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IRASBURG - Steve Baraw is busy maneuvering his skidder while on a logging job in Irasburg. Despite the economic downturn in other areas, logging seems to be holding steady.
Vermontâ€™s wood industry goes back 250 years. The first sawmill was built in Westminster around 1739, and by 1840, there were over 1,000 sawmills in Vermont.
Vermont's forest products industry contributed about $1 billion in value of shipments to the Vermont economy in 2001 and employed almost 12,000 people. Over 78% of the land area of the state is forested.
There are about 500 logging contractors in Vermont, mostly self-employed, producing about one million cords of forest products each year.