NHTOA News

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More than two dozen timberland owners, loggers, foresters, and others in the New Hampshire forest products industry gathered on Jon Martin’s beautiful woodlot in Bridgewater, N.H., to learn about using tractors and other equipment in woodlot management. The “Farm Tractors in Forestry” landowner class, held on Saturday, Oct. 28, also featured a demonstration of proper tree-felling technique using the open-notch method, as well as a demonstration of a portable sawmill.

 

The landowner class, one of a series of such classes the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) presents over the year, is designed to educate and inform timberland owners and others about the advantages of managing woodlots and how best to conduct such management. In addition to Jon Martin, a local forester, Saturday’s instructors included Stephen Snow and NHTOA Program Director Steve Gaines. Grafton County extension forester Jim Frohn was also on hand to answer questions about developing forest management plans.

 

By the end of the four-hour class, attendees went home with a truckload of practical knowledge and useful tips, including the proper personal protective equipment to wear in the woods, how to properly de-limb a felled tree with a chainsaw, how to properly winch logs out of the forest, how to choose which trees to fell to improve a timber stand, and how to properly outfit a farm tractor for work in the woods. Year in and year out, the Farm Tractors in Forestry landowner class is one of the most popular public education events presented by the NHTOA. Watch the NHTOA website or Facebook page for announcements about upcoming classes.

 

Taking hold of the ceremonial chairman’s axe, Chris Goodnow of Goodnow Trucking, Winchester, N.H., accepted the position of chairman of the New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Council (THC) at the 25th Annual Loggers & Truckers Convention on October 21, 2017. Goodnow accepted the axe from outgoing chairman Ben Crowell of CCM Logging and Land Clearing, Springfield, N.H., and began his two-year term at the Convention. 

The THC, founded in 1993, is sponsored by the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA), the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, and the UNH Thompson School of Applied Sciences’ Forest Technology Program. THC works to provide training, to improve the public's perception of logging, to recognize their peers, and to improve awareness and compliance with timber harvesting laws.

Among the most important of the THC’s activities is sponsorship, with the NHTOA, of the Professional Loggers Program (PLP), a voluntary certification program for New Hampshire’s loggers. The program teaches basic silviculture, wildlife management, and improving forestland aesthetics. The PLP also teaches forest professionals about laws and regulations governing forestry work. Every PLP participant receives instruction in basic first aid, CPR, AED, and techniques for operating forestry tools safely and productively.

 The Loggers & Truckers Convention, held each October, is the THC’s annual gathering. The 26th Annual Loggers & Truckers Convention will be held on Oct. 6, 2018, at the Grappone Center in Concord, N.H.

As part of its 25th anniversary celebration, the New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Council (THC) honored past THC chairmen who helped guide the organization to its present status as one of the premier logger certification groups in the U.S. The past chairman were introduced and acknowledged at the 25th Annual Loggers & Truckers Convention on October 21, 2017, in Lebanon, N.H.

Each former chairman was given a specially engraved hatchet bearing the words, “New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Council Celebrating 25 years, 1992-2017.”

Past chairmen who attended this year’s Loggers & Truckers Convention included: Fred Weld of Fred C. Weld Logging, Cornish, N.H.; Malcolm Washburn of WeLog, Stratford, N.H.; Dan Keniston of North Woodstock, N.H.; Roger Garland Sr. of Garland Lumber Co., North Conway, N.H.; Rocky Bunnell, Rocky Bunnell Logging, Monroe, N.H.; Errol Peters, Peters Logging, Landaff, N.H.; Dick Lewis,  Chester Forest Products, Chester, N.H.; Scott Qualls, independent trucker, Berlin, N.H.; Spencer Laramie, Laramie Logging, Canaan, N.H.; and Jeff Eames, Fort Mountain Companies, Allenstown, N.H.    

The THC is sponsored by the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA), the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, and the UNH Thompson School of Applied Sciences’ Forest Technology Program. THC works to provide training, to improve the public's perception of logging, to recognize their peers, and to improve awareness and compliance with timber harvesting laws. Among the most important of the THC’s activities is sponsorship, with the NHTOA, of the Professional Loggers Program (PLP), a voluntary certification program for New Hampshire’s loggers. The program teaches basic silviculture, wildlife management, and improving forestland aesthetics. The PLP also teaches forest professionals about laws and regulations governing forestry work. Every PLP participant receives instruction in basic first aid, CPR, AED, and techniques for operating forestry tools safely and productively.

 The Loggers & Truckers Convention, held each October, is the THC’s annual gathering. The 26th Annual Loggers & Truckers Convention will be held on Oct. 6, 2018, at the Grappone Center in Concord, N.H.

At midnight on July 12, 2017, Senate Bill 129 became law. SB 129 is the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) legislation that will shore-up the biomass (wood chip) power provisions for New Hampshire’s six independent biomass power plants in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard law (RPS).

 

Established in 2007, the RPS is an important part of the state’s energy policy in support of low-emission, locally generated, renewable energy (e.g. wind, solar, small hydroelectric and biomass). Of particular importance for the NHTOA’s membership is the RPS’s support for biomass power as these power plants provide a critical market for low-grade timber. This low-grade timber market enables landowners and land managers to conduct cost-effective forestry and wildlife habitat improvement work and provides an important outlet for sawmill wastes (sawdust and chipped slabs).

 

In addition to the biomass plants’ contribution to forest and natural resource management (made possible by the RPS), the plants also contribute to the state’s economy. According to a Plymouth State University economic analysis released in March, the six independent biomass power plants that SB 129 supports annually contribute $250 million to the state’s economy and support more than 900 jobs.

 

The NHTOA thanks all the bill sponsors, who took time to hear your concerns and worked to promote passage of the bill: Senators Jeb Bradley, Dan Feltes, Dan Innis, Kevin Avard, Harold French, Martha Fuller-Clark, Bob Giuda, John Reagan, and Ruth Ward, House of Representative members, Herb Richardson, Coos - 4; Gene Chandler, Carrol – 1; Mark McConkey, Carrol – 3; Marjorie Shepardson, Cheshire – 10; and Bob Backus, Hillsborough – 19.  The NHTOA also thanks House and Senate Leadership, Senate President Chuck Morse, and Speaker of the N.H. House of Representatives Shawn Jasper. Their support was critical. And, we want to thank Governor Chris Sununu for taking the time to meet with us, listen to our concerns, learn about this issue, and for allowing SB 129 to become law.

 

Now that SB 129 is law, the NHTOA is looking forward to working with the Governor’s Office of Strategic Initiatives to find a long-term sustainable solution to supporting the New Hampshire’s biomass power plants and the low-grade timber markets they provide

 

Most importantly, the NHTOA wants to thank the hundreds of NHTOA members and forestry supporters for making phone calls, testifying at hearings, writing emails, and sending faxes to their elected officials and the Governor’s Office. Their positive message made a difference and carried Senate Bill 129 into law.

 

For more information, please contact Jasen Stock, NHTOA executive director at 603-224-9699.