The Forestry Source - June 2017 - 13
Mechanized Logging Training
Maine's first post-secondary training program for future operators of mechanized
logging equipment begins this summer,
thanks to a partnership between three
Maine community colleges, the Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of
Maine, and several industry partners. The
12-week certificate program will begin
June 19 in Millinocket, in conjunction
with Eastern Maine Community College,
and will rotate to other locations around
the state as each class completes it. The
supervised training will be hands-on,
putting students in modern equipment,
in the woods, and under actual logging
conditions to better prepare them for careers in the logging industry. According to
PLC, about 95 percent of logging in Maine
relies on mechanized equipment, such as
feller bunchers and harvesters, delimbers,
grapple skidders, and forwarders.
"This program is critical to the future of Maine's logging industry, and it is
equally critical to let young people know
that despite the transition of the forestproducts industry, there is, in fact, a future for this industry," said PLC executive
director Dana Doran, in a press release.
"Most skilled equipment operators are
now at or nearing retirement age and
there is a shortage of skilled operators,
despite the market retractions that have
taken place recently."
Land for operations is being provided by Katahdin Forest Management, and
training space will be provided by PLC
founding member Gerald Pelletier Inc.
For more information, visit maineloggers
SmartLam CLTs: SFI
The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc.
recently announced that SmartLam LLC
is the first US manufacturer of cross-laminated timbers (CLTs) to be certified to the
SFI 2015-2019 Chain-of-Custody Standard. The company produces CLTs at its
facility in Columbia Falls, Montana.
"At SmartLam, we make CLT, but we
like to tell our clients what we really sell is
time," said Casey Malmquist, SmartLam's
president and general manager, in a press
release. "CLT increases construction speed
and reduces a project's cost and carbon
footprint. Now, with certification to the
SFI Chain-of-Custody Standard, we can
also offer our clients supply chain assurance that our products are sourced from
well-managed forests that are third-party
certified to SFI's rigorous standards."
Southern Pine Lumber
Shipments of southern pine lumber increased in 2016 compared to 2015, according to the Southern Forest Products
Association; it was the seventh consecutive year that shipments have increased.
Southern pine lumber shipments in 2016
totaled 17.34 billion board feet (bbf), an
increase of 4 percent over the volume
shipped in 2015 (16.6 bbf) and 47 percent above 2009 shipments (11.8 bbf).
The tabulation of southern pine shipment totals is a cooperative effort with the
Southern Pine Inspection Bureau (SPIB)
and Timber Products Inspection (TP).
The Southern Forest Products Association
is a nonprofit trade association that has
represented manufacturers of southern
pine lumber since 1915.
Wood Chip Standard
The American Society of Agricultural and
Biological Engineers (ASABE) has begun
a process to adopt as a national standard
an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) document on wood
chips used as heating fuel. The adoption
of ISO 17225-4, "Solid biofuels - Fuel
specifications and classes - Part 4: Graded
wood chips," is being led by a development group supported by the US Forest
Service to establish a standard for the US
wood-heating industry and to promote its
use. The group is currently working with
industry stakeholders to identify specific
deviations to the international standard
that will increase its applicability in the
US. Additional participation is encouraged; those interested can find more information at www.woodchipstandard.org.
The Billion Board Foot Club
The annual "Billion Board Foot Club" list
compiled by International Wood Markets
Group Inc. revealed gains in production
by eight of the dozen companies making
the list in 2016, compared to 2015. The
largest North American firms increased
their output, mainly as a result of mill capacity expansion programs at existing operations. The average rise in production
was 3.6 percent for the 12 companies on
the list, slower than the last two years (6.3
percent in 2015 and 4.0 percent in 2014).
Two firms achieved gains of 10 percent or
more. The total output of these 12 firms
was 32.4 billion board feet in 2016, an
A mechanized logging equipment training program begins this summer in Maine. Milton CAT (miltoncat.com)
donated the use of machinery such as this Caterpillar 521B feller buncher. Image: Caterpillar.
increase of 1.3 bbf from 2015's 31.2 bbf
(+3.6 percent). In 2016, the global market share of the largest 12 sawmilling
companies remained where it's been since
2012: at 16 percent.
"Sawmill acquisitions, especially in
the US South, have been a big part of
the story over the last few years, but this
slowed in 2016 as companies digested
and improved the operations from their
previous acquisitions," the group reported. "The largest increases in softwood
lumber output at companies were smaller than in previous years: West Fraser
gained the most at 326 million bf (+5.8%)
and Weyerhaeuser was next with 264 million bf (6.2%, in part due to the acquisition of Plum Creek's timberlands and two
sawmills). The largest percentage increase
was recorded by Idaho Forest Group
(+185 million bf; +11.8%) and Resolute
Forest Products (+112 million bf; +9.9%).
The 182 sawmills owned collectively by
these 12 firms averaged some 178 million
bf (nominal) per mill (~285,000 m3 net)
of lumber produced, an increase of 2%
The list includes 10 North American companies (see Industry News, May
2017), one European company (Stora
Enso), and one South American company (Arauco). For more information, see
www.woodmarkets.com. Three North
American companies recorded output declines despite robust US market demand,
primarily because of timber supply shortages in the BC Interior and the US West,
reports Wood Markets.
A building under construction in Whitefish, Montana, will include an elevator shaft made from SmartLam cross-laminated timbers (CLTs). SmartLam recently obtained
the SFI 2015-2019 Chain-of-Custody Standard for its products. Photo: SmartLam.