Doe Run Using More Sustainable, Safer Logging Equipment to Manage Missouri Forests
29 Mar 2017
ST. LOUIS (March 29, 2017) – Spring marks several holidays, including Earth Day and Arbor Day, that recognize the importance of caring for natural resources. For The Doe Run Company (Doe Run), responsibly managing its forested property contributes to the long-term sustainability of the beautiful region. Recently, Doe Run began using a cut-to-length logging system, in partnership with Parker Logging LLC, that offers multiple benefits to the future of forestry in Missouri, including reduced waste, improved aesthetics and increased employee safety.
Doe Run oversees 35,000 acres of forest in southeast Missouri, and annually contributes approximately 3 million board feet of timber to manufacturing companies to build cabinets, flooring, railroad cross ties, pallet material and wine barrels.
“Many people see timber as a non-renewable resource because trees are removed in the process, but responsible forestry means harvesting some trees to give other growing trees room to thrive, and planting new trees to maintain the forest,” said Dave Patterson, Doe Run forester. “We manage timber as a renewable resource and are the first Missouri company to utilize this cut-to-length/forwarder system to improve how we manage our forests.”
Cut-to-length harvesting is a preferable alternative to traditional timber harvesting. With a cut-to-length system, trees are felled, delimbed and cut to the exact desired log length at the site of the stump. Taking these additional steps on-site reduces waste by eliminating the need to trim the logs further. Another benefit of the system is that trees are not dragged through the forest prior to the logs being cut. This minimizes disruption to the area around the cut tree, leaving the forest in a more natural state, and provides logs that are better prepared for the mill.
“In addition to safety and environmental benefits, this system improves efficiency and costs so two employees can do the work of five to six people,” Patterson said. “We have far more needs in our forestry management than we have employees available, so now we can spread our forestry employees across many areas to meet our workload demands.”
The new logging system consists of a steel track machine with a cut-to-length cutting head combined with a six-wheel forwarder for hauling the cut logs to the loading area. Rollers attached to the cutting head grip the tree and roll it through the cutting head, making cuts at the desired lengths along the way. The forwarder then comes behind and picks up the logs, piles them and takes them to the loading area for pickup and transport to the saw mill for processing.
“Whether it is our mining, recycling or forestry management, operating in a sustainable manner is important to Doe Run. We are proud to bring this new technology to Missouri to assist in responsible forestry management while also improving employee safety,” Patterson said.
About The Doe Run Company
Based in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, The Doe Run Company is a privately held natural resources company and a global provider of lead, copper and zinc concentrates. Dedicated to environmentally responsible mineral and metal production, Doe Run operates one of the world’s largest, single-site lead recycling centers, located in Boss, Missouri, and mines from one of the world’s largest lead mining districts, also in Missouri. The Doe Run Company and its
subsidiaries deliver products and services necessary to provide power, protection and convenience. Doe Run has operations in Missouri, Washington and Arizona. For more information, visit www.doerun.com and http://sustainability.doerun.com.
Editor’s note: Video of the cut-to-length logging equipment in action is available online at https://vimeo.com/210500443.