At a time when logging equipment is getting bigger and Vermont’s private forests are getting smaller, it’s increasingly challenging for family forest owners to carry out light-on-the-land forest practices related to tree harvesting. It’s our aim at Vermont Family Forests to help explore possibilities that help landowners engage in mutually beneficial relationship with their forests. In March, we put our new legacy log forwarder through its paces for the first time. It performed just as we hoped it would–like a light, nimble shopping cart that could lift and carry a 30-inch-diameter, 23-foot log with ease, rolling it out of the forest without disturbing forest soils or standing trees.
Take a look at how the process unfolded at the McEachen Family Forest in Bristol:
David Brynn, VFF conservation forester and executive director, watched over the whole operation. “When forest access trails are lines of grace, they have broad-based dips for slowing, spreading, and sinking the flow of runoff. The legacy log forwarder can easily navigate these dips [which not all logging equipment can] and move around the forest on these paths.”
David’s gleeful as he imagines the possibilities. “With this forwarder, you can go out to a particular tree that you want to harvest. You can directionally fell it toward the path, so the log is easily accessible. The forwarder goes through without a mark, and you can fetch the trees you want to fill your order, just like a shopping cart!”