(06/02/2007)
West Virginia's $4 billion timber industry is in a major slump.

Affected are 30,000 owners and employees.

Loggers and sawmills, large and small, are struggling to hang on, and many have already bailed out of the business.

The West Virginia Forestry Association says there is no light at the end of the tunnel.

Forrester Dick Waybright says "It's the worst I've seen it. No one is really predicting a brighter day anytime soon."

Down in the market is red oak, plentiful in the Mountain State, but little in demand. The price of red oak has dropped in half.

While the sale of other timber is holding, it is not enough to compensate with the loss of red oak sales.

While there is a change in preference of wood by consumers, the globalized market has forced many WV logging companies to shut down.

Logging and sawmill operations in Calhoun and regional counties, mostly family owned, are barely hanging on.

America's furniture making industry, mostly in NC, has shifted to China.


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