For decades, softwood log exports were an important component of international wood products trade from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the United States. Log exports to the Pacific Rim began in earnest after the Columbus Day Storm of 1962 generated billions of board feet of salvaged timber. This market was maintained and expanded owing to Japan’s demand for high-quality logs for its construction industry. Contentious debate surrounding disproportionate gains and losses to forest product market participants in the PNW (timber owners, mill owners, communities, and consumers) led to government intervention and restriction of volumes available for export. The debate ended and the market declined as a result of three factors: reductions in timber harvesting from PNW forests, changes in Asia’s demand, and globalization of wood markets. These changes with implications for trade and timber market participants are discussed.
Daniels, Jean M. 2005. The rise and fall of the Pacific Northwest log export market. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-624. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 80 p