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Way back before there were any engine-powered
alternatives, much of the logging was done first with teams
of oxen, and later with horses although horses were more
expensive, they could pull a load greater distances. Because
moving logs across rough terrain was very difficult, loggers
built trails of wood planks or poles to smooth the way.
In Oregon it is uncommon, but not impossible,
to see logging using animals today.
Why continue to log with animals?
Some feel that it is more pleasant to see a logger
and a team of horses, for example, than the fast-paced,
mechanized logging with the loud sounds of motors
accompanying it. Because operations occur slower,
and the impacted area is smaller, there can be less
disturbance to the forest than when harvesting is
done with mechanized equipment. A good team of horses
can offer a logger lots of control for logging in
partial cuts, moving timber around trees that are
left to grow without damaging them.
|There are certainly differences
between horse logging and mechanized logging methods.
For instance, a horse weighs about 1,600 pounds; a rubber-tired
skidder weighs about 10,000 pounds. Horse logging advocates
also point out that a horse can be maintained for a
year for less than it costs to buy one skidder tire.