UBC Community, Partners, and Alumni Publications

Branchlines, Vol. 7, no. 1 Watts, Susan B.; University of British Columbia. Faculty of Forestry Mar 31, 1996

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F A C U L T Y O F F O R E S T R Y • N E W S L E T T E R • T H E U N I V E R S I T Y O F B R I T I S H C O L U M B I A Volume 7 No. 1 March, 1996 From the Dean's Desk Fores t ry in a Post-Modern World T h e practice of forestry has its philoso- phic roots in the "Age of Enlightenment" where reason and science came fruitfully together to explain many phenomena formerly attributed to God. Galileo point- ed out the simple logic of Sun-centred planetary orbits (and faced the Inquisi- tion for doing so); Newton provided a mathematical model of celestial mecha- nics which made u se fu l p red ic t ions about the t rajector ies of planets and comets. Science in hand, humans could dominate Nature (or so it seemed), and therefore stood apart from it. Forestry works from similar premises— that, for example, a certain management prescription will reliably produce a speci- fic volume of timber or a specific kind of wildlife habitat predictably over time. We manage natural systems to provide the outputs people want — more tim- ber, larger popula t ions of par t icular wildlife species, and large areas where we "protect" Nature. Many now question this basic premise of forestry — that science provides a com- prehensive basis for management action. In part, the questions come from post- mode rn i s t c r i t iques of sc ience: for example, the feminist deconstructionist claim that to assert the authority of science is simply another way to per- petuate male dominance. In part, the ques- tions come from the failure of science- based management to preclude human degradation of interesting and important ecosystems — air and water pollution, unintended loss of forest cover, extinc- tion of species. In part they come from (lie inability of science alone to establish desirable goals for management; the cur- rently popular notion of "ecologically sound" management, by itself, excludes very little until some particular eco- system state is declared preferable to other possible ones. And, in part, the questions come from scientific inquiry itself. For example, ecologis ts now understand the over- whelming role of s tochast ic events , especially stand-replacing disturbances, in determining the state of forest eco- systems at any point in time. Mathemati- cians have recently discovered that ex- tremely simple — but realist ic—deter- ministic models of nonlinear systems can produce chaotic outcomes indistin- guishable from true random noise. Nature is less p red ic tab le than Newton ian mechanics would suggest.2 Liebniz was 1 This essay is based on some insightful comments by Prof. Bart van der Kamp. He, of course, is not responsible for what is said here, and might even disagree. 2 D. B. Botkin. 1990. Discordant harmonies . (Oxford University Press: New York) provides a convincing account. 3 Interestingly, this view is consistent with the Shinto belief that "...a carpenter, when he cuts down a tree, incurs a moral debt...[N]ature exacts from man a price for coexistence. A carpenter must put a tree to uses that assure its continued existence, preferably as a thing of beauty to be treasured for centuries." p. 21 in S.A. Brown. 1995. The genius of Japanese carpent ry . (Kodansha International: Tokyo). wrong when, referr ing to the uncer- ta int ies remain ing in Enl ightenment theories of Nature, he said "God is not a clumsy watchmaker." These fault lines in the philosophic basis for forestry have widened into a chasm not easily bridged. Adaptive man- agement seems to make sense, but pro- ponents can cite no successful examples in forestry. Ecosystem management has a euphonious ring, but no one, credible definition can be found. Post-modern society has become so disconnected will) Nature that few people really believe the bumper-sticker truism "Everything you own is either farmed, mined or logged." Milk comes from the store. Practicing foresters — caught in the crossfire as you try simply to do your jobs — cannot stand down and wait for a comprehens ive resolution of these dilemmas. At the same time, these fault lines define many of our land-management controversies. For all of us involved in forestry and the modern wood-using industry, a modest positive step is simply to recognize that cutting down a tree creates ethical obligations — an obliga- tion to sustain the forest from which the tree was cut; an obligation to use the wood wisely and efficiently.3 Foresters generally accept these obligations, al- though we do not describe them as such. Embracing these obligations conspicu- ously and articulating them as part of the profession might help move us a step closer to a demonstrably sustainable future, and a step closer to strong societal support for the practice of forestry. You can reach me in person, by letter, fax (604) 822-8645, * (604) 822-2467, or by e-mail: binkley@unixg.ubc.ca. Clark S. Binkley Forest Resources Management Department RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT Mahogany Logging in Bolivia, Very Profitable, But Is It Sustainable? IN the Bolivian tropics I am investigat-ing both the economic returns and the environmental impacts of current and alter- native logging practices in collaboration with colleagues at Conservation Interna- tional in Washington, DC. The former in- volves highly selective sequential cutting in which all commercial trees of a single species are taken in any given entry. In some forests, mahogany still exists so this species is targeted. Cutting removes around one tree every 5 hectares, or roughly 1 m3/ha. Mahogany regenerates naturally af ter large, catas t rophic d is turbances which, in the study area, are caused by severe episodic flooding so current practice will, in all probability, lead to commercial extinction of this species in one cycle. However, the cutting intensity is so light that very little damage results from this approach, at least on a per-hectare basis, and stands remain nearly fully stocked. Alternative silvicultural prescriptions designed to promote regeneration and the sustainable management of mahogany require retention of seed trees and much more intensive cutting to create bigger openings. Given poor markets for most other commercial species, this means fell- ing trees to waste. The total impact on woody vegetation is much greater from this approach when measured on a per-hectare basis, however, a smaller area is required to supply a manufacturing facility of fixed capacity given the com- mercial volume cut per-unit area is higher. A growth and yield model was used to simulate the application of four different silvicultural prescriptions to a sample forest. Prescription 1 represents current practice with a cutting cycle of 5 years, the second is the same with a cutting cycle of 10 years, and 3 and 4 were designed to promote mahogany regen- eration by retaining seed trees and cutting more volume per hectare, both with a 10-year cutting cycle. In 4 some trees were felled to waste for lack of iiuirkets. Simulations were run for a hypo- thetical concessionaire with a single sawmill and annual capacity of 8400 m3 Net Present Values for Four Silvicultural Prescriptions ('000 $US) Discount Prescription # Rate 1 2 3 4 25% 9,806 6,267 1,600 1,215 20% 11,099 7,417 1,979 1,508 15% 12,804 9,005 2,584 1,980 10% 15,273 11,342 3,685 2,854 (prescriptions 2-4) using a 50-year plan- ning horizon In prescription 1 annual demand was doubled, but the concession area was kept the same as prescription 2 to explore incentives for adding manu- facturing capacity. The model output in- cludes per-unit volume timber yields so the area of productive forest needed to supply the mill could be calculated given the annual demand. The model also pre- dicts logging damage per-unit area which was used to calculate total impact on woody vegetation for the four prescrip- tions. Net present value was calculated using local cost and price data. The findings show that economic returns from current practice are much greater than those possible from applying alter- natives designed to promote sustainable production of mahogany. These alterna- tive prescriptions also have equal or even greater environmental impact by some measures. These two points raise important questions about the chances for success in encouraging or even forcing conces- sionaires to adopt intensive forestry, and perhaps more importantly, the wisdom in doing so. For further information, please contact Dr. Andrew F. Howard, at (604) 822-3794 or e-mail: ahoward@unixg.ubc.ca.Q DEPARTMENT NEWS T h e response to the Dean 's article in Branch Lines (Vol. 6 No. 3) on the revision of the BSF program triggered a number of thoughtful replies on die matter of what type of a graduate we should be pro- ducing. These comments have been most helpful in the continuing