In Oregon, some mills are relying on imports of plantation-grown radiata pine from Chile and New Zealand to replace the dwindling supply of domestic trees.
Cascade Wood Products Inc. of White City, Ore., began importing the logs 10 years ago to make porch posts, The Oregonian reports. Then it was a novelty; today, radiata pine feeds three-fourths of the company's production of window and door frames.
"Five years ago, no one would have guessed or even considered that," said Hakan Ekstrom, editor of the Seattle-based North American Wood Fiber Review.
In 1991, the U.S. imported 7.6 million board-feet; last year, the amount had jumped to 84 million board-feet. Meanwhile, exports of raw logs to Japan - the destination of 95 percent of U.S. log exports - are dropping. As recently as 1989, Japan imported 28 million board-feet of American logs. Ekstrom estimates that trade dropped to under 14 million board-feet last year.
* Dustin Solberg
- Mark Bailey on Enough is enough at the Glen Canyon Recreation Area
- Mark Bailey on What I learned from 30 years with the Forest Service
- Tom McCarty on Enough is enough at the Glen Canyon Recreation Area
- Andrew Sipocz on The great salmon compromise
- Kyle Klain on Enough is enough at the Glen Canyon Recreation Area