- October 26, 2009 at 7:57 pm #41022Scott GParticipant
Once again it has been a month gone by in order to receive as much feedback as possible. And as last time, the most recent response was within a week of when I posted the query.
It seems to me that the overwhelming response we initially had in favor of this effort has waned considerably.
Simple question: Is this something the group is still interested in?
I am not sure why response has tapered off so dramatically, but I would really like to know.
To me this is a very worthwhile effort that I am more than willing to put the time into. I am very fortunate that my current situation permits me the flexibility for the time required as compared to most folks that are just trying to stay afloat and feed their families.
That said, if people are not going to stay involved this early in the game when all that is required is to take 5 minutes and share input, my time might be better spent on other activities and/or pursuing this in a different direction.
The opportunity exists for our culture to network and find solutions for common issues that both adversely affect us as well as opportunities that may significantly improve the current situation many face.
Nothing worthwhile has ever been achieved without actively going after it. We can certainly be passive but, in my opinion, that will achieve nothing more than the status quo and will result in nothing other than a lot of folks retreating to their own area of the woods and continuing to bitch and moan. I have no desire to be a part of that…
So with the glass half-full attitude lets see if everyone wants to continue to move forward.
I pulled the list of folks from the genesis of this group. Carl, is this list fairly complete with folks included? The ones in bold are the only ones I have heard from this go around. Just a pulse check to see if everyone else is still out there and what their thoughts are…
Biological Woodsman – Jason Rutledge
Cedar River Horse Logging – Tim Carroll
Cousin Jack –
Iron Rose – Dan Rasmussen
Lancek – Tim
Scott G – Scott Golden
Listed below are the results of the last vote. There are still a couple of choices to be made due to tie votes. If this is something that we still want to pursue; please vote. If you feel we are getting way off base, in your opinion, please let the group know why so we can talk about it.
Whether we admit it or not, we all have our own personal agendas about what we think and why we do what we do. That is human nature and is to be expected when we are dealing with ourselves on an individual level.
When it comes to a group of like-minded individuals, those folks need to share their common goals and direction. The key, as I’ve mentioned before, is to focus on points of agreement and build upon that. If disagreement is the standard, the group cannot be cohesive, nor for that matter, even exist. In short, lets agree on key points and agree that it is Ok to disagree on others. That my friends, is how we will be able to move forward…
If we need to ditch where we are and start over, let us know. We are not yet at a point where putting anything on the table is not an option.
Looking forward to some dialogue…
Here are the results of the last (I was hoping to say final) vote:
Name of Effort/Organization
“Draft (Animal) Powered Forestry International” (3 votes) (Carl comment: I don’t mind this but think it should be animal and not just draft.)
“Draft Powered Forestry International” -With Carl’s statement about use of word Draft rather than Animal in mind.
“International Draft Animal Forestry Initiative (IDAFI)” (2 votes)
“International Draft Powered Forestry Association” (1 vote)
“To promote positive impact forest management using draft animals and appropriate technology”
“To facilitate the international connection between draft animal forestry practitioners, exchanging information, providing benefits of association (i.e. insurance, cooperative marketing, etc.), and advocating toward mutual goals.”
”To improve opportunities for draft animal forestry practitioners to unite regionally, and internationally, to share information, work, markets, and advocacy.”
”To advance an ecological perspective of forest management, based on the use of draft animals, and other low impact/low input strategies.”
“To serve as a networking, clearinghouse and contact information for individuals and organizations involved in animal powered forestry throughout the world.”
”Work with researchers to study and publish ecological benefits of animal logging.”
”Work to establish a separate and reasonable Worker’s Comp category for animal loggers.”
”Share techniques and strategies.”
“To serve as an official body to support collaboration, research and demonstration with all interest groups on the issues of sustainable forestry including, governmental, non governmental organizations (NGO), academic institutions, municipalities, private landowners”
“To develop some sort of state or regional organization to help with training new and upcoming horse loggers Get more awareness to the general public find and promote new ways to use animal power to enhance our forest world wide!”
“To establish an international directory of associations, organizations, and individuals who are supporting /(or practicing)/ the work of draft animal forestry practitioners.”
