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DNRC Headquarters
1539 Eleventh Ave. Helena, MT 59601
Phone: (406) 444-2074 | Fax: (406) 444-2684
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Craig Thomas


Forestry Pioneer

ThomasCraig.jpgCraig is a veteran forester of western Montana. Graduating from the University of Montana in 1971 he immediately became involved with many different production aspects of the major timber players of the area. From a start of cat skinning, cruising, scaling, and timber marking, he collected his stride in logging production and manufacturing at the Bonner site. First with Anaconda and US Plywood, then staying with Champion through the years of high production plywood and lumber operations at the Bonner operation, Craig oversaw maximum production rates of 443 loads/day by truck and rail.

During the construction of the facility at Bonner he conceived of and developed a log quality system that was copied by all major industry players west of the Mississippi.  He implemented and successfully guided the Rocky Mountain operations of Champion International through the integration of log manufacture, sort, and delivery to sixteen conversion centers scattered over a 400 x 600 mile area. Log lengths were maintained at a 98% tolerance at all locations during this period. Most of the log quality standards that persist to this day were developed during Craig's management and remodeling of the processing core at the Bonner facility.

Craig's post-Champion adventures include the building and operation of a successful sort yard in the Bitterroot Valley with logs delivered to various mills in Western states by rail. Many of the timber products were delivered through his consulting operation. A small custom-built sawmill at this site provided large local mills with cedar cants and side lumber from oversized material shipped in by rail and out by truck. During this period Craig also managed a logging operation that specialized in remote grinding operations. During this period Craig helped perfect both the Bandit 3680 and the Vermeer 6000 large grinders, and was a partner at All Woody a division of Cky-Ber Enterprises that developed a roll-off system for chips, biomass, and log handling.

Craig has been honored by many professional organizations for his innovation and industry leadership. In 2009 the University of Montana awarded Craig with a Distinguished Alumnus Award In recognition of Outstanding Contributions. Craig is co-founder of Cky-Ber Enterprises Inc., (est. 1989) and as VP, is leading the company through the development and implementation of a biomass platform for Integrated Biomass Technologies with promise to reduce particulate and greenhouse gas emissions from a variety of thermal plants on a global scale.

For a full appreciation of Craig's exploits and accomplishments, see his first book, Regurgitations of a Montana Woodsman and website ckyber.com.

 

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