Timber Reclamation International of Ashland WI is a private business which the Manta site says has revenue in the 2.5 to 5M range and approximately 1-4 employees. In "Buying Submerged Lumber" in Popular Woodworking Magazine, they note they teach people how to extract sunken lumber from Lake Superior.
"But TRI doesn't pull the logs out of the water. It only helps other salvagers find the wood. "We prefer not to recover them ourselves", Pilot says. "We prefer to teach people how to do it. The only thing we ask in return is the first opportunity to buy the logs they do bring up."" "TRI uses sonar equipment costing $34,000 to pinpoint the location of the logs. The sonar buoy is towed behind a boat and a cable attached to it sends information back to a computer kept on board. "You can actually measure the logs with the computer, so I can tell how long...and how thick they are," Sveinsson says. Once he locates the wood, he'll swim to it and identify the species." It notes they use mechanical log loaders and polypropylene rope to salvage the logs from the water.
The state of Wisconsin regards waterwood salvage as good for their economy and environment, so they only charge a 2% sales tax on the sale of such wood (that might only pertain to the wholesaler - I don't know). Permits are required. In another article I read about salvaging in Lake Superior, they estimated the proportion of high value old growth to lower value coniferous at about 30/70 - about the same as was estimated for Bayano. However, common sense would suggest the proportion of old growth would improve over time since the old growth forest was logged first and replaced with faster growing coniferous - old growth would be at the bottom of the pile. The obvious problem with operating there is winter. A coastal Northwestern salvage operation would be better.
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