Forest Utilization & Marketing Newsletter - Winter 2022

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A wood worker leans over a table stacked with works in progress

Economic data, industry surveys, new wood science program, webinars and more in this winter newsletter

This issue of the DNR's Forest Utilization and Marketing Newsletter contains information on DNR program updates, economic reports, industry news, professional development opportunities and more. Questions? Contact Brenda Haskill

In this edition:

DNR Utilization and Marketing Program update

In the last half of 2021, DNR staff wrapped up work on two federal grant projects and increased collaboration on mass timber issues. Michigan State University has hired a new mass timber outreach specialist, Sandra Lupien. The DNR, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and partners collaborated with MSU to support a multiyear program to promote adoption of mass timber construction and support industry uses of this innovative building approach.

In October, DNR staff partnered with the MSU Department of Forestry and North Carolina State University Extension to host a one-day dry kiln workshop on MSU’s campus for small kiln drying businesses. NC State University Extension specialist Harry Watt taught the workshop which included a tour of a local sawmill and dry kiln operation, Cross Cut Lumber in Portland. Thanks to Watt and Aaron Cross for the fantastic workshop and tour! 

The DNR also provided a subgrant to the MSU Department of Horticulture to support the new Great Lakes Biochar Network and an accompanying webinar series this fall, led by MSU's Brooke Comer and Jessica Miesel. The network aims to serve as a clearinghouse for information on biochar use and production, and hosted three webinars on biochar in 2021. Check the GLBN website to view presentation recordings and get updates on additional webinars scheduled for this spring. 

DNR fiscal year 2021 timber sales

Cut logs are piled in the forest


Acres prepared Acres advertised Acres sold Acres harvested *Volume prepared Volume advertised Volume sold Volume harvested
50,001 55,039 49,161 53,923 1,052,202 1,047,626 963,747 1,035,966

*Volume numbers are in cords.

Add your input to two DNR forest industry surveys

A man is seen filling out a paper with a pen

Be on the lookout for two wood industry surveys from the DNR to be distributed via mail and email.

Primary Mill Survey

The DNR is conducting a periodic sawmill survey with USDA Forest Service partners for the annual Timber Product Output Survey. Responses will be kept confidential and are analyzed to produce the DNR Primary Mill Survey Report and the Forest Service Timber Product Output Report for Michigan. 

Wood Producers and Haulers Survey

The Wood Producers and Haulers Survey, conducted in cooperation with university partners in Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota, will be sent to producers in all three states. Contact information for respondents may be used to update industry directories in each state, while individual responses will be kept confidential. The Michigan survey will be sent in April and a findings report will be produced later in the year.

Surveys and results will be posted on the DNR forest products webpage.

Check out Michigan Forest Industry Directory updates

With the September completion of the DNR Secondary Manufacturer Survey, the Michigan Forest Industry Directory now contains data for 575 logging and trucking businesses, more than 350 primary mills, 947 value-added or secondary manufacturers and more than 160 registered foresters.

The Forest Industry Directory is a free, mobile-friendly internet directory of forest products companies located in Michigan. It provides an easy way to search for products and services. Users can search for companies by tree species, type of material, equipment used, by industry (sawmill, manufacturer, timber producer, registered forester) or by county. Company contact information can be exported to a spreadsheet for later use.

The directory also includes summary data and graphs describing the composition of the forest products industry.

Directory listings reports also are available as PDF publications for the primary manufacturers and secondary or value-added manufacturers and can be downloaded to your computer or mobile device.

Visit the DNR forest industry webpage for more information.

Secondary manufacturer economic data now available

Michigan Forest Products Secondary Manufacturer Survey data is now available, identifying wood and paper product manufacturers active in 2015. The project was supported by a 2016 Wood Innovations Grant from the USDA Forest Service. The survey identified 947 active manufacturers, 75% of which were located in the southern Lower Peninsula.

Paper products made from trees including cups, plates and napkins

Industries with the greatest employment included:

  • Paper, paperboard or corrugated containers.
  • Wood office, institutional and residential furniture.
  • Pallets, pallet cut stock and wooden crates.
  • Cabinets.
  • Wood and paper displays.
  • Architectural millwork.
  • Truss manufacturing.  

Paper and paper packaging and furniture manufacturers comprised 56% of the direct employment. Survey data was used to update the Michigan Forest Industry Directory. Final products from the project include a survey report, a manufacturer map and a PDF report summarizing manufacturer directory listings. Find these resources on the DNR forest industry webpage.

View Northeast-Midwest forest industry contributions

DNR staff completed a regional and state-level economic analysis of the forest products industry, conducted in partnership with 18 of the 20 Northeast and Midwest states.

The project produced reports of the industries’ economic contributions for each state in the 20-state region along with a two-page fact sheet and an interactive dashboard summarizing the results.

The reports for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin, as well as for the 20-state region, are published on the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance website (scroll down to view reports). A recorded webinar detailing project results also is available.

The project was supported by a 2017 Landscape Scale Restoration Grant from the USDA Forest Service, administered by the DNR.

Michigan State University mass timber update

Mass timber building interior, showing wood panels, at Michigan State University

Sandra Lupien, director of outreach program MassTimber@MSU, issued an update on 2021 progress and goals for 2022 regarding this emerging building technique.

The update covers the debut of MSU's new mass timber facility, a webinar series, workgroup recommendations, an international mass timber conference and ways to get involved in the emerging mass timber movement. 

Read the MassTimber@MSU 2021 Year-End Director's Update

Kirtland Community College offers wood science program

A student at a worktable with tools and lumber

Kirtland Community College, the state's largest community college geographically, offers students 38 different degrees and certificates. One of the most unique is the Wood Science Technology Program established in 2019.

The Wood Science Technology Certificate Program is a one-year, multifaceted program that introduces students to the design and manufacturing of wood products. Students will learn the basics of wood science, sustainability, computer software, process optimization, controls and manufacturing techniques commonly used in the wood products industry. A hands-on lab approach is used to enhance the theoretical knowledge shared in the program of study.

In the news


Mass timber webinar series

Listen to recordings from the DNR, MSU and Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute's lunch-and-learn webinar series about adopting and building with mass timber.


Dry kiln webinar series

Join the Keystone Kiln Drying Association for a seven-part webinar series hosted by Penn. State Extension covering the basics of drying hardwood.


ArborCon 2022: Feb. 14-16

Great Lakes Timber Professionals spring celebration: April 13

Michigan Association of Timbermen annual convention: April 21-22

Great Lakes Kiln Drying Association spring meeting: May 4-5

Thick lumber slab workshopJune 9

National Firewood Workshop: June 15-16

Forest landowner workshop series: June 15-18. Includes a four-part series of virtual sessions and field tours for northern Lower Peninsula landowners. Contact Julie Crick (MSU) or Brenda Haskill (DNR) for details.