HARVEST AND INDUSTRY
For over 30 years the Bureau has been collecting data and producing detailed reports on the operations of the forest products industry throughout the western United States. In cooperation with the USDA Forest Service's Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) program, the Bureau conducts a census of the forest industry in each state, collecting a variety of data on the industry’s size, timber use, diversity and economic impacts.
The Bureau makes the resulting information available to the public through summary data tables, General Technical Reports and Resource Bulletins published through the US Forest Service, and also responds to individual data requests from policy makers, planners, managers and the general public.
As part of its annual Montana Economic Outlook Seminars, the Bureau’s Forest Industry Research Program prepares an annual report on the outlook for the forest products industry in Montana. Since 2002, the Bureau has partnered with the University of Idaho’s Department of Forest Products to produce a similar report for Idaho’s forest products industry.
Managing forests to reduce fire hazard and restore ecosystem function has increased the need for accurate information on timber-milling capacity and the capability of mills to process trees of various sizes. Implementing treatments to restore desired ecological conditions can require removing both larger, more valuable trees, as well as smaller trees with limited value and markets. Quantification of current milling capacity and elucidation of the sizes and types of materials that existing mills are capable of using are key components of financial analyses of timber sales, fire hazard reduction treatments, and ecosystem restoration programs.
The BBER has developed a new tool for tracking timber harvest in the northwest states. This tool is a one-stop resource for county- and ownership-level timber harvest data. The tool currently covers the following states: California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Other western states will be added in the future.