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      Forest Disaster Declaration issued due to recent winter storm

      The Forestry Commission estimates that 25,000 to 30,000 acres of timber will have to be salvaged and replanted.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (WACH) -- South Carolina State Forester Henry Kodama has issued a Forest Disaster Declaration due to the recent winter storm in February.

      Kodama announced the rare declaration during a press conference held at the statehouse Wednesday.

      It is described as a "call to action" for landowners, timber harvesters, and mill operators to work together after the major ice damage.

      The State Forestry Commission says a survey shows a 170-mile long, 70-mile-wide band of timber damage from the Savannah River to the North Carolina border.

      The estimated value of the timber lost is $360 million on 1.5 million acres of forestland.

      ??The raw material supply chain for our state??s largest manufacturing sector has suffered from this natural disaster,?? Kodama says. ??The storm has impacted hundreds of thousands of individual forestland owners and multiple corporations. Forestland owners and forest product manufacturing is dependent on a consistent cycle of tree growth and harvests, and the storm has disturbed this cycle over much of the state.??

      The Forestry Commission estimates that 25,000 to 30,000 acres of timber will have to be salvaged and replanted.

      The storm did the most damage to pulpwood size trees between 15 and 25 years of which. That is the type of trees that are in least supply.

      However, according to The Forestry Commission, the state still has the most wood ever recorded due to an abundance of larger sawtimber size trees.

      If you are a landowner that needs emergency assistance, click here for more information.