Small woodland owners may only complete one or two timber harvests in a lifetime. These projects are extremely daunting and risky for those without experience. As a result, they either don’t harvest, which may negatively impact forest health, or the harvest is performed by an operator without active participation from the landowner. In these situations, landowners are at risk of either being paid less for their timber, or are left unsatisfied with the results of the harvest.
In response, Lauren Grand, an OSU Extension forestry and natural resources agent, organized a two-day symposium in 2017 in Lane County, featuring 10 hours of classroom instruction on relevant topics:
- Timber harvesting fundamentals and woodland roads
- Harvesting laws, notifications, and regulations
- Service provider contracts
- Timber tax liabilities and harvest taxes
- Market diversification, and niche markets for specialty forest products
- Hiring a logging professional
- Successes and lessons learned from experienced landowners
Classroom sessions were coupled with a field tour of a recently harvested forest, woodland roads, log scaling yards, and local portable sawmills.
The symposium drew 71 attendees. Ninety-five percent of survey respondents said the symposium provided the information they needed to successfully sell their logs. Eighty-six percent said the symposium increased the likelihood that they will use the services of a consulting forester when selling logs.
A second workshop was held in 2018 in Oregon City, drawing 68 participants. One of the attendees commented, “I sell logs almost every year and this will help me do it better.”