Recent timber sales in central Virginia have brought some of the highest prices ever recorded there, in spite of repercussions of the recession throughout the housing and timber industries, according to a forestry consulting firm based in Charlottesville.

Lawrence Cabell and David Tice of Mid-Atlantic Forestry Services Inc. say they found that strong competition among timber buyers during 1981 benefited local landowners they assisted in selling over 10 million board feet of timber. They add that this trend seems to be continuing into 1982.

"Because of reports of the recession," said Cabell, "most landowners in a position to sell their timber have withheld their timber from the market. The result has been a very unique situation in which those who effectively put average to good quality timber on the market today are receiving excellent prices, in some cases the highest on record."

Tice reports that, in spite of the recession, most timber buyers in the area ran out of wood last year, and were forced to buy timber to keep up with their orders. He said most of the landowners selling timber by sealed bids "witnessed strong competition from timber buyers and received high prices."

Some industry foresters believe prices could decline if the economy improves, since more timber will then be on the market, says Cabell. He adds that many feel the current prices are artificially high.

Red oak and pine have been the species most in demand, Cabell reports.

Timber sales in the area conducted by members of the Association of Consulting Foresters have brought $80 to $125 per thousand board feet for good quality hardwood sawtimber and $75 to $120 per thousand board feet for pine. Pulpwood has ranged from $9 to $11 per standard cord of pine and $4 to $6 for hardwood.