Oregon’s timber harvest reached 3.75 billion board feet in 2012, continuing a recovery from the crash of the housing market and the depths of the recession. In 2009, loggers cut 2.75 billion board feet, but the harvest has increased each year since.
The increased harvest has been driven by a strong export market and a slight improvement in housing starts, according to a report by the Oregon Department of Forestry. Timber from state and federal forests cannot be exported, but tribal and other privately-held timber can be shipped overseas.
Harvests from Native American-owned forests increased 21 percent in 2012, reaching a total of 63 million board feet. The harvest on “industrial” forests — land owned by large timber companies — increased 4 percent to 2.56 billion board feet. Owners of smaller family forest tracts cut 318 million board feet in 2012, more than a 14 percent increase over 2011.
Private and tribal harvests accounted for approximately 78 percent of the timber harvest in Oregon in 2012 despite making up only 37 percent of Oregon’s timberland. About 60 percent of Oregon’s 30 million acres of forest is owned by the federal government. Harvests on U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and state and county lands declined or remained about the same in 2012.