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Author Topic: low impact Logging?  (Read 7189 times)

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Offline Black_Bear

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #40 on: January 18, 2014, 09:31:14 AM »
I personally don't feel you can call any big skidder "low impact" you could go under like what was stated before leaving the forest in better shape than it was before.

Just to play devil's advocate - for 3.5 years I worked with two 635D, 6-wheel, Tigercat grapples. Dual rear wheels with lags over the wheels - type it into Google for a picture. They are big machines. These machines float very nicely, and relative to a typical 4-wheel grapple our close out work was cut in half due to significantly less rutting. The weight displacement is spread throughout those big lags and they essentially seem to float. You get them in a deep snowpack and the following summer the ground in the cut is mostly undisturbed. Unlike 4-wheel skidders that tend to churn through the snow until you hit hard ground, these skidders pack the snow and ride on top, creating solid trail protection with little residual soil compaction. Excellent for cutting wet ground in the winter.

These skidders are usually placed in clearcuts, or some type of final removal, so the landscape changes dramatically and it is probably not considered low impact logging. But these big skidders, with talented operators, can leave a low impact result on the forest floor. They're expensive, you better be moving some wood. 

As mentioned a couple times in this post, harvesting systems work more efficiently when the proper equipment is used, and I don't have a problem with horse logging. I like to stop and occasionally watch some of the horse loggers around here. They all seem to be so laid back. I guess not having a $5000 fuel bill or no hefty loan payments will do that to a guy. One thing I learned a long time ago, you want to be out of the trail when that horse gets sent to the landing. 

Offline PeytonM

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #41 on: January 19, 2014, 01:52:57 AM »
I'm doing everything by the hour, and if someone cries about it then I cut the hour wage back some and take some wood off it. I look for people with only a few acres of woods where it isn't really worth a large set up to come out. I also like working some steep bluffs for the most part I've never really had too much up hill. I cut some fire wood out of my grandpas land for a cousin of mine and that was some steep stuff, thought his little John Deere tractor was gonna crawl up the hill in snow... not the case... mind you. its about 7 inches at the time. its 35hp diesel I'd say dont know the model.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #42 on: January 19, 2014, 02:41:05 AM »
Up here it would be almost impossible to cut wood by an hourly rate. What will work is piece meal. Both by the volume and by the acre. By the hour would be seen as a lot of time spent playing as the wood itself is generally not high value up here. Most people want to make a buck to come ahead with the wood harvested. On a building lot and clearing land is by the hour because there is more involved. I've seen a lot of time spent there to padding hours. After awhile you find yourself out of work because no one can afford you or your bill gets unpaid.
Move'n on.

Offline Rick Alger

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #43 on: January 19, 2014, 09:07:15 AM »
Yeah, I didn't mean to imply I get a lot of hourly work. I don't. But lately I have had a few of these opportunities.
 
For a young guy starting out, aiming for  hourly work  has to be the way to go. With today's prices, trying to make a go of any stumpage job that involves moving low grade wood is almost impossible with horses.

If I was starting out today, I would try to link up with "greeny" foresters and get indirectly written into the forest management plans of the newer class of landowners.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #44 on: January 19, 2014, 11:40:42 AM »
We don't see high society much spending money that way. Most will hold onto it like a vise. I know of one family who hasn't worked for 2 generations because their grandfather made money in the lumber business. These folks haven't cut a stick of wood in decades. They own woodland to. They don't need the money and not about to go behind having wood harvested to make a job for someone. They live like regular folks and very thrifty. Now if some maintenance or yard work needs done, they will pay there way without a complaint. And pay well to.
Move'n on.

Offline Rick Alger

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #45 on: January 19, 2014, 12:23:30 PM »
Yup, Plenty of those kind around here too.

But the local  timber companies are divesting some of their holdings, and some of the new owners want to do "the right thing". It's with these folks I think that there may be a future for horse loggers and other low impact guys. To some of them timber is not merely a commodity. It's part of an ecosystem they intend to "protect." And the "protection" most of  them talk about is non-industrial forestry interventions - removing blowdowns, thinning from below, removing two or three wolf trees per acre for firewood etc. It's not really logging, but it may evolve into something popular enough to keep the low impact diehards going.

