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Re: E-M:/ the closing of the mills

   I would guess that firewood demand is increasing, but a closure of a mill could not be substituted by firewood sales. That much of an increase would not occur fast enough.  Firewood demand is already being met by existing firewood sellers. Most logging contractors are not set up to sell firewood. They process wood in lengths not convenient for firewood, deliver the wood in trucks that don't fit in average driveways, and other economic reasons.

   Most loggers would rather deal with a mill which contracts for a set amount wood in advance, and pays on time.  A modern small logging contractor would have about $500,000 in equipment on which interest payments must be made to the bank, plus payroll.

    Firewood made of dense hardwood like oak or maple only is currently in demand. Many timber sales contain other species.  The average logging contractor would have developed markets for all species, so all trees marked for removal on a timber sale could be sold, not just the firewood.

Jerry Mohlman

item below is an opinion piece from te gaylord herald times via "this week in trees" . . .

assuming that a non-industrial private forest landowner wants to manage her/his forest for commercial value, to what extent can the commercial production of firewood substitute for the timber and pulp industries . . .

craig k harris

department of sociology
michigan agricultural experiment station
national food safety and toxicology center
institute for food and agricultural standards
michigan state university

13) As the loggers and the pulp mills dwindle, it will become more difficult for a landowner to manage their property for timber. The removal of pulp wood from a landowner's property is a large component of proper forest management. Otsego County has a large component of hardwood. The majority of the hardwood in the county needs a TSI cut (timber stand improvement cut). This consists of removing mostly pulp wood trees. With the closing of the mills and logging companies, it will become more difficult to move the low quality timber off of a landowner's property. Without being able to remove the low quality timber, it will become more difficult to producer higher value timber thus reducing the income of the private landowner. The closing of three of six pulp mill will have a larger impact than anyone can imagine. I hope that we, the forest industry, learn to adapt to the 21st century's global market before it is too late. http://www.gaylordheraldtimes.com/articles/2006/03/15/news/opinion/opinion03.txt