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Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
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 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:19 pm 
The next meeting of the Gila Local Investment Forum is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, September 14, at 5:00. It will be held as a tour of the Gila WoodNet operations in Santa Clara, up behind the National Guard Armory.

I apologize for taking so long to continue the dialogue started at the last meeting but I've had a lot on my plate what with moving across town to a new residence. But we are settled in now and I can put some more effort into this project of stimulating local investing.

As we saw recently as a result of the debt ceiling debacle, "normal" investing in the stock market can be a scary and dangerously unpredictable adventure. I know that most folks, myself included, have long thought of investing locally in businesses and opportunities that we have some real connection to as being the more risky and poorly performing places to put our savings. But over the past several years I have come to believe that the opposite is true, especially if one can start to think about 'return on investment' in terms of personal, community, and environmental health, AND financial returns.

A question that often comes to my mind is, "Why do I need more money? What is it that I plan to spend it on?" The answer contains several parts - I want quality of life, I want security, I want to somehow escape from the interminable need to "work" (meaning trading the time of my life for money to pay the bills), I want to be prepared for health emergencies, and I want STUFF. (Although, after the ordeal of moving all of our accumulated STUFF from the past 20 years, I now want LESS STUFF for the time being!)

I am proposing that one basis for investing should be to find ways take shortcuts to satisfying our wants. It is not always necessary to trade one's time doing things that aren't all that fun for money, so that the money can be spent to satisfy the want. There are ways to go directly to some of our wants, thus saving time and energy and life. An investment that is more effective at satisfying one's wants is one that produces a diversity of returns. Wall Street investing has only one possible return, and that is money. All this I'm saying only for the purpose of establishing a different perspective on what investing means. At the next GLIF meeting, I hope that the attendees can discuss a bit more of the philosophy of investing in our lives, not just to try and get more money.

Gordon West

 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 7:17 pm 
The reason for holding the next meeting out at Gila WoodNet is because there is a new opportunity to invest there.

Gila WoodNet is a non-profit that was formed in 1998 to perform forest ecosystem restoration, to operate a sortyard and primary processing facility for the byproducts of forest thinning, and to facilitate the creation of a diverse restoration economy based on woody biomass.

GWN has been successful at its mission and is surviving the economic recession, even though chronically under-capitalized. The next development phase will cause the company to exceed the bounds of its nonprofit corporate charter, so we have recently created a for-profit limited liability company (Gila Wood Products, LLC) to take over the business part of the operation, allowing Gila WoodNet to focus on policy, education, and innovation in the field of forest ecosystem restoration.

The expansion of Gila Wood Products (GWP) is focused on three areas of development:
1) Improvement of forest thinning and hauling equipment. There are a number of equipment improvements that will improve production rates and reduce downtime, which will improve the operational bottom line.
2) GWP is collaborating with Western Fibers, a cellulose insulation manufacturing company located in Hollis, OK, to establish a satellite portable manufacturing plant to produce high-quality insulation for local use from recycled cardboard. GWP has begun installing Western Fibers insulation in local construction projects. The insulation is also highly suitable for retrofitting in existing structures.
3) GWP is in the process of collaborating with Restoration Technologies to be the area supplier and installation contractor of Zerosion, a high performance erosion control system that utilizes low value woody biomass sourced from forest ecosystem restoration. GWP and RT currently are working with a local mine to test several demonstration applications to acquire performance and cost data. Markets being developed for the product include mine reclamation, road construction and maintenance, construction sites, and post forest fire soils rehabilitation.

Gila Wood Products, LLC, is soliciting additional members to join the company.

These business opportunities will be discussed during the tour, though any other issues and opportunities relating to local investing will be open for discussion as well.

The date may be changed depending on feedback from interested parties. A second tour can be scheduled for those unable to attend the first GWP tour.

Gordon West

 Author: Azima Lila Forest
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2011 6:57 am 
As an occasional customer of Gila Woodnet, I value this operation very highly, and hope to do a little business with the non-nonprofit sometime soon. I surely hope investors will look into this and keep it going!

Azima Lila Forest

 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Sun Sep 11, 2011 11:46 am 
I haven't gotten much feedback on planned attendance at this meeting, just one who would like to move the date to Thursday evening. Unless I hear otherwise, the date is now set for Thursday, 9/15, at 5:00.

Sure would like to have some folks comment here! Are we all so well-trained to the status quo version of Capitalism that we can't think of how to put our money to work locally?

To spark some interest in a discussion, here are some of the more interesting effects of making cellulose insulation from our own recyclables stream:

The essential elements in the economic calculations include the following:
-Avoided disposal costs; $13/ton to the El Paso recycler, $47/ton shipping, total $60/ton not spent by the community.
-Raw material costs to make insulation; $60/ton revenue stream to the community, stabilized price to the manufacturer.
-Avoided shipping costs for insulation raw material and finished product; $300/ton.
-Avoided landfill cost; unknown, but expected to be significant.
-Reduced insulation cost to the local market; average $1000 per insulated house.
-Reduced heating and cooling costs from more and better insulated local housing; unknown but expected to be significant.
-Local jobs created; 10.

Toting up just the known avoided costs on the waste stream side we see $120/ton gain to local government.

Gordon West

 Author: gorwest
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:31 pm 
Hi all,

An email was sent out from the Green Chamber of Commerce that announced the meeting date as today, which it is not.

The meeting at Gila WoodNet will be tomorrow, Thursday 9/15 at 5:00.

Please share this information with anyone you know who is planning to attend.


Gordon West

 Author: MDM77
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:47 pm 
In response to recent posts to the Forum by Gordon West we at Western Fibers would like to join in on the dialogue about new investment strategies and the development of a mobile satellite cellulose insulation manufacturing business in Silver City.

A quick introduction to Western Fibers. We have been rcycling and manufacturing cellulose insulation and equipment for 35 years. We are located in a very small community of 3000 citizens in Hollis, Oklahoma. Our roots are in agriculture. From the beginning we have used sustainable practices to develop the products we have today. "Simple solutions and local responsibilty" have been the backbone of our company. Because of this dedication we have reached the insulation and energy community across the country. We have customers in 30 states covering all climate regions.

New Mexico has been important in our development . We have customers in Albuquerque, Roswell, Portales, Clovis that we have serviced for 15-20 years.

Having said this we are excited to help with and be a part the sustainable future of Silver City.

If anyone has questions you can visit our website WesternFibers.com or e-mail wgreen77@aol.com or phone 509 679-4786.

Western Fibers
Mike McGuire - owner
1601 E. Broadway
Hollis,Oklahoma 73550

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