Idaho’s state endowment lands, which make much of their money through timber sales, have had “a phenomenal year” for timber harvesting so far, state Lands Director Tom Schultz told the state Land Board this morning, “both harvest to date as well as revenue to date for timber sales.” Schultz said dry, cold conditions along with lots of salvage sales have meant “we’ve had a lot of wood that has moved in the last month,” Schultz said. “We’re already at about $43 million for cumulative receipts for the year. We’re at 152 percent of our five-year average in harvest volume at 200 million board feet, so we’re far eclipsing historical averages … for the first half of this year.”
Gov. Butch Otter, who chairs the Land Board, said the figures “tell a pretty good story.”
The state’s endowment fund reported earnings of 1.7 percent in November, for an 11.1 percent gain fiscal year to date at the end of the month, but investment manager Larry Johnson told the board, “Month to date in December, the market hasn’t been as kind to us,” with the fund losing about 1 percent. So fiscal year to date, since July 1, it’s up about 10 percent.