Logging Should Not be Unsightly and Destructive
There are good reasons logging has a reputation for being one of the regions most destructive and insensitive land use practices. Logging is largely unregulated in the Southeast and devastating examples of poorly executed logging operations abound. It’s hard not to notice the damage poor logging practices have caused if you visit any rural area. One need only read accounts of the early 20th Century struggle to save even a few acres of virgin Appalachian forest from large timber interests to forever remain distrustful of logging altogether.
Wood is a renewable resource and can be thoughtfully and sustainably harvested. When done correctly logging can not only generate immediate revenue and tax reductions, but can also improve property aesthetics, equity, habitat and timber quality.
Preparing for a Successful Logging Project
Do your homework! Educate yourself via the internet or local library. Get a copy of Best Management Practices (BMP) guidelines appropriate to your state. Learn a little about silviculture as well as the timber industry. A little knowledge will go a long way to protecting you and your property from unscrupulous logging practices. There is perhaps no better undertaking for the thoughtful application of Integrated Land Management. This should include, of course, visits to successfully executed timber sites. A good cut looks remarkably different from common practice.
A Licensed Forester is Crucial for Sustainable Logging
Find a licensed forester. It is no more advisable to directly hire a timber crew than build a house without a contractor. A forester can effectively evaluate your timber and secure the best available price. A forester can also create a long-term management plan that affords significant property tax reductions and outlines a multi-generational strategy for timber stand improvement. Often multiple harvesting strategies are required on a single property for logging to really be successful. This requires knowledge and experience.
At V&V we offer complete guidance to our clients every step of the way. We have a licensed consulting forester with hundreds of successful harvests under his belt and a variety of accreditations including a seat on the North Carolina Forestry Association’s Board of Directors. He is also a Partner with North Carolina Association of Pro Loggers and a Continuing Education Instructor. In addition, we offer sophisticated planning tools, such as digital mapping and low altitude aerial photography. These affordable tools give our clients a degree of precision and planning unavailable just a few short years ago.
Get Everything in Writing
Get a legally binding contract so you know beforehand what timber is to be removed and what remuneration to expect. Agree upon the conditions under which the property is to be left. For instance, is the slash (the crowns and unusable tree parts) to be left “as is”, wind-rowed, chipped or removed? If some form of trade is involved, such as timber for road construction, agree upon the road specifications beforehand in writing – access to the “back forty” is no access at all if the road has a thirty percent grade and no drainage features. Make sure timber decks, loading areas and unimproved roads are to be left in good condition (ie. appropriately graded and re-vegetated).
The Roads Remain After the Logging is Finished
Road construction is usually the most enduring aspect of timbering. Well-planned and properly constructed logging roads provide access and add value to your property. Poorly installed roads degrade property values, limit access and damage sensitive habitats. Know where all timber roads will be located beforehand. The practice of leaving road placement up to machine operators is a primary cause of property damage and environmental degradation.
Trust V & V Land Management for Sustainable Logging
At V&V we undertake logging operations with a sensitivity that acknowledges its checkered past. We believe progressive forestry hinges upon the consideration of multiple objectives. We rely upon the latest GIS/GPS and mapping technology to assist us in planning harvests that are not merely profitable but also accord with our client’s long term goals, the region’s delicate ecology and sensitive watersheds.
Our sustainable logging partners are skilled, safe, precise and above all dedicated to the principle of treading lightly. If you would like a timber assessment, wish to discuss sustainable logging or Forest Stewardship Certification (FSC), or even see successfully completed projects, e-mail us or call. We are committed to educating our clients about sustainable timber management.