Timber-processing capacity and capabilities in the Western United States

Charles E. Keegan, Todd A. Morgan, Krista M. Gebert, Jason P. Brandt, Keith A. Blatner, Timothy P. Spoelma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


This examination of milling capacity and timber use in the western United States summarizes changes in the region's wood products industry and its ability to use trees of various sizes. Between 1986 and 2003, total timber-processing capacity in the West (excluding pulpwood and fuelwood) declined from 5.0 to 3.2 billion cubic feet annually, and capacity utilization decreased from 3.6 to 2.5 billion cubic feet. During 2003, 2.2 billion cubic feet of timber processed in the West was from trees ≥ 10-in. dbh, and 2.5 billion cubic feet (80%) of capacity was not capable of efficiently processing trees <10-in. dbh. Geographic distribution of existing capacity and small-tree capabilities is critical to forest management activities throughout the West.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)262-268
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Forestry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jul 2006


  • Capacity utilization
  • Milling capacity
  • Small-diameter timber


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