Barnum made his comments at the Corvallis Chamber's March Lunch Forum on Wednesday March 12 at the Corvallis Country Club. The Forest sector accounts for roughly 5.3 percent of all jobs in Oregon — 7 percent of jobs in Benton County and 15 percent in Linn County — with a built in capacity for more.
Forest sector jobs - be they driving a logging truck, working in a mill, or producing value-added products - pay an annual wage of around $46,000 - considered a family-wage job by most economists.
Barnum said the industry is heavily reliant on the U.S. housing industry, and exports to places like China. While most of Oregon's forested land is managed by the Federal Government, he said 70% of timber harvesting here is done on private lands. Barnum said that freeing up more federal land in Oregon for timber production, would help create more jobs and increase capacity at Oregon mills.
For more on Barnum's presentation, check out the story in theThursday March 13 Gazette-Times: