Logging workforce development: who will log?

Loggers play an essential role in ensuring the sustainability of forests along with the wood industries that depend on them. Yet, the logging sector faces concerns with recruiting and retaining skilled loggers. On-going work on this emerging topic include continued analysis of past logger survey data, coordination with colleagues in Minnesota, and a project-based course for Spring 2015.


"Small-scale" forestry in Wisconsin

Continued forest parcelization creates significant barriers to forest landowners seeking to manage their forests for ecological and economic benefit. Such parcelization also hampers the ability of public agencies to provide technical assistance and education to landowners. In this research and extension project, we define and categorize small-scale forest ownerships through an analysis of practice data.


Social networks & ecological systems: Linking actors to landscapes

Grazing and public lands in Wisconsin

This project will investigate the potential for grazing livestock on publicly owned and managed grasslands and to analyze the environmental, economic and social outcomes of that activity.

Public and community perceptions of renewable energy options

Sustainable energy platforms (e.g., cellulosic biofuels, biogas, solar, etc.) have and will continue to transform energy production and policy with myriad effects on land use, local communities, and regional economies.

Blogging Logging 15 - Summary

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.

Blogging Logging 14 - Survey methods and response

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.

chart-response rates

Blogging Logging 13 - Interest in biomass harvesting

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.

Blogging Logging 12 - Timber products and buyers

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

Blogging Logging 11 - Source of timber supply

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).

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