Thursday, April 21, 2016

Chilcotin Holidays

Selective Logging

It first started when they walked out the back pasture and into the forest. They carried with them spray cans of tree paint to mark the trees that would be harvested. This is possibly the most important step of the process. Selective logging is beneficial in so many ways, and I never truly grasped the advantage until I lived out here at the Chilcotin Holidays Ranch. Firstly, if we need to build fences, or fix buildings, we can’t just drive over to the nearest lumber supply yard to pick up what we need. When you’re as isolated as our ranch is, you need another approach. Secondly, selective logging, like we do here, is considerably more sustainable than mass-produced lumber. Understandably, in many cases the lumber industry is the best option for the public, and has served communities well. But when a group of people is as fortunate as we are to have the opportunity to practice selective logging, we take it eagerly. Selective logging allows us to have lumber when we need it, and to benefit the ecosystem we are harvesting from. With the method we practice here, only the oldest, most mature trees of the mixed-age stand are harvested, and only a small portion of them. This allows the younger understory trees to receive more sunlight and grow faster and healthier. It also helps the understory shrub species to thrive, providing additional food sources to many species of wildlife.

After the boys carefully consider and mark the ideal trees, our faller goes in with the chainsaw and falls them. He then de-limbs them and bucks them to the right length, leaving behind everything we don’t need so that it can contribute to the soil nutrients as it decomposes over time. Sometimes we will go in with the skidder tractor to pull the logs out from the forest, but because we’ve been having particularly bad luck as of late with tractor tires, we’ve been embracing an even more traditional method. We throw the harnesses on the horses, hook up the chains, and put the ponies to work. This is a great method because it is sustainable, fun, and isn’t prone to flat tires. There are so many cool things about horse logging I would love to tell you about, but that’s another story for another day.

Chilcotin Holidays

About Chilcotin Holidays

We are a licensed guide outfitter and we conduct guided wilderness adventures throughout our 5,000 square km operating area. This guide area has been operational since 1880, making it the oldest in British Columbia. More about us HERE.

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