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What can I expect cutting firewood in Forrest Service desinated areas?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Bigfoot, Apr 6, 2011.

  1. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    I called the Estacada Forest Service yesterday and he didn't answer some of my questions, hoping some can help me figure out the logistics here.

    Don't want to sweat the small stuff but I'm still not sure if the costs of gas etc. is worth it and I don't want to drive a long way and find huge trees or lousy wood. Forrest Service guy said the designated areas are sometimes hours away...

    I understand that they fall the trees. Do they limb trees and drag the logs to a common area or do they just fall them and we choose our trees? I can just see several cutters working close together on the same log pile and arguing over logs.

    What diameter are the trees?

    I have a good Husqvarna 18" saw, long enough bar? A second saw would be nice and I assume it would give me good, larger diameter wood that others would have to pass on. Lowes has a 24" Husky but the cost would offset this years savings of cutting my own wood.

    What kind of wood should I expect to find?

    Just looking for a quick rundown on how the operation works and what to expect.

    Bigfoot
     
  2. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    Well if you're cutting in the woods above Estacada I'd keep an ear out for this...


    [video=youtube;1tqxzWdKKu8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1tqxzWdKKu8[/video]
     
  3. elsullo

    elsullo Portland Oregon New Member

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    I'd like to suggest that you forget mudding after green and soggy trees (carry tire chains for your truck, and enough jack to put them on!). I heated my home for years with the finest firewood there is---for free! I am talking about junk wood pallets, available for free and often right at the curb with a "FREE" sign on them. These are always found in industrial areas and especially grocery store warehouse distribution centers (the Clackamas Fred Meyer warehouses are excellent! just ask at the gate.) These junk pallets are bone-dry hardwood and burn hot and clean with no steam to rob your heat. The runners are usually rock-hard bone-dry OAK 3X4's, and even some exotic tropical Asian hardwoods. A chainsaw is useful to break them down for hauling, then at home all you need is a worm-drive "Skillsaw" to cut them at your leisure (don't use a direct-drive saw as the kickbacks make them very dangerous when rough cutting). You will need a lot of spare blades as there are many nails and staples and embedded pebbles that eventually get cut accidentally. Forget the muddy woods!.........................elsullo
     
  4. Bajablast

    Bajablast Hillsboro, OR Active Member

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    :funnypoint::laugh::bluelaugh::rofl1:

    Dueling banjos.....

    If weren't so true.............:paranoid:
     
  5. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    Elsullo, good un. I'll make sure to put the mudders on the 1'st gen Blazer first, it's just about unstoppable. Comealong, jack, chain etc. too bad the winch is dead.

    I want to put up wood a year in advance so I need to cut about five cords.

    I got stories bout Estacada women, but who doesn't. :paranoid: How some of the people twenty miles away from a major western city can be so backwards is beyond me. Anyway..
     
  6. moose

    moose northwet coast Well-Known Member

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    Where I live, there are about as many log trucks as Prius's. If you have the room to process them, you could contract someone to have some logs dropped at your house.
     
  7. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    If you are going to go through the trouble, put up at least 2 years worth. It doesn't take that long to cut/split/stack a cord, might as well make it worth it.
     
  8. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Here's a suggestion....forget the wood stove. Replace it with a pellet stove. You will eliminate the cost of maintaining a saw, buying gas to haul it and the mess you put up with moving it through the house. I live in Central Oregon, (where today we have an inch of fresh snow), and have for the past 16 years used a pellet stove. It costs an around $380 a year to heat my 1800sqft house, and Parr lumber delivers the pellets free when you buy a ton at a time. Do the math and you can see it is way cheaper than wood heat and will pay for itself on a few years. An added benefit is the pellets I use (Packsaddle) are made in Oregon and my energy dollars go to local business and not to a oil company.
     
  9. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Pellet stoves aren't worth their weight in scrap when the power goes out.
     
  10. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Ummm which is why my house has a generator....and some models have battery backups.
     
  11. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Neither does a heat pump/Gas furnace/oil furnace/electric anything

    in fact the only kind of heat that does work without electricity is fire.

