Timber and Fire

Something today for labor-shortage junkies …
 
Two-thirds of loggers in Idaho, Montana and Washington are 40 and over, according to the AP. A new University of Idaho study warns that before long this could make it tough to find enough employees, and thus harder to thin out forests, increasing the danger from fires.
 
Harry Lee, professor emeritus at the Univ of Idaho, tells me that the industry has “gotten more mechanized,” causing some companies to lay people off. This has given the false impression that the whole industry is failing and won’t need people in the future.
 
Lee says that some people retire at the same age as they might in another field, but that “this labor force, maybe they retire a little earlier  … lots of times it becomes a health issue.”
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