Sunday, September 20, 2009

Helicopter Logging

A helicopter logging company has been logging on the slopes along the East Fork of the Bitterroot River. They have three cutters and six riggers working in rugged terrain, cutting and rigging mostly trees that have been killed by an infestation of mountain pine beetles and any other trees the Forest Service has marked for removal. The riggers rig the downed trees so they can be flown by the helicopter to the loading area, where they are stacked on trucks.

The logging company posts two employees along the road to stop traffic when the helicopter crosses the road.

On the day I took these pictures, the traffic flagger told me one of the other loggers, while riding his motorcycle to work that morning, had hit a deer. "Lucky for him he had his brain bucket and leathers on.  His leather jacket was all tore up."

An article on the logging operation from the Ravalli Republic is at Heli-logging the East Fork.

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