A structural assessment of the contract logging sector in the Inland Northwest

Travis T. Allen, Han Sup Han, Steven R. Shook

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations

Abstract

Logging contractors supply raw material (i.e., sawlogs and wood chips) to the forest products manufacturing sector and are an integral component of the Inland Northwest's forest products industry. However, a lack of information exists describing the structure and systems of the contract logging sector. A mail survey was administered in 2005 to assess the contract logging sector in Idaho, Montana, and Eastern Washington, focusing on employment characteristics, capital investments, operational characteristics, and business constraints. Of the 1,202 surveys that were mailed, 349 useable surveys were returned for an effective response rate of 35 percent. The total harvest volume for the Inland Northwest reported by respondents for 2004 was 1,586,147 MBF (MBF). Respondents indicated that the constraint that most adversely affected their business in 2004 was timber sale availability followed by quality employees. The mean age for respondents was 51, while 58 percent of their employees were found to be 40 years or greater in age. Contract logging firms producing more than 10 MMBF in 2004 accounted for just 10 percent of the total firms, but represented 53 percent of the total 2004 harvest volume among responding firms. A positive correlation was found between the contractor's months of scheduled work and their level of innovativeness. On the topic of fuel-reduction harvesting contracts on Federal lands, there was a high level of skepticism and uncertainty among respondents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalForest Products Journal
Volume58
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Forestry
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Plant Science

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