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Evans cited as first code victim
Timber Sales
Riding the OSB boom
Cost conscious cut-to-length
Sticking in a Tough Market
Aspen as a Commercial Species
Tech Update
Helicopter Logging
The Eagle Flies
Blockades
Value-Aded Training
Haliburton: A Multi-Use Model
Kiln Proficiency
Supplier Newsline
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  December 1997 - Past Issue

CCMC Furthering Aspen as a Commercial Species in BC

CCMC is a pioneering company making exclusive use of high-quality aspen.

By Jim Stirling
Copyright 1996. Contact publisher for permission to use.

A gradually increasing number of forest companies in the region are using aspen as the sole furnish or as a mix in their wood processing plants. But the aspen is not a conifer. "What you've learned about conifers, leave it at home when it comes to aspen,'' recommends Rob Hall, woodlands superintendent for the Canadian Chopstick Manufacturing Co. Ltd. in Fort Nelson, BC.

Managing forests for aspen requires a different attitude and philosophy that incorporates techniques recognizing the species' specific biological and regeneration characteristics, he believes.

CCMC is a pioneering company making exclusive use of high-quality aspen for the manufacture of disposable chopsticks. "We have to be innovative because of the nature of the aspen and the uniqueness of the operation," adds Frank Senko, CCMC's woodlands manager. OSB

The operational experience of forest management techniques dedicated to aspen is limited in northeastern BC, unlike in other parts of western Canada. The tree types and conditions there mean companies like CCMC and the provincial forest service are on a learning curve. But it really sticks in the corporate craw when aspen is given little credence as a viable commercial species. Understandable, for the aspen is essential to CCMC's survival.

The company has a deciduous forest licence to harvest 69,384 m3 of aspen annually in the Fort Nelson TSA, the largest supply block in BC. Its charter harvesting areas are in the Fort Nelson and Liard River drainages. Less than 10 per cent of the company's volume is in spruce and cottonwood.

The resource is distributed throughout valley bottoms to upland regions in amoeba-shaped areas ranging from two to 2,000 hectares in size. Only the highest-quality aspen about 30 per cent can provide the clean, bright, unblemished chopsticks mandated by the Japanese market. Finding a fair and reasonably priced market for the remaining residue aspen is an ongoing challenge.

"It takes a lot of field work to try to identify chopstick-grade aspen. You can get a feel but you don't know for sure until you cut it down,''explains Hall. CCMC's cruisers use destructive sampling methods to determine the recoverable volume of chopstick-grade material in a given aspen stand. And while it's not always possible, the company tries to avoid areas where the indicated grade volume is 90 cubic metres/ hectare and less. "It's our belief soil moisture contributes to the degree of stain and rot in a clonal species like aspen,'' continues Hall. Aspen in higher elevations seem less prone to stain and rot.

CCMC has conducted yeoman silvicultural trial work and planting with aspen. The company grew its first aspen from seed on a trial basis in 1990 and continues to garner good-quality seed from the best clones. Survival rate in aspen from CCMC's own seed has climbed to a 95 per-cent rate in the last two years. The company planted 150,000 aspen in 1995 and 140,000 in 1996. Site preparation is not usually required. The aspen respond best to an open planting site.

December 1996 / January 1997 Table of Contents

Evans cited as first code victim
A glance across the fall landscape in northeastern British Columbia reflects the golden opportunity represented by the dominant aspen.

Timber Sales Fund Innovative Harvesting Training Program
Eighteen people are learning new harvesting techniques.

Riding the OSB boom
Hedging against a downturn, Weyerhaeuser invests $16 million to improve recovery at its OSB plant at Slave Lake, Alberta.

Cost conscious cut-to-length
Setting up a new CTL show in remote northern Manitoba, Art Riemer wanted dependable equipment - but not at a price that would turn his accountant surly.

Sticking in a Tough Market
At Fort Nelson, the world's largest chopstick plant produces eight million units a day for demanding Japanese buyers.

CCMC Furthering Aspen as a Commercial Species in BC
CCMC is a pioneering company making exclusive use of high-quality aspen.

Tech Update: Cable Yarding Systems
A review of the different cable yarding systems that are available on the marketplace

Helicopter Logging Capability Guide
Heli-logging remains a practical harvesting alternative in many of British Columbia's mountainous regions.

The Eagle Flies
At the site of an abandoned chip mill in Miramichi, Eagle Forest Products turns the key on a new $100 million OSB plant.

New Centre Targets Value-Aded Training
With an estimated 30,000 skilled workers needed in the value-added sector in BC by 2001, the industry has moved to address a potentially serious training shortfall.

Haliburton: A Multi-Use Model
Ontario's Haliburton Forest, a popular recreation site, also hosts extensive forestry research and education programs - and a unique 'one stem at a time' selective logging program.

Yard Handling and Storage Critical to Aspen Quality
Few mill yards contain a fridge for wood, a fibre source to keep a manufacturing plant in business when green production is curtailed.

Northern Mills Address Need for Added Kiln Proficiency
The added market value of kiln-dried lumber is driving a push for new technology and added training for operators.

Supplier Newsline
Trade magazine ads pay off.


Return to the December/January 1997/1997 Table of Contents

Last modified 2/11/97

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