The recent economic downturn is even being felt deep in the forests of Northern Minnesota.
As the Timberjay reports, HERE, timber put up for sale by public landowners is often going unsold to loggers who find themselves with reduced opportunities to sell cut wood. The story points to the depressed market for new homes and the closure of some northern Minnesota wood mills as the root of the problem.
In related news, the Fort Frances Times, HERE, also reported recently on tough times for people in the Northern Ontario timber industry.
According to the Timberjay, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the St. Louis County Land Office have noticed a rise in unsold timber tracts in 2009. As much as a third of its acreage for sale in 2009 went unsold, said the DNR.
Logging industry advocates worry that a vicious economic cycle could drive some loggers out of business in the near future, as banks become more reluctant to extend credit to loggers who need the up-front money to purchase timber “on the stump” which they then cut and sell to mills.