Forty years ago, the Mellen firm that would one day become a model for efficient, environmentally conscious logging began in a very small way, as Terry Peters and his father Howard “Bud” Peters purchased a Model 208 Timberjack skidder from a dealer in Duluth.  The Skidder was a tractor-like piece of equipment, with a four-speed manual transmission and a powerful winch for hauling trees out of the woods and a stout blade for clearing a way in wooded areas.  For loggers of the day, it was a thing of beauty with bright orange paint and jet-black forestry special tires.

The purchase of that skidder marked the official birth of Terry Peters logging, and the beginning of a family enterprise that continues to this day for a family firm that is the product of five generations of logging.With that single skidder, a four-wheel drive pickup, and two chainsaws, the new operation began working in the woods of northwestern Wisconsin. Back then, the company used perhaps 20 gallons of fuel per day while today Terry Peters Logging uses closer to 800 gallons of fuel a day.

Terry’s early days in the woods were spent following his father, Howard Peters, onto logging jobs starting at the age of five. He also spent parts of summers working with his grandfather, Herman Peters, at his sawmill. In those days, trees were skidded with an old Ford tractor and then hauled to the sawmill in an International log truck with a cable jammer, a winch and cable rig used to load the truck for transportation to the mill.

Today the logging operation uses state of the art harvesting machines that leave the smallest footprint possible while simultaneously lowering costs through increased productivity, while producing minimal environmental impacts. These cut-to-length machines consist of a processor that harvests the timber, as well as a forwarder that hauls the timber to the landing. The operation has three teams of this tandem equipment, as well as four tree length skidders, two slashers to process the trees, and a short wood skidder.