The Forestry Source - January 2012 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
January 2012 • Vol. 17, No. 1
Forest Sector Reeling during Economic Downturn
I N T H I S I S S U E
HSD award recognizes outstanding SAF projects. The House of Society Delegates (HSD) honored the Chattahoochee Chapter of the Southeastern SAF’s Georgia Division and the New England SAF with its annual HSD Success Story Award at the 2011 SAF National Convention in Honolulu, Hawaii. Page 8. SAF revises and renews forest inventory and analysis program position statement. SAF recently revised its position statement on “The Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) Program.” The new statement refines the scope of the prior position and expands its explanation of the importance of the FIA program and the uses of FIA data. Page 9. GIS for foresters: A checklist for creating more effective maps. A map is meant to reveal something meaningful, interesting, or useful by manipulating and displaying the results of data processed to expose essential characteristics about the geographic features, attributes, and phenomena represented. Asking the right questions will help you make sure that the graphic display of your results tells the story you want to convey. Page 10. Field Tech: DeLorme’s inReach, EarthMate GPS team up for infield communications. You may recall reading about GeoPro Messenger in the December 2010 Field Tech column. It turns out that GeoPro Messenger’s maker, GeoPro LBS Inc., was a key partner in developing another such communications system: DeLorme’s inReach satellite communicator. Page 12. Okefenokee fire measured in acres and cubic yards. The Honey Prairie Fire didn’t set a record for the largest fire of 2011, but it is at the top of the list for longevity. Page 16.
By W. Brad Smith and Richard W. Guldin orest products industries in the United States have reacted to changing market situations as economic conditions have changed since 2007. Mill closures and job losses throughout the forest products sector have swept the nation, often with significant local impacts. We have consolidated and analyzed data collected by the US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program and Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), the US Department of Commerce, and other sources to provide an overview of the recent trends and the current state of the forestry and wood-processing sectors of the US economy. Looking forward to an economic recovery, the future will be different for the forest industry sector and for forest management than it was prior to 2007. Since the economic downturn began in 2007, there have been two major driving economic forces affecting the US forest sector. The paper side of the forest sector has been most heavily influenced by global economic trends and shifts in global markets for pulp-based products. The solid-wood side of the forest sector has been influenced primarily by domestic driving forces—the principal components being the drop in new residential construction from 1.7 million units annually to 450,000—and a decline in home
Figure 1. Forest industry jobs lost since 2005: about 113,000 in the South, 110,000 in the North, and 71,000 in the West.
remodeling as residential mortgages tightened and home sales dropped. Mills and Jobs FIA statistics show that since 2005, 1,009 sawmills, 15 pulp mills, and 148 other mills closed: together, 19 percent of all mills in the forest sector. These closures of primary mills were accompanied by slowdowns or closures in hundreds
more secondary wood-manufacturing facilities, resulting in an overall loss of 294,000 full-time jobs over the past five years (see Figure 1). Thousands more part-time and self-employed jobs were lost as well. While greatest absolute loss of fulltime jobs in the wood sector was in the (See “Sector” page 3)
Recession: Sewall Co. Adapts to Changing Economic Times
Rockwell Assumes SAF Presidency
Cox Elected SAF Vice-President
By Steve Wilent he current economic doldrums have affected most forestry businesses, some more than others—see “Consulting Foresters Enduring Hard Times,” November, for example. For the James W. Sewall Co. (www.sewall.com), the recession has required that the company take a
D E PA RT M E N T S
hard look at the services it offers and whether continuing to provide them makes economic sense. Sewall, founded in 1880, initially provided forest inventory, surveying, and mapping services to the lumber industry in northern Maine and Canada. Since then, it has broadened its offerings to include engineering and geospatial services. The company currently has nine offices nationwide and a staff of more than 140, including a forestry staff of about 30, most with advanced degrees in the field. Sewall president, David T. Edson, an SAF member, has been with the firm since 1974. I recently spoke with him about how the recession has affected his company. How has this downturn affected the business of consulting? The recession, unfortunately, was inevitable, as we’ve seen in hindsight. It’s been bad for many obvious reasons, but it’s been good in at least one way: the recession has proven the underlying value of forests, beyond any question. People in the investment world now look at forestry and say, wow, it held its value. Of course, that does nothing for the loggers and contractors who have not been able to cut as much wood. But the value of forestry and (See “Sewall” page 4)
illiam H. Rockwell, CF/FCA, of St. Johns, Michigan, became President of the Society of American Foresters on January 1. He succeeds Roger A. Dziengeleski, CF, of Gansevoort, New York, who will now serve SAF as immediate past-president. Rockwell is president of Strategic Resources Systems, St. Johns, Michigan; an associate in Metropolitan Forestry Consultants, Inc., Lansing, Michigan; and a partner with The Plum Line, St. Johns, Michigan, and Antrim, New Hampshire. His previous work experience includes positions as forest planning leader, Michigan Division of Nat(See “SAF Elections” page 7)
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Editor’s Notebook Letters Industry News Society Affairs Field Tech Continuing Ed. Calendar Classifieds
“During the course of the recession, we’ve had to look very hard at what we do,” said David T. Edson, president of the James W. Sewall Co.
Rockwell (left) is SAF president for 2012. Cox (right) is vice-president.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - January 2012
The Forestry Source - January 2012
HSD Award Recognizes Outstanding SAF Projects
SAF Revises and Renews Forest Inventory and Analysis Program Position Statement
GIS for Foresters: A Checklist for Creating More Effective Maps
Field Tech: DeLorme’s inReach, EarthMate GPS Team Up for Infield Communications
Continuing Ed. Calendar
Okefenokee Fire Measured in Acres and Cubic Yards
The Forestry Source - January 2012