Drought conditions put brakes on summer season logging

Statewide drought conditions have an impact on businesses across Washington, including forestry. In the long term, water is a critical component in forest growth at the heart of sustainable forestry. In the short-term, water-starved landscapes prompt cautious restrictions on logging.

From the Everett Herald:

The hot, dry days of late summer came early this year, said Lisa Perry, community relations manager for Sierra Pacific Industries. The California-based timber company owns and manages about 250,000 acres of forest, including land in north Snohomish County.

“In June and July, we saw August conditions,” which meant less logging than in a typical year, she said. “You’re working either fewer hours or no hours during the day.” …

The drought also means trees won’t grow as much this year. It likely will have a tiny economic effect for loggers, but it is significant enough that it will be factored into the company’s modeling programs, Perry said.

The lack of water is quickly evident from a drive along I-5, said Cindy Mitchell, a spokeswoman with the Washington Forest Protection Association, which advocates for sustainable logging.

Wildfires also are curtailing logging around the state.

“Water and fire are the basic” factors affecting the industry, she said. “Fire is an immediate effect, water is more long term.”

Read more in the full article at the Everett Herald >>