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Rob Davis, Wood Pellet Manufacturer

Show Low, Arizona

Find out how he is making a living from healthy forests!

Paul Bunyan the lumberjack made a living out of harvesting trees. But healthy forests provide a living for many, many other people, like Arizona resident Rob Davis.

nature.org:

What do you do?

Rob Davis:

I own and manage Forest Energy Corporation. Headquartered in Show Low, Arizona, we own and operate densified wood pellet manufacturing plants throughout the southwestern U.S.

nature.org:

How does a healthy forest help you earn a living?

Rob Davis:

A healthy forest is a well-managed forest. A well-managed forest requires periodic removal of some trees, mostly small in diameter, for fire mitigation, restoration, and wildlife habitat improvement. It also provides resources for value added wood products on a sustainable basis. With this active management occurring in some sections of the forest each year, wood residues are sustainably produced. Typically we utilize the residues from these active management activities to produce renewable biomass fuels, or biomass energy, that heats over 25,000 homes in the southwest.

nature.org:

What do you hope for the future of your forest?

Rob Davis:

Having grown up in the ponderosa forests of the southwest, I would like to see these forests return to the open, primarily large tree forests of the past. I hope that all forests, especially our public forests, are actively managed. We have reached a point where little management is being done, fires are large and hazardous, insects are more destructive, and our forest resources are being wasted. I hope to see that trend reversed, with the public demanding prudent use of their forest resources for recreation, wildlife, energy and products, and ultimately the forest restored and managed to be more hardy, adaptable and resilient. Able to cope more easily with change, no matter what it may.

nature.org:

How long have you been in business?

Rob Davis:

We are now entering our twentieth year of production.

nature.org:

What do you enjoy most about your business?

Rob Davis:

I started this business with the prospects of a win-win-win. It utilizes low value residues, which at that time had no use. It was being wasted. We produce a form of renewable energy in light of our growing need to decrease the use of fossil fuels. And it was and is an environmentally acceptable method of heating, even in air sheds that had been non-attainment areas, such as Denver, Albuquerque or Phoenix. Nothing has changed. It is still a win-win-win. Teaching people about this and the need to have sound energy and forest policies to create a sustainable future, brings me great enjoyment.


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