State Forestlands Destroyed by Hurricanes

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The state's forestry industry is just one of the many still adding up the damage from all the hurricanes this season.

A Florida Division of Forestry summary pegs the value of timber damaged statewide at more than $389 million. From Hurricane Ivan alone, the damage in northwest Florida is placed at more than $130 million.

The Florida Forestry Association's Jeff Doran says Okaloosa, Walton, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties bore the brunt of the timber damage from Ivan. He says $2.3 million acres of forests have been altered or destroyed by the hurricanes and Tropical Storm Bonnie.

Doran says the state has never seen such a need for a timber salvage effort. The damage from Ivan has created a glut on the market.

To preserve timber, in some cases up to 18 months, some of the bigger lumber companies have “wet yards” set up. The companies stack timber and put a sprinkler system over the wood. The water from the system preserves the timber and protects it from insects.