The Origin Story

Please find something to do with ponderosa pine. It is that sentence that kicked off the concept that would become Timber Age Systems, Inc.

My name is Andy Hawk, I am one of the founders of Timber Age and I want to welcome you to our collection of stories and images. We are a small wood products manufacturing company located in Durango, Colorado with a mission to “Elevate Communities Through Innovative Materials Which Transform the way we Design and Build”. We hope that some of what we capture here will inspire you to think differently about the built environment.

Every company has an origin story, ours starts about eighteen months before the little cross laminated timber (CLT) panel shown above was created.

Some time in late 2017, Kyle Hanson, the founder and CEO of what would become Timber Age came to me and said something to the effect of “I have an idea, can I tell you about it?”. Kyle who is a very deep thinker by nature dove into this very detailed concept around some weird wood product called cross laminated timber and how it could help solve problems for forests and communities in southwest Colorado. I had little understanding of what Kyle was saying or how it represented a business idea but his passion hit me hard and I was in, first step, write a grant application to the USDA Wood Innovation Grant Program. Next step, wait and see.

In May, 2018 Timber Age was awarded a Wood Innovation Grant from the USDA in the release cited below. Our goal was “Kickstarting the Timber Age in Southwestern Colorado”. After the staff at the San Juan National Forest had asked Kyle, who was at that time leading another regional wood products company, what to do with all of the ponderosa pine what was going to be harvested from the Forest, we knew we had to act.

Washington,May 16, 2018 –

Today USDA Forest Service Interim Chief Vicki Christiansen announced the award of almost $8 million to expand and accelerate wood products and wood energy markets.  The Wood Innovation Grants will stimulate the removal of hazardous fuels from national forests and other forest lands to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires, promote forest health, and reduce the cost of forest management. 

The investment of federal funds will leverage over $13 million in matching funds from 33 business, university, nonprofit, and tribal partners in 20 states for a total investment of over $21 million.

“These Wood Innovation grants advance state-of-the-art solutions to reducing wildfire risk and making our forests healthier and more resilient,” said Forest Service Interim Chief Christiansen. “The public-private partnerships leveraged with these grants also foster increased economic development in rural communities.”

Previous grants supported successful blast testing of cross-laminated timber (CLT) that directly resulted in the Department of Defense using CLT on its on-base hotels; and the funding of a feasibility analysis for a new CLT manufacturing facility to increase the amount of U.S.-made CLT.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/news/releases/usda-forest-service-awards-wood-innovation-grants-expand-and-accelerate-wood-products

Our application envisioned us creating a single CLT panel of some dimension from locally harvested ponderosa pine and including that panel into a locally fabricated structure of some sort. Well, we did just that and a bit more. Stick with us and see what it has been like to “Kickstart the Timber Age”

Published by Andy Hawk

Lover of the Southwest, father, fisherman, sawyer and story teller. Timber Age Systems Co-founder and CCO.

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