Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day...

One final rant for the day... People are all anti-loggers because they think loggers simply clear-cut and move on to the next money making job... You're right, if that was how loggers were, then we'd be out of trees in no time and everyone knows the problems that'd cause. As a loggers daughter, former wildland firefighter, and girl who can't keep her trap shut, I say this... Loggers are the best caregivers for the forest. Back in the good old days (yes, before I was born), when the government allowed loggers to do their jobs and make a living, loggers would bid a sale, log it, then RE-PLANT the area. Hello people. Its the EXACT SAME THING farmers do each year... They harvest their product (for all of us to consume) then they RE-PLANT.

The problem with logging doesn't come from the logging companies or the individual timber fallers, knot bumpers, choke setters, etc. It comes from the forest service environmentalists who don't understand the cycle of a logger.

In addition, with the drastic decrease of timber sales came the drastic INCREASE of wildland fires. (No, I don't have statistics to back this up, but hear me out). Walk through the woods in Lake County. You'll be sad to see dead pine trees, some standing, some down. You'll see underbrush and debris all over the forest floor. The government is poorly mismanaging the forests. They aren't allowing loggers to remove and replant trees but the government also isn't allowing wildland firefighters to do their jobs to the full extent meaning controlled and prescribed burns to eliminate much of that debris on the forest floor.

On another, not completely unrelated note, back in the 80s schools were funded by timber dollars. In places like Paisley, where the timber industry was thriving, the school was in great shape! The kids were given a great education, the community population was more than simply retired folk or the families who'd been there for a hundred years. Businesses were doing well, economy was great. With the decline of the timber dollars in general and as a source of funding for public schools, schools have struggled. I remember when I was in 3rd and 4th grade, people in Paisley talked about how the school wouldn't be able to afford to operate the next year let alone long enough for me to graduate. When I was in 7th or 8th grade Paisley School District became a charter district which, among other things, gave them $100,000 over 3 years which helped it stay afloat. I have no idea what their current situation is, but I do know that if timber dollars (and, thus, the timber industry in So. Central Oregon) was still responsible for part of that funding, the kids in my home county would likely have many more opportunities.

Its amazing what the removal of an entire industry does to a community who heavily relied on that industry... Think of the jobs lost when the mill closed in Paisley... The mill workers, the road crews who kept the roads in the woods in good shape (I don't know, Dad, was this part of the logger's responsibility in the prime logging days too?), the loggers (and all the men/women employed by those companies), and the businesses in the towns around those logging operations/mill yards who benefitted from said working folk who'd go out to dinner, do local grocery shopping, etc.

Did I write this to get people all fired up? No, but maybe it will get you to thinking about the logging industry and the benefits. I know this post won't change anything in the broader scope, but you all know that once I get up on my soapbox, its darn hard to get me down... So, just remember, Sammy Jo is a fan of loggers, but also a fan of proper forest management.

Cheers!! And I welcome some good debate about this... Get ahold of me, I'd love to chat. I'll even be respectful when listening and considering your points!


  1. You are 100% right on. Loggers are a fading profession. Sad. We need the forest to be logged correctly. All the loggers did was bid on a sale and the government called the shots on roads, logging practices, trees to be removed. Loggers were the hired hands actually. A noble profession by wonderful men and women. Your Dad and Granddad are the best of examples along with your Uncle Greg as to what a logger should be and what they correctly accomplish. Honorable people men.