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Timber salvage better than hoped

By By Adam Prestridge For The Standard
Hurricane Ivan's destructive winds are still being felt.
Although the high-powered winds died down several months ago as cleanup efforts began, those that rely on the timber industry for income are still feeling it in their pocket books.
Tuesday afternoon, the Alabama Forest Recovery Task Force held its first meeting of 2005 at the Bay Minette Civic Center to report good news. The task force gave the status of the timber recovery effort throughout the counties in southern Alabama hit hardest and revealed that it has gone better than anticipated.
Following Ivan, damage assessments revealed that the state suffered $610 million in total timber damage, of which, $296 million was in moderately to severely damaged areas. As for Escambia County, it suffered $9,136,521 in timber damage, which is spread out
The task force is nearing its goal of 22 percent recovery with 17 percent of timber values recovered.
As with most products, timber has a shelf life and must be preserved within a certain amount of time or it's not able to be used.
McMillan said there are three effective ways to preserve timber, including increase production on a local basis, moving timber to further locations or using a wet storage, which controls the temperature and stain.
McMillan said a high percentage of the salvaged timber is being received from private landowners.
The task force's chairman, David Helm, also announced that some landowners have been surveyed for seedling needs, which will assist in the forest health and reforestation. The Forest Health and Reforestation Committee has evaluated requirements and doesn't expect a shortfall this year or next.