There is tremendous value to British Columbians in reducing forest slash burning. Benefits include improved community protection, lessened environmental impacts, and increased employment.

Since 2017, FPInnovations and the Forest Enhancement Society of British Columbia (FESBC) have partnered to find solutions that maximize the use of forest fibre, all while enhancing forest resiliency throughout B.C. This is a key priority for the provincial government considering the mid-term fibre supply deficits, the latest consequential mill closures, and the recent catastrophic wildfires.

The power of efficiency
“With the financial support of FESBC, FPInnovations has unraveled the economics of forest operations tailored to increase the use of existing fibre sources,” stated Ken Byrne, manager of resource management for FPInnovations. “The findings will provide the B.C. forest sector with the necessary information to become innovative, cut costs, and maximize operations.”

Much of FPInnovations’ research has revolved around the incremental costs of harvesting and transporting biomass logs. These costs are over and above what it would normally cost to transport logs for market. The research has also looked at alternative processing systems to identify opportunities to reduce costs and increase fibre utilization.

“Initial research identified opportunities to increase volume recovery using centrally located yards instead of processing solely at roadside.” said Byrne. “These studies also showed that if biomass logs are transported to market instead of piling and burning them at roadside, there is potential for higher profits.”