Timber Potential for Iowa County, WI  (approximations)

Area of forest 200,000 acres (approx) – Some of the best timber in the world!
Annual growth   22,000,000 bf sawtimber  (1996 inventory)

Annual harvest – 15,000,000 bf sawtimber   (70% of growth)
Annual income - $5,000,000   (approx. – $330/mbf average value)
Very little of the harvested wood is used in county – maybe 1% 
(more of the logs are manufactured in China than are used locally in the county!)

Potential annual growth & harvest – 80,000,000 bf sawtimber  (Full Vigor Forestry)
Potential income with local manufacturing and direct sales:  $800,000,000    
Potential new full-time jobs with local wood use – 5,000  (1 job/40 acres forest)

Iowa County achieves – 25% of potential forest growth.
Iowa County earns  -  2% of their potential timber income!
98% of the value is taken away by distant corporations. 
Residents then buy manufactured wood products from distant lands!

Recent Example - Hwy 14 Wisconsin River Harvest – Fall 2006
75 acres of State owned forest in Wyoming Township was marked for harvest by DNR foresters, put up for sealed bids, and harvested in the fall of 2006.
600 cords of small diameter logs were hauled away, for a payment of about $4,700.
39,000 board feet of sawlogs were trucked away for a payment of about $4,000.  
This timber sale total income to the State averages out to $4/acre per year income.

The loggers were from 100 miles away in Warrens Wisconsin, the pulpwood was hauled 100 miles to a foreign owned paper mill in Central Wisconsin, the small diameter logs were hauled 60 miles to be sawn into pallet parts (the 2nd lowest value-use), and the sawlogs were trucked out of the county to a modern sawmill.  A total of 8,000 miles were driven by the log trucks to get the wood to the mills.  The logging was done by one person in a computerized, hydraulically driven timber harvesting machine, and the logs were carried from the forest by another person in a huge prehauler.

The only benefit from this timber harvest to the River Valley area was if the workers stayed in a motel or bought food & fuel at a local business.

If the wood had been harvested, manufactured, and used in the River Valley area, the story could be quite different. Loggers using small, modern equipment could have earned 20 times the wages of the few workers running the big rigs. Thousands of gallons of diesel fuel would not be used hauling the logs from the region.  300+ tons of wood could have been used as fuel to heat our school buildings. 200,000 square feet of hardwood flooring could have been manufactured and sold in S Wisconsin, earning local businesses over a million dollars. Wood is the perfect fuel for small business! 

Will We Keep Exporting Our Timber Potential for the Profit of Big Corporations?