Arizona company restores forests while creating wood products for industries


A Phoenix-area forest restoration company hopes to help prevent catastrophic wildfires, while also helping construction companies stay fully supplied with certain wood products during a lumber shortage.

“We’re taking some of the really overgrown forests that have been neglected for decades, and we’re putting them in a much more fire retardant position as well as a better watershed. There are benefits everywhere,” said Kevin Ordean, COO. forestry for Newlife Forest Restoration.

Newlife Forest Restoration, which is based in Mesa, is in partnership with the National Forest Service, and is doing what it can to help ensure that a potential wildfire can be contained.

The main objective of the company is to restore the forests. The company aims to restore 25,000 acres of forest per year. Their second goal is to produce high-value engineered wood products and ensure that no wood is wasted. How it works is that the Forest Service marks the trees that need to be cut, and after that, Newlife walks in, cuts the trees, then hauls the logs to one of their sawmills, including their new location near Flagstaff. .

“The Forest Service usually referred to the lower quality, restoration type logs, and with that, we convert them into lumber products,” said Newlife Forest Restoration CEO Ted Dergousoff. “We sell pallets, high quality lumber, and substandard products, bring them to the engineered wood plant, where we cut the longer, lower grade pieces, and we Let’s reassemble in different qualities. “

Typically, wood from forest restoration is only processed into chips or mulch for playgrounds and landscapes. In some cases, it is simply burnt. At Newlife, they put the pieces in the chainsaw.

“What the jigsaw does is take the lower grade, long length lumber and cut it into little pieces, and all the little pieces are of a different quality, and what you see behind me, it’s the little pieces that go up in trash cans, ”said Dergousoff.

The material is then routed to a finger joiner who reassembles the lumber into long length lumber by grade. Once the process is complete, the wood can now be used for various things.

“They include the material that makes the siding, the decking, the window trim, the door pieces, the window pieces, all of those higher value products,” Dergousoff said.

From start to finish, the wood was given new life. As for the Newlife Forest Restoration facility in the Flagstaff area, once completed, it will be the largest high-capacity sawmill facility in Arizona. In addition, it will create 200 new jobs in the forestry industry.

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