During an early January ceremony, the Oregon State Board of Forestry honored recipients of its 2021 Forest Operators of the Year awards. This year’s winners are: NW Region—Aaron Silbernagel, All-Around Logging, Stayton, Ore.; SW Region—Wally Plikat, Plikat Logging, Winston, Ore.; and East Region—Tony Hauth, H Timber Contracting, Hines, Ore.
All-Around Logging was cited for its work in helping landowners recover from disastrous wildfires in fall 2020. Plikat Logging’s work on a tough tract that included powerline, highway and waterway issues helped win the award; and Tony Hauth’s innovative work with log handling and crossings to protect a sensitive stream won his company the award.
Regional Forest Practices committees select the operators of the year and associated merit award recipients from among nominees sent in by landowners, ODF staff and others. The award recognizes forest operators who, while harvesting timber or doing other forestry work, protect natural resources at a level that goes above and beyond requirements of the Oregon Forest Practices Act. That law requires people to manage forests responsibly and protect streams and water quality, protect and enhance habitat, and reduce landslide risks. The law also requires landowners to replant forests after harvesting.