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Stakeholders use science to find common ground on wood supply from forests
Date:2/29/2008

were available from 41 percent of the area studied. They also agreed that 26 percent of the area was not appropriate for thinning for commercial wood byproducts. Some participants felt that an additional 33 percent of the landscape might be an appropriate source of additional wood byproducts. But because of differing views about thinning versus controlled-burning restoration treatments, and uncertainty about other factors such as road access and archaeological sites, Sisk said, the group remained divided about thinning these lands, which would have increased estimated wood supply by only 16 percent.

This project is unique at the national level, and the fact that consensus was reached on almost 70 percent of the landscape is remarkable, said Todd Schulke, forest programs director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

Steve Gatewood, representing the Greater Flagstaff Forests Partnership, said appropriately scaled wood products businesses will play a key role in restoring forests. However, stakeholders want assurance that appropriate is defined by restoration needs, not industry profit motives, and businesses want guarantees of future wood supplies to invest in equipment designed to harvest and process small-diameter wooda much harder business to make viable than when harvesting larger diameter trees was the norm, said Gatewood.

Rob Davis, president of Forest Energy and owner of Future Forests, two companies using material from thinned forests, noted that although the products derived from forests have changed in recent years, forests remain a valuable renewable resource for recreation, wildlife, water and wood products. This milestone consensus is a breakthrough in achieving the most prudent use of this resource.

The ForestERA Project estimates of potential wood supply were derived from satellite imagery and ground measurements and are based on treatment scenarios developed by the group. The process included seven full-day works
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Contact: Lisa Nelson
Lisa.Nelson@nau.edu
928-523-6123
Northern Arizona University
Source:Eurekalert

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