Improve Fire Prevention and Suppression Reduce Hazardous FuelsRestore Fire Adapted Ecosystems Promote Community AssistanceSummary


WGA Goal - Promote Community Assistance

Actions to meet goal

  • Reduce losses to communities from wildland fire
  • Promote markets for traditionally underutilized wood
  • Promote opportunities to continue and enhance sustainable livestock grazing as part of restoration strategies
  • Increase incentives for private landowners to address defensible space and fuels management needs on private property
  • Promote local government incentives through fire-sensitive land use planning

State Fire Assistance Grants

Fire Department signState Fire Assistance Grants have funded projects in Flagstaff for a total of $183,684 in FY2001 and $709,856 in FY 2002. These monies have gone to the Flagstaff Fire Department and Fuel Management Division to make personnel available to homeowners to create Stewardship Plans and mark trees. In 2001, Stewardship Plans were developed on 1,950 acres while 470 acres were marked. In 2002, Stewardship Plans were developed on 614 acres and 605 acres were marked. In 2003, Stewardship Plans were developed on 1,472 acres and 765 acres marked.

In 2004, the Greater Flagstaff Forest Partnership launched a 50/50 cost share program to assist private landowners with hazardous fuel reduction on their property. This program is funded through State Fire Assistance money. Areas on the southwest side of Flagstaff are prioritized.

Arizona State Land Department Grants

AZ State land signArizona State Land has its own 25/75 cost share program funded by the Farm Bill. The Forestland Enhancement Program (FLEP) replaced the Stewardship Incentive Program and the Forestry Incentive Program. State forestry agencies can use FLEP funds to provide assistance to Nonindustrial Private Forests landowners to achieve a broad array of natural resource objectives. The Forestland Enhancement Program also has been used to fund the cost share program. They have treated 150 acres through this program with financial assistance from Northern Arizona University's Ecological Research Institute and supplemented with funding from SFA.

Small Diameter Timber Utilization

In May 2002 the Greater Flagstaff Forest Partnership commissioned a report to consolidate the lessons learned about utilization of small diameter Ponderosa pine and evaluate and test new small-scale manufacturing technologies likely to impact viable utilization of the region's small diameter resource. The results from the report revealed that in 2001 the region began harvesting sufficient volume of wood resources from forest stewardship and restoration activities to warrant serious consideration of establishing a small log processing operation. Approximately 60-100 million board feet were available on the National Forests, 50% of which are small logs of 5-9" in diameter. Value added technologies, including new uses for Jack pine, indicated promising new opportunities. Technology manufacturers are considering investing in the region, but continue to have concerns about stability in the region's wood flow supply over time. WUI pictures


Enterprise Development Fund

The Enterprise Development Fund for Small Wood Utilization is supported by the GFFP to create, expand or locate one or more utilization and/or marketing enterprises focused on small diameter wood generated by GFFP projects, as well as other restoration and fuels reduction projects regionally. The Fund will award a total of $195,000 to businesses with demonstrated experience and proven competencies in the processing and/or marketing of solid wood or biomass products. The Partnership recently awarded two enterprise development fund grants-one to Total Timber, a fuel wood company. The grant will allow Total Timber to purchase a new piece of equipment that will facilitate bundling and packaging small diameter timber for distribution. Indigenous Community Ventures (ICV) is the second recipient. ICV is a nonprofit dealing in small diameter utilization principally in the area of Hogan construction, which is Native American building. $95,000 of funding was awarded to ICE and $100,000 was awarded to Total Timber. Another group called Forest Energy, out of Show Lo, AZ, manufactures heating pellets. Forest Energy wants to open an additional plant in Flagstaff in connection with Savannah Pacific.


Savannah Pacific, Flagstaff

For some, the dream of a thriving utilization sector is moving closer to reality. Jim Wheeler feels the biggest success occurred recently with the return of the wood products industry to the Flagstaff area through a company called Savannah Pacific Flagstaff. Jeff Garver, President of Savannah Pacific, plans to develop a small diameter timber wood industrial park in Bellmont, six miles west of Flagstaff. Savannah Pacific is scheduled to come to Flagstaff in three phases. The first phase is a glued laminate and finger joint plant. Basically it is a small wood products plant that will utilize Ponderosa pine and structural lumber. The second phase will be a small sawmill for 5-14 inch trees. The third phase is a biomass plant. The small wood product plant is projected to open in the first quarter of 2004. The sawmill is projected to open the third quarter of 2004. The biomass plant might open in the first quarter of 2005. "This is not a commodity enterprise", according to Garver, "and the industry needs to add-value to their products." Garver began talking with local agencies in August 2003 and particularly approached area environmental groups. Taylor McKinnon, of Grand Canyon Trust, supports Savannah Pacific because the company is small enough where it's not going to drive what happens on the ground. "The industry that's in here needs to be scaled both in their volume consumption and in the size of the trees it uses." Another of Garver's supporters is Jeremy Christopher of the Greater Flagstaff Economic Council. Savannah Pacific could add up to 100 jobs to the local economy that pay a family wage with benefits plus contracting opportunities. Garver is also hoping to do some monitoring of the effort by partnering with The Nature Conservancy. Garver's greatest challenge has been getting people to get over the healthy skepticism they had. Savannah Pacific will look to National Forests in northern Arizona for small diameter timber material to utilize for his products.


The Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership Vision

Twenty years from now, the GFFP envisions the greater Flagstaff area will be home to a small but thriving sector of businesses based on the ecologically sustainable utilization of forest products. Business will include primary producers of forest products, as well as "value-added" processors, such as manufacturers of fencing and custom building materials, furniture makers, wood pellets and others. To facilitate this vision, Flagstaff was awarded SFA grants of $50,000 in FY 2001 for a Biomass Viability Study sponsored by the Grand Canyon Forests Foundation, and $35,000 in FY 2002 for a small diameter timber sawmill assessment, for a total of $85,000. Four Corners grants funded projects in Flagstaff for $48,500 in FY2001 to create a forest restoration demonstration and $40,000 in FY 2002 to expand SDT products sponsored by Indigenous Community Enterprises, for a total of $88,500.

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Copyright©2004 Toddi A. Steelman and North Carolina State University

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