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HD: Industry Reaps Benefits of Lumber Shortage

The article ``Greens Deserve Thank You Note,'' Aug. 30, states: ``[Lumber] shortages and the threat of them have the unexpected effect of making the [timber] industry more profitable, analysts say.'' I thought it was an economic maxim that shortages increase profit. How is it that a multibillion-dollar industry fails to recognize this? Ironically, the perceived enemy is the greatest ally, the environmentalist.

Environmentalists have always sung the praises of market control by the timber industry, yet the timber industry is too slow to respond to the reality of this. Instead of the maximum profit possible, if the timber industry would allow for a sustained profit each year and allow their forests to return to old, high-quality standards, the market would not be glutted, the timber would always be of the highest quality, and there would always be an acceptable profit. Brent Conner, Hendersonville, N.C.

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