Impacts of 2020 Hurricanes Still Being Felt by Louisiana Timber Industry

The Louisiana timber industry continues to deal with aftermath of the 2020 hurricane season. According to, LSU AgCenter forestry specialist Robbie Hutchins, overall, state and federal estimates have determined the 2020 storms affected 920,000 acres in Louisiana, causing losses totaling $1.4 billion. And the window for salvaging downed timber is narrowing as the trees start to deteriorate. “For a lot of it, the shelf life is diminishing now,” Hutchins said. Pointing out that one of the problems is that harvesting timber is completely mechanized, and skid steer tractors with large cutting blades have replaced chainsaws. The machinery is designed to cut standing timber, not trees that are on the ground. When looking at the long-term implications, Hutchins said landowners now must decide if they are willing to invest in reforestation. Many did that after Hurricane Rita, and now their investment has been hurt by the 2020 storms.

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Tropical weather snaps Louisiana timber industry