Tag: Dovetail Partners

Put Your Urban Wood Business on the Map

Dovetail Partners Inc. of Minneapolis is a leader in helping advance forest and wood products sustainability programs, including many tied to the urban wood movement.

The non-profit’s website includes an interactive map highlighting “Buy Local – Wood Products Campaigns” located throughout the U.S. and Canada that focus on informing consumers of the environmental benefits and aesthetic beauty of buying wood products that are grown and produced locally. Each site marker lists the campaign’s name, its parent program or organization, and a link to its website.

Dovetail Partners welcomes qualified company’s and organizations to request to be included on the map. Contact Dovetail Partners at info@dovetailinc.org.

 



National Wood Certification Project Update

Editor’s Note: This article was previously published in the North Carolina Urban Wood Group’s September 2018 newsletter.

By Lucy Cohn-Still
Urban & Community Forestry Specialist
NC Forest Service

While attending the International Society of Arboriculture’s 2018 Annual conference in Columbus, Ohio, I participated in the urban wood certification grant meeting with Dovetail Partners executive director Kathryn Fernholz and other key players in the Urban Wood Certification Project to increase awareness and product demand for national urban wood use. We met together to discuss and examine the existing programs that are utilized in the management and care of the urban forest to identify areas of alignment and potential for mutual recognition between compatible programs. The project also includes looking for any needs and gaps in addressing urban wood use and opportunities to increase awareness and product demand.

The scope of work for this proposal includes working with partners to develop an urban wood certification approach that could be adopted and promoted by existing programs (including The Arbor Day Foundation, Society of Municipal Arborists, Right-of-Way Stewardship Council, Utility Arborists Association, Tree Care Industry Association, and Dovetail Partners Inc.), and utilized by municipalities and businesses. The results of this collaboration would support state urban wood groups, create messaging, and be presented to various audiences and venues.

Several areas of opportunity are available for development of an urban wood certification approach and promotion of urban wood use.  The opportunities we discussed include possibilities related to:

  • Green Building Programs
  • Third-Party Forest Certification Programs
  • Third-Party Forest Certification Chain-of-Custody Programs
  • Mutual Recognition and Program Partnerships
  • Regional Activities

Urban wood use may already occur to a limited degree within green building programs and third-party forest certification programs. Further research could identify current activities in these areas to highlight possible case studies or promotional opportunities. With further development, the use of urban wood in green building could be expanded and recognition within third-party forest certification programs could be formalized.

North Carolina’s role within this project is to provide financial and technical assistance, as well as work with Virginia and other states throughout the south east to promote urban wood utilization and standards. This certification project is a national project involving several partners, but North Carolina will assist within the southeast by raising awareness and encouraging discussions about urban wood standardization and utilization. Our next step will be to develop draft pilot strategies and ideas of approaching urban wood certification.

For more information on the Urban Wood Certification Project, visit www.dovetailinc.org or contact me at Lucy.Cohn-Still@ncagr.gov.



How Urban Wood Use Mitigates Climate Change

Sam Sherrill, a household name in urban wood utilization circles, recently presented the environmental benefits of making products with urban wood at a workshop organized by Urban Salvaged & Reclaimed Woods.

His presentation focused on a research paper he co-authored with Steve Bratkovich of Dovetail Partners. The research, Sherrill says, was conducted to show “how urban wood products sequester carbon that would otherwise form the green house gas CO2 when the same wood was used as fuel or mulch. Basically, every pound of carbon held in a wood product prevents the formation of 3.667 pounds of CO2.”

Sherrill shares his “quick way to do these calculations for a range of hardwoods and softwoods… “Individual urban forest product businesses can calculate how much CO2 is not formed by each of their products and for all their products on an annual basis. This directly links urban tree utilization to the mitigation of climate change/global warming.

“Thus, utilizing urban wood to produce solid wood products (instead of fuel and mulch) makes both environmental and economic sense. Both are marketing facts that will be very important to buyers who want products that make the best economic use of an urban resource and, at the same time, make an environmental contribution.”

Sherrill adds that he plans to approach the California Air Resources Board to consider including urban products as part of the state’s cap and trade.

Click here to access Sherrill’s urban wood workshop presentation.

Click here to view the urban wood carbon sequestration research project co-authored by Sherrill and Bratkovich.

Sam welcomes questions and comments to this research project. Contact him at ssherrill50@gmail.com.