program review. The Department has been active in searching for staff in several areas. We recently completed a search in hydro- logical eng ineer ing and have hired Dr. Younes Alila to fill this position (see New Appointments on page 5). A candidate lias been selected for die new position in Conservation Policy. The search for a new faculty member in die area of Forest Operations is in die final stages. There are active searches under- way for two joint positions with Land- scape Architecture. The Faculty is co-hosting (with FERIC) the "International Mountain Logging and Pacific Northwest Skyline Symposium" at Campbell River on May 13-16, 1996. Dr. Howard ran a week-long intensive project on Vancouver Island for fourth year Operations students. The students stayed at the recently renovated UBC Research Farm and worked on three separate projects in collaboration with the MacMil lan Bloedel Menzies Bay divis ion.• Branch Lines 2 Wood Science Department RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT Study Shows Sawmill Quality Control Programs Can Be a Good Invesment N e t R e v e n u e ( $ ) losoaoo p 1000000 9 5 0 0 0 0 - BOOOOO 0 . 0 0 0 . 0 1 - - A - - 0 . 0 2 0 . 0 3 — • — 0 . 0 4 0 . 0 0 0 0 . 0 0 5 0 . 0 1 0 0 0 1 5 0 . 0 2 0 0 . 0 2 5 0 . 0 3 0 0 . 0 3 5 0 . 0 4 0 0 . 0 4 5 0 . 0 5 0 0 . 0 5 5 S a w K e r f R e d u c t i o n f r o m 0 . 1 7 5 ( i n c h e s ) Simulated sawmill revenue as a function of reductions in green lumber target size and saw kerf thickness. QUALITY control (QC) programs seem like an expensive proccss for mills producing dimension lumber until we realize that not only can the programs enhance product quality to the customer, but they can also help reduce costs by mini- mizing fibre loss in the milling process. Typically lumber is sawn oversized in the green stage to allow for the variability in the sawing and drying process. This oversized material is planed off to produce a consistently sized product. Saw kerf sizes are often kept high because saw- blades with thicker plates have less vibration to cause poorly sawn surfaces. Both of these practices result in a signifi- cant amount of fibre loss. Regular quality control programs can help reduce this process variation by finding and eliminat- ing problems which create the need for deliberate oversizing and excess kerf sizes. Previously, the benefits of these reduc- tions in oversizing and saw kerf have been difficult to quantify for a sawmill. How- ever, new research at UBC has shown how sawmill simulations can provide cost/ benefit analyses of such QC programs. A specific sawmill which produces 160 MMBF per year of dimension SPF was analyzed in this study. The experi- mental procedure consisted of 60 simula- tions: one simulation for each saw kerf ranging from 0.120" to 0.175" with an increment of 0.005", and for five different lumber target thickness and width sizes with an increment of .010". Each run DEPARTMENT NEWS D r . Simon Ell is vis i ted CSIRO in Melbourne and the New Zealand Forest Research Institute in Rotorua to build on established research links between the two research agencies and UBC. He also visited Buckinghamshire College, UK, in January to upgrade his knowledge and skills in the subject of wood finish- ing systems for part of a course being simulated the operation of the sawmill for a one month period (360 hours). All other aspects of the runs were held constant. For each of the simulations, the production results, total mill net revenues and lumber recovery factors were recorded. This information was then used to estimate the impact of changes in kerf and target size on value and volume recovery. Reductions in target sizes and saw kerfs were found to significantly in- crease mill revenues f rom its base revenue of $800,000 per month. The mill's net revenue was found to increase by $27,160 per month for every 0.010" reduction in lumber target size, and $14,810 per month for every 0.010" offered in the new Wood Products Processing Program. The Cent re for Advanced Wood Processing has hired Tom Wray as Facility Manager. In December, Dr. John Ruddick and Futong Cui were awarded U.S. Patent 5,476,975 for the extraction of toxic organic contaminants from wood and photodegrada t ion of toxic o rgan ic reduction in saw kerf. This demonstrates that reductions in target size have nearly twice as much impact on mill net revenues and recovery than saw kerf reductions. This is particularly true when it is con- sidered that