Column: Recent government study shows significant residual fibre available

The provincial government is promoting the increased use of residual fibre.

The provincial government is promoting the increased use of residual fibre (left at the roadside following logging) by a number of changes in legislation and policy as described in its recent “Fibre Action Plan.”

Part of this plan was a recent study  by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations staff which showed sufficient residual fibre was available to replace the loss of sawmill waste material when the saw log component is reduced owing to beetles.

The 2015 Fibre Study done by  Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Resource District staff measured the amount of fibre that remains post-harvest in the Williams Lake TSA. The district staff sampled 10 blocks, five from cruise based cutting permits and five from scale based permits. These findings are the result of systematic and random sampling to show general trends with the current utilization practices.

The results showed a 22 per cent and 28 per cent residual fibre remaining post harvest from cruise based and scale based billing respectively. Cruise-based billing uses field plots to determine the volume of sawlogs delivered to the mills while scale based uses the weight of logs delivered.

According to the biomass studies done by BC Hydro (Biomass Energy Potential of BC), an average log processed for lumber produces 47 per cent lumber and veneer, 33 per cent wood chips for pulp, seven per cent for sawdust, eight per cent shavings and five per cent bark.

The sawdust and shavings that go to the pellet plants and five per cent bark that goes to the power plant totals 20 per cent.

The residual fibre left at the logging site consisted of small tops, logs, broken logs and bucking waste.

Most of this material is burned at the roadside to meet fire prevention concerns. During the market slowdown in 2008/09, local companies delivered some of this material to pellet and power plants to make up for the reduced supply of waste from the lumber mills.

The amount of chips, sawdust and shavings will slowly decrease as the sawlog volume reduces due to the shelf life of pine caused by beetle impacts.

Pulp plants will have to start utilizing pulp logs to make up for the shortfall of chips (i.e. normally 33 per cent from the average sawlog).

The pulp logs could be sent directly to the pulp mills for processing or processed at existing chippers in some local mills.

Processing of pulp logs for chips produces very little fibre for the pellet plants but it is anticipated that the percentage of bark may increase as the switch to pulp logs uses smaller diameter logs.

The harvesting and trucking industry will have to adjust to handling and trucking the small tops and logs to the residual fibre users.

As the shelf life of the pine decreases in the stands west of the Fraser river the harvest will switch to green wood closer to town there by reducing the haul distance for the residual fibre.

As the BC Hydro reports show the use of this residual fibre should be economical if there is a significant bark component still coming from the lumber mills and the residual fibre is relatively close to the pellet and power plants.

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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The City of Williams Lake is asking for public feedback on whether it should explore the opportunity to host a Greater Metro Hockey League team in Williams Lake. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake GMHL expansion questions, concerns, to be discussed later this month

If approved, the team would begin play in the fall of 2021

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler comes off a night shift on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Our Hometown: The doctor is in the house

Cariboo Memorial Hospital emergency doctor Sarah Dressler was born and raised in Williams Lake

The Williams Lake Trail Riders Arena is slated to have a new roof installed this spring after funding from the province’s Community Economic Recovery Infrastructure Program. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Trail Riders Arena, stable stalls, to get new roof at Stampede Grounds

Some of the stalls currently aren’t able to be rented out due to leaks in the roof

A health worker holds a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine to be administered to members of the police at a COVID-19 vaccination center in Mainz, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. (Andreas Arnold/dpa via AP)
43 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health

368 cases in the region remain active

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry head for the B.C. legislature press theatre to give a daily update on the COVID-19 pandemic, April 6, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. nears 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations, essential workers next

564 new cases, four deaths, no new outbreaks Thursday

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

(National Emergency Management Agency)
No tsunami risk to B.C. from powerful New Zealand earthquake: officials

An 8.1 magnitude earthquake shook the north of New Zealand Thursday morning

(AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)
Pandemic stress, isolation key factors as to why Canadians turned to cannabis, alcohol

Study found that isolation played key role in Canadians’ substance use

(File photo)
Kamloops Mountie bitten while arresting woman

The assault on March 1 is the latest in a string of incidents that have left local officers injured

Grand Forks’ Gary Smith stands in front of his Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster float. Photo: Submitted
Grand Forks’ Flying Spaghetti Monster leader still boiling over driver’s licence photo

Gary Smith, head of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster of B.C., said he has since spoken to lawyers

A Cowichan Valley mom is wondering why masks haven’t been mandated for elementary schools. (Metro Creative photo)
B.C. mom frustrated by lack of mask mandate for elementary students

“Do we want to wait until we end up like Fraser Health?”

(Pxhere)
B.C. research reveals how pandemic has changed attitudes towards sex, health services

CDC survey shows that 35 per cent of people were worried about being judged

Most Read