Lessons Learned


A field review was held in October 1999 to discuss the project to date. Mr. Pew was present to offer his view as the contractor. The following will provide information on the project as viewed by the Forest Service and the Contractor.

Mr. Pew felt very positive about the project because it provided him with the opportunity to do things in a manner that was not typical of a normal Forest Service timber contract which specifies exactly how the work will be done. The original proposal and the changes during the contract provided operational flexibility that is not normally permitted in typical timber sale contracts. Mr. Pew is very positive about this type of contract and the working relationship and trust that can be established between the contractors employees and the Forest Service contract administrators.

A. Mr. Pew's Insights and Concerns

1. He has trained his crew to be concerned with resource protection while finding a good balance with production goals.

2. There are no similar projects in the preparation pipeline for him to bid on.

3. He has invested in equipment that may not be utilized for the same reason.

4. A blanket fire shutdown of 31 days during the Mt. Hough Complex (August-September 1999) cost him the profit on this sale.

5. He is interested in additional bid items, such as planting and sale prep, but not prescribed burning.

6. He would be interested in this type of sale in the future, even with yarder units. However, the potential for fire shutdown will need to be discussed during bid negotiations.

B. Things to consider for future projects:

1. The removal of snags/cull logs while protecting residual stands is technically difficult and costly.

2. Use of a TIMBCO feller/buncher instead of a cable yarder on slopes greater than 25%.

3. The fuel reduction treatment of hand piling may not be economically desirable.

4. The economical break-even point would be a project that has 1,500 BF/acre more than the Hungry project (estimated at 3,700 bf).

5. It is uneconomical to remove snags on steeper ground.

6. Post treatment is difficult if snags are left.

7. Closing of roads can hinder prescribed burning: fuel distribution and anchor points.

8. The desired condition for post treatment residual fuel in terms of tons/acre is difficult to translate to a contract provision in a measurable way. The Forest Service fuel photo series were not very useful in guiding the post treatment fuel condition.

9. Dead trees, that are less than 15 feet in height, will be destroyed during under burning.

10. Removal or treatment of existing, down unsound logs is time consuming and impractical. The rotten logs often break up during removal.

11. Stewardship contracts could include site preparation.

12. During monitoring, monitor both the project area and a control area for comparison.

13. Could landings be considered group selections areas if they were not constructed before the contract?

14. The end result is to get an economically viable project; this could involve mixing and matching different items together.

15. The use of 3rd party monitoring.

16. A possible desired condition for future projects is limiting soil disturbance to <15% of the area.

17. A possible desired condition for future projects may consider species composition in addition to the dominant conifers and commercial timber.

18. Subsoiling as a technique to mitigate soil compaction may not be desirable for future projects. It may cause root damage.

C. Sale administrator (SA) insights:

1. Each member of the contractor's crew on the sale had a radio which made communications very efficient. This helped the SA utilize his time better.

2. There was considerable trust developed between the contractor, the crew and Sale Administrator.

3. Each truck had paint and branding hammers.

4. Randy is a good operator; this might not be the case for similar contracts.

5. Self-inspection was helpful.

6. There needs to be good documentation of favorable project work for future bids. Without documenting good work it's hard to get that operator on the next project.

D. District Ranger insights:

1. There will be more review trips in the future.

2. We have to design projects as a team.

3. Everyone involved with the project should buy into it and be ready to discuss the total project with anyone.

4. Design a project with the desired conditions in mind.

5. Implement and monitor the project.

6. Include test areas in future projects.

7. The public will be involved in future project design.

8. Keep communications open between team members.

Sunday, June 03, 2001 10:50:13 PM