Bioenergy & Wood Products Conference. January 21, 2004 Denver, Colorado Presented by: William H. Carlson,Vice President Wheelabrator Technologies Anderson, California. Getting the most from your Thinning Dollar. A Checklist for Federal Land Managers. Before. After. Forest Health Math 101.
January 21, 2004Denver, Colorado
Presented by:William H. Carlson,Vice PresidentWheelabrator TechnologiesAnderson, California
A Checklist for
Federal Land Managers
You have 190 million acres of overstocked public land at risk of loss to catastrophic wildfire, containing 80 tons/acre of excess wood. You have 20 years to thin 50% of this land, assuming the rest must be left due to reserves, steep slopes, prescribed fire treatment, etc.
380 million tons per year*
*equivalent to half the annual
output of the U.S. coal industry
$0-4.75 Billion per year*
* 4.75 billion figure is $1000/acre
$800-1,000 per acre
plus poor results
Basis for example:
The assumptions used are based on the economic conditions that existed in northern California in 2003, and must be customized to fit other regions, forest types, and economic conditions.
Lands that have been thinned mechanically are generally 0-30% slope. As a result of improved harvesting technology the slope can now be pushed to 50%. Most stands are the result of many decades of selection harvest resulting in thickets that may carry thousands of trees per acre, separated by openings and skid roads that have been reused over the years. The stands have been well protected from wildfire for most of the twentieth century and therefore consist of trees from every diameter class, but are very heavy to the smallest classes. These stands can be described as advanced second growth with a classic fuel ladder problem.
Most thinning operations in stands fitting this description concentrate on removing the suppressed and intermediate (unmerchantable) trees while leaving the dominant and co-dominant trees, but without exception also yield some amount of merchantable log volume. Merchantable trees are removed to achieve spacing goals or to void a stand of defective, diseased, or dying trees.
Utilize the 10 step checklist that follows!
Perhaps prepare a several acre sample plot
These are not timber sales!
Remember, the goal is to save these lands from loss to catastrophic wildfire.
You now have nearly all the authorities you need to begin large scale restoration work. If you carefully, but quickly, proceed, you can accomplish the task well within the authorized amount from Congress in the Healthy Forests Restoration Act of 2003