Texas forestry conference draws over 300 attendees to Nacogdoches

Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 4:10 PM CDT
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NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - A promising future is in store for the Deep East Texas forestry industry, according to industry analysts who spoke Wednesday at the Texas Forestry Association’s annual conference in Nacogdoches.

More than 375 foresters, property owners, mill operators and other industry-related representatives attended.

They were there to hear the answers to “Post Covid Markets: Has anything changed?” It was the conference’s theme.

“It’s really on balance. As healthy as I’ve seen it in my career,” said Pete Stewart, a 26-year veteran of the global forest products industry.

Stewart said explains environmental issues are pushing firms out of Canada into East Texas. Not a bad thing, he said.

“You get new capital coming in,” Stewart said. “You get sometimes new community members, more diversity in the demand. Landowners can sell to different customers. And so it’s very good.”

Mill expansion in the region is a direct result of meeting product demand.

“Demand is good. You have homebuilding rebounding and then there is a lot of remodeling, so people are staying at home, working from home. So, they are really remodeling their houses to get more comfortable,” said Stewart.

Several speakers spoke on global warming and the environment. Stewart says industry regulations are likely to increase. Yet, the concerns could create a bright future for the forest industry.

“Everyone in America is talking about forestry is the answer to climate change. Forestry is the answer to the environment. Well, if you own forests and you’re dead-set in this industry, it has to bring attention and something good to our industry.”

It ultimately helps the growth of the Texas Forestry Association and SFA’s College of Forestry, which is now celebrating its 75th year.

Thursday there’s a presentation on “mass timber,” an innovative engineered wood being used in commercial buildings to skyscrapers. It’s strong enough to be the only building support material.

Industry leaders say such forward-thinking construction methods will benefit those providing the raw products.

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