By Joe Morey
The LCO Tribal Governing Board (TGB) unanimously approved the clear cutting of a 55-acre plantation of Red Pine off Ashegon Fire Lane one mile East of County Hwy CC.
LCO’s Forester, Tim Johnson, said the Red Pine, which was planted in the 1940’s is at the perfect marketable age for it to be used as telephone poles. He noted that only Red Pine is used for poles.
“You get the best price right now. If it continues to grow, then the value will decrease,” Johnson said. “The money is in the poles and LCO has 600 acres of Red Pine which is in the right age class and the right diameter class. The sooner you act the better, because the trees don’t stop growing.”
The Red Pine located throughout LCO in several plantations is in the age group of 70 to 80 years old and are 14 to 16 inches in diameter.
The TGB approved an initial cut as a test to see what the tribe can get for the Red Pine. Johnson said Douglas County is getting up to $100 per cord and the lowest rates are at $60 per cord.
“If the tribe does a clear cut on a plantation the tribe could get $3,000 per acre and it costs $400 per acre to replant. That would leave $2,600 per acre as profit,” Johnson said. The current approved cut will yield 1,500 cords, according to Johnson.
After the cut, Johnson said there will a replanting. He said Douglas County has a traveling planting crew that replants about 900 to 1000 trees per acre.