The Forestry Source - June 2011 - (Page 1)
News for forest resource professionals published by the Society of American Foresters
June 2011 • Vol. 16, No. 6
Forest Products Lab Begins Second Century of Research
I N T H I S I S S U E
Forestry around the World: The link between forest biotechnology and commerce in Taiwan The Taiwan government’s Forestry Research Institute has a broad research focus, encompassing almost all aspects of forestry that include applications of biotechnology in forest research, and tries to make the connection between research and commerce. Page 6. SAF faculty representatives: an in-depth look This month, The Forestry Source spoke with Tom Kuzmic, faculty representative for the long-running SAF student chapter at Oklahoma State University (OSU), about his approach to working with students, what makes a student chapter effective, and what SAF can do to better engage its student members. Page 8. State society news round-up SAF units are conducting fantastic events all time, often without the attention they deserve. So, once again we’re presenting the following collection of news briefs about SAF activities from across the country. Page 9. Phyotoforensics: using trees to detect contaminants and health threats Researchers at Missouri University of Science and Technology (S&T) have developed a method to detect the presence of soil and groundwater contamination without turning a shovel or touching the water. Instead, they’re using trees. Page 11. 2011 Professional Resource Guide If you are searching for a specific product or service in forestry or natural resources, this valuable guide will help you locate everything you need, whether you are out in the field or inside the office. Page 12.
ission statements are as common as the companies and organizations that write them. The measure of success is, of course, not in casting grand statements, but in the accomplishments that arise from acting on the goals spelled out on paper. The mission of the US Forest Service’s Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) is “to identify and conduct innovative wood and fiber utilization research that contributes to conservation and productivity of the forest resource, thereby sustaining forests, the economy, and quality of life.” A recently published book, Forest Products Laboratory, 1910–2010: Celebrating a Century of Accomplishments, commemorates the lab’s first century by showing how, and how well, it has lived up to its mission statement’s objectives. The lab’s work to improve the processes used to make corrugated fiberboard is but one example. A century ago, most paper produced in the United States was made from spruce, balsam fir, and hemlock pulpwood, and in 1915 more than half of it was imported from Canada. By 1925, researchers at FPL had developed the neutral sulfite semichemical pulping process, which allowed a variety of other species, including hardwoods, to be used in papermaking. The process was later commercialized, and, by 1953, 31 US pulp mills were using the process to make the paper used in corrugated fiber-
One of the features of the Forest Products Laboratory’s new Centennial Research Facility is a chamber in which researchers can build and test two-and-a-half-story structures.
board, or what many people mistakenly call cardboard. Today, about 90 percent of goods in the United States are shipped in corrugated fiberboard containers. “The development of the neutral sulfite semichemical pulping process, which created the ability to take hardwood material and convert it into paper that could be used in corrugated fiberboard, was one of the lab’s biggest developments and really spurred on the corrugated
fiberboard industry,” said John Koning, the compiler and editor of the book. “And that has allowed for forest management to be improved, because you can now convert any species of wood into corrugated fiberboard. That has had a tremendous impact on providing outlets for species and qualities of wood that previously were useless.” (See “Lab” page 3)
Managing the Forests of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park
An Interview with Supervisory Forester, Kristine Johnson
Forest Service Seeks Comments on CO Roadless Rule
D E PA RT M E N T S
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Editor’s Notebook Letters Industry News Society Affairs Science and Tech Classifieds Continuing Ed. Calendar
By Steve Wilent he National Park Service’s mission is at once admirable and seemingly all but impossible to achieve. The service’s Organic Act of 1916 states that the agency’s fundamental purpose is “to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” That’s a tall order for managing 384 parks, monuments, recreation areas, and other sites comprising more than 83 million acres in 49 states, the District of Columbia, and five territories—which are visited by more than 275 million people each year. Nowhere is this challenge more difficult than in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), where past logging, insects, disease, invasive species, and other issues have had a profound effect on the park’s vast forests. GSMNP is one of the crown jewels of the nation’s park system. It encompasses more than 800 square miles (more than 520,000 acres) in the Southern Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina and Tennessee, and had nearly 9.5 million visitors in 2010, more than Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, and Everglades National Parks
Kristine Johnson, supervisory forester at Great Smoky Mountains National Park, with a red maple measuring 5.2 feet dbh and 119 feet tall.
combined. Only the Blue Ridge Parkway and Golden Gate National Recreation Area—two very different sites—had more (See “Johnson” page 4)
fter nearly six years of planning and deliberation, the US Forest Service in April released a proposed rule and draft environmental impact statement for the management of roadless areas in Colorado. The process was initiated under the George W. Bush administration, which withdrew a national roadless area management rule that had been in effect since 2001 and issued a new rule in 2005 that allowed states to petition the federal government to establish state-specific rules. Two states submitted such petitions: Idaho (see “Idaho Drives Its Own Roadless Area Protection Plan,” October 2008) and Colorado. Although both the 2001 rule, which would have applied to about 58.5 million acres of federal lands in the United States, excluding Alaska, and the 2005 state petition rule have been overturned by US courts (see “Court Invalidates Bush Roadless Rule,” September 2009), the Forest Service is operating under the terms of the 2001 rule, except in Idaho and Colorado. The petitions in those two states were allowed to proceed, since they had begun before the 2005 rule was invalidated. A proposed Colorado roadless rule was (See “Colorado” page 5)
Forest Products Laboratory
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Forestry Source - June 2011
The Forestry Source - June 2011
Forestry Around the World: The Link Between Forest Biotechnology and Commerce in Taiwan
SAF Faculty Representativs: An In-Depth Look
State Society News Round-Up
Phyotoforensics: Using Trees to Detect Contaminants and Health Threats
Science and Tech
2011 Professional Resource Guide
Continuing Ed. Calendar
The Forestry Source - June 2011
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