It's been awful quiet around here lately.
Yeah, too quiet. Something must be up.
And, it is. Starting last month, I took on a new role with our College related to implementing our recently completed strategic plan. In this, I will take my work and experience related to natural resource policy analysis and program evaluation and apply it to moving the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences forward. [see this link for more]
Loggers and logging businesses play key roles in sustaining both Wisconsin’s forests and the wood-using industries that depend on them. Our intent in this summary isn’t to provide a detailed a analysis of the results we’ve posted, as we plan to do that in a separate print publication. However, we would make the following four observations that seem evident in our findings.
After accounting for bad addresses, non-loggers, etc., response rates for both studies were high. The 2003 and 2010 surveys yielded response rates of 59% and 63%, respectively. Of note, the 2003 response rate was for the entire survey, which included both Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
In the 2010 survey, we were particularly interested in loggers’ views of the potential of woody biomass and bioenergy to reshape the logging sector. Our data show that woody biomass for pellets or bioenergy constituted about 2% of overall 2010 volume harvested using mechanized harvest systems that use feller-bunchers and/or harvesters, while less than 0.5% of the volume harvested by those using chainsaws.
At the last Council on Forestry meeting (14 May), the Council finalized its recommendations for the Legislature to consider in revising the Managed Forest Law. For those familiar with recent efforts to change, update, re-envision, etc. the MFL, you'll find ideas both old and new.There are 24 specific recommendations for the Legislature and others to ponder: Degree of traction is unclear, but I would expect hearings and committee action at the least. The full report is available as a pdf at the link below.
As I mentioned a while back, I am a frequent visitor of The Wheeler Report, a Wisconsin political news aggregator. However, for economic and business news with a green tint, I subscribe to Ken Harwood's Wisconsin Development GREEN News.
Wisconsin’s logging businesses produce a diverse array of forest products, but hardwood pulp has been the largest portion of the volume harvested: 44% in 2003 and 49% in 2010. This dominance reflects continued demand from the region’s substantial pulp and paper industry and an abundant hardwood forest resource. Though Perry (2011) indicated a negative percent change in the volume of aspen on forestland from 2005 to 2010, one of the primary species utilized in the pulp and paper industry. Softwood pulp accounted for around a quarter of volume removed from the la
Various landownership categories contribute to the state’s timber supply. Where a logging business is located has a big impact on which types of lands they harvest from. However, other factors also figure into the decision, including the different expectations that landowners have for loggers (e.g., certified land can have more requirements, but fill an important market niche). In reporting the landownership categories from which loggers harvest timber, we weight all findings by their volume harvested in 2003 and 2010 (as appropriate).
On 13 June, I was in Washington, DC along my NIFA co-authors (see citation below) to present our final report on the McIntire-Stennis Cooperative Forest Research Program to the Forest Research Advisory Council.