Salem, Ore. – (Release from Oregon Department of Forestry) Two loggers and a forestry consultant have been chosen as Operator of the Year for their respective region of Oregon. Three regional advisory committees to the Oregon Board of Forestry selected the trio last month. The recipients will be recognized in Salem at the January 4 meeting of the Board. The selected firms are:
- Eastern Oregon – Chuck Sarrett of Full Circle Consulting of La Grande, Ore.
- Northwest Oregon – Mike Falleur of F and B Logging of Warrenton, Ore.
- Southwest Oregon – Bobby King of R and R King Logging of Florence, Ore.
The award recognizes forest operators who, while harvesting timber or doing other forestry work, protect natural resources at a level that consistently meets or 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. Videos about each of the three Operators of the Year and three Merit Award winners can be viewed on the ODF website at https://www.oregon.gov/odf/Working/Pages/default.aspx
Chuck Sarrett has worked for decades in forestry in eastern Oregon, where he was born and raised. After a long career with Boise Cascade, he became a forestry consultant, starting his own firm called Full Circle Consulting. Sarrett came up with a much easier-to-use application to help forest landowners obtain federal assistance grants to manage their forestlands. He has helped scores of landowners develop forest management plans, a prerequisite for obtaining federal funds. The plans make clear the landowner’s goals for the property, such as improving grazing, generating future income, or enhancing wildlife habitat. In addition, he helps connect landowners with logging firms to carry out the work. In many cases he oversees the work at the request of the landowner, helping them improve the health and beauty of their forest and reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire. He has also helped mentor and train others to become forest consultants, who are scarce in northeast Oregon.
“Chuck is well respected and liked by the landowners in and around Union County,” said ODF Stewardship Forester Travis Lowe, who works with Chuck in the Northeast Oregon District. “His depth of knowledge and experience about what makes forests in northeast Oregon healthy helps him write management plans that leave the lands he consults about at less at risk from catastrophic wildfire, pests, and diseases.”