New Project to Certify Responsible Urban Forestry and Urban Wood Use

Photo: Greenability magazine feature on Urban Wood Lumber Co., Kansas City, MO.

A new initiative to support increased urban wood utilization and community benefits has been launched. The project will develop a unified urban wood certification strategy with the goal of aligning existing programs that recognize responsible management practices in the urban forest. Existing urban forestry programs range from accreditation and licensing to training and certification programs.

“We’re not starting with a blank slate,” said project manager, Kathryn Fernholz, executive director of Minneapolis-based Dovetail Partners. “There are many high-quality existing programs that support the practice of urban and utility forestry – from Tree City USA and Tree Line USA to Arborist certifications – and we’re looking at how these programs support shared goals and can respond to the growing interest in urban wood and responsible sourcing.”

The intent of the project is to develop a certification process to be incorporated into existing professional and accreditation standards, adopted by municipalities, and embraced by tree-related operations within urban forests including  arboriculture businesses and wood processors.

Partners of the project include the Arbor Day Foundation, Society of Municipal Arborists, Tree Care Industry Association, Utility Arborists Association, Right-of-Way Stewardship Council, Dovetail Partners, North Carolina Forest Service and the USDA Forest Service. Support for the project is provided by the North Carolina Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry Program and the USDA Forest Service.

The project also seeks to develop consistent messaging to engage stakeholders and target audiences in the value and benefits of local urban wood products and promote the value-added opportunity for local businesses. Some municipalities have already incorporated urban wood into their sustainability plans and are utilizing their own wood for local use. The project hopes to support these existing efforts and to encourage similar efforts by other municipal sustainability and solid waste programs. These combined efforts ultimately increase long term carbon storage and avoid carbon emissions associated with burning or decomposing.

“By working together, we aim to increase demand for locally-sourced wood and wood products by the public and businesses,” said Nancy Stairs, Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator for the North Carolina Forest Service. “We want to help arborists and processors put urban wood to good use and reduce the amount of wood entering landfills.”

For more information about this project, visit dovetailinc.org.

About the Project Partners:

The Arbor Day Foundation
Founded in 1972, the Arbor Day Foundation has grown to become the largest nonprofit membership organization dedicated to planting trees, with more than one million members, supporters, and valued partners. During the last 45 years, more than 250 million Arbor Day Foundation trees have been planted in neighborhoods, communities, cities and forests throughout the world. Our vision is to help others understand and use trees as a solution to many of the global issues we face today, including air quality, water quality, climate change, deforestation, poverty and hunger.  As one of the world’s largest operating conservation foundations, the Arbor Day Foundation, through its members, partners and programs, educates and engages stakeholders and communities across the globe to involve themselves in its mission of planting, nurturing and celebrating trees.  More information is available at arborday.org 

Society of Municipal Arborists
Founded in 1964, the SMA is an organization of municipal arborists and urban foresters. Our membership also includes consultants, commercial firms, nonprofits, tree boards, tree wardens, allied professionals, and citizens who actively practice or support some facet of municipal forestry. A professional affiliate of the International Society of Arboriculture, the SMA has members from across North America and beyond. Through our magazine, City Trees, our conferences, our website and our many active members, we strive to create networking and educational opportunities that promote the sound, professional management of a vital and invaluable resource. urban-forestry.com/

Tree Care Industry Association
The Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA) is a trade association of 2,300 tree care firms and affiliated companies and was established in 1938 as the National Arborist Association. The TCIA develops safety and education programs, standards of tree care practice and management information for tree and landscape firms around the world. We provide continuing education, training, conferences and publications to promote the safe and appropriate practice of tree care. tcia.org/

Utility Arborists Association
The UAA is an organization of over 4,200 individuals with interest in and a commitment to the maintenance of trees and other vegetation for the purpose of ensuring the safe and reliable distribution of energy, including electric, oil and gas, to business and residences. uaa.wildapricot.org

Right-of-Way Stewardship Council
Right-of-Way Stewardship Council is an accreditation program that is being pursued by a diverse group of stakeholders to provide standards of excellence for environmental stewardship along rights-of-way (ROW) and presents the opportunity for utility companies to demonstrate their commitment to such standards. It establishes standards for responsible ROW vegetation management within high-voltage electric transmission corridors. The aim of the program is to promote the application of integrated vegetation management and best management practices to the utility vegetation management industry in order to maintain power system reliability and address ecological concerns. www.rowstewardship.org

Dovetail Partners
Dovetail Partners provides authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions, including consumption choices, land use, and policy alternatives. Dovetail is a highly skilled team that fosters sustainability and responsible behaviors by collaborating to develop unique concepts, systems, models and programs. Dovetail Partners is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. dovetailinc.org

North Carolina Forest Service, Urban and Community Forestry Program
North Carolina’s forest land is one of the greatest influences on the state, providing economic value and adding immeasurably to the quality of life for its residents. The forest products industry is the largest manufacturing business sector in the state, contributing approximately $31.4 billion annually to the state’s economy and providing around 144,000 jobs for North Carolinians. The NC Forest Service’s primary purpose is to ensure adequate and quality forest resources for the state to meet its present and future needs.  The U&CF Program supports urban forestry in North Carolina by administering a cost-share federal grant program for municipalities, local governments, non-profits, educational groups and schools and providing technical and/or educational assistance. ncforestservice.gov/Urban/Urban_Forestry

USDA Forest Service
The U.S. Forest Service manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the nation’s clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live. fs.fed.us



‘No Wood Wasted’ Theme of NC Urban Forest & Small Woodlot Workshop

No-Wasted-Wood-Supply-ChainThe North Carolina Forest Service Urban & Community Forestry Program is organizing a workshop and networking event addressing the growing demand  for locally sourced wood. The event one-day event is scheduled for Wednesday, July 26 at the Archie K. Davis Conference Center, in Research Triangle Park.

The organizers are encouraging all stakeholders from foresters and arborists through woodworkers and municipal managers to attend. The workshop will address the business case for small woodlot and urban wood utilization; challenges and solutions for diverting wood from landfills into high-quality products; and the branding and marketing potential for local materials and small businesses.

The workshop is sponsored by the North Carolina Forest Service Urban & Community Forestry Program, through funding from the USDA Forest Service, and in partnership with North Carolina State University and Dovetail Partners.



Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Forest Benefits

Dovetail Partners hosts ForestInfo.com, which includes a series of videos called Forest Fast Breaks. Each video is designed to convey complex forestry topics into concise, engaging animated shorts with sound effects and narration. The videos are suitable for third grade through adult learners.

Oregon Forest Resources Institute produced the videos. Urban Forest Fast Breaks related to urban forestry were produced with support from the North Carolina Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program.

See all Forest Fast Break videos.



Forest Fast Break Video: Urban Forests

Dovetail Partners hosts ForestInfo.com, which hosts a series of videos called Forest Fast Breaks. Each video is designed to convey complex forestry topics into concise, engaging animated shorts with sound effects and narration. The videos are suitable for third grade through adult learners.

Oregon Forest Resources Institute produced the videos. Urban Forest Fast Breaks related to urban forestry were produced with support from the North Carolina Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program.

See all Forest Fast Break videos.

 



IWF Urban Wood Seminar Sponsors Help Spread the ‘Word’

By Rich Christianson

I have the odd habit of referring to my involvement with the Illinois Wood Utilization Team as missionary work.

Cutting to the chase, the mission of this missionary work is to create and promote a marketplace for wood salvaged from community and landscape trees felled due to insect infestation, storm damage, urban development, old age and other life-ending causes.

IL WUT, as we are prone to refer to ourselves, is made up of several dozen dedicated volunteers from all walks of the urban wood supply chain: arborists, tree care professionals, state and municipal foresters, sawyers, architects, woodworkers, etc.

Our activities, as well as those of our Full Circle Urban Forest Network partners in Michigan, Missouri and Wisconsin, are supported by a grant from the USDA Forest Service, an equal opportunity provider, employer, and lender. The Forest Service has invested in a number of urban forestry intiatives the years, including many aimed at repurposing some of the millions of trees infested by the emerald ash borer as lumber. Sadly, the fate of most of these beetle-ravaged trees is chipping. Some are mulched or chopped up as fire wood.

It’s a fact, however, that many of these trees have sufficient length and girth to yield lumber that can be used to make furniture, cabinet, flooring and other wood products. The emerald ash borer might kill the tree but it does not harm the wood. A small but growing number of businesses have sprung up to capitalize on urban wood, the next generation of “green” and a handy material for those who like to source local/buy local.

Atlanta Bound
Next month my missionary work takes me to Atlanta and the International Woodworking Fair, a biennial event I have attended without fail since 1986. IWF is the North American woodworking industry’s largest event. It is an industry beacon, attracting more than 1,000 exhibiting companies displaying machinery, cutting tools, raw materials and much more. More than 15,000 woodworkers from throughout the U.S., Canada and beyond are expected to attend.

Through special arrangement with the organizers of IWF, urban wood will have a national forum, an amazing opportunity to connect with woodworkers and suppliers. The Full Circle Urban Forest Network will present a free 90-minute seminar, “Urban Wood: Making Products and Profits from Landscape Trees” at 1 p.m. Friday, August 26. I’ll moderate a panel made up of three urban wood entrepreneurs – Jennifer Alger, CEO of Far West Forest Products; Rick Siewert, owner of Wood From The Hood; and Dwayne Sperber, owner of Wudeward.

Register for the IWF Seminar

We’re fortunate to have the financial support of three forward-thinking entities for this program: Wood-Mizer, the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange and Dovetail Partners.

Major Sponsor Wood-Mizer of Indianapolis, IN, has long been a leader in portable sawmills, a great tool for milling lumber from trees harvested from the urban forest. A couple of great resources provided by Wood-Mizer includes The Wood-Mizer Way magazine, which includes engaging profiles of custom sawyers and woodworkers, many focused on urban wood. Woodworkers looking for a supply of urban lumber or slabs can find local sources by using the Wood-Mizer Pro Sawyer Network, a state-by-state guide to Wood-Mizer sawmill owners.

Major Sponsor the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange is preparing to launch a new website to support the creation and promotion of urban wood networks within Region 8 of the U.S. Forest Service which encompasses 13 States from Virginia to Florida and Oklahoma, plus Puerto Rico. The Exchange’s mission is to help increase awareness of urban forests as a sustainable source of wood suitable for processing, thus increasing demand for urban wood.

Sponsor Dovetail Partners of Minneapolis, MN, provides authoritative information about the impacts and trade-offs of environmental decisions, including consumption choices, land use, and policy alternatives. One of its areas of expertise is urban forestry and urban wood utilization. Dovetail Partners has provided consulting services for the impending launch of the Southeast Urban Wood Exchange. Dovetail recently published a report, “Assessment of Urban Tree Utilization & Forestry Programs of Richmond, VA and Raleigh, NC.” Dovetail has also produced several videos about the urban forest, including the one below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



Hats Off to an Urban Wood Pioneer

By Rich Christianson

For those of us who think the concept of converting dead or dying urban trees into valuable lumber is a 21st century construct, think again.

I literally stumbled upon this YouTube video of a Sept. 17, 1993 report from ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings. In fact, I was only the second viewer when I did so. It’s about George Hessenthaler of Salt Lake City, UT. He was inspired to start Uniquest Industries, a business focused on turning logs destined for landfills into value-added lumber.

Soon after the ABC News report aired Hessenthaler renamed his enterprise more aptly Urban Forest Wood Works and moved it to nearby Logan.

Talk about an urban wood pioneer!

In an October 2001 report, “Utilizing Municipal Trees: Ideas from Across the Country,” Stephen Bratkovich, then with the U.S. Forest Service and now a consultant/project manager with Dovetail Partners of St. Paul, MN, attributed the following quote to Hessenthaler: “Anything made from wood can be from urban forest wood.”

A May 2013 article in the Logan Herald Journal noted that Hessenthaler was then observing his 25th anniversary of repurposing otherwise discarded urban wood. A former public relations man turned cabinetmaker turned sawyer, Hessenthaler estimated that he had sawn 500,000 board feet of lumber from more than 20 difference species of urban forest trees.

I think this quote from the Herald Journal’s interview with Hessenthaler sums up why so many groups are springing up across the country, including the Illinois Wood Utilization Team, dedicated to creating a sustainable market place for urban wood. “A tree grown in the city, after it’s given its 50, 60, 80 years of shade and comfort and pleasure is greeted with a horrible demise because it’s cut into chunks and burned, or taken to the dump, and I think it has a higher and better use. It has a greater destiny than being cut into firewood, so I hope a customer, when he or she buys a box will realize it’s been made out of a tree that would have otherwise been dumped in the landfill.”

Right on, George!