EAGLE POINT, Ore. — A Jackson County man has been named "2018 Operator of the Year" for Southern Oregon by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) for his positive track record of logging while preserving natural resources, according to a statement from the agency.
Dave Wilkerson of Dave Wilkerson Logging LLC will be honored at a meeting of the state Forestry Board in Salem on March 6. Also attending are the award recipients for Northwest and Eastern Oregon — Jay Browning of Astoria and Brad Clemens of Burns, respectively.
“These operators have shown how they can harvest timber in Oregon forests while protecting natural resources. We’re pleased to honor the excellent care and diligence they demonstrate, often in challenging circumstances,” said ODF Private Forests Division Chief Lena Tucker.
ODF's Operator of the Year award goes to timber workers who "protect natural resources at a level that goes above and beyond requirements of the Oregon Forest Practices Act," the agency said. That law requires that loggers harvest trees while protecting water quality, wildlife habitats, and working to reduce landslide risk. It also requires landowners to replant forests after harvesting.
According to ODF, Wilkerson earned the honor for his work on a prominent area of forest near the town of Butte Falls.
"The tract, amid powerlines and busy pedestrian and road traffic, contained a fish-bearing stream. It took Wilkerson extra effort to harvest near the stream in a manner that protected a buffer zone along the waterway. He also was able to selectively log the tract while protecting younger trees, helping keep the site’s aesthetic appeal for area residents," ODF said.
Regional Forest Practices committees select the Operators of the Year recipients from among nominees sent in by landowners, ODF staff and others. The Forest Practices Act was adopted in 1971 as a landmark law in the nation for forest management.