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Timber losses estimated at $4 million

The April 16 tornadoes that swept through the local area not only destroyed homes, but valuable timber as well as shown in this photo taken near Askewville. Staff Photo by Thadd White

While the majority of the attention following the deadly outbreak of tornadoes on April 16 has focused on residential and business damage, there was significant losses to timber as well.

Now, after completing an assessment of that destruction, the N.C. Division of Forest Resources (NCDFR) is encouraging landowners that suffered damage to their timberland to seek assistance from their local county forest ranger or a consulting forester.

A recent aerial survey shows that statewide there was an estimated 4,634 acres containing some timber damage from the storms. It is estimated that this damaged timber is valued close to $4 million. NCDFR personnel hope to use the information gathered in the survey to prioritize landowner contacts and assistance.

Landowners can be proactive about the best management options they have for dealing with their timber loss and reforestation needs by contacting a county ranger or consulting forester. These professionals will be familiar with assessing storm damage and be able to help landowners to make the best decisions that will help achieve their land management objectives.

County ranger and consulting forester contact information can be found by following the links under “contact us” on the NCDFR website at http://dfr.nc.gov.

While downed timber represents a financial and possible aesthetic loss, in time it may also become a fire hazard and could possibly open up the remaining forestland to disease and insect infestation.  Landowners should seek professional assistance as soon as possible. In fact, some of the downed timber may be salvageable and sold if landowners take action soon.  To ensure they are getting fair market value for their timber, landowners should seek the assistance of a consulting forester.

The NCDFR recently posted a guidance memo on harvesting tornado-damaged timber in streamside management zones on the hot topics section of its website. The focus of the memo deals with Forest Practice Guidelines and provides links to two additional guidance documents from the N.C. Division of Water Quality.

To learn more contact Brian R. Haines, public information officer with NCDFR, at (919) 857-4828.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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