Opinion: Loggers are firefighting heroes

There is nothing more disheartening than being called a hero during fire season and then slandered in the media or overregulated outside of fire emergencies. Firefighters are not just 20-person handcrews, hotshots and smokejumpers. They are also loggers, ranchers, road builders and much more.

Forest contractors are being enlisted by public firefighting agencies to help stop the blazes across the state. In fact, the Oregon Department of Forestry and its federal partners rely heavily on the skilled labor that loggers and other contracted service people provide during fire season.


Baldy gets a trim to improve forest health

$350,000 in new funding this week expected to ramp up annual work

The forests in and around the ski slopes on Bald Mountain are under attack by Douglas-fir beetle, dwarf mistletoe, white pine blister rust and other infestations. A combination of deadfall and canopy overgrowth has increased fire risk, as wide swathes of trees have died and gone brown in the last few years.

The landscape, in other words, is struggling. But a new, multi-faceted initiative aims to aid it in its fight.

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Demonstration shows modern forestry advances

An aspect of the demonstration was to show how technologically advanced the industry has become. In about 30 seconds, the Finnish Ponsse harvester can cut a tree and section it to the length mills require.

PHILOMATH, Ore. — Simon Babcock, forestry teacher at Philomath High School, compared the thinning of Downing Forest to Christmas morning.

“I’m ecstatic,” he said. “It’s been needing to happen.”

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New leaders emerge from REAL Oregon

The first Resource Education and Agricultural Leadership Program, or REAL Oregon, is in the books, wrapping up five months of leadership training and networking.

Just two weeks after completing the first Resource Education and Agricultural Leadership Program, otherwise knows as REAL Oregon, Matt Mattioda was able to put his newly refined skills to the test.

Mattioda, who works as the chief forester for Miller Timber Services in Philomath, Ore., was informed by a client that Oregon Tresaurer Tobias Read was interested in touring a project site to better understand how trees are harvested on the landscape.

“I had a chance to show him what we’re doing.” Mattioda said of the visit. “If we don’t reach out and engage folks…then whatever comes our way, we’re just going to have to deal with it.”

Read the full story here


Special Focus: Timber Harvesting

Tethered Harvesting: This is Not Your Daddy’s Logging

Foresters and loggers often work hand in hand to manage forests, and much of the work they do is shaped by the capabilities of the machines that harvest the timber. This special edition of The Forestry Source offers several articles that show how modern machines and the technology inside them are changing both forestry and logging.

The days of cable logging are far from over, but a new technology is beginning to replace tower yarders: tethered harvesters and forwarders – machines assisted by cables.


Miller Timber Harvests Steep Slopes of Pacific Northwest: Relies on Ponsse Equipment and Synchrowinch Cable Assist System

Although he is from the more cosmopolitan area of San Francisco Bay, Matt Mattioda spent much of his time out in the woods, often camping in the forests of the Sierra Nevada Mountains and spending a lot of time with his extended family in Oregon. His love for the outdoors led him to decide that his career path lay in the woods. He followed through with that outlook, getting his bachelor’s degree in forestry management with a minor in business from Oregon State University in 1995. Looking back, Matt confessed, “When I started at OSU I couldn’t even tell you what a fir tree was.” …

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A Business Model Built to Succeed

When Lee Miller tossed his chainsaw into the back of his pickup thirty-five years ago, hell bent on creating his own business, little did he realize he had taken the first step in building one of the most dynamic timber operations in the Pacific Northwest. Not one to hang with the pack, Lee has always ventured into unfamiliar territory, searching for new ways to keep Miller Timber Services Inc. and sister company L & B Reforestation on the cutting edge…

Read This Article in TimberWest Magazine