Canadian Forest Service Publications

Storing beetle-killed logs under snow to reduce losses after mountain pine beetle attack. 2008. Whitehead, R.J.; Wagner, W.L.; Nader, J.A. Natural Resources Canada, Canadian Forest Service, Canadian Wood Fibre Centre, Victoria, BC. Information Report FI-X-003. 32 p.

Year: 2008

Issued by: Pacific Forestry Centre

Catalog ID: 28632

Language: English

Series: Information Report (CWFC - CFS)

Availability: Order paper copy (free), PDF (download)

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To assess the potential to store beetle-killed logs under insulated snowpacks in British Columbia to preserve wood quality and maximize value recovery, we reviewed the literature and visited operations in eastern Canada, where the technique has been recently adapted to routine operations, and in Finland, where 3.5 million m3 of timber are stored under snow annually. We also visited storage terminals in Sweden where very large volumes of sawtimber have been stored since 2005. We identified three roles that cold storage could play in responding to the current mountain pine beetle outbreak: (1) where the outbreak is expanding rapidly and green-attack volume exceeds capacity of mills to process all logs prior to dispersal flight, cold storage can prevent development and dispersal of beetles before milling late in the season; (2) where significant value is lost between harvesting and processing due to checking after delivery to the mill, cold storage can maintain moisture content and extend the time frame for achieving higher economic recovery; and, (3) where there is an opportunity to store large volumes of quality logs, doing so for an extended period (more than one year) may help defer or moderate anticipated social, environmental and economic impacts in the areas most affected by the mountain pine beetle outbreak. We report on discussions with woodland and plant managers in British Columbia on how the technique might be adapted to western Canadian operations and possible impediments to implementation, and we present recommendations.