Draft Animal Power – Draft animals and sustainable land stewardship › Forums › Associated Organizations, Sponsors, & Collaborators › Draft Animal Logging Association Working Group › Ideal Number for Working Group
- July 30, 2009 at 1:44 pm #40719
Let’s get everybody to weigh in on what the thoughts are about numbers of people, geographical distribution, background, of members of the working group.
CarlJuly 30, 2009 at 2:30 pm #53322Jim OstergardParticipant
I’m not too concerned about numbers although too many folks might lead to too any random ideas getting us off track. I think the primary goal is to get agreement among us (and I like the idea that at this point its practitioners) about the basic structure of the organization. One of the great things that I’ve observed with my association with DAP is that the broad geographic distribution of folks adds tremendously to the available information. We all run a saw and we all use animals but within that; holy smokes, are there some wildly different ideas, experience and such. This part excites me and it is also the legacy we can pass on to younger folks who are interested.
So, I’d suggest we figure rough regions, see if we have good representation on that front and then figure some division of labor. I’m still looking at the newsletter stuff. My old software won’t work anymore and the new stuff (which would allow anything from a print 8 X 11″ to broadsheet newsletter as well as PDF and web newsletter) is pretty pricey. I’m going to snoop around to see if there might not be some community action grant for such.
Hope folks are getting some time in the woods. Standing water most everywhere here in mid-coast Maine.
peace…..JimJuly 30, 2009 at 4:23 pm #53320Rick AlgerParticipant
The first thing I’d like to see is an agreed upon general direction/mission of the group. (My vote is “to improve the lot of the practicing logger.”)
For representation, I would like it keyed in some way to forest types . Ie. Boreal Forest, Central Hardwoods, , Western softwood etc, and I would also suggest it be spread among traditional and “new Age” loggers.
As far as numbers go, the fewer the better, but there should probably be a Canadian or two.
Don’t start-up groups like this usually have a small core group that works up proposals etc for a larger group to endorse or reject? I would be okay with that kind of approach.
I will be back logging in the Grant this fall and winter and will be off-grid for weeks at a time, so I am also wondering about response-time issues.July 30, 2009 at 6:10 pm #53325simon lenihanParticipant
geographically we should have representation from countries where there is active horselogging going on, sweden / finland / germany etc. Rick is spot on with the different type of forests, this will help us all, we work mostly in conifer plantations where volume is the key word. rick what do you mean by [new age logger] .July 30, 2009 at 6:13 pm #53331lancekParticipant
I think that both Jim and rick have interesting points! maybe break it up into four to eight devisions and then coralate induviduals in those regians to set up groups to break down the work load!July 30, 2009 at 8:38 pm #53319Rick AlgerParticipant
By “new age logger” I mean someone who make his primary income in the woods from something other than timber extraction – property management, selling bark or mushrooms, creating woodscapes, training newbies, etc. I gather there is a growing number of these folks. I am not one of them.July 31, 2009 at 4:12 am #53317Scott GParticipant
I like and would vote for the idea of breaking it down by forest regions of North America and other countries. I would also second that we need to keep the core group somewhat small, with an odd number to break a tie, and possibly a minimum for a quorum.
My belief is that most participants are going to be well rooted in traditional harvesting, the only difference being the primary objective of the show and how they are paid.
My two cents…
ScottJuly 31, 2009 at 4:44 am #53314Gabe AyersKeymaster
Wow Rick, I never heard that name, that’s cool –
The HHFF Biological Woodsman training definitely includes whole forest management beyond just extraction of logs or timber. As long as it is within principles of restoration and therefore being truly a chance of a sustainable practice – it is something every modern horse logger should know about.
For instance, we have sold about a hundred bucks worth of chicken of the woods mushrooms in the last two days and that contributes seriously to our fuel bill, feed bill, etc.
This is particularly interesting from the perspective of input cost or input energy. It is a matter of knowing what they are, looking for them while resting your horses of whatever else you are doing in the woods and remembering to bring one of those bags you have behind the seat in the truck when you come back in the woods empty. That hundred bucks was carried out in a grocery bag. Much easier than the log. Free food or free money – if you know what you are looking for and a place to sell it. We sell them wholesale to a local organic food distributor. This particular variety brings from 8-10 bucks a pound.
