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Old 05-19-2014, 06:28 AM   #21
cityboy
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Driving on a bed of sticks is certainly better than rutting the ground up.When the machines enter the woods also makes a huge difference, but no matter what it's an ugly operation to someone who cares about the forest. The problem is money, it has to be done in a profitable manner, the more profitable the better, we're becoming insane about it, treating the planet as If it's financially obligated to us.

As far as the benefits to wildlife, I guess if you're trying to raise deer like cattle or goats then yes, it benefits wildlife,but there's a big difference between life in a continuously logged vs an old growth forest. Life in the latter took a long time to achieve, we'd probably get more from life by respecting it, appreciating it, and learning about it,than only seeing it as a dollar sign / crop to be harvested.

There was a good program on a few weeks ago that was about some studies they've been doing on plants. One of the things they discovered was a parent tree(I can't remember the species they tested) feeds nutrients to it's young seedlings under it.
Profit is the name of the game. The Newcomb property was logged in the mid-80's. They did not use that cutting machine. It was a much neater job.

That machine is fast. One tree every 10 seconds. Of course it broke down at the end and the sub-contractor declared bankruptcy. Guess he needed and even faster machine.

Last edited by cityboy; 05-19-2014 at 06:33 AM.. Reason: Added comments
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Old 05-19-2014, 06:27 PM   #22
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They did not use that cutting machine. It was a much neater job.
it is not the "cutting machine" that causes the ruts but the skidder or tractor, whatever they are using to pull out the logs that make the ruts so it doesnt matter how you actually cut the trees down any way you go about doing that you still need a big machine to pull them to the landing unless you have horses or a LOT of people which is very inefficient, but really a "cutting machine" doesnt rut up the ground much more than one man with a chainsaw and they can cut trees a lot more efficiently and its a lot less labor so goodluck to anybody who tries to pull logs out of the woods bare handed oh and make sure its not dragging or it will leave ruts!!!
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Old 05-28-2014, 01:45 PM   #23
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The tops make great firewood. Some firewood dealers would love to cut there for free. Tops left on the ground make for good cover for animals. Some Amish use teams of mules or horses and lessen the impact of leaving deep ruts. In the Spring when the earth is wet its almost impossible to not leave ruts as that's what skidders do.
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Old 09-14-2014, 11:23 PM   #24
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A bit late on this, but I wanted to add to this discussion.

To answers Cityboy's question definitively, yes, piling "slash" (the cutoff tops and branches of trees) in the skid trails is considered "good lumbering practice." It cuts down on soil compaction during the harvesting, and also helps to keep the soils in place over time, which cuts down on erosion over time after the harvesting is completed.

And, yes, it does make it a pain in the butt to try to walk the skid trails after the fact. There are ways in which skid trails can be constructed and maintained that will facilitate easy foot access, but it is important to realize that these methods are much more labor intensive and costly. On private industrial timber lands, where only the occasional hunting camp lease owner is likely to travel through the area on foot, it simply isn't economically justifiable to put that effort or expenditure into a job when it's only going to make very small group of people happy.
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Old 09-15-2014, 01:25 PM   #25
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A bit late on this, but I wanted to add to this discussion.

To answers Cityboy's question definitively, yes, piling "slash" (the cutoff tops and branches of trees) in the skid trails is considered "good lumbering practice." It cuts down on soil compaction during the harvesting, and also helps to keep the soils in place over time, which cuts down on erosion over time after the harvesting is completed.
Does this "slash" constitute a fire hazard? I've heard it rots fast but its still clogging up the skid trails after 8 years. The few times I've built an outdoor fire I use it as kindling because its so dry.

In the thread on Forest Fires in the General section people have mentioned slash as potential fuel for another Great Adirondack Fire.
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Old 09-15-2014, 06:11 PM   #26
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Doubtful. If they are following best management practices, the skid trails, and therefore the slash piles in the skid trails, would constitute less than 10% of the surface area harvested.

And even if it did result in a fire, the slash would still be localized to the immediate area, which would make it likely that the fire would also be localized to that area. One of the characteristics that resulted in the fires early in Adirondack Park history was the fact that there was slash everywhere, not just here and there in dis-contiguous stands.
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Old 09-21-2014, 09:34 PM   #27
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I agree with Cityboy. The lumber companies sure do make a mess. However, what could they do to better improve their practices without increasing costs to their bottom line? In the end it seems its always about money.
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Old 08-01-2015, 03:38 PM   #28
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I watched a logging operation near Northville a few years back where they used a helicopter to bring the logs to the landing.
It was much quicker than using skidders and left no mark on the steep mountainside.
The tops were left where they fell providing excellent deer browse.
I may add that this was a "hardwood" logging job. Hardwoods bring a much higher price at the mill.
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Old 08-02-2015, 09:49 PM   #29
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I was President of a campers association a few years ago and during my term several of the camps were upset after some of the land behind their camps was logged. I contacted the lumber company who was concerned and we arranged for a representative to do a "woods walk" with myself and another representative of the campers association. This logging company followed the "best practices" and their representative explained that the logging company purposely placed the branches across the logging roads as well as cut shallow ditches diagonally across the logging roads to help stem the flow of water and prevent erosion. It cost the logging company money to do this but was considered part of the "best practices" that they followed. He also showed us healthy trees which were left standing so as to become "seed trees". Where there were creeks, even intermittent ones, they left the area on each side alone (I forget the distance). He also explained much about the trees they had marked and they did not log right up to their property line but left a sizeable border of standing timber behind the camps, which they didn't have to do either. All in all, we got schooled and when we were done, had a new respect for their concern for being good neighbors.

One could argue that we got sold a "bill of goods" but I don't think so, based upon the evidence we saw. All this being said, I don't think I've ever heard someone say a logger did a great job when they were done. By the nature of what they do, it scars the landscape. I'm not defending logging or the loggers nor do I have a bone to pick with them. Undoubtedly there are good and bad companies in the business just like any other.

I have seen areas that have utilized feller bunchers to do the logging and chipped up virtually all the tops, filling up trucks with the chips which were shipped to a mill somewhere. The landscape was virtually denuded. It looked nice & clean but I suspect not as good for wildlife as it would have been if the tops were left in place.

Here's a link to the NYS DEC "Best Practices" for maintaining water quality.
http://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/lands_for...lfbmpguide.pdf

Last edited by EagleCrag; 08-02-2015 at 10:04 PM..
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Old 08-03-2015, 03:49 PM   #30
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I've been through this and I would suggest that anyone who has timber holdings hire a licensed professional to cruise the property, assess the value of the lumber and layout access routes to bring the logs to a staging area.
Of course this will subtract from the profit of the landowner, but it may well be worth it.
Jim
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