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August 10, 2022
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Coos County logger earns Award of Merit for protecting fish stream during timber harvest on steep ground (Photo)
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Coos County logger earns Award of Merit for protecting fish stream during timber harvest on steep ground (Photo)

COQUILLE, Ore. – Fred Blaylock, owner of Blaylock Logging based in Coquille, has earned an Award of Merit from the Southwest Oregon Regional Forest Practices Committee. Blaylock and his crew successfully protected buffers along a salmon-bearing stream while logging heavy timber in the Coast Range – some of it more than 160’ tall – for Roseburg Forest Products. 

The Committee, which advises the Oregon Board of Forestry on forest practice matters, gave its top honor – SW Oregon Operator of the Year to Wally Plikat and his Winston-based Plikat Logging company. That firm successfully protected a fish-bearing stream and wetlands as well as powerlines while logging along a busy state highway with minimal disruptions.

Regional Forest Practices committees select the operators of the year and merit award recipients from among nominees sent in by landowners, ODF staff and others. The award recognizes forest operators who, while harvesting timber or doing other forestry work, protect natural resources at a level that goes above and beyond requirements of the Oregon Forest Practices Act. That law requires people to manage forests responsibly and protect streams and water quality, protect and enhance habitat, and reduce landslide risks. The law also requires landowners to replant forests after harvesting. The awards honor operators who consistently meet or exceed Forest Practices Act regulations. Videos about each of the three Operators of the Year and five Merit Award winners can be viewed on the ODF websiteat https://www.oregon.gov/odf/Working/Pages/default.aspx

ODF Forest Resources Division Interim Chief Josh Barnard said, “This year’s honorees represent innovation to protect water quality, care in harvesting that leaves an overcrowded forest in a safer, healthier state, and helping others begin to recover in the wake of devastating wildfire.  They have shown an outstanding ability to meet landowner objectives while exercising extraordinary care and diligence in challenging harvesting situations. From protecting streams while logging where it rains 90 inches a year to carefully removing fire-ravaged trees from a beloved family campground, we’re pleased to recognize the leadership and community spirit these operators have shown.”

Oregon enacted the Forest Practices Act in 1971 as a national model for forest management laws. The law focuses on ensuring responsible forest operations and protecting natural resources in forestland. The Act has been updated many times based on new scientific information and values to create a balanced approach to natural resource management. 

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