GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- Horses are logging dead, bug infested trees in Cathedral Hills County Park in Grants Pass. They're part of Nick Rodgers' Two Js Resources logging company.
The BLM and Rodgers are using horses because heavy logging machinery is too large and disruptive to bring through the narrow trails of Cathedral Hills. The horse's strength and ability to weave through the trees helps them log on trails.
"It's definitely team work all the way around," says Nick Rodgers.
Rodgers tells NewsWatch12 the hazardous trees are a risk to local hikers and mountain bikers that frequently use the trail. He says many of the dead trees fall apart before they even hit the ground.
"People are walking under them and they don't even notice them," says Rodgers.
The hazardous trees are scattered around the trail, and it's not enough timber to bring in a crew with machines. The horses are able to maneuver through the healthy trees and leave the area mostly untouched.
"They're easy, they're light on it, and they don't make a mess compared to putting equipment in there," says Rodgers.
Using the horses also saves the BLM and taxpayers thousands of dollars. They're saving money because technically Rodgers is paying the BLM to cut down trees, instead of him being paid for a full logging service.
He cuts down the trees, and uses his horses to haul them out. Rodgers then buys the salvageable trees from the BLM for around $63 per thousand board feet. Typically you can fit around 4,000 board feet in a log truck. Rodgers then takes those trees and sells them to a mill. The mill buys the load for around $800 per thousand board feet.
The BLM tells NewsWatch12 not only do they save money, but it allows them to support a local business.
"We're offsetting all of those costs by doing some logging, and we're helping the local economy," says Rodgers.
Rodgers hopes to be done with the logging project by the end of the week.
If you would like to contact Nick Rodgers with Two Js Resources for horse logging you can call (541) 951-1248.