COLUMBIA, Mo. — The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) recently named Warren Gerlt of Fayette as the Central Regional Logger of the Year for 2014. A third generation logger, Gerlt has been logging and buying timber for more than 30 years. He has been a certified logger since 2000.
The regional and state logger of the year award is presented by MDC to recognize loggers who take extra time and care to protect forest resources as trees are harvested.
According to MDC Resource Forester Kristen Goodrich, Gerlt was nominated for the award because of his "solid business skills, professional crew, excellent customer service, and great work ethic."
"Warren works hard to log up to the foresters' standards," Goodrich said. "He goes above and beyond when it comes to maintaining logging roads, does not leave ruts or cause erosion problems, he keeps up with water bars and appropriate best management practices, and he is very safety conscious, not only for himself but his crew as well."
Criteria for choosing a logger for the award includes good working relationships with landowners and foresters, minimal damage to remaining trees and resources, preventions of soil erosion, aesthetics of the site after harvesting was completed, safe work performance and use of equipment, utilization of harvested trees, the desire to address wildlife management concerns, and use of proper forest management techniques. The logger also must have completed the Professional Timber Harvester's Training Program sponsored by the Missouri Forest Products Association and MDC.
Crader Distributing Company of Marble Hill, which distributes STIHL Outdoor Power Equipment, sponsors the logger-award program and donates safety kits to award recipients.
Visit mdc.mo.gov/about-us/logger-year-award for more information on this award and to learn more about the MDC's best management practices in the forest products industry.