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Keith A. Blatner
Special IssuesForest Biomass Utilization: The Impact on Forest Resources
D.S. Page-Dumroese, editor
Vol. 25, No. 1 (January 2010)
The "Forest Biomass Utilization: The Impact on Forest Resources" conference was held May 13-14, 2008, in Spokane, WA. Over 100 forest managers from Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana participated in the conference. Pacific northwest forest managers are now harvesting biomass to generate income as well as for ecological restoration, fire-risk reduction, forest-stand improvement, and habitat improvement. Existing state forest practice guidelines did not anticipate the removal of woody biomass and offer these managers little specific guidance on the amount of removal that is safe.
The conference agenda covered the impact of biomass removal on selected resources from the perspective of maintaining soil productivity, protecting hydrologic resources, effect on invasive species, and effect on stand-level fire characteristics, and concluded by determining how much biomass to leave during utilization. Biomass removal guidelines are in development across all US forested regions, and this conference covered the inland northwest region of eastern Washington State, northern Idaho, and western Montana. Specific guidelines were not recommended during the conference, and the emphasis was placed on the forest managers using their professional judgment to evaluate harvest units for biomass removal.
The following articles are presented in this issue:
Sustainable Wood Production for the Pacific Northwest
Robert L. Deal, editor
Vol. 22, No. 1 (January 2007)
The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is one of the major timber-producing regions in the United States, and the regional capacity to produce wood on a sustained yield basis is widely recognized. However, several key economic, social, and ecological issues relating to sustainable forestry will play an important role in future wood production of the region. To identify and understand important issues for sustainable wood production in the region, input was provided from a series of meetings with a wide array of forest landowners and managers representing forest industry, small private forest landowners, state forestry and others interested in growing and producing wood. These focus groups identified several key issues for sustainable wood production, and then researchers involved with this effort outlined some of the critical research questions relating to barriers and opportunities for wood production in the region.
The following articles in this special issue of the Western Journal of Applied Forestry focus on several important topics for sustaining wood production in the region. The articles in this issue are divided into three broad sections including sustainable timber supply and markets, sustainable land use, and sustainable forestry options. The sustainable timber supply and markets section addresses questions relating to future timber resources and harvest potential, the role of markets, an assessment of the lumber manufacturing sector, and some of the silvicultural research needs related to plantation forestry. The sustainable land-use section addresses questions relating to land use change, forest fragmentation, and riparian zone management. The sustainable forestry options section discusses a variety of forestry-related activities important for sustainable wood production including public perceptions of different forest practices, forestry incentives and regulations including forest certification, emerging wood technologies, and alternative species such as red alder. A synthesis of some of the major findings of the following articles is included.