The volume 21 number 1 issue of Small Farmer’s Journal contains an astounding array of article content ranging from logging with elephants to the colors of horse-drawn implements, from horse farming in Norway to mules in Montana. This issue is available HERE in the SFJ online bookstore.
excerpt from the SFJ article by Bret Le Rolland of Washington
“In January of 1996 I began a three month visit to the kingdom of Thailand. During my stay I spent time at the Elephant Conservation Center in Lampang while working on an independent study project through North Seattle Community College. My project concerned observing the impacts of elephant logging on forest flora. At the conservation center I collected plant samples from a logging area and brought them to the herbarium at Chiang Mai University for identification. In my travels I sought out elephants at work wherever I went, finding them in a variety of situations.
My interest in elephant logging stemmed from my experience with horse logging in the Northwestern part of the U.S. where horses are a low impact alternative for skidding felled trees from the forest. Horses are able to work in ecologically sensitive areas because they require narrower skid trails, cause less soil disturbance and generally result in less environmental and aesthetic impacts than machines. I was interested to see how these characteristics might translate to the use of elephants in the forest and elsewhere.”
WHY USE WORKHORSES IN NORWAY TODAY?
excerpt of Volume 21 Number 1 SFJ article by Martin Aeschlimann
The workhorse has long been looked upon as a reminiscent of past times. Farmers working with horses were looked upon as either crazy or hopeless romantics. It was not considered serious to work with horses.
A new era started around 1980, with a government supported logging research project. Mechanization with ever bigger machines in forestry resulted in severe damage of the soil and remaining vegetation. At the same time these machines were poorly adapted to steep hillsides. Some people began to take the workhorse in consideration again, and started a research program. The old horse logging equipment was modernized, underwent intensive field tests and proven efficient, causing a renaissance of the workhorse in forestry in a small scale. The use of workhorses has not greatly increased since the end of the project. But it was nevertheless successful. The public became informed about the possibilities of the workhorse in forestry. New equipment was developed and production started. Books and videos about horselogging were produced and courses held on the subject. For some years the number of professional horselogging contractors increased. Today, with new, harvester type machines, the prices are too low for most horseloggers to be able to compete. With a growing demand for focusing on the ecological aspects of logging, horselogging can be expected to be increasing again in the near future. Nowadays many farmers buy new equipment and use horses for logging in their own forests. (To read more see Volume 21 Number 1 of Small Farmer’s Journal)