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TimberWest November/December 2013

November/December 2015

Photo of Bighorn Logging’s yarder taken by Lindsay Mohlere.

Emerald Valley Keeps on Keeping on
Resolve and flexibility are the hallmark of Emerald Valley Thinning

The Challenges of Change
Harve Dethlefs retired from electronics and began a career in logging

Don’t Overlook the Value of Alder
Defiance Forest Products discusses the marketability of Alder

A Lifetime in the Woods
Gardner Logging & Road Construction

Biomass Column
Colorado Woody Biomass Plant Plays Waiting Game

Pacific Logging Congress Review


In the News

Tech Review - Portable Grinders

Association News

Machinery Row

New Products

Guest Column








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By Mary Bullwinkel

A visit to the woods to see logging operations in Hawaii was one of the highlights of the 106th Pacific Logging Congress (PLC), held in November on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Eucalyptus logs being loaded onto a ship in the harbor at Kawaihae, Hawaii. The machine on board the ship is a Caterpillar 315.

Record breaking attendance and participation marked the gathering, which also included pertinent panel discussions and presentations on topics such as steep slope harvesting, workforce planning, and the benefits of networking.

2015 PLC President Todd Gordon, who is the NA Forest Corporate Accounts Manager for Caterpillar Forest Products, welcomed the gathering saying, “I want you to know that your attendance and commitment to our industry is noted and appreciated.”

The logging was occurring on the Hamakua plantation, former sugar cane growing property and today a fast-growing Eucalyptus Grandis forest, according to Bill Stormont, American Forest Management Inc.’s Hawaii Manager. “(President Abraham) Lincoln was in office when sugar was being grown there,” Stormont said.

Washington state-based Sustainable Forestry Services is the logging contractor, utilizing two Madill feller bunchers, two processors with Waratah 623 processing heads, two grapple skidders, a John Deere and a Caterpillar 525, and three loaders, a Doosan, Caterpillar 330, and John Deere 2154.

The saw logs are being cut into three lengths, 4, 6, and 8 meters, and shipped out of the Kawaihae Harbor every couple of months, mostly to China. Stormont said the operations is producing saw logs and peeler logs, depending on what the buyers want.

Link-Belt 290 Processor with a Waratah 623 processing head.

Other Asian markets are being explored, as well as using more of the fiber locally for biomass. Currently biomass energy being generated in Hawaii (mostly on the Island of Kauai) can provide up to 11 percent of current electrical needs.

The eucalyptus is a very fast growing tree species, and is one of several types of trees harvested on Hawaii. Other woods harvested are koa, sandlewood, and pine.

The PLC program included a first-class line up of knowledgeable speakers to share their insight on several pertinent topics. “Our speakers have joined us…to support our education mission.” Gordon said. Of particular interest was the panel discussion on innovative steep slope harvesting, which included contract loggers, manufacturers, and research analysts. PLC Program Chairman Doug Mays said the panel presented innovative thoughts and approaches that will help “engineer out the risks associated with logging…and find a safe way to do what we do.” The bottom line is to decrease accidents, increase safety, increase the amount of wood fiber available, and be mindful of the environmental impact.

What was described as a “breath of fresh air” was the presentation by Six Rivers National Forest (in northern California) Supervisor Merv George. George is the first Native American Forest Supervisor. He said, “The forest matters to me. I hunt there, I cut firewood there, and there are Sacred Sites there too.” And he added, “We are in desperate need for more active management…if we do nothing, it will all burn up,” a reference to recent fires in California that burned tens of thousands of acres in the summer of 2015.

Left: Todd Gordon handing over the Ax to the new PLC president, Doug Mays, Weyerhaeuser. Middle: Merv George is the Six Rivers National Forest Supervisor in northern California, Right: PLC Executive Director Rikki Wellman was presented a plaque recognizing all her efforts during her 16 years of leadership. Wellman is retiring at the end of 2015.

George spoke about community collaboration and participation to promote ecological restoration. George also urged industry representatives to play an active role by commenting on advertised timber sales, and helping recruit industry-minded people to work for the U.S. Forest Service. “I am optimistic looking toward the future,” he told those in the audience. “There is hope and you are a big part of it,” he said.

Concluding activities included a silent and live auction with $35,000 in proceeds being raised, and donated to the Pacific Forest Foundation for educational programs such as scholarships and distribution of the DVD “This is My Office,” and the brief recognition of PLC retiring Executive Director Rikki Wellman. Wellman has served as Executive Director for 13 years, and will continue in her position at Executive Director of Oregon Logging Conference. Michelle Mays will step in as PLC Executive Director effective January 1, 2016.

Mark your calendars now, and plan on attending the 107 Annual PLC to be held in San Diego, CA November 7 – 9, 2016.