Pineland Potential - 2007

River Valley School Forests -  150 acres  Hyw 14 at Coon Rock Rd, Hwy 23 at High Banks Rd, Lone Rock Lots.


Annual Growth: One cord per acre (500 board feet of lumber or 2 tons of biomass)
Trees are about 40 years old, have been thinned several times and are growing well.  Pockets of disease are present scattered across the forests.  Several species of hardwood trees are regenerating the stands to oak, cherry, etc.  Invasives, especially honeysuckle need to be eradicated if possible.

Management Recommendation:  Manage the existing pines to large diameter trees with selective logging, while encouraging the hardwoods to develop in areas that are opened up due to disease control and harvesting.  White pine is the more natural of the pines to attain large size.

Income potential:
The traditional use of this wood is pulpwood and pallet logs.  A limited market exists for log cabin logs, poles, construction lumber.   All these markets are far from the River Valley.

Local manufacturing and direct marketing offers a seperate and more profitable approach.
Potential Benefits of taking an active management role:
1.   Future oriented forest management to produce a large tree forest.
2.  Selective logging with small equipment to protect the natural regeneration.
3.  Good jobs could be created in the community
4.  Many educational and training programs would be possible.
5.  Demonstration sites along Hwy 14 and 23 for visitors
6.  Wood waste could power the schools heating system and produce electricity.

Project Recommendation:
Hire two full time workers to manage the forest program.  Gradually train several more. 
1.  Harvest trees of low vigor and turn them into manufactured wood products.
    Create a meandering trail system to selectively harvest the wood and disolve the row thinning of the past.   Encourage a more diverse, productive, and natural forest to develop.
2.  Highest value product would be a complete log home, with flooring, cabinets, furniture, railings.
    Several log homes could be built every year from the growth of the forest.  Staff would coordinate work projects with students, interns, summer school projects, local service clubs, local businesses. 
3.  Extra wood products could be produced and sold direct to customers.
   Log cabin siding, flooring, furniture, round pole structures, small log cabins for hunters...
   The lots in Lone Rock could be developed, build a log home, and generate maximum income possible.  Your products have a built in Customer Base. AND - Good wood sells itself.
4.  Utilize the waste wood and tree tops for fuel.
   The schools could be heated and the electricity supplied from waste wood.  Unlimited sources of "free" forestry fuel are available in the River Valley.   The technology is fully developed and many sources of incentive money are available today - the timing is perfect!   You could also add the school's waste to generate power and save the cost of hauling it away.  Managing the pinelands carefully, keeping the trees vigorous, pruning the lower branches, and utilizing the pine tree tops would also reduce the risk of wildfire, a major concern in the River Valley.
A power plant would have a long term payoff and require a major investement. 

A wood processing facility would be needed:
Several acres of land.
A tractor with a front end loader, rear mounted winch, and log trailer w/loader
Three saws are needed to break down logs into lumber.   Head sawmill, Resaw, Edger Saw. 
Drying Shed with solar kiln
Woodworking shop
Display building/model log home/office.
Modern woodworking tools used with direct marketing of manufactured products will pay off in a few years.

The annual growth of the RV School Forests could;
1.  Generated hundreds of thousands of dollars of income
   Create good jobs
   Generate many learning opportunities
   Provide profits for the School District to use for other programs
2.  Power the schools with heat and electricity
3.  Demonstrate wise local use of natural resources

Jim Birkemeier - Timbergreen Farm