MDC names Robert Neal of Winona Ozark Regional Logger of the Year

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WEST PLAINS, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) has named Robert Neal of Winona as the Ozark Regional Logger of the Year. MDC Resource Forester Danielle Stephenson said the nomination is a result of consistent use of best management practices, dedication to sustainable forest management, wise use of forest products and minimal residual damage.

“Robert and his crew, Chesley Neal and Donny McAfee, make up a team of outstanding loggers here in the Ozarks,” Stephenson said.  “Their expertise is well-known throughout the forest management community and private landowners in the Missouri Ozarks.”

As part of the award, Neal and his crew each received a Stihl woodcutter's safety kit donated by Crader Distributing Company of Marble Hill, the distributor of STIHL Outdoor Power Equipment in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska and Southern Illinois.

The Regional Logger Award is given to a logger who demonstrates ability to carry out a timber harvest in a manner that causes the least amount of damage to the remaining resources on site. The purpose behind this award is to recognize loggers who practice low impact logging.

“These loggers take extra time and effort to demonstrate how forest harvests should be carried out,” Stephenson said. “Their work uses forest resources in a sustainable way while preserving those resources for future generations.”

Criteria for nomination for this award includes good working relationships with landowners and foresters, minimal damage to remaining trees and resources, prevention of soil erosion, aesthetics of the site after harvesting is 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. Loggers also must have completed the Professional Timber Harvester's Training Program sponsored by the Missouri Forest Products Association and MDC.

“MDC congratulates Robert and his crew on this accomplishment,” Stephenson said.

For information on sustainable logging practices, go online to