Library display depicts alternate use for cull piles

Take some time to visit the library to look at the display on alternate uses of forest residual material also known as logging cull piles.

Take some time to visit the library to look at the display on alternate uses of forest residual material also known as logging cull piles. A poster board has been set up on a table located at the entrance of the library.

I have written a number of local newspaper articles on the issue and thought it would be useful to see some pictures, figures and tables associated with the reference material and a few of my own photos.

I hope the material will help to explain the approach to dealing with the post logging material and see some alternatives to our existing practices in BC. I think the display also helps to show the variety of materials found in the burning piles and how we could experiment with other ways of dealing with the fibre in the field.

In my research on the topic I have seen a number of approaches to calculating the amount of fibre burned each year in the cull piles and I think the display will show the difficulties in estimating the material left behind.

As a quick reminder how I came up with the estimates in the articles, I used a number of sources to estimate the amount of forest residual material left after logging.

For example, I referred to an article by Ben Parfitt who used the government’s harvest billing system.

I used the ministry of forests forest inventory data base along with an estimate from the Pacific Institute for Climate Change.

I also referred to a study done by Ferric on the pine stands in the Nazko area. In order to relate the cubic metre or tonnes per hectare data more meaningful, I converted the residual material into energy units so we could compare the numbers using fuel equivalents. My conservative estimate was that each year the burning of cull piles is the equivalent of four billion litres of fuel or two thirds of the total fuel burned by the entire vehicle fleet of B.C.

I discussed some of the alternatives to burning such as wood pellets or similar products, biofuel, syngas, biochar or possibly some of the new wood composite materials. I also suggested the industry and government look for alternate ways of sorting and storing some of the material on site so that locals could use the logs for firewood, ensuring sufficient material was left for forest regeneration needs and provide a habitat for small animals. If you review the library material you can see examples of the piles that have been partially burned and also some of the alternatives for sorting and storing logs in the field.

I would also appreciate comments, so I will provided a sheet for questions and ideas at the library. To give you a sense of involvement and empowerment I will also provide a petition which you can sign urging the government and industry to initiate some studies on alternate uses of the cull piles.

You can also contact me through my email

Jim Hilton is a retired forest professional living in the Cariboo who writes a forestry column for the Weekend Tribune Advisor

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