Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Forest Resources

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Patrick Hiesl

Committee Member

Dr. Nilesh Timilsina

Committee Member

Dr. Donald Hagan


The logging businesses, a crucial component of the wood supply chain, face shifting dynamics with various challenges and opportunities. Focusing on North and South Carolina, this study analyzes surveys and interviews to explore the logging business challenges and pathways to sustainable growth in the Southeastern United States.

In South Carolina, our findings indicate a shift towards more medium-sized businesses with a decrease in small and large logger, the entry of some younger loggers in the industry, and a notable rise in educational qualifications among loggers. Simultaneously, there is a decrease in the intergenerational transfer of logging businesses, coupled with escalated input and operational costs, compared to the 2017 South Carolina logging business survey. In North Carolina, 31% of loggers are aged 60 or above, 52% businesses are small-sized, and 51% of these loggers had completed high school. However, 27% anticipates exiting the industry by 2027, with reported challenges of high input and operational costs.

There are several logging businesses owned by Minority groups, Beginning loggers (e.g. middle-aged individuals starting logging businesses) and Young entrepreneurs in the Southeastern United States. However, there aren’t many studies focused on understanding the state of these businesses in the logging industry. Interviews were carried out with nine MBY loggers to get an idea about these businesses ‘boots-on-the—ground’ level, and from four forestry/logging associations to get the broader/state-wide perspective on these businesses. The participating MBY loggers were more educated and had productive businesses with similar financial investment compared to the general logging population in these states. Forty-four percent started their business independently without a family history in logging. The challenges these loggers reported were high startup cost, low profit, limited access to financing, strained relationships within the industry and rise in input and operational costs. In response to these challenges, the potential proposed solutions included government grants and low-interest programs, marketing and outreach to stimulate growth in the industry, training and workshops designed to empower logging businesses, and consideration of legislative measures to mitigate input and operational growth.



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