Forestry & Wood Products Industry

Oregon is the largest lumber producer in the U.S. With 30.5 million acres of forestlands, about 50% of the total landmass of the state is covered in forest. An internationally-recognized leader in wood product manufacturing, Oregon combines accessible raw materials with cutting-edge innovation to produce a diverse range of high quality, value-added wood products that are exported to every corner of the globe.

Innovation is imperative for Forestry and Wood Products to maintain its competitive position in the marketplace. Modern mills use nearly every fiber of wood. Laser scanning ensures the most productive use of the wood, while the rest is recovered and used in the production of engineered wood products, biomass power, or other secondary wood products. Technological advances allow for the use of smaller logs to create products that would have required larger logs decades ago.

Forestry and Wood Products employment is more concentrated in rural Oregon than any other of our Target Industry Groups. It is an important source of high-paying jobs for many rural communities, and the support and development of this industry group is vital to the economic prosperity of many rural Oregonians.

Forestry

Logging and support activities for forestry form the base of Oregon's forestry industry. Forestry has the largest location quotient of any industry in Business Oregon's Targeted Industry Groups, meaning it is very concentrated here and is, perhaps, the industry most unique to Oregon. It also is an industry that is significant to rural communities in Oregon, as forests tend to be located in rural parts of the state.

Oregon is known worldwide for its high quality softwoods, predominantly, Douglas fir, Oregon's official state tree. Most Oregon logs are purchased by wood product manufacturers in Oregon. As a result, demand for logs is tied to demand for wood products. Oregon's timber harvest today comes primarily from private timberlands. In 2014, 79% of Oregon's timber harvest came from private lands. Some logs from private lands are exported, but that market represents a very small share of total logs harvested in Oregon.

Wood Products

From dimensional lumber to plywood to ready-to-install windows and doors, Oregon's value-added wood products are world-renowned. Demand for Oregon wood products worldwide is on the rise, with exports increasing 44% between 2005 and 2015. Exports present a growth opportunity for this industry that has historically not exported a large percentage of its products.

Oregon is home to many leading wood and paper product manufacturers, including Weyerhaeuser, Georgia-Pacific, Roseburg Forest Products, and The Collins Companies. These companies and others are continually innovating and creating more efficient processes and better products to meet modern needs. One example is the work of D.R. Johnson in Riddle to bring cross laminated timber (CLT) products to market. D.R. Johnson is the first U.S. certified manufacturer of CLT in the country. CLT is an engineered wood product made of several layers of lumber, stacked crosswise, and glued and pressed together. CLT is strong enough that it can be used as an alternative to concrete, masonry, and steel in many commercial construction applications.

Industry Snapshot

Forestry & Wood Products Forestry Wood Products Total
Firms (2014) 1,004  1,020  2,024 
Employment (2014) 10,444  34,326  44,770 
Average Wage (2014) $45,209  $50,536  $49,293 
Exports (2014) $97,099,446  $917,554,781  $1,014,654,227 
Sales (2012) $1,218,356,0001 $15,978,065,000  $17,196,421,0001

1 Sales statistic not available from 2012 Economic Census. For logging, sales estimated by taking 2012 total timber harvest volume in Oregon multiplying by estimated 2012 all-Oregon log price annual average (about $550), less $225 per thousand board feet for transportation costs (Oregon Department of Forestry).

Source: Business Oregon with data from 1) Bureau of Labor Statistics, Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages, 2) U.S. Census Bureau, Foreign Trade Division and 2012 Economic Census, 3) Oregon Employment Department Quarterly Census of Employment & Wages, and 4) Oregon Department of Forestry, log prices and Oregon timber harvest data.

Oregon. Where business and forests grow together.