New forest thinning contract awarded

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chumley
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New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by chumley »

I just got this in email today. Seems like the pine country of Arizona is about to see some work.
Pioneer Forest Products remains on track to begin thinning operations on largest forest stewardship contract in history

August 13, 2012

FLAGSTAFF – In the three months since being awarded the largest stewardship contract by the U.S. Forest Service, Pioneer Forest Products been making great strides in the development of its Winslow, Ariz., wood utilization campus and has been actively building the local workforce necessary to thin more than 300,000 acres in 10 years.

As part of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, Pioneer Forest Products was chosen to work for the Forest Service to perform restoration treatments on 300,000 acres in the Coconino, Tonto, Apache-Sitgreaves and Kaibab national forests in northern Arizona. To process the wood removed from these forests, Pioneer is building a state-of-the-art timber plant near Winslow. The plant will convert small diameter pine timber into high value finger jointed material and use a portion of the woody debris to create bio-diesel fuel.

Since the contract award on May 18, Pioneer has made significant progress toward acquiring land in Winslow for the timber plant as well as a facility for Pioneer’s biomass partner Western Energy Solution/Concord Blue USA. Pioneer has selected a firm to begin working on final designs for the facilities, and a majority of the engineering contracts are in place.

“Our engineers have been working with Winslow city officials and engineers on details of site layout and design to reach agreement on a layout that is compatible with zoning requirements in the area,” said Herman Hauck, President of Pioneer Forest Products. “We have a preliminary site layout with building locations and equipment outlined on approximately 500 acres.”

Along with securing a location for the Winslow plant and finalizing building and equipment designs, Pioneer has been selecting loggers and equipment operators to carry out the specific operations on the ground as designed by the Forest Service.

“Pioneer has contacted many loggers from Arizona as well as across the West, and many are ready to begin operations when we start next year,” Hauck said. “For the most part, we are planning to hire locals to carry out operations for Pioneer and we expect this will mean several hundred new jobs throughout rural Arizona.”

Key financial discussions are under way with several investment groups, which will fund final equipment selection. With financing on target, Pioneer Forest Products is on track to begin operations in 2013 and assist the Forest Service in its mission to improve forest health, reduce the risk of wildfire to communities, create jobs, and improve local economies through the Four Forest Restoration Initiative.


Mandy Metzger

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219 East Cherry Avenue
Flagstaff, Arizona 86001
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by beterarcher »

This is awesome, thinner forests don't burn as well. A LONG time ago native people would use controlled burns throughout North America to do this. The burns kept the forests open for hunting and the ash helped fertilize the ground so smaller plants would grow readily under the canopy of bigger trees. imagine what America looked like when Lewis and Clark traveled across the continent. must have been a sight to behold. no Dog Hair thickets of Ponderosa pines and other trees. Lots of new jobs too!
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by Jim_H »

Let's go Brandon!!!!! Let's go Brandon!!!!
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by hikeaz »

January 2018- SIX YEARS after the first post here...

A Flagstaff-area forest thinning project fell flat with only 3 percent of the work completed when the contract expired last month.

The Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project aimed to have 1 square miles (2.6 sq. kilometers) of ponderosa pine forest near Schultz Creek and the base of Mount Elden mechanically thinned by the end of December, but the contractor only completed work on 20 acres (8 hectares), the Arizona Daily Sun reported Wednesday (1/31).

Terry Hatmaker, who held the Mount-Elden area contract which ended Dec. 31, said he had planned to build a sawmill, but he and his partner were unable to secure funds for it and found that the process was going to be lengthier and costlier than they had anticipated.
Last edited by hikeaz on Sep 17 2021 10:23 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by SuperstitionGuy »

@hikeaz
I think the key word in this post was "process". It would be nice to know what the various government agencies required in this "process" that made it to expensive for the contractor to continue his work.... :scared: Just sayin...
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by hikeaz »

@SuperstitionGuy

Agreed... I would love to think that all contractors are 'pure-hearted' and are making a bonafide effort, and certainly the government's many layers are universally obtuse. But that 4FRI / Pioneer F.P/Good Earth / NewLife F.P. boondoggle shows that is not always the case.
Last edited by hikeaz on Feb 01 2018 12:10 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by johnlp »

Any decent contractor would know exactly what the "process" is, how long the timelines are, and the costs involved. All part of the pre-bid homework.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by Jim_H »

If the water managers were smart, they would invest in the plant to spurn thinning. SRP, Flagstaff, any other of them. They still need to sell the product, but selling bonds to fund the plant would provide a market to remove the trees, and therefore improve forest health and increase water yields.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by hikeaz »

Gotta love our gub'ment...... over 5 years in to it and now they 'lack information'...

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Federal officials who oversee a troubled forest-thinning project in northern Arizona are stepping on the brakes, saying they lack needed information. At a meeting last month, the Forest Service announced it won’t be soliciting contract proposals for 781 square miles of land that the agency had initially said it would put up for proposals.
Forest Service officials said they haven’t been able to gather enough information on the yield and value of the timber that would be covered in a contract.
The Four Forest Restoration Initiative was awarded in 2012. Since then, workers have thinned just 17 square miles of the 468 square miles expected to be thinned by 2022.
The taxpayers have spent more than $120 million supporting the program since 2011, not counting 2010 funds that were not specifically listed as forest restoration during the project's first year."

So in over 1/2 the contract term merely 3% has been completed. Presumably they did not start with the most difficult areas, either. Almost as bad as the Schultz fire is this indiscriminate tax-money inferno.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by Jim_H »

I think you're being too hard on the FS, who is well meaning here and faces a difficult challenge of not having an adequate market, partly due to regulated shut downs of harvesting going back nearly 30 years, and partly due to ( so I was told at NAU in 2006) the Industry not wanting to invest in mills capable of handling lower value small diameter material. Why they issue contracts without all the components, though, that is strange.

Back when I was at NAU, the pie in the sky dream that was floating around was this mythical Oriented Strand Board mill that was, "going to happen" in Winslow. What happened to that? I have no clue, but in 2008 when we went into the depression and the housing speculation bubble ended, the demand for such products fell apart. Fence posts, chips, fuel wood, whatever we can dream up for material under a maybe 6 inch diameter at the top, that isn't exactly material that commands high stumpage prices or is highly competitive on the overall market. Facing facts, Arizona Ponderosa Pine is not high quality except in the larger material. It is knotty, and just doesn't have the fiber length, density or qualities to compete with some other woods for various uses, except in the larger diameter material that is not being cut in as great quantity. Our White Fir is trash, and Douglas Fir isn't really far behind. We might have capability of producing some smaller poles and pilings, the 5-35 and 4-40 stuff, but poles and pilings require pretty strict standards.

We aren't the south or the lakes region, or the northwest, so we don't have a large private land base of suppliers and buyers who can effectively prop up the industry when the Federal Lands are shut down. With things being shut down for so long, it is hard to restart. This is why I repeatedly say that with our forests being the source of a lot of our water, our water managements districts and groups like SRP, they need to enter talks to charter some sort of enterprise that is funded early on by bonds that build and develop a facility that consumes material and can help to consume the thinned trees to encourage progress, before another Schultz, Rodeo-Chediski, or Wallow Fire happen. BTW, the Schultz happened in an area that was supposed to be thinned, and had a lot of larger trees, but a law suit stopped it. The thinning would not have been in the wilderness area, which is where the slopes were at the most dense, and with garbage rotted white fir and tons of dead material. I mentioned that in my initial trip logs from 2008 0r 2009, or the description, for the Water Line road.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by Jim_H »

Oh, you edited your post while I was writing. Where did that 120 million come from? That is a LOT of money, this I agree on. Inventory and marking takes money, but that amount of spending makes me think of legal fees, or something else, perhaps fire management or mitigation work, work that is necessary unless you intend to have fires simply running wild as natures sees fit.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by hikeaz »

