The Forestry Source - April 2011 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
April 2011 • Vol. 16, No. 4
Exports a Bright Spot for US Forest Products Industry
Japan Will Need Logs and Lumber for Rebuilding
I N T H I S I S S U E
Washington SAF tour highlights challenges, impacts of root disease. Last year, in mid-August, two seemingly healthy trees fell to the ground in the midst of Lake Wenatchee State Park—one of Washington State’s most popular outdoor recreation areas. Fortunately, no one was injured, but that isn’t to say the event was insignificant. Page 8. SAF faculty representatives: an in-depth look. Successful faculty representatives are more than mere advisers, they’re mentors, who care deeply about the students under their tutelage and want to see them succeed. Page 9. Can any recent trends involving drought severity and bark beetles be attributed to tree mortality in California? Each year trees killed by bark beetles impact forest stand structure, wildlife habitat, carbon cycling, hydrology, fuel loading and fire behavior, timber resources, aesthetics, and other forest values or ecological characteristics. Page 12. Field Tech: MobileMapper 100 offers high GPS accuracy, rugged hardware. When an acquaintance mentioned that she was impressed with the MobileMapper 100’s reported GPS accuracy under forest cover, I was intrigued. So I asked the manufacturer, Ashtech LLC, to loan me a unit to field test. The company agreed, and I tried the unit out in the woods in my area over a couple of weeks. Here are the results of my tests. Page 14. ne of the bright spots in the depressed US forest products industry has been exports of logs and lumber to China, where economic growth has been strong despite a global slowdown. According to the Chinese government, the nation’s economy expanded by 9.2 percent and 10.3 percent in 2009 and 2010, respectively, and recently surpassed Japan to become the world’s second largest economy after that of the United States. The Conference Board, a global business research association, forecasts 9 percent growth in China’s gross domestic product for 2011. “Everybody in the Northwest is talking about China,” said Dan Fulton, chief executive of Weyerhaeuser Company, in a February 8 article in the Wall Street Journal, “Chinese Demand Lifts US Wood Sales.” In a February conference call with industry analysts, Fulton talked about his company’s business with China. “In 2010, our export volumes grew 18 percent year-over-year and exports’ share of our total volume increased to 19 percent from 14 percent,” Fulton said. “Increases in shipments to China slightly exceeded increases to Japan for the year, though Japan still represents over 75 percent of our total export volume.” For Weyerhaeuser, the increase in exports helped offset weak domestic deSource: Google Maps
A ship is loaded with logs at Weyerhaeuser’s log export facility on the Columbia River near Longview, Washington.
mand for wood products. Fulton noted that the company harvested 10 percent less timber in 2010 than in 2009. According to Hakan Ekstrom, president of Wood Resources International LLC (www.wri-ltd.com), combined US and Canadian wood products exports to China in 2010 were up by 150 percent over 2009. Together, the United States and Canada shipped softwood logs and lumber
worth $1.6 billion to China in 2010. In 2008, the value of US and Canadian log and lumber exports to China amounted to $350 million, compared to just $125 million in 2005. “If you look at what China imported five years ago or even a couple of years ago, it is amazing how fast the volume of (See “Exports” page 3)
Birdsey Wins Forest Service Science Award
D E PA RT M E N T S
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Editor’s Notebook Letters Industry News Society Affairs Science and Tech Continuing Ed. Calendar Classifieds
By Steve Wilent he US Forest Service recently honored Richard Birdsey, of the Northern Research Station, for scientific excellent over a career spanning more than 30 years with the agency. The Distinguished Science Award, presented to Birdsey in February, recognizes sustained research productivity, contributions of major impact on science or technology, scientific leadership, application and benefits of the research, and service over a scientist’s career. “Dr. Birdsey is recognized internationally as a leader in developing and implementing climate change mitigation strategies involving forests and sustainable forest management,” said station director Michael T. Rains. “I am delighted that Rich’s contributions to accurately assessing and mitigating the impacts of a changing climate have been honored by this prestigious award.” Birdsey, who has worked at the station for about 20 years, is program manager of the Climate, Fire, and Carbon Cycle Sciences unit, which comprises 15 agency scientists, about 20 technical and administrative support personnel, and another 20 or so cooperators at universities and other organizations. He has authored or coauthored numerous papers, including “A Synthesis of the Science on Forests and Carbon for US Forests,” published last year in Issues in Ecology (13:1-16). I in-
High Fuel Prices “Devastating” to Loggers
US Forest Service researcher Richard Birdsey, recent recipient of the Forest Service Distinguished Science Award.
terviewed Birdsey in March. When did you first begin studying the effects of climate on forests? Birdsey: I got into this in about 1989. At the (See “Birdsey” page 4)
hether you’re a consulting forester who drives a pickup truck, a logger who operates a fellerbuncher, or a trucker who transports logs or chips to mills, the current high cost of fuel is a significant barrier to profitability. In mid-March, the average retail price for a gallon of diesel fuel was $3.91, nearly $1 per gallon higher than in March 2010, according to the US Energy Information Administration, and prices topped $4 per gallon in New England, the Central Atlantic, and on the West Coast. California had the highest prices in the nation, at $4.20 per gallon. Diesel prices have been climbing steadily since a low of $2.09 per gallon in March 2010. Over the last several months, uncertainty about the security of oil supplies caused by unrest across the Middle East and North Africa added additional upward pressure on prices. On March 17, less than a week after one of the largest earthquakes ever recorded struck Japan, crude oil prices had “almost completely recovered” to previous levels after they briefly fell, reported the Wall Street Journal. Some energy industry analysts predicted additional upward pressure on fos(See “Fuel” page 5)
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - April 2011
The Forestry Source - April 2011
Washington Saf Tour Highlights Challenges, Impacts of Root Disease
SAF Faculty Representatives: An In-depth Look
Can Any Recent Trends Involving Drought Severity and Bark Beetles Be Attributed to Tree Mortality in California?
Science and Tech
Field Tech: Mobilemapper 100 Offers High Gps Accuracy, Rugged Hardware
Continuing Ed. Calendar
The Forestry Source - April 2011
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