Time to Get Going

I’m starting my new piece of art for the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Forestry Education Fundraising Auction. That’s a mouth full. I don’t have anything to post yet, but here is last years entry.

I’m going to need to top this one! Stay tuned for my progress reports.

BIG RED – TD-24 International

Here’s one I recently finished. This painting has been donated to the Pacific Logging Congress for their fundraiser auction.

Circa late 1950’s.

Riding Shotgun!

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.

Siggy’ s doing some quality control one some poles.
Posing in a pine plantation from my reforestation days.
We visited a logging side for student loggers!
We went through the Ponderosa Burn. It was replanted several years ago and the new forest is well on its way.
On a warm day the Northern Sierras we have to be sure a girl can get a drink.
Sailor got to go visit loggers with me on the Westside toward the coast. He patiently waited in the truck so I can talk to the contractors.
Steeper ground requires yarders for logging.
Sailor thought the creek felt pretty good after riding around.

Wild Wednesday … Hayfork Creek

I stopped by Hayfork Creek on the way home to let Tasha air out and get a drink. Mary and I used to have a mining claim here, but it didn’t pan out. We’d camp out while we prospected for gold. On this visit, fall color gilded the landscape.

Hayfork Creek, fall color, gold

I only found gold in the leaves this time.

gold, golden retriever, Hayfork Creek

Look more gold! Tasha enjoyed the water.

Douglas-fir

Douglas-fir timber.

Drifting away.

“The Fellers”

Here it is folks, the final! It took me a bit longer to post because we were crazy busy, but it’s ready to go.

watercolor, pen and ink, mixed media, drawing, painting, logging, fellers, fallers, timber

The Fellers

Tomorrow night it will be auctioned to raise money for the Sierra-Cascade Environmental and Resource Fund. This non-profit educates the public, students, and teachers about the wise management of our forests.They provide scholarships for local students interested in careers in the industry. Many of the programs supported are aimed at educating the urban regions of California, about practices that assure the health of our forests.

My painting will be auctioned in competition with Mary’s Painting. She also created a painting and you can see it here, Off-Highway Hauler. During the auction folks will be bidding on both paintings at once. The high bidder gets to pick the painting they want. The other is offered to the second place bidder who can take it or pass on it. Then it goes back to bidding. I beat her last year and now she’s back looking to take me down!

The Fellers … WIP

Just a quick update on the painting for the auction. I’ll have it wrapped up tonight to make it into the auction catalogue. Here’s my progress.

I’ll be back here tomorrow with the finished product. Now back to work!

Forestry Friday … The Fellers

WIP update.

I’m continuing to work on the art piece for the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Forestry Education Auction. I’ve sketched it out in pencil and am now laying down the ink. It’s been going very slow.

Tasha one of our golden girls has been ready to whelp since Sunday. She started this morning and had 10 puppies. She’s been a bit of a distraction keeping us up late, but now we’re done with that and everyone is doing well.  Mary posted a picture of the puppies here.

I’m waiting to see the piece that Mary is working on. It’s good to scope out the competition. She’s going to have to bring it for the competitive auction!

 

Forestry Friday … Art Auction Time Again!

pen and ink, vintage logging art, logging art

Circa 1940’s, loggers use a two-man chainsaw to fell a large Douglas-fir. Pen and ink.

It’s time for Mary and me to create a piece of art for charity once again. Every year we do something for the Sierra Cascade Logging Conference Forestry Education Auction. This pen and ink is my exploratory drawing for my painting. I like the direction it’s going. The tree and the background still needs some tweaking.  I was helped out by the Forest History Society. They have an excellent photo library of vintage logging scenes and were kind enough to allow me use it for art reference.

Last year at the auction Mary and I each provide a piece of art. To liven things up we competed against each other. It was a big success. You can read about it here on Mary’s blog, And The Winner Is!  In fact it was so successful that we are going head to head again this year. We’ll both be working on our paintings this weekend. I can’t wait to see the competition this year.

 

 

Forestry Friday … Loggers To The Rescue

salvage logging

Skidding salvage logs to the landing in the King Burn.

This article appeared in The Economist and sums up the need and benefit of thinning the forests of the Sierra Nevada. I’ve added a few comments about it below.

http://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21711930-cutting-often-preferable-burning-greater-cost-can-be-offset-payments

bark beetle, larva, Dendroctonus valens

The larval form of bark beetles are what kill the tree. The adult beetle chews a nursery gallery into the tree and lays her eggs. The larva hatch and spread out from that gallery creating more galleries as they feed. During this feeding process the larva girdle the cambium of the tree causing it to die.

I really appreciate the discussion regarding water generation through thinning. I believe this is one of the least discussed benefits of practicing forestry in the West, but in California it’s one of the biggest benefits with our constant water deficits. Thinning the Sierra forests would generate an enormous amount of water for California.

When comparing the cost of controlled burning to mechanized thinning (logging) you can’t ignored the cost incurred when controlled burns get out of control. The cost differences between doing controlled burn and fighting out of control fire is enormous. I’m not saying don’t use controlled burning, but fire suppression costs need to be included when controlled burns get out of control. Controlled burning is one tool available, but cannot come close to solving the problem of all the overstock forests.

Commercial thinning that includes merchantable (larger) trees is the only economically sustainable way to accomplish the massive level of thinning that needs to be done. The author points out 52 trees per acre was the historic density of trees in the Sierra. Research has shown that the proper density for optimal growth in fully stock mature timber stands to be between 43 and 64 trees per acre depending on the size of the trees. If we remove 236 trees per acre to reach 64 trees per acre, then some of those trees have to be big enough to make a 2 x 4.  If there is enough value in the larger trees, a timber company will pay the federal government to thin the forest instead of the government paying a contractor to clean up and dispose of the unmerchantable trees.

What’s the upside? We get healthy resilient forests that are more fire resistant. Wildfires that do start are less severe, and safer and easier to control. There is more water available to the state. The wood isn’t left to rot. It is used in wood products and to generate electricity. People doing these forest related jobs see an economic benefit, particularly in the rural communities. The practice is sustainable and wood is our great renewable resource.

Lastly, some folks are going to fret over the impacts of logging at that scale. I want you to know this, timber harvests are studiously planned to mitigate the potential negative impacts they could cause. Secondly, just imagine the negative effects of these mega-fires.  I’ve seen them and their effects are staggering. I’ve yet to see one large burn ever have it’s negative impacts fully mitigated.