Inland Northwest Forest Products Research Consortium
Dramatic shifts have occurred in the type of raw material available to the forest industry within the Inland Northwest, 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 the reduction of stocking levels by removal of small diameter trees has significantly changed the quality and value of the raw materials available for manufacture into useful products.
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, multiinstitutional 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. As a result, management prescriptions often call for the removal of the timber resource that is substantially different from timber resource a decade ago. This has led to an increased emphasis on the
removal of late successional species and to reducing stocking levels often through removal of small diameter trees. Therefore, development of new assesment tools for gaining value and the development of new products will both result in improved utilization of this forest resource. To address these issues, this proposal includes research to: (A) Energy Consumption at Commercial Dry Kilns; (B) Durable wood plastic composites; (C) Bio-oils from high lignin feedstocks; (D)Biomass utilization for energy; (E) Log assessment for wood quality; (F) Logging Costs, Carbon Implications, and Economic Impacts of the Inland-Northwest Wood Products Industry; and (G)Optimizing Wood Composites for Thermal and Durability Performance.