    That said in the 20 years we have used our pellet stove we have been without it no more then a full day. I have a big inverter in my pickup and the cables to reach the stove now. So if worse comes to worse I will have to run the pickup at an idle to get my 300 watts for the stove. I sold off the generator a while back got tired of tripping over something I never used. The Freezer has enough gallon jugs of water in it to keep the meat good for 4 days.

    This year we are setting up a battery backup in the house with it's own inverter. I figure if the outage goes on for a couple days I can always charge the batteries up with the pickup. But as close as I live to neighbors running a lawn mower loud generator that makes a couple thousand more Watts then needed is not an option.
     
  12. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    I'd rather do that and I have room, if they can get through the somewhat narrow road. Know of anybody with good pricing on good wood?

    The only fella with log loads that I've seen on Craigslist wants $380 per load that yields 2.5-3 cords. I can haul unseasoned split wood from a local guy for that price.
     
  13. MA Duce

    MA Duce Central Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Not all generators are "lawn mower loud" I have a 18KW Onan diesel in a insulated bump on the side of my house. When it is running all you hear is a low hum from about 25 feet away. I am investigating a battery rack and inverter in conjunction with a PV array and windmill. Someday I would like to be connected to the grid only for selling my excess power.
     
  14. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    You make a good point. If you are prepared, there is nothing wrong with a pellet stove.
     
  15. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Very true. But I can't afford that type of generater. even the little Honda's and Yamahas are way to expensive based on their actual need. It would be cheaper for me to loose everything in the freezer 4 times then to buy a 2000 watt Honda. In the 28 years we have lived in this house I haven't lost anything in the freezer due to loss of power. And should the pellet stove go out for more then 10 hours (about how long it takes for the house to get uncomfortable in sub 30 degree weather). I can always resort to a camp stove/kerosene heater or some sort of temp electrical supply to make heat.

    Granted the amount of money I have spent on Life insurance over the same time period I could be completely outfitted with wind solar and storage to be off the grid. BUT
     
  16. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    since nobody answered your questions, here goes...

    often the USFS will issue you a permit that designates a certain number of cords of a specific type of wood. Often the permit will stipulate "standing green alder" or "slash pile".
    Standing green alder means you will drive down a forest road to a clearly marked cutting area. Often, there are multiple areas along a road, and they will have some marking so you can tell which is which. You will know you're in the right place when it looks like a war zone... limbs everywhere, stumps, sawdust, paint all over the trees. You can fall any alder tree in that area, as big or small as you want. You limb it, throw the limbs well off the side of the road,and buck up the wood.
    A slash or "PUM" pile is the same deal... they give you a map tha shows where all the slash piles are, and you pull the logs out you want and cut them up. These are often a mix of hardwoods and conifers, so expect doug fir, alder, hemlock, etc. The pum pile salvage is usually messier, because the shovels leave the ground rutted and muddy.
    My advice is to split your wood at the cutting site, that way all that debris stays there. The FS often issues little tags or tickets that you affix to your load. I have never been stopped, but know many people who have.
    A saw with an 18" bar will let you cut wood up to 36", that should be plenty big enough.
     
  17. speelyei

    speelyei Willamette Valley Active Member

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    as an afterthought...

    I don't know what your saw handling experience is. I am sure you will take saw mix, bar oil, a saw wrench and a file or two.

    If you have a second bar and chain for your saw, be sure and take that, and if you don't, maybe buy one. If you are cutting a log and get your bar stuck (it can happen), just take the powerhead off, replace the bar and chain, cut the old one fee, and get back to cutting.
     
  18. salmonriverjohn

    salmonriverjohn N.W Oregon coast, Gods country Well-Known Member

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    On that dueling banjo note, (please pardon the pun, but I couldn't help myself),,,,,,do you know what you call the offspring of a Woman from Estacada and a fella from Molalla? A little Molestacader!!!! So sorry to the fine folks back 'VERY' close to where I grew up at.
     
  19. Bigfoot

    Bigfoot Clack Co. OR Well-Known Member

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    Nice one.

    Looks like you covered all my questions. Many thanks Speelyei. :thumbup:
     
  20. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    :bluelaugh: