Louisiana’s Timber Losses from Last Year’s Hurricanes Amount to $1.5 billion

According to LSU AgCenter’s forestry experts, the Louisiana’s forestry industries losses from hurricanes last year — $1.5 billion — was double the amount of the revenue the industry generates yearly. Michael Blazier, LSU AgCenter forestry specialist, said the damage would be more if lost revenue, infrastructure damage, and lost production during the storms are taken into consideration. Blazier went onto say that Hurricane Laura’s August 27 hit inflicted damage to 800,000 acres of timber in 22 parishes, with the worst in Vernon Parish. The resulting loss in saw timber, about 3 million board feet, could have supplied 25 sawmills for a year, he said. The AgCenter previously estimated damage from Laura at $1.1 billion. In commenting about the harvesting of downed tree, Dave Cupp, of Walsh Timber Company said, harvesting downed trees is a slow, dangerous job. Most of the industry has moved to mechanization. “You just don’t see anybody on the ground anymore,” he added. Cupp noted that downed saw timber is good for only about four to six weeks, and downed trees that could be used for lumber are salvageable for three to four months. “Whatever has occurred now is probably going to be it. It’s too old now.” Cupp went onto say that the fallen timber has numerous quality issues, and much of it has been rejected by mills.

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Original Source:
Louisiana saw timber lost to Hurricane Laura was enough to supply 25 sawmills for a year, expert says