saw kerf reductions often result in larger target sizes. In practice, many mills have reported green lumber size decreases of 0.040" or more within the first few years of implementing a rigorous statistical pro- cess control system. Given these find- ings, this could resul t in an annual savings of around $1,250,000. For more information or a full copy of this research report please contact Dr. Thomas C. Maness by fax at (604) 822- 9104 or e-mail: maness@unixg.ubc.ca.D contaminants. Bell Canada is investi- gating the option of developing the process. Dr. John Ruddick has been elected to a three-year term as President of the International Research Group in Wood Preservation, representing 300+ members from over 35 countries. The Annual Meeting of the IRG will be held at Whistler, B.C., in May next year.O Branch Lines 3 Forest Sciences Department RESEARCH HIGHLIGHT Western Gall Rust on Lodgepole Pine: Managing a Natural Pathosystem WESTERN gall rust caused by Endo-cronartium harknessii is a common and widespread disease of lodgepole pine. There are two good reasons for studying the disease. The first is that damage does occur when gall rust re- duces stocking of pine stands to below acceptable limits. In natural stands, this happens infrequently (2-5% of all stands) because most stands are well stocked. Pre-commercia l thinning in infected stands presents special problems. There are many examples of stands in which s tocking was reduced to min imum levels without removing letlially infect- ed trees. Rather than spend a lot of extra effort removing diseased trees, it is now recommended that s tocking targets be amended in affected stands to allow for subsequent rust mortality. Details can be found in For. Chron. 70:773-779. A second reason for studying gall rust is to elucidate the 'natural balance' be- tween host and pathogen. Many diseases occur as epidemics Uiat lead to infection of all available host tissues. In gall rust this doesn't happen. The highest infec- tion levels observed in the field are well below 1% of host saturation. Yet each gall can produce millions of spores in its lifetime, and if only two of these caused new infections, host saturation would certainly occur. Why doesn't it happen? A recent study, conducted jointly with Peter Blenis (U of A) may shed some light on that question. It turns out that there are several fungal hyper- parasites of gall rust. These are fungi that live only on sporulating galls, and Number of galls 2,600 • 2,000 1,500 1,000 500 Parasitized galls Normal galls 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 Time (years) Number of normal (solid) and parasitized (dotted) living galls over time following sanitation. that stop or greatly reduce rust spore production. Some simple modeling has shown that when rust infection is low, hyperparasites can't spread very well, and infection increases. However as rust infect ion increases, the hyper- parasites spread more efficiently, and eventually an equilibrium is attained at which the rate of new infection is balanced by gall mortality. All this has some interesting implica- tions for management. For instance the figure shows what could happen if we sanitized a stand in which gall rust was at equilibrium by re- moving 90% of all galls. The result is a rapid increase in annual infection to well above equilibrium levels and then a decline to equilibrium. Over the 50 year period following treatment, the total number of gal ls es tab l i shed can be greater than if nothing had been done! Using the same model , it was also shown that breeding for rust resist- ance in pine may have little effect in a pathosystem con- trol led by hyperparas i t es . In spite of increased resist- ance the rust will still attain similar equilibrium levels. 'Hie moral of the story: don't be too quick to intervene in natural patho- systems you don't understand: the results may be surprising. For further information, please contact Dr. Dart van der Kamp at (604) 822-2728 or fax (604) 822-9102& DEPARTMENT NEWS I n January, Dr. Gene Namkoong was elect- ed to the Royal Swedish Academy of Agriculture and Forestry. Dr. Chris Chanway has been appointed Microbial Ecology Section Editor for the Canadian Journal of Microbiology. Dr. Scott Hinch presented a paper (and was co-author on two others) on salmon growth and energetics at the Canadian Conference for Fisher ies Research in Montreal in January. He was also part of a team of experts evaluat- ing the responses of