I have a contract with USDA to do wildlife habitat improvements on my property. I have about 18 acres that will be clear cut with the exception of oaks and other wildlife beneficial trees(most of this area is junk, so leaving the oaks will not be leaving much). I have 7-8 acres that is very mature hardwood. Lots of mature red and white oak. The canopy in this area is 100%. The USDA and TWRA officials helping me with the project say these areas need to me thinned 50%+ to allow sunlight and native browse. I understand and I am fine with this.

Here is the situation. They recommended I contact the forester for my area. I have met with him twice. He is very impressed with the 7-8 acres of mature hardwood. He said I had what looked to be quite a few veneer quality trees. He is dead set against selling right now, with the economy and log market down.

I understand both points of view. My intension is for wildlife habitat improvement and I side with the USDA and TWRA. Just because the economy is down does not mean that life stops and we put everything on hold. At the same time, I don't want to leave alot of money laying on the table if these trees are very valuable. I am completely ignorant of timber prices and what my logs are worth. This is the first time ever having any logging done; I'm excited about it, but also a nervous wreck because you only get one shot at getting it done right. This is small acreage and likely will not be a timber producing property.

Who has thoughts, opinions, experiences to share?
One other thing. I have the names of a couple of reputable loggers, but the forester said he could get me the names of "high quality white oak buyers". Are loggers and these buyers different?

Thanks for any input!
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