South Carolina Forestry Commission
News Release

February 19, 2014

Forestry Commission Urging Forest Owners Not to Rush Post-storm Timber Decisions

(Columbia, SC) -  Spring-like weather offers relief from -- and a sharp contrast to -- last week’s winter storm.  However, our state’s forestland owners may feel like their crisis has just begun.

The Forestry Commission urges patience.SCFC forester Ron Holt examines a Williamsburg Co.  timber damaged by last week’s ice storm.

Landowners with significant damage are struggling to decide whether to salvage or save standing timber.  Also, there is the matter of wood felled by the storm lying on still-wet ground.  It can wait only so long before nature erodes what, if any, market value it holds. 

But SCFC staff hopes that every forest owner and tree farmer will pause, assess their situation, and seek expert advice before making timber management decisions.  While fallen timber will eventually degrade, there is time for landowners to discuss their particular situations with professional foresters.  These experts can advise landowners on salvaging downed trees and the proper actions to take for damaged standing timber.   Decisions made hastily could have financial ramifications for a landowner and his or her heirs for decades.

First, South Carolina landowners should document their damage (with photos or video) immediately for tax purposes and for possible reforestation assistance down the road.

Landowners should not feel compelled to clear their land, especially if unsolicited timber buyers are pressing for a quick sale. 

SCFC foresters can provide assistance in evaluating timber.  Due to the scope of the winter storm, there may be a waiting list for landowner assistance from the Forestry Commission.  Our offices are ready to provide a list of private forestry consultants as well.  This information is also available on our website
In addition to seeking expert advice on their timber’s condition, here are ways South Carolina’s forestland owners can protect their investment:

Forestry and its related businesses provide the livelihood of many people.  South Carolina’s forest resource is the backbone of our state’s largest manufacturing sector.  With 88% of our 13+ million acres of forestland privately owned (mostly by families who live on their land), forestry is more than a business in the Palmetto State, it is a way of life. 

South Carolina’s 13 million acres of privately-owned forestland support an industry which impacts our state’s economy by $17 billion annually.

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For more information, call Scott Hawkins, (803) 896-8820

Photos of some storm damage have been posted to SCFC’s Facebook page: 





SC Forest-related businesses have a $17 billion annual impact on our economy.

For every $1.00 invested by the state in its Forestry Commission, forest industry produces about $1,200.00 of economic impact.

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