Occasionally I get a ping from my logger friend Martin Melville, who you may remember swinging from my butternut tree last summer. Yesterday’s lumbersexual video reminded me of a recent blog post of Martin’s, describing the real world that the logger operates in. Thought you might enjoy what a real logger sees from his side of the world.
“Loggers are typically disempowered. We are on the bottom of the pecking order. We wind up dealing with scenarios that others- -foresters, sawmills, and land owners-create. I have often been told that “foresters don’t respect us.” Contract provisions require us to (figuratively) sign our lives away and post our first-born as bond. Sawmills often pay more for timber on the stump than they do for logs delivered to the mill. One outcome is that we are very good at finding ways to “make it work.” If there’s a “rock” (read: barrier) in the way, what are (in today’s jargon) the possible work-arounds? Another result is to invoke the prayer of St. Francis: Lord help me change the things I can, accept the things I can’t change, and the wisdom to know the difference. The list of things beyond our control is long: weather, the cost of fuel, the cost of equipment, whether the guys show up for work, contract provisions, (sometimes) the timber we cut, the rate we can charge per ton or per thousand board feet. For instance:”