Jim_H wrote: Feb 15 2018 10:41 am I think you're being too hard on the FS, ....
Draw your own conclusion --->> http://www.hcn.org/issues/46.15/lost-in-the-woods
http://www.paysonroundup.com/forest-res ... 3a908.html
http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/gu ... c4b51.html
http://www.paysonroundup.com/opinion/pr ... 4498f.html
http://www.paysonroundup.com/forest-con ... 65c40.html

Read about Good Earth here http://azdailysun.com/news/local/from-a ... d1364.html

If you can follow-the-bouncing-ball 4FRI (USFS) awards contract (not the most lucrative to the taxpayer, BTW) to Pioneer - fronted by an ex-USFS timber manager. Pioneer 'lays-off' the contract to some folks called 'Good Earth' (nice name, but based in Oman) after it was determined Pioneer had no financing for their pie-in-the-sky proposal.
Stay with me.......In '13 Good Earth CEO Jason Rosamond said that the company will invest in about 20 pellet mills in the project area and plans to ship product overseas. A $50 million wood processing mill in Winslow and a facility to produce biofuels are also part of the company’s plans.
Portland, Oregon-based timber manager Campbell Global filed a lawsuit in 2013, a few months into GEP's Az. contract, in U.S. District Court in Oregon Good Earth owes it nearly $3 million in outstanding fees, costs and expenses. The lawsuit also claims that Good Earth failed to maintain sufficient funds in a project bank account that, under the companies’ contract, would trigger automatic termination and obligate Good Earth to pay Campbell Global a $1 million termination fee.
In 2016 the U.S. Department of Labor impounded timber cut by Good Earth because it failed to pay wages it owed its employees. In the past two years, the Forest Service has received 20 complaints over nonpayment or late payment by Good Earth, according to Robert Buskirk director of acquisition management with the Forest Service.
The Department of Labor in September 2016 disclosed additional federal violations also resulting from missed payroll, Carnevali wrote. In that case, he wrote that, Good Earth agreed to comply and paid $184,843 in back wages to 44 employees.Note a trend here?. Even McCain gets involved, asking what is up.
So.....Does the USFS dump this thief... nope... GEP then renames itself to deflect some heat (same ownership, same address and same telephone number though) they are now NewLife (maybe Nine Lives is more fitting) . Anyway....no promised mill in Winslow, continued ineffectiveness and now the USFS needs 'more information'. I know I don't.
Last edited by hikeaz on Sep 18 2021 2:47 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by chumley »

This CF just keeps on giving. And that does not stand for Coconino Forest.
The U.S. Forest Service has abruptly canceled its contract process for the second phase of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative. It throws the next steps of the large-scale thinning project into a state of uncertainty.
https://www.knau.org/post/forest-servic ... phase-4fri
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by hikeaz »

The full history of this boondoggle will blow your mind! Where does the USFS come UP with all these flake contractors? Or... why cannot the USFS EVER get even close to their (OUR) money's worth?
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by xsproutx »

@hikeaz
Everyone talks about corruption at the really high levels of government but corruption and nepotism are ridiculously more common at these lower levels. Awarding a contract to your ex-USFS mate with no real experience? Sure, what could go wrong.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by hikeaz »

xsproutx wrote: Sep 17 2021 8:06 am @hikeaz
Awarding a contract to your ex-USFS mate with no real experience? Sure, what could go wrong.
But he said he loved TREES!
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by chumley »

The thing keeps happening.
FLAGSTAFF, AZ – November 9, 2021—USDA Forest Service Chief Randy Moore today announced new funding and a redesigned strategy for the Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) during a visit with elected officials in Arizona.
There's a PDF in the link with all kinds of information and maps and whatnots for those who wish to see how they plan to eff this up again/more.
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/4fri/new ... EPRD969466
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by hikeaz »

@chumley
The USFS guys, both the ones in 'contracts' and the ones in Flag are working about 4 or 5 levels over their ability. They all want to just keep churning this debacle rather than admit as much. Sad. One would think that at some point a sense of embarrassment would kick in.
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by Jim_H »

@hikeaz
Have you seen the current administration?
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Re: New forest thinning contract awarded

Post by hikeaz »

Jim_H wrote:Have you seen the current administration?
Like an ostrich..... I try not to look, but see the direct correlation nonetheless.
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