30 years ago today..... June 11, 1976
A small advertisement in the local shopping news announced the new services of Timbergreen Forestry to SW Wisconsin.
A veterinarian with land in Grant County called, offering this kid fresh out of college a start - Thanks Dr. Carr!
I quickly found a huge pent up anger among forest owners - at the timber industry - for; decades of incredible Rip Offs, destructive harvesting, low timber prices, etc.... - but there was no alternative.
I was soon engaged in a major media war with the traditional timber industry - and was quickly tarred & feathered and run out of town.
I worked to change a totally unbusinesslike government system of forest management. Every effort to improve the system to business friendly methods brought frustration and disappointment. I refused to play the games, fill in the blanks with meaningless numbers, worship the 'system' gods.
I also tried every possible commercial logging system, without finding one that was acceptable to an informed forest owner.
20 years ago today....
After a short break from forestry where I worked for the Boy Scouts, I began to salvage the trees dying from oak wilt here on the farm.
My gut feeling was that I had to do just the opposite of my first years in traditional forestry..... let the good trees grow and harvest
only the worst first - with no damage.
I developed Full Vigor Forestry and soon felt good about management
and harvesting for the first time.
I tried to introduce FVF for other forest owners, and soon had a whole pile of forest management plans that did not "meet government specifications"
10 years ago today....
I developed a totally new timber market - with direct marketing of wood products to woodworkers and homeowners. Our wood business flourished.
Timbergreen was the first private forester/woodlot owner in the region to receive FSC Certification, then could not justify paying the many high costs of the label, with no benefits. It became clear this certification system would not even meet their own criteria.
Great idea, but taken over by the traditional system too!
Then I invested 5 years of my life attempting to start forest owner value-added cooperatives.... nearly total failure still to date....
Another big loss to the traditional timber powers.