By Nick Worth
Good Earth Power officials announced last Thursday they have appointed The Campbell Group as the forest management company that will implement GEP’s Four Forest Restoration Initiative (4FRI) stewardship contract in Northern Arizona.
The Campbell Group will be responsible for managing forest restoration operations under the 4FRI contract and will work with Good Earth to achieve the project’s objectives.
The Campbell Group is a timberland investment advisory firm founded in 1981 to acquire and manage timberland for investors. In addition to managing timber properties for profit, the firm also has a conservation focus.
The Campbell Group currently manages 3.2 million acres in the U.S. and Australia. In addition to timberlands in South Australia, the company manages holdings in Washington, Oregon, California, Texas, Oklahoma and every southeastern state for a total of $6.1 billion in timberland assets. The firm began 30 years ago with five professionals, but now has more than 300 employees.
“We are pleased to partner with Good Earth Power, the U.S. Forest Service and 4FRI stakeholders to restore these forests, and to execute the task orders that have been issued by the Forest Service,” said John Gilleland, president and chairman of The Campbell Group.
Good Earth Power CEO Jason Rosamond announced the appointment of The Campbell Group at the Oct. 23 4FRI stakeholders meeting in Flagstaff.
“We are delighted to have The Campbell Group on board with their impressive track record in forestry management,” said Rosamond. “We look forward to leveraging their extensive expertise and in-depth industry knowledge to successfully fulfill all task orders and to meet the objectives of the 4FRI.”
The 4FRI contract had previously been held by Pioneer Forest Products, but was transferred to Good Earth Sept. 13. Pioneer Forest Products had encountered problems with securing financing for its business plan and the thinning work on the forests was months behind schedule.
Good Earth Power, based in the Sultanate of Oman, describes itself as “an international consortium with interests in the construction, energy, communications and land development sectors.” The company not only got the 4FRI contract from Pioneer, but also largely adopted that company’s business plan, which calls for the production of biofuels and a biomass power boiler.
According to Steve Levesque, director of operations for The Campbell Group, the company will be using experienced local forestry workers to perform the 4FRI work.
“We rely on local contractors to provide the logging and trucking services,” said Levesque. “We try to adapt to regional norms so we have a mix of bid and negotiated jobs over the course of a year.”
Levesque said the process should start this week.
“We’ll have senior staff on the ground and we’ll start the outreach then,” Levesque said. “Good Earth Power Arizona has already done some outreach within the region with local contractors and we’ll be expanding on that.”
“Operations will begin as soon as possible on the task orders, but it will most likely be in the first quarter of 2014,” he said.
Good Earth Power local spokesperson Lori Martinek of ED/c Partners added that both companies are committed to supporting and investing in the communities they work in.
“They are looking forward to recruiting forestry professionals with regional experience and knowledge to join the local staff, and to working with contractors in the northern Arizona region,” Martinek said.
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By Nick Worth