Professional foresters have been employed to manage our woodlands since
1944, marking the transition to professional management for long-term
ownership of the land and sustainable growth. The management of company
lands now receives high ratings from other foresters for the quality
of the forestry work as well as the health of the timber. The lands
provide perhaps 15% of the annual sawn volume.
The first dry kilns were constructed in the 1950's and tractor-trailers,
forklifts, automatic carriage, etc. were added about that time as well.
A band resaw was added in the 60's and then a band headrig (replacing
a circular headrig) was added in the 1970's. A twin-saw circular scrag
mill was added in the late 70's and a band resaw was added to the scrag
mill in the 80's. Construction of concrete block dry kilns was begun
in the 60's. Green and dry lumber sorters were built in the late 1980's
and early 1990's with computer control systems.
In the 1980's the active management moved to a group consisting of
Andrew Johnson and six members of the next generation: sons Phillip
and his wife Ann, sons David and Kenneth, daughter Carolyn and her husband,
William Sayre. A computer-controlled carriage with linear positioner
cylinders was added in 1993 and a photocell curtain scanner by Silvatech
was added in the late 90's. In 2000 a Chiptec gasification system was
installed at the dry kilns, replacing a dutch oven style combustion
system. The Chiptec system greatly improved our combustion efficiency,
providing increased steam generation capability for improved heating
and conditioning in the kilns as well.
A new controller by Autolog was installed on the green sorter in 2001,
improving our sorting flexibility. Computerized kiln controls by SII
were added in the dry kilns over 2003 and 2004. The SII controllers
increased our control of the drying process. The Silvatech controller
on the dry sorter was upgraded in 2004 and in 2007. In late 2003 active
management passed to Ann Johnson, David Johnson and Kenneth Johnson.
In the second half of 2005 and early 2006 we installed a 35" capacity
Nicholson A6 ring debarker with an MDI whole-log metal detector to debark
logs for both mills. This system improves the debarking quality, wasting
little of the valuable fiber of the log, and helps to minimize bruising.
The improved debarking increases the quality of
the lumber produced while ensuring that waste is minimized; the
metal detector keeps tramp metal from the saws. For the last 4 years
we have sold chips to schools in support of the growing trend toward
biomass heating systems. In 2008 we moved into the firewood
business to improve our competitive position in the timber markets.
Our retail business sells high quality hardwoods,
as both rough and finished into flooring and paneling, as well as
white pine from our timberlands in rough and finished form. Two full-time
sales people serve the needs of our retail customers.
(left) Original Bristol mill in the late 1930s and
Green lumber being put into dry kilns
Computer interface for dry kiln control system
Bark and chips are burned in a Chiptec gasification system to heat our
dry kilns in an environmentally-friendly manner.
Upstairs view of the sorting bays of the dry lumber sorter.