Spotted Owls Rejoice: Big Timber is Hurting for Buyers

I've always had a soft spot in my heart for those in the timber trade. The high school mascot in the North Idaho town where I spent my early years was a logger--wool hat, ax, flannel shirt, the works. As someone there pointed out, everything we have is grown or mined; so until you're willing to sleep in a hole you dig into the ground, we have to cut down trees.

Of course, with the housing market in shambles the hobbit approach doesn't seem so bad. No one is buying, which means no one is building, which is bad news for Seattle timber company Plum Creek. Today it announced that while still pulling in a profit, net income fell from $45 million during the first quarter of 2007 to $38 million during the first quarter of 2008. The bottom line is expected to keep suffering for the rest of the year.

Maybe Potlatch should change its mascot to the Foreclosure Auctioneers, that'll strike fear into visiting teams from Lewiston.

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