Virginia timber sales post slight increase

After two straight years of significant declines in the value of timber harvested on their properties, forest landowners in the Commonwealth saw the value increase six-tenths of 1 percent last year, according to officials with the Virginia Department of Forestry.

“While it’s not anywhere near where we want it to be, we did see a turnaround in 2009,” said Carl Garrison, state forester of Virginia. “Landowners received more than $208 million last year – about $1.4 million more than in the year 2008. While it’s a far cry from the $347 million they received in 2006, we’re hopeful that the increases will continue.”

That’s a 40 percent decline overall since 2006. That’s how a not-quite 1 percent increase can be seen as good news.

“While it is good news that Virginia’s private forest landowners are starting to see an increase in the market value of their products, we must continue to do all we can to support our highly valued, existing industry, which employs 144,000 Virginians. We must also work to attract new forest industry jobs to the Commonwealth, so that forestry continues to be a $27.5 billion economic engine for rural Virginia,” Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Todd Haymore said.

Edited by Chris Graham. Chris can be reached at

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