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What About the Future of Hardwoods? Chris Rasor Reforestation Coordinator Pacific Cascade Region Washington State Department of Natural Resources

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Presentation on theme: "What About the Future of Hardwoods? Chris Rasor Reforestation Coordinator Pacific Cascade Region Washington State Department of Natural Resources"— Presentation transcript:

1 What About the Future of Hardwoods? Chris Rasor Reforestation Coordinator Pacific Cascade Region Washington State Department of Natural Resources

2 Objectives 1.Share hardwood supply and demand trends for the Pacific Northwest, focusing on Western WA 2.Discuss factors contributing to current and future market success of red alder 3.Identify necessary steps to secure a sustainable future for the hardwood industry

3 Hardwood Industry Prerequisites Sustainability Supply Demand Infrastructure

4 The global supply of red alder! Supply & Demand Factors: E cological E conomic S ocial

5 Source: Glen Ahrens summary of USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis, BC Ministry of Forests Data

6 Source: Glenn Ahrens, Oregon State University Extension

7 Factors Influencing Supply & Demand Ecological/Social Native species Nitrogen fixer Restores soil stability, fertility after disturbances Immune to laminated root rot and Swiss Needle Cast Sustains forest health Contributes to wildlife habitat: bird foraging, understory ungulate forage Recognized as providing diversity Economic > 200% Net Present Value vs. Douglas-fir Return on Investment (ROI) greatest of native species Produces sawlogs and veneer on a short rotation (25-35 years) Produces high value end products: furniture, moldings, trim, doors

8 Source: Mason, L. Rural Technology Initiative Factsheet #22, 2003.

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10 Wood Properties favoring long-term demand for red alder Excellent working properties versus its hardwood competitors lowers cost of production As good or better than American cherry, hard maple, soft maple in the following categories: – Finishing, Gluing, Screwing, Nailing, Machining Preferred for pallet construction in grocery industry High quality source for paper chips Can mimic higher cost hardwoods like cherry and walnut at a lower price point No juvenile core or distinct differences between heartwood and sapwood Source: Mason, C. in Deal, R.L. and Harrinton, C.A., Red alder- a state of knowledge. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-669.

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13 Source: Glenn Ahrens summary of USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis, 2003

14 Conifer boom busted red alder!

15 Harvestable Hardwood Landbase Source: Hardwood Resource Assessment for Western Washington, Washington Hardwood Commission (WHC) June Excludes: >1,968 ft. elevation, RMZs, federal lands

16 Hardwood Resource Assessment for Western Washington (2001) Total available hardwood = 14.3 billion bf Total harvestable hardwood = 8.6 billion bf (62%) Deductions (38%): – 19% in riparian zones – 19% on federal lands

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19 *Non- red alder included in "Other Hwd" pre -2004

20 Source: Washington Hardwood Commission Logs Processed Summary

21 Source: Lee Jimmerson, Collins Company k-begins-on-73m-cellulosic-biofuel-plant-in-oregon/

22 Supply: Future Threats Land Conversion Washingtons working forests are declining at the rate of 30,000 acres (46 square miles) per year (RTI website) Conversion reduces hardwood production base 5 million acres of small private forestland in Washington owned by 90,000 owners! Small Private Technical Support: Washington stewardship forestry program currently limited to a single field position Improved access to decision criteria is critical Source: Rural Technology Initiative (RTI), University of WA; Washington Farm and Forest Association website.

23 Source: Glenn Ahrens summary of USFS Forest Inventory and Analysis 40% 30%

24 Future WA DNR Supply: Red alder GIS modeled site suitability on WA DNR trustlands Green = potential for plantation red alder

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26 Current WA DNR Hardwood Harvest FY 2009 Timber Sale VolumeFY 2009 Red alder log grades

27 WA DNR- Red alder trends Supply dominated by natural red alder 2030 red alder plantation harvests begin to be harvested in SW WA. Low supply of premium grades (<25% 12+) from natural stands Thinning red alder during slashing vs. weeding

28 Outlook for Hardwoods +/- – Private owners need access to management tools +ORGANON red alder model to be available in 2011 – Continued emphasis on conifer management – Natural hwd inventories are approximate, dated – Conversion is shrinking hardwood land base +Red alder stumpage prices maintaining incentive for growing future supply +The rest of the world cannot yet grow red alder!

29 Steps to Secure a Sustainable Future Maintain social license to practice forestry Maintain accurate hardwood inventories Prevent forest conversion Build knowledge, skills and abilities to manage hardwoods by sharing information! Choose hardwoods on suitable sites

30 Resources Cited Washington Hardwood Commission, Hardwood Resource Assessment for Western Washington. Haynes 2003, An Analysis of the Timber Situation in the United States: USDA PNW-GTR-560 – RP (1995). Hardwood supply in the Pacific Northwest: a policy perspective by R.L. Raettig, K.P. Connaughton, and G.R. Ahrens. Mason, C. in Deal, R.L. and Harrinton, C.A., Red alder- a state of knowledge. General Technical Report PNW-GTR-669. Washington State Forest Facts, Washington Farm and Forest Association website, Washington Department of Natural Resources Planning and Tracking Database, Washington Department of Natural Resources Delivered Hardwood Prices, February, 2008 to June, Mason, L Rural Technology Initiative, Factsheet #22. After decades of Douglas-fir plantations, is it time for forest landowners to consider planting alder and cedar?


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