So four of the five goals are decided. We have, however, a three-way tie for a fifth goal. Please select one of the following:
”Work to establish a separate and reasonable Worker’s Comp category for animal loggers.”
”Share techniques and strategies.”
“To serve as an official body to support collaboration, research and demonstration with all interest groups on the issues of sustainable forestry including, governmental, non governmental organizations (NGO), academic institutions, municipalities, private landowners.”
Please remember once we have a decision we can further wordsmith and tweak the content.
Thought for the day: We are the ones that are empowered to create and direct our destiny for this profession and culture. No one else is going to do it for us. If by chance someone else does, we are probably not going to be happy with the end result…October 26, 2009 at 9:12 pm #54933simon lenihanParticipant
I just think it has been a hard time for alot of horseloggers the way the markets are at present and yes we do need to try and get the ball moving again. However there are very few horseloggers on this forum from europe and i am not sure how to get them involved, for example a recent survey in the czech republic showed that there were 1700 full time horseloggers using 2700 horses, we need to get large groups like this on board, we need to speak to FECTU and other organizations in other european countries to get their thoughts.
simon lenihanOctober 26, 2009 at 10:22 pm #54927Gabe AyersKeymaster
“Draft Animal Powered Forestry International” I think including “animal” was what Carl wanted, I agree – if that is what he wanted.
I don’t like any statements that say “appropriate technology”, because it could lead to mechanized equipment being slipped in the back door. Most of the folks that are mechanized equipment think they are doing fine and that is fine, but we want to support our own approach. This group is about animal powered extraction – primarily. I understand that animal powered techniques are definitely appropriate technology, but it is more of a technique than technology.
“To serve as an official body to support collaboration, research and demonstration with all interest groups on the issues of sustainable forestry including: governmental, non governmental organizations (NGO’s), academic institutions, municipalities, private landowners”
I vote for these two – to get us started, we can refine as we go along if desired and mutually agreeable.
I find this entire cyber way of developing an organization cumbersome and hard to deal with. I think that may limit participation. I know some folks understand all of it very well, but all of us don’t, so that may contribute to limited participation.
I think we should remember that this is or was just an exploratory start up group that would relay our collected thinking to the larger group in a hard copy – written on paper way so we could reach many of the folks that have no idea anyone is working on such an organization to promote and support all of our efforts.
I also experience folks saying “what is an association going to do for me or what will I get out of joining?” and that is a question we should keep in mind when we attempt to grow this group. We have to provide a service (s) to our membership in order to grow.
I have invited – through email the FETCU (sp) to have a reciprocal link with HHFF and there has been no response to date. I suspect the language barrier is a factor. It will take a personal contact to engage all or more of the Europeans apparently.
I also suspect all these groups end up being ran by a core group of highly dedicated individuals and the rest are happy to just do what they do and I understand both positions.
There are my votes and three cents worth.
Thanks Scott – for hanging in there man, let’s keep working on it as we can with who we have on board now. It will grow later if we can craft a useful group.
Sincerely,October 26, 2009 at 11:22 pm #54935
I have been very busy with the many hats I wear – sorrry for taking so long – I have to agree with Jason that I find the internet a hard place to organizie an effort like this and always prefer to work in person … I’m here –
None of the names for the colaboration strike me as yet and I’m scratching my head to come up with one to toss out –
I feel that appropriate tecnology is key and that we would be limiting ourselves not to include forwarders or other machines whether horse drawn or otherwise -We can continue to discuss this part later – so I stick with – “To promote positive impact forest management using draft animals and appropriate technology”
I would like to combine the top two goals – And then -“To promote positive impact forest management using draft animals and appropriate technology”
(4 votes)I think it is very important to get the folks from across the pond involved –
Thank you Scott for carrying the torch –
JohnOctober 26, 2009 at 11:26 pm #54936
oops – double quoted – meant to put – ”Work to establish a separate and reasonable Worker’s Comp category for animal loggers.”
(3 votes)after combining the top two –
JohnOctober 27, 2009 at 12:33 am #54928Carl RussellModerator
“Draft (Animal) Powered Forestry International”— I Like it.
“To establish an international directory of associations, organizations, and individuals who are supporting /(or practicing)/ the work of draft animal forestry practitioners”—- I have to say even though this isn’t one of the ties, it speaks more to what I see this sort of organization providing to its members.
