The term applied to this type of logging is “clear cutting” and by 1931 nearly 1.5 billion board feet of lumber has been taken from this forest. Occasionally a tree was spared, but not many. It has taken the last 75 to 80 years for the forest to renew itself.
The principal logging company was called The Madera Sugar Pine Lumber Company. Madera bought these small, narrow and extremely powerful steam engines to do the work. The engines were built in Lima, Ohio. With proper maintenance these locomotives perform as well today as they did well over 100 years ago.
Today Engine No. 15 is still in use hauling wide-eyed tourists on a one-hour round trip into and out of the Yosemite National Forest. This type of logging did not take place within Yosemite National Park because the park has been protected since 1899.
We can’t really recommend the trip. It is over-priced and, frankly, a little boring. But it was better than a day at the office.