I have not had a post in a while as my grant period was winding down and I’ve been all over the place. As the rush wears off, I can reflect more about where we go from here. Helping me with these thoughts have been two particular happenings: one a gathering of like-minded people, and the other a short course on kiln drying wood.
The gathering was with local foresters, sawyers, land owners and business people looking to promote good forest stewardship. We met under the roof of Rob White’s sawmill and business, Burnt Shirt Wood Products. The crux of the conversation was how we can better help local landowners manage the asset that is their forest land.
From keeping out invasive exotic species (think Bittersweet) to making room for the trees that add the most value to their property, we batted around ways to offset the many costs facing land owners in maintaining their land.
The short course on kiln drying was an eye-opener. Meant mostly for commercial kiln operators, this course discussed the properties of wood, how to dry woods properly, and how to add the most value to your materials. As we work towards building our sterilization kiln, this course provided invaluable and practical information. My time there also deepened my understanding of the state of the timber industry in this country. Most of our great hardwoods (and soft) are being cut, dried, shipped overseas, and then turned into value-added products. In other words, our forest value becomes part of another economy. It’s time to turn that tide and make local forest products part of the U.S. economic recovery.
Both opportunities completely reinforced the current direction for my business. These issues are all part of the Root Cause!