– by Sue Tone, April 6, 2016, Daily Courier
Massive scissor blades and a quick twist decimated hundreds of junipers on a section of ranch property 20 miles northwest of Prescott. The machinery’s harvesting arm was specially created for the Arizona grassland restoration project, and potential biomass industry, by Ponsse, a company out of Finland that builds heavy-duty forest machinery.
A demonstration of the Ponsse equipment took place March 11 at the Cross U Ranch west of Williamson Valley Road. Other demo events in Yavapai County took place on the K4 Ranch and Double O Ranch.
A partnership between the Arizona State Forestry Division, Upper Verde River Watershed Protection Coalition (UVRWPC), and local ranchers brought the Ponsse equipment to Arizona to test whether it is more economical to remove junipers and pinyons with machinery or by hand crews. The results will help interested biomass industries determine whether a biomass production business is economically viable.