Horse logging is a niche type logging system which serves mainly in purpose as a public relations tool. As experience with this logging system has been gained, it has been amazing how the general public feels so content with the concept of animal powered logging. Radical environmentalist who believe that no trees should be cut, have left the actual experience of visiting a horse logging site with the impression that logging in this fashion is good. Of course the admission that some logging is good, rather than all logging is bad, is the goal. By making these inroads, a link is established that SOME logging is good, which can lead directly to appropriate logging is good to manage the forest. Maybe it is the lack of noise, the organic sense of manure, the human component of control and care over the horses, whatever, horse logging is a very popular method to log. I do not know of a single complaint about horse logging from the general public at large.
Horse logging can also be a very cost efficient method to log in the right cicumstances. Due to the very limited amount of power that a team of horses can exert, horse logging niche is on the very easiest of ground to log. It can be very cost effective when the amount of this easy ground is so small as to not present an advantage for mechanized logging. With a weeks work as the minimum amount of work for a job, the small side of a horse logging job can be as small as 15 - 20 mbf! By separating out this ground, horse logging can make a very favorable impression on otherwise adverse interests. Modern horse carts, which provide one end suspension, and non leather rigging have made a big difference in application and efficiency of horse logging.
If you have property to log that is close by a highway, near a recreational area or facility, or are otherwise inclined to impress adverse opinion, consider horse logging. In the right circumstances it won't cost much, and the potential public benefits are large. Numerous horse loggers exists through out the country, to accomplish this work.
The following information, tables, and graph outline the economics of horse logging. In the right niche situation, horse logging can be the most economically effiecient method available. During the 1989 hurricane Hugo salvage operations the most efficient job I saw was a pair of Alabama mules. 2 men, 2 mules, and 2 trailer loads of logs a day!
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