The Sacramento District Review – August 2011

In this Month’s Issue:
Market Trends that Shape the Timber Industry
The Little Lewis Fire
Slash Pit Schedule
The Ranger’s Report
Write a Letter to the Ranger
The Sacramento District Review is a monthly newsletter prepared by the Sacramento Ranger District of the Lincoln National Forest.


Market trends that Shape the Timber Industry

 – Mickey Mauter

Industrial Wood Chipper

Since the beginning of humanity wood has influenced the way we live.  Early man used trees to build crude shelters, keep warm, make musical instruments, fashion eating bowls and utensils, and entertain themselves.

Where would we be today without all those early pioneers shaping and using wood?  Life as we know it would be very different without the influence wood products has had on our everyday lives.

Over the years our vision of what wood can do for us has expanded.  New technologies in wood manufacturing and wood composites have broadened the use of wood into products not previously envisioned.  Some of the businesses established in New Mexico that are outside of the normal realm of making boards include a sign making company that uses plastic milk jugs, melted and combined with wood fiber, to make a longer lasting sign.  A company that utilizes waste construction 2x material, laminated together, to fabricate stronger guard rail supports for highways. Furthermore, a furniture business that sells high quality Juniper furniture all over the world.  These are just a few of the innovative products entrepreneurs have developed to keep the wood industry alive and well.

In Woods Chipper

The process for removing trees hasn’t changed; trees have to be cut and moved to a central location (landing) where they can be loaded on a truck and transported to a processing point.  All logs are sorted at the landing by size to supply the different product needs.

In some cases increased technology means increased costs.  Modern logging equipment is very expensive to buy and maintain requiring a much larger market base to be successful.  This has created a challenge for the increasing number of small utilization companies.

The cost of removing small diameter material from the Lincoln National Forest can exceed the value of the product being produced.  The smaller companies have expanded their market area to adjust for these increased costs.

When large trees are being harvested it takes fewer trees, fewer trips moving trees to a landing, and fewer logs to fill a log truck. If current markets utilize

Harvesting Equipment on the Sacramento Ranger District

small trees the cost of moving this material to a processing point goes up because of the added handling of the small trees.

Most of the small wood markets are lower value markets such as shavings, pallets, wood pellets, telephone poles, and fire wood.  The larger trees are used to make the best lumber which in turn supplies a higher value product to the oil industry.

The one thing the wood product industry can count on is how quickly the markets change, and staying in business is dependent on how flexible they are to move with these changes.

Creative solutions and collaboration between the Forest Service and industry has helped the wood product industry continue to be successful.  Next month, Forest Management.

“Summer is delicious, rain is refreshing, wind braces up, and snow is exhilarating; there is no such thing as bad weather, only different kinds of good weather.”

– John Ruskin


The Little Lewis Fire

-Tony McWilliams
-K. Sánchez Meador

An Erickson Sky Skycrane pulls water from a pond to fight the Little Lewis Fire. A Skycrane can drop approximately 2,500 gallons of water or fire retardant in one load.

The Little Lewis Fire was caused by a lightning strike and was detected by fire personnel on June 28th 2011.  The Little Lewis Fire burned in Ponderosa Pine, brush and grass in steep, rocky, terrain south of the communities of Sacramento and Weed, NM.  The fire also burned in the Old Scott Able Fire from 2000.

On the second day of fire suppression efforts evacuations for the Sacramento Methodist Assembly, the Camp of the Tall Pines, along with the communities of Sacramento and Weed; Seep, Agua Chiquita and Ehart Canyon were ordered.

Cloudcroft High School graciously set up their Gym, with the assistance of The Red Cross and the Cloudcroft Fire Department, as evacuation center.

The fire burned during extremely dry conditions and gusty winds.  Fire personnel used both direct and indirect suppression tactics to contain the fire including hand and dozer lines along with aerial drops of fire retardant and water.

Resources from the Forest how to order nexium Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Otero County Emergency Services, and area volunteer fire departments were assigned to the incident.

At the peak of the firefighting efforts approximately 250 personnel were assigned to the fire.  Resources included type I and type II hand crews, dozers, 1 type III helicopter, smoke jumpers, a mix of type and agency engines, and 14 air tankers out of the Alamogordo Airport.

As the Little Lewis Fire was contained crews rehabbed lines to prevent erosion and improve any damage from fire and suppression operations.

Some of the rehab efforts included seeding, creating water bars and scattering brush to help stabilize the containment lines.  Fence lines damaged by suppression efforts were also repaired.

Thanks to an incredible firefighting effort only 1,110 acres burned and no homes or out buildings were lost.

The Little Lewis Fire personnel would like to thank everyone for all their dedication and support!

“When summer opens, I see how fast it matures, and fear it will be short; but after the heats of July and August, I am reconciled, like one who has had his swing, to the cool of autumn.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson


Slash Pit Schedule

The Slash Pit will be opened the following days and times in August:

Saturday August 6 & Sunday August 7
Saturday August 13 & Sunday August 14
Hours of Operation:
8:30 a.m. – 1200 p.m. & 1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

* Please note the slash pit can be closed during periods of inclement weather. Additionally, the pit may also be closed if the road is muddy or slash pit is full and needs to be pushed or burned. Please remember no commercial dumping or trash is authorized in the pit. For additional information please call the Sacramento Ranger District Office at: 575-682-2551.


The Ranger’s Report

James Duran, Sacramento District Ranger

As the Sacramento District Ranger it is my goal to meet the United States Forest Service motto of “Caring for the Land, and Serving People”. I have the great pleasure of visiting with public land users ranging from local residents to distant travelers just passing through the Sacramento Ranger District.

In my short time here, I have met many citizens with a variety of public land goals and have been asked many questions on a variety of topics. I strive to communicate messages that tell the story of our agency. The Forest Service has a rich history, and much of the agency’s mission was built on the basic principles of managing public land for wise, sustainable, and multiple uses for the benefit of all Americans.

The United States Forest Service also operates with core values including a strong commitment to safety and excellence in communication and public service.  As with most federal agencies, the mission, administrative procedures and future direction is based on the need to continue to serve the public and meet future goals.

Public uses have evolved over time, but the basic principles of management still apply in today’s management, and I believe through good communication, we will continue to work together to manage for our future goals.

I’d like to take the opportunity through the “Ranger’s Report” to answer questions about the US Forest Service or the Sacramento Ranger District. Each month I will answer a question from our mail bag.

My hope is to reach readers interested in the Sacramento Ranger District.  I encourage all our readers to take the time to write and ask about topics you would like answered. Thank you for your interest in the Sacramento Ranger District.

– Sincerely, James Duran -District Ranger


Write a letter to the Ranger

If you’ve ever wondered about timber harvests, endangered species, off-road vehicle use, or other natural resource management topics, this is your opportunity to get your answer.

Individuals aspiring to acquire knowledge about the US Forest Service are encouraged to escape the fast pace world of technology and write a good old fashion letter to the Ranger.

If you would like to write a letter to James Duran, Sacramento District Ranger please mail it to:  P.O. Box 288, Cloudcroft, NM 88317.

Thank you for your interest in the Sacramento Ranger District.

The Sacramento Ranger District Office is located in the Village of Cloudcroft, at #4 Lost Lodge Road, one mile south of Highway 82 on Highway 130.

We are open Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Closed Federal Holidays.
Open Saturday’s, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. through Labor Day.
For more information about the Sacramento Ranger District and the Lincoln National Forest go to: