Forestry

The A. Johnson Co., LLC has employed professional foresters to manage our woodlands since 1944; before that time the land was managed by Fred Johnson. There were a number of foresters before the early 60's, then Ken Weston started working for us around 1962. When Ken Weston went into business for himself in the early 70's Tom Yager came to work for us and has been head forester here for the last 35 years.

Our current staff of four foresters serve a wide variety of needs for both our own lands and the lands of a diverse group of management clients. We bring about 8,000,000 board feet of timber into our Bristol mill location every year to feed the mills. We have log-buying yards at Tupper Lake, NY and Elizabethtown, NY to broaden our reach for logs. We provide consulting services to private landowners in Vermont and New York and foresters undergo regular training to continue their education and maintain their awareness of the many issues involved in the management of forestland.

Our foresters manage company woodlands and the lands of our timber management customers in accordance with the guidelines of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) and of the American Tree Farm System. We work with landowners along the full spectrum of ownership, from people holding small, individual lots to owners of larger tracts looking for professional management or for support for their own land managers.

We have extensive experience in marking timber, harvest management, maintenance and construction of roads and woods bridges, all with full compliance with water quality standards. We have many years of experience managing harvests on Vermont State Forest lands and National Forest lands. We exceed all guidelines for acceptable management practices (AMP's) and have a solid reputation of responsible forest management while meeting the needs of the landowner. We provide assistance to private landowners in meeting the requirements of the Vermont Use Value Appraisal Program and the New York 480a Timber Incentive Program, which are tax abatement programs through their respective states, not certification programs.

Our forestry team is one of the strongest supporters of the LEAP program (Logger Education to Advance Professionalism) in Vermont. Bill Sayre has led the team in helping arrange for logger training classes and working with loggers to help them improve their training levels. While Vermont loggers have a long tradition of independence, as a group they are increasingly recognizing the need for a set of standards to help inform the public that the timber resource continues to be well cared for.

We believe that a trained logger workforce is an important part of marketing the Vermont forest products industry to consumers in the United States and around the world. While the current market benefit for certification is small, over time consumers will continue to ask for more information about the sustainability of the products they buy. This educational process will over time lead to consumers being more willing to pay some premium for products certified by SFI and other certification systems, helping companies pay for the additional expense of certification processes. SFI is a good fit for the sustainability of our forests and for bringing that sustainable resource to market. SFI works closely with Conservation International to continually improve the standards of the SFI program. Over time, the various programs will become more similar and some may eventually merge, bringing more efficiency to the certification process and reducing the political maneuvering often seen today.

What we offer to our suppliers:

  1. A consistent scale, with market variations dealt with by price changes rather than variations in scale.
  2. A veneer program, with logs scaled weekly by veneer company buyers, to bring you the best value available in the marketplace. Regular scaling prevents degrade and eliminates the need to build inventory on your landing, simplifying trucking and protecting your log value.
  3. Easy to understand paperwork through our Logical Systems log inventory program to help you see the details of the loads you delivered.
  4. We have trucks available to help move your logs promptly to keep your costs down and protect the value of your timber.
  5. Weekly payments on Tuesday or same-day payment if requested.
  6. Experienced foresters to help with any aspect of your job, including cruising, timber marking, road construction and other issues to close the sale with the landowner or deal with any concerns they may have.