East Texas foresters speak on growth of demand, supply in lumber industry

East Texas foresters speak on growth of demand, supply in lumber industry
Source: KTRE Staff
Source: KTRE Staff

DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) - A meeting of the Texas Society of American Foresters at Georgia-Pacific's Texas headquarters, in Diboll, Thursday focused largely on the growing state of the lumber industry.

Forester Aaron Stottlemeyer had only positive things to report about the supply of lumber.

"We monitor growth versus removals," Stottlemeyer said. "Removals being what's dying naturally, what's being harvested. And currently, we're growing more than what's being removed."

Processing power in the mills is also showing good things.

"You know, say 500 tons of wood per week to well over 1,000 tons a week," said former American Foresters Association President, Fred Cubbage. "I'm sure they're productivity has doubled in the last 20 years."

And, an increased demand for timber is bringing the resource of the Pine Curtain to areas more far than near.

"Quite a bit of it goes to Houston, San Marcus, Austin, Dallas, which is the strand, which is growing the most," said Texas Society of American Foresters President John McRae. "But, they're also meeting market demand west of here, all the way to California."

East Texas mills a majority of its own timber, but, in 2013, more than 10 percent was milled in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma, to supply their demand

"There's a lot of wood used in construction, even if it's forming up concrete," McRae said. "It's being used in the oil and gas industry in which they're making large mats in which the heavy equipment can operate on and laying pipelines."

East Texas recently reacted to the increased demand by opening a Roy O. Martin lumber mill in Corrigan, which foresters say started work this week.

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