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March 22, 2013

News

Timber sale harvesting to continue in cantonment area through mid-April

Timber sale harvests in the Fort McCoy cantonment area are helping to clear sites for construction or to remove aging trees, said Jim Kerkman.

Kerkman, Fort McCoy forester, said the harvest work is under way and is expected to continue until about mid-April.
PHOTO: An employee from Lambert Forest Products, LLC uses a tree harvester to harvest timber. Photo by Rob Schuette
An employee from Lambert Forest Products, LLC uses a tree harvester to harvest timber on the eastern side of Fort McCoy’s cantonment area. 
(Photo by Rob Schuette)

Motorists are encouraged to exercise caution when driving around the harvesting machines or the semi-trucks used to transport the harvested trees.

Originally, the plan was to hold a timber sale for the western side of the cantonment area last year, and another sale for the eastern side of the cantonment area this year. Kerkman said the sales were planned to remove trees to make way for construction site projects and as part of the management effort to manage timber resources properly to ensure healthy tree growth. Because it wasn’t possible for the companies to do any work last year, all of the work is being done now.

“Now is a good time to hold the timber sales,” Kerkman said. “The road bans (vehicle weight limits on roads) are in place so the heavy equipment has to stay off county and town roads. (State) Highway 16 and the cantonment area roads are designed so they can handle the heavy trucks.”

Doing the timber sales at this time of year allows logging companies to keep working at a time they might not have work because of the road bans, Kerkman said.

The firms involved pay a fee to the Army Corps of Engineers, which administers the sales, to remove the trees. In turn, the firms sell the timber to other organizations, such as lumber or paper mills, he added. Fort McCoy and the Army gain by not having to pay a contractor to remove the trees from a construction site on the installation.

Some areas that are being readied for construction, such as in the 700 block, will be clear cut. Other areas will have a selective cut to remove trees and meet installation goals, he said. Forestry staff marked the trees to ensure the ones identified for removal are the only trees harvested.

“Forestry staff members will inspect the work to ensure the companies are following the contract regulations,” Kerkman said. “The Army has established sustainable forestry programs on all installations with timber resources” to ensure the timber is managed in a manner consistent with Army objectives and good stewardship.

The result of the timber sales will reduce the amount of tree removal necessary to complete projects and help reduce contract costs, he said.

Timber sales also are held in the training areas. Kerkman said the harvesting work is done during daylight hours.
For more information about the Fort McCoy Forestry program, call Kerkman at 608-388-2102.

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