Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California on March 19, 2004 · Page 11
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Ukiah Daily Journal from Ukiah, California · Page 11

Ukiah, California
Issue Date:
Friday, March 19, 2004
Page 11
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THE UKIAH DAILY JOURNAL LOCAL NEWS FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2004 - A-1V Logging Continued from PageA-1 It's important to note that "Tinkerbelle" cost just shy of $100,000, which makes the point that an owner-operator like Baynham has to be not only a good businessman but have a good and reliable reputation to stay in the game. Today, he's one of a half- dozen drivers subcontracting to haul for McFarland Trucking, a company that also operates its own fleet. The CB is the key As he slowly backs the huge truck down his driveway and then heads up toward Piper Ranch, through which is a right-of-way to the forest, he talks to his truck, suddenly giving a very human quality to what some might consider just a vehicle. The CB radio hanging from the roof above the windshield, now becomes his lifeline, his connection with the job he is on. Within minutes, he has determined exactly which trucks are in front of him, behind him, and most importantly, which ones are traveling down the road he is on, filled with upwards of 50,000 pounds of fresh cut timber. Just as airline pilots traveling the same routes update each other with critical information about the weather ahead, the logging truckers share pertinent facts about road conditions. Frank, who is on the road somewhere in front of him, informs Morgan about his truck coming down the hill. "You'll meet me on the turn," he says, and sure enough, the truck appears, moments later. When Morgan pulls to the side, giving the loaded truck plenty of room to pass, Frank waves thanks. For each driver, knowing the exact position of a truck they are about to meet, especially on logging roads, is a matter of critical importance. The narrow dirt roads are just wide enough to accommodate one truck at a time, and for that reason the trucks can pass only where there is pull-off space. The fully loaded truck coming from the landing site has the right of way, so the "empty" makes it his job to be out of the way. It is not easy to stop a truck weighing 40 tons including its load - and there are stories, of course, about the ones that couldn't stop, trucks that dropped their load of logs and of trailers that flipped over. Drivers who haul logs have to be really good at their job, and drivers. like Morgan Baynham and Frank Pickrell who have been doing this for decades are the best. A tight-knit group "We support each other this way," Morgan says. "We are a tight-knit group who help each other in every way we can." This becomes evident when we finally reach the landing, where Morgan jumps out to help a driver named Jim secure his load by tossing tie cables over the top of the load. The cables tie the logs to the trailer. Each waiting driver affords the same favor to the driver ahead of him, before wishing them well on their trip down the precarious road, where one side cuts into the side of a steep mountain and the other drops off into a deep ravine. Baynham explains, "the roads are cut through the forest in a way that creates the least possible impact to the environment," a sentiment heard repeated again and again about what is now the most highly regulated industry in America. The roads are built and maintained to produce a minimum of sediment, which can wash into forest streams. During the dry season, the roads are sprayed with water to minimize dust that can damage streams as well. It's evident that loggers are more interested than ever in keeping the forests pristine. After all, loggers better than anyone understand that healthy forests are good for business. It's good harvesting practices that feed their families. The 66th Annual Redwood Region Logging Conference runs through Saturday at the Redwood Empire Fairgrounds. Many operations similar to this one are halted by sightings of northern spotted owls nearby. All operations are strictly controlled by state and federal forest and environmental agencies. The moment Morgan's truck is backed up to the waiting piles of "decked" logs, a man operating a "heel boom" loader pulls up behind the truck. Within a few seconds, he gingerly plucks the trailer off the back of the tractor, placing it on the ground in perfect position to be connected to the tractor. Then the operator expertly selects logs by weight, length and girth and places them with giant claws, eerily resembling human hands, onto the trailer, with the larger logs on the bottom. In 15 minutes, Morgan's truck is loaded. He then pulls forward far enough to make room for the next truck. This process continues all day long for several days, with one truck following another until all the logs are brought to the mill. Sustainable forests Maintaining the forests has become a primary focus of the logging industry which, after all, depends upon healthy new growth to sustain itself. Redwoods, for instance, are among the fastest growing trees extant. The redwood trees used for homebuilding today are almost all new growth. The old image of the towering beauties being chopped down by men with axes is an old story. Today, the selection of cutting sites for harvesting is handled with extreme care. For the most part, specific patches of forest are cut in areas, which can stand thinning without damaging the larger system. Great care is taken to protect the forest floor, its inhabitants and all the various elements that help maintain the ecosystem, including protecting streams, wildlife and even insects. According to the Mendocino Redwood Company, owners of this forest, they "invest in improving aquatic and terrestrial wildlife habitat. For aquatics, this includes improving stream temperatures, riparian shade, removing fish barriers, and eliminating sources of ups- lope sediment to streams. For land-based species, this includes improving habitat diversity, nesting snags, protecting old growth features, and habitat connectivity." In addition, the company boasts that it "invests in improving forest health including restoring conifer dominance to foresdands that have been converted to hardwoods due to poor management