South Carolina State Forester from 'Golden Age' of Woodland Management to Step Down
Post and Courier (July 11, 2017)

The 2008 recession and increased timber company sell-offs were putting a hurt on the future of forestry in South Carolina when Gene Kodama took over as state forester.

The Moncks Corner native faced a bevy of hurdles: State Forestry Commission crews were fighting fires with old equipment; funding and staff were being cut; and the timber industry was selling off the holdings that made up a big chunk of the forests covering two-thirds of the state.

But the intimidating factor for the former Westvaco timber company regional manager was that he'd never worked for a state agency before.
Still, he set a goal of growing the $17 billion forestry industry to $20 billion by 2015, recession or not.

Today "there's more wood in South Carolina than there's ever been," said Kodama, who recently announced he would retire at the end of the year.

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