plane dealer
May-June, 2015

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Drone strike at McShan Lumber


The DJI Phantom Vision 2 Plus
A s with technologies such as GPS, small drones were initially developed for military use, but are increasingly being deployed in civilian applications, including mapping, monitoring and managing natural resources. Although small drones are not used widely in environmental applications yet, their use is likely to increase rapidly as their prices decrease and the technology becomes easier to use.  The development of remote sensing with drones has been closely related to the study of forests. However, the fastest growing use is the application of small drones in precision agriculture and vegetation monitoring in range lands. Small drones are increasingly being used by timber companies and government forestry agencies for applications such as tree crown/gap mapping, forest stand mapping, volume estimation, wind blow assessment, pest monitoring, and harvest planning.

I recently purchased a drone and am in the early stages of the learning curve. Of my 20 or so flights, most of them have been recreational. However, some of these flights have offered a new perspective of our timber tracts and I can see how drones will be used as valuable tools in forest management.

woods collection
woods collection

2nd try
Drone view of McShan Lumber and surrounding area.
S & S 1st thin Cunningham tract
16 year old Pine plantation1st thinning


New Dry Kiln Operational




Our new American Wood Dryers package loaded dry kiln began operation on April 22 almost 10 months after the order was placed last year.  The new kiln adds much needed drying capacity and we anticipate great improvements in drying quality as well from this state of the art all aluminum kiln.  At its most basic the new kiln is something of a giant convection oven.  Heat is provided by radiator coils filled with steam from our wood fired boiler and the convection comes from 7 powerful fans located near the ceiling.  Hot air circulates through the stickered lumber packs while in kiln sensors indicate and control precise temperature and humidity measurements.  The tightly sealed "oven" maintains optimal drying conditions to minimize checking and other drying defects.  The first charges have dried 1x12 but we will soon be trying it out on some high grade 5/4".  




Set it and forget it?
Computer monitoring makes it almost as easy as "seen on TV"
First charge, rough 1X12

Rush hour traffic in Pickens County, Al.
Wildlife biologists to look at turkey decline


Michael C. Bolton,


If you're one of Alabama's 60,000 turkey hunters and you are of the belief that there aren't as many turkeys in Alabama as there used to be, you are not imagining things.

Wild turkey numbers are down not only in Alabama, but across the entire South. Biologists are unsure why.

District Wildlife Biologist Steve Barnett says studies have shown there has been a steady decline in turkey reproduction numbers in recent years. He says biologists are not sure if that decline is being caused by predators, weather, habitat loss or other factors.

The state is so concerned that Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences will soon begin the most comprehensive, long-term study of wild turkey in the state's history. The project will take place in three locations in the state and will last five years. The study will determine the reproduction, survival and harvest rates as well as movement patterns of wild turkey.

The turkey numbers in recent years have been alarming. Despite more Alabama turkey hunters than at any time during the last decade, surveys show turkey harvest numbers have declined significantly in recent years.

The years 2006 and 2007, for instance, showed turkey harvests of 58,000 and 65,000 gobblers, respectfully, but something obviously happened following the 2007 season.

In 2008 that harvest number tumbled to 49,000 - a drop of 16,000 birds in one year. In 2009 that number fell by another 12,000 to 36,600.

The number rose slightly to 40,900 in 2010 but harvest numbers have seen a moderate decline now for three years in a row.

For the project, both male and female turkeys will be fitted with transmitters and/or leg bands in and around the Oakmulgee, Skyline and Scotch Wildlife Management Areas. Up to 150 turkeys in each research area will be fitted with the transmitters and/or leg bands each year. Biologists will conduct camera surveys and gobble counts and to measure the turkey population in each research area.

Hunters who might harvest a turkey outfitted with one of the devices will be asked to return the transmitters to the Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. A return address is printed on the devices.

The 2015 Alabama turkey season will run March 14 through April 30 in most areas of the state.



49th Annual Forestry Field Day
Lennis Crimm, procurement forester at G.P.'s Belk, Al facility demonstrates the use of an increment borer to deternine the age of a tree.
An Aliceville High School student measures the diameter of a tree using a tree and log scale stick.

The Aliceville, Alabama area Chamber of Commerce held it's 49th annual Forestry Field day on April 27th, 2015. The purpose of the field day is to teach young people the need to conserve our forest resources, understand good forestry practices, develop leadership in forestry, demonstrate the use of farm woodland in soil and water conservation and to show the importance of developing woodlands as a habitat for wildlife conservation.  The event is funded by local forest industry and private landowners.

Pickens County vo-ag students are taught forestry skills during the year and the field day offers representatives from each school the chance to participate in competition.  Activities include compass course, age of tree, tree identification, timber cruising and select marking. McShan Lumber procurement representatives are members of the Field Day committee and help lead the events.  Participation in the event also satisfies the Sustainable Forestry Initiative's objective 17, " to broaden the practice of sustainable forestry by encouraging the public and forestry community to participate in the commitment to sustainable forestry."

Product Spotlight

1X6 C/D S4S


View a Virtual Pack Inspection here!

More virtual pack inspections available here


Call Dina Fuller for tally, prices.  1-800 882 3712




Quick Links
Capital Improvements

Improving the efficiency, productivity and profitability is a top priority at each end of the supply chain.  "Cut and haul" are included in the net cost of our lumber and these rates have increased slightly over the past few years. McShan Lumber benefits from working with intelligent logging contractors that are not only seasoned woodsmen, but good businessmen.

Terry Lowe (left) and Steve Lowe (right) saw a need to increase load turn-around and merchandising options and to measure more precisely legal load limits. To meet the need, Lowe Brothers Logging recently invested in a new $26,000 log trailer and $6,000 on-board scales.

The Black Belt Initiative

McShan Lumber Company is located in a geographical area called the "Black Belt". 
Alabama's rural Black Belt includes some of the poorest counties in the United States. Along with high rates of poverty, the area is typified by declining populations, a primarily agricultural landscape with low density settlements, poor access to quality education and heath care.  Finding qualified employees to operate high tech forestry and sawmill equipment has become one of our biggest challenges. 
Just as we plant trees today for tomorrow's forests, McShan Lumber believes that we must invest in Alabama's children to grow tomorrow's forestry workforce.

Sponsored by the Alabama Forestry Foundation, the Black Belt Initiative is designed to increase the awareness of students attending Black Belt region high schools of job opportunities in forestry. The objective of this initiative is to encourage rural students to pursue education and training that would qualify them for employment in Alabama's forest products companies.

The link below is a video of the Initiative and includes some great drone footage of forestry operations.

George Washington's

           rules of

Civility & Decent Behavior



This is the fourth of eleven McShan Plane Dealer newsletters featuring 10 of the 110 rules of Civility and Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation.


By age sixteen, Washington had copied out by hand, 110 Rules of Civility & Decent Behavior in Company and Conversation. They are based on a set of rules composed by French Jesuits in 1595. Presumably they were copied out as part of an exercise in penmanship assigned by young Washington's schoolmaster. The first English translation of the French rules appeared in 1640, and are ascribed to Francis Hawkins, the twelve-year-old son of a doctor. 

Today many, if not all of these rules, sound a little fussy if not downright silly. It would be easy to dismiss them as outdated and appropriate to a time of powdered wigs and quills, but they reflect a focus that is increasingly difficult to find. The rules have in common a focus on other people rather than the narrow focus of our own self-interests that we find so prevalent today. Fussy or not, they represent more than just manners. They are the small sacrifices that we should all be willing to make for the good of all and the sake of living together. 


31. If any one far surpasses others, either in age, estate, or merit yet would give place to a meaner than himself in his own lodging or elsewhere the one ought not to except it, so he on the other part should not use much earnestness nor offer it above once or twice. 


32. To one that is your equal, or not much inferior you are to give the chief place in your lodging and he to who 'tis offered ought at the first to refuse it but at the second to accept though not without acknowledging his own unworthiness. 


33. They that are in dignity or in office have in all places preceedency but whilst they are young they ought to respect those that are their equals in birth or other qualitys, though they have no publick charge. 


34. It is good manners to prefer them to whom we speak before ourselves especially if they be above us with whom in no sort we ought to begin. 


35. Let your discourse with men of business be short and comprehensive. 


36. Artificers & persons of low degree ought not to use many ceremonies to lords, or others of high degree but respect and highly honor them, and those of high degree ought to treat them with affability & courtesie, without arrogancy. 


37. In speaking to men of quality do not lean nor look them full in the face, nor approach too near them at lest keep a full pace from them. 


38. In visiting the sick, do not play the physician if you be not knowing therein. 


39. In writing or speaking, give to every person his due title according to his degree & the custom of the place.


40. Strive not with your superiors in argument, but always submit your judgment to others with modesty. be continued


McShan Lumber product availability

Quotes on Quality

"Quality means doing it right when no one is looking."
Henry Ford

"Coach said. "the quality of a man's life is in direct proportion to his commitment to excellence, regardless of his chosen field of endeavor."
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian


"Most people buy the highest quality television sets, only to watch the lowest quality television shows."
Jarod Kintz


"How good something is should never be determined by its cost, designer, origin, or its perceived value by others."
Ashly Lorenzana


"There is scarcely anything in the world that some man cannot make a little worse, and sell a little more cheaply. The person who buys on price alone is this man's lawful prey."  

John Ruskin


"It is quality rather than quantity that matters."


"People forget how fast you did a job, but they remember how well you did it"
Howard Newton 


"Do not compromise on the quality and your customers will not negotiate on the price."
Amit Kalantri 


"Buy less, buy better, and really wear it."
Michael Bastian 








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McShan Lumber Company | |
11180 Hwy 82  P.O. Box 27
Mc Shan, AL 35471