ANF timber cut numbers improve

While the economic recession hit the timber sale in the Allegheny National Forest pretty hard several years ago, there are now signs of improvement, according to officials.

Bradford District Deputy Ranger Tony Martoglio provided an update on timber sales to the Warren County Council of Governments during its meeting Wednesday evening at the 911 Center in Youngsville.

Martoglio said that the timber sale program for fiscal year 2013 is approaching 33 million board feet sold. The anticipated board foot number was 37 million board feet.

“We’re looking at ways to get that (board foot number) back up,” he explained.

“(It) seems like a lot of timber sales have been sold,” he said. “(They) seem to be cutting more. Value is maybe going up a bit too.”

He explained that the value number is the number that determines the amount that is received in receipts, which ultimately enhances the amount the municipalities receive.

“That is a good trend we are seeing,” said Martoglio.

He said that the ANF is still waiting on FY 2014 budget numbers before determining cut totals for next year. Those numbers should arrive in May or June.

Glade Township Supervisor Joe Scully asked, “When was the last time we met the number of board feet to be cut?”

Martoglio said “that is ultimately the goal,” but noted that this year is the “highest it has gotten in the last few years.”

Martoglio said that the cut exceeded 40 million board feet in 2011 “so we’ve actually offered more timber sales than have been sold in the last few years. The market is just not being able to handle part of that. Hopefully, with prices going up, other market options, those type of things would support growth too.”