Timber sales strong in Jefferson County

State-managed lands bring in $1.1 million

PORT TOWNSEND — Jefferson County received more than $1.1 million from its lands managed by the state Department of Natural Resources in 2022.

According to a presentation to the Board of Jefferson County Commissioners on Monday, revenue for state-managed lands amounted to $1,116,217 for calendar year 2022 with more than $400,000 coming in the fourth quarter, which began Oct. 1.

Jefferson County has more than 14,000 acres of land managed by the state, and timber sales from those lands fund county services including emergency services.

Timber markets can fluctuate, said Drew Rosanbalm, state lands assistant with the Department of Natural Resources, but it has remained strong in the past few years.

“So far the market’s hanging in there,” Rosanbalm said. “We’re doing well.”

The estimated amount of timber managed by the state currently under contract is $5.3 million with the last of those contracts ending in 2025.

According to DNR, the county has already received $953,765 in the first quarter of 2023 with another $1.3 million projected for the remainder of the year.

The county received $876,630 from timber sales in 2019 and $1.9 million in 2020.

DNR currently has several harvest contracts underway in Jefferson County, most of which will be completed in 2023 or 2024.

DNR Forester Brian Turner told commissioners that timber markets tend to fluctuate every two years and that in recession years there have been no bids on state timber sales.

“That hasn’t been the case for the past five years,” Turner said, “which is not normal.”

The state takes its own portion of timber sales revenue, some of which comes back to the county in the form of school funding.

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Reporter Peter Segall can be reached at peter.segall@peninsuladailynews.com.

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