Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Tribune.

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Tribune.

FOREST INK: Plenty of changes happening in forest industry

A new process produces a biodegradable plastic-like product from wood waste powder

Thanks to readers’ comments and some recent articles there is lots to write about in the forest industry.

A new process produces a biodegradable plastic-like product from wood waste powder.

The trick is to get it to last long enough for the intended purpose and then let it degrade naturally, rather than end up like plastic in the oceans for hundreds of years. I recently got a restaurant take out meal in what appeared to be a wood-fibre-based container that worked very well.

Drones are being used for many applications in forestry reforestation projects (mapping, planning and planting on difficult spots), as well as developing maps using lidar for road building and inventory.

There is also a new drone on Mars doing similar mapping and reconnaissance functions. The drone is part of the Perseverance rover team that landed in February, 2021.

A previous rover became inoperative after its solar panels were covered with dust from a Martian storm.

This new, small-car-sized rover is powered by a thermal electrical generator running on the decay of plutonium isotopes that is expected to last two decades.

Perseverance will put on many kilometres along with the drone in search of life forms and accumulating samples to eventually return to Earth. How would you like a car that only needs filling up once every 20 years?

Susanne Simard has a new book: Finding the Mother Tree describing the root connections between many forest plant species. One of the items that caught my attention was the increased species resilience and production when there is a mix of conifers and hardwoods.

READ MORE: A year to remember for lumber prices

It is more proof that long-term stability and production is attained with increased biodiversity, and time to take a hard look at phasing out glyphosate use in forestry. Mexico is moving toward a removal of this herbicide from its various food production operations.

Jim Stirling writing for the Logging and Sawmilling Journal (April 2021) has an interesting article about the latest information on the Canada, U.S. softwood lumber agreement. Thanks to a recent document from an independent study of lumber imports and exports that shows Canadian producers are still being penalized with duties while our lumber exports to the U.S. have been decreasing (over a third in five years).

During the same time the exports of European lumber into the U.S. has been increasing from the long-term average of seven per cent up to 13 per cent. Maybe the high prices of lumber will finally convince U.S. builders to force a few U.S. lumber barons to drop the pressure to apply the tariffs.

The ongoing battles over the old growth forests needs to be replaced with new approach to managing the commercial forest land base.

In my opinion a partitioned AAC needs to be calculated on a portion of the commercial forest land base that will encourage long-term values that the existing old growth forests provide (i.e. older, larger trees).

This AAC would be considerably less than the cut on the second growth forests but it would provide the opportunity to look at the harvesting of some dead and diseased timber in the various reserves and set asides on existing landscapes.

Jim Hilton is a professional agrologist and forester who has lived and worked in the Cariboo Chilcotin for the past 40 years. Now retired, Hilton still volunteers his skills with local community forests organizations.



Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Just Posted

The Northern Sea Wolf is set to arrive in Bella Coola June 19 and BCVT remains cautiously optimistic for a more “normal” 2021 season (Michael Wigle photo)
Summer ferry service to Bella Coola to start June 19

“We are optimistic for a good tourist season.”

A Category 3 fire ban will go into effect across the entire Cariboo Fire Centre beginning noon on Monday, June 21. (Pixaby photo)
Category 3 fire ban extends across entire Cariboo Fire Centre June 21

Campfires are still permitted, but no larger than half a metre high by half a metre wide

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation planning ground analysis of land near former residential school

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read