Oregon Dept. of Forestry names three 2013 Operators of the Year for harvesting project on Humbug Mountain, stream improvement and fish habitat restoration along King Creek and timber salvage on 2,300 acres burned by wildfire

SALEM, Oregon , January 9, 2014 (press release) – The Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) announces the 2013 Operators of the Year and Merit Award recipients for responsible, innovative, proactive forest work that protects natural resources.

Oregon’s Board of Forestry established the awards program to recognize people and companies that consistently meet or exceed the Oregon Forest Practices Act requirements, which include:

• Responsible harvesting,
• Replanting after harvest,
• Protecting streamside areas,
• Building and maintaining roads to protect streams,
• Protecting and providing wildlife and fish habitat, and
• Preserving and protecting our water quality.

The three Regional Forest Practices Committees each select an Operator of the Year and may also give Merit Awards. Private Forests Division Chief Peter Daugherty said, “These are the best of the many operators in Oregon who regularly go beyond the letter of the law to protect natural resources. We’re pleased to honor this exemplary work.”

Floyd J. Lundberg, Inc. - 2013 Northwest Operator of the Year

Astoria – Floyd J. Lundberg, Inc. earned the Northwest Operator of the Year Award for work done on Humbug Mountain.

Lundberg’s team worked closely with the Campbell Company (property owner) and Ashley Lertora, ODF Stewardship Forester, to safely perform a difficult harvest and protect natural resources. The steep terrain and shallow roots required extraordinary effort to ensure their employees’ safety. The committee recognized this effort.

The Lundbergs have been logging for decades throughout Northwest Oregon. Ashley Lertora nominated the Lundberg team for Operator of the year. Lertora commented, “Working with Lundberg for over twenty years, I’ve consistently seen them greatly exceed the Forest Practices Act requirements and always put safety first, as we’ve seen in their work with ODF and the Campbell Group.”

Lone Rock Logging - 2013 Southwest Operator of the Year

Roseburg – Lone Rock Logging Co. won the Southwest Operator of the Year Award for 20 years of stream improvement and fish habitat restoration work along King Creek.

Lone Rock partnered with the Oregon Department of Transportation, Lone Rock Timber Co. (landowner), Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Coos Bay BLM, Coquille Watershed Association, National Marine Fisheries Service, Coquille High School natural resource science classes, Coos Curry Electric, Oregon State Parks, Coos County Roads, and the community. This collaborative team improved roads, reduced runoff, improved fish habitat, and protected water quality.

Tuch Koreiva, ODF Stewardship Forester, nominated Lone Rock for this honor. Before Lone Rock’s stream improvement the stream was impassable to fish. Lone Rock’s harvest and stream improvement on King Creek resulted in over seventy spawning fish pairs within two years after initial improvements.

“Lone Rock’s crew would actively engage and ask questions” about how to exceed the Forest Practices Act rules, Koreiva said.

Collins Timber Company - Eastern Operator of the Year

Lakeview – Collins Timber Co. received the Eastern Operator of the Year for its work on the Barry Point fire clean-up. Collins continues salvaging timber on almost 2,300 acres burned in Oregon (and 21,000 in California).

The Lakeview community faced many challenges during the 2012 Barry Point fire and afterward. Collins worked with landowners, 18 operators, farmers, ODF Stewardship Forester Kellie Carlsen, and a school to make the salvage operation a success.

Collins dramatically increased the number of trucks going past a school and through the Westside community. Collins recognized heavy truck traffic would impact safety around the community, and emphasized the need for heightened safety precautions among its drivers. Collins worked with its drivers, the local sheriff, and state police to coordinate safe trucking strategies.

Collins was nominated for the Award because, as Carlsen explained, “Exceeding the Forest Practices rules is part of what Collins Timber Co. does. It’s part of their overall management objective.”

Merit Awards

All nominees exceeded the Forest Practices requirements and improved Oregon’s forests, fish and wildlife habitat, fire safety needs, and water quality. The Committees gave Merit Awards for excellent work to:

1. Wright Contracting – Union
2. WyEast Forestry Management – Hood River
3. Jim Floyd – Prineville
4. Western Pacific Tree Service – Brookings
5. Weyerhauser – Coos Bay
6. Gwin and Sons Logging – Astoria
7. Greenup Enterprises – Estacada
8. Timothy K. Gurton Logging – Eugene

The winners will be recognized during the statewide meeting of Associated Oregon Loggers in Eugene on January 16, during the Oregon Logging Conference in February, and at the Board’s March 5 meeting in Salem.

In 1971, Oregon enacted the Forest Practices Act, the nation’s model forest management laws. Many states have followed Oregon’s lead. Oregon’s model focuses on forest operations and protecting natural resources. The Act remains current through updates grounded in fact and science, which creates a balanced approach allowing logging and protecting natural resources.

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