Inland Northwest Forest Products Research Consortium
The Inland Northwest Forest Products Research Consortium represents a cooperative effort between the Department of Forest Products at the University of Idaho, the Bureau of Business and Economic Research at the University of Montana, and the Wood Materials and Engineering Laboratory at Washington State University. The consortium takes an interdisciplinary, multi-institutional approach to solving forest operations and utilization problems unique to the Inland Northwest, with an emphasis on those associate with new forest management regimes. Dramatic shifts have occurred in the type of raw material available to the forest industry with the region, especially on federal lands, which account for approximately two thirds of the timberlands within the region. Not only has there been a decline in harvest levels over the past decade, but there has also
been a shift to ecosystem management and restoration treatments. As a result, management prescriptions often call for the removal of species and sizes of trees that are substantially different from the timber resource of a decade ago. This increased emphasis on the removal of late successional species such as Douglas-fir and grand fir and to reduction of stocking levels by removal of small diameter trees has significantly changes the quality and value of the raw materials available for manufacture into useful products. To address these issues, this proposal includes research to: (A) address lumber quality and improved kiln drying of Inland Northwest species; (B) estimate softwood lumber and panel price relationships and distortions from imperfect spot price information to improve lumber markets; (C) determine mechanisms for xylem formation in Douglas-fir using an in-vitro model system
and proteomics analysis as a way to improve wood quality; (D) develop and evaluate biofuels from the wood-based by products; (E) understand economic and carbon impacts of the Inland-Northwest wood products industry; and (F) develop value-added wood-strand composites.