[saf-news] Log Heights
fotoware at jps.net
Sat Sep 16 11:12:03 EST 2000
Karl Davies <karl at daviesand.com> wrote in message
news:39C291B3.2CF5475D at daviesand.com...
> > I understand that USFS is hiring people to mark timber who have little
> > qualifications. Since they don't communicate much, and I have little
> > dealing with them directly, I can't verify this as fact.
> We've heard this is the case out west where they apparently hire high
school kids to mark timber.
> Apparently they consider marking and scaling timber to be menial work.
Does this also happen in
> other parts of the country?
With the timber sale program in decline, the USFS seems to need less timber
markers, these days. The crew I am on has some very experienced people but,
I have seen people hired right off the street with NO timber experience
whatsoever. Especially on burn salvage projects. A great many "new forestry"
projects mark a very high density of small trees (Yes, we have been doing
what is being proposed throughout the West for many years). This type of
forestry is VERY labor-intensive and with unemployment being very low, it is
quite difficult to find experienced timber markers. My Ranger District hired
me at a GS-7 rate, which is nearly unheard of on other Ranger Districts.
(They DO get their money's worth out of me, though, because I administer
timber sales, layout cutting units and "other duties as assigned").
A new way of marking timber sales has emerged very recently, though. "Zone"
type marking crews are being staffed so that Ranger Districts with
ever-shrinking timber sale programs don't have to man under-experienced
marking crews. These crews are called TEAMS (Timber Expert and Measurement
Services) and get no specific funding from the USFS budget process. TEAMS is
operated like a business and drums up timber work wherever they can find it,
in the federal sector. Currently, TEAMS is expanding and I have applied for
a permanent position on the crew. I hope to garner one of 16 rumored
positions but will have to take a demotion if I am hired. Our Ranger
District has contracted TEAMS to mark 20 million board feet on our district
so, that makes our marking crew nearly history for next year.
Larry, hoping to be "up-sized"
Larry Harrell Fotoware
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