TSI and selective timber harvest leaves a lot of wood on the ground, as does Mother Nature when she has a tantrum such as wind storms, tornados and the 2009 derecho event which passed through the state. We lost more than 60 trees over 12 inches in diameter in that event alone.
|Derecho wind damage|
They donate their time to cut, split and deliver firewood to families which heat with wood but have neither the source or the financial resources to obtain fuel at the present. They have been collecting our wood now for several years. This year he and Steve Prine planned a big charity harvest.
|Cut up and ready to split|
|Young work horse|
When Steve said he would bring a "collection of saws," Barb said he just meant backup saws as "no one would collect chainsaws." Knowing "men and boys and the price of their toys" in a world where Harbor Freight acts as an adult Toys-R-Us, I respectfully disagreed. It turns out that for once I was right. Steve alone has over 90, most of which are operational. Almost everyone there collected to some degree and all had several brands on hand, both modern and historic, switching between them just for fun.
|A man's chainsaw|
We had a lot of logs previously hauled out of the woods by tractor, enough to keep them busy I thought. This backlog lasted until about 11 AM and from then on we were dragging logs out as crews plunged into the woods with abandon. Several dead trees were felled, always leaving lots standing as future housing for wildlife.
They harvested 7 huge trailers full of split firewood as well as other large piles which will be loaded onto the trailers once they are emptied. By late afternoon several loads had been delivered to families which heat with wood but don't have the resources to obtain wood or buy it. With a sudden shortage of propane, the timing couldn't be better. For that reason, to my surprise, KY3 showed up to film the event, arranged for by the organizers of the cut, Steve Prine and Ed Hultgren.
Ordinarily I enjoy running a chainsaw and cutting up logs but Saturday my role was as the greeter, photographer, and chief log-dragger using my tractor to back into the woods and drag out logs to the cutters and splitters. Besides, I was a little embarrassed displaying my "little" Stihl 260 saws which looked like they were made by Mattel compared to their monsters.
The boys were cute and hard working, hauling cut logs that I would find intimidating. Each had his dad's work ethic with a little mischief thrown in. There were undoubtedly a lot of snoring kids headed toward Muskogee and Cabool that night.
By Tuesday morning, 8 loads had been delivered to families in need and the wood pictured below is some of the next loads which are being scheduled. Ed's crews have delivered 693 pickup truck loads in the last 5 years as the program has grown and I can't guess at how many they packaged Saturday.
We are planning on some other charity cuts soon. If you are interested in helping or if you have a lot of downed wood on a wood lot, consider helping to warm a neighbor in need. You can get in contact with Ed Hultgren by emailing email@example.com.
Below is some of the wood that hasn't been delivered yet. You can see more pictures from KY3 here as well as at this video news report. There is one error in the video- no firewood was sold, only delivered by volunteers to those in need.