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DNR Forecast Summary

Lumber and Log Prices: Log prices are expected to increase throughout FY 16 to average as much as six percent more than FY 15.

Timber Sales Volume.  

As of the November forecast, the timber sales plan suggested that 500 mmbf was a realistic base estimate for DNR’s FY 16 sales volume.  However, there were a number of fires on trust lands during the record 2015 fire season; in order to recover some of the value from these lands and hasten recovery, many have been prepared as fire salvage sales.  Given the large volume of sales coming forward in the last five months of this fiscal year, DNR expects that some of the salvage and greenwood volume may not sell. With no-bids taken into account, the overall sales volume forecast is increased from 500 mmbf to 515 mmbf, and it is heavier to salvage sales than the November forecast.

Given current timber sales plans (and absent a new sustainable harvest calculation) sales volumes are still pegged at 500 mmbf in FY 17 and beyond.

Timber Sales Prices.  

Stumpage price expectations for FY 16 have lowered from $340/mbf to $310/mbf.  This is primarily due to the large volume of fire salvage sales, which are appraised much lower. Additionally, stumpage prices have been weaker than expected for sales thus far in FY 16, held back by the same issues plaguing lumber prices.

$4 Million Awarded in Federal Forest Restoration Funding

The Blue Mountain Eagle reported that an Oregon collaborative that includes both timber industry professionals and environmentalists, in partnership with the Harney County Restoration Collaborative, learned it will receive the maximum $4 million Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration grant this year.

The collaborative coalition works to implement restoration projects on the Malheur National Forest. Projects include prescribed burning, stream restoration, pre-commercial thinning, fencing, and other wildlife, vegetation, hydrology, and range projects.

Alternatives Proposed for Forest Plan

The U.S. Forest Service is crafting two alternatives for its revised Blue Mountains Forest Plan, based on one year’s worth of feedback from the public, reported George Plaven of the East Oregonian.

It’s not clear what these alternatives will entail, but supervisors on the Umatilla, Wallowa-Whitman, and Malheur national forests say these alternatives will emphasize restoration in order to keep the woods healthy and lower the risk of potentially devastating wildfires.

Tom Montoya, Wallowa-Whitman forest supervisor, said a recurring theme in those meetings was to adopt a more “hands-on” approach to land management that would make the forests safer and more resilient and productive.

Thousands of Seedlings Planted in Butte Fire Burn

The Mountain Ranch Fire Relief Fund committee approved a $1,763.12 grant to buy seedlings for California’s Butte Fire victims to plant in the fire’s footprint.

There will be four types of conifer tree seedlings purchased—ponderosa pines, sugar pines, Douglas fir, and incense cedar.

The grant also allows for the addition of about 3,000 seedlings, and

Mona Baroody, president of the Hive: A Butte Fire Recovery Center, said that prior to the grant, Sierra Pacific Industries had already donated 4,500 ponderosa pine seedlings.

Baroody does not know yet how many seedlings will be allocated per survivor, but those who have access to water and will commit to their land for a minimum of two years will qualify to receive seedlings.

Bat with White-nose Syndrome Confirmed in Washington State

White-nose syndrome (WNS) has been confirmed in a little brown bat (Myotis lucifugus) found near North Bend. This is the first recorded occurrence of the devastating bat disease in western North America. The presence of this disease was verified by the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center.

WNS has spread quickly among bats in other affected areas, killing more than six million beneficial insect-eating bats in North America since it was first documented nearly a decade ago.

WNS is not known to pose a threat to humans, pets, livestock, or other wildlife.

First seen in North America in the winter of 2006/2007 in eastern New York, WNS has now spread to 28 states and five Canadian provinces. USGS microbiologist David Blehert first identified the unknown fungus, Pseudogymnoascus destructans, which causes the disease. WNS is named for the fuzzy white fungal growth that is sometimes observed on the muzzles of infected bats. The fungus invades hibernating bats’ skin and causes damage, especially to delicate wing tissue, and physiologic imbalances that can lead to disturbed hibernation, depleted fat reserves, dehydration, and death.

TimberWest November/December 2013

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