Aberdeen records big profit on timber sale

The city of Aberdeen struck at the right time, and now it’ll reap the benefits with a timber sale.

Through a unanimous vote on Wednesday, April 27, inside the Aberdeen City Council chambers, Mayor Pete Schave was authorized to sign a contract with Chehalis Valley Timber to sell a total volume estimate of 948 MBF (thousand board feet) of timber for $291,200.

“This is good news,” Schave said after the contract was approved.

Ward 6, Position 12 councilperson Dee Anne Shaw said the likelihood of a sale was anticipated in the city’s 2022 budget, and that the sale figure was penciled in at $180,000. The sale price was about 62 percent more than what was estimated.

In order to make such a timely sale, Shaw explained how the city contracts with Loren Hiner, city forester for the city of Montesano. who also contracts out to work with Hoquiam.

“He helps us manage our timberlands and the recommendation was to put the sale out this year,” Shaw said.

Hiner said the current timber prices are “very high.”

“So we are taking advantage of that to get this piece harvested, and (then) back into good (Douglas) fir production again,” Hiner said in an email to The Daily World.

The timber includes Red Alder, Western Hemlock, Douglas Fir and Sitka Spruce.

The trees in the sale include a lot of scattered alder on a fairly steep hillside, according to Hiner.

Hiner said he thought the city got a good price, considering the timber that’s there, and the logging that has to be done.

Aberdeen’s Public Works Department advertised in The Daily World on Thursday, March 24, an invitation for bids for the timber sale.

The sealed bids for the harvesting and sale of timber within a designated unit in the city of Aberdeen’s Lake Aberdeen Watershed were received Thursday, April 14, according to city documents.

The unit sold contains timber mainly in the age range of about 45-year-old trees.

During the council meeting, Shaw made a point to clarify the city made more than what was initially budgeted. From what they got in the sale, it seems the city made about $111,000 from the sale.

“We budgeted for about $180,000 from this timber sale, and we can see what it came in at,” said Shaw. “It looks like it was a good time to move, as was recommended by the board.”

Schave championed the work Hiner does for the city.

“They do a spectacular job,” Schave said. “ They oversee the timber that we own and make recommendations. In this instance, it worked out real well.”