This morning marks the annual Logger Days in South Fork Colorado which is a tribute to the men and women who established the mountain regions and supplied the nation with the lumber needed to make it what it is today.
We often forget that everything we do and have comes from the earth in one form or another. From the plastics and gas and metal that makes up our cars to the lumber and other products that build our houses to the food that graces our tables, it all comes from the earth. Much of it like the agriculture and forestry is renewable. If properly managed, we can make it produce over and over again and oftentimes at a much higher rate than was previously done thereby providing for more people per acre in production. In 1950 the average farmer fed about 29 ppl worldwide. Today that same farmer feeds 155 people. The same is true of the timber industry. With the advent of the timber farms in the nation, lumber companies can produce more wood products than ever before with far less waste. One company in Georgia is even using the leftover branches from logging for sugar production. So we see that progress has definitely changed even this old industry.
Today, we celebrate the methods used for many generations with crosscut and axe competitions and I sure appreciate how hard the men must have worked in the past harvesting trees.
Recently, Paula and I were up on an old road in the mountains here and found an area that had been cut probably 30 years ago. The new growth was spaced out more than what was previously there and there was a lot of grass and other browse for the elk and deer and other animals. Also, there was no beetle kill in this area. This is a huge observation as some of the forest here is approaching 100% kill from those beetles. That makes a forest virtually worthless for any use including wildlife and also is a real factor in snow melting faster without the shade from the trees and faster runoff due to the dead trees not using any water. By not cutting out the dead trees when it started, we basically are going to lose an entire forest.
That is what caused the fires of late and will continue to be an issue for the next 20 years I believe.
So come celebrate with us those men and women who helped to build this nation, eat some great food and buy some superb crafted items at the booths there. The day is gorgeous with Rocky Mountain blue skies and light breeze.