practices of previous owners." MRC owns and manages 232,500 acres of timberlands in Mendocino and Sonoma counties, harvesting about 2 percent of the acreage owned on an annual basis, removing approximately 1.5 percent of the merchantable timber volume on an annual basis. Several months prior to logging trucker Morgan Baynham "s appearance on the scene with his red truck, loggers on foot called "timber fallers" have carefully selected the trees by age and size for cutting. Giant helicopters, including the huge twin-rotor Chinooks used by the military, hovered overhead, dropping cables down to the forest floor where the felled trees, already "limbed and benched" (cleaned of branches) were hooked by "chain setters" and lifted across the deep canyon to be "decked" at the pick-up sight. There they are piled by length ready for the truckers to arrive. When weather conditions permitted - when the muddy roads weie hard enough - the process of transporting the logs to the. mill began. See Saturday's edition for Part 2. Thompson Continued from PageA-1 lion by 2009. Thompson offered a pair of amendments to the budget plan that would require Congress to pay for new tax cuts or new spending before they can be approved. Both were defeated on party- line votes. Republicans countered that the measures could prevent an additional wave of tax cuts. "You can't pay off your debts with borrowed money," Thompson said. "America wants Congress to be honest about what we can and cannot afford to do." The Thompson amendments were similar to a bipartisan "pay-as-you-go" measure approved by the U.S. Senate last week. The issue could be further debated next week when the full House of Representatives is expected to debate the budget resolution. In a Thursday press conference across from the U.S. Capitol, Congressman Mike' Thompson and other fiscally conservative Democrats urged the House of' Representatives to adopt "pay-as-you-go" budget measures. Senior Continued from Page A-l heads its finances and investments committee. Armanino told the audience that the way Carter set up the endowment, the $900,000 must stay untouched while the money it earns after investment is what the Senior Center will get, minus an annual 1.5 percent administrative fee charged by the foundation. Armanino said this endowment would likely be invested conservatively to ensure income for the Senior Center in perpetuity. While no one can guarantee what earnings the $900,000 will bring in, the Community Foundation's current spending policy for endowment earnings is 6 per- cent. The Community Foundation projects an average rate of return, over the long term, of 8 percent. It sets its current rate of spending at 6 percent, thereby allowing for growth in the principal. In theory, if the endowment returned 8 percent in the year, the $900,000 fund would gain $72,000. Six percent, or $54,000, would be spent (4.5 percent, or $40,500 would go to the Senior Center; 1.5 percent, or $13,500, would be the Community Foundation administrative fee). The remaining 2 percent, or $18,000, would be added-back to keep the principal growing. In the initial years, before the principal has had a chance to grow, the fund might not be able to spend 6 percent without invading the principal, which is not allowed under the State panel endorses rating system for wildfire risks Associated Press LOS ANGELES — California should develop a new system to rate wildfire risks that would guide how officials manage at-risk lands and respond to blazes, according to recommendations endorsed Thursday by a blue ribbon state panel. The panel, formed in response to last fall's deadly Southern California firestorms, approved about 50 recommendations — many costly — to be included in a See WILDFIRE, Page A-13 This Wednesday, head south of the border. Our Wednesday night Fiesta Buffet features all of your south-of-the-border favorites, including tamales, shrimp fajitas, swordfish w/ancho chili glaze and a taco bar. All-you-can-eat Buffets starting at $6.50 Breakfast Saturday & Sunday $6.50 Brunch Sunday $12.50 Lunch Daily $8.50 Dinner Sunday - Thursday $10.50 Fiesta Night Wednesday $10.50 Seafood Night Friday $14.50 Prime Rib Night Saturday $14.50 Also offering 24-hour Full Menu Service & Outdoor Dining. RIVER ROCK CASINO ALCXANPCK VALLtY (707) 857-2777 • Hwy 101 to Geyserville exit, follow the Dry Creek Kancheria signs An enterprise of the Dry Crtek Rancheria Hand of Porno Indians terms of the endowment. During these early years, if the fund, for instance, returned 5 percent, or $45,000, that would mean 1.5 percent, or $13,500 would go for the administration, and the balance ($31,500) to the Senior Center, leaving nothing to add to the principal in that year. To the extent that the economy improves and the investment return grows, the Senior Center will benefit. The endowment fund itself can also grow if other people decide to add funding through their own contributions or if the investment returns allow the Community Foundation some leeway to leave some extra funding in the endowment account. "This generous endowment gift will play an important part in ensuring the long-term sta- bility of the Senior Center by, providing ongoing support to' supplement what we receive' in grants and donations," said; Laura Golina de Lovato, center director. The Okiah Senior _ Center budget is about" $700,000 a year. The Community ; Foundation plans to go before • the Ukiah Senior Center board of directors to make an official presentation, but scheduled the meeting Thursday to give center members an infor- • mal setting to learn about the endowment and ask questions. • Armanino told the audience ' the foundation will soon make a determination on which financial company it will invest the funds with and hopes to make a first quarterly , payment to the Senior Center at the end of June. ' 1060 liorth State Street, Ukiah Sign up for Adelphia Digital Cable & recieve a coupon for a Free Pay Per View movie. Sign up and receive Classic Cable for $29.95/mo for 6 months and Showtime and Stan free for 12 months. How about High Speed Internet for 1/2 price for a year with a free self install kit. (877) 789-3129 QUORUNNDI/QIUDSPMT % IN ON All fUll-SM SUZUKI ^(P^ ^WHrfKpVMrP^lli Lost Coast Motorcycles of Ukiah L.L.C. (707)462-5160 1125 S. 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