PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — State officials say log exports helped boost Oregon's timber harvest to increase for the second year in a row.
The Oregon Department of Forestry reported that the 2011 harvest of 3.65 billion board feet was up 13 percent from 2010. The increase in 2011 represented a 32 percent jump from 2009, when harvest was at a low following the housing market collapse.
Oregon Department of Forestry's principal forest economist Brandon Kaetzel says the increase is being driven by exports to Asia, especially China. He says the U.S. housing market is slowly recovering.
Even with these increases, 2011 federal timber harvests are only 10 percent of the 25-year high in 1988, when 4.93 billion board feet was harvested.
Approximately 49 percent, or 30.2 million acres, of Oregon is forested.