Friday, September 23, 2011

East Texas Timber Losses Add to Wildfire Toll

Texas is fortunate to have wide-open prairies and tall wooded forests, but unfortunately both have suffered tremendous losses in the wake of the drought and wildfires. According to the Texas AgriLife Extension Service, agricultural losses associated with the drought were estimated at more than $5 billion a few weeks ago.

More recently, the Texas Forest Service estimated $97 million worth of timber has been lost in the ongoing East Texas wildfires.

When you factor in additional economic losses resulting from irretrievable harvesting and homebuilding efforts,that number gets much bigger. In fact, according to the National Association of Homebuilders, the timber lost is comparable to enough lumber to frame nearly 147,000 homes measuring 2,400 square feet.

Texas has been deeply scarred by this devastating round of drought and wildfires, but we cannot surrender in defeat. Please continue to pray for rain and support our farmers, ranchers and other citizens who must not go it alone on the road to recovery. Rebuilding their livelihoods benefits us all.

Meanwhile, be sure to thank our courageous firefighters who are battling on the frontlines to mitigate the losses. Their efforts are truly heroic.

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