About 2.7 million cords of wood are harvested in Minnesota each year, but the state’s forests could sustain double that amount, the state Department of Natural Resources said.
A study released this week updates a 1994 report that estimated that 5.5 million cords a year could be taken from the forests without environmental damage, the Duluth News Tribune reports. That was a controversial figure back then, but in the intervening years mills have closed and international supply has increased, lessening the harvest in Minnesota.
Still, the new report indicates that 5.5 million cords remains a valid estimate of how much can be sustainably taken each year, even though no one expects it to go that high in the near future.
The harvest peaked at 4.2 million cords in the mid-1990s and has dropped steadily in recent years.