- a weekly column published in the Siskiyou Daily News
|IMPLAN: In March, the Board of
Supervisors contracted with Dr. Nick Dennis to update the IMPLAN (impact analysis for
planning) economic model with current information from our local forestry sector. The
updated model can be used by Siskiyou County under a cooperating agency status
with the National Forests to provide local expertise in assessing the economic impacts of
proposed forest projects. (Cooperating agency status is in addition to the
process of coordination and does not replace it in any way.)
By providing such expertise, the Board of Supervisors ensures that economic impacts are considered in a legally defensible way as a factor in the balanced management of our National Forests; that local/regional economic needs are included in the purpose and need of projects; and that Siskiyou County has legal standing in court to support the Forest Service in defending the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) analysis on their projects.
The forest sector industries examined by Dr. Dennis included: (1) timber tracts or timber production; (2) logging; (3) truck transport; (4) veneer manufacturing; (5) millwork manufacturing; (6) miscellaneous wood products manufacturing; (7) forestry support activities; (8) environmental services; and (9) forest nurseries. http://www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/BOS/DOCS/agenda/2012/Questys/MG19026/AS19044/AI20592/DO20593/DO_20593.pdf
From 2006-2010, Siskiyou County produced 179 million board feet (MMBF) of timber, which accounted for 70 jobs. About 29MMBF of timber was logged by out of county loggers or transported by out of county truckers. This left an annual log output of 150 MMBF providing 187 logging and trucking jobs in Siskiyou County. It is interesting to note that Siskiyou County is a net importer of logging services. Also, because we have no sawmills, (only two veneer mills and a moulding plant,) 58% of log production by volume, (or 62% by value,) is exported out of Siskiyou County. In other words, those value-added jobs in milling our premium larger trees are going to other counties.
Siskiyou Countys two veneer mills account for all of Californias veneer production. The mills purchase 90 MMBF of timber a year, 70% of which is obtained from local loggers. The veneer mills provide 180 jobs. Local millwork manufacturing in Dorris provides another 32 jobs, but they use wood from New Zealand. Miscellaneous wood products manufacturing provides another 42 jobs; forestry support activities account for another 65 jobs; environmental services provide 20 timber-dependent jobs; and forest nurseries provide 40 jobs.
Each one of these jobs in the timber industry produces additional jobs in the local economy. Dr. Dennis has established the appropriate employment multiplier for categories of jobs in the forest industry. For instance, there is a 1.8 multiplier of jobs in the economy for each job in timber production; a 2.8 multiplier for each logging job; and a 2.4 multiplier for each job in veneer manufacturing.
In his presentation, Dr. Dennis used an illustrative scenario about the potential impacts of increased timber harvest from National Forest lands to the local economy. Assuming a new additional timber sale that produces $1 million of timber, with 84% of the timber harvested by local loggers and 34% of the new log supply purchased by local mills, there would be a one time employment impact of 22 additional jobs. (Of course, the goal would be to create long term jobs, so a sustainable supply would be needed.)
Taking a moment to consider that in 1987, before the restrictions from the northern spotted owl and the Northwest Forest Plan, the Klamath National Forest alone produced 182 MMBF of harvested timber; the Shasta-Trinity N.F. produced 208 MMBF; and the Six Rivers N.F. produced 145 MMBF. In 2009, the Klamath N.F. harvested only 50 MMBF, even though it had a net growth of 126 MMBF in new timber. The Shasta Trinity N.F. harvested 12 MMBF with a net growth of 460 MMBF, and Six Rivers N.F. harvested 11.5 MMBF with a net growth of 219 MMBF. It would appear that there is potential for additional production from Forest Service lands.
Under the Siskiyou County Charter Forests proposal, the 100,000 acre forests could produce $4 million in additional annual timber harvest. This could sustain an additional 87 jobs. Conversely, for every $one million drop in timber sales, 2 jobs would be lost. http://www.co.siskiyou.ca.us/BOS/DOCS/agenda/2012/Questys/MG18886/AS18903/AI19811/DO19812/DO_19812.pdf
Sustainable Forest Action Coalition (SFAC): SFAC is made up of members from 20 California forest counties. Many counties, themselves are members (including Siskiyou County,) although in some areas only individual County Supervisors are members. Chambers of Commerce, Industry, unions, and other interests are included in the membership. I represent Siskiyou County.
SFAC recently met with CA Congressional staffers to discuss several issues including: (1)social and economic impact of reduced forest management on forest communities; (2) Secure Rural Schools funding;(3) hazardous fuels reduction;(4) EAJA (Equal Access to Justice); (5)stewardship contracting;(6)travel management plans; and (7)EPA regulations on forest roads and boiler emissions.