Lumber sales are up slightly in California, after hitting a record low in 2009. The 2008 collapse of the housing market devastated California's already faltering lumber industry. The housing market has been slow to recover, but new home construction has risen in the last year.
David Bischel of the California Forestry Association says that's translated into a slight uptick in lumber production. "There's been an increase in sales because there's been a small increase in housing production, our markets are very closely tied to housing markets."
Several counties are harvesting more lumber, including Shasta, Siskiyou, Lassen and El Dorado. Lumber sales are also up in Calaveras county, which recently reopened a lumber mill.
Communities there worked with the state to develop sustainable logging plans that would thin forests, reducing fire risk and creating jobs. Statewide the timber harvest is still at about half of 1990 levels.