the Canadian Department of Fisheries and Oceans to the recommendations made last year by the Honourable John Fraser as part of his Fraser River Public Review Board. Dr. Yousry El-Kassaby has been ap- pointed as a part-time Professor in the area of Forest Genetics (see New Appoint- ments on page 5) .0 Branch Lines 4 Faculty News New Appointments In February, we appointed Dr. Younes Alila to the Forest Resources Management Department as an Assistant Professor in the area of forest engineering hydrology. He obtained his doctorate in engineering hydrology from the University of Ottawa in 1994, and has been working as a project engineer with the Greater Vancouver Regional District. Younes will initiate a research program in Forest Engineering Hydrology focussing on planning and design of road drainage systems, rainfall and streamflow estimation for the design of culverts and bridges, and impacts of forest management practices on the overall hydro- logic cycle. He will be teaching engineering hydrology and forest watershed manage- ment at both graduate and undergraduate levels. Younes is looking forward to interacting and collaborating with other UBC faculty members, governmental agencies, and forest companies. Younes can be reached at (604) 822-6058 or e-mail: alila@unixg.ubc.ca. In January, we appointed Dr. Yousry El-Kassaby to the Forest Sciences Department as a part-time Professor in die area of Forest Genetics. Yousry is the Director of Applied Forest Research for Pacific Forest Products Limited. He obtained his doctorate in forest genetics from the University of British Columbia in 1980. Dr. El-Kassaby's area of research interest is population and quantitative genetics. Although Yousry has previously guided genetic students and taught classes at UBC, he will now assume a more active role in teaching and research in his new status. He will be teaching part of the Forest Genetics course this year and will help develop the Forest Genetics program with the new NSERC/Industry chairs. This appointment is expected to strengthen both Pacific Forest Products Limited and UBC research links. Yousry can be reached at (604) 652-4023, fax (604) 652-2800 or e-mail: yousry@visual.net. We recently appointed Ms. Beverly Bird as First Nations Curri- culum Coordinator. This new initiative is part of the First Nations Forestry and Conservation program that has been developed in the Faculty of Forestry over the past year and a half. Beverly is a Tl'azt'enne from Tache, B.C., and has a B.A. in Geography from UBC. Her role in the Faculty of Forestry includes the development of a new course "First Nations' per- spective on Forest Lands." This course, and the incorporation of First Nations content into existing courses, will be guided by a committee of forestry professionals from both industry and First Nation communi- ties, First Nations Elders/educators, federal/provincial government representa- tives, and UBC Faculty of Forestry advisers. Beverly will also be working with Faculty members towards incorporating First Nations content into their courses. Another task for Beverly will be co-ordinating an international workshop on First Nations forestry education. Beverly can be reached at (604) 822-4728 or e-mail: bbird@unixg.ubc.ca. Branch Lines 5 John Worrall Undergraduate Bursary Breaks Records T h e John Worrall Undergraduate Bursary was conceived as a project of the 1975- 1989 Forestry Alumni to honour John's contributions to forestry education. John Worrall has been contributing to the academic and cultural development of forestry students at UBC for the past 27 years. He is the first faculty member who has been able to tell two generations of undergraduates that forestry really is all about trees (a subject he shares with great passion). The goal of the 1995 Alumni campaign was to raise sufficient funds to be able to endow an undergraduate bursary in John's name. The response was overwhelming, with 243 alumni making contributions of over $21,500. This is an increase of 300% over the level of 1994 alumni gift giving. The greatest participation in the 1995 campaign, by way of number of gifts, was made by the class of '84 with 31 alumni participating. The greatest contribution was from the class of '76 who contribut- ed $5,535. The endowment will provide an annual bursary of $1,000 for under- graduate student support. Thank you to all those who contributed and those who volunteered to raise funds for this award. Class Representatives who led the