In The News

Michelin Wants to Replace Oil with Wood in Tires

Motor Authority reported that Michelin believes wood in tires will be a reality in 2020. The company’s goal is to move away from oil.

Cyrille Roget, Michelin’s worldwide director of scientific and innovation communication, said the plan is to create more sustainable tires in the future, and experiments with wood waste have provided a solution. The tire maker will incorporate elastomers from wood chips to replace a tire’s oil content.

Today, 80 percent of the material found in tires comes from oil, and Michelin would like it be 20 percent by 2048.

“Trees grow everywhere,” said Roget. “So you redistribute the opportunity for everyone to have local sourcing. And they are renewable.”


Groundbreaking Study Shows Trees Can Be Genetically Engineered to not Reproduce

The largest field-based study of genetically modified forest trees ever conducted has demonstrated that genetic engineering can prevent the growth of new seedlings.

The containment traits that Oregon State University (OSU) researchers engineered in the study are important because of societal concerns about gene flow — the spread of genetically engineered or exotic and invasive trees or their reproductive cells beyond the boundaries of plantations.

“There’s still more to know and more research to be done, but this looks really good,” said author Steve Strauss, distinguished professor of forest biotechnology at OSU. “It’s very exciting.”  

Findings from the study, which looked at 3,300 poplar trees in a nine-acre tract over seven growing seasons, were published in Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

In trees like poplars that have female and male individuals, female flowers produce the seeds while male flowers make the pollen needed for fertilization. Strauss and colleagues in the Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society assessed a variety of approaches for making both genders of trees sterile, focusing on 13 genes involved in the making of flowers or controlling the onset of reproduction.

Individually, and in combination, the genes had their protein function or RNA expression modified with the goal of obtaining sterile flowers or a lack of flowering.

The upshot: Scientists discovered modifications that prevented the trees from producing viable sexual propagules without affecting other traits, and they did so reliably year after year. The study focused on a female, early-flowering poplar that facilitates research, but the genes they targeted are known to affect both pollen and seed and thus should provide general approaches to containment. For more, go to  http://bit.ly/2LNfhoF.


OSU Receives Grant for Cross-laminated Timber Research

OSU has been studying cross-laminated timber—an innovative product that is helping to advance wood as a construction material for tall buildings— and is currently building a university complex constructed with the material.

The university has now received a grant to do even more research. The $489,793 grant will fund a project that will characterize the effects of moisture accumulation in mass timber buildings on the structural building components and connections. The results of this research will lead to engineering design guidelines that account for the effects of moisture intrusion on panel and connection properties for cross-laminated timber structural systems.

Interim U.S. Forest Service Chief Discusses Making It Easier to Work with and on the Forest

The Spokesman-Review reported that the head of the U.S. Forest Service, USFS interim Chief Vicki Christiansen, promised at the Pacific Northwest Economic Region’s annual summit that the Forest Service will be doing business differently.

Specifically, Christiansen said the permitting process for guides, outfitters, and other recreational services is going to get easier on National Forest Lands, and cooperative agreements between industry and the Forest Service are going to be more common.

“We are working to reform our process to make it easier for all kinds of businesses to work with, and on, the forest,” she said.


Endangered Species Act Reform 

Republicans in the House and Senate recently rolled out ESA reform legislation. On July 2, Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) released draft legislation to expand states’ authority in setting recovery goals, objectives for habitat, and delisting/downlisting objectives for listed species.

The Barrasso legislation would also prevent lawsuits challenging decisions to delist a species for five years, after a monitoring period for a delisted species. “We must do more than just keep listed species on life support — we need to see them recovered,” Barrasso said in a statement.

“This draft legislation will increase state and local input and improve transparency in the listing process,” Barrasso added.

TimberWest November/December 2013
July/August 2018

Pacific Logging Congress Official Show Guide
Information on the 8th Live In-Woods Show

Firebreak
Fire season arrives with a vengeance.

Montana Logger Finds His Niche in Fire Salvage and Cleanup
Hall Wood Processing specializes in salvage logging and fire cleanup, working for both the state and Forest Service and following up if necessary to restore forest lands.

Taking on the Steep Slope Challenge
Galen Kuykendall Logging decides to tackle winch-assisted steep slope logging for some of his timber contracts in north central Idaho’s Clearwater region.

What to Know When Harvesting Burned Timber
Several industry professionals discuss the challenges of harvesting burned timber.

Brothers Team Up
Joe and Mark Mahon, are a well-oiled machine, complementing each as they operated a long-established outfit.

Oregon Mass Timber Summit Review
Review of the one-day summit held at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, Oregon.

Tech Review
A look at the harvester and processor heads.

Time for Another Look at Biochar?
Guest columnist, Jack Petree, looks at new research regarding biochar.

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