During the last few weeks I’ve had a Siggy and Sailor come to work with me while the weather was cooler. Mostly, it’s been too hot, but we’ve had a few nice days.
Every year Mary and I compete in a head to head competition to raise money for Sierra-Cascade Environmental and Resource Fund for the Sierra-Cascade Logging Conference. We each create and donate an original painting for the auction, and may the best painting win. They are auctioned at the Lumberjack Banquet and Education Auction. More on this below. Each year the loser has to write the auction report. We affectionately call it the “Loser Report”. Spoiler alert! Last year I was the loser so I’m writing the report. I’m almost a year late and we are preparing for the the 2020 Auction, which is happening this Friday! So without further adieu here is the 2019 Losers Report.
Last year I prepared a painting honoring a beloved logger in our community that had just passed away. His name was Jim Headrick. He was highly respected and well loved by those that knew him. A sentimental favorite. I titled it “Bull of the Woods.”
Mary was involved in preparing a clandestine painting of another respected logger in our community, Larry Strawn. She had been recruited by a friend and business partner to Larry named Delbert Gannon. Delbert secretly snuck Mary into Larry’s office to pilfer his prized photos for reference. Larry nearly caught her making her escape from their equipment shop, but she cleverly eluded him. When she created her piece she sneakily hid the identities of the people in the painting while it was on public display in the days before the auction. She titled it, “Blue Ridge Heritage.”
The way this auction works is that both paintings are auctioned at the same time. The winning bidder gets to choose the one he/she wants and the other painting goes back on the block to be auctioned again, or the winning bidder can choose to take both paintings at the winning bid price. This had never happened before.
The night of the auction came and the paintings were revealed! Larry knew he’d been had. We knew Delbert was going to be bidding on the painting of Larry to gift to him. However, Delbert didn’t know before that night that Mary had included him in the painting too! She surprised them both. We didn’t know who would bid for “Bull of the Woods.” The bidding began and was running up quickly. As it got near got near $5,000 the bidding began to slow. Delbert had yet to bid. Mary and I looked towards Delbert and wondered if he was going to bid. Then at $5,400 the auctioneer yelled “sold.” Johnny Miller of John Wheeler Logging had won the auction. When asked which painting he wanted, he said “I’ll take them both!” Delbert looked thunderstruck. The painting he planned to purchase was lost! Meanwhile, Johnny presented “Bull of the Woods” to Liz, Jim Headricks widow. It was very touching. Immediately after the presentation Delbert entered intense negotiations with Johnny to convince him to donate “Blue Ridge Heritage” back to be auctioned again. Mary and I were vigorously debating as to who was the winner and who would have to write the loser report. Then Johnny graciously donated Mary’s painting back to the auction and it went back on the block. This time Delbert was the successful bidder at $5,000. He then presented the painting to his friend Larry. It was one wild auction.
As a result both paintings originally sold for $5,400 individually, but Mary’s painting resold for $5,000. My painting brought $5,400 and hers fetched $10,400. The total to the Sierra-Cascade Environmental and Resource Fund from the paintings was $15,800. I think that makes them the big winner!
Coming up very soon, the painting submissions for the 2020 Sierra-Cascade Environmental and Resource Fund. Here we go again.
This week is the Forestry Education Auction. If you’not familiar with this let me explain. Each year, at the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Forestry Education Dinner and Auction, Mary A Livingston (my lovely bride) and I contribute two paintings to go on the auction block. There are many items being auctioned, but what’s different about our contribution is we go head to head in a husband vs wife bidding war! Only, we aren’t the ones bidding. What could possibly go wrong. The winning bidder gets to pick the painting they want and the other goes back on the block. The bidders don’t know which painting the other bidders are bidding on! It’s great entertainment, at least to Mary and me. I reblogged her entry on my previous post. I must say that I’m intrigued because there is a mystery behind her painting.
This painting is in rememberence and is a tribute to Jim Headrick. He was a fourth generation logger, Logger of Year, a true professional and an all around good man. He is missed. Cheers Jim!
This fire season in California has been epic in the worst possible way. Not only did we have the state’s largest recorded wildfire, the Ranch Fire, but we’ve had the most destructive fire, the Camp Fire. During any prior year the Carr fire would have been the most destructive fire in California, but this year has been exceptionally bad for wildfires.
I was out checking in on one of our salvage logging contractors on the Carr Fire last week. The timber salvage operations are well under way. Click on the gallery of images to read about it.
Since I wrote this post the rains began in earnest. Our fire season has come to brutal end.
I was out in the Carr Fire burn area today. It’s quite devastating to see the thousands of burned acres of forest. This fire destroyed over 1600 structures, but it also killed millions of trees. We are faced with an epic fire salvage operation that will take years to complete. That will be followed by an equally epic reforestation program
With all the fires burning in California there has been a lot of discussion about logging to reduce forest fuel. Doing so makes our forests more fire resilient. There is fear among many people that logging of any kind will destroy our forest. The truth is the the fires are destroying our forests. This is a short video of such a logging operation from last year on the Lassen National Forest. The Forest Service prepared this project. Our company bought and logged the timber sale. The result is a healthier more resilient forest.
This story appeared on KREM2 in Spokane. I’m heartened to see a support for an active strategy to deal with the wildfire dilemma. In defiance of popular conventional wisdom that harvesting trees is a bad thing. Finally, using harvesting as a tool for healthier forests. It too long overdue in the minds of the public.