recruitment of volunteers included: Peter Affleck '75 Doug Routledge '76 Bruce Mclntyre '77 Brian Gilfillan '78 Michael Holmes and Doug Bennett '79 Robert Kyle '81 Stirling Angus, John Howe and Susan Craven '82 Candace Parsons '83 Eleanor McWilliams '84 Mark Tamas '85 Chris Ortner '86 Steve Mitchell '87 Larry Clark'89 Fundraising for the John Worrall Under- graduate Bursary was relatively easy and brought back a lot of good memories. We hope the support of this award will be- come part of a Forestry Alumni tradition to provide opportuni t ies for forestry students in the future. Reid Carter, Chair 1995 Alumni Campaign Centre for Advanced Wood Processing Opening Gala Event group learning approach empha- sizing communication and business skills as well as education in ad- vanced computer integrated manu- facturing, industrial engineering and wood science. Students in the new cooperative education program will spend 20 months in industry. The new program will be guided by an industry advisory board. Department Updates Enclosed with this issue of Branch Lines is our first Department Update. This inaugural issue was produced by the Malcolm Knapp and Alex Fraser Research Forests. Look for Updates from our departments of Wood Science, Forest Sciences and Forest Resources Management in future mailings of Branch Lines. Branch Lines is up on the World Wide Web You can now find copies of Branch Lines (and much more information about the Faculty and its activities) at our World Wide Web site. The Faculty's new home page address is: http://www.forestry.ubc.ca/ NF.wsiF.rn-R PRODUCTION Branch Lines is published by the Faculty of Forestry at the University of British Columbia three times each year. ISSN 1181-9936. http://www.forestry.ubc.ca/ Editor: Susan B. Watts, Ph.D., R.P.F. In-house typesetting and layout: Patsy Quay and Susan B. Watts. Questions concerning the newsletter or requests for mailing list updates, deletions or additions should be directed to Dr. Susan Watts, Newsletter Editor at: Faculty of Forestry University of British Columbia 270-2357 Main Mall Vancouver, B.C. V6T1Z4 * (604) 822-6316 R~yd«i Pap., Fax:(604)822-8645 E-mail: suwatts@unixg.ubc.ca The Hon. Dan Miller, Deputy Premier and Minister of Employment and Investment, presents the dinner address. AGRAND celebration was held on March 11 at the Waterfront Centre Hotel in downtown Vancouver to mark die opening of the Faculty of Forestry's new Centre for Advanced Wood Process- ing, and the Wood Products Processing undergraduate program at UBC. Nearly 200 people from the senior ranks of in- dustry, government, and education from across Canada were on hand for the celebration. In addition, officials from wood processing schools in Germany and Switzerland attended to discuss co- operative agreements with UBC to help design and deliver the new programs. The new B.Sc. Wood Products Process- ing Program is an innovative program developed joindy by the Department of Wood Science in the Faculty of Forestry, and the Departments of Mechanical and Electrical Engineering in the Faculty of Applied Science. The interdisciplinary five year program is taught through a The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing (CAWP) will house an Advanced Wood Processing Laboratory containing state-of- the-art manufacturing equipment, computer and systems simulation labs, and teaching facilities. The CAWP will support the Wood Products Processing Program by conducting practical laboratories and managing the cooperative education component. In addition, die CAWP has a federally sup- ported mandate to conduct con- tinuing education programs, exten- sion services, and applied research programs to companies across Canada. This initiative is funded through a combination of redirection of Faculty of Forestry operating budget, a new $14.5 million endowment ($8.5 million from Forest Renewal BC and $6.0 million from die federal government) and $6.95 million from the provincial government for construction costs of the CAWP. The grand opening, co-hosted by the Industry's National Education Initiative (NEI), emphasized the development of the program, and the strong role played by die NEI board in creating the new program. A dinner speech by the Hon. Dan Miller, Deputy Premier and Minister of Employment and In- vestment — an early and very strong supporter of die initiative — highlighted the event.Q ©Facul ty of Forestry, 1996 Branch Lines 6


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