It's more of a feel good thing than a production thing. It can also be a way to get some very good forestry accomplished. A friend of mine is working on doing this on a large scale in Vermont.

So I hold out hope for low impact logging, but  probably not in my lifetime in this area.


Offline hardtailjohn

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #46 on: January 19, 2014, 12:49:27 PM »
This month's issue of the Draft Horse Journal has a really good article on Carl Russell and his horse logging. Well worth the read!
John
I'm so far behind, I think I'm ahead!

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #47 on: January 19, 2014, 03:21:05 PM »
There is still a few horse loggers around here, but they are cutting a lot more than a scattered tree here and there. They are at a minimum thinning the stands, and a good many are just high grading and use the term 'select cut'. My response is always, 'yup, that's what is'. ;)

Atlantic Forestry magazine has articles once in a while on horse loggers. The latest NS woodlot owners of the year recipients in the last issue was a horse logger and his neighbor with a team of oxen. Folks that cut very small volumes on their own land. One fellow said he does about 12 acres of selection a year on 128 acre woodlot. That don't pay many bills. ;) But for me that situation works, because he can do it at his own pace on his own time and no big over head. It's certainly not a living. When you have to hire it, it changes the water on the beans.
Move'n on.

Offline PeytonM

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #48 on: January 19, 2014, 08:40:54 PM »
all it takes though is a 15 acre stand of high grade lumber and the land owner wants the right thing. I was told logging with horses is like gold prospecting. some times you find a spot and there's a lot of money there and the next time there isn't much of anything for wood.

Offline SwampDonkey

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #49 on: January 20, 2014, 01:09:19 AM »
We don't get much of that up here, so it would be more like looking for platinum. There are lots of stands of small wood that would be nice in the future if properly managed but very few lots with any volume of veneer. The last 30 years have cut most any woodlot that was going to be cut around here. Just drive the roads and show me any big timber left. The single biggest comment I get from someone driving through NB is the wood looks pretty small. Yes, the mature timber is mostly all cut. People up here cut wood to pay the bills and to keep from freezing to death, not to make pretty. Now that most have been cut, they are going back and cutting the 30-40 year old stuff. None of which is big enough for good money, maybe 8"-9" and that is a big one and it will be a fir or a popple. Not high value trees. A neighboring farmer here is clearcutting what he has to pay the bills. His brother did the same, but the farm bills out weighed the wood money. Same thing will happen to him I suspect.
Move'n on.

Offline Rick Alger

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #50 on: January 20, 2014, 08:43:37 AM »
Peyton, If you're into low-impact or positive impact logging, maybe your future will  be thinning 15 acre hardwood lots to make veneer for the next generation. The trick will be to get paid for more than the low grade wood you remove. You should get more because you are adding great value to the residual stand.

John, I know Carl and think highly of him. He's the guy in VT I was referring to. I'll have to dig up a copy of the magazine. 

Offline PeytonM

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #51 on: January 23, 2014, 09:41:35 PM »
Peyton, If you're into low-impact or positive impact logging, maybe your future will  be thinning 15 acre hardwood lots to make veneer for the next generation. The trick will be to get paid for more than the low grade wood you remove. You should get more because you are adding great value to the residual stand.

John, I know Carl and think highly of him. He's the guy in VT I was referring to. I'll have to dig up a copy of the magazine.

Thats my idea. It's a select market, so when I'm not logging with the horses, I want to do food plots for deer hunters, or dig gardens. wagon rides, anything else I can do that I can hitch my horse too.

What Carl are you talking about?

Offline northern2bodies

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Re: low impact Logging?
« Reply #52 on: January 26, 2014, 03:05:15 PM »
made our name and knowed around the area for super low impact.we do about 60-80tons a day,1 cutter&1 oper.on a f-4dion fowarder at a avg.1500ft from road side.also in the line-up is a 550g deere dozer to help out on trails,skidding very short distance.also worked with a rotobec fowarder for 8+ yrs with days of 200+ tons to road side hauling up to 2500 ft away on 2 shifts in hard woods.the dozer does a great job at the end by re-habing trails  and pushing tops and brush off the main trails for use of atv's by the landlords.word gets around and it will get you more work that you can handle by doing a little bit more
pro-logger in both hard and soft woods


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