on the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
An ongoing spruce bark beetle epidemic has killed large volumes
of spruce trees on the Chugach National Forest. Conditions are
now ripe for stand replacement fires on thousands of acres spanning
diverse land ownership on the Kenai. Resource managers want to
know how much of potential restoration costs could be offset by
utilizing the dead resource.
Finding opportunities to utilize dead and dying spruce trees
in ways that would fill a niche in the Alaskan economy and promote
community stability while improving ecological integrity.
Suitability of the dead and dying resource was evaluated for
a variety of products: lumber, veneer, house logs and pulp chips.
Value of the resource decreases rapidly following death by
beetle attack. Althugh dead trees have significantly less value
for lumber and veneer than do live trees, a large percentage of
dead trees are suitable for log home manufacturers. These can
be used locally with technology appropriate to skills and financial
resources of local businesses. Pulp and paper properties were
still of an acceptable quality for dead spruce.
Collaborators: USFS Region 10, R10 State and Private, Chugach NF,
Seward RD, University of Alaska, State of Alaska Division of Forestry,
Kenai Peninsula Borough, USDA Forest Products Laboratory, Madison,
WI, Young and Morgan (Seward Forest Products, Green Veneer) and
PNW Research Station, Portland, OR.
C. Lowell, PNW Station (503) 808-2072