Fair notice- this is a bit of a gear grinder more than really looking for answers.
Our area is rural with a lot of timber. Over the past 50 years, the recommendation has been to convert hardwood land to plantation loblolly pine so there is a lot more pine than good hardwood in the area. I get it, pines grow well. With present day genetics and management practices it's a very predictable tree. They grow much faster than hardwoods and landowners can look at 2-4 generations of trees over the course of a lifetime instead of 1-1 1/2 generations for hardwoods. Pines will also grow in soil that would produce only scrubby hardwoods so there are a lot of good things about growing pine.
However, being the stubborn soul that I am, I want to grow hardwoods when the soil and ground will support GOOD hardwood trees. Some of my land will support good hardwood as evidenced by the fact we have good mature hardwood growing there.
Here's the rub- it's time and past time to harvest some of the trees and get a new generation going. Area consulting foresters and loggers are clueless on how to do that. They know how to do a clear cut. They know how to thin a pine stand. They don't have any experience with cutting mature hardwoods and getting them to a landing without screwing up trees that are to be left growing. It's not just me running into this issue, it's any landowner in this part of the state who is attempting to manage hardwood forests. If I was 20 years younger, I'd consider biting the bullet and buying the equipment to do harvesting myself but I'm a bit too old to go that route.
Eventually, some newer generation loggers will see an opportunity and jump into this market. There's value in hardwoods, at least good oak, poplar, hickory. We don't have any good markets for gum, beech or low quality trees as local pallet plants have shut down and we don't have any mills cutting railroad ties. The easy thing would be to sell the existing hardwoods, take the money and plant pine trees but dang it- that's putting all the eggs in one basket. What happens if for some reason the pine market shuts down or a pest or disease devastates pine trees? I don't want to leave my children with only one type of crop tree when there is ground that will support better options.
Sorry for the rant/whine/gripe. I'll figure this out and find a logger but at the moment it's frustrating.