Monday, September 10, 2012

Logging Camp 2012 Video: "Pinball Wizard"

Video not playing? View it on YouTube, it's bigger there anyway.

This goofy video began when Linda wanted to film my "pinball flipper" techniques with the log forks on our tractor. I thought we should also show more of what we do on our weekends in the summer. It quickly devolved into this silly flick to the music from "Tommy" by The Who. Tommy, as you may recall, was the pinball wizard-turned-deity in the 1970s musical.

If you're curious about what we're doing logging, of all things, then read more of this blog. Basically, we're thinning our overstocked vacation property so we can build a cabin on it without freaking out every summer about forest fires and pine beetles.

So what you see in this video is me pulling a 300-foot winch cable up a hill through the brush to one of many logs that I culled this summer. I hook a chain choker onto a log and give the radio signal to Linda, who is standing by on the landing below. She engages the logging winch and the log starts on its journey out of the forest.

We skid logs behind the tractor a short distance out onto the landing where we can measure and buck them to length. These are short, 16' logs; we've worked with lengths up to 42' and some of our house logs exceeded 50'.

Once the logs are bucked to length, the landing is littered with logs and they need to be decked where they'll be out of the way while they wait to be removed. The higher we stack them, the more logs we can get on a deck before we run out of space. So back when we got log forks on our tractor, I learned how to carry logs up onto a deck and toss them to the back of the pile. It's all in the wrist.

We are in year 10 of getting this stand of trees under proper management. It might take another year or two to finish. We've removed about 2,000 trees using the process you see in this video. It's been fun, hard, expensive, educational, a little dangerous, and a lot satisfying. And there are more than 2,000 tall, healthy trees remaining on our 20 acres. We've coordinated closely with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and WA Department of Natural Resources (DNR), and we attained certification as a Sustainably Managed Forest under the American Tree Farm System (ATFS).

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