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.
Last edited by Jim_H
on Feb 15 2018 10:48 am, edited 1 time in total.