      <a href="Colorado Sawtimber and Post and Pole Producers Who Purchase National Forest Timber“>
      Here’s the link.

      Yes, my informational organizational capabilities are impaired, but being able to search text and files is a real asset for folks like me..

      • Sharon, I really like the chart you put together for the RACNAC, and it relates to a comment I just made about the People’s Database, where I suggest that the Forest Service should make more of their timber sale and stewardship contract data available to the public, namely how much is being cut, who is buying it, who is processing it and how much firms are paying for it. As it stands, it is hard information to come by–or at least labor intensive.

        One piece of information that I think is missing from the chart is the percentage of capacity being utilized by each mill or firm on the list. If Mill/Firm X is only operating at 50% capacity and 25% of their inputs were from federal lands, doesn’t that tell us that if they could get more federal timber they could operate more days/more shifts and employ more people?

        • That’s what I forgot to include! Timber sale bid results. Thanks Chelsea! The state of Montana and Idaho have these posted. Along with “Avgerage Dbh, species, MBF/acre removed,skyline or tractor.”It may be handy for an “apples to apples” study of state vs. federal. Hey…if the states can do it, why not the feds.

          I think the regions…should also keep a “running balance” of “board feet in litigation.” Especially the Northern of course. Most others need not bother.

          Now here’s a couple “wish list” items. Another handy stat…would be “time in litigation” for individual projects. I’ve often wondered…what is the average time that it takes a Judge molloy to rule on a case. How long does it sit on his docket before he gets to it. All they would have to list is ” Decision date…date when lawsuit filed…and date when lawsuit decided…or date when project withdrawn. It might be nice to know if any timber was sold during the lawsuit…and the amount of damages paid to purchaser if USFS defaults. Like I say…just a wish list. I don’t know if the USFS really needs to compile that…someone with time could research it easily enough on a few shosen cases.

  5. You got me to thinkin Sharon.In Colorado…during the “pre-mountain pine beetle epidemic”…for the five years 2001-2006, the USFS “sold” only an average of 35 MMBF per year. During the “MPB epidemic hits the radar screen period”, 2006-2010…they sold an average of 100 MMBF per year. last year they sold 105 MMBF. SO….in summary…”the USFS in Colorado has almost tripled timber harvest in the last 10 years. Litigated VS. non-litigated.

    Yes…I contend that Montana could double timber harvest, whithin their existing budget, if their level of EIS analysis was that of Colorado. Of course…Colorado had a big increase in funding…but how much of that went to “paying” the logger to remove trees and how much went to increased planning? I heard awhile back…that it IS possible…to get a close estimate of EIS(and it’s lowely brother, the EA) costs on individual forests. Not an hour by hour timecard record…but it would seem the forests do “program manhours to projects.” Multiply that by “cost to government” of the individual employees…and you have it. But who has the time….the GAO has the time…or the SAF.

    Oh…just another tidbit that no one really cares about. Two forests in Wyoming, which also hasn’t been litigated for a decade, sold more timber in the first 6 months of FY 2013 than ALL of Montana…even though they are 200 miles from the nearest mill.The Shoshone and Bighorn. Guess who the purchasers are…the mills in Montana. A mill owner told me that it’s not unusual for them to haul logs 350 miles…one way.Oh…and I read the “shortest EA” ever, on one of the Wyoming forests. It “regenerate logs” 1000 acres…and the EA was 28 pages!

    I know of what you say Bob. I understand now the whole “cone of silence” thing Sharon speaks of. If the non-existent “media” wing(the what wing?) of this blog would ask…perhaps they would tell. I wonder if a FOIA request would do it…but who gets it to the people…and why should it come from us.

    I also don’t mean to disparage the USFS employees of the “Northern REgion.” Their hands are tied. They’re victims and not villains in all this. I think Colorado demonstrates they can be pretty damn effecient when “unfettered by the fringe”(hey-I’m gonna write that on a post it).
    Well…I got a story to write this afternoon. I’m gonna trash Carole King in an “enviro hipocricy” story. The editor loves those. Last summer she was photographed smiling with a bunch of firefighters on a fire near her McMansion in Idaho, when two years ago she was photographed smiling while handing an oversized novelty check to Garrity of the AWR that has litigated what…8 Healthy forest WUI thinning projects that would make the firefighters job safer. Oh…but thats right…those WUI thinnings actually endanger the firefighters lives. And love is hate, war is peace, ect. ect. ect.

    • Derek.. you are “outing” my (former) homies ;)! When I would look at fuels treatments in the Shoshone corridor, I would wonder how the mill owners could possibly afford to pay the fuel costs to get the logs to Montana..but at least they were going somewhere instead of being burned in piles.

      You have given us a lot of food for thought. Many of these numbers would be easy to get, but I think we need to organize to ask. I don’t think FOIAs work unless the info is already available and right now this info is not.


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