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Price per 1000 Boardfeet Fuels Timber Harvests

A view of the Pines of the Cable Area during Winter4/14/21. The next time you visit the Cable Area of Northwest Wisconsin you will notice more logging. Expect that to continue, it comes down to simple economics. The COVID-19 shut down created a lumber supply shortage while demand for new homes, exacerbated by housing sales market tightness, soared. All that continues to push the May ’21 contract spot price per 1000 boardfeet of lumber to all-time highs. The 4/13/21 intraday high of $1,205.50 as proof (markets.businessinsider.com). Tracts of land that contain Pine are currently too valuable not to take.

Pine is a soft wood that is used for framing in the construction industry, and as noted in our recent Newsletter to clients, the Cable Area is rich in Pine. Although there is an enormous pricing divergence between soft and hardwood building products, loggers do not distinguish when taking the natural resource. The picture above, which was taken this past Winter, depicts a Western view off Randysek, just South of Cable. Pretty place, eh? A mix of Pine, Oak and Maple. Makes for fine outdoor play, and it is of course a fully functioning, diverse ecosystem with intrinsic value all its own.

Logging is a part of the Cable Area’s history, and it continues to be a huge part of the local economy. Lower pricing is dependent on supply catching up with demand. The longterm solution is a shift in home buyer demand to existing housing. Not an easy ship to turn. Up North Guided Tours is not anti-logging at all; however, we do provide outdoor recreational alternatives that do bring money into the area without harvesting or trampling on a singe resource. We offer day and over-night fat bike, canoe, snowshoe, and camping guided tours of the Cable Area’s backcountry. For more, please see www.upnorthguidedtours.com. Thank you for reading! -Josh