Improve Fire Prevention and Suppression Reduce Hazardous FuelsRestore Fire Adapted Ecosystems Promote Community AssistanceSummary

 

WGA Goal - Promote Community Assistance


Actions to meet goal

  • Reduce losses to communities from wildland fire
  • Promote markets for traditionally underutilized wood
  • Promote opportunities to continue and enhance sustainable livestock grazing as part of restoration strategies
  • Increase incentives for private landowners to address defensible space and fuels management needs on private property
  • Promote local government incentives through fire-sensitive land use planning

Precision Pine & Timber

Precision Pine and Timber picture

Lon Porter is the owner of Precision Pine & Timber, Inc. and Transporting Renewable Resources, Inc. He began Precision Pine & Timber 20 years ago, but had to shut down operations in the mid 1990s due to the Mexican spotted owl injunction put on the Sitgreaves National Forest. Porter also owned sawmills in Winslow and Eager that were forced to close down because of the injunction. Three years ago the USFS opened several tracts to bidding. Porter won the bids and proceeded to prepare the Precision Mill and the Eager Mill to go back to work. Environmentalists, most notably the Southwest Center for Biological Diversity, filed lawsuits again, and work was halted. Porter lost a significant amount of money and the Eager Mill was never opened. He has laid off all but 18 of his original 185 employees. Porter filed his own lawsuit against the federal government on the basis that they had a contract for work. He won, but it is now in appeals.

Precision Pine and Timber is now working on the Sitgreaves National Forest. Presently, they have got a one-block contract to salvage burned timber. Precision takes 12" diameter and higher and their operations are not set up to utilize the small diameter timber (STD). Currently (June 2004), they can only work from 12 midnight to 10 am due to the very high winds and drought conditions. Precision sells their by-product to local utilizers, such as Western Organics who produce mulch.

SDT Utilization in H-O

There are no SDT utilizers in H-O. This is one of the goals of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan. USFS employee, Klasner stated that the local contractors will not be able to fill their needs once the stewardship contracts are in full force. When asked if they have communication with the contractors telling them their future needs, he said it is on an informal basis.

Since the Rodeo-Chediski Fire, two sawmills in the area have opened. The Parker Mill, in Clay Springs (16 miles away) takes 8-9" diameter and up. 35 miles east is another mill starting up in Snowflake, that will take 6" diameter and up.

 

Mogollon Tree Service

Mogollon Tree Service Picture

Mogollon Tree Service, with owners Ernie and Cherry Delgado, have been in business for 15 years doing tree cutting, thinning, pruning, and chipping. Their main clients have been USFS, commercial private, and private property owners. Three years ago their client base changed to almost solely private property owners. Since the Rodeo-Chediski Fire the business they have gotten from private landowners has greatly increased. Mogollon has four employees, including themselves, their son and one other employee. Approximately 70% of their business is from the AZ State Land cost-share work and homeowner associations requiring thinning work. Most of their clients come from word-of-mouth, but they do have an ad in the yellow pages. For the cost-share work they use the Fire Department's specified prescription.

Mogollon treats approximately 120 properties a year, generally averaging 1 acre per property. The average cost to treat an acre ranges from $1200-$2200. They utilize some of the pinyon-juniper small diameter timber for firewood that they give away to those in need (elderly, poor…), friends and family. The ponderosa pine small diameter timber is not useful for firewood, and the lumber doesn't have any value. This goes to the brush pit, along with other slash. The main challenge to their business comes from fly-by-night operators that don't have insurance or workman's compensation, and therefore can underbid them.

 


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Copyright©2004 Toddi A. Steelman and North Carolina State University

 
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