SULLIVAN TWP. — Black River officials want to see if they can turn part of a 16-acre wooded lot into cash for the school district after a logger appeared to lowball the district on a logging estimate.
Superintendent Chris Clark said during Thursday’s school board meeting that the district was approached by a logger about the possibility of removing some trees from the campus located on County Road 40.
“(We were) given a quote for 25 walnut trees, but something didn’t add up,” Clark said.
After walking the area with a local forester and measuring the trees, it was determined that the original quote of $13,000 was way off base.
“(The forester) said ‘You have some walnuts in there that are worth logging and going on and taking out,’ ” Clark said.
“The value is more than what the bid was for the trees,”
The value of the 25 walnut trees was estimated to be closer to $20,000. As such, the district is eyeing the possibility of working directly with the forester to clear the land at a better cost.
Clark said that if the forester was to manage the area, the district would receive 90 percent of the total sale. The forester would receive the remaining 10 percent.
Board member Chuck Stiver said waiting too long to harvest select trees can end up becoming a missed opportunity.
“I think we waste dollars if you don’t harvest timber when they are mature, or they are going to end up on the ground,” he said.
Clark said there is also a selection of ash trees that are already down, but are still viable to use as firewood for district fundraisers.
Stiver said he would be interested in proceeding with selectively logging the timber as long as a light footprint was used when removing the logs from the site.
“I think at the end of the day, I would not be at all interested to do mechanical harvesting, simply because I have seen too many wood lots that just are absolutely ruined at the end of that,” he said.
Stiver said he would be interested in seeing the district develop a wooded area management plan, and involve agriculture students.
Board President Scott Meredith said it would be to the district’s advantage to get the agriculture students involved and garner the revenue from the lumber.
“I do agree I don’t want to see the whole 16 acres be decimated,” Meredith said.
Clark told board members he would continue to work to develop a plan for the future of the wooded area.