MILAN – U.S. Representative Steve Pearce is continuing to pursue his desire to create jobs by reestablishing logging and sawmilling in New Mexico, and specifically in Cibola County.
He visited the Mt. Taylor Manufacturing’s sawmill in Milan yesterday to learn about and support the company’s on-going effort to restore this area’s forests to their natural health and beauty.
“It makes sense,” said Pearce. “Prevent wildfires and create jobs. We will leave a balanced healthy forest. The U.S. Forest Service is frustrated and the cost is high.”
Pearce was speaking about the logging industry, which at one point had an economic impact in the county and the state. However, today, because of regulations, the industry’s impact is small compared to what it used to be.
Mt. Taylor Manufacturing (MTM) is working under a stewardship agreement between the United States Forest Service and the National Wild Turkey Federation.
MTM’s contracted harvester, No Limit Logging, is performing forest restoration that includes selective tree harvesting in order to prevent devastating wild fires in the Zuni Mountains.
The harvested material is trucked to MTM, where it is converted into rough green lumber including boards, beams, landscape timbers, railroad ties and custom beams up to 30-feet in length. The sawmill’s residue is converted into wood pellets, clean wood chips, horse bedding, bulk/bagged firewood and colored landscape mulch.
“Matt Allen has the heart and the equipment,” explained Pearce. “And, most important, he is willing. He is the heartbeat of America.”
Allen is co-owner MTM and longtime resident of Milan.
The company’s products are sold locally and also distributed through a variety of retail outlets and at a division of MTMs, Wood You Recycle!, located in Albuquerque’s South Valley.
In June, Wood You Recycle! was awarded the 2011 Recycling Processor of the Year by the New Mexico Recycling Coalition at their annual awards’ ceremony.
Congressman Pearce toured the sawmill and lumberyard in an effort to better understand and support the operation.
“It is through continued political support of programs such as the Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program that MTM is able to enter into an industry which not only helps save our forests, but has also created approximately 40 new jobs,” said Cibola County Economic Development Executive Director Eileen Yarborough.
“To get where they are now in their forest restoration efforts, Mt. Taylor Manufacturing has been working with the U.S. Forest Service for six years.” Said Pearce and added, “It is a win-win for everyone. No cost for the government, the forest restored, and lastly, Allen provides job for the community and makes a little money while he is at it. MTM is a model project.”
According to Pearce, a major forest fire cost from $1-2 million per day.
“The costs are tremendously high,” he emphasized. “If we could minimize policy, because it is government policy that is challenging, and sit down with people like Allen, we can clean up the environment and provide jobs.”
More information about the Zuni Mountains Collaborative Forest Landscape Restoration Program will be released at a meeting at Future Foundations, 551 Washington, in Grants at 6 p.m. on the July 24.
Representatives from a variety of industry supporters, the Forest Guild, the United States Forest Service, managing members of Mt. Taylor Manufacturing and No Limit Logging will be available for questions. The meeting is open to the public.