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Changes in Georgia's Logging Workforce, 1987–2007

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We have conducted a survey of Georgia's logging contractors every 5 years for a period of 20 years (1987–2007). These data provide a useful measure to assess changes in the contractor workforce over this time period. The average weekly production of logging firms has increased 83% since 1987. A moderate increase (approximately 15%) in representation of fully mechanized logging crews has been followed by increased investments in crews of this type but declining marginal returns on investment. Average production per man-hour worked has increased over 50%. No distinct changes in landownership patterns or average harvest acreages were noted. Implementation of best management practices increased steadily through the years and is now over 95%. Lost time accidents have decreased 90%. Financial concerns and finding suitable employees continue to be among the key problems listed by respondents. Increases in average owner age and a distinct shift in the distribution of ages throughout the population of firm owners are issues of concern for the future.

Keywords: demographics; harvesting contractor; logger; survey

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2008-05-01

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  • Each regional journal of applied forestry focuses on research, practice, and techniques targeted to foresters and allied professionals in specific regions of the United States and Canada. The Southern Journal of Applied Forestry covers an area from Virginia and Kentucky south to as far west as Oklahoma and east Texas.
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