Gila WoodNet - Silver City, New Mexico
Gila WoodNet, a nonprofit corporation, was created in 1999 to develop methods to remove and utilize small trees resulting from forest restoration thinning projects. Gila WoodNet’s role in the forest is to bring back a more natural forest structure by thinning and removing smaller trees.
Some of the greatest challenges to accomplishing this huge thinning project are how to keep the costs down and what to do with all of the wood. To that end, Gila WoodNet is developing low impact, high efficiency small tree logging equipment and has established a log sorting and processing operation in Santa Clara, NM. Much of the startup and implementation cost has been provided by the Ford Foundation and various USDA forestry programs (the Collaborative Forest Restoration Program and other rural community support programs). Revenues generated from the sales of products are all put back into forest restoration work and product development for the benefit of residents of Grant County, creating sustainable industry and new jobs while protecting the environment. Gila WoodNet also serves as an anchor business, collaborating with and supplying wood to a growing number of other businesses in Santa Clara.