Forest Industry Map and Biomass/Utilization Information
Forest Industry Map
New Mexico has a small and resilient forest industry with businesses and professionals that specialize in the treatment and management of natural resources and utilization of wood for diverse products. The industry provides goods and services that benefit all New Mexicans in a variety of ways, from protecting homes by removing overgrown brush and trees that could act as fuel for a wildfire to improving water retention of meadows by thinning conifers that have seeded in, to generating products such as firewood, latillas, vigas, fencing, specialty wood products, wood panels, flooring, dimensional lumber; the list goes on. The attached list provides a summary of forest industry contacts. Locations, and services.
New Mexico is 28% forested and wood from these forests are our local, sustainable, renewable fuel source. The Forestry Division provides technical assistance and funding to support the utilization of locally harvested and processed wood fuel. This assistance helps diversify rural economies and provides markets for the products of sustainable forest management.
Years of drought, tree mortality due to insects and disease, and the suppression of forest fires have created dense stands of trees. This buildup of woody biomass acts as fuel for unwanted wildfires. But when the fuel is removed through forest restoration treatments, the opportunity is created for forest landowners and businesses to grow a new bioenergy industry that creates wood pellets, industrial heat, electricity, and transportation fuels from the woody biomass.
Forest biomass consists of both woody biomass and sawmill residues. Woody biomass includes the by-products of forest management, restoration, hazardous fuel reduction treatments, or urban community forests managements. Woody biomass material includes the limbs, tops and defects of trees, small diameter trees, and undervalued tree material and any kind of slash from tree cutting.
Sawmill residues are the wood by-products from manufacturing wood products such as sawdust, shavings, wood chips, and bark. Residues can be generated from primary and secondary mills.
Forest Management and Industry
Forest management is only possible with contractors and employees to do the work. New Mexico’s rural economies relied upon timber harvesting for much of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and multiple factors contributed to closure of the hundreds of family-owned mills throughout the state. The mill closures diminished rural economic activity and the workforce and infrastructure to support forest harvests declined.
Forest management business stability is challenging for a variety of reasons including inconsistent wood supply, short-duration thinning contracts, and long-haul distances for raw material. The foundation to rebuild the wood-based economy is partnership between public land management agencies, the industry, and the public, based upon shared goals of long-term restoration and managing forests for resilience in changing climate conditions. The relationship between New Mexico industry and our ability to manage forests cannot be overstated.
Questions? Contact the Santa Fe Office of the Forestry Division at 505-476-3325.