East Texas lumber industries seeing decline in business

East Texas lumber industries seeing decline in business

TRINITY, TX (KTRE) - East Texas has been experiencing wet weather for weeks now, and the rain has brought lumber numbers down. East Texas leads the state with two-thirds of the state's logging companies, production, and commercial forests. "We used to have probably 30 or 40 log haulers coming in," said William Allbright, a Trinity mill employee.

Severe weather has pumped the brakes on log trucks across East Texas.

"Now we're down to nearly nothing," Allbright said.

Those in the logging industry say the wet weather has affected everyone from ground zero in production all the way to the mills.

"The log drivers can't get in the woods," Allbright said.

Mills say the past couple months have been really bad for business. According to a Texas A&M Forestry study, $30.3 billion of Texas' economy came from forestry last year.

"The ground is so wet that the highway department doesn't let you on the highway," Allbright said.

He said wet weather tears up roads and makes ruts in the ground. Log trucks could wreck or get stuck. The wet weather even affects the trees. When the loggers aren't cutting, the drivers can't drive, and the timber production is scarce.

"It's like economics on the gas. If you don't have gas the gas price goes up," Allbright said.

Those in the business know they can't choose the weather, but it's putting a strain on everyone involved.

People say money doesn't grow on tress, but Allbright said apparently it does.

Last year, this industry accounted for about 130,000 jobs in East Texas.

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