GREEN MANUFACTURING

Northern Toboggan & Sled is quite “green” in its manufacturing processes and the raw materials used in the products we make. Most of which are renewable and abundant. The shop uses modest amounts of electricity for power tools and heat and today a percentage of that power comes from the wind.

Back in the years 1971 – 1973 I attended Bottineau School of Forestry and received an AS Degree in Wildlife Biology and Forestry. I did truly enjoy my studies and have always thought that a couple of years studying the sciences would enrich anyone who enjoys and appreciates our natural resources.

There was a lot of Chemistry and Physics that was less enjoyable…probably because they where difficult for me, but interesting just the same. I thought the courses on Botany, Ornithology, Entomology, Zoology, Genetics, etc. where most interesting and informative. The Wildlife Management courses started with “The Sand County Almanac”. This book by Aldo Leopold was called the bible of wildlife management and inspired many with the simple principles in game management. Which quite briefly are to study and understand the habitat and the wildlife and to manage the landscape for all species at their carrying capacity? Provide for quality habitat and you will have quality results.

Conservation of our Natural Resources in this country is less than 100 years old. In many ways it has been quite successful. However in these times it is more crucial than ever. Consider Climate Change. If there is something good about it, perhaps one thing is that more people are listening and doing more of their own research on the subject. There seems to be more science on Public Radio and in the news. Certainly much is being written about it. It might turn out that we all will eventually get two years of college science?…one way or another.

This would enrich appreciation for life and the planet and particularity ones personal “habitat” or sense of place for starters. It could improve our personal quality of life and we would take better care of it perhaps.

Sometime after the conservation movement began in the Country, the way that science is applied in conservation and resource management began to change. Today most “biological” decisions are driven by courts interpreting Federal Laws that have grown significantly in scope. This phenomenon began perhaps with the controversy over the northern spotted owl and the northwest forests. Since then litigious groups have been quite successful in their efforts to directly influence management actions. Unfortunately not all of this intervention in good scientifically researched resource management is… supported with science. Here again a society that is more aware of our environment may be most beneficial.

I think our products are manufactured with benefit from good resource management. Red Oak is well conserved and is abundant. Our bending technique uses steam and not chemicals. And our products are designed to withstand many years of wear and tear, as our business model is not to rely on return customers due to broken sleds! The people who use our products, in one pursuit or another, have the opportunities to appreciate our natural world in the Great Outdoors, for the love of the land. Perhaps with the flood of scientific awareness in society, our collective appreciation will increase and we will enjoy the natural world and her preservation even more!

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