The Integrated Wood-use Sort Yard

Sorter DeckThe Sierra’s rural communities are well positioned to take a leading role in restoring our-risk forests. They are located adjacent to public and private forests, and have a vested interest in the forest’s sustained ability to provide fish and wildlife habitat, regulate air and water quality, and support a suite of other aesthetic, recreational, and economic benefits.

Community residents are looking for constructive solutions to their economic and environmental challenges. A growing number of these community residents are committed to finding a new path through the woods, moving beyond the boom and bust cycle of the traditional timber economy and towards developing resilient locally-owned businesses that undertake restoration projects in the forest and then process small diameter and under-utilized trees into high quality products while creating and maintaining high-skill, high-wage jobs.

The Nevada County Fire Safe Council is pioneering this idea in the Sierra Nevada with the development of a “Fire Prevention, Wood-Use Sort Yard”. They plan to turn the wood chips generated from their community yard-chipping program that helps homeowners create defensible space into landscaping mulch that will be sold around the state and other wood products as the markets develop. This is the kind of win-win solution to the forest health/community protection issue that Sierra Forest Legacy supports enthusiastically.