Indiana Tree Farm 2010 Awards

 Logger of the Year

Tri-State Timber LLC of Bloomington was recently awarded the Logger of the Year by the Indiana Tree Farm Committee. Chair Bob Burke recognized owners Brett Franklin and Rusty O’Neal for the company’s good logging practices and attention to safety. Tri-State produces 10-12 million board feet annually.

Consultant forester Rhett Steele, who nominated them, summed it up, “Their workmanship in the woods leaves the land in a great condition for future timber production and shows their devotion to the resource.”

Maintaining the integrity of the existing forest stand is an important part of an outstanding logging operation. Directional felling keeps harvested trees from damaging the remaining crop trees. Logs are skidded carefully so future crop trees are not bumped and scarred. Cull trees are harvested where safe to do so; otherwise they are marked for girdling.

Best management practices are used to prevent erosion. Those include grading logging roads, seeding them when necessary, and creating waterbars to slow erosion on slopes. To maintain safety and quality of the operation, employees are trained on best management practices, cutter I and II, first aid and CPR. The staff includes three foresters with silviculture training. In addition to their logging work, they have reforested with over 20,000 native seedlings in the past four years.


Indiana Outdoor Lab of the Year

The Dora Bex Nature Center at Fayetteville Elementary School is the 2010 Outdoor Lab of the Year. Fayettevillle Elementary School is in the North Lawrence Community School District in Lawrence County. The Nature Center is named after retired teacher Dora Bex, who developed the outdoor facility which includes woods, a prairie, a successional area, a wildlife plot, an amphitheater, and a new pavilion. With the help of Sycamore Land Trust, the students have developed a trail with interpretive signage. The Nature Center is utilized by almost all of the teachers at Fayetteville Elementary.