In July 2009 the Missouri Department of Conservation and area loggers implemented processes and procedures for cleaning up the May 2009 tornadoes and derecho (violent windstorm) events that impacted Shannon County. The “turkey season” storm left a wide path of devastation and destruction to MDC lands in our county.
Knowing that time was of the essence, MDC quickly awarded more than 50 sale contracts to salvage the down and damaged timber, with work beginning in the first part of July 2009. The work progressed extremely well and, as of the end of December 2010, we can say that the major salvage efforts are "done."
A total of 12.3 million board feet of sawtimber was salvaged in that 18-month period. That translates to a rate of 22,492 board feet per day, every day of the week for that entire period. This represents more than five truck loads per day for 547 days, all of it going to local mills. That is important, because the forestry and wood products industry generates more than $5.7 billion annually and supports 31,700 jobs.
It is one thing to say that the salvage effort was surely of benefit to those local loggers and mills; but more importantly, this effort was the wise and responsible use of the resource, not to mention the overall economic boost to the entire county that this project provided. Had this downed but marketable timber not been removed quickly, not only would substantial economic loss caused by natural decay have been experienced, but so too the increased likelihood of catastrophic wildfires due to the presence of so much heavy fuel.
Finally, consider this: the 12.3 million board feet removed represents enough lumber to build 455 homes with 2,000 square feet of living area! The local loggers and mill owners who successfully bid these contracts are to be commended; they all stepped up to remove the damaged timber quickly before it lost further economic value, and did so using the best management practices available. MDC appreciates their efforts.
For more information call the MDC Eminence office at 573-226-3616 during business hours Monday through Friday.
Sunklands Conservation Area, Angeline Conservation Area, Rocky Creek Conservation Area, Current River Conservation Area, Birch Creek Conservation Area and Twin Pines Conservation Education Center.