Oregon's timber harvest reached 4 billion board feet in 2003, a 2 percent increase from 2002 and the highest volume since 1997.

The harvest was up in Morrow County, but down in Umatilla County.

The "2003 Annual Timber Harvest Report" released recently by the Oregon Department of Forestry, said the 1997 harvest was about 81 million board feet higher than in 2003.

Gary Lettman, the department's forest economist, attributed the gain over 2002 to a rise in timber harvests on all ownership classes except forest industry and Native American forestlands. While harvest on industrial lands accounted for 74 percent of the total last year, from 2002 to 2003 it dropped from 2,985 million board feet to 2,949 mmbf.

Harvest on American Indian lands decreased 11 percent from 2002 to 2003, totaling 63 million board feet last year, including 484,000 board feet from the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, the report said.

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