Northern Minnesota loggers said Wednesday that the region’s harvest is down significantly, and with about month left in the winter timber season, the clock is ticking. Industry groups also said that President Donald Trump’s notion he will renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) trade deal could result in positive impacts for regional logging companies.
After a tough winter season last year, persistent wet conditions and warmer temperatures are creating hardships across the Northland’s industry, resulting in narrowing production timelines and quickly-expiring permit contracts.
“It’s terrible, for lack of better words,” said Scott Dane, executive director for the Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota. Solutions are few, but that comes with the territory. “Just one of the challenges of making a living in an industry dependent on natural resources and weather.”
Loggers typically need a series of days at 10-below zero to establish the frozen ground in the swamps and woods. Without that, companies are blocked from reaching winter stock. On timberlands owned by the state Department of Natural Resources, there’s a 30 percent volume reduction compared to December last year, Dane said.
Darwin Rasmusson, owner of Rasmusson Forest Fuels in Virginia, typically calls his winter crew back to work around deer season in October. He made callbacks after Christmas this year, and is eyeing another early March close to the season.
From the Hibbing Daily Tribune: http://www.hibbingmn.com/news/local/logging-woes-continue-in-state/article_4eb2288c-e8f6-11e6-bd7b-43b33a3cd4da.html