Forestry Board honors Oregon top loggers 2009

Oregon Department of Forestry
January 6, 2010

Three Oregon companies with a reputation for professionalism, skill and commitment to protecting natural resources were named as the state’s Forest Practices Operators of the Year for 2009 on Wednesday. The Oregon Board of Forestry honored this past year’s winning operators during the Board’s January 6, 2010 meeting.

Eastern Oregon Region

View facing east from Grouse Mountain Ranch – near Mount Vernon, Oregon
Grouse Mountain Ranch forest project
O’Rorke Logging — John Day

Owner Charlie O’Rorke was recognized for a fuels management timber harvest on 200 acres near the Grant County community of Mt. Vernon.

The landowner selected O’Rorke based on the logger’s consistent good performance record and willingness to partner with the landowner on planning how trees would be harvested or protected. Careful attention was paid to protection of natural resources, including protecting soil and water on the 200 acre harvest. Trees harvested were sorted into different landing zones based on the end use, whether saw-log, biomass fuel or specialty wood uses. The resulting forest is now well-spaced for resistance to fire, disease, and insect attacks.

O’Rorke was also recognized in 1998 as Eastern Oregon’s Forest Practices Operator of the Year.

Charlie O’Rorke shares some thoughts about balance in Oregon’s forests (MP3 audio :22)

Northwest Oregon Region

Rock Creek wood placement project in Clatsop County, Oregon
Rock Creek in-stream wood placement project
Gustafson Logging — Astoria

Gustafson Logging was selected for outstanding work placing large wood in a stream within a Stimson Lumber Company tree farm in Clatsop County. Stimson foresters decided to place 55 large trees in Rock Creek, a branch of the Nehalem River, to promote stream health. Gustafson crews harvested trees on a slope above the creek, then precisely placed each of the 40-foot, several-thousand-pound trees into the stream as an equipment operator relied on a skyline carriage system to “dead-lift” the logs into the stream. Once equipment operators established a ‘rhythm’ for the process, logs could be lifted and placed in about 5 minutes, while not disturbing a stand of alders within the stream area.

Mark Gustafson, with brothers Clay and Wade, represent the second generation of family ownership for the Astoria logging company, founded by their father Duane Gustafson in 1974. Mark Gustafson and members of his crew may be familiar to fans of the History Channel TV series “Ax Men” which followed Gustafson Logging for two seasons.

Mark Gustafson talks about why he values a company’s ‘personality’ and the people he works with (MP3 audio :33)

Southern Oregon Region

Harvest site within Sutherlin, Oregon
Harvest area in Sutherlin
Dave Brink Logging — Roseburg

David Brink was recognized for the planning and community involvement work that went in to a timber harvest within the city limits of Sutherlin in 2009. Brink held several community meetings with residents of a nearby manufactured home community to discuss the harvest operation with residents and listen to concerns raised by community members. Brink designed a harvest plan which lessened the impacts to residents’ daily lives, including starting two hours later during the morning, extensive use of water trucks for dust abatement, road repairs which were not directed by the landowner, and starting harvest at the far end of the unit to help familiarize residents to sounds of cutting as the harvest moved closer to their homes. Community residents reported a high degree of satisfaction with how the harvest resulted.

Brink has been involved with forestry in Douglas County for more than three decades, including promoting development of forest biomass energy systems, and serving as an active member of the Douglas County Small Woodlands Association and Associated Oregon Loggers.

Dave Brink Senior shares his thoughts about the value of forest stewardship (MP3 audio :14)

2009 Forest Practices Merit Awards
Four companies were also recognized by the Board for excellence as Merit Award winners for 2009:

* Butch Jurhs Logging in McMinnville
* Hampton Affiliates in Salem
* Precision Timber of Tillamook
* Roseburg Resources based in Roseburg

Award recipients were reviewed or selected by Oregon’s Regional Forest Practices Advisory Committees, who evaluate nominees based on an operator’s consistency of positive performance, innovation in project design, relative difficulty of a harvest operation and a commitment to protecting Oregon’s natural resources as a basis for selecting a winner from three regions of the state.

In 1971, Oregon became the first U.S. state to enact forest management laws which regulate forest operations and protect natural resources with the passage of the Oregon Forest Practices Act.


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