But if I am being held to protocol I’ll vote for–“Share techniques and strategies”
Thanks Scott. The list looks complete. I hope you all can hang in there with this process. I think we have to make a few more accommodations for the time it takes for all of us to be in the same state of mind, at the same time. We have gone this far without this organization, and I’m not worried that someone will come and try to take the idea away from us, but we are going to need to have regularly scheduled actions that keep those of us interested involved.
Keep up the good work, CarlOctober 27, 2009 at 6:09 am #54934cedarriverhorseloggingParticipant
I agree with Jason all most verbatim. I have had the same experience with people wanting to know what is in it for them. I worked on work mans comp but that was a disaster all states are different. Commercial liability was more workable but a lot of insurance companies were not licensed in all states. Lloyds of London covered everything and I had them for three years then there rates went up 600%. If someone can put the time in and find the right company for group rates it would draw members in.
I think animal power is what this is about not forwarders and mechanical systems.
If we use appropriate technology, my thought is that it means block and cable system,
carts, big wheels, go devils, and leather verses nylon. Things that are directly related to animal power. As for Horse Loggers outside this country we used to have a lot of horse loggers from Canada and they broke off and started there own associations.
What this forum is going to do is find out who has the tenacity to drive this association. If you think it is difficult to get input to this forum, ask every one to write an article for the first news letter. One or two people will be doing 90% of the work, with brief periods of members wondering what is in it for them.
If the public does not understand who we are, what we are, and what good are we. We will all starve to death. How are we going to educate the public.
As for who continues to have interest in this I would guess that most everyone on the list is interested but because of time or other commitments they respond when they have the time or when they strongly agree or disagree. If the ship is going in the write direction I generally do not turn the steering wheel. Most will do the same.
Thanks to all the effort that is being put in to this and to those who steer the ship.October 27, 2009 at 11:19 am #54937
I would like to share that in my experience working with horses there have been instances that horses alone were not capable of efficiently getting wood to the landing – and that working in combination with a forwarder has made it possible –
With the given timber markets and usual distances the turn around from the stump to landing is to long –
this effort needs to work towards increasing the value of our work – we compete in a market based on unsustainable high volume and speed and destruction – this has to change – and will as oil becomes more difficult to obtain –
Re educating the public is going to take a tremendous effort and fortunately has already begun – I’m wondering if we do not embrace alternative appropriate technology will we be dismissed as archaic or quaint ?
I work in the woods full time promoting horse power whole heartedly but for me to survive I need to leave the machine option open –
JohnOctober 27, 2009 at 11:54 am #54940gregg caudellParticipant
John, Horseloggers are a practical lot. Get ‘er done is the basic platform. I don’t own a machine not even a tractor on our ranch here in washington, because I know I would use the horses less and less if I had one around. I never had one on the job. I side hauled with block and tackle instead of having a machine push up my deck. But I have used horses to bunch for helicopters, forwarded to a machine and skidded for high lead cable outfits. I think there are a lot of applications that horses can work in conjunction with. The U of Garpenberg, Sweden developed a lot of horse drawn equipment to implement them into modern forestry. That is where the self loading bogey cart came from. We have to adapt. My friend and fellow horselogger, Andy Egger in Switzerland (now Santa Cruz, CA) showed me pictures of working horses under high lead cable systems that were permanently established in local watersheds under which horses were used to bunch timber. He also used horses on the coast of New Zealand to skid Radiata Pine to a high lead that flew logs to a barge being loaded for Japan. There are many applications for horses.
Animal power rules. Over 80% of the world uses animals for tractive power although 80% of production is done by machines.October 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm #54929Carl RussellModerator
My own opinion is that we should be able to agree on some fundamental principles that we feel are representative of draft animal powered forestry on an international level. Trying to restrict the mission of the group to particular implement choices will only serve to limit our membership.
I really think we are missing the opportunity to use this organization as a mechanism to “connect” people internationally around the issues, all of them, that affect our businesses.
There is a possibility that down the road, a functioning organization might take on big issues such as insurance, but developing a network for sharing ideas, techniques, and methods will be much simpler to start, and it is a product that is not available yet.
