Craig Birch presents Dick Hazen (left) with the Outstanding Logger of the Year award.

Dick Hazen of Merrimack Is N.H. Outstanding Logger of the Year

MERRIMACK – At the 113th Annual Meeting of the N.H. Timberland Owners’ Association (NHTOA), Dick Hazen was recognized as the “Outstanding Logger of the Year” and received a carved wood plaque before an audience of 100. The annual event was held at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee and included tours of the nearby Lee town forest and P.R. Russell, a wood mulch manufacturer in Brentwood.

Hazen started logging while in high school in the late 70s. After brief time as a dairy farmer and then a beef farmer in the 1980s he went to work in the woods. He worked for Dave Parker for four or five years in the late 80s and early 90s before he and his brother, Charlie, went out on their own in 1993.

After his brother got hurt in the woods many years ago, Dick became a one-man operation. He hand-cuts with a chainsaw and skids with a John Deere 548 grapple skidder. All his work is within 30 minutes of his home in Merrimack. Most of his work is done as a subcontractor to Wilkins Lumber in Milford.

When the NHTOA selection committee visited him at Beaver Brook, they saw minimal scarring and virtually no crown damage in the residual white pine stand. Varying sized cutoff boles used as bumpers to protect the residual stand adjacent to skid trails. Numerous timber mats were used on his skid trails where it’s wet to mitigate rutting/soil disturbance. Other wet areas of his skid trails were armored with corduroy and treetops. The woods are very clean due to excellent utilization.

Dick uses a John Deere 648GIII grapple skidder, Stihl 500i chainsaws, and a pick-up truck as his transportation and toolbox. His skidder is a 1995 with 17,000 original hours. This many original hours is a testament to how well he keeps his equipment maintained.  Despite the equipment being older, it’s in excellent condition, no oil leaks were visible.

He produces white pine sawlogs, 8-footer pine pulp for shavings, long straighter pine pulp for camp firewood, long pine pulp for paper, hardwood logs, and hardwood firewood. His utilization of the harvested products is excellent. His landing is neatly sorted in separate piles by him with the grapple skidder so the trucker can quickly load up and head out.

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The NHTOA office is at 54 Portsmouth St., Concord. For more information: (603) 224-9699; info@nhtoa.org; or nhtoa.org. Call Bill Chaisson, communications director, at (607) 220-7425.

Tom Thomson presents Ronnie Taylor (left) with the Outstanding Forest Products Trucker of the Year award.


Taylor of CT Valley Trucking in Orford in Outstanding Forest Products Trucker of the Year

ORFORD – At the 113th Annual Meeting of the N.H. Timberland Owners’ Association (NHTOA), Ronnie Taylor was recognized as the “Outstanding Forest Products Trucker of the Year” and received a carved wood plaque before an audience of 100. The annual event was held at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee and included tours of the nearby Lee town forest and P.R. Russell, a wood mulch manufacturer in Brentwood.

Ronnie Taylor, originally with his late wife Mary, has owned Connecticut Valley Trucking since 1973. After her mother passed, his daughter took over doing all the bookkeeping. At one time they had 15 trucks on the road hauling roundwood and chips but today he is down to two trucks, driven by his son and nephew.

Currently they run a 2015 and a 2022 Western Star, both with tri-axle log bodies and a pup trailer and loader. They haul strictly roundwood. Most of the work is hauling for 14-15 local loggers to area mills. All his hauls are within 150 air miles. His furthest hauls are to Finch Paper in Glens Falls, N.Y. and ND Paper in Shelburne, N.H. The company has an exceptional driving record over the past 2 years with no safety violations.  Ronnie’s company secures all their loads with binder straps.

Ronnie and his guys do all their own maintenance and mechanical work out of his shop in Orford. His trucks are in good working order with all the required safety features including mud flaps, fire-extinguisher, headache rack, lights, first aid kit, and flares.

Ronnie is in good standing with NHTOA, and his membership is up to date and has been for many decades. When he was younger, he annually attended the Loggers & Truckers Convention.

The NHTOA selection committee came away impressed with his commitment to safety, knowing the laws of the road, communication with his drivers, the loggers he hauls for, and the mills the products are going to. His many years of mechanical knowledge of the trucks allows him to be proactive in fixing potential issues before they become a problem or a safety issue. He has a positive attitude despite the ups and downs of the industry and the many changes over his long career.

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The NHTOA office is at 54 Portsmouth St., Concord. For more information: (603) 224-9699; info@nhtoa.org; or nhtoa.org. Call Bill Chaisson, communications director, at (607) 220-7425.

Charley Hanson and Shelagh Connelly accepted the Outstanding Forest Product Industry award for RMI in Holderness.

RMI of Holderness Recognized as Outstanding Forest Products Industry

HOLDERNESS – At the 113th Annual Meeting of the N.H. Timberland Owners’ Association (NHTOA), Resource Management, Inc. (RMI) was recognized as the “Outstanding Forest Products Industry of the Year” before an audience of 100. The annual event was held at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee and included tours of the nearby Lee town forest and P.R. Russell, a wood mulch manufacturer in Brentwood.

Headquartered in Holderness, RMI has been serving the community for over 30 years. They provide responsive, high-quality, organic residuals and recycling services, and find beneficial use for 100% of the residuals they recycle for generators. RMI has worked diligently to develop sound, innovative nutrient management strategies and approaches for farms, municipalities, site developers, and other land-centered businesses that benefit the suppliers and the end users of these products, as well as the environment.

In 2023 RMI recycled a total of 32,930 tons of wood ash and 32,661 tons of short paper fiber, 17,260 and 1,034 tons out of New Hampshire biomass and paper mills, respectively, and put beneficial nutrients back into our soils and prevented these valuable resources from going to waste in a landfill.

RMI goes above and beyond as a dedicated and outspoken supporter of the biomass industry and New Hampshire’s forest products industry. In response to House Bill 142 and Senate Bills 365, 577, and 446, all of which threated the livelihood of New Hampshire’s wood-fired biomass plants, the company created and distributed a range of informative media to the public, elected officials and state legislators. These emphasized the value of biomass power in the state and urged support of these bills. To elicit support for these bills, the company collaborated with the Town of Holderness, N.H. Farm Bureau Federation, N.H. Timberland Owners Association, NorthEast Biosolids & Residuals Association, and N.H. Public Radio, among others.

Similarly, RMI emphasized the catastrophic damage House Bill 213 would do to loggers, timberland owners, and farmers alike, and led successful collaborative outreach efforts with members of these impacted industries.

RMI President Shelagh Connelly advocates on a legislative level. At a 2018 State House demonstration she spoke in support of overrides of SB 365 and 446. Her call to action emphasized the benefits of the industry, including the numerous jobs provided, necessity to our low-grade timber market, and the economic benefits to New Hampshire’s forest products industry. RMI and its founders advocate tirelessly for the continued operation of wood-fired biomass plants in New Hampshire and have demonstrated outstanding legislative and collaborative efforts, serving community, industry, and the environment every day.

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The NHTOA office is at 54 Portsmouth St., Concord. For more information: (603) 224-9699; info@nhtoa.org; or nhtoa.org. Call Bill Chaisson, communications director, at (607) 220-7425.

Ginny Chrisenton (left) accepts the Isobel Parke Award from Tom Thomson.

Chrisenton Recognized as Outstanding Woman in Forest Management 

LYNDEBOROUGH – At the 113th Annual Meeting of the N.H. Timberland Owners’ Association (NHTOA), Ginny Christenton of Lyndeborough was recognized with the Isobel Parke Award and received a carved wood plaque before an audience of 100. The annual event was held at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee and included tours of the nearby Lee town forest and P.R. Russell, a wood mulch manufacturer in Brentwood. Chrisenton was nominated by fellow timberland owner Tanya Tellman of Whitefield with this praise:

“Ginny Chrisenton went out west to drive her own skidder off the assembly line at the John Deere factory years ago. I first met Ginny while she was still teaching. She was on the NHTOA Executive Board (1995-2001) with my late husband, Dave. Her involvement with the forestry community of New Hampshire spans at least 30 years.

“Ginny and her husband, Tom, are active New Hampshire Tree Farmers, having been 1999 N.H. Tree Farmers of the Year (NHTFOTY). They hosted the annual Tree Farm Day at High Ridge Tree Farm in Lyndeborough. As I recall, they were our representative in the Regional Tree Farm competition twice. Ginny served on the N.H. Tree Farm Executive Committee for at least 10 years, some of that as Education Chair. She was always seen at Tree Farm Days and the Farm and Forest Expo organizing fund-raising and selling Tree Farm apparel.

“When our Tree Farm was NHTFOTY in 2007, Ginny helped us write our submission for the regional competition. She was present on our Tree Farm Day, helping to coordinate all the behind-the-scenes chores as she was (is, perhaps) for most Tree Farm Days.

“According to NHTOA Executive Director Jasen Stock, ‘in 2022 Ginny led a great tour of the recent pollinator habitat work done on their property for the N.H. Forest Teachers Tour. On this tour, 15 grade and high school teachers learned about the interconnection between sustainable forestry and wildlife habitat. Based on exit surveys from this tour, the participating educator reach was 1,220 students.’

“Stock also told me that ‘she and Tom regularly testify in support of pro-forestry, pro-landowner debates in Concord. These include bills and proposals impacting Current Use, low-grade timber markets and property rights (i.e. game camera/tree stands bills).’

“Ginny is currently serving as a landowner member on the N.H. Office of Professional Licensure and Certification’s Board of Licensed Land Surveyors. Ginny is truly deserving of this prestigious honor.”

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The NHTOA office is at 54 Portsmouth St., Concord. For more information: (603) 224-9699; info@nhtoa.org; or nhtoa.org. Call Bill Chaisson, communications director, at (607) 220-7425.

Richard Carrier (center) accepts the President’s Award from Jasen Stock, while Marco and Joe Carrier look on.

Carrier Receives NHTOA’s President’s Award for Service to Forest Products Industry

BRENTWOOD – At the 113th Annual Meeting of the N.H. Timberland Owners’ Association (NHTOA), Richard Carrier was recognized with the NHTOA’s President’s Award, which recognizes service to timberland owners and the forest products industry. He received a carved wood plaque before an audience of 100. The annual event was held at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee and included tours of the nearby Lee town forest and P.R. Russell, a wood mulch manufacturer in Brentwood.

Richard Carrier Trucking, Inc., in business since 1971, provides transportation services for wood products, demo, equipment and flatbed freight. The company offers trucking, dispatching, and maintenance services. It is based in Skowhegan, Maine.

With his brother Marco, Carrier also owns P.R. Russell. His nephew, Marco’s son Joe, runs HHP in Henniker.

The Carriers grew up a dairy farm with ten brothers and one sister in a small French-Canadian town just over the U.S. border. Their parents, Emile and Blanche, were hardworking, honest people that taught their children to lean on family to succeed. Like their other siblings they left their country with their deep-rooted values and strong work ethic in search of the “American Dream” with the knowledge that family would be the backbone of their endeavors.

Over the course of their careers, the Carrier family established themselves in the trucking and the forest industry of New Hampshire and Maine. The Carrier group of companies now includes multiple trucking companies, chip mills, softwood and hardwood lumber mills, including Milan Lumber, R.J. Chipping, and wood processing facilities in Canada.

Carrier continues to invest heavily in forest products businesses, providing economic activity to the industry and markets for timberland owners, loggers and foresters and markets for sawmill byproducts. During the board discussion his commitment to providing stability to low-grade timber markets and the companies harvesting and chipping biomass through his wood procurement efforts at Burgess BioPower was noted. 

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The NHTOA office is at 54 Portsmouth St., Concord. For more information: (603) 224-9699; info@nhtoa.org; or nhtoa.org. Call Bill Chaisson, communications director, at (607) 220-7425.

Rocky Bunnell was recognized with the Kendall Norcutt Award.

Rocky Bunnell Receives Kendall Norcutt Award from Timberland Owners Association

MONROE – At the 113th Annual Meeting of the N.H. Timberland Owners’ Association (NHTOA), Rocky Bunnell was recognized as the winner of the Kendall Norcutt Award, which recognizes lifetime achievement, before an audience of 100. Bunnell was not present receive the award, as he was away in Canada bear hunting. The annual event was held at DeMeritt Hill Farm in Lee and included tours of the nearby Lee town forest and P.R. Russell, a wood mulch manufacturer in Brentwood.

Rocky and his family have been in the forest products business for three generations. Before that, his grandfather logged on the family farm.

Rocky is very active in the N.H. Timber Harvesting Council, promoting Professional Logger Program (PLP) training and membership in the council and the NHTOA. He was recently certified as a Master Logger. Rocky has and continues to be an ambassador for New Hampshire timber harvesting companies regionally and nationally as he sits on several boards.

Rocky’s work in the advocacy front is exceptional. He takes time from work to testify on proposals harmful to the industry and timberland owners. “I show up if I’m asked,” he said, “and sometimes when I’m not asked.” He also takes time to advocate for the industry and timberland landowners at the national level as a regular participant in American Loggers Council’s annual Washington, D.C. fly-in. During these visits with the members of the N.H. Congressional delegation Rocky is always quick to point out the positive economic impact timber harvesting and forest industry have for the state’s economy.

Rocky is also noted for his promotion of getting youth engaged in outdoor pursuits through his work with the National Wild Turkey Federation chapter North Country Longspurs and their day-long youth outdoor education program, the J.A.K.E.S. Day.

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The NHTOA office is at 54 Portsmouth St., Concord. For more information: (603) 224-9699; info@nhtoa.org; or nhtoa.org. Call Bill Chaisson, communications director, at (607) 220-7425.

Phil Primack (center) is the 2024 N.H. Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year.

Phil Primack of Epping is N.H. Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year

EPPING – Phil Primack, New Hampshire’s 2024 Outstanding Tree Farmer, is the proud steward of the 100+ acre tree farm in Epping that he calls “Eli’s Woods.” Eli—for those readers who might be wondering—was Phil’s trusty four-legged sidekick for many years. For a dog, life on a tree farm must be like hitting a jackpot. Can it get any better?


Eli’s Woods started taking shape in 1974 when Phil, looking for “10 acres on a creek” to build a small house, instead stumbled upon a big old farmhouse with 64 acres owned by the estate of Mary Folsom Blair. An aspiring young writer short on funds, Phil had to sell the farmhouse along with 10 acres to help finance the deal. Little did he know that the land’s former owner (a longtime teacher, 4-H leader, and nature lover) would serve as inspiration for his eventual book, “Put It Down on Paper”: The Words and Life of Mary Folsom Blair, A Fifty-Year Search (Loom Press, 2022). Phil acquired an abutting 52-acre parcel in 1988, protected most of the land via a conservation easement in 1998, and became a proud tree farmer a quarter of a century ago in 1999.


Not long after purchasing the land, Phil set about hiring a local logger to cut some pine to be sawn into rough-cut framing for his new home. Satisfied with the pine lumber but less so with the results in the woods, Phil asked then-County Forester Phil Auger to visit his woodlot. Impressed by what he learned during that initial visit—namely, that he needed the guidance of professional foresters—Phil began a lifelong relationship with them, first working with Chip Chapman in the mid-1990s followed a by long-time partnership with current consulting forester Charlie Moreno. When asked what impresses him most about Phil, Charlie said, “He cares deeply for his forest and has carried on steadfastly for fifty years.”


The forest has been carefully managed under Phil’s tenure, with the most recent timber harvest finishing up in 2022. For the last 20 years, harvests have been prepared by Moreno Forestry Associates and carefully executed by G & C Morse and Sons Logging and have focused on developing a “multi-aged” forest comprised of several different age classes. Commercial harvests are followed by timber-stand improvement to assist favored regeneration and you can often find Phil, saw in hand, busy liberating young white pine and oak saplings from competing hardwoods (especially beech).


Phil is always happy to show visitors nice stands of timber and regeneration on his woodlot and is especially eager to show off “Super Tree” (the state champion black birch), the wildlife opening maintained for beaver, the five-acre “no cut” reserve, or lead a walk along the property’s half mile of frontage on the scenic Pawtuckaway River.


In addition to welcoming (respectful) non-motorized public access, Phil has hosted many educational tours sponsored by the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire, and UNH Extension. He also utilizes his talent as a writer to promote the Tree Farm Program in New Hampshire and beyond, including the Granite State Tree Farmer (Summer 2020).
Careful readers may have noticed that the first paragraph of this article referred to Phil as “steward” and not “owner” of Eli’s Woods. Phil uses this term because he gifted a Life Estate to the Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire in 2022; he wanted to ensure exceptional management of Eli’s Woods when he is no longer the one caring for them. That gift “assures that these woods will remain forever protected,” Phil writes. “The pines, hemlocks, oaks, and maples will harbor wildlife and sway in the wind long after I am compost.”
Tree farmers and the public will have a chance to meet Phil and visit Eli’s Woods at the annual Tree Farm Field Day on Saturday, Sept. 28, 2024. Attendees will also have the chance to tour Abenaki Timber Corporation’s neighboring hardwood lumber facility.


This article first appeared in the Granite State Tree Farmer. Phil Primack is a member of the NHTOA. Photos by Phil Primack