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Published March 26, 2012, 10:51 AM

Minnesota timber harvest down 25-30 percent since 2006

VIRGINIA, Minn. (AP) — Northern Minnesota's logging industry is suffering along with the rest of the national wood products industry, but leaders of trade groups say loggers who've held on so far are likely to survive.

VIRGINIA, Minn. (AP) — Northern Minnesota's logging industry is suffering along with the rest of the national wood products industry, but leaders of trade groups say loggers who've held on so far are likely to survive.

Scott Dane, executive director of the Associated Contract Loggers and Truckers of Minnesota, tells the Mesabi Daily News of Virginia (http://bit.ly/GQjuQ4 ) that the trend started in 2006. He says timber harvest volume in Minnesota has dropped by 25 to 30 percent since then, with closures or cutbacks at several wood product plants, paper mills and numerous smaller sawmills as well.

Wayne Brandt, executive vice president of Minnesota Forestry Industries, says the drop in timber harvesting was driven largely in the crash of new home construction.

But Brandt says loggers who have survived so far will continue to survive.

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