Study of value of timber resource

RBC I The White River Conservation District (WRCD) commissioned a forest products literature review to determine the need for research on the percentage of beetle-killed lodgepole pine that would be available for high value cut stock.  The literature review identified a definite need for the study.  Therefore, WRCD is conducting a wood utilization project to evaluate the length of time standing beetle-killed lodgepole pine can be utilized for various products.
The objective of this study is to determine the recovery rate of useable cut stock processed from lodgepole pine timber killed by mountain pine beetle.  The White River Conservation District is partnering with the Colorado State Forest Service, U.S. Forest Service and Morgan Timber Products to conduct the study.  Recovery rates are being assessed for green timber and standing dead timber at 1-3, 4-7 and 8-10 years after mortality. WRCD board member Gary Moyer identified, felled, delimbed and transported 10 trees from the control and each age group to Morgan Timber Products.  Morgan Timber milled them into 1-inch boards, which CSFS is now estimating the percentage of cut stock in the boards and subsequently will provide them to a company to process them into cut stock products.  The amount of useable versus unusable material will be measured to determine the percentage of useable material. Findings from this study should prove useful in assessing the impact of the time that lodgepole pine timber stands dead on cut stock yield.
The district is looking forward to the results of this study which is expected to be finalized in December 2011. They hope to identify high value products from the 3.5 million acres of beetle-killed timber here in Colorado so that industry can find it economically viable to move to Colorado and harvest this abundant natural resource.
The district is currently in conversations with a University of Georgia graduate student who is interested in determining the economics and policy changes needed to make wise use of this beetle-killed timber.