NEW LONDON, N.H. (AP) – There wasn’t much optimism at the annual meeting of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association.

Members who gathered in New London on Saturday said the industry has been devastated by the economy.

Steve Wingate says the industry’s fortunes were closely tied to construction, which helped drag the country into recession. He told the Valley News that prospects for timber will only improve when the broader economy recovers. And even then, he says the timber industry will be about the last to feel the effects of the recovery.

New Hampshire ranks second to Maine as the nation’s most heavily forested state. The industry employs 10,000 people.

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