Severe winter weather, storms, fell 424 million ft3 of timber in Sweden; salvage logging hindered by warmer temperatures, logging roads that have failed to freeze over
January 13, 2014
– Swedish loggers impacted by severe winter weather downing hundreds of millions of cubic feet of timber are fearing for their profits, Alaska Dispatch, Radio Sweden and YLE News reported on Jan. 8.
Wind and snow damaged an estimated total of 424 million ft3 of timber in Sweden, with the northeast suffering the most damage. In December, Storm Ivar felled between 159 million and 219 million ft3 of forest, adding to the damage caused by Storm Sven earlier that month. Some of the felled timber is not salvageable, as it was too young for harvest.
Now, loggers are facing long hours to clear the damaged timber in warming weather that has made transportation even more difficult They also have to move quickly to remove the timber, as the coming spring could bring the threat of breeding insects and disease in felled trees.
Some of the timber is only good for pulpwood now, said one landowner, and some will be sold as firewood, which will bring even less profit.
The timber industry is currently rushing to salvage the logs and transport them to the sawmills before the spring thaw, although a warmer-than-average winter has made it harder to harvest logs as the ground has not frozen. Björn Lyngfelt of SCA said foresters wanted to save as much timber as possible.
The primary source of this article is Alaska Dispatch, Anchorage, Alaska, with sources from Radio Sweden and YLE News, on January 8, 2014.