Given recent discussion of 4FRI contractors and the difficulty of selling trees in Arizona despite years of efforts, this article talks about the Black Hills, which seems to be selling 20K acres per year and is asking for bucks for 30K.
I couldn’t reproduce the photo of the photogenic Forest Supervisor, Craig Bobzien, and Senator John Thune, due to copyright, but check it out in the article. Below is an excerpt:
Thom said last year that Forest Service sales in the Black Hills resulted in the removal of Ponderosa pines on about 20,000 acres. But the timber industry in the Black Hills can handle up to 30,000 acres if the funding were there to make it happen, Thom said.
Thune said effective timber management and cooperation by state and local government and private landowners working with and in addition to the Forest Service have proven the infestation can be slowed. Cooperation and effectiveness matter in the Washington, D.C., money hunt, he said.
More federal funding has come to the Black Hills in recent years and more might come again, Thune said.
“I think, for once, Washington, D.C., money seems to follow success, and we’ve seen success here in the Black Hills,” Thune said.
It’s unclear what that means for the coming year, with the effects of budget sequestration and debate over the federal debt.
“We don’t know at this point,” said Craig Bobzien, supervisor of the Black Hills National Forest.
Thune said it was “all very uncertain.” But he noted that Congress and the Forest Service have managed to streamline the process of getting timber-management projects in place. Forestry provisions of the federal farm bill could help strengthen that, he said.
“It doesn’t help with the funding issue, but it helps with authority and response to the problem,” he said.
Dennis Jaeger, deputy supervisor of the Black Hills National Forest, showed photographs of areas of forest where pine trees had been thinned ahead of the beetle spread. Few trees were infected.
Areas nearby that weren’t thinned showed heavy bug hits.
‘We can show successes on the forest,” Jaeger said.
Is it the fact that they have a decent longstanding traditional timber industry and not relying on new products or infrastructure? Is it something about political alignment? Are the Hills not (as desirable a) target for our litigious friends? There is litigation but not very successful.. why is that?
I would send folks from Neiman down to review the contracts and bidders on the 4FRI. Something is going right in the Black Hills.
Addition: Here is an interview with Jim Neiman VP of Neiman Enterprises.
Neiman Enterprises is a group of family-owned and operated sawmills manufacturing and re-manufacturing ponderosa pine lumber in a manner that is respectful of the environment, economy and communities. The company’s three production facilities produce a variety of primary and secondary wood products, including boards, dimension lumber, decking and wood shavings.