Tag Archives: Douglas-fir

OSU: Forests unable to grow after wildfire

OSU: Forests unable to grow after wildfire

October 14, 2013


by Jayson Bailey of Chandler, Arizona

Communities for Healthy Forests

What if when the trees are gone, they’re gone? It might sound like a line from a Dr. Seuss book, but the reality is that for some wildfire ravished forests it’s true. Researchers have been studying the effects of increases in temperature and drought on post fire sites, and the findings might surprise you.

Researchers from Oregon State University concluded that moisture stress is a key limitation for conifer regeneration following stand-replacing wildfire, which will likely increase with climate change. This will make post-fire recovery on dry sites slow and uncertain. If forests are desired in these locations, more aggressive attempts at reforestation may be needed, they said.

The study focused on an area in the eastern Cascade range in Oregon that experienced a significant wildfire in 2002. Before the fire the area was almost exclusively covered by Douglas Fir and Ponderosa Pines. The test site was left to its own devices. No salvage logging or replanting efforts were performed and the forest was left untouched and monitored. Nearly a decade later, almost no tree regeneration has occurred. Scientists with OSU’s Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society warn it could be a long time before the forest comes back. That is, if it ever does.

As we deal with changing climate systems and continued drought, researchers warn that similar situations may become commonplace, especially through the western United States. Low level forest areas that receive less moisture are at an increased risk. Once burned, these areas may never be able to fully regenerate on their own. Combine these limitations with increases in the severity and frequency of wildfires in recent years and the dangers are all too clear. The conifer forests throughout the western US could literally be disappearing.

So why then do forest management policies place so much emphasis on fighting fires and protecting wilderness areas from human disruption, but do little to prevent fires or help restore areas that have been affected by wildfire damage? Washington’s misguided attempts at protecting our forests have actually contributed to a situation that could drastically cut our forest lands by devastating amounts.

Budget cuts and government restrictions on preventative activities literally have the hands of those tasked with managing forest lands tied. Meanwhile the costs associated with fighting wildfires skyrockets as blazes become bigger and more aggressive each year.

In light of new scientific research, including the study by OSU researchers, it’s time we look to shift the focus from simply fighting fires to preventing them. Washington needs to accept the fact that our forests are at a greater risk than ever, and help support the experts tasked with caring for them. If the latest research has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t just wait until it’s too late. We have to take a proactive approach to preventing wildfires and improving the health and resiliency of our forests. Otherwise future generations might not be able to experience and enjoy our beautiful stands of trees.

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Pacific Northwest Log Prices to Rise in 1Q2013

Pacific Northwest Log Prices to Rise in 1Q2013

>PRWEB.COM Newswire

Charlotte, NC (PRWEB) January 10, 2013

After muted gains in the second half in 2012, log prices in the Pacific Northwest are climbing back to pre-recession levels. Forest2Market projects that they will gain additional ground in 1Q2013, the result of the ongoing recovery taking place in both domestic and export markets.

The U.S. housing market turned the corner in the last half of 2012, and demand for forest products quickly followed. In November, lumber prices were $100 per thousand board feet (MBF) above their November 2011 level. Forest2Market projects the housing recovery will continue to pick up steam in 2013, with annualized housing starts hitting the 1 million mark by the end of the year.

“Asian appetite for Northwest forest products strengthened in the second half of 2012 and looks strong moving into the New Year,” says Gordon Culbertson, Manager of Forest2Market’s Pacific Northwest business. “Inventories of imported logs and lumber products in China have declined by nearly 50 percent from a year ago, while the Chinese Government has renewed efforts to stimulate affordable housing construction. Russia’s market share, traditionally the largest supplier of Chinese logs and lumber, has continued to erode, leaving Chinese buyers to fill the shortage with deliveries from North America and New Zealand.”

According to Forest2Market’s Delivered Price Benchmark database, prices for logs delivered to Northwest seaports for export loading to Asia revived as 2012 progressed, with Douglas fir prices gaining back $72 per MBF of the $78 per MBF they lost in the first half of the year and Hem-fir hitting a 2012 peak in November at $558 per MBF. Strong demand from China, especially for hem-fir logs, and Japan’s renewed interest in higher quality second growth Douglas fir logs will bolster prices going forward.

Supply disruptions will add to the upward pressure on prices in early months of 2013, as mills attempting to increase production face tight log inventories, difficulty stimulating new log deliveries and—in some cases—lost production.

Weather is, in part, responsible for the supply disruptions, according to Culbertson. “The long, hot, dry summer of 2012 across the Northwest led to many days of curtailed logging due to fire risk. This was followed by heavy rains in the fall and heavy rains and snowfall at low elevations in December, both of which hindered logging and hauling operations and limited the ability of mills to replenish their log supplies.”

Combined, these supply constraints and stronger demand from both U.S. and export markets will push log prices higher in 2013. Douglas fir prices, for instance, will reach into the mid-$600s by the end of the first quarter, with the largest increases occurring in western Oregon, where the supply shortage is more acute.

Forest2Market’s Delivered Price Benchmarks
Forest2Market offers delivered price benchmarks for logs in the Pacific Northwest, the U.S. South and in the Midwest, and will soon offer the same service in the Northeast. Customers use our benchmarks to compare their performance to the market and make data-driven decisions to improve their performance.

About Forest2Market
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Forest2Market provides market pricing data and supply chain expertise to customers in the forest, wood products, pulp and paper, recovered fiber, lumber and bioenergy industries. For more information, visit http://www.forest2market.com.

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/1/prweb10308191.htm

Read more: http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1006924#ixzz2Hcpv4FuE

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