Summer 2020 forest utilization & marketing newsletter

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An artistic photo of milled lumber

Forest utilization & marketing summer 2020 newsletter

This issue of the U&M newsletter contains information on timber sale prep, industry resources, updates to regional state forest management plans, rail transport research and more. 

Resources available for forest products companies

Resources are available to assist forest products companies affected by COVID-19. Forest products companies are categorized depending on size and business activities. 

FY20 state forest and GNA timber sale preparation

a man marks timber with paint

Due to COVID-19, DNR foresters were not able to perform the field work necessary to prepare timber sales for about three months in spring. This has affected the number of timber sales prepared before the end of the fiscal year. By the end of fiscal year 2020, the DNR expects to prepare about 50,000 acres of state forest timber sales and about 5,600 acres of Good Neighbor Authority timber sales. The FY20 plan of work approved through the compartment review process initially targeted 52,500 acres of timber sale preparation, and more than 9,000 acres of Good Neighbor Authority sales were planned. More than 3,600 acres of GNA timber sale preparation has been deferred to FY21 in cooperation with the USDA Forest Service.

DNR forest resources staff working remotely due to COVID-19, but still connected

A man uses a mobile device in the forest

All field staff for the DNR Forest Resources Division who are working remotely due to COVID-19 have been issued mobile smart devices so you can continue to reach them through e-mail or a phone call. Reach out to staff to discuss timber sale openings and closings, harvest issues and timber sale prospectuses. Staff will continue to work remotely from home offices with minimal contact at field stations until at least October.

Updating Michigan’s state forest management plans

The 2013 Regional State Forest Management Plans  have guided forest and habitat management on state forest lands for the last six years. These 10-year plans are set to expire by 2024, which has prompted revisions that best reflect future management. The DNR is working to update the plans sooner than required due to changes in the forest that could not be accounted for in previous plans, such as the impacts of the invasive Emerald Ash Borer.

Michigan Mass Timber Summit goes virtual

A mass timber building in progress of being built

The Michigan Mass Timber Summit – postponed due to COVID-19 – is going virtual, and there’s plenty of time left to register. The summit, originally planned for April, is now a series of three web-based sessions from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Tuesdays, Sept. 22 and 29 and Oct. 6. Highlights will include a virtual tour of Michigan State University’s new $100 million STEM Teaching and Learning Facility and seminars on calculating the costs and benefits of mass timber projects, design and logistics, building codes and construction.

2018 Michigan Primary Mill Report available

Michigan primary mills were surveyed by the DNR in cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and the data is now available in the 2018 Michigan Primary Mill Report, posted at Maps were also produced using data from the report. About 90% of known active mills participated in the survey and shared information about industry volumes, products and residues. Highlights from the report include: 

  • Roundwood receipts (wood received at mills) increased by 7% over 2016 levels, in spite of unusually wet logging conditions that year.
  • Receipts in 2018 totaled about 4.8 million cords.
  • The top 5 species among receipts total volume were aspen, hard maple, red pine, soft maple, and red oak.
  • Mills produced 5.1 million green tons of residue in 2018 (bark, chips, sawdust and shavings).

Michigan Technological University researching forest product rail transport 

Logging equipment is used to move cut timber

Professionals and researchers at Michigan Technological University have begun to explore the complex issue of transporting forest products materials, specifically round wood logs, to mills and manufacturers in the Upper Peninsula. Watch a video exploring supply chain barriers and opportunities. 

Michigan Master Logger

A bearded logger wearing safety gear walks in the woods

The Master Logger program in Michigan has reached its 15th year. Due to program growth, it shifted to oversight by the Michigan Institute for Timber Resource and Educational Excellence in July. The program now has 80 member companies. Information and applications can be found at Questions? Contact program administrator Warren Suchovsky, 906-753-6666. 

National Hardwood Lumber Association announces free virtual convention

Due to the cancellation of the 2020 NHLA Annual Convention & Exhibit Showcase in Louisville, Kentucky, NHLA will be providing members with virtual educational and networking opportunities. The 2020 NHLA On Demand will take place Sept. 22, 23 and 24. All content will be available through the support of Cascade Hardwood, a member that believes in the mission of the association and the need for the hardwood industry to remain informed, optimistic and well-connected. Visit for more information.

Timber cruising ►

Online timber cruise training in new protocols will be available starting October for all DNR and industry foresters. Get information about the new methods and training dates at

Industry directory ►

A searchable directory listing many Michigan sawmills, pulp and paper mills, wood product manufacturers, loggers, truckers, brokers, and other forest products businesses is now live. Wood industry businesses may list their information at no cost.

Education ►

Need continuing education credits for your forest industry profession? Classes are available via the Sustainable Forestry Initiative® to fit your needs.

2018 mill map►

Results of the 2018 primary wood manufacturers survey are available in a new interactive map that gives users information about primary wood-using mills around the state.

Biomass ►

The Midwest Biomass Exchange hosts wood and agricultural biomass feedstocks and listings. Fuel choices include sawmill/ timber harvest residues and fuel pellets.

Lumber prices ►

Prices for lumber products have reached all-time highs due to extreme demand and low inventories. Families are tackling projects with vigor due to extra time at home due to COVID-19. 

Questions? Contact Brenda Haskill for more information.