Despite the drop, the state found several encouraging pieces in the latest timber report. Sam Beebe | Ecotrust
Oregon’s timber harvest fell by 8 percent in 2015, dipping below 4 billion board feet for the first time since 2012.
The Department of Forestry attributed the decline to a range of factors, but mostly to a drop in exports to Asia, where a slowing economy in China is reducing demand for Oregon logs.
Despite the overall decline to 3.79 billion board feet, there were segments in the state that saw increases, including on United States Forest Service lands on the east side of the Cascades. That harvest was up 14 percent, marking a second consecutive year of growth, which ODF credited to stewardship contract work.
Under an innovative 10-year contract awarded in 2013, restoration work on the Malheur National Forest is structured to provide a steady stream of timber for local processing.