Personally, I am not interested in improving the lot of horse-loggers, or worrying about business details like insurance. I am excited about making connections around forestry practices that are ideally suited to the use of draft animals, and the opportunities to develop cooperative marketing of services and forest products.
CarlOctober 27, 2009 at 1:45 pm #54932Jim OstergardParticipant
I’m going to vote for:
”Share techniques and strategies.” I think what Carl has written above is pretty much in line with my thinking. For me its been the connection and then the sharing of experiences that has been most valuable. My experience with newsletters is that you have to grab the reader and then engage them. What better way than to have a personnel story lead each newsletter. From there tips, meetings or gatherings (world wide) might further engage folks.
I can’t stack wood like I used to and given that I have to sell for the most part (at this time) into the commodity market of pulp and big mill saw logs time at the landing is a factor. Looking forward to getting the 1962 Mack log truck to a landing soon. Then I can spend more time with the horse and saw in the woods. So I don’t think we need to get hung up on this as an issue. I’m more interested in knowing John is making some Swedish gear near me and hearing how the guys out west are solving problems.
Scott, old son, thanks for putting these organizational ideas together. I have this feeling of comfort know that all you guys are out there.
peace…..jimbojimOctober 27, 2009 at 1:51 pm #54939lancekParticipant
Well just my 2 cents I think that if we consentrate with a small group and then branch out then we will have a better chance! I dont think that the europeans will join in untill we show that we are orginised and opperateing in an efficant manor. As far as the insurance is concerned the only way that I have seen to get good rates is to be self insured! I was a member of the owner opperator ass. and they were never able to get compairable rates untill they organized they own holding company and made them self insurers and that will take a lot of members LancekOctober 27, 2009 at 8:40 pm #54938
I’m on board – I’m going off logging until Sun. and will add some more thoughts then – JohnOctober 29, 2009 at 11:04 pm #54931Rick AlgerParticipant
Sorry to lose contact. I am cutting wood 45 miles from home and generally staying in a camp that is off the grid. When I do get home, I crash.
As far as the vote goes, I’ll be okay with “Share techniques and strategies” even though I was one of the ones who brought up the Worker’s Comp issue.
It looks like the majority wants to go in a visionary direction instead of a pragmatic one. That’s not my first choice either, but I’ll go with it.
I do hope that we will not lose sight of the every day issues facing the working logger.October 30, 2009 at 4:21 pm #54930Scott GParticipant
Thanks everyone for reengaging. Thoroughly understand the time issue. As Rick mentioned, when I was running a big show for years I was in base camp a long distance from home all week long. When I did come home on Sunday I was in my office doing books with not much time for anything else, including family. Not exactly a high quality existence. Anyway, I digress…
I think there is room for both visionary and practical application for this group. Topics like insurance are real and affect us all. There are solutions. The primary aspect is that it varies by State, Province, or Country. Even though some folks may not embrace it, there is an existing Forest Industry out there where we can fit in nicely, fill a niche, and be fully accepted if we take the right approach. “Membership has its privileges”.
Our group is fiercely independent by nature. But as everyone is aware, hence the reason we are all participating in this, established groups and networks must be utilized as available resources if we are going to be able to move forward at any scale with respect and credibility as a “tool in the tool box” for forest management in the 21st century.
I have contacted Doug Joiner of the BHL and he will be joining us soon. I will also follow up on Jason’s attempts to contact FECTU. Effective networking is the most potent way to get this off the ground. Our numbers are small, therefore being inclusive rather than exclusive, and pulling in all interested parties that have a vested interest in this is paramount. We can all learn from one another, even though thousands of miles and national borders may separate us. The solutions to the issues and the key to moving forward are already out there, in the minds of fellow practitioners throughout the world. There is no need to reinvent the wheel, only to improve the efficiency and practicality of it.
I firmly believe that “appropriate technology” is an opportunity that cannot be overlooked. The truth is that most of us, whether we want to admit it or not, already use it in some form or to a certain degree.
I am going to start another thread in our forum to toss this around as it is something I think we need to banter back & forth.
For now, I am going to be in & out of it for a few days. We just got hammered by a large storm. At my place we got 40” of snow on the level and now the wind is hitting 50mph with severe drifting. I will not only be using a shovel but also other “appropriate technology” to get the place and operation up and functional again….
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