Federal Grant Supports UI Logger Safety Research
Monday, August 10
The University of Idaho has a received an $825,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to develop techniques to save the lives of those working in the woods.
Researchers from the College of Natural Resources working in UI’s Experimental Forest will use the funds to install GPS technology on the heavy equipment used in logging. The technology will allow other equipment operators to track the locations of their fellow workers without leaving the equipment cab.
“Federal support of research to improve the safety of employees engaged in this dangerous, yet highly necessary, industry is timely and relevant to the industry,” said Sen. Jim Risch, R-Idaho. “I can’t think of anywhere more suited for conducting this research than on the UI Experimental Forest.”
Logging is among the most dangerous professions in the United States and improvements in safety are critical to the industry.
“Logging safety is always a concern, and being able to conduct research to save lives of our Idahoans is the most important research we can do,” said Rob Keefe, assistant professor in the College of Natural Resources.
The grant is an example of how the College of Natural Resources uses state money through the Forest Utilization Research budget to leverage further competitive funding for relevant research impacting Idaho’s economy. Natural resources and the associated industries contribute more than $5.4 billion to Idaho’s economy each year, according to UI’s Policy Analysis Group. The Associated Logging Contractors also supports the project.
The UI Experimental Forest is a 12,500-acre forest managed by the UI College of Natural Resources. It is the site of hands-on undergraduate education, graduate and faculty research, recreational use and wildlife habitat.
About the University of Idaho
The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to 70 research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals. For information, visit www.uidaho.edu.