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Heavy rains slow timber harvest (UPDATE)

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin’s logging industry is struggling to harvest wood because of the wet summer, leaving loggers with less money while they wait for work during better weather.

The last three months are among the five wettest on record in the state, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information, Wisconsin Public Radio (http://bit.ly/2tj3ZPL ) reported.

Loggers are moving equipment around to look for drier places where they can work, said Henry Schienebeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Timber Professionals Association.

“When it rains, it doesn’t just rain enough to settle the dust,” he said. “We’re getting an inch, inch-and-a-half, 2 inches at a time. That’s really having an impact right now on the wood inventories.”

Road closings or roads that are too wet to withstand heavy loads are also slowing down the harvesting, he said.

“A lot of our members are self-employed, but there’s also a lot of employees out there that depend on a weekly or biweekly income coming in,” he said. “When it gets to the point where it’s so wet that they can’t get to work every day, that really disrupts that flow of not only the product, but also the income that those folks are able to bring in on a weekly basis.”

Schienebeck expects that loggers should be able to find a steady stream of work in the fall when the state sees drier weather.

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