NHTOA News

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POSTPONED - DUE TO CORVID-19 ONCE THE NEW DATE IS SCHEDULED THIS SITE WILL BE UPDATED.

Bear Brook State Park, Allenstown, N.H.
 

The New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) in Concord, NH, is working in
partnership with the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension and the University of New Hampshire Thompson School of Applied Sciences on a new program to inform high school and junior high school students about careers in forestry, wildlife, natural resources, wood technology, logging, forest engineering, technology, sawmill operations, etc.

This partnership plans to develop job shadowing and apprenticeship programs for students. As a way to gauge interest in these programs and to introduce young men and women to career opportunities in the forest industry, we will host a Forest Career Field day on May 7, 2020, at Bear Brook State Park in Allenstown, NH.

We hope you will consider participating in this event as a sponsor, exhibitor, and/or volunteer. It’s extremely important that we have representation from many sectors of the forest products industry in order to expose and inform students of the career choices available to them, and to make the Field Day a success. Please consider becoming a sponsor and donating your time and expertise to this special event. And please don’t hesitate to call or email us with any questions you may have.

 

           

AUGUST 5, 2019 -- The New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association (NHTOA) is extremely disappointed by Governor Chris Sununu’s veto of the biomass bill (House Bill 183) that had passed the state legislature with strong bipartisan support. House Bill 183 enacts the state policy (law) and will of the General Court that passed last year but was blocked by an out-of-state organization’s legal maneuvers before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and N.H. Public Utilities Commission.

 

The FERC litigation, governor’s veto, and resulting plant shutdowns have hurt the state’s timberland owners who are trying to conduct sustainable forestry. The veto also inflicts real damage on New Hampshire’s $1.4 billion timber industry, the state’s third-largest industry and a direct and indirect provider of thousands of jobs, most of them in rural areas where timber is a major contributor to local economies.  

 

Moreover, the Governor’s veto also does not consider any avoided electric costs New Hampshire ratepayers will realize by having more local home-grown power (e.g., reduced transmission/capacity, line losses, etc.), or the new costs for regional replacement capacity the state will incur due to the loss of the biomass power plants.

 

Similar to last year’s Senate Bill 365, which also passed the N.H. House and Senate with overwhelming bipartisan majorities, HB 183 provides a three-year bridge for New Hampshire’s six independent biomass power plants by requiring utilities to purchase baseload renewable generation credits. The bill’s costs are similar to those under SB 365. By vetoing these bills, the Governor has put at risk thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of economic activity. This veto will harm New Hampshire families that depend on those jobs.

 

“What is especially upsetting about last year’s and now this year’s veto of the biomass bills is the lack of recognition of the economic contribution from the state’s working forests, biomass power plants, and the thousands of hard working men and women who make their living in our forests and mills,” said Jasen Stock, NHTOA executive director.

 

These economic contributions are real and significant. According to a 2016 Plymouth State University economic study, just the six independent biomass power plants covered in HB 183 support 931 jobs and produce $254.5 million in annual economic activity. Biomass power plants consume more than 40 percent of all the timber harvested each year in New Hampshire. The low-grade markets these power plants support underpin the state’s forest products and sustainable forestry economy. In short, without viable markets for low-grade wood, there is no incentive for timberland owners to practice sustainable forest management.

 

“We thank the thousands of NHTOA members and supporters who helped us override last year’s veto of SB 365 and ask that you be ready to weigh in again this year as we work to overturn the Governor’s veto of HB 183 when the General Court reconvenes next month,” Stock commented. “In the meantime, as you meet candidates for all levels of state office, please take the time to impress upon them the importance of these bills to our communities and livelihoods. We look forward to overturning this veto and passing this bipartisan bill into law.”

 

 

 

 

 

The New Hampshire Timber Harvesting Council announces the establishment of a new program to provide funding for short-term financial aid to families of NHTOA members who are injured on the job. The program, Helping Out Loggers in Distress (HOLD), is designed to bridge the gap until Workers’ Compensation or other aid takes effect.  The HOLD assistance will be in the form of in-kind donations such as gift cards and personal services; funds will be raised via a check box on PLP class registrations. Voluntary donations to this fund will also be accepted at any time. 

JUNE 13, 2019 -- In a strong bipartisan vote today, the N.H. House passed the biomass-amended House Bill 183 by a 223-122 margin.
 
The bill now goes to the Governor.
 
The biomass amendment to HB 183, introduced by Sen. Jeb Bradley, will create a new section of law to allow a “baseload renewable energy credit” to be sold to existing utilities, in a similar pricing methodology as was passed in SB 365. This new amendment creates a mechanism that avoids the issues in the litigation pending at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and that has been challenged at the Public Utilities Commission by the SB 365 opponents. It also follows precedent established in other states that looked for ways to preserve home-grown power generation. The goal is to achieve the same benefit of SB 365 through a slightly different mechanism.
 
In other words, the biomass amendment will restore the woodchip market supported by N.H.'s independent biomass energy plants. It is crucial to the viability of the market for low-grade wood.
 
Watch the NHTOA website and NHTOA Facebook page for updates.