Axe Contracting offers fuels reduction and arborist services

 

Last updated 4/30/2024 at 10:24am

Photo by Katy Yoder

Will Moore of Axe Contracting works with landowners to protect from wildfire and enhance landscape health.

With smoke from last week's controlled burns lingering above Sisters Country, it's clear fire season is on the horizon. The Sisters Rangers District conducted the first of several controlled burns to reduce wildfire risk. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in January of 2022 the Forest Service launched a 10-year strategy to address the wildfire crisis where it poses the most immediate threats to communities. With an infusion of federal funds to support local efforts for public lands, many concerned landowners are also stepping up efforts to safeguard the land they steward.

Local company Axe Contracting - Forestry Resource Group, has state-of-the-art equipment and industry experience providing both landowners and government agencies with exemplary service. They provide a variety of services including tree management and arborist services, wildfire fuels reduction strategies, and wildlife habitat zone creation. With a focus on trees, terrain, and transformation, owner Will Moore has the credentials and work ethic to be a leader in the industry.

Axe Contracting follows Natural Resource Conservation standards to ensure results are beneficial to the environment. Moore looks at projects with the landowners' objectives in mind. He uses equipment and methods known to reduce fire risk, increase wildlife habitat, and improve general safety and land ascetics. He does a lot of site development. When he's finished, he leaves his projects looking natural and healthier than when he started.

To do work with a minimal carbon footprint, disruption of soil, and at a speed that never compromises quality, Moore has invested in equipment tailored to achieve his client's vision. Axe Contracting has the only remote-controlled tracked chipper in Sisters Country.

"Operating a remote-controlled chipper allows me to process trees like junipers and ponderosas up to 17 inches in diameter. The chips go back onto the soil, which regulates soil moisture and represses the resurgence of brush and invasive plants like cheatgrass. We're careful how the chips are distributed to make sure they're not a fire problem," said Moore at a 600-acre work site adjacent to Black Butte Ranch.

Moore operates his excavator equipped with a grabber to feed trees into the chipper singlehandedly. He can direct where the chips go to make pathways, or place them on an area needing dust control. The chipper has tracks covered in rubber providing a low-impact effect on the soil. An attachment for his excavator, called a masticator, has a drum with cutting knives for brush, small thick trees, and vegetation.

"You can think of the masticator like a giant weed-eater," he said. "It's a brain-twister operating both simultaneously all day, but using the excavator to feed the chipper instead of a person doing it, reduces the possibility of injury."

Moore was raised in Richmond, Virginia. His family was involved in the forestry industry in his hometown, and in Oregon. Axe Contracting's home base is in Sisters. Moore started the company on the east coast and moved west in 2020 after working with a training company in Southern Oregon on the Slater Fire cleanup. He has three employees and works for a variety of sub-contractors, like construction companies and tree services who share his work ethic and focus on quality. Most of his work is from Tumalo to Camp Sherman.

"We're happy to start conversations about new projects and ready to help folks with putting together grant applications for fire mitigation projects. We can be a landowner's advocate and help them apply for grants. Our proposals have the correct language that meet or exceed state and federal requirements for successful grants."

Making sure the forestry industry is accessible and understood by the public is an important goal for Moore. He wants people to feel comfortable asking questions, so they know how his work can benefit their property. Fire and drought resiliency are on many homeowners' minds these days. Having a healthier habitat with mosaic-like management of trees and brush allows for reintroduction of native plants. Moore appreciates how many neighborhoods are forming Firewise Communities that bring neighbors together around fire-mitigation efforts. Taking proactive measures before something bad happens can give landowners peace of mind, and in some cases, lower insurance bills.

"My conversation with clients includes a cost-benefit analysis showing how the work we do around the home provides gains that outweigh the losses. We work to increase resiliency and prevent loss from fires or storm damage. In Oregon with increasing weather events, we have a firm understanding of how to protect people and their property and the concessions needed to achieve that," said Moore. "Working in the Sisters areas there's already an established culture of being proactive about wildfire. People know clearing out around their homes and creating defensible spaces through thinning potential fuel sources results in good forest health. People see the value of the services we offer. Living in a beautiful, forested terrain makes it both an attractive place to live and a vulnerable place for wildfires. We're here to help make Central Oregon more resilient."

To learn more about Axe Contracting – Forestry Resource Group visit http://www.axecontracting.com, email Will Moore at [email protected], or call/text 541-409-5404.

 

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