Mississippi's timber industry did not begin its climb out of the depression this year, but officials say they believe the descent has stabilized and recovery should be in the near future.
Agricultural economists and forestry specialists with Mississippi State University's Extension Service are predicting the value of Mississippi's timber harvest fell about point-three percent this year to $1.03 billion. The 2002 value was almost $1.04 billion.
Extension forestry specialist Bob Daniels said the decline seems to be bottoming out.
Daniels said in 2001 timber production value fell 17 percent. Then, in 2002 the decline was less than four percent. Daniels said he hopes the industry has stabilized and should begin to improve next year as the economy strengthens.