There is a man named Gary Anderson in Kentucky that can present some serious figures supporting that the forest will make more money growing food than from extracted fiber. He does both, with horses – and is just scratching by like most of us, but he certainly has expanded and inspired our perspective on “wholistic” – “Integrated Forest Management (IFM) forest management. I call him a “Foresteader” because he espouses the 40 acres of woods and an animal and one can live without removing all the trees to practice agriculture everywhere. He has a website called:
There is allot more to this than timber extraction. There is “value adding” the forest products from logs to keep more of the value with the people who take the best care of the source. Much of our last few days has been grading, stacking and stickering high quality hardwood lumber in a landowner’s shed… for a decent hourly wage. It was our lumber, sawed from our logs, (DRAFTWOOD) http://www.draftwood.com – all to be used in his home in the near future. That is part of the services we provide in this particular situation and with this landowner. I have posted about this job previously. This is a specialty situation. Anyone interested can read about it at:
So yes, the Biological Woodsmen is a “new age logger” I suppose, an organic logger, and organic forest manager, all sorts of things. The key is still the low impact extraction with modern animal power.
The point with HHFF is that being a woodsmen may mean being more than just being a “logger”. That doesn’t take anything away from anyone extracting logs with animals. It adds to it.
And none of us would know how to do any of it without learning to work the animals in the woods with the old school “horse loggers”.
Being an (active practitioner) should be a requirement to be part of the founding group of this proposed association.
Separating the group by geographical regions may be appropriate. Maybe not, we all have addresses, people will know where we are from.
The strongest thing about what we are all doing is what we have in common and that is probably greater than the differences we have on a site specific geographic or national basis.
I read Greg saying he was farming now, enjoying multiple hitches and wasn’t logging anymore. Given the prices of wood this is very understandable.
This group needs old school and new school ideas and approaches.
I agree with Rick.
The more people we get involved from the beginning the better, it will evolve down to a core organically. Be as inclusive as the culture will qualify and the technology will allow.July 31, 2009 at 11:54 am #53321Jim OstergardParticipant
Most groups I’ve worked with have a board which can be large and then an executive group or committee which is smaller and can make decisions for the full board. I think we might go for something like that.July 31, 2009 at 12:52 pm #53316
My suggestion was not to break down the group into geographically oriented smaller groups, but to make sure that we have representation in this group from a wide range of regions, forest types, experiences, and perspectives.
I didn’t see the point of this venture as to get a bunch of people together with narrow sets experiences and interests. That is why I am holding off bringing in more until we have a discussion about the kinds of representation is absolutely needed to make this working group affective.
I believe that we need to keep the voices down below twenty just so that we can decipher the points of views. We are all quite well connected with other groups, and can bring representation from external discussions, so we don’t have to try to involve every person we know who we think would have good things to contribute.
Often times steering committees are not just made up of people who relate to, and can be related to by, members of the larger group. Often there is serious thought given to having people with financial, educational, media, and organizational experience that they can bring to the table. I know that many of us animal powered timber harvesters have broad experiences such as those I just listed, and I would support discussion to make sure that members of the working group are bringing some of those extra talents to the table.
As far as casting the broad net, the discussion that led to this working group was, and is open to every person who visits DAP. There have been many many more readers of those posts than there were posters, so my feeling to start is that those who want to step forward, have. I agree with Jason’s suggestions, but I think there needs to be pointed discussion about the make up of the working group, and soon, so that we can get a group together that can knuckle down on the task at hand.
Boy, do we need this rain!!! Every other day 1″-2″. Had a good day yesterday, maybe tomorrow.
CarlAugust 1, 2009 at 12:44 am #53330lancekParticipant
My thoughts are to devide a group of 20 to 30 people that have pratical experiance into differante reagins, allow this group to be a core group as rick suddjested! Then use these people to generate information and input form the general public and experts then bring this back to the centeral group for discussion and a final vote on how to incorperate this into the paper. IE; Jason could submitt the information about the gentleman in kY and we could use the group to dicuss the marrits of useing this in the paper! A group this small would be easyer to handle, and maybe after we get going then others could be nomonated to come in and replace some of those that will for one reason or other not be able to contenue with the paper. I would also like to know wether tere is soft ware that would allow use to network our computers to help with the wrighting and printing of this paper TimAugust 1, 2009 at 1:06 pm #53332gregg caudellParticipant
I’ve been monitoring the thread as it appears in my email.
I’d like to suggest that you keep the effort virtual as that is how you are managing to stay in touch at the moment.
If I understand, there is intent to do a paper newsletter. That is both un-ecological and expensive as the postage on an international as well as domestic level would be problematic. What’s wrong with this format? It reaches everyone and doesn’t cost anything. Lots of low cost resources on the net and evidently the talent to put together the resources used in dissemanating your activities.
What I may have missed in this effort is the goal. Efficting legislation? Sharing knowledge. Community of like minds and interests?
Sustaining an organization is a logistic challenge especially if money is involved.
My wife is an expert on non-profits. We have two. http://www.stonesoup.org and http://www.shopthefrontier. It’s a full time job for my wife but it jives with her work with legislators in both Washingtons. The benefits are marginal. There is stress. If the effort is to get grants and gov funding then it might be a good idea but grants come with strings and many times take you down skid trails you didn’t have in mind.
Not to pour cold water on the effort. I am delighted to see an international effort.
When I did the International Horselogger’s News, it was presumptious of me to think it would achieve that goal. It was mainly International because many of my friends were Canadian and I was in the U.S. ( I would encourage you to seek out Rob Borsato in N. British Columbia as he developed an extensive program for BC) Lynn Miller might also have something to contribute as he is a consumate advocate for influencing others.
HIN started out on a 4mb Powerbook laptop. There weren’t any pictures on the web let alone videos. Connection was dial up. I spent most my time building each issue sitting on a stump in the woods. MS Word was sufficient. I did a quarterly. Aside from all the mechanics of keeping it going I was delighted to hear from folks around the globe. The fee was such that it payed for materials.
I found horseloggers are not joiners. Those that are, usually have an agenda. Many are marginally literate but big hearts and a desire to share/learn the benefits of working horses.
I would encourage you to keep the membership open to anyone. You might find legislators, financial wonks, artists, environmentalists etc. that can contribute to your worthy goals.
I find horselogger’s come from many different back grounds and bring with them a wealth of experience. I’ve never met a rich horselogger and I’m suspicious of fat one’s.
I do see great value in this site. It has everything needed to help a person interested in getting into working horses.
“when you get to the end of your rope, tie a not in it and hang on.” Horses, Hitches and Rocky Trails.
Stay out of the bight, Good luck.August 1, 2009 at 1:08 pm #53327john plowdenParticipant
I think breaking down into groups may complicate an already difficult task and that perhaps having a core person or small “editorial ” group that any active member can contribute to would work – who that is may be the question –
Carl has a wonderful connection going on here – It may be alot to ask , but why not let DAP run the show ? We’re all here contributing daily – We could print and mail out articles monthly – We could start with short bios –
Just some thoughts – I have to put on waders and get the horses to dry ground!
JohnAugust 1, 2009 at 1:55 pm #53313Gabe AyersKeymaster
How about going to the normal chat board (Sustainable Forestry) and tell us about the job you just came back from in Mass. When you say “great job”, I would like to know about it. Or post the story wherever you want when you have time.
Most of what I have learned about this work has been from others.
Good to hear from Greg.
Does anyone have contact info on Rob in BC?August 1, 2009 at 2:36 pm #53315
I agree with Gregg about the difficulty of printing and sending out a newsletter, but we need to explore some way to connect to people off-line.
I am willing to let DAP be the center for operations, but I don’t want to “run the show”. I think that using DAP we can start to network to people who will connect us to the international community that we are talking about.
Perhaps once we get an objective nailed down (another thread http://www.draftanimalpower.com/showthread.php?t=2009), then we will have a better idea of the size and scope that this group needs to be.
I also agree that Lynn Miller will be helpful. I am not sure of what presence he would have on-line, but I am sure that he would support us by offering a portion of SFJ for us to reach out to our community. Also, his new small farms conservancy is trying to address some interesting issues that seem like they may have similarities to some of what we have been kicking around here.
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