HOUGHTON — If you have a history here in the Upper Peninsula you may have had relatives who worked in logging. Second to mining it has kept many employed. The industry continues to make strides in Michigan with logging companies making multi-dollar deals all based in timber.
We’ve come a long way from two man sawing operations, literal horse and buggy power, and moving timber with river water. But, fast-forward to 2019 and logging is still responsible for million dollar deals.
555,000 acres of wood recently sold for 300 million dollars cash. Lyme timber is expected to retain Weyerhaeuser employees who are the former managers of the land. Forestry expert Robert Froese says it’s not uncommon for land to change company hands. He says, “We’ll see change because there‘s new owners and new management that there’s always opportunity when there’s an exchange. But, here we’re looking at companies optimizing they’re portfolio, doing a little better with what they have but the key message here is that the lands continue to be managed and operated as they were before and contributing to the economy.”
Michigan in particular is known for the harvesting of sugar maple logs. They are harvested in groups called stands. One stand can be anywhere from 40 to 2 or 3 hundred acres. Once harvested the wood has several uses including the making for furniture and paper.
The clearing a good stand of trees usually occurs every 10 to 20 years. It’s a common process that actually helps the environment and relies on natural regeneration.