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Forest fuel load reduction9/21
As seen this year the magnitude of excess fuel load in the forests is over whelming. All of the western states have a common problem with dead and dying pine trees and forests that are long past due to be thinned for optimum growth. Add to that, in some areas Western Junipers have become an invasive species that ruins traditional grazing land because of its love for water. And this year will add more fuel because of the vast amount of fire killed trees.
The US Forest Service/BLM became serious about fuel load reduction in the western USA.
They would designate small selected acreages, say 5 to 10 acre plots and allow mobile sawmills to harvest selected trees such as standing dead, bug and fire killed or those needing thinned and saw them on site into boards, beams, or cants. USFS would either mark or designate trees based on size for harvest. Trees would cost the receiver the price of the thinning or zero cash to the mill
Two people set up on a sawing location with one sawmill, two small flatbed trucks and a flatbed trailer. Trailer would carry a small tracked or wheeled vehicle (small skider?) for dragging logs to the mill, moving waste and making skid roads and sawing areas.
Waste would be either piled for later burning, chipped and spread (chipper needed) as mulch or sold as paper pulp feed stock, make pellets or used as hog fuel depending on haul cost.
Sawn products could be used for building, decorative or landscaping uses as a low cost alternative to commodity wood.
Lots of details to thought out. I'm real open to suggestions and comments?
I can see hundreds if not thousands of such small endeavors because the problem is that big. I can see a means to reduce catastrophic fire danger, the establishment of many small businesses, a chance for increased small manufacturing plants (somebody has to build the saw mills).
That is pure comedy gold right there!
Why do you say that?
I would imagine by the time you got done with all that would be involved you would realize that getting the wood for free would never cover the regs, seeding and mulching roads back, and so on.
Im not sure there are many loggers I know that would cut for free in trade for the wood if they were processing on a small scale. But thats just a WAG.
Id imagine the operations would be relegated to part timers and repeat harvesting (from the same individual) would be low after they did the cost/benefit at the end.
Its just my 0.02 but when your operating small scale like that, it seems like youve got to be dealing with prime material (material you can sell for very high $). If your cutting anything readily available you'll likely be at a loss due to scale.
What I think "could" work, but would likely never get any traction for funding, would be for the forest service, BLM, and the taxpayers, to realize the actual cost of this neglect (what are the number? 100 million a week to fight the fires), and actually PAY people to come in and cut and reduce the load. You come in, cut your plot, your paid $X to meet a set of criteria AND you get the wood.
When your talking about dead, buggy, cleanup work, there is very little value in any of the material you get out of it.