Machinery RowJustin Rupar

Barko Hydraulics Welcomes Justin Rupar as Company President

Barko Hydraulics (Barko) is pleased to welcome Justin Rupar as President. Rupar assumed his new role effective June 15, 2021, bringing to the position more than 27 years of equipment industry expertise in manufacturing, dealer development, sales, and marketing.

Before joining Barko, Justin held leadership positions with Yamaha Motor Corporation, YANMAR America, and ASV Holdings, overseeing global commercial, distribution, and after-sales support activities.

As president, Justin will provide leadership to position Barko at the forefront of the forestry equipment market. He will be responsible for driving positive results for the business and developing a strategic plan that advances our mission and promotes long-term growth.

Platinum Equity to Acquire Oregon Tool

Platinum Equity, American Securities, and P2 Capital Partners announced the signing of a definitive agreement under which Platinum Equity will acquire Oregon Tool, a global manufacturer and distributor of aftermarket-driven professional-grade cutting tools, outdoor equipment accessories, and parts. American Securities and P2 Capital have owned the company (previously known as Blount International) since taking it private in 2016.

“Oregon Tool has a well-deserved reputation for quality, innovation, and engineering that dates back nearly 75 years,” said Platinum Equity Partner Louis Samson. “We are committed to building on that legacy and working with the management team to invest in a new generation of growth and expansion. We have a lot of experience helping companies like Oregon Tool take the next step, and our financial and operational resources will accelerate their efforts.”

Fecon Adds Vermeer All Roads As Forestry Mulcher Dealer  

As part of the controlled rollout of the recent global distribution agreement, Fecon LLC announced the addition of Vermeer All Roads. With 15+ locations throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Ohio Valley, Northeast, and New England, Vermeer All Roads provides a robust line of mulching equipment that incorporates the best of Vermeer and Fecon mulching technology.  

Vermeer All Roads dealerships will begin stocking Fecon-made forestry mulching tractors and attachments in addition to their full lineup of Vermeer branded forestry equipment, making it simpler for customers to find the equipment best suited to their needs.

Sierra Pacific Industries Acquiring Seneca Sawmill Company 

In a continuing trend toward consolidation, Sierra Pacific Industries acquired Seneca Sawmill Company. Seneca Sawmill Company operates three sawmills in Oregon with a combined annual capacity of 650 mmfbm. In addition, the company owns more than 165k acres of Oregon timberlands. While no financial information was provided, precedent transactions in the area suggest that the valuation could be in the $1 billion range. RBC estimates that the Top 5 North American lumber producers (West Fraser, Weyerhaeuser, Canfor, Interfor, and Sierra-Pacific) now account for 38 percent of North American capacity, up from 32 percent pre-pandemic.

FeconFecon Launches Rebranding with New Website 

With a new website, Fecon announced a rebranding effort that stresses the user experience rather than mere machinery, for both experienced land clearing contractors and those new to the business. 

Emphasizing the safety, production, and reliability inherent within each mulching tractor, mulching attachment, forestry attachment, and accessory, the streamlined site is easily accessible from laptops or mobile devices. It includes intuitive architecture that is easier to navigate.  An interactive “application roadmap” makes it fast and easy for users to find mulching solutions to suit their situation.  The new site may be viewed at  

AFF Announces Retirement of President and CEO Tom Martin

The American Forest Foundation (AFF), the national conservation organization that works to empower family forest owners to make a meaningful conservation impact, today announced the retirement of President and CEO Tom Martin after 12 years of service, effective December 31, 2021. 

Under Martin’s leadership, AFF more than quadrupled its conservation work. He inspired a culture of innovation under which he sought to cultivate the many benefits family-owned forests provide and ensure that those benefits were valued at a national scale. His legacy includes a national portfolio of landscape conservation products and programs designed to increase forest owner engagement and overcome the barriers to active forest management, including the acquisition of WoodsCamp, a landowner recruitment and engagement technology, and the evolution of American Tree Farm System’s certification offerings. 

He also led the organization’s efforts to develop the Family Forest Carbon Program, a new initiative that brings together family forest owners and partners to improve forest health and address climate change. In addition, he was instrumental in building partnerships that continue to be critical in watershed restoration along the Gulf Coast, the sustainability of America’s white oak trees, biodiversity initiatives, and the cross-jurisdictional response to catastrophic wildfires in the West.

 After a thorough evaluation process, AFF’s board of trustees unanimously selected Rita Hite, who currently serves as AFF’s executive vice president of external relations and policy, to succeed Martin.

Forest Service Announces Key Appointment to Executive Leadership Team

 USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen announced the appointment of Angela Coleman as Associate Chief for the Forest Service. 

Coleman, who has served as acting associate chief since January 2020, will be the Forest Service’s highest-ranking executive under incoming Chief Randy Moore.

A native of Phenix City, Alabama, Coleman brings 30 years of experience with the Forest Service. She has served in numerous senior executive roles leading the agency’s 30,000 employees, including a permanent role as chief of staff of the Forest Service, which she held from 2015-2020. Previously, Coleman also served as the associate deputy chief for business operations, guiding the integration of the agency’s people-focused programs to create an inclusive and diverse work environment. Coleman also served as associate deputy chief of research and development, where she assisted in leading scientific and technology advancement to support natural resource management.

Changes for John Deere and Hitachi Construction Machinery

John Deere announced it has agreed with Hitachi Construction Machinery to end the Deere-Hitachi joint venture manufacturing and marketing agreements. John Deere and Hitachi will enter into new license and supply agreements, which will enable John Deere to continue to source, manufacture, and distribute the current lineup of Deere-branded excavators in the Americas.

As a result of the new agreements, the following changes will go into effect on Feb. 28, 2022, contingent upon regulatory approval. John Deere will acquire the Deere-Hitachi joint-venture factories in Kernersville, NC; Indaiatuba, Brazil; and Langley, British Columbia, Canada.

John Deere will continue to manufacture Deere-branded construction and forestry excavators currently produced at the three Deere-Hitachi factories.

TimberWest November/December 2013
July/August 2021

Miller Timber Services putting the new Ponsse pump to work in the woods.

Stepping up to Fire

Miller Timber Services worked with Ponsse to turn their regular forest machines into impressive pieces of firefighting equipment.

The Many Sides of Innes Wood Products
Innes Wood Products plays an important part in providing forest health, resilience, and preservation in some of the most remote areas in east-central Washington.

Making Short Work of Fire Clean Up
More than two years after dangerous forest fires swept through northern and central California, Mowbray’s Tree Service, based in San Bernardino, has worked tirelessly to clean up debris and burned trees.

A Summer of Fire
Firebreak Column looks at battling current fires in the greater northwest.

Young Entrepreneur Clears Path for Future
Isiah Thompson launched Thompson Land Management, a forestry service business based in McArthur, California. He oversees a small, dedicated team of like-minded individuals who happen to fall into the 22-27 age range.

Guest Column
Why We Need a New Conservation Ethic


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