Breaking down old practices: Confluence Energy powering the future with diversity |

Breaking down old practices: Confluence Energy powering the future with diversity

A front-end loader mixes wood chips at the processing plant in Walden. The chips then will be moved to the chip pit were the material will begin the process of being made into wood-pellets or a material used to adsorb oil

Terms in timber


Material left behind by logging companies after a timber sale has been completed. Normally includes the limbs’ tops and remains of lodgepole pines that have been cut down. The material normally has been pushed into huge piles.

Slash piles

Near the landing area of a logging operation. This material is mostly just tree parts, but also may contain rocks, metal parts and other items that the lumber company left behind.

Landing area

A small area of a logging operation where trees are processed and then loaded onto trucks to be shipped to sawmills.


A facility that processes raw timber into lumber for shipping and sales.


Raw timber is placed into a machine that reduces it to chips that can be trucked to processing plants. The plants then turn the material into pellets that can be used in wood-burning stoves, or into adsorbent material that is used for oil, gas and solvent spills in the oil industry.


Any matter, surface or construct that interacts with biological systems. In this case, it’s the material remaining in the field after logging contractors have cut down trees. This material can be processed and turned into any number of products including, but not limited to, wood pellets, waste-absorbing material and kitty litter.

Pellet mill

The place where processed sawdust is turned into wood pellets used in wood stoves.

Hammer mill

A mill that refined woodchips into a fine material used to produce wood pellets, and adsorption materials and other products that can be formed from biomaterial.


Trees that have died as a result of Colorado’s beetle infestation.

Dimensional lumber

Timber that is cut to a certain size at lumber mills.

Sawmill residue

The material that is left over after a lumber mill cuts timber into dimensional lumber. This material often is chipped, loaded into box trucks and taken to wood processing plants like the ones found in Kremmling and Walden.


The wood chips that are piled up outside plants like the ones in Kremmling and Walden. This material forms mountains around the plant and is used to produce the products that end up being sold to companies and customers.


A biodegradable material produced by Confluence Energy that is used in and around oil fields to absorb spills. The material contains micro-organisms that neutralize the hazardous material, so it doesn’t have to be collected and removed once the drilling operation ends.

The process of creating bio-based products begins deep in the forest-filled mountains of Northwest Colorado, at the end of recently abandoned logging roads and somewhere in the 20-foot-plus-high piles of twisted limbs, logs and tree parts left behind by logging companies that have taken what they can use.