Jeff Eames worked with and testified on the behalf of Ron & Nancy towards this recent matter with their town in regards to conducting a timber harvest on their land. After many hours and countless meetings & hearings the Bottom’s won this ruling. Read more on this from the Northern Logger article:
Chair Goodridge told the audience “Ron & Nancy Bottom decided they wanted to have a harvest on their 22 acres of woodlands in Hampton, New Hampshire. They filed their Intent to Cut Timber form, and were promptly served with a Cease and Desist order because the town had an ordinance regulating forest operations in and around wetlands. The town planning board demanded that a licensed soil scientist be brought in before any activity could occur. Over the next year, the Bottoms tried to resolve the matter, pointing out that the local ordinance violated New Hampshire’s Right to Harvest Law.”
Goodridge concluded – “To make a long story short Ron & Nancy Bottom had to go to court and fight this town action. Fortunately, they got a ruling form their county superior court that not only took care of their issue, but has helped in the constant battle in New Hampshire against local ordinances that negatively impact our industry. For their grit and determination to see this battle to the end, we are pleased to present the Outstanding Industry Activist award to Ron & Nancy Bottom.”
Click on the above picture to read an interesting article about how timber harvesting helps NH and its importance to us.
"Here is the link to the NH Wood – NH Good video. I really want to thank you all for your willingness to participate in the video production. Steven Gallante, the UNH student, really enjoyed learning about the forest industry. I think he did a good job of capturing the broad scope of the industry. The purpose of the video is to expose those that know very little if anything about the forests and forest industry in New Hampshire. With the tight time constraint it was important to keep it simple."
~ Sarah Smith
NHTOA Survey: For each truckload of wood harvested in NH it impacts our economy by $2,600!! Or $272.24 Million total each year!
For most people this activity usually flies under the radar. Logging activity is “hidden away” in the woods where most people have no idea what is happening. Yet we have over 4.8 million acres of timberland covering 84% of the state.
The direct impact includes the creation of over 1,100 logging jobs totaling approximately $70 million in salaries.
The indirect impacts are the jobs that support the harvesting operations: truckers, consultants, foresters, bookkeepers and mechanics. This adds more than another 1000 jobs in NH.
All these jobs and wages trickle down into all other areas of NH’s economy: Restaurants, housing, utilities, and service staff for all forms of NH businesses. The towns and cities receive about $3 million in tax revenue from the timber sales.
Logging also provides benefits for the landowner who has their property logged. The benefits are recreation trails, enhanced wildlife habitat, improved water quality and scenic views. That is in addition to the stumpage payments used to pay taxes, college bills or funds to supplement retirement.
Look for those logging trucks on the highway as a blessing to our state. Without timber harvesting and the support jobs, our NH economy would be negatively affected.
Fort Mountain Companies is working with men who desire to turn some of our forests back into productive farm land allowing us to produce locally grown beef .
“Clearing out the forests that have grown back is a big job and getting the soil back in condition to be productive agriculturally is not a trivial thing,” We at Fort Mountain Companies are pleased to work with these men and woman as we bring farming back to New England.
Click on the above photo for the whole article.
On two of our chip vans we added a full color mural to the sides with the message that forestry is good for everyone. From building our homes and providing habitats for wildlife to creating playgrounds where everyone can enjoy the great outdoors. The back sides of our vans portray our message that wood chips are a local, renewable resource that allows us to cut back on our dependence on foreign oil. (See trailer below)
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Fort Mountain Companies recently had the privilege of taking the board and staff of the Northern Forest Center to tour the Mathes Property Timber Harvest. They were able to see first-hand how important it is to have markets for low-grade wood as part of a successful forest management plan. The Northern Forest Center is a nonprofit organization that builds economic and community vitality while fostering sound forest stewardship across the Northern Forest of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.
Moore’s Falls Conservation Area
You may have recently noticed forestry equipment and large piles of wood at the access to Moore’s Falls Conservation area. This is related to recent management work conducted by Fort Mountain Companies on the approximate 10 forested acres of this 33 acre property. The mature pine and oak forest has not been extensively managed or harvested for many years and consists of primarily of financially over mature timber with very little young growth except where natural disturbance (blowdowns) has created opportunity.
The Town of Litchfield Conservation Commission made a conscientious decision to manage the forest resource for multiple benefits. They have worked with a licensed forester and certified logger to conduct this harvest. The trees to be cut were marked by a forester while considering the goals set forth by the Commission. Some of the goals that were discussed when deciding to manage this forest were as follows:
Water Quality protection, Recreation, Aesthetics, Wildlife habitat, Timber production
A well-managed forest, will eventually have a wider range of species and age classes of trees and shrubs, all which help filter runoff and protect and enhance water quality. Forestry best management practices (BMPs) were employed during and after the harvest to limit potential for erosion into the waterways. Final BMPs will be installed in the spring when the ground thaws.
Perimeter hiking trails were avoided during the harvest where possible and logging debris was kept off original trail system. When crossing by equipment was necessary they were restored and reopened as quickly as possible. Skid trails through the interior part of the stand now provide new possible routes for hikers to explore the property. Following the harvest, the area is again ready for recreation and may now provide even more opportunities.
Immediately following the harvest the forest will appear “disturbed” and possibly even “torn up” to the untrained eye. This is normal, and it is ok, and good! There are some broken branches and larger chunks of non-merchantable tree sections left in the forest. Though somewhat unsightly today, they will decay and return nutrients to the soil, while in the immediate future they provide beneficial wildlife habitat. The skid trails are worn to bare dirt. This is desired, termed “scarification” for the purpose of preparing a seedbed for the future forest to regenerate. It may be observed over the next few years, the areas with the best young growth will be these disturbed skid trails.
Some might think that a harvest displaces wildlife. Yes, we may unintentionally cut a tree with a den or nest in it, the benefits following the harvest by far outweigh the loss. ( If we notice a den tree it is left.) This particular project was timed to limit activity during nesting season. Wildlife habitat will be improved following harvest activity. It can be assumed a more diverse forest will provide more valuable habitat to a wider range of species. As this forest regenerates it is likely local wildlife will find the area attractive, complementing the early succession habitat work that was done in the front portion of the property a few years ago. During the harvest a red fox was seen as well as birds of prey such as Red Tailed Hawk and Eagles.
The trees left after the harvest work was completed were selected by the forester as the best available candidates for survival to the next harvest entry. Trees with the best formed crowns, and straight stems (available on this site) were left to provide a seed source as well as a “nurse crop” for the future forest. The trees at this point could all be considered “financially mature”, past prime for high growth rates per year, but nevertheless continue to put on timber volume annually. If the goals stay the same for this forest, the next sustainable harvest could be considered in the next 15 years+/-.
The forest products from this project have already found their new purpose ranging from chips burned for electricity production or heat, pine and hardwood saw logs for use in finish lumber production and a small amount of firewood for home heating. Managing this woodlot responsibly will allow multiple benefits to be realized while still having the beautiful forest so many enjoy visiting on a regular basis.