It was a crazy year! In spite of the challenges (you know what I am talking about) DRPforestry had a very successful year. It started out relatively slow through April, then the phone started ringing.
I spent nearly half of the time on three “bread & butter” projects: (1) forest management plans, from the simple (tax plans) to the more complex federal government (NRCS) government cost-share plans; (2) setting up and supervising cost-share projects as a Technical Service Provider for NRCS; and (3) timber harvest setup and administration, likely a result of the stronger log market last summer and fall. DRPforestry spent most of the remaining time on herbicide application work and timber trespass analysis. All together, forestry work was completed for 45 clients of which 20 were new during 2020.
Collecting data and writing a timber trespass report to assist with resolution is a unique skill that that DRPforestry provides. There were fewer projects completed compared to last year, but I experienced my first deposition – quite an encounter. There will be a trial next summer with DRPforestry representing the plaintiff in this case.
Timber trespass resolution is always a challenge. When trees are cut inadvertently or stolen, one must determine the timber volume and value using only the number and size of the stumps. Then the total volume and value of the trees is estimated using the cost of planting the tree and compounding it forward to today. Or alternatively, estimating the harvest value and discounting it back to the present.
A new legal case that came up in the fall of 2020 involves a wildfire started by a high power-line with landowners requesting compensation for the destroyed timber. DRPforestry will act as an expert witness for the defendants.
Other ongoing DRPforestry assignments include property corner location, property line maintenance, administration of fire hazard reduction projects, tree planting, timber cruising, and providing landowners with white pine seed that is resistant to blister rust.
A continuing addition to the DRPforestry repertoire of tools is the use of the mapping program Terrain Navigator Pro. This software is quite a complete and powerful mapping software that enables production of more accurate and detailed maps for clients as shown below.
Speaking of new devices, we recently obtained a sophisticated laser range finder that can measure distances and heights at the click of a button. The learning curve is rather steep but the results are impressive.
I am looking forward to more new and interesting projects during 2021.