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Report: Economic downturn hurting forestry in Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A report by the state Department of Agriculture, Food and Forestry says the economic downturn and slow housing market is hurting the state's forestry industry.






The report says forest-related industries employ about 8,000 people in Oklahoma with an annual payroll of about $300 million. The Oklahoma Forest Resource Assessment says small sawmills are closing or cutting back operations and warehouses are full of construction materials that are going unsold.






Oklahoma has about 10 million acres of forest land with most of that in eastern and southeastern Oklahoma.






State forester John Burwell says the report is required in the U.S. farm bill and will be used to develop a new strategic plan for Oklahoma forestry.






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Information from: The Oklahoman, http://www.newsok.com






Copyright 2010 The AP.



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