Prichard Creek Restoration

By | Community, News

Idaho Forest Group  always aims to have a positive impact in the communities in which we operate from sponsoring youth sports teams, to volunteering at educational events, to donating to local charities; we invest in our homes.  One of these investments is just starting to take shape, will live on in perpetuity for everyone. In 2014, Idaho Forest Group (IFG) purchased nearly 2,000 acres of the Prichard Creek stream and bordering forestland from a single private landowner. Prichard Creek flows down from the Montana border passing the historic town of Murray and draining into the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River. Its entire length once served as cold water refuge from the summer heat, for bull trout and cutthroat trout. Around the turn of the 20th century, the creek was mined for gold using an in-stream floating dredge that removed thousands of tons of sediment from the creek bed and leaving large piles of rocks bordering it. These operations have changed the shape of the creek leaving decreased riparian vegetation, eroding banks, sediment loading into the water, decreased sinuosity, and a three-mile stretch that flows subsurface during the summer months. Prichard’s waters are very cold and have relatively high water quality. Almost all of the North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River has been impacted by mining and development.  Prichard Creek stands out as “low hanging fruit” in the basin for potential restoration because the water quality is decent, the waters are cold, and it is mostly surrounded by public lands. IFG saw an…

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Shared Stewardship in Idaho

By | Community, News

Wildfire isn’t the only threat facing Idaho’s forests. According to the National Insect and Disease Risk Map, Idaho leads the country in the number of treed acres at risk of high rates of mortality from insect and disease by 2027. For every 1 cubic foot of wood harvested, 3 cubic feet die in our forests. High mortality rates lead to reduced carbon sequestration, increased wildfire risk and pose a threat to Idaho’s forest products industry and the jobs it supports in our rural communities. With 6.1 million acres at risk in Idaho, there’s a lot of work to do. In July, Governor Little announced two priority areas, encompassing over 4 million acres. Idaho Forest Group operates within these areas and is committed to supporting individual projects by sharing technology and data, adjusting capacity to meet demand, and lending expertise wherever needed. In December 2018, Idaho signed the nation’s first Shared Stewardship agreement with the U.S. Forest Service, pledging to double the number of acres treated to reduce wildfire risk and improve the health of our ailing forests. The concept of the Shared Stewardship policy is to allow states to define priorities and manage projects across land ownerships, utilizing collaborative decision-making that involves land managers and land users throughout the process. This agreement shaped a collaboration between Idaho Department of Lands and USFS Regions 1 and 4 to reduce fuels and wildfire threats around communities; create and sustain jobs; and improve the health and resiliency of the forest. The Idaho-USFS Shared Stewardship Agreement promises to double the annual acres…

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log truck drivers, help wanted, jobs near me, forestry, timber

Log Truck Drivers Needed

By | News

Being a lumber manufacturer takes a lot more than milling wood. It involves sourcing logs, transporting the logs, manufacturing products, finding suitable markets, and transporting the products to the markets. All these roles require people to do the work. A labor shortage has become a major concern for almost all industries in the United States and truck drivers are one of the positions most unfilled. According to the American Trucking Association the United States is projected to be short 175,000 truck drivers by 2026. Log truck driving companies are facing the same challenge. Driving a log truck takes experience and special skills beyond that of a common CDL licensed driver and there are limited venues for developing these skills around the country, with none currently nearby. Schools have typically been underused because they require a significant financial investment and a log truck certification is not generally required to work. It likely remains that there are people interested in learning about driving a log truck who don’t feel confident in making a commitment without some understanding of what the job entails. In 2018 over 143,000 log trucks delivered logs to Idaho Forest Group’s (IFG) mills. Timely delivery to mill after the harvest of these logs is crucial to our operations. Logs that sit at forest sites too long lose value, are attractants for pests, hold up payments to landowners, and are potential fire hazards. As fire threat increases in the region, the recognition of this threat also grows, bringing with it more landowners wanting to manage…

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