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At midnight on July 12, 2017, Senate Bill 129 became law. SB 129 is the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) legislation that will shore-up the biomass (wood chip) power provisions for New Hampshire’s six independent biomass power plants in the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard law (RPS).
Established in 2007, the RPS is an important part of the state’s energy policy in support of low-emission, locally generated, renewable energy (e.g. wind, solar, small hydroelectric and biomass). Of particular importance for the NHTOA’s membership is the RPS’s support for biomass power as these power plants provide a critical market for low-grade timber. This low-grade timber market enables landowners and land managers to conduct cost-effective forestry and wildlife habitat improvement work and provides an important outlet for sawmill wastes (sawdust and chipped slabs).
In addition to the biomass plants’ contribution to forest and natural resource management (made possible by the RPS), the plants also contribute to the state’s economy. According to a Plymouth State University economic analysis released in March, the six independent biomass power plants that SB 129 supports annually contribute $250 million to the state’s economy and support more than 900 jobs.
The NHTOA thanks all the bill sponsors, who took time to hear your concerns and worked to promote passage of the bill: Senators Jeb Bradley, Dan Feltes, Dan Innis, Kevin Avard, Harold French, Martha Fuller-Clark, Bob Giuda, John Reagan, and Ruth Ward, House of Representative members, Herb Richardson, Coos - 4; Gene Chandler, Carrol – 1; Mark McConkey, Carrol – 3; Marjorie Shepardson, Cheshire – 10; and Bob Backus, Hillsborough – 19. The NHTOA also thanks House and Senate Leadership, Senate President Chuck Morse, and Speaker of the N.H. House of Representatives Shawn Jasper. Their support was critical. And, we want to thank Governor Chris Sununu for taking the time to meet with us, listen to our concerns, learn about this issue, and for allowing SB 129 to become law.
Now that SB 129 is law, the NHTOA is looking forward to working with the Governor’s Office of Strategic Initiatives to find a long-term sustainable solution to supporting the New Hampshire’s biomass power plants and the low-grade timber markets they provide
Most importantly, the NHTOA wants to thank the hundreds of NHTOA members and forestry supporters for making phone calls, testifying at hearings, writing emails, and sending faxes to their elected officials and the Governor’s Office. Their positive message made a difference and carried Senate Bill 129 into law.
For more information, please contact Jasen Stock, NHTOA executive director at 603-224-9699.
GORHAM, N.H. —Two special interests outside his family define Gene Chandler, this year's New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) President's award recipient: public service and the outdoors.
He has been around politics and outdoor activities (hunting, fishing, and forestry/timberland) his entire life. Growing up in Bartlett, N.H., he worked and recreated in the forests of the Saco River Valley. When not in the forest, he served his community on local boards, including as a member of the Planning Board, town moderator, and school district moderator. He has been a Selectman in Bartlett since 1974 (43 years) and a State Representative since 1982 (he is in his 18th term).
Gene has successfully combined his personal/professional interests with his political work. He is a perennial supporter of the White Mountain National Forest's timber harvesting program. As the prime sponsor of the legislation appropriating $10 million to fund the state's portion of the U. S. Forest Service Forest Legacy land conservation easement for the Connecticut Headwaters, he has demonstrated long-standing support of and commitment to land conservation. He was also the prime sponsor of the landowner liability protection bill (HB 1551) in 2012 and, more recently, he was the prime sponsor in 2016 of the NHTOA’s landowner right to redress from illegal dumping and property damage bill (HB 1298). House Bill 1298 was recently recognized by the National Woodlands Owner Association as the best pro-landowner legislation for 2016. He is currently a sponsor of the NHTOA’s 2017 renewable energy/biomass bill (SB 129).
In the New Hampshire State House, Gene Chandler has held numerous leadership positions over his 18 terms, including Deputy House Majority Leader, House Majority Leader, Deputy Speaker, Speaker Pro Tempore, and Speaker of the House from 2000 to 2004. Today, he is currently chairman of the House Public Works and Highway Committee and is serving another term as Deputy Speaker.
For all his work in Concord on behalf of timberland owners and the state’s forest products industry, the NHTOA Board of Directors recognizes Gene Chandler with the 2017 NHTOA President’s Award.
CONCORD, N.H., June 1, 2017 — By a substantial bipartisan margin of 222-84, the New Hampshire House of Representatives today voted to support Senate Bill 129, which will give critical support to the state’s biomass energy industry and to the hundreds of jobs that industry supports. The bill, a version of which was already passed by the New Hampshire Senate in March, now returns to the Senate, where it will be reviewed. The Senate can agree with the changes, reject the changes and kill it, or seek a committee of conference where a compromise version would be approved. Once the Senate and House approve a final version of SB 129, it will be sent to Governor Sununu for his signature, veto, or the bill can become law without his signature.
“We’re extremely pleased that a large majority of House members from both sides of the aisle understand that SB 129 not only supports our state’s biomass plants, but also supports the entire forest products industry, which annually contributes $1.4 billion to the state’s economy and supports thousands of jobs directly and indirectly,” said Jasen Stock, executive director of the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association. “The NHTOA thanks the leadership of both the House Republicans and House Democrats who worked long hours over the past several weeks to make today’s vote a success.”
SB 129 fixes a flaw in the N.H. Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) law, specifically the biomass renewable energy certificate (REC) pricing for the six independent biomass plants. By making the modifications, SB 129 assists in keeping these plants operating and supports the markets they provide for low-grade timber. These markets are crucial to sustainable forestry and the health of the entire forest-products industry.
An economic study of biomass energy in New Hampshire conducted by Plymouth State University that was released earlier this year found that the six independent biomass plants support 932 jobs and more than $250 million annually in economic activity to the State of New Hampshire.
"SB 129 is critical for the support of these plants that support sustainable forestry, provide jobs, provide tax revenue to our towns and the state, and are connected to one of the largest manufacturing sectors in the state - forest products," stated Stock following the House vote.
The NHTOA is grateful for the support of SB 129 given by the House’s majority leadership, including Speaker of the House Shawn Jasper and Reps. Gene Chandler, Herb Richardson, and Michael Vose, and the House minority leadership, including Reps. Steve Shurtleff and Robert Backus.
GORHAM, N.H. — Magoon Logging LLC, based in Loudon, N.H., is the 2017 Outstanding Logger, as awarded by the New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA). The award was presented to the company’s founder, Matt Magoon, and his wife Jamie at the NHTOA’s 106th Annual Meeting at the Town and Country Inn & Resort in Gorham on May 13, 2017.
“It’s an honor to be recognized for doing the right thing,” he says. “To be honest, there’s not a lot of glory in running a good business and working hard for your customers and your family.”
“It is inspiring to see what a solid business Matt and Jamie Magoon have built over the past 15 years,” says NHTOA program director Steve Patten. “Their integrity and commitment to sound harvesting practices has earned them an impeccable reputation and now some well-deserved recognition.”
“Matt is very clear that his employees and clients are business priorities. He believes strongly in providing the tools and training time to advance his team's professionalism,” comments Jeremy Turner of Meadowsend Timberlands, a member of the NHTOA Awards Committee who reviewed Magoon Logging’s operations. “His vision is decades out, and, as a result, he makes all business decisions on strengthening the company from the inside and out, where focus is on professionalism, reputation and adaptability. Clearly Matt is a real leader in managing the ‘here and now’ while investing in the future.”
A Loudon native, Matt knew a life in the woods was for him when he was still in high school. After graduating, he worked for a local logger for a year and a half before founding his own company, Magoon Logging LLC, in 2002 — “On May 3,” he remembers distinctly. He was also in the NHTOA’s and Timber Harvesting Council’s first Professional Loggers Program graduating class, in October of 1999.
Over the years, Matt says he picked up ideas here and there “to develop our own style,” which he describes as a conservative but quality-driven approach. Attention to detail is a hallmark — “meticulous” is not too strong of a word to apply to a Magoon job site. He also takes great pride in developing long-standing personal relationships with timberland owners as well as sawmills. This kind of logging has earned Magoon an enviable, even remarkable reputation: the company has not ever, in its 15-year history, done a logging job more than 15 miles from Loudon. The quality of the work speaks for itself, and Matt’s customers spread the word. “We’ve been fortunate enough to stay in such a tight circle,” says Matt, “although we have the equipment and willingness to work anywhere landowners would like us to come.”
Turner points out that all of Magoon Logging’s employees are cross-trained. “Here the workforce rotates job duties as a normal daily motion, thus making a workplace of skilled equality and a business that is resilient to the pitfalls of narrow employee skill sets,” he notes.
Matt, 35, met his wife Jamie, who is an important part of Magoon Logging, when they were in first grade together. They’ve known each other nearly their entire lives, going to grade school and high school together in Loudon; now they have three children of their own.