For additional news check out the NHTOA Facebook page
Congratulations to Patrick Hackley, who the New Hampshire Executive Council confirmed today as the next New Hampshire State Forester. Patrick, who was nominated for the position by Gov. Sununu, succeeds Brad Simpkin, who transferred to the U.S. Forest Service earlier this year.
Patrick brings a wealth of experience to the post, and for that reason his nomination was supported by the NHTOA. For private timberland owners and the forest products industry, the State Forester position is the most important position in state government. Most recently, Patrick was associate director for land conservation for the New Hampshire chapter of the Nature Conservancy. Prior to that he was a timberland broker for Fountains Land and a forester for the Forest Resources Association. From 1993 to 1999 he was communications director at the NHTOA.
Thank you to the members of Executive Council for confirming this nomination. The NHTOA suggests that members call or email their member of the Executive Council to thank them for their vote to confirm.
Click here for a document listing current Council members and the towns in the districts they represent as well as contact information for each Councilor.
U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen spent a warm afternoon on Thursday, July 9, in Berlin, N.H., touring the Burgess Bioenergy plant. Burgess is an important buyer of low-grade wood, which it uses to fuel its electricity-generating operation, and much of the discussion during the tour was about the threats New Hampshire's loggers and sawmills are under due to a multi-faceted collapse of the woodchip and wood pulp market. Sen. Shaheen has been instrumental in encouraging federal support for the forest-products industry, including low-grade markets.
"Today was an important opportunity to show Sen. Shaheen the direct impact on plants like Burgess, the landowners, loggers, and suppliers that support them, and the communities they operate in that a weak low-grade market has," said Jasen Stock, executive director of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, who co-hosted the tour along with Burgess. "She has always shown interest in the industry, which is the third-largest in New Hampshire, and today she heard about the realities the industry is dealing with in the wake of the closures of several bioenergy plants and paper mills."
Dammon Frecker, operations manager at Burgess, told the Senator that his biggest concern, which he said is shared by other bioenergy plants as well as sawmills, is where the next load of wood is going to come from. "We buy woodchips from big companies but also from a lot of family loggers, and without good markets for low-grade wood those family operations have a very difficult time making a go of it," he said. "We need those loggers to stay in business in order for us to have the supply of woodchips we need."
As part of the tour, Burgess officials presented a check to town officials from the City of Berlin in the amount of $523,000 as part of a revenue sharing agreement. "This is the result of our partnership with this great community, one that we're proud to operate in," said Frecker, who then waved toward the distant peaks of the Presidential Range. "Plus, you can't ask for a more beautiful place for an energy plant."
Two new studies, one by Innovative Natural Resources Solutions LLC and the second by Plymouth State University, underscore the high value private timberland ownership brings to the New Hampshire economy. According to these studies, privately owned working lands annually contribute $1,282 per acre in recreation value and $384 per acre in timber value for a total value of $1,666 per acre and $4.43 billion in total estimated economic value on a statewide basis. Public (federal, state/local) lands annually contribute $508 per acre and $1,458 per acre, respectively for total value including recreation and timber value.
"These new studies of working lands highlight the tremendous importance of our privately owned timberlands to the state's economy," said Jasen Stock, executive director of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, which commissioned the two studies. "Forests define New Hampshire not just aesthetically, but, as these studies prove, economically and for recreation as well. Good policies to protect private land ownership and maintain markets for the timber these lands grow are crucial to the overall health of our state."
Other facts from the studies:
- Total direct value of recreation on privately owned N.H. timberlands is $1.8 billion.
- Total direct timber value from privately owned N.H. timberlands is $0.8 billion.
- Total taxes paid by timberland owners was $263 million in 2017.
Forest Products Listed as "Essential Industry" Under Governor's Order
Yesterday, March 26, Governor Sununu issued Emergency Order #17 (a.k.a. the "stay at home" order). Accompanying this order was a list of "essential industries" that are exempt from the order. Forest products businesses are on this list and therefore exempt. (To see the full list, click here. To see the text of Executive Order #17, click here.) In addition to sawmills, "Forest products" includes those businesses that support the manufacturing and distribution of timber and forest products (i.e., loggers, truckers, foresters, etc.). It is also worth noting that forest products businesses appear several places on the order as noted below:
Food and Agriculture
- Workers who support the manufacture and distribution of forest products, including, but not limited to timber, paper, and other wood products.
Transportation and Logistics
- Manufacturers and distributors (to include service centers and related operations) of packaging materials, pallets, crates, containers, and other supplies needed to support manufacturing, packaging staging and distribution operations
- Workers who maintain, ensure, or restore the reliable generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power, including call centers, utility workers, reliability engineers and fleet maintenance technicians
Health Care/Public Health/Human Services
- Manufacturers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, and distributors of or necessary to the supply chain of medical equipment, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical gases, pharmaceuticals, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies, and tissue and paper towel products.
Although Emergency Order #17 does exempt Forest Products businesses, the order still urges these businesses to follow social distancing protocols for employees in accordance with guidance from the Department of Public Health, including but not limited to:
1. Prohibiting all gatherings with more than 10 individuals.
2. Keeping all personnel six feet apart.
3. Encouraging employees to stay home when sick, and sending home those who report feeling ill or display symptoms.
Please call or email the NHTOA office if you have any questions. Note that there could be a delay in the office's response due to work-at-home requirements.