Environment & Sustainability
B.C. takes steps to increase use of residual wood fibre
By Cindy Macdonald
British Columbia has announced a “fibre action plan” to help generate more value from the province’s forest resources.
The plan contains actions that will “increase the efficiency of fibre utilization in the short-term while durable longer-term solutions are developed,” states a press release from the province. The actions are designed to increase efficiency of utilization of lower-quality wood and wood residue for secondary users, including the wood bioenergy sector and other non-lumber manufacturers, such as pulp and paper and oriented strandboard.
“These technical policy adjustments will help ensure the secure supply of fibre for secondary manufacturers,” says Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.
The fibre action plan provides support and encouragement for business-to-business relationships between primary harvesters and secondary users; support for removing residuals from the forest where business-to-business relationships do not exist; and tenure opportunities for secondary users where there are no primary harvesters.
Stan Hadikin, fibre forester with Zellstoff Celgar, comments: “These short- and medium-term recommendations, when implemented, will promote effective and lasting solutions for increasing fibre supplies and improving residuals utilization for the industries that rely on these important forest resources.”
Since 2014, the Forestry and Fibre Working Group, made up of representatives from the lumber, pellet, non-lumber, pulp and paper sectors and ministry staff have been working together to provide the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations with recommendations to streamline and increase the efficiency and recovery of low-quality fibre from B.C.’s forests.
The mountain pine beetle infestation has caused an increase in the amount of low-quality wood that is not suitable for lumber production. However, this wood, and wood residue and debris, is suitable for use by pulp and paper mills that use chips for pulp production, oriented strandboard mills, pellet plants and others, the release states. Wood pellet production capacity has doubled over the last few years and there are now 12 pellet plants operating in B.C.
Key actions within the fibre action plan include:
• Implementation of a fibre-recovery process to establish protocols for primary and secondary harvesters to ensure the efficient removal of residual fibre.
• Development and implementation of biomass handling guidelines for forest planners and machine operators to support integrated planning and harvesting operations.
• Advertisement of supplemental forest licence opportunities to secondary fibre users where the volume and fibre profile is available for the term of the licence.
• Review how cruising, scaling and residue measurements align with cut control, inventory and timber supply modelling policies by mid-2016.
• Streamline residue measurements to enable low-quality residual fibre to be designated as special forest products by Dec. 31, 2015.