San Dimas Technology and Development Center

Skidder Bridge on the National Forests in Mississippi
SDTDC and the Homochitto Ranger District of the National Forests in Mississippi are fieldtesting a temporary, portable skidder bridge. The bridge allows harvesting equipment access over small drainages while minimizing site disturbance. The bridge is mostly preassembled using readily available timber and hardware. The three panels (4 feet wide and 16 feet long) can be hauled to the site. The panels are set in place using a skidder’s grapple. There are no gaps between the panels that would allow debris to fall into the drainage. When the crossing is no longer needed, the bridge can be disassembled with minimum effort, transported to another site, and reassembled. A logger on the Homochitto Ranger District has carried about 150,000 board feet of logs over the trial bridge. When San Dimas concludes its evaluation, a Tech Tip will be written on the Center’s findings. Materials and assembly information will also be included. For further information contact Jim Bassel, Project Leader: Phone (909) 599-1267; Openmail: jbassel/wo,sdtdc; Lotus Notes: James R Bassel/WO/USDAFS.

The swing handle on this bearproof refuse container is
easily opened with one finger.

Improving Accessibility for Bearproof Refuse Containers
A 12-inch, stainless-steel swing handle improves accessibility of the double 32-gallon bearproof container. The reach of the swing handle is below the 36-inch universal access requirement. The new accessible handle requires less than 4 pounds of force to open. The new swing handle accommodates left- and right-handed persons and improves access by children. The new swing handle also accommodates persons with limited hand dexterity and those whose limbs have a limited range of motion. A Tech Tip has been prepared: Double 32-Gallon Bear-Proof Refuse Container, 9923-1306-SDTDC ( For further information on this project, contact Lester Sinclair, Project Leader: Phone (909) 599-1296; Openmail: lsinclair/wo,sdtdc; Lotus Notes: Lester A Sinclair/WO/USDAFS.

Road Technology to Enhance Riparian Areas
SDTDC is collecting case studies of transportation projects that help restore riparian areas. The Center will produce a report that discusses the problems, the solutions, and the results for case studies that meet the project’s objectives of riparian restoration and transportation. This project’s goal is to have examples of successful projects from each Region. The Center has reviewed several studies from the Western United States. We are requesting projects from the Eastern United States. The projects and innovations need not be elegant or complex to be of value. What is important is reversing negative effects and restoring riparian functions. The case studies will provide the opportunity to share accomplishments and ideas throughout the Forest Service. If you have some good examples or would like further information, contact Jim Bassel, Project Leader: Phone (909) 599-1267; Openmail: jbassel/wo,sdtdc; Lotus Notes: James R Bassel/WO/USDAFS.

Missoula Technology and Development Center

Bernie Weisgerber demonstrates honing an ax on a grinding wheel.

Do You Have “An Ax to Grind?”
The Northern Region’s Historic Preservationist, Bernie Weisgerber, and MTDC Project Leader Brian Vachowski have produced a two-part video and companion manual on the use and maintenance of hatchets, axes, and adzes. An Ax to Grind, the video, and An Ax to Grind: Practical Ax Manual, have been distributed to Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management offices nationwide. Weisgerber, who has appeared twice on the This Old House television series, shows how to rehabilitate an old ax head so that it will be “sharp enough to shave with.” He outlines the efficient and safe way to chop logs, split firewood, swing an adz, and hew with a broad ax. The manual also lists procurement sources and other references. The video and manual should appeal to wilderness and trail workers, and to those who restore historic buildings.

An electronic version of the book is posted on the Forest Service Web: The video is available to the public through the Forest Service’s Video Lending Library. For more information, contact Brian Vachowski: Phone (406) 329-3935; Openmail: bvachowski/wo,mtdc; Lotus Notes: Brian Vachowski/WO/USDAFS.

MTDC's internal home page is accessible to FS and BLM employees.

MTDC’s New Web Site
MTDC has completely updated its web site ( on the Forest Service’s internal computer network. The site’s design should make it easier for folks to electronically order printed documents or videos, download electronic documents or drawings, find the phone number of an MTDC employee, or search for information. The new site is closely linked to the web site at the San Dimas T&D Center ( Searches for documents show not only those at MTDC, but those at San Dimas, and relevant issues of the Washington Office’s Engineering Field Notes. If you can’t find something on the new web site, go to the Site Directory. The directory shows where different types of information are stored on the site. The Center’s web site cannot be reached from the Internet. You must be on the Forest Service or BLM’s internal computer networks. The BLM’s computer network is linked to the Forest Service’s internal network. For further information, contact Bert Lindler, Editor: Phone (406) 329-3930; Openmail: blindler/wo,mtdc; Lotus Notes: Bert W Lindler/WO/USDAFS.

The new Health and
Safety Code Handbook
was distributed in
December 1999.

1999 Health and Safety Code Handbook
The newly revised Forest Service Health and Safety Code Handbook (FSH 6709.11) was distributed servicewide in December 1999. The handbook is a pocket-sized (7½ by 4-inch) field document. An electronic copy that can be printed on letter-size paper is accessible on the Washington Office home page ( The handbook’s structure and format provide clear, concise direction for completing job hazard analyses for the many tasks we undertake in support of the Natural Resource Agenda. We encourage everyone to get the handbook, become familiar with its content, and apply it. For more information on the Health and Safety Code Handbook, contact Gary Hoshide, Program Leader: Phone (406) 329-1029, Openmail: ghoshide/wo,mtdc; Lotus Notes: Gary Hoshide/WO/USDAFS; or contact Chuck Whitlock, Project Leader: Phone (406) 329-3924, Openmail: cwhitlock/wo, mtdc; Lotus Notes: Chuck Whitlock/WO/USDAFS.

WFCS develops wildland fire chemicals and delivery systems.

Wildland Fire Chemical Systems Group
The National Wildfire Suppression Technology group has become the Wildland Fire Chemical Systems group. Their primary mission is to provide technical support to Forest Service Fire and Aviation Management on matters related to wildland fire chemicals and their delivery systems. They develop specifications to evaluate and qualify wildland fire chemicals and maintain a Qualified Products List (QPL) of chemicals and other products that meet Forest Service requirements. The group continually monitors chemicals purchased under the Lot Acceptance and Quality Assurance Program. They conducted more than 800 such tests last year. The group’s continued evaluation of wildland fire chemicals helps protect the safety of firefighters, the general public, and the environment. In addition, the group develops materials and equipment that help fight wildfires and conduct prescribed burns. Other work includes development of performance models, static testing, and the support of the Interagency Airtanker Board. The aerial delivery portion of the program will be moving to the San Dimas T&D Center. Over the next several years the employees at WFCS will continue to work with San Dimas to ensure that the quality of the aerial delivery program and the needs and expectations of our customers are fulfilled. For more information about the Wildland Fire Chemicals Systems program, contact Paul Solarz, Program Leader: Phone (406) 329-3980; Openmail: psolarz/wo,mtdc; Lotus Notes: Paul Solarz/WO/USDAFS.

Disclaimer: The Forest Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), has developed this information for the guidance of its employees, its contractors, and its cooperating Federal and State agencies, and is not responsible for the interpretation or use of this information by anyone except its own employees. The use of trade, firm, or corporation names in this document is for the information and convenience of the reader, and does not constitute an endorsement by the Department of any product or service to the exclusion of others that may be suitable. The USDA prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, and so forth) should phone USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write: USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (202) 720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

This page last modified February 22, 2000

Visitor since February 22, 2000