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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Past demand and future prospects for Canadian douglas fir Haley, David


The future demand for Canadian Douglas fir products is of particular importance because this species, although still the most important species in the forest economy of British Columbia, is being rapidly depleted. The prices of Douglas fir products are generally higher than similar products of other species. In this thesis an examination is made of the past demand for the major Douglas fir products in their various markets and projections of future demand are made to 1975. The future demand for Douglas fir is then compared to the future, potential supply of this species. It is estimated that the production of Douglas fir lumber in British Columbia in 1975 will be 6 per cent higher than in 1963. Domestic consumption of Douglas fir lumber in Canada is expected to fall by about 20 per cent by 1975, being replaced to a great extent by Eastern spruce and pine lumber. In the United Kingdom lumber market Douglas fir is being replaced by Western hemlock and cedar. If present trends continue between 1963 and 1975 exports of Douglas fir lumber to the United Kingdom will fall by 70 per cent. The main source of demand for Douglas fir lumber in 1975 will be in the United States market and it is estimated that exports of Canadian Douglas fir lumber to the United States in 1975 will be about 13 per cent above the present level. The British Columbia softwood plywood industry is a major consumer of Douglas fir logs. Douglas fir is being replaced in plywood manufacture, however, by spruce, hemlock and balsam. It is predicted that in 1975, 25 per cent of all the softwood plywood manufactured in British Columbia will be of species other than Douglas fir. This is to be compared with 9 per cent in 1963. The volume of Douglas fir peeler logs used by the British Columbia plywood industry in 1975 is expected to be twice as great as the volume used in 1962. The lumber and plywood industries are the major consumers of Douglas fir in British Columbia. Their joint demand in 1975 for this species is expected to be 2,805 MM f.b.m., that is, about 20 per cent more than in 1962. The current supply of accessible Douglas fir saw-timber is insufficient to meet the potential future demand for this species. The annual allowable cut of Douglas fir in British Columbia under sustained yield management is currently only about 36 per cent of the annual cut required to sustain the future demand for this species to 1975. It is concluded that the unique demand and supply aspects of the Douglas fir market and the high potential value of the Douglas fir resource, suggest that special attention should be given to this species in the forest management programme of the province. The value of a sustained yield policy in the case of Douglas fir is open to question and alternative methods of controlling the depletion of mature Douglas fir should be given serious consideration. Future work in this field might attempt to resolve the proportions of other species represented in trade name groupings such as "spruce" and "hemlock". Also, some of the projections of demand should be refined by more intensive analysis.

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