Timber Value Chain
Montana’s forest products industry encompasses a value-chain that includes forest landowners, consulting foresters, loggers, timber haulers, primary processors, and secondary processors. Each link in the value-chain provides the other links with raw materials, services, or markets.
The figure below is a conceptual map of Montana's forest value chain. Forest landowners, the base of the chain, may work with consulting foresters to develop forest management plans and conduct timber sales. The timber sales can be purchased by loggers, timber haulers, primary processors, and even secondary processors. After the sale is purchased a logger harvests the selected trees, a timber hauler delivers them to a mill, which processes the logs into any of several possible products. At all stages of the value-chain the owner of the timber or logs tries to steer the products into their highest value use. For example, a sawmill would not burn sawlogs for energy, because converting the logs to lumber is a much higher-value use than converting the logs to energy.