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August 30, 2011

Standing Skyline system expected to reduce erosion, reduce seasonal layoffs and cost less than traditional Wisconsin logging methods

MADISON - Wisconsin forestry officials, loggers and representatives of the Golden Sands Resource Conservation and Development Council will observe and evaluate a logging technology not typically used in Wisconsin during a demonstration scheduled near Crivitz Wisconsin on Wednesday Aug. 31.

Media are invited to observe the demonstration, which will take place off Quarry Road, approximately 3 miles north of Crivitz. For location details and times contact Terry Mace (608) 231-9333. This type of logging offers a very visual story well suited for electronic media.

Commonly called a "standing skyline" logging system, logs are gathered or "yarded" from where the trees are felled via a cable transport system consisting of two mobile towers mounted on excavators that support a heavy cable suspended over the logging site. Logs are attached to a carriage that travels back and forth on the heavy cable. The logs are suspended during transport.

This logging method greatly reduces the need for logging roads, sometimes referred to as skid roads, over which logs are dragged repeatedly by machines called skidders.

Skidder type logging can leave deep furrows and erodible ruts especially if practiced at times when the ground is not frozen or the terrain is steep. Standing skyline logging not only reduces residual forest damage and erosion concerns, it allows year-round logging operations in all types of terrain including swampy or wet ground sites, provided area roads are able to handle the weight of logging trucks moving the harvested logs to sawmills, papermills or other facilities.

"The Department of Natural Resources and the Golden Sands RC&D partnered in bringing this demonstration to Wisconsin," said Terry Mace, DNR forester and wood utilization specialist. "The effort is being funded by a $90,000 U.S. Forest Service grant. Teleforest, Inc, a Canadian company, built the equipment and the demonstration is for the benefit of Wisconsin loggers who may be interested in employing this kind of logging technology in Wisconsin.

"Approximately 20 to 30 percent of Wisconsin's 16 million acres of forest are suitable for this kind of logging technique. Traditional logging is difficult or limited to small windows of time in areas where slopes reach or exceed 25 percent slope, wet or swampy sites and other soft ground sites. While other equipment exists that can work on soft ground sites we believe this standing skyline system can do it with a smaller up front investment for the logger, leaves less residual damage and can be utilized during more months of the year, reducing seasonal lay offs."

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Terry Mace - (608) 231-9333

Last Revised: Tuesday, August 30, 2011

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