Value of Alberta forest ships up

EDMONTON — Alberta’s forestry industry is seeing a glimmer of hope after a long run of bad financial news.

EDMONTON — Alberta’s forestry industry is seeing a glimmer of hope after a long run of bad financial news.

The Alberta Forest Products Association says the value of shipments was up in the second quarter of 2009 — the first increase in five quarters.

But, overall, the value of lumber, panelboard and pulp and paper was still down 36 per cent compared with the same period in 2008.

Association president Brady Whittaker says housing starts in the United States are up, which could mean that the economy is improving after being hit hard by the downturn.

Forestry is Alberta’s third-largest industry and employs about 38,000 people in 50 communities.