Some of the challenges we faced this past year include a drastically cold and snowy winter. Spring brought more cold and rain, summer brought rain and not much warmth and the fall had plenty of rain and snow. Now there is nothing wrong with rain and snow, but getting as much as what we got made logging a challenge. The cold weather is tough on equipment. It is hard to start machinery. The cold hydraulic oil has a tendency to break hoses and the metal on equipment gets brittle and breaks.
Another challenge we face in the forestry world are invasive plants and animals. Many of the plants have been around for a while but are increasing. The emerald ash borer has been found in Oneida County. In farm country, deer have replaced cows as the major browser of young trees. There are enough challenges we should not get bored.
With that being said the sun did shine. Lumber prices went up which helped sawmills, loggers and landowners. Through the course of the year pulp prices remained strong. As we finish up 2014, we will be able to close the book and be happy and thankful for another good year.
Now the philosopher part of me comes out. As I sit in my deer stand with plenty of time to think (because the deer aren’t cooperating), I realize how we have a tendency as humans to complain and grumble when things don’t happen as we plan. Most of us are very blessed and when we do start feeling sorry for ourselves we should kick ourselves in the butt. Life would be pretty boring and messed up if we could control our outcomes. As humans we all know this fact of life but we have a hard time letting go.
Case in point, every summer I put my game cameras out and each year I get pictures of some nice bucks. If I had my way one of those buck would walk by my stand each fall and present a good shot. I would be able to suggest to my wife that we take the pictures of the kids off the wall to make room for the new head mount. (And consequently find myself sleeping in the garage.) With business, if logging always went well, mill production was good, and all the lumber sold, pretty soon markets would be flooded and prices would crash.
We all know that we don’t appreciate things nearly as much as when we have to work hard to achieve our goals. Working hard develops strong relationships, creates bonds and makes us aware that we get a lot farther in life working together.
The point being, it is a good thing we don’t have much control over things, and we should be thankful the Good Lord is a lot smarter than we are.
With that being said the Kretz Forestry Department wishes all of you a Merry Christmas and hope the New Year brings you many rewards.