- Associated Press - Saturday, May 27, 2017

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A new leadership team has taken over a major forest-thinning project in northern Arizona.

The new leaders of Good Earth Power AZ hope to make the Four Forestry Restoration Initiative project more productive and efficient, improving on the number of acres of forest that get cleared out to prevent wildfires, The Arizona Daily Sun reported (https://bit.ly/2r7oR85 ) recently. Good Earth Power AZ has the largest contract in the project but has struggled to keep up.

About eight or nine investors stepped into the company in November and took over operational control to move the work on the project forward, new CEO Bill Dyer said.

Dyer plans to bring the company’s thinning operation from about 2,400 acres (9,712,464 sq. meters) a year to 15,000 acres (60,702,900 sq. meters) to 18,000 acres (72,843,480 sq. meters) between June 1 and May 2018. The goal is to increase the tree thinning rate to get as much of the acres outlined in the contract finished before the term ends in 2022, he said.

Changing leadership was just the first step toward meeting that new goal. The company also plans to take actions such as opening in a new mill, starting a composting operation, temporarily shutting down the Lumberjack Mill in Heber and making over $100,000 million worth of investments into wood processing infrastructure and other aspects of the business.

Senior forester Jay Smith expects things to be different this time around.

“The change is things are happening like we said they are going to happen. We gave them (the Forest Service) timelines and we are showing them we’re meeting those timelines,” he said.

A name change for the company may come in the future.

“There has been a lot of history behind the name Good Earth and we are trying to move on with the project,” Dyer said.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Sun, https://www.azdailysun.com/


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