Posted by Carrie Ray
on Jun 18, 2012 | Comments Off on NC couple create thriving, sustainable business from waste wood
Check out this great story from the Asheville Citizen-Times. A couple in a small town in Western North Carolina is using tree bark and other waste wood to create shingles and high-end construction and home products.
All this wood would have been going to waste, at best turned into mulch at most sawmills. But the McCurrys have created a new market for area loggers, paying $1.75 per square foot for poplar bark.
Highland Craftsmen’s trademark Bark House shingles can sheathe a house for at least 80 years — an environmentally friendly, energy-efficient product that can be certified back to the stump.
“It’s all a sustainable harvest. We been doing it right since green was just a color,” said Marty McCurry.
The business has 17 employees and supports over 1000 area loggers. While much the wood products sector was hit hard by the housing collapse, more and more small businesses are building successful niches with green and sustainable wood. Central Appalachia has an enormous resource in its hardwood forest, but little of it is certified to ensure that it's being harvested properly. The Center for Forest and Wood Certification
is helping forest owners, loggers, and wood products manufacturers get certified to better take advantage of the market for sustainable wood products. Hopefully Central Appalachia will see more businesses like the Bark House and Highland Craftsmen in the future.