Past Projects

Vining Forest Products Consults with Madera FSC on Forest Thinnings Biomass to Added-Value Project

NOTE: This is historical information only. The Green Waste Facility Permanently Closed in 2005


The Eastern Madera County Fire Safe Council is working with volunteer consultant Vining Forest Products to pursue a demonstration project in tandem with fuels reduction projects. The feasibility of diverting fuels reduction materials from going to burn-piles and instead converted to added value product will be demonstrated. Some of the uses for the material envisioned are small logs, compost, decorative chips, chips for fuel, barbecue chips, bird and reptile perches and other uses.

The plan is to create economic opportunity and improve air quality by converting biomass to saleable products such as wood chips for power generation. The project proposes local people bring waste that would otherwise get burned to the former South Fork Saw Mill where the waste is chipped and hauled to co-generation plants creating job opportunities and clearing the air. The project will ultimately include local fuels reduction biomass, utility line clearing waste and pulp wood generated by local loggers. The project is currently managed by the Fire Safe Council and will hopefully become a private enterprise.

Pictured from left to right: Jane Arteaga USFS Fire Planner and FSC Associate Director, Carolynn Buckles FSC Coordinator, Bob Buckles FSC Executive Director, Mark Stamas Off Media and FSC Associate Director, Paul Vining of Vining Forest Products.


Green Waste Lease Approved

The Madera County Counsel's Office has approved the Eastern Madera County Fire Safe Council's Green Waste Facility lease at the former South Fork sawmill. The County is donating the site in support of the green waste facility. The lease will be signed by the Board of Supervisors soon.

Look for the facility to be up and running in the spring.


Fire Safe Council Green Waste Collection Facility Opening Soon!

The Eastern Madera County Fire Safe Council will be offering the local North Fork community an additional place to dispose of their green waste come spring 2004. This will contribute to clean air by diverting some of these materials from burning. The cost to each resident will be lower than the cost to landfill these wastes. The waste will be processed into added value product.

Madera County has donated use of County property at the former South Fork sawmill as a collection site. The Fire Safe Council is contracting operation of the facility to Vining Enterprises of North Fork. Vining Enterprises, under the auspices of the FSC and under a Forest Service grant, plans to be open by the end of March 2004. Under the Forest Service grant the project is to demonstrate the sustainability of green waste collection and processing in Madera County.


Green Waste Facility Opens!

As of Thursday April 1st the Eastern Madera County Fire Safe Council Inc in collaboration with Vining Enterprises officially opens the green waste facility at the former South Fork sawmill location donated by Madera County. Local Eastern Madera County residents will now have an alternative to burning or landfilling green waste. This project is an important component of the AQUIFER project.

Under contract with the FSC, Vining Enterprises will be accepting all clean green waste to include pruning materials, leaves, pine needles and etc for a fee (see below). The facility will be open Wednesday through Monday. For more information call the FSC at 559-877-3772 or Vining Enterprises at 559-877-2406.


57839 Rd 225 (Old Mill Site at North Fork, back entrance)

  Brush Leaves and Pine Needles Clean Lumber Lumber w/nails
Pick-up to 1-ton $7.00 $9.00 $12.00 $20.00
Same with side racks $10.00 $12.00 $20.00 $30.00
Trailer (up to 10') $7.00 $9.00 $12.00 $20.00
Same with side racks $10.00 $12.00 $20.00 $30.00
Trailer up to 20' $14.00 $18.00 $24.00 $40.00
Same with side racks $20.00 $30.00 $40.00 $60.00
Two-ton pickup $20.00 $25.00 $40.00 $60.00
End-dump/10-wheel dump


Other Materials


  • GREEN WASTE & LUMBER ONLY! No Garbage, Tires Batteries, Appliances, or any other items.
  • NO ROCKS OR DIRT - All Loads Must Be Inspected Before Dumping.
  • Shoes Must Be Worn at ALL TIMES.
  • No Smoking Outside of Vehicle.
  • Children Under 10 Years of Age Must Remain in Vehicle.
  • We Reserve the Right to Refuse Any Load.

New Hours

Open 9 - 4pm Wednesday through Saturday
Closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday


Photos of Bob and Paul courtesy of the Sierra Star.


Fire Safe Council Green Waste Collection Facility Pours Slab

Thanks to the US Forest Service the Eastern Madera County Fire Safe Council has been able to pour a concrete slab for the FSC Green Waste Facility.

The slab will be used to process high quality chips for various potential markets. The slab will keep dirt and debris contamination to a minimum.

Vining Enterprises and Rancheria crews work on slab


Fire Safe Council Green Waste Collection Makes Compost

Thanks to the US Forest Service the Eastern Madera County Fire Safe Council was able to rent a large tub grinder. The grinder was used to grind up the large stumps and other waste not suitable for the Forest Service chipper. The results are a quality mulch with potential marketability.


Pine Needle to Straw Erosion Control Update

The pictures below were taken approximately four months after the original dispersal of the materials.

As evidenced by the new growth showing apparently the pine needles are not inhibiting growth of grasses significantly more than the straw. There is some variation which will be monitored further.

Pine Needles



Pine Needles

Pine Needle to Straw Comparison Under Way

The Eastern Madera County Fire Safe Council is working on a small study on potential uses for pine needles, specifically erosion control. As part of their green waste collection project two areas have been covered with two different erosion control materials. One area was done with the traditional straw covering and another was done with pine needles. The areas are being monitored for performance and soil structure will hopefully also be studied after a period of time.

The plan is to continue to create economic opportunity using the materials collected at the FSC green waste facility. These materials are typically considered useless waste. FSC Executive Director Buckles is pleased that the project is nearly cost free and hopes to develop pine needles further as a product.

One of the biggest challenges facing any use of pine based products is the extreme acidity and toxicity of pine tar. Monitoring the soil will indicate whether these substances pose a problem or dictate that these materials only be used in areas tolerant of high acidity.





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