Potlatch Corp. will scale back its timber harvest by 18 percent this year as a result of poor markets.
Most of the cutbacks will take place on the company’s Idaho forestlands. Potlatch, based in Spokane, owns 1.6 million acres of private forestland, including parcels in Arkansas and the upper Midwest.
Cutting fewer trees will affect Potlatch’s cash flow, but selling logs at depressed prices isn’t in the company’s best interest, said Mike Covey, chairman and CEO. As a result of the cutbacks, 500,000 fewer tons of saw logs will be harvested this year.
“We believe these markets will come back at more favorable prices when housing recovers,” Covey said. “When they do, we are poised to step up harvest levels.”
Ski industry saw slight drop
The economy may have fallen off a cliff last year, but the ski industry’s drop was a lot more gentle.
Preliminary figures show there were 57.1 million visits to ski slopes across the country during the past winter, a 5.5 percent decline from the record 60.5 million visits the year before.
It could’ve been worse without favorable weather in most parts of the country that helped offset the slumping economy, the National Ski Areas Association said Friday.
Some regions fared better than others.
The Southeast, with the smallest share of the business, was the only region to see an increase in visits, which were up nearly 2 percent. By contrast, resorts in the Rockies, the Pacific West and the Midwest saw declines in the 7 to 8 percent range.
Fund manager accused of fraud
A Beverly Hills hedge fund manager was arrested Friday on a charge he bilked investors out of $44.3 million, including $5 million he lost playing poker, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
Bradley L. Ruderman, 46, surrendered to FBI agents after being named in a wire fraud complaint.
The government alleges he spent at least $8.7 million of investor money on personal expenses including a summer rental of a Malibu beach home and two Porsches. He admitted in an FBI interview that he lost $5.2 million of investor money in poker games held in a Beverly Hills luxury hotel suite, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.