tree volume question

Mike Hagen mhagen at
Thu Feb 10 12:53:10 EST 2000

Ah, now I get it. Good point.  Indeed, that was a bad time for Federal
accountability!  The scandal hit the Olympic N.F. as well. Here it seems
a Quinalt District scaler was only counting a portion of the loads
coming off a certain large and valuable sale and calling out much more
defect than was there. The kickbacks were either from the logger or the
hauler. More may have hit the fan later, but I haven't heard. 

 As a long time timber cruiser I have more than a passing interest in
the cut out of sales I've done and in mistakes others have made.
Especially when they're big. I try to account for it - and I have to
admit, dishonesty is one of the most unlikely reasons for a discrepancy.
Hardly EVER happens. 

The reasons for variance between cruise and cut out usually center
around issues like sale amendments during logging, invisible defect or
excessive breakage.  A newbie faller can cause a difference.  Measuring
yield in cunits when the cruise was in Scribner (as one buyer did) can
seriously strain the system. 

 The prospectus changes I was referring had a different cause - they
were made after work on a number of Federal timber sales was seriously
delayed due to pending Spotted Owl and Murrelett surveys. It could be
argued that after the surveys were done and logging commenced timber
quality wasn't as good. It could also be argued that there had been some
growth- and that some quality had improved. In reality, the market had
dropped off a speculative high - and the buyers looked for any excuse to
dump sales and found it in the incompatibility of different log scales.

 Cruise volumes in Decimal C don't directly translate to the number of
loads exiting the sale but do a fair job at predicting yield at older
mills. International 1/4 approximates total volume better but wasn't
advertised. It was on the appraisals though. Cubic relates well to pulp
but not to sawlogs and WAS on that portion of the ads, but was computed
after the cruise based on estimated breakage, invisible defect,
estimated decline of the stand by harvest time and probably the price of
tea in China. Magic enters into FS appraisals at a certain point because
they are done so far in advance. So now sale volumes are expressed in
Tons. Its totally caveat emptor.  

So what's happening in Japan?

Doug Bartley wrote:
> In article <38A1A949.C7528114 at>,
> Mike Hagen <mhagen at> wrote:
> >
> >Try that again?
> >
> >snip
> >
> >> Umm, any particular reason why we shouldn't be thanking the timbersale
> >> purchasers or the scalers who were paying/being paid off respectively
> >> at considerable cost to the taxpayer?
> >>
> >> Just wondering.
> >>
> >>  - Doug Bartley
> >> Hamamatsu, Japan
> Sure. When you stated the following in your initial post -
> >Oddly, it has since
> >switched to weight on its prospectus's) because of lawsuits over the
> >supposedly warranted timber quality implied by using traditional log
> >scales and grades.  You can thank lawyers for that one.
> it brought to mind the situation in western Oregon a few years back
> where there were arrests of log scalers who had been bribed by
> timber sale purchasers to bump up the defect rate on the loads
> they scaled which had the effect of reducing the amount paid to
> the government since the contractor had to pay little or nothing
> for "culls".
> In rereading, it appears you are referring to a different situation/
> lawsuits? Larry C. or other Northwesterners my have a clearer recollection
> of the incidents to which I'm referring. I recall that while a few
> log scalers were prosecuted that the logging contractors escaped criminal
> charges, don't know about civil penalties.
> A friend who used to work at the SDS lumber mill in White Salmon
> Washington swore that two sets of books were kept - one to track
> the real inventory and one to account for the "official" one reflecting
> the scaling reports (SDS was one of the main purchasers of "salvage"
> sales following the Mt. St. Helens eruption).
> Any clearer?
> Regards,
>  - DB

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