BELLEMONT, Ariz., Sept. 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Arizona's forest restoration efforts took a significant leap forward in August as NewLife Forest Restoration's state-of-the-art engineered wood plant near Flagstaff, Ariz. achieved full production. The first of its kind in Arizona, the plant uses highly automated equipment to convert low-value "restoration-grade" timber into high-grade lumber.
"Forest restoration can pay for itself," said Ted Dergousoff, New Life's CEO. "We believe this plant will revolutionize Arizona's forest restoration efforts, which are desperately needed to reduce the scourge of catastrophic wildfires."
Forest restoration requires the removal of smaller and lower-grade timber from the forest, which otherwise act as fuel for wildfires, to make room for the larger, higher-value trees to thrive. Traditionally, restoration work has been economically challenging because of the high costs to remove slash coupled with low revenue from lower-grade timber.
NewLife's new engineered wood plant takes small and low value logs with blemishes such as knots and transforms them into high-value lumber through a high-speed process. With this game-changing manufacturing capability now located in the heart of Coconino County, Arizona's forest products industry can ramp up to meet the landscape-scale restoration demands of the forest.
NewLife has tripled the size of its forest restoration operations in light of these developments with three forest thinning crews now active and a fourth crew mobilizing. Each crew is capable of restoring 2,000-2,500 acres per year. NewLife plans to gradually increase to 25,000-plus acres of restoration capacity over the next 18-24 months as it installs its new super mill in Bellemont.
NewLife's engineered wood plant solution enables success for local industry players involved in forest restoration activities. NewLife has designed the scale of the plant to accommodate upgrading products, not just from its own mills, but also from other operators in the area. In this way, many parties can work together on forest restoration, enabling the industry to scale up in the state.
The company is working with local forest products businesses so they benefit from the new plant. "We will pay a premium price to local partners for low-grade rough, green cants, and then upgrade the product through the Engineered Wood Product plant to generate additional margin," said NewLife's Founder and Chairman Jason Rosamond. "NewLife will help to lift the state's sustainable forestry ecosystem for the good of the forest and surrounding communities."
NewLife and its partners are operating a total of nine harvesting crews in Arizona with a combined capacity of 20,000 acres per year. In 2023, they will ramp up to more than 17 forest restoration crews with more than 40,000 acres per year of restoration capacity. The company and its partners plan to hire more than 300 skilled workers across manufacturing and forest harvesting in the next 12 months.
About NewLife Forest Restoration
Based in Arizona, NewLife Forest Restoration, Arizona's leading sustainable forestry and wood products manufacturing company manages and restores forests on a landscape scale to mitigate the risks of catastrophic wildfire. NewLife operates the group's harvesting and manufacturing facilities which include multiple sawmills located across Arizona. For more information, visit https://www.nlfpaz.com/.
SOURCE NewLife Forest Restoration