Forest harvesting in Maine dropped by 15 percent last year compared to the year before, according to a new report replease by the Maine Forest Service.

The total number of acres harvested fell from 463,200 acres in 2008 to 394,100 acres last year.

Landowner investment in pre-commercial activities aimed at boosting forest productivity, such as thining and tree planting, declined 20 percent.

Timber prices were also down, according to the annual report on the Maine forest industry which contibutes several billion dollars to Maine’s economy each year.

Donald Mansius, director of the forest service’s policy and management division, attributed the declines to the economic recession.

The reports are available online at www.maine.gov/doc/mfs/