Forest Utilization & Marketing Newsletter - Summer 2022

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A machine is used to lift cut logs at a timber site

This twice-yearly newsletter from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Forest Utilization and Marketing Program shares information on DNR programs, economic reports, industry news, professional development opportunities and more. If you know of an event or opportunity that may be of interest to our partners or if you have questions, please email Forest Marketing and Outreach specialist Brenda Haskill

In this edition:

Add your input to DNR forest industry surveys

Image of a person using a pen to fill out a survey

Two DNR surveys are wrapping up in the next two months, and input is needed from forest products companies in Michigan. Survey results help provide a better understanding of the forest products industry in the state. 

The primary manufacturers survey is completed by mills in the state every other year, and the logger survey is conducted every five-seven years.  

Primary Mill Survey – please email completed surveys to Chris Schmiege

Michigan Logger Survey – please email completed surveys to Brenda Haskill

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

Register now for September log scaling workshop

Participants gather near cut timber for a log scaling class

Register now for a no-cost class on the basics of hardwood cut log scaling and grading in September. The class will be held at Ottawa Forest Products in Amasa, located in the western Upper Peninsula. 

To register for this valuable course offering four hours of Sustainable Forestry Initiative continuing education credit, contact the SFI state office at 517-853-8880. Classes are made possible through grant funding from the USDA Forest Service in partnership with the DNR. 

Consulting forester Brock VanOss of VanOss Forestry Services led the first course in this series in May at AJD Forest Products in Grayling.

DNR timber sale program update

State forests

The fiscal year 2021-22 plan of work, running Oct. 1 2021 through Sept. 30, 2022, identifies about 53,500 inventory acres for timber sale preparation. These lands are prescribed for treatment and approved through the compartment review process. 

Timber sale preparation is conducted by DNR staff and through timber marking contracts with private consultants.

In the second quarter of FY 2021-22, DNR staff prepared 2,813 acres (4,806 YTD) of timber sales with an estimated volume of 58,335 cords (89,215 YTD), which averages 20.7 cords per acre (18.6 YTD). 

Timber sale preparation-marking contracts for 9,337 acres have been awarded through the second quarter, and these acres will be prepared for sale by the end of the fiscal year. No additional FY22 preparation-marking contracts are expected to be awarded this year. 

Good Neighbor Authority


The FY 2021-22 plan of work currently identifies 8,820 acres of federal lands for Good Neighbor Authority partnership timber sale preparation. These lands were prescribed for treatment and approved by the USDA Forest Service. 

In the second quarter of FY 2021-22, the DNR prepared 154 acres (672 YTD) of GNA timber sales with an estimated volume of 5,332 cords (14,928 YTD), which averages 34.6 cords per acre (22.2 YTD). 

GNA timber sale preparation-marking contracts for 6,150 acres have been awarded through the second quarter. No additional FY22 GNA preparation-marking contracts are expected to be awarded this year. 

Mass timber customer service center progressing

The team leading a new DNR customer service center project in Newberry featuring mass timber building techniques met in June to review the final design of the building

The team determined details on mechanical, electrical and plumbing plansThe team has begun reviewing samples of flooring, roofing, exterior siding, interior paint, cabinets and countertops in preparation to make final selections at a mid-July review meeting. 

The preliminary draft schedule suggests that groundbreaking may occur later this year. 

Landowners 'journey from stump to mill' in educational workshop series

A group of landowners wearing safety gear smile for a photo at the Arauco facility

DNR Forest Marketing and Outreach specialist Brenda Haskill partnered with Michigan State University Extension natural resources educator Julie Crick in June to provide a three-part workshop for forest landowners titled, "The Journey from Stump to Mill." 

Participants were offered two virtual evening sessions and half-day tour of three Grayling-area wood manufacturers. The workshop was supported in part by a Landscape Scale Restoration Grant from the USDA Forest Service.

“Forest landowners often have little knowledge of the steps wood takes between their land and the many mills in the state. Wgave them an opportunity to see some local wood mills and additional information to make better decisions about managing their forest lands,” said Haskill.  

Virtual sessions included topics such as managing forests for nongame wildlife, understanding timber sale contracts, climate impacts to forest management and picking the right forester

The landowner group, with 15 participants, was one of the first public groups to tour the Arauco North America facility in its entirety.

International Society of Forest Resource Economics members tour Michigan sawmill

A group of people smile for a photo at the Hausler mill

Members of the International Society of Forest Resource Economics met in Traverse City in May and toured a local hardwood sawmill. The organization brings together representatives of industry, consulting, academia and federal and state agencies to discuss the economics of forestry, timber markets, timberland investments and the forest products trade.

Housler Sawmill in Mesick offered its facility for its first-ever group tour.  More than half of the forest economists had never had the opportunity to tour a hardwood sawmill in their careers. Housler Sawmill is a traditional three-generation, family-run mill that sources raw materials from within a 60-mile radius of the mill. 

Collaboration and partnership with Michigan Association of Timbermen Self Insurers’ Fund loss control representative Mike Kline and everyone at Housler Sawmill made the tour a success.

MSU leads Michigan delegation at International Mass Timber Conference in Portland

Three Michigan representatives at the Mass Timber Tour in Portland

In April, a delegation of about 50 Michiganders attended the International Mass Timber Conference in Portland, Oregon. Led by Sandra Lupien, director, MassTimber@MSU (Michigan State University) the delegation representing architecture, engineering and construction; forest products; NGOs; state agencies (DNR, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Michigan Economic Development Corp.); academia; developers and others, these professionals and students expanded Michigan's mass timber knowledge base by networking, participating in tours and attending workshops and panels on a broad array of topics.

Several of the Michigan attendees participated in tours of key mass timber buildings, innovation centers and fabrication facilities (see image) and many others participated in a nuts-and-bolts mass timber design workshop. MSU Master of Construction Management candidate Shreya Garad presented a poster titled “Building Life Cycle Assessment of a Mass Timber Structure: A Case Study of the MSU STEM Teaching and Learning Facility.” The DNR provided $4,800 in funding to offset the registration costs of more than a dozen members of the delegation, including four MSU students.

For more information, view a recording of “Mass Timber Takeaways for Michigan: Report-Back from the International Mass Timber Conference,” a June 8 webinar hosted by MassTimber@MSU and the Michigan Forest Biomaterials Institute.

Interested in joining the 2023 International Mass Timber Conference March 27-29? Email Sandra Lupien.

DNR welcomes new forest utilization and marketing specialist

Chris Schmiege portrait photo

The DNR Forest Resources Division recently welcomed Forest Utilization & Marketing specialist Chris Schmiege to the team, filling Dave Neumann’s position. In this position, Schmiege will work with Forest Marketing and Outreach Specialist Brenda Haskill as co-leads of forest utilization and marketing efforts for the DNR.  

Schmiege comes to us from Florida, where he has worked for the past 15 years. He is a graduate of Michigan Technological University where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in forestry. Most recently, he served as the forest inventory and analysis coordinator with the Florida Forest Service. Before that, he was a forest area supervisor with the Florida Forest Service, where his primary responsibility was managing wildland firefighting activities in Lee County. Prior to taking on the role of forest area supervisor, Schmiege worked as a Florida Forest Service Forester on forest management activities for two state properties.  

Workshops and conferences

Aug. 2-4: Hardwood lumber grading short course 

October: Sawmill risk management workshop (Email Brenda Haskill for details) 

In the news

News articles, workshops, webinars and other information from outside the DNR in this publication are provided for informational purposes and are not endorsements.