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Fuel-reduction project underway on Sun Pass State Forest
Contact: Anne Maloney, 541-883-5681, or                                                                                
Rod Nichols, 503-945-7425
      
A thinning project to reduce potential fuel for wildfires began April 5 on the Sun Pass State Forest in Klamath County. Paul & Robert Wampler Logging, Inc., successfully bid on a contract offered by the Oregon Department of Forestry (ODF) to perform the work. Well-known for quality forestry work, the Klamath Falls-based company earned the Eastern Oregon Operator of the Year award in 2006.
 
The loggers are using a feller-buncher to cut and deck the trees, which are too small to have market value. The track-driven machine is able to remove the small trees – mostly Ponderosa pine – with minimal disturbance to the soil and larger trees.
 
Wampler expects to run a crew of seven on the 220-acre project, which is scheduled for completion by May 1.
 
The $75,000 contract on the tract located just north of Kimball State Park is being funded from a $500,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant provided by the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Region for state forestlands on ODF’s Klamath-Lake District.
 
ODF spokesperson Anne Maloney said other fuel-reduction projects funded by the grant will get underway soon.
 
“We have four more contracts planned on state lands in the Klamath-Lake District this year. We’ll go until we meet our goal of treating 1,340 acres with the grant,” she said. “If we complete that acreage and still have money left, we’ll keep going and treat additional acres.”
 
When the current project is completed, a second contract will be let for chipping the woody material.
 
More information on Oregon Department of Forestry’s federal Recovery Act projects can be found at: www.oregon.gov/odf. For information on all Recovery Act projects being administered by Oregon State Government agencies, go to the Oregon Recovery Act website, www.oregon.gov/recovery/index.page.
 
Contractors desiring to bid on other Recovery Act-funded ODF projects are encouraged to go to the Oregon Procurement Information Network (ORPIN) Internet site, http://orpin.oregon.gov/open.dll/welcome.