Astoria logging company J.M. Browning Logging and owner Jay Browning were recognized by the state as “Operator of the Year” for northwest Oregon at a ceremony Wednesday.

Browning and operators like him “have shown how they can harvest needed wood products in Oregon while protecting natural resources,” Lena Tucker, private forests division chief for the Oregon Department of Forestry, said in a statement.

Jay Browning 'Operator of the Year' for Northwest Oregon

Jay Browning, center, owner of J.M. Browning Logging, was recognized by the Oregon Board of Forestry as this year’s ‘Operator of the Year’ for northwest Oregon. He stands between State Forester Peter Daugherty and Board of Forestry Chair Tom Imeson.

“We’re pleased to honor the excellent care and diligence they demonstrate, often in challenging circumstances.”

The Oregon Board of Forestry gives the Operator of the Year Awards to operators in northwest, southwest and Eastern Oregon who go “above and beyond” the requirements of the Oregon Forest Practices Act, which outlines how people must harvest timber while still protecting or enhancing streams, water quality and habitat and reducing landslide risks.

Browning earned this year’s award for protecting a fish-bearing stream in Hampton Lumber’s Big Creek Forest. Browning removed aging alder trees, clearing up space for large conifer trees to regenerate along the streambank and improve fish habitat.

The award also recognized Browning for decades of consistently applying management practices that safeguard forest resources, even under challenging circumstances, according to the state.

Gwin and Sons Logging of Vernonia and its owner, Rick Gwin, were were recognized by the Oregon Board of Forestry with a 2018 Merit Award for northwest Oregon.

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