A boost for local wood industry
Tough times for wood and timber
By TOM KANE
HAWLEY, PA The Delaware-Highlands Conservancy (DHC) has produced a brochure that serves as a guide to available wood and forestry resources in Pike and Wayne Pennsylvania counties and New Yorks Sullivan County.
The guide was presented to the Wayne County Commissioners at their meeting on August 27 by Carson Helfrich, chairman of the DHC. It comes at a time when the industry can use a boost.
The publication, called Shop Local Save Land A Guide to Wood Products, presents a lengthy list of many local companies that are working in the wood business like saw mills, consulting foresters, framing lumber mills, wood furnishings, cabinetry and many other related businesses. The 16-page publication is being circulated to residents and businesses by chambers of commerce and other civic groups as a mechanism to increase awareness of the locally produced goods and services.
It is a companion piece to an earlier publication called Shop Local Save Land a Guide to Farms and Farm Markets in Monroe, Pike and Wayne counties.
This is a wonderful product because it encourages local people to buy from local businesses, said Dan Droppa, owner of the Aldenville Log and Lumber Company in Prompton, PA. We could go out of the area and get a better price but we lose something by not helping our neighbors.
The publication is much needed since the downturn of the nations economy has touched so many businesses ,like the lumber industry, he said. Aldenville Log and Lumber produces a full range of wood and timber products, from two-by-four inch wood beams to finished hardwood.
We are experiencing a drastic reduction of construction and building all over the country and in our area as well, Droppa said. Ive been in this business for 15 years and I have seen nothing like it. He expressed pessimism for any improvement in the business until the fall of 2010.
But the pamphlets producers are hoping that it can hasten the recovery. We had so much success with the first publication aimed at the farming industry that we decided to do a similar thing for the wood and timber industry, Helfrich said.
Today, Pennsylvania ranks first in the nation for hardwood production. About 75 percent of the states forested acres are owned by private, non-industrial landowners, Helfrich said.
DHC is a local land trust working with willing landowners to protect the natural and cultural heritage of the Upper Delaware River watershed.
The conservancy is intimately attuned to the connection between the conservation and sustainability of private forest lands and their economic viability, Helfrich said. This guide will play a strong economic development role in the area.
During challenging economic times, like the present, the potential is high for local forest businesses and private forest landowners to make land-use decisions that would ultimately change our regions forested landscape, he said.
Wayne County Commissioner Tony Herzog agreed, and said, This guide has a clear role to play in the kind of economic development activity we need in the county.
The publication was supported by the John and Helen Villaume Foundation, the Pike County Conservation District and the Pike County Scenic Rural Character Preservation Board.
The brochure can be obtained from local chambers of commerce, public libraries and other distribution centers and is available on line. For more information visit www.delawarehighlands.org or call 570/226-3164.