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Alaska timber projection study reveals market trends

A recently completed economic study of timber demand projections for the next two decades in southeast Alaska explains four alternatives describing how the forest products industry could develop. The peer-reviewed study now in process of being published, Timber Products Output and Timber Harvests in Alaska: Projections for 2005-25, was prepared by Pacific Northwest Research Station scientists Allen Brackley, Thomas Rojas, and Richard Haynes.

"The projections of future demand are represented in our study by four scenarios," explains Brackley, a research forester based at the Alaska Wood Utilization Research and Development Center in Sitka, Alaska. "The first scenario projects a future very similar to the recent past. The second one assumes that lumber production increases and is stimulated by marketing and promotion programs that recognize the unique characteristics of lumber produced from the region. Scenarios three and four assume that an integrated industry returns to southeast Alaska.

"In 2015, the projected derived demand (a 5-year average based from 2013 to 2017) for forest products from southeast Alaska ranges from 37.9 to 299.0 million board feet (Scribner C-log scale), and the maximum projected derived demand in 2025 is 360 million board feet. An implicit assumption of all the scenarios is that an economically viable timber supply is available in southeast Alaska."

The key findings of the study are based on the following assumptions: an economically viable timber supply exists in southeast Alaska; demand for lumber in the Pacific Rim nations increases in the next 20 years to a level similar to that in Japan in the last decade of the 20th century; Alaska continues to produce for home markets and for the lower 48 States. An overview of the four scenarios includes:

  • Total sawmill capacity remains unchanged but production increases in response to export and domestic market demands. But timber supply is limited, resul
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Contact: Sherri Richardson Dodge
srichardsondodge@fs.fed.us
503-808-2137
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station
28-Mar-2006


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