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Episode 2: Tree Harvester
In Carlton, Oregon, Richard teamed up with the logging crew at Cross and Crown, Inc. Owner Bob Luoto and his son, Kirk, open up about their business, their tree harvesting roots and more.
What does a regular day look like at Cross and Crown?
Bob Luoto: Well, a regular day at Cross and Crown, the crews are up probably at 3 or 4AM. They usually start at daylight, depending on daylight savings or the winter and summer seasons. They go for about nine, ten hours a day and then they head back home, usually by 5PM. It’s a long day. You’re looking at 10-12 hour days, easily.
How did you get involved in this line of work?
Bob: I’m third generation, so I started working for my dad back when I got out of high school in 1970. Kirk started in around 1999-2000 when he got out of high school. He went on to college, as I did, and came out and decided he wanted to work in the woods.
Do you have a company mission?
Bob: Our mission is to harvest trees sustainably. They’re replanted — five, six, seven trees for each one that we take out — by the people that we work for or we do it ourselves. Our wood primarily goes into the housing market, which builds homes that everybody lives in in America.
What do you think is the most misunderstood part of your job?
Bob: Well, one of the misconceptions that I see is that a lot of people believe that we just cut and run and we don’t replant anything, and we’re not really out there taking care of the forest or the land. It’s far from it. We work out there everyday, so we want to. It’s a generational thing with us — I know that when I’m gone, my grandson or my great-grandson may be working out there and I want them to be able to harvest trees, which provide for homes in America.
As far as doing it in a sustainable way, can you paint that picture of how you go about doing that?
Bob: Basically, we will thin a forest to prevent a fire. Also, if we cut the land off, we will plant everything. We also buffer all the streams for fish habitats, water temperature, and drinking water. It’s really important to us in our line of work that we protect all that from any damage. I think people need to be reassured that we’re doing this the right way, that we’re not just coming out there haphazardly and cutting trees.