This is my first post directly about life here in West Virginia. It is a great state to live in, but I suppose that I am biased because this is the only state that I have ever lived in. I am going to make my first West Virginia post about the logging industry.
Take note that you can click on all of the thumbnail pics here to make them larger.
When most people think of West Virginia, they think of little coal towns scattered across the state and everyone working in the coal mines. While coal mining is a large part of revenue for the state, logging is picking up the pace with more and more trees being cut down and the resulting mess the logging companies leave behind is quite an eyesore. I can stand out on my front porch and look at 3 different mountain tops. The one on the left has no trees. Nothing there but dirt and briers. The one in the middle still has its trees. The one on the right looks just like the one on the left. I sat on my porch countless evenings and watched the trees fall, one after the other. In this digital age, I had always assumed that there would be less need for paper, but I guess that isn’t the only thing that trees are being used for. I know that these trees aren’t being used for lumber or veneer, because when I drive by the logyard everyday, I can see that a lot of the trees are hollow. Not much good for anything, but I bet they made good den trees for the wildlife when they were still standing.
You can see how hollow these trees are from the pic on the right. I really don’t see what good most of these logs would be to any industry. So why even cut them down? At least the birds would have a place to land, and the squirrels would have nice trees to nest in. I believe that there is no point in harvesting these trees. The same amount of labor is involved whether you are cutting down a hollow tree, or cutting down a solid tree. The difference is the yield of the hollow tree will be much less.
This picture shows an aerial view of the community where I live, and what I see when I look out the windows. This can give you a pretty good understanding at just how massive this tree removal process is. It begs me to ask the question, “Why are so many trees harvested from one location?”. These mountain ranges are all within an estimated 20 mile radius. West Virginia claims that one of it’s biggest revenue sources is tourism, well….I wish one of the tourism promoters would come and look out my window for a change.
The place where I took the photographs is located at the red dot on the picture to the right. The log yard is quite a large place, and without seeing it in person, or getting a close up aerial view, you can’t really appreciate the amount of logs that travel through this place in a months time. The log yard usually fills up one month, and then empties the next month. So on average, this place is completely full of logs 6 times each year.
The following photos are some that we took of the log yard recently. You can’t tell from them, but the largest section of log yard has approximately 12 rows of logs. Each row is about 150 yards. long. That is 1 and 1/2 football fields long! I couldn’t even begin to estimate how many logs that is. One thing I would like to know is how many square miles of standing timber this place harvests every year?
That is all I have for now. I would love to hear your comments!