The American Forest Resource Council learned in February the BLM has been directed by DC leadership to accelerate its approach to fully implement the Resource Management Plans (RMP) to achieve 278 mmbf. A District breakdown of this year’s timber program is as follows:
District Assigned Target
Coos Bay 30
Achieving these higher targets is achievable if the BLM adheres to the management called for in the RMP. Previously, under the Northwest Forest Plan, the BLM largely deferred the regeneration harvest treatments required by that plan in favor of a thinning-only paradigm. So far, it seems that the BLM is trying to avoid a similar unsustainable path and instead follow the RMPs direction on sustained-yield timber management more closely by implementing a mix of thinning and regeneration harvest. This approach, following the RMP models and maximizing treatment on all available acres, would help grow the program quicker than anticipated.
**The remaining 8 mmbf will likely be generated through “add-on” volume as active timber sales are harvested.
Fatal log truck collisions increased 41 percent between 2011 and 2015, according to a 2018 study by Virginia Tech researchers. Due to inconsistent truck weight tolerances between state and federal roads, trucks hauling logs to mills are often forced to use city, county, and state roads which, according to the study, is where more than 96 percent of log truck collisions occurred.
In response, the American Loggers Council (ALC) has launched a “Safe Routes Save Lives” initiative that seeks federal legislation enabling more log trucks to utilize federal interstates for more short-haul trips.
“Safe and efficient log hauling is essential to our industry and the nation’s economy, but inconsistent truck weights are putting American lives at risk,” said ALC Executive Vice President Daniel Dructor. “Since the spring of 1997, the ALC has urged Congress to allow the industry’s trucks to haul state-legal weight tolerances on the Federal Interstate Highway System, which often provide safer routes to mills. As fatal log truck collisions increase, there is ample data suggesting that truck weight reform saves lives by routing log trucks away from schools, crosswalks, city intersections, and railroad tracks.”
Due to the dangers of log hauling, the Virginia Tech study found that only five insurance companies nationally are willing to write log truck vehicle insurance. One of those companies, Forestry Mutual Insurance Company, has joined the ALC in supporting the Safe Routes Save Lives initiative.
Dructor said past efforts to pass truck weight reforms have been stymied by railroad companies resistant to competition for long-haul routes, yet the exemptions the ALC are seeking would only apply to short hauls typically within a 150-mile radius. Railroad companies commonly do not haul raw logs to sawmills in such short distances anyway.
“We are not seeking exemptions for long-haul, nor to promote competition to the railroads,” Dructor said. “This is about safety, not profits. It’s time for Congress to introduce legislation that just makes sense, saves lives, and reduces risk in the process.”
Contact: Daniel Dructor, (409) 625-0206, [email protected].
Applications are now being accepted for the Pacific Forest Foundation (PFF) 2019/2020 scholarships. The PFF traditionally awards 5 to 10 scholarships annually, with scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $3,000 each.
To be eligible, students must reside in one of the western states (California, Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado), British Columbia, or New Zealand, and they must be enrolled in a forest/timber industry related field, including diesel mechanics or welding.
Applications will be accepted through May 1, 2019. Visit wwwpacificforestfoundation.